Get away from the summer and head to a winter destination. Picture: Supplied

As the festive season draws near and children completing their last set of exams, a lot of families may be planning to get away from their everyday lives in the summer and opting for a cooler holiday.

While the southern hemisphere enjoy the warm sun and high temperatures, the northern hemisphere gets draped in white snow with many people getting excited to make snowmen, go sleigh riding or make snow angels.

Here are a few winter destinations that are escape-worthy from the summer season: 

Midway, Utah, United States of America

Ice Castles in Midway, Utah. Picture: Supplied

The little town located just west of Heber City is a gorgeous place to be in the winter. There’s skiing, horse-drawn sleds, and plenty of gorgeous sights.

Thanks to a geo-thermal caldera, there’s even year-round scuba diving in the 90-degree waters. But perhaps the biggest draw are the ice castles built annually by teams of artists.

Visitors can explore the massive and intricate structures, constructed using 20 million pounds of ice.

Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm Christmas market, Sweden. Picture: Supplied

The best time to see the Northern Lights is between November and March, and while the northern part of the country boasts the best views, you can sometimes see them in the capital, too.

Winter brings shorter days, but you can still enjoy the Swedish tradition of fika for a full-on cultural experience.

Lake Tahoe, California, United States of America

Lake Tahoe, California, USA. Picture: Supplied

Lake Tahoe is beautiful year-round, but its gorgeous landscape really peaks in the winter. Besides offering over a dozen ski resorts, the city also has hot springs, beautiful vistas, and a vibrant nightlife. 

Visitors can enjoy skiing, nature hikes, and bird-watching, among other winter activities. Lake Tahoe gets about 125 inches of snow a year, so if all else fails, you can always consider making a snowman.

Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan

Jigokudani Monkey Park, Japan. Picture: Tumblr

Located in Joshinetsu Kogen National Park, the Jigokudani Monkey Park gets heavy snowfall for about four months each year. Despite the cold, there are plenty of hot springs to warm up in.

This not a well-kept secret, especially if you’re a monkey: Snow monkeys are known to come to the valley in the winter and take a dip during the day. Besides watching monkeys kick back, visitors can also check out the steam vents, which shoot hot steam into the air.

Kirkjufell, Iceland

Kirkjufell, Iceland. Picture: Supplied

Kirkjufell is a mountain that looks straight out of a fairytale.This unusually shaped mountain is pretty enough in the springtime but becomes truly beautiful once it gets a layer of snow.

It’s a favourite subject of nature photographers, but it’s even better when seen in real life. When you’re done, you can visit Grundarfjörður, a small town with a population of just 900 people.

Zugspitze, Germany

Zugspitze, Germany. Picture: Supplied

Located just south of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in Bavaria, Zugspitze is Germany’s highest mountain peak, standing 2,962 metres (9,718 feet) above sea level.

There are numerous smaller mountains surrounding the Zugspitze and every year thousands of people come to enjoy all manner of winter sports.

Skiing and snowboarding, sure, but also sled rides, cross-country skiing and weird things like Bavarian curling (google  Eisstockschießen).

It’s also perfectly acceptable to just sit in the chalet with some Schnapps and admire the view.

IOL