For a truly unusual holiday, instead of heading for a sunny beach, travel to a snowy mountain. The beautiful peaks in Switzerland, the USA and New Zealand are at their best in winter. As an added advantage, local schools are typically in session so prices are lower.
As an expert visa consultancy, MoreVisas are accustomed to sourcing visas for all kinds of trips, from a Swiss tourist visa for a honeymoon to a US green card. We deal with the red tape and bureaucracy so you can focus on planning your sightseeing.
Geneva and the Swiss Alps
As you fly into the beautiful and historic city of Geneva, you can see the Swiss Alps spread out beneath you. During the day, the white mountains glisten in the sun and you can see why so many Bollywood film makers have come here to shoot a romantic scene.
Geneva is a small city, just 400,000 people, and it is as safe and clean as a children’s movie. Winter is a busy time with many local festivals, most of which involve chocolate and other pleasant foods. Look to the horizon as you wander, and you’ll see the snowline on nearby mountains.
World-famous ski resorts like Zermatt, Verbier, Davos and Klosters (a favourite with the British Royal Family) are a few hours away from Geneva by train. These are the areas often seen in Bollywood films. A Swiss tourist visa will give you access to the whole country, so you can explore at your leisure.
Ski resorts aren’t just for expert skiers. Most have many fun activities for non-skiers, such as sledging, walking in the forest and even sunbathing and spas, as the altitude means the sun is surprisingly hot. Ski lessons are also available. For reliable snow in Europe, go from late December to early March. March will be warmer.
New York and Pennsylvania
December is a great time to visit New York as the city gears up for Christmas. Everyone pulls out all the stops for this major local festival and the town glitters even more than usual. Nights are longer and sparkle with bright lights from all the decorations in the streets and shops. Celebrations even extend to the theatre and cinema, so look out for Christmas shows like the Nutcracker ballet.
Snow is common in New York in December but not guaranteed. The city acts as a heat island, so if the streets are disappointingly bare, make the most of your US tourist visa and take a train out to New York state or Pennsylvania, and explore the countryside. The area around New York city is packed with charming bed-and-breakfast places, which are small boutique hotels, often in the countryside, ideal for a snowy visit.
New Zealand – snow in summer
In the southern hemisphere, New Zealand’s winter is in June to August, making it a pleasant break from a hot Indian summer. The country is home to the Southern Alps, famous for their beauty, and similar to the mountains in Switzerland. They’ve been immortalised in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Hollywood films.
As well as some great skiing, New Zealand also has a lot to offer non-skiers. Many visitors with a New Zealand tourist visa choose to go whale watching, walking in the mountains or snow shoeing. If you’re less interested in the outdoors, you can view the mountains from a train or helicopter ride and spend more time at the country’s fine geothermal spas, which use naturally hot water from deep in the earth, or its fabulous shopping districts.