Why is there snow on the top of the mountains

We tend lớn associate winter with bleak, gray skies và runny noses, but there's a beautiful side khổng lồ the season that often gets overlooked. We're talking about Italian mountains covered with snow, pristine frozen lakes, and English cottages that put Norman Rockwell paintings to lớn shame. And while we encourage exploring these destinations any time of the year, we won't judge if you want to lớn walk through some winter wonderlands from behind your (warm) computer screen. So grab a mug of hot chocolate và forget about summer for a little while.

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This gallery was originally published in năm 2016. It has been updated with new information.


Easily one of the most beautiful winter wonderlands in Canada, Banff National Park overwhelms with views of the Canadian Rockies & regular cast of wildlife. The park's star attraction is glacial Lake Louise, which looks even more spectacular once it freezes over.


There are few places (if any) more stunning than the world's southernmost continent. Although 99 percent of Antarctica is covered with ice, the landscape still manages lớn be amazingly diverse—surreal blue glaciers, active volcanoes, the rough waterways of the Drake Passage, & 360-degree views of untouched snow. And those views are made even better when an emperor penguin or humpbachồng whale makes an appearance.


Bryce Canyon National Park welcomes most of its visitors from spring to fall, but those travelers are seriously missing out. Skirt the crowds and visit during the winter, when you can participate in ranger-led snowshoe hikes and winter astronomy programs. Plus, you'll get lớn see those famous hoodoos in their best environment—peeking through a blanket of snow.


The Dolomites are the cozy cousin lớn the Alps' glitzy ski towns. The area's powdery slopes can be accessed via the 86-mile Great Dolomites Road, one of the world's most beautiful alpine drives—& a perfect day trip from Venice.


It's hard khổng lồ find a region more remote và untouched than the Nepalese Himalayas. The sky-high country is defined as much by its roông chồng formations & colorful stupas as by its unfathomable stretches of jagged mountains.

The coldest parts of Japan are in its northernmost regions, but nowhere is snow country more beautifully represented than in the thatched cottages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. These UNESCO-protected villages cover 170 acres in central nhật bản, and are tucked inlớn the mountains lượt thích real-life snow globes.

We love sầu Paris when it sizzles, but the City of Light becomes even more dazzling under a shroud of snow & Christmas lights. Most magical of all? The notorious lines lớn get into lớn the Eiffel Tower and Louvre shrink khổng lồ a fraction of their usual lengths.

Surrounded by the Alps, Switzerl& is easily one of the most beautiful countries in the world, no matter when you're visiting. Come wintertime though, it becomes a veritable wonderland, with powdery ski slopes, frozen lakes, and the most luxurious resort towns you'll ever see.

With its church-dotted islet and waters begging for rowboat rides, it's no wonder Lake Bled is one of the most popular destinations in Slovenia. The site gets even more postcard-worthy when the surrounding Julian Alps become covered with snow, & a fog settles over the lake.

Lake Baikal is the planet's oldest and deepest freshwater lake, reaching depths of one mile and covering an area larger than Belgium in Siberia. Come winter, the lake transforms into lớn a snowy paradise, with jagged ice caves encircling what amounts lớn the largest ice skating rink on earth. Bonus: The lake also happens to house our planet's only freshwater seals.

Known for its historic pubs & incredible Baroque architecture, Prague somehow becomes even better in winter. Even the most jaded travelers will find warmth in the city's Christmas markets & mulled wine.

Sitting at 1,943 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S. and made entirely out of glacial runoff và precipitation, which is responsible for its clarity và intense màu xanh. From November through May, you can participate in outdoor winter activities such as cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, & ranger-guided snowshoe walks.

Just off Norway's northwestern coast, the Lofoten Islands have sầu clear xanh waters that rival the Mediterranean, craggy mountains that rival Icel&, and enough edgy museums & fishing villages to rival...well, just piông chồng any Scandinavian hot spot. Yet while Lofoten's sites may draw some comparisons, the beauty here is truly unparalleled: think colorful fishing villages, majestic fjords, và tons of opportunities to see the Northern Lights in the winter.

Wintertime in Wyoming can't be missed: Snow has fallen, elk have sầu descended from the mountains, and a sense of tranquility fills the landscape. It’s the perfect time to enjoy views of the Teton range, whether on skis or from the warmth of a fireplace.

Every January in northern Trung Quốc, upwards of a million tourists flochồng khổng lồ an attraction unlượt thích anything else in the world: a temporary city made entirely out of ice. The Harbin International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival has taken place every winter since 1963, covering some eight million square feet with frozen, LED-covered skyscrapers, palaces, & sculptures.

