Those sites that are even better in the snow
Spring has finally come after weeks of the worst snowfalls and sub-zero temperatures in Europe. Mediterranean beaches blanketed in white.
Blizzards and “life threatening” conditions in normally snowless areas of Europe paralyzed cities unaccustomed to more than a thin wet film of snow.
Some regions are still going through the “Beast From the East” and seem tired of this pre-Spring weather surprise.
Let’s relax and take pleasure. There are so many cities that are made to be a winter wonderland!
Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russia
Snow is a goo? reason to go in Russia. Despite the fact that in Russia it is not as cold as it is made out to be, especially as there are many southern regions in this vast country, its two main cities, Moscow and St Petersburg are marvelous in the winter scenery.
As those two cities are familiar with cold, they are rarely collapsed during huge snowfalls, you will easily find cozy places to get warm and finally streets are decorated during the snow season while different festivals take place in parks and main sites.
Huge illuminated ice-skating rinks in the main parks and on the Red Place. Be thrilled as you skate around ancient monuments or contemporary artistic constructions and light shows. No skates? No problem. The VDNH also has rental skates available.
Gorky Park offers various activities all year round, usually filled with vibrant artists, mingling music, dance, fitness and yoga free lessons and bounded with couples dancing on the boardwalk. In winter, Gorky Park also offers ice skating, a writer’s club, guided tours, and the Muzeon — a place full of statues, with this year’s ice statues being located just across the street.
In the snow, Saint Petersburg’s Winter Palace, now home to the State Hermitage Museum, the (seen above) looks as good as it could be. The former royal family winter is not named The Winter Palace for no reason, after all.
Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, the biggest Russian Orthodox cathedral in Saint Petersburg, as well as the largest Orthodox basilica and the fourth largest cathedral in the world offers provides stunning views of the city from its colonnade. The view of the snowy Saint Petersburg with the Alexander Garden, Palace Square, Saint Isaac’s Square and the Neva River is a must.
With snow clinging to trees and snowmen around every corner, walking in numerous palaces’ parks, including Catherine’s Palace and Pavlovsk is both a breathtaking and fun activity. There is so much to do in the snow, including snowball fights, cross-country skiing, sipping hot chocolate, making snow angels, and taking pictures.
And of course, winter is the best time to fall in love russiasn theaters, operas and ballets. Hiding you from cold, they will charm you with Russia's greatest contributions to the art of theater, from the plays of Anton Chekhov to the methodologies of Stanislavsky and Vsevolod Meyerhold's “theater of the grotesque.
Sedona, Arizona, USA
The town is famous for the red sandstone formations, that become sprinkled with snowy dust in winter. However the weather remains mild, but there are no crowds during this time of the year, thus you can enjoy tranquil solitude and empty hiking trails. Hot-air balloon trips are offered to admire the sunrise and the rocks, while restaurants and spa treatments will provide a relaxing vacation.
Lodging is the most affordable during the winter where great bargains and special deals are available on hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, resorts and vacation rentals.
Winter is also the least crowded time of the year in Sedona which will let you fully enjoy breathtaking canyons and great service. It is the least crowded at the Grand Canyon South Rim too which is only about a 110 mile drive from Sedona. Some say that the Canyon is the most beautiful when dusted with snow.
It gets chilly during the evening, but that is the perfect time to enjoy a relaxing dinner or share some romantic time snuggling around a warm fireplace.
The Holiday Season is festive in Sedona. There are events during the season such as the Red Rock Festival of Lights. The 6,000 luminaries at Tlaquepaque will get you in the Holiday spirit. The Verde Canyon Railroad, just about 20 miles away in Clarkdale features a Santa Claus-themed train ride through the Verde Canyon.
Tallinn’s medieval old town is enchanting throughout the year, but during Estonia’s long winter months it takes on a whole new dimension of wonder.
As most of the European capitals usually crowded during summertime, the city becomes quiet, almost serene in a way. The main sights of the city suddenly become accessible without having to fight through a crowd of tourists.
The emptiness of Tallinn’s Old Town from November to February almost resembles post-apocalyptic movies. The city is standing as a movie-prop waiting for actors: you will barely see any people walking in the Old Town after the Sun has gone down. During day time, an odd tour group or two finds its way into the narrow streets. At night, you will only find life on the main party street of the city – Suur-Karja. Thus, walking quietly through the snowy Old Town might seem very romantic and totally relaxing.
Take a stroll around the fortified Toompea and eventually you’ll end up in Raekoja Plats. Pop into the tiny room beside the Town Hall for a glass of glögi or some homemade soup.
Alberta's captial city, Edmonton, is so wintry, they've come up with activities all season-long. WinterCity features ice carving competitions, deep freezer races (that's right, you push a deep freeze on skis), and skating accompanied by an orchestra. The most unusual celebration dedicated to the whole season!
If you go to Alberta during the winter season, Banff National Park, filled with incredible winter adventures, is a must. From trekking to the backcountry, cross country skiing, enjoying the downtown vibe of Banff Village or doing so many of the activities listed below.
Surrounded with mountainous landscape the town is a popular all year round attraction. However in winter it has some exceptional opportunities to offer. Besides the perfect snowy views it provides numerous activities like climbing, skiing, cycling and more. Meanwhile a number of cafes, restaurants, shops and museums will feed your appetite for delicacies and culture.
Tired of cold? You can get warm in Banff hot springs. Cave and Basin, Canada's Oldest National Park and the third oldest National park in the world, is home to the original hot springs in Banff. There is a cave to walk through to look at the original entrance that was discovered in 1885.
For beautiful winter scenery and an enjoyable day outdoors, visit the Johnston Canyon Ice Walk. The Johnston Canyon Ice Walk takes you on a journey through a deep limestone canyon on a steel catwalk anchored to the walls.
Finally, gor the most emotional experience, don’t forget to visit wolfdogs in The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, a rescue center for abandoned or neglected Wolfdogs near Canmore.