7 ideas of adventure for the winter holidays

So, winter is coming! :) What options do we have for the winter season?  This year has come with a lot of changes, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find some interesting options and adapt to the current situation.

Here are some ideas for your winter adventure:

1. Skiing/Snowboarding

Probably the most obvious choice for many of us when it comes to winter adventure, activities, and sports. In Europe, you can find many famous destinations for practicing skiing and snowboarding, so you have a lot of choices. Countries like France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and also Romania have a lot to offer when it comes to practicing these sports.

2. Ice climbing tours

If you are used to rock climbing, I guess ice climbing is quite easy for you. You can choose a tour for advanced ice climbers, that is challenging enough for you.

If you are not used to climbing, there is still a chance for you too, because there are a lot for winter adventure tours out there for beginners that teach you how to climb on ice. I think this must be an amazing experience! Most of these tours are in countries like Norway, Slovenia, Iceland, Italy, France.

There are tours that fit all preferences, from several hours until a few days in a row. While searching for these lovely tours I was asking myself how much it would cost me all the equipment. Luckily enough most of these tour operators/service providers offer you the option to rent all the equipment.

3. Dog sledding trips

I think this must be a unique experience! Just have a look at the video below and see for yourself. If you are lucky, you can even see the Aurora Borealis. There are lots of tours with several activities and of them is dog sledding. Or, if you wish, you can choose an exclusive dog sledding tour for several days. Most probably, you will spend the cold winter nights in warm cozy tipis or mountain cabins. If you think that this is a tour for the most adventurous, you might be right :) While researching the internet for offers and comparing prices, I noticed that some tours also offered jacuzzi and saunas for the tourist to relax in the evening after a day spent in the cold wilderness. Sweeeeet!

4. Learn winter mountain skills by having a winter trek

If you like hiking in the summer, you will definitely love it in the winter. It is true that it requires a better fitness level though. Depending on the region, you will find areas with a lot of snow, that will be quite challenging to go through. There is also the risk of avalanches, so you will have to choose your trail carefully. The pictures below are made in Romania while descending from the Ciucas peak (1954 m) with my friends.  The weather can be pretty moody around these places, on top it was really foggy, you could barely see anything, but then the sun was shining again a few meters after we started the descend.

Ciucas Mountains – Romania
Ciucas Mountains, photo credit: Razvan Iliescu

5. Aurora watching trip in Iceland

I don’t know why, but when I am thinking of an Aurora Borealis watching trip, I automatically think of Iceland. I didn’t have the chance to visit Iceland so far, but this is one of my top destinations on my bucket list.

Apparently the best time to visit Iceland and with the best chances to see the Northern Lights is from late September to late March. Unfortunately, this cannot be predicted because it is a natural phenomenon. It is most related to solar activity.

You could easily combine an Aurora watching trip with other exciting activities, like ice caving, or seeing waterfalls or lagoons. When it comes to natural beauty, Iceland is one of the most beautiful regions in Europe in my perspective.

aurora borealis
Aurora Borealis

6. Snow rafting / Snow tubing

This is something you can do if you like adrenaline and wish to spice up a little your winter adventure :) It seems really cool and funny, I would definitely give it a shot!

Just imagine yourself sliding in a rafting boat on the snow, in high speed just like that:

Photo source: https://www.bohinj.si

7. Book a holiday to an Ice Hotel

While you can find several Ice Hotels across Europe, the is one also in Romania :) This place is astonishingly beautiful and is made 100% of ice. It is located at 2000 m of altitude and the first one created in Eastern Europe. This is actually could be an interesting experience. The rooms are equipped with animal furs, but still, I wonder if it is warm enough for sleeping…Would you try it?

The location is near Balea Lake, on the Transfagarasan road, one of the most beautiful and picturesque roads in Europe. During the winter the road is closed, but you can get to the Ice Hotel with the cable car.

Photo source: https://hotelofice.ro/

In the area, you can also try several activities like snow rafting, tubing, climbing or skiing.

You can find other Ice hotels, especially in North Europe in Sweden, Lapland, Norway. The world’s oldest Ice hotel is located in Sweeden, in Jukkasjärvi and was first created in 1989. Nowadays it provides all year accommodation, it has over 80 rooms and it is also an art exhibition. It provides also all kind of experiences for tourists, from ice sculpting classes to snowmobile safaris or dog sledding trips.

“Living with angels” – Design BENNY EKMAN Photo source: www.icehotel.com

So, even if the weather can get extremely cold, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the season, the snow and to have a wonderful time out there. Oh, and there are also the hot chocolate and the mulled wine that bring that extra sweetness and warmth to the coldest day.

I wish you enjoy this time of the year, because there are many places to explore and new experiences to try ;) Sure, Christmas markets can be also fun, but once in a while, you may wish to take a break from the crowds and the turmoil of the city and just go out there and spent some time in nature.

As for myself, this winter I decided to learn how to snowboard, and to go hiking into the mountains. How about you? I am curious to know what winter adventure you have on your mind. :)

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