The best winter destinations – and the cars you should drive to get there
Although the temperatures begin to drop and the nights draw in, winter is a time for joy. It’s a period where we can reflect on the year that’s gone, and start to look forward to what the next 12 months will bring. It’s also a time to relax and recuperate, and what better way to do that than give yourself a much-needed break?
When it comes to holidays at this time of year, you’re spoilt for choice. With a host of winter wonderland destinations scattered around Europe each offering their own sense of magic, mystique and festive spectacle, we’ve picked out four of the very best – plus a suitable ride to get you there.
The authentic Christmas – Lapland, Finland
No list of winter wonderland travel destinations would be complete without the ultimate in festive authenticity. Lapland comprises the northernmost part of both Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia and sits atop the Arctic Circle. As for what’s on offer, the area is known for its stunning, postcard-ready winter landscapes illuminated by the Northern Lights at night, but also offers up a variety of outdoor adventures including dogsledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling and, of course, reindeer rides.
If you like your Christmases decidedly Christmassy, you’ll struggle to find a better place than this.
The car to get you there – the Land Rover Discovery Sport
Although a dog-powered sled will probably be your best bet for transit once you’re there, the outstanding off-road capabilities of the Land Rover Discovery Sport, alongside its luxurious interior amenities, will see you take on the rigours of Lapland’s landscapes in cosy but tremendously capable style.
Winter in the city – Prague, Czech Republic
If you’re looking for a city getaway, the Czech capital presents one of the very best winter destinations in Europe. An architectural dream with the history, music scene and beer to match, Prague ticks all the boxes as a classic, enchanting European city. Brimming with heritage that stems through its picturesque gardens, expansive parks and bustling cafes, it’s a vibrant location for all the family – and one that can take on several different forms depending on what you’re looking for.
The car to get you there – the Smart ForFour
The original city car, the Smart car is still tough to beat as the ultimate in portable A to B transit. The Smart ForFour EQ is a fully electric runner that offers plenty of range for getting around while providing twice the accommodation of the Smart ForTwo – making it a perfect ‘little car’ for the whole family.
The secret getaway – Hallstatt, Austria
Central Europe is brimming with magical little villages and towns, but perhaps the pick of the bunch when talking about the best winter wonderland destinations is Hallstatt in Austria. Shadowed by the snow-topped Alps and littered with architecture that looks like it’s straight out of a cuckoo clock, Hallstatt has such a fairy-tale feel to it that you wouldn’t be surprised to hear the Sound of Music erupt from the surrounding hills at any second.
Accustomed to swathes of tourists over the summer, Hallstatt is best experienced from October onwards, where you can enjoy a serene and undeniably breath-taking trip to this idyllic toytown.
The car to get you there – any Aston Martin
While Hallstatt itself is only visitable on foot, the surrounding roads of the Alps demand a suitably emphatic driving partner. With that in mind, what better solution than to hop into a Aston Martin of your choosing, be it the Vantage, Valhalla or DB11?
For some, the Alps experienced via the means of a supercar represents the pinnacle of driving. And when you consider the prospect of meandering (or motoring) along some of the world’s best roads in one of the world’s best cars, it’s tough to disagree.
The snowy staycation – Windermere, England
When we talk about winter wonderland destinations in the UK, there are a few beauties that spring to mind. The aptly named Snowdonia, for one, offers a stunning winter drive, while trips through the Yorkshire Moors, Scottish Highlands or along the Cornish Peninsula all certainly have their magical merits.
The Lake District, however, provides an unwavering classic that offers charming towns, snow-topped moors and peaks and, of course, pristine, still lakes to make it one of the best UK winter holiday destinations going. Make sure to stock up on Kendal mint cake to keep your calories up if you're planning on taking on one of the many brilliant walks available.
The car to get you there – the Audi Q4 e-tron
The flagship vehicle for Audi’s impressive foray into the world of all-electric motoring. What better way to experience the Lake District than in one of the best new sustainable cars on the market? Boasting full family car capabilities with outstanding range and just about every typical Audi touch and styling point you can think of, the Q4 e-tron is one of the most accomplished SUVs on the market – and made for the future.
Enjoy the top destinations in winter with Jardine
With a new and used car catalogue that spans luxury family cars, top-end SUVs and dream supercars, there’s no better place to find your next new car than with Jardine. With 50 years of experience in the luxury car market, you can trust us to provide exceptional service worthy of our outstanding range.