From the quietude of Iceland to the sunny beaches of Australia, here are a few beautiful spots that celebrate some of the greatest festivals during winter.


1. Iceland

Specifically: Reykyavik

Iceland is one of the most underrated festival destinations. Exponentially ethereal and tourist-friendly, this snow-capped gem is home to immense natural beauty, from walleys, waterfalls, springs, glaciers to black sand beaches. The capital and home to majority of the population in Iceland, Reykyavik, hosts some of the greatest winter festivals. From Iceland Airwaves to Sónar Iceland. And if you do decide to take a trip to country, you can expect some incredible performances from homegrown Icelandic artistes such as Sigur Rós, Björk, Of Monsters and Men, Parachutes and more.

iceland airwaves


2. Japan

Specifically: All over Japan

Japan has a great expanse of winter festivals, ranging from beautiful light festivals to grand art festivals. These festivals take place all over Japan during winter. From Nabana No Sato’s Winter Illuminations Festival to the Kamakura Snow Festival in Yokote. Winter in Japan is almost magical, with varying temperatures in different parts of the country. You can enjoy pleasant sunny days along the Pacific coast and the more chilly ones as you travel north. Make sure you check out at least one of the aforementioned matsuris while you’re in Japan.



3. Australia

Specifically: All over Australia

Australia’s music festivals are some of the most picturesque ones. During these cold months as the most of the world celebrates winter, Australia prepares for its beautiful summer. Pack your bikinis and suntan lotion because the Aussies have a plethora of beach/summer festivals that are even more fun than they look. From the formidable Paradise Lost in New South Wales to the scenic Beyond The Valley festival that is hosted in a gorgeous venue by the ocean.

lost paradise


4. Canada

Specifically: Ontario & Quebec

If you’re looking for a festive winter where you can sip hot chocolate and watch pretty lights, the capital of Canada, Ontario is the place for you. Ontario celebrates a 18-day winter festival, known as Winterlude, which incorporates a bundle of snow activities and an amiable environment perfect for your next vacay. Or for those looking for something more grand, there’s the Quebec Winter Carnival, one of the biggest winter festivals in the world. You can celebrate a snow-ey winter without having to travel to the conventional vacation spots.



5. India

Specifically: Rajasthan

India is a gradually expanding cauldron of live music and counter-culture events. Rajasthan, the vast desert state, does not only make for a grand festival destination, but it also proves to be the ultimate travel experience. With its diverse geographical offerings, its palatially royal history and its vibrant culture, attending a music festival in Rajasthan reaps several benefits. From eclectic music festivals (Magnetic Fields, Ragasthan), cultural celebrations (Pushkar Camel Fair, Pushkar International Balloon Festival, World Sufi Spirit) to literary soirees (Jaipur Literature Fest), there are a lot of immersive festivals to go around in Rajasthan.

pushkar 3


6. Italy

Specifically: Venice

Italy during the winters is as lively as it gets. There are several Venetian carnivàles that take place mid-winter, filling the city with flamboyant parades and mirth. Famous for its grandeur, Carnivàle di Venezia, the biggest Italian carnival in the world takes place during the end of January. With masquerade balls and street performances, Venice is at its most colorful during this time of the year. Speaking of carnivals, the town of Ivrea also celebrates an annual carnival of orange-throwing; sort of like a La Tomatina of Italy. There’s much to experience this winter in Italy, enough to give you major FOMO.



7. Switzerland 

Specifically: Geneva

Switzerland is known for its snow-capped Alpines and ethereal beauty, but there’s more to the land of winter than it’s aesthetics. Explore the great outdoors and modern cultural festivals of Switzerland with these beautiful winter events. From Grindelwald Snow Festival’s grand ice sculptures and Geneva’s many other art festivals to the International Balloon Festival that takes place in Château-d’Oex, there are many scenic and interactive gatherings in Switzerland where you can enjoy the essence of winter to the fullest.

Alpine balloon


8. Alaska, USA

Specifically: Anchorage

Alaska’s quiet beauty is known to all, but the lesser known silver lining is its merry culture. The same city that celebrates the happy Summer Solstice Festival, Anchorage hosts Fur Rendezvous every winter. This 10-day festival provides a glimpse into the Alaskan life and celebrates its simplicity. The festival includes famous raindeer and/or sled-dog races, snow sports and amicable Alaskans everywhere. This ought to be on your winter bucket-list, folks.


Also Read: 9 Magical Winter Festivals