While many Brits dream of a white Christmas, the truth is that flakes have only fallen in the UK four times on December 25 in the last fifty years.
Those looking for an icy adventure will need to look a bit further than home for the best chance of a snow holiday – and now travel is back on the table, we’ve rounded up some of the top holiday destinations in some impressive winter wonderland destinations.
Ride the Glacier Express in the Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps are one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, and what better way to explore their snowy peaks than aboard the Glacier Express. Dubbed the ‘slowest express train in the world,’ you’ll have plenty of time to take in the spectacular snowscape as the journey takes you through the Oberlap Pass at a dizzying 2,033 metres above sea level.
The Glacier Express is one of the many highlights of this five-day trip, which also includes a boat trip on the scenic Lake Thun, where the snowy rooftops of pretty villages adorn the bank, and the dramatic 12th century Thun Castle can be viewed from the water.
The trip, organised by Country Living, includes hotel accommodation at the Hotel Carlton, with a spa and traditional Swiss cuisine, in the quaint town of Interlaken nestled in a narrow Alpine valley.
Prices for this no-fly holiday start from £1,195 per person
Visit Father Christmas in Lapland
There is still time to treat the family to an unforgettable festive trip to see Santa in Lapland. Choose from two packages: Santa’s Magic or Santa’s Aurora, which offer different experiences to suit all families.
Santa’s Magic is a three or four-day trip that includes husky sledging, a sleigh ride pulled by Santa’s reindeer and a chance to meet the Big Man himself. The package includes accommodation in a choice of hotels close to the wintery wonderland.
For an extra-magical trip, the Santa’s Aurora package includes a stay at the special Star Artic Hotel, where you may be lucky enough to glimpse the Northern Lights from your glass cabin. Families choosing a four-day break will spend the extra day on a choice of excursions – including a toboggan run or self-drive snowmobiles for the adults.
Santa’s Magic prices start from £819 for adults and Santa’s Aurora is priced from £1,129, with reduced rates for children.
Christmas skiing holidays in France
Skiing fans can guarantee a white Christmas with a winter skiing holiday in the French Alps.
Located in the Northern Alps the Belambra Clubs Le Hameau Des Airelles is situated in a picturesque town in Savoie. The apartments, in the heart of a French National Park, all have a balcony or terrace where you can watch the action on the slopes, and a heated indoor pool with a panoramic view of the mountains.
The trip includes a ski pass that gives you access to the ski lifts – plus rental of high-performance ski equipment, so you don’t have the expense or hassle of taking your own.
The resort includes a skiing area in Val Thorens with runs suitable for all abilities – including nursery slopes – plus a range of shops, restaurants and ski instruction for children. Beginners can gain their confidence on one of twelve green slopes, while skiing experts can glide down the eight black ski runs from the peak of the slopes at 1,400 metres.
With eighty-one ski slopes in total and 33 ski lifts, there is plenty of icy fun available. Prices start from £1,140 per person for a seven-day break in December, based on two people sharing a room.
Experience the magic of Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Park is the oldest national park in the United States. It’s spread across three states – Wyoming, Montana and Idaho – and winter is the ideal time to visit if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of summer tourists and enjoy some awe-inspiring winter scenery and wildlife.
Highlights of a trip to Yellowstone include a visit to the geothermal hotspot, best known for its erupting ‘Old Faithful’ geyser, and the opportunity to spot packs of wolves, bison herds and maybe even a grizzly bear.
Accommodation is at the Kelly Inn West Yellowstone, located opposite the Grizzly Wolf Discovery Centre, and includes an indoor pool and hot tub – making it a great destination from which to explore the park.
Prices for a 7-night break at the Kelly Inn in December start from $769.93 (£571) per person.
Stay in Sweden’s Icehotel
Since 1989, the landscape along the bank of Sweden’s Torne River has been transformed into a hand-carved ice hotel. The accommodation is now a Swedish landmark, appearing every winter to delight guests from all over the world.
Between December and February, the Arctic winter is at its most intense, with short daytimes and temperatures that could drop to as low as -40C. In comparison, the Icehotel will feel almost tropical at -7C. Guests are provided with thermal sleeping bags – and there is a heated area outside the hotel where you can warm up with a shower, sauna and hot drink.
There are also plenty of activities to keep you warm. Book a dog sledging excursion, learn how to ride a snowmobile, or take a midnight trip out into the ice on a northern lights safari.
The Icehotel is located in Jukkasjärvi, a small but welcoming village of fewer than nine hundred residents.
Prices in December start from 1570SEK (£131) per room per night (based on two people sharing a warm hotel room).
Check before you travel
All the snow holidays we’ve featured are currently operating with additional Covid safety measures in place – please check before booking for the most up to date travel guidelines.