13 Beautiful Snow Escapes around the World

With the UK weather forecast showing snow later this week, winter is just around the corner. We’ve taken a look at the most beautiful outdoor winter escapes across the world – from stunning snow-capped scenery in California and Morocco’s magnificent Atlas Mountains, to frozen cascading waterfalls in Japan, our photo round-up showcases the best winter travel spots. 


Tadami River Bridge Onuma-gun, Fukushima Prefecture

The Tadami River Bridge Viewpoint has become increasingly popular and for good reason, visitors can watch trains emerging between the trees crossing over the bridge, set sights on the stunning snow-covered mountains, frozen lakes and local houses steeped in snow.  This incredible viewpoint is easily accessible and located just a few minutes’ walk from roadside station, ze-Kaido Mishima-juku. Alternatively, visitors can get breath-taking winter views of the charming rustic alpine scenery and local towns in Okuaizu by taking the JR Tadami line itself. japan.travel/en/

Kenrokuen Garden, Kanazawa City, Ishikawa 

Kenrokuen Garden is a beautiful Japanese garden with an area of 11.4 hectares located on the heights of the central part of Kanazawa and next to Kanazawa Castle. Kenrokuen, which means ‘having six factors’, was given the name because of the six attributes that bring out the perfect landscape of the garden: spaciousness, tranquility, artifice, antiquity, water courses and magnificent views from the garden. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of a winter wonderland landscape with snow covered trees and frozen waters during the winter months. www.ishikawatravel.jp/en/

World Heritage Ainokura Gasshozukuri Village, Nanto City, Toyama 

Located along the Three Star Road route on a terrace about a stone’s throw from the surface of the Shogawa River, Ainokura Gasshozukuri Village is found spread across a long, thin plateau. Of the 27 houses there, 20 are in the traditional sloping-roof Gasshozukuri style. Many of them were built from the end of the Edo period through the Meiji period, with the oldest supposed to have been built in the 17th century. Not only are there houses, but also temples, shrines, earthen storehouses, Itakura and other traditional buildings that have been preserved. During the winter months, visitors can view the architectural style of the houses developed over many generations that are designed to withstand the large amounts of heavy snow that falls in the region during winter. www.mitsuboshi-kaidou.com

The illuminated ice falls of Oirase Gorge, Hachinohe

Oirase Gorge is located just an hour and 20 minutes from the Hachinohe Region. This gorge is one of the most beautiful river valleys in Japan, with vibrant and fast flowing waters that freeze over during the winter months. With numerous waterfalls, including Choshi Otaki Waterfall, visitors to the Oirase Gorge can gaze at rare ice falls and witness the beauty of icicles and frozen streams, all of which have been carefully lit with LED lamps that don’t melt the ice. During the winter months, Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel, located alongside Oirase Gorge, runs night tours for visitors to view the spectacle of the frozen waterfalls. www.visithachinohe.com

Beppu Ropeway, Mt. Tsunumi in Oita, Kyushu Region

During the winter months, from early December to mid-March, weather conditions in Kyushu drop, this paired with increased winds creates an annual dusting of frost that covers the Tsurumi mountain slope. This stunning scenery can be viewed from the Beppu ropeway, it is the largest ropeway in Kyushu taking guests on a ten-minute journey to 1,300 meters above sea level offering magnificent panoramic views of the valley below. welcomekyushu.com/


Mount Toubkal, Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Enjoy the stunning winter scenery that Morocco has to offer at the top of Mount Toubkal summiting at an impressive 4,167 meters. Climbing Toubkal is a perfect non-technical short break in the Atlas mountains, only around 50 miles to the south of Marrakech. On a clear day, the range can be clearly seen from the city. The blue skies, bright sun and crisp snowy peaks are a wonderful antidote to the winter of northern Europe. These winter climbs are on snow and ice and require additional mountaineering equipment such as crampons and a walking axe. Mount Toubkal is not a technical peak to climb but climbers will learn some basic alpine techniques during the trip, such as walking on crampons and how to use a walking axe correctly and safe movement on snow and ice. www.visitmorocco.com


Estes Park, Colorado

The gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, is a quaint town home to cosy log cabins, farm-to-table restaurants and incredible scenery. Estes Park becomes even more magical in winter when the town is covered in a blanket of snow. Those who are lucky will see migrating elk walking across the stunning blankets of snow. colorado.com

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado 

There’s a reason Aspen Snowmass is one of the world’s most popular ski resorts. During the winter months it becomes a picture-perfect winter wonderland. Visitors can enjoy the breathtaking views whilst skiing each of the mountains, take in the festive spirit in the towns of Aspen and Snowmass, or relax in one of the resort’s world-class hotels, such as The Little Nell, which sits at the base of Aspen Mountain. aspensnowmass.com 

Tremblant, Canada

Tremblant resort is located in the beautiful Laurentian mountains of Quebec, Canada, an hour and a half north of Montréal. It offers the perfect setting for a winter escape with its picturesque village that looks like something from a perfect Christmas film and the beautiful Lac Tremblant. www.tremblant.ca 

Mammoth Lakes, California

Mother Nature is good to Mammoth Lakes. With over 300 days of sunshine a year and an average of 30 feet (nine metres) of snow, Mammoth is a winter paradise. From skiing and sledding on the world-famous Mammoth Mountain to snowshoeing and snowmobiling through lush forests, there are many ways to enjoy this spectacular, snowy winter wonderland. Alternatively, visitors can head up to Minaret Vista to enjoy spectacular views of the snow-capped High Sierra. visitmammoth.com

Yosemite Mariposa County, California

Picturesque snow-topped peaks and glistening frozen lakes, winter transforms Yosemite Mariposa County into a winter wonderland. The ice and chill make the crowds disappear, but the park doesn’t close when snow falls, and it becomes even more beautiful in it’s quiet, snow-covered setting. Whether it’s skiing the slopes, snowshoeing beneath a full moon or ice skating in the shadow of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park makes for a breath-taking winter getaway. yosemite.com

Yosemite Tuolumne County, California 

Located 2.5 hours east of the San Francisco bay area lies Yosemite’s Tuolumne County; a destination consisting of three unique experiences in the Gold Country, High Sierra and north of Yosemite National Park. Those looking for a memorable winter activity should try snowshoeing the 2.5 mile loop in Tuolumne Grove in Yosemite National Park. This grove is quieter than its popular counterpart and due to that very fact, allows for a more peaceful time hiking amongst the majestic giants. If time is on side, a visit to the mighty Hetch Hetchy Reservoir to embark on one of five hikes taking visitors through forest and meadow terrain with spectacular views of waterfalls and vistas is a must. For keen skiers, the family-friendly resort of Dodge Ridge opens in November with 60 runs over 862 acres and is suitable for all levels. www.visittuolumne.com 




Roughly the same size as Northern Ireland, this Balkan treasure may be small but packs a punch when it comes to experiences on offer. With quaint old towns, five national parks, towering mountains, scenic beaches, bays, lakes and more, Montenegro encourages visitors to enjoy its natural environment and the relationship between nature and people. In Durmitor National Park, skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are popular activities and the Tara River Canyon, the deepest canyon in Europe, transforms from a white water rafting adventure to a picturesque hiking spot. Not forgetting the coastal cities, Kotor and Budva are often quieter in the winter and the perfect opportunity to get acquainted with the local culture and admire the architecture without the crowds. www.visit-montenegro.com