Cloudy with a chance of vacay: These places look even better under grey skies

2018-02-19 12:40 - Saara Mowlana
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Cape Town - When it comes to holiday planning the main scheduling factor is plotting for the summer or sunnier seasons.

For some travellers this routine is becoming stale, so they go looking for an adventure in the grey or the stereotypically mundane, by seeking out stormier locations for a change of pace. 

It is rare and often bizarre to ever consider visiting, say, The Bahamas in winter. However, these five places will have you frozen in both admiration and cold and planning your next 'greycation'!

Bookmark these winter wonderlands

Shirakawa, Japan

The village of Shirakawa in the Gifu prefecture of Japan is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It is no wonder why if you look at the traditional architecture of the houses and its ethereal beauty throughout the seasons, but specifically its fairytale appearance in the Winter.

The minka building style includes vertiginous thatched roofs which prevent collapse during heavy snowfall in winter - and Shirakawa has some of the heaviest snowfall in the world, with an annual average of over 9 metres. The snowfall clings to the thatched rooftops creating a mesmerising display that makes you feel as though you've stepped into a storybook. 

Shirakawa, Japan. (Image: iStock)

READ: Japan invests $10m to revive Boom supersonic jet project

Harbin, China

Harbin is considered the coldest of China's major cities and it has embraced its title of Ice City with open arms.

Every year it hosts the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival - which is the largest snow festival in the world. The event takes place over two areas on either side of the Songhua River - which births the giant blocks of ice used as sculptures. Watch as the ice lights up in celebration of the festival and feel transported by the experience. 

Harbin Ice Festival. (Image: iStock)

CHECK OUT: Millions in China go with the tide and travel home for the Lunar New Year

Kitzbühel, Austria

Skiing is a popular sport at this medieval town. It features an array of flat plains and slopes covered in a blanket of snow during winter which attracts visitors near and far to bask in its snow drenched glory.

Kitzbühel, Austria. (Image: iStock)

SEE: EasyJet to create new company in Austria for Brexit

Alca´zar de Segovia, Spain

This gem in central Spain has gone through many transitions. From being a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison as well as potentially being Walt Disney's inspiration for the iconic Cinderella's Castle, it now serves its current life as a museum open to all who visit.

The many transitions can truly be seen in the worn atmosphere created during colder and dreary seasons and days, making this destination all the more hauntingly beautiful. 


ALSO SEE: Spain expected to replace US as second tourism destination

Bled, Slovenia

Along the edge of the Slovenian town, Bled, you will find a glacial lake, from the middle of which rises an island.

On Bled Island stands a 17th Century church tattooed with gothic frescos. On one side of the lake, Bled Castle looms towering above the town. It is a medieval era structure and one of the oldest castles in Slovenia. In these striking surroundings, winter brings its annual snowfall, adding to the chilling beauty of the place.

Bled, Slovenia. (Image: iStock)

ALSO CHECK OUT: Eiffel Tower still closed, but tourists show snowy Paris much love

Your greycation awaits!

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