By Chris Robinson –
Are you looking for an alternative to winter beach vacations? Here are our top recommendations for actively embracing winter’s snow and ice.
Skating the Rideau Canal, Canada
Skating on the Rideau Canal is a great way to celebrate winter in Ottawa. It’s among the world’s longest skating rinks, and the canal is also Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage site, so you are skating over history. There are heated change huts and you can rent skates. Best of all, cabins on the canal sell warming mugs of hot chocolate and serve up Beavertails, a fried dough pastry. Skate from Ottawa’s downtown core to Dows Lake, from mid-January to early March, weather permitting.
Dog sledding, Alaska
Dog sledding looks wonderful, but it is not easy. Look for dog sledding operations that have perfected the technique of ‘tag sledding’ whereby a second dog sled is attached behind the main driving sled with a long length of rope. Novice sledders enjoy all the thrills of driving a dog sled without the pressure of actually controlling the dogs. It’s an authentic way of learning how to mush, and it is fun as well! The season stretches from late November to April.
Northern Lights in Lapland
Finland is the place to go to maximize your chance of seeing nature’s most spectacular light show, the Aurora Borealis. Like wildlife viewing, the Northern Lights cannot be guaranteed, but in Finnish Lapland they are seen, on average, every other clear night between September and March. The traditional ways to view these mesmerizing dancing lights are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or while snowmobile or dog sled touring. Now you can also view them from cozy glass igloos too.
Olympic Skiing in Korea
Looking for somewhere different to ski next winter? Somewhere with bragging rights perhaps? Look no further than the Jeongseon Alpine Centre on Mount Gariwang in South Korea. This will be the venue for the downhill event in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. There are 10 kilometres of pistes with a more than 800-metre vertical drop. The best skiers in the world will be competing in February 2018, so why not follow in their ski tracks?
Bobsledding in St. Moritz, Switzerland
Locally, it’s known as the fastest taxi in St. Moritz; but the St. Moritz-Celerina Olympic bobsled run is no ordinary taxi. This was the world’s first bobsled run and it is the only natural ice track in the world. It’s also 75 seconds of pure excitement. With an experienced driver at the front, a brakeman at the back and two intrepid passengers lodged in between, the bobsleigh rockets through the course, reaching speeds of 130 kilometres per hour, taking 14 corners. Cool running indeed!
If any of these trips sound like something you might be interested in making a reality this winter or next, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-433-8611 for more information!