26/11/2015 5:22 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Winter Getaways For Your Christmas Break If You're Not A Summer Person

Mitchell Funk via Getty Images
Belvedere Castle in Central Park in the snow.

Controversial statement: not everyone is into summer.

While it may seem plain old un-Australian to say that, the heat (and the flies, sweat and sunburn that come with it) actually isn't everyone's cup of tea.

So while everyone else's plans for the Christmas break might be heading to the beach or a cheeky trip to Bali -- why not buck the trend and escape for a winter getaway?

If you're keen to swap sand for snow this Christmas, check out some of our favourite winter escapes below.


#japan #winter #osaka #snow #winterinjapan

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Japan has a lot to offer in terms of being the ultimate winter getaway. Great food and drink (cup of hot sake anyone?), plenty of shopping options and, if you're feeling energetic, the option to get involved in some winter sports.

There are also tonnes of cultural sites to visit, or, if you want to experience some tradition firsthand, you can opt to stay overnight in one of Kyoto's famous ryokans.

Oh. And did we mention there's a Disneyland?


Blame Canada! (For your skiing addiction.) Offering some of the world's best snow fields, Canada is a top pick for ski-buffs who would rather spend their holidays up a mountain than on a beach.

Alternatively, you could check out the breathtaking Niagra Falls which remain open over the Christmas break (though not on Christmas day) or go moose-spotting in one of the many national parks.

With daily flights direct from Australia and New Zealand -- what's stopping you?

New York City

#winterinnyc #loveithere

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There's arguably not a city in the world that does winter as well as the Big Apple. There are countless activities -- from ice skating in Central Park, to catching a show on Broadway, to "staying warm" in one of the city's infamous department stores -- and we haven't even mentioned visiting any of NYC's famous landmarks yet (though if you're going to visit the Statue of Liberty, we advise you rug up.)

Movie fanatics can grab a pastrami on rye where Harry met Sally, go on a "Sex and the City" tour or visit the iconic "Seinfeld" set.

One thing's for sure -- it's impossible to be bored in the city that never sleeps.


OK -- this might seem a bit of an overkill, even for winter lovers, but hear us out. In 2014, one million tourists visited Iceland -- in other words, over three times the local population of 320,000.

Visiting in the off-season means less crowds, more savings and days which seem like a permanent sunrise.

Of course, you'd definitely want to check out the Northern Lights while you're there, with NASA predicting they will be the best they have been in a decade this December. Have we convinced you yet?


#Morning #Frost #Irishwinter #MountJuliet #Roomwithaview

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Once again, heading to Ireland in winter means you can take advantage of cheaper prices and fewer crowds, but still having the benefit of activities and major tourist spots being open.

Plus, let's be real. WARM COSY PUBS. Ireland is famous for them. What better way to unwind after a day of sightseeing than to curl up in a lovely pub with a pint of Guiness along with the locals?

"Game of Thrones" fans can get to know what Winterfell is really like on a GoT tour and the countless castles coupled with the raw natural beauty of the Irish landscapes are said to look even more magical in the colder months.


Christmas markets pop up all over Germany during December and draw an increasing amount of tourists looking for unique gifts that can't be found in a department store.

Winter hiking is also particularly beautiful in Germany, with Black Forest meant to be a snow-covered highlight.

Also -- gingerbread, mulled wine and steins of local beer -- need we say more?

Need more convincing? Check out our slideshow of top European winter getaways below.