10 Offbeat Winter Sports Destinations in the World

Although foggy and fluffy, winters are joyous and invite everyone to visit its winter-kissed landscapes for myriad reasons. If you are an adventure enthusiast looking for lesser-known winter sports destinations in the world, we have just the list for you.

Take a look at our handpicked list of Winter Sports Destinations in the World.

  1. Svalbard, located in the Arctic Ocean
  2. Matanuska Glacier, Alaska, United States
  3. Auli, Uttarakhand, India
  4. Lake Bled, the Julian Alps, northwestern Slovenia
  5. Lapland, Finland
  6. Whitefish, Rocky Mountains of Montana, United States
  7. Aviemore, Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland
  8. Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh, India
  9. Lake Baikal, Mountainous Russian region of Siberia, Russia
  10. Abisko, Sweden

1. Svalbard, located in the Arctic Ocean

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One of the northernmost inhabited areas in the world, Svalbard, is located in the Arctic region, close to the North Pole. Thus, the winters here are everlasting, making it one of the best winter sports destinations ranking in the world.

The star attraction is the Northern Lights in Svalbard. These magical lights are rare phenomena that can only be seen in a few places worldwide. If you want to witness this rare phenomenon, travel to Svalbard between mid-September and mid-March.

Because of its location, the town also experiences the unique Polar Night, occurring between mid-November and the end of January. The sun never rises during this time of the year, and also, the sky glows with a bright blue twilight, increasing your chances of spotting the aurora borealis.

  • Winter sports to try: Camping, dog-sledding, ice cave exploration, snowmobiling, and Arctic treks

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2. Matanuska Glacier, Alaska, United States

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Among the best winter sports world locations, Matanuska Glacier in Alaska is where winters last a long time, making it one of the world’s best winter sports destinations.

A valley glacier, Matanuska Glacier, lies near the Glenn Highway about 160 km northeast of Anchorage in Glacier View. Moreover, it is the largest glacier accessible by car in the United States, 27 miles long and four miles wide; it is definitely worth a visit.

  • Winter sports to try: River rafting, glacier trekking, and ice climbing

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3. Auli, Uttarakhand, India

Auli is one of the top winter sports destinations in India, nestled in the lap of the Himalayas. Thick snow blankets the entire town every winter. Painted in white, it is nothing less than a winter wonderland. Though still an offbeat retreat for those looking for skiing opportunities, Auli is making its name.

An annual ski festival held in February is a huge attraction for tourists. A thrilling chance to ski through the powdery-snow slopes is definitely worth a try. The panoramic views of the lofty Himalayan peaks such as Nanda Devi, Mana Parvat, and Kamat Kamet are added delights.

  • Winter sports to try: Skiing, trekking, and cable car rides

Explore Packages to Plan your Trip to Auli for Winter Vacation

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4. Lake Bled, the Julian Alps, northwestern Slovenia

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A picturesque winter beauty, Lake Bled is next on our list of the winter sports destinations in the world. Nestled amidst the Julian Alps in the northwestern countryside, the lake surrounds Bled Island.

During winters, the lake turns frosty blue. The waters reflect the surrounding snowy mountains. The area is home to many waterfalls, pools, caves, and some thrilling delights.

  • Winter sports to try: Skating, sledding, ice hockey, snowshoeing, snowboarding, and ice bowls

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5. Lapland, Finland

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Lapland is the northernmost part of the country and is among the best European winter sports destinations. Located in the Arctic region, the town comes closest to the picture of a dreamy winter wonderland. Known as the home to Santa Claus, the snowy town has a lot to offer.

Indulge in exciting experiences or enjoy the endless view of white snow as far as the eye can see. Lapland offers interesting places to visit, such as a reindeer or a husky farm. You can also venture out to partake in a quirky festival; the winter ones are absolutely worth enjoying.

  • Winter sports to try: Husky/Reindeer/Snowmobile safari, skiing

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6. Whitefish, Rocky Mountains of Montana, United States

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Situated on Big Mountain, Whitefish, with its quirky name, is next on our list of offbeat places for winter sports in the world. The ski resort is a notable attraction with plenty to do and see. You can enjoy some scenic views of the mountains and a beautiful lake. In addition, its annual festival – Whitefish Winter Carnival, is among the most celebrated Winter Festivals in the World (for interlinking).

So, you have an amazing fest to partake in during your visit to this lovely place. It features the lesser-known sport of joring. The winter sport involves a horse and rider pulling a skier along an 800-foot-long horseshoe-shaped course while the skier pulls off jumps and swerves around slalom gates.

  • Winter sports to try: Skiing, para-skiing, and joring

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7. Aviemore, Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland

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Unexplored and a true gem Aviemore is a wonderland among 10 top destinations for winter sports. Surrounded by frozen lochs and ancient pine forests, the family-friendly getaway has so much to offer in winter that it becomes your favorite offbeat snow place. Try scenic treks, explore ski-friendly slopes, and watch wildlife, including reindeer, whisky tasting, star-watching, or cozy fireside evenings.

  • Winter sports to try: Skiing dog-sledding, hiking, nature walks, and wildlife watching

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8. Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh, India

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Narkanda is one of the most beautiful places in winter, home to one of the best winter sports destinations in India, Hatu Peak. The peak offers the thrill of skiing, as do the nearby slopes.

Verdant forests and apple orchards lace this unusual winter sports destination for panoramic snow ranges views. So, with a trip to this place, you will enjoy a vacation in a slice of paradise.

  • Winter sports to try: Skiing and heli-skiing

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9. Lake Baikal, Mountainous Russian region of Siberia, Russia

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An ancient, huge lake in the mountainous region of Siberia, Lake Baikal is the deepest in the world. And if you have chosen this attraction for adventure, you won’t be disappointed.

Known as the “Sacred Sea” by the natives, this freshwater lake transforms into a 12,200-square-mile ice rink during winters. Apart from enjoying snow sports, you can also partake in the thrill of activities in the areas where the water hasn’t frozen yet.

  • Winter sports to try: Snowmobiling, dog-sledding, rafting, ice diving, and camping

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10. Abisko, Sweden

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The beautiful town of Abisko is one of the world’s best winter sports destinations. Home to Nordic beauty and is packed with activities for adrenaline junkies.

Here, you can visit the dense national park that houses reindeer. And best of all, enjoy the frequent aurora borealis brightening up the landscape. This is an ultimate getaway from cities in the very heart of nature.

  • Winter sports to try: Dog sledding, ice fishing, and skiing

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So, make this winter special with some thrilling activities at these top winter sports destinations in the world. Take a break from the most popular snow locations and choose this offbeat trail. Thereby, you will delight in the not-so-known regions on earth that treat you with some incredible winter activities. Which one have you selected for your trip this winter?

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Debashree Chakraborty

A travel writer by profession and self-professed addict to literature and travelling. Go through her penned down travel experiences on indianholiday.com