2017 might only just be making its slow transition into longer, warmer days, but there’s never a bad time to be thinking beyond your summer vacation. Winter adventures, whether enjoying the snow of the Northern Hemisphere or soaking up the hot weather in the southern half of the globe, are a great way of escaping seasonal blues and it’s never too early to start planning your next getaway.
Allow us to inspire you with this list of unmissable destinations for an adventure this coming winter.
Winter adventures in the Northern Hemisphere
For many, a winter adventure means snow. To get your fix of the slopes, check out these top ski resorts:
Over 87-miles (140km) of south-facing pistes are what draws skiers to this luxurious resort in the southwest corner of Switzerland – and that’s before you even mention the views of the snow-dusted Matterhorn and Mont Blanc and even across the nearby Plaine-Morte Glacier.
Expect luxurious accommodations, a range of pistes to suit the level of all members of your party and even hiking trails for those who want to enjoy the snow at a slower pace.
St Anton, Austria
For skiers with a bit more experience, the St Anton resort in the Arlberg ski region in the far west of Austria is just the ticket. Known as the “cradle of alpine skiing” thanks to the part it played in helping to invent the sport, St Anton is located in one of the snowiest parts of the Alps.
Best suited to intermediate and advanced skiers, there are plenty of off-piste terrains to keep you busy during the day and the world-renowned local nightlife is all part of the apres ski experience.
Winter adventures in the Southern Hemisphere
If you’re not a fan of a cold vacation, do as the birds do and escape the Northern Hemisphere by migrating south for a warm winter adventure.
With over two million hectares (five million acres) of national parks and an awful lot of coastline, Panama is the hottest destination for a winter adventure to escape the cold.
Deserted, white-sand beaches make up most of its coast and the remote islands of the San Blas Archipelago are brimming with activities, including snorkeling through clear blue waters to encounter shipwrecks and hordes of colorful tropical fish.
Another unmissable adventure to have in Panama this winter is to cruise along the Panama Canal, seeing up close this incredible feat of engineering that altered global shipping routes. As part of a tour through the Caribbean, ships normally dock at Aruba and Jamaica, as well as Cartagena in Colombia and Puerto Limon in Costa Rica, before passing along this waterway.
The temperature might be a little bit cooler in the far south of Patagonia, but the Austral summer remains the best time for an adventure cruising around legendary Cape Horn and into the narrow waterways of hanging glaciers and hardy sub-Antarctic forest that make up the Chilean fjords.
A winter adventure in Patagonia would also not be complete without a trip to the region’s top hiking attractions: spy the sharp granite needles of Torres del Paine National Park at the end of the world-renowned W Trek or, across the border, stand at the foot of looming El Perito Glacier or trek through glacial landscapes from El Chaltén, Argentina’s premier hiking destination.