As glittering snowdrifts drape a white blanket around Europe’s shoulders, it isn’t just the landscapes that are transformed – it’s the people too. Exodus Travels has unveiled a new collection of winter trips that perfectly captures this special time of year. The adventures sparkle with seasonal traditions, holiday celebrations and wintry charm, taking travelers to destinations completely altered by the first snowfall. While many vacationers believe winter is a time to hibernate indoors or head south, Exodus battles conventional wisdom with the announcement of more exotic winter escapes on offer than ever before (57 in total). This season, Exodus invites adventurers to lead a team of huskies across Lapland, cycle across frozen lakes on fat bikes, border hop the Alps by Nordic skies, admire the Northern Lights, and relax by the fire in a cozy Norwegian cabin.In 2017, Exodus debuts 12 new adventures that prove winter is far too enchanting to waste indoors!
Fat Biking in Finland: Active travelers can now explore Lapland’s Oulanka National Park by the chunky, extra grip tires of their fat bikes. They will cycle through snow-veiled pine forests and across frozen lakes to the border of Russia. Surrounded by remote wilderness and beneath the darkest skies, the guided group will have an excellent chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Nights are spent in remote wilderness cabins with wood burning fireplaces and traditional saunas.
Cross-Country Skiing in Iceland: Cross-country skiing is quickly becoming a favorite Icelandic pastime. The weeklong adventure begins at a ski area near Reykjavik, surrounded by sharp mountains and lava plateaus, and journeys northbound to Akureyri, a small settlement that sits at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord.
Finland Northern Lights: High above the Arctic Circle, in a remote part of Finnish Lapland, expert guides lead travelers deep into a snow-laden wilderness that will, with any luck, become the backdrop to one of the most spectacular natural phenomena on earth. The new Aurora adventure includes an interactive day spent at a local reindeer herder’s farm where guests learn to throw a Lappish lasso, or ‘suopunki,’ and channel their inner Saint Nick on a traditional reindeer sleigh ride.
Snowshoeing in the Southern Alps: Sparkling snowfields, towering pine and rugged peaks set the stage for snowshoeing through the Southern Alps. Explorers will be based in the small village of Saint Veran, one of the highest inhabited villages in Europe, and venture into the neighboring valley of the River Guil. From atop Curley Cross viewpoint, they can gaze across the winter wonderland to the Italian border.
Jura Cross-Country Ski Tour: Situated on the border of Switzerland and France, the Jura plateau is one of France's top cross-country skiing destinations. Nordic skis are the vehicle of choice for Exodus’ newest point-to-point ski adventure. Skiers go off the beaten tracks to far-flung mountain huts and secret viewpoints of the snow-capped Alps. The tour ends in Les Rousses, a traditional French winter resort.
Cross-Country Skiing in Oulanka:Avid skiers can now travel from Finland to Russia, following new tracks made each day by a snowmobile that cuts fresh loipes exclusively for Exodus’ small group. Skiers navigate the Finnish wilderness, taking paths through forests where elks and reindeer roam freely. Back at basecamp, the surrounding parkland can be explored by snowshoe, dogsled, fat bikes or snowmobiles.
Fossavatn Ski Race, Iceland: The Fossavatn Ski Marathon is intended for all levels, from elite racers to recreational weekend skiers. Against a backdrop of Iceland's West Fjords, cross-country skiers join local guides for race up to 50km across the land of fire and ice, followed by festive celebrations, including a cake buffet and live music.
Budapest to Prague in Winter: Europe bound travelers will find all the same great attractions in winter, but without the summer crowds. Highlights include guided tours of three European capitals (Budapest, Vienna and Prague), visits to snow-covered castles and grand cathedrals, and a unique beer spa experience in Pilsen. In November and December, adventurers will also enjoy magical Christmas Markets, traditional choral performances and hearty holiday feasts.
Cross-Country Skiing: Kamben: Located on a rising plateau in central Norway, Kamben is dotted with birch and conifer forest boasting well marked trails for all levels of cross-country skiers. Longer excursions take skiers across more challenging terrain made up of broad loops, wide tracks and some steep ascents.
Snowshoeing in the Catalan Pyrenees: Surrounded by soaring peaks, the little-known and less-trodden part of the Catalan Pyrenees provides a dramatic setting for snowshoeing. Winter lovers will stay in traditional Spanish villages, snowshoe across ancient woodlands and tranquil meadows, and visit local producers of wine, cheese and wool.
Transalpine Snowshoe Week:Exodus’ new cross-border snowshoe trek begins in a remote alpine valley in western Italy and climbs into the wild white mountains of France’s Montgenevre range. Snowshoers travel from hut-to-hut exploring new wintry territory each day, from flat larch tree forests, wide passes and rocky peaks.
Dogsledding at Basecamp Oulanka:When the temperature dips below 0°C, travelers can warm up by ‘mushing’ their own team of Alaskan or Siberian huskies across a blanket of fresh snow, past snow-covered trees and frozen lakes. Two nights are spent in remote wilderness cabins close to the Arctic Circle before guests mush back to basecamp through Poronkutsu, known for its reindeer sightings.
*All copy and images for this post provided by Exodus Travels.