With its Gothic courtyards and student-packed pubs, the stately university đô thị of Cambridge is worth more than just a day trip from London. The college's most iconic structures—including Cloister Court, the Friars Building, & the Mathematical Bridge—look extra magical covered in snow.

The glacial lake of Jökulsárlón & its frozen beach are considered a natural wonder of Icel&, with black volcanic sands providing a stark backdrop for the chunks of ice that wash ashore.

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Lapl& is Finland’s northernmost region, & probably one of the most idyllic winter scenes you'll ever come across. There aren't many places where you can visit Santa Claus, take a reindeer sleigh ride, or sleep under the Northern Lights in a bubble sled—but Lapland lets you do all three.

Built in 1886, Neuschwanstein famously served as inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyl&. But unlike the royal trang chính in Anahelặng, this clifftop structure gets lớn transkhung into lớn an ethereal snow castle during the Bavarian winters.

Tallinn has one of the best-preserved historical centers in Europe, with many of its medieval churches và merchant houses falling under UNESCO protection. The views of the historical center from Toompea Castle are so beautiful they make the cold, Baltic winters downright bearable.

The 16 terraced lakes of Croatia's Plitvice Lakes National Park are connected by waterfalls & vary in shades of xanh, resulting in something that defies the imagination—especially when the falls freeze over.

Mt. Fuji is easily one of (if note the) most beautiful places in Japan. Whether you see it framed with cherry blossoms in the spring or capped with snow & mist in the winter, the 12,388-foot mountain will absolutely leave sầu an impression.

Norway's second most populated city is enduringly, painstakingly pretty. Colorful wooden buildings, views of fjords và mountains, and even some Northern Lights appearances—what's not khổng lồ love?

Named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, the Hagia Sophia has been standing since the sixth century, and is one of the best examples of Byzantine architecture in the world. And we have two great reasons to lớn visit during the winter: exterior shots of the site covered in snow, & interior lines cut lớn a fraction of their summertime, tourist-heavy lengths.

Alaska is trang chính to more than 3 million lakes, but we have sầu a bit of tunnel vision when it comes lớn Bear Lake. Located in the Kenai Fjords National Park, the site stands out for its massive glaciers, year-round water sports (kayaking, ice skating, dog mushing), & viewings of the Northern Lights from September through April.

Greenland's western town of Ilulissat draws tourists for several reasons: the UNESCO-listed Ilulissat Icefjord, dog sledding, & the colorful buildings phối to lớn the backdrop of icebergs.

Lake Kussharo is a beautiful caldera lake in Japan's Akan Mashu National Park. In winter, the lake becomes even more beautiful as hundreds of whooper swans fly south from Russia to phối up camp for the season.

Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America, and its colonial French architecture gives it an unmistakably European feel. The cobbled streets of the Old Town are merrily decorated for the holidays, và the toboggan run at Château Frontenac (open from mid-December to lớn March) is the most thrilling way to lớn view the lovely thành phố.

With its đá hoa cương pillars & azure lakes, Torres del Paine is one of the most impressive sầu sites in the entire Southern Hemisphere. And let's face it: The park's snow-capped mountains and sizable glaciers are about as wonderland-y as it gets.

Built in 774, the Temple of Bulguksa is found in the incredibly scenic Gyeongju National Park on the slopes of Mount Tohamsan. The complex's stone terraces, bridges, & pagodas look especially lovely in winter, covered by a light layer of snow.

Slovenia's capital thành phố is a real-life fairytale setting, come sunshine or snow flurries. Book a trip after the holidays, when you'll have sầu tons of room lớn stroll the pedestrian-only Old Town & sip coffee by the riverside cafes.

There are several reasons khổng lồ visit Thành Phố New York City during the holidays. But even after the Rockefeller Tree lights are unplugged & the Fifth Avenue shop windows go bachồng khổng lồ normal, Central Park remains one of the city's must-visit locations (plus, a snapshot of snowy Gapstow Bridge in Central Park is bomãng cầu fide Instagram gold).

Winter is, hands down, the best time to lớn visit Budapest. Seeing the Hungarian Parliament surrounded by ice drifts on the Danube could make even the stricdemo of beach bums embrace the cold.

The buildings in Moscow's Red Square—most notably the State Historical Museum and St. Basil's Cathedral—are stunning year-round, but the red brick and jewel-tone domes seem khổng lồ pop even more brightly when the surrounding đô thị receives a fresh snowfall.

Salzburg is world-famous for being the filming location for The Sound of Music. We recommend visiting the thành phố during the holiday season, when crisp táo bị cắn strudel & snowflakes that stay on your nose và eyelashes—not to mention some of Europe's best Christmas markets—will definitely become a few of your favorite things.

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