Girls snowshoeing in Europe (Dreamstime)
List Words : Wanderlust team | 26 December

Winter thrills: 7 unique adventures in Europe's snowy wonderlands

From snowshoeing in the Alps to exploring Iceland by Superjeep, these winter adventures are guaranteed to warm your soul and create magical memories

1: Snowshoe the French Alps

Snowshoeing in winter (Dreamstime)

Snowshoeing in winter (Dreamstime)

Experience extraordinary solitude and breathtaking scenery on this one-week snowshoeing adventure in the French Alps with KE Adventure Travel.

Based in the charming town of St Veran, you’ll strap on your snowshoes to trek through remote valleys and along the quiet trails of the Queyras. This area of the French Alps is well away from the crowds and offers spectacular mountain views, especially in Ecrins National Park. Fully guided, with all snowshoe equipment provided, this is the European winter adventure you’ve been looking for.

Trip: Queyras Snowshoe Week

Who: KE Adventure Travel

When: 20 Jan, 10 & 24 Feb 2018 

How long: 7 days

How much: From £1,045 (exc. flights)

2: Discover Europe’s secret winter playground

Sunset over Mount Fatra (Dreamstime)

Sunset over Mount Fatra (Dreamstime)

Enjoy all that winter has to offer on this active family break in Slovakia with the Family Adventure Company.

Based high in the snow-clad Tatra peaks, you’ll discover why Slovakia is Europe’s best-kept winter secret. This is one of Europe’s most mountainous countries, and there’s no shortage of outdoor activities - including skiing, dog sledding and snowshoeing. Best of all, there’s a piping hot thermal pool waiting to soothe your muscles after your day’s adventures. 

Trip: Winter Slovakia Family Holiday

Who: The Family Adventure Company

When: Departures Nov-Mar

How long: 7 days

How much: From £1,654 (exc. flights)

3: Drive huskies across the Arctic

Dog sledding in the Arctic (Dreamstime)

Dog sledding in the Arctic (Dreamstime)

Experience the total exhilaration and joy of driving your own team of dogs across a vast Arctic landscape on this exciting husky adventure in Lapland with Discover The World. 

Travelling this way brings you face-to-face with an extraordinary winter environment, with the ‘whoosh’ of the sledge runners on snow and the panting of your dogs the only sounds as you cross the beautiful, peaceful landscape. You’ll spend two nights in rustic lodges, hopefully as the Northern Lights dance overhead, before jumping aboard a snowmobile that will take you to the Icehotel for a magical last night.

Trip: Wilderness Husky Adventure

Who: Discover The World

When: Flexible departures Dec-Mar

How long: 3 days

How much: From £1,825 (inc. flights)

4: Watch whales under the northern lights in Norway

Whale tail in Norway (Dreamstime)

Whale tail in Norway (Dreamstime)

Visit the far north of Norway for a whale watching adventure with a difference with Wildlife Worldwide.

Based in the pretty town of Andenes, you’ll spend five incredible days whale watching, going on an elk safari, and looking out for the northern lights. While there's no guarantee the lights will show, the large number of herring that migrate to Andfjorden at this time of the year bring orca, minke, sperm and humpback whales in large groups. With three four-hour whale watching trips accompanied by marine biologists, you’ll see plenty of them - as well as white-sided dolphin and possibly a white-tailed eagle or two.

Trip: Norway – Whales & Northern Lights

Who: Wildlife Worldwide

When: Flexible dates Nov - Mar

How long: 5 days

How much: £1,295 (exc.flights)

5: Armenia winter mountain trek

Sevanavank Monastery in winter (Dreamstime)

Sevanavank Monastery in winter (Dreamstime)

Here’s one to tell the grand kids about: a week-long winter trek across the remote mountains of Armenia with Evaneos.

Starting in Tsakhkadzor, you’ll spend four days snowshoeing across the Tsaghkuniats and Tegheniats mountain ranges to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Geghard and the upper valley of Azat. From here, you’ll leave the highlands to find woodlands, abandoned monasteries and ancient fortresses and, finally, Lake Sevan, the Blue Pearl of Armenia. It’s an extraordinary adventure and one that will live long in your memory.

Trip: Armenia: Crossing the Mountains

Who: Evaneos

When: Flexible departure dates

How long: 7 days

How much: From £620 (exc. flights)

6: Experience Iceland’s wildest ride

Super Jeep on top of Langjokull Glacier in Iceland (Dreamstime)

Super Jeep on top of Langjokull Glacier in Iceland (Dreamstime)

Buckle up and experience the wilder side of Iceland on this three-night Super Jeep safari with Discover The World. 

Super Jeeps are a distinctly Icelandic way to tackle the lunar landscapes of this incredible country, thanks to their ability to reach areas where conventional vehicles simply can't go. In winter, studded tyres give good traction on ice, while reduced air pressure in the tyres allows the vehicles to glide over deep snow rather than sink into it. Each Super Jeep seats 2-7 people, and vehicles often travel in convoy. The exact route taken each day will depend on the weather but wherever you go in the hands of these expert drivers, you can be sure of a thoroughly exciting, enjoyable and safe time. 

Trip: Super Jeep Weekend Safari

Who: Discover The World

When: Flexible departure dates

How long: 3 nights

How much: From £916 (exc. flights)

7: Be dazzled by Lofoten’s vibrant winter colours

The Lofoten Islands in winter (Dreamstime)

The Lofoten Islands in winter (Dreamstime)

Experience the magic of the Lofoten Islands under the shimmering northern lights on this winter adventure in Arctic Norway with Evaneos.

Regarded as one of the most beautiful places in the Arctic, the Lofoten Islands truly come to life in winter. The vibrant Arctic colours and the northern lights are the perfect combination as you drive, ferry, and snowshoe across dramatic peaks and spectacular fjords to charming medieval towns. The food along the way is fresh, tasty and hearty.

Trip: Lofoten winter highlights

Who: Evaneos

When: Flexible departure dates Jan-Apr

How long: 5 days

How much: From £610 (exc. flights)