Three accessible winter experiences in Western Europe

photo by CC user arran_moffat on Flickr

You have always dreamed about going to Europe in winter, as the crowds in trips of years past have always bothered you, and you always wondered what how the vibe changes when the chilly and stiff winds of the colder time of year starts to blow.

If you are on the fence with regards to making plans over the next few months, allow us to convince you with the following accessible winter experiences in Western Europe.

1) Admiring winter scenery in the Scottish Highlands

The weather in the Scottish Highlands has always been a capricious creature, fidgeting restlessly between dour rain, mist and fleeting glimpses of sunshine. Its colorful character is only magnified come winter, but with a twist, as the wet nature of the precipitation turns a graceful white at higher elevations.

This places the slopes of mountains like the Cairngorms in a state that makes them the most photogenic of any time in the year. The region is sprinkled with intimate cabins, each one a dot of civilization amidst the untamed moorland that predominates in this corner of the United Kingdom.

2) Cozy up to the fire in the pubs of Ireland

It might seem a bit foolhardy to visit Ireland in the winter time, as its drenching rains (it is called the Emerald Isle for a reason) and 7 ½ hours of daylight don’t exactly create an atmosphere conducive to mass tourism.

It is at this time that Irish towns and cities regain their resting pulse after a frenetic high season filled with throngs of foreigners and gargantuan tour buses. As such, those looking for an authentic local experience would be well advised to drop by after the punters have gone home for the year.

Yes, the driving icy rain may be a bit of a challenge at times, but all those minor inconveniences will melt away when you step into one of many countless local pubs, many of which have a roaring fire as warm as the welcome of its inhabitants.

3) Trying out Nordic skiing in Chamonix, France

You might be at a relatively advanced age, but that doesn’t mean that you have you resign yourself to the rocking chair like many of your peers. If you want to hold on to your youthful nature, you have to move your body on a regular basis, and make an attempt to try new things.

Going on a winter holiday in Chamonix, France is a prime opportunity to do just that, as there are a variety of winter sports in which one can participate. While downhill skiing might not be something that you’re too thrilled about, taking on the Olympic sport of Nordic skiing will provide you with a chance to learn a fun winter activity that provides a vigorous full body workout without the attendant risks of accidentally skidding down a 30 degree slope while attempting to steer yourself to the bunny hill ski run.

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