Beverly & Pack/Svein M/ACVB PR, Flickr

A lot of people imagine escaping the bite of a harsh winter by booking a week or two on a sunny, tropical island somewhere. Not us. We believe you should make the most of the cold, and take your next holiday somewhere freezing, but awesome. Here are five spots, in a variety of locations, with a heck of a lot to offer.

The Northern Lights (aka the Aurora Borealis) illuminate the sky in the far north. Plenty of cruise lines offer winter trips, and winter is definitely the best time of the year to view these remarkable lights. Start in Seattle or Vancouver, and head up the Pacific Coast on a luxury ship. What better way to witness this natural phenomenon firsthand?


Beverly & Pack, Flickr


Igloo Hotel


Have you ever stayed in a hotel made entirely from snow and ice? Sorrisniva, Norway has one if you haven't. The rooms, beds, chapel and lounge are all built from ice, as well as the drinking glasses for guests. Don’t fret about the cold, though. You’ll be sleeping inside of a hardcore thermal sleeping bag on top of a thick reindeer hide, which will keep you toasty and warm… just like you were living in an igloo. Fishing, dog sledding and views of the Northern Lights are just some of the activities you'll be able to enjoy during your stay.


Svein M, Flickr


Ice Climbing Course

Washington State

Who says a winter break has to be relaxing? If you love thrills, and aren’t too squeamish about heights, you can take part in a Cascades Ice Climbing Course this winter. You’ll learn the basics, and increase your technical knowledge. If the icefalls are too vertical for your taste, you can always opt for a mountaineering course, where the grades (with any luck) are slightly less severe.


ACVB PR, Flickr


Vail Mountain and Vail Resorts offer ski and snowboard lovers one of the premier destinations in the world to practice their flips and tricks. With a massive variety of ski terrain — not to mention all kinds of excellent lodging — the town of Vail is the place to go if you want that rush of adrenaline through the cold months.


jrm35, Flickr


Blue Lagoon


You'd never think to go to Iceland for winter entertainment (remember Iceland is the warmer destination?), but the geothermal spas at Blue Lagoon will do wonders for your overall health. The last thing you’ll have to worry about is your skin turning icy blue. With four million liters of geothermal seawater at your fingertips and an outdoor setting that will make you stop and gawk at its awesomeness, this is the winter spot to head to if you want to pamper yourself in style., Flickr