For those dreaming of a winter getaway, we've got something to distract you and inspire you to travel again when the time is right. Providing a picture of magical frost-tipped vistas and blissful quiet, these snowy islands promise pure escapism.
The Koster Islands, Strömstad, Sweden
The snowy Strömstad harbour
The atmospheric Koster Islands can be found just 10km west of the pretty Swedish harbour town of Strömstad. Consisting of North and South Koster Island, these are two veritable winter wonderlands that are almost completely car-free – creating a quiet that enhances the austere landscape. There are many hiking and cycling trails (of varying levels) that criss-cross the islands, allowing you to take in views of winter light glistening on the silvery sea while relishing the regular snowfall. Once we all start to travel again, those hoping to visit can reach the islands via ferry from Strömstad.
Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA
Winter transforms Nantucket from tourist hotspot to snowy paradise
Nantucket is a tiny island off Cape Cod that's characterised by whimsical dunes and moors, a picture-perfect harbour town, and beaches that range from secret coves to wide sands whipped by wild waves. It may be a popular holiday destination already but you'd be surprised by the transformation in winter when smaller visitor numbers turn the island into a peaceful, snowy paradise. A perfect winter's day out here would be wrapping up warm to admire the dramatic views over Cape Cod on a walk, before strolling through the historic centre of Nantucket town.
Sylt, Nordfriesland, Germany
Ellenbogen lighthouse in the north of Sylt
Germany’s Sylt island encapsulates all the wild beauty of the Frisian archipelago; with long ochre beaches and seemingly endless horizons. These same beaches are rated as some of the country’s most family-friendly during the summer months, and in the winter, hiking through the dunes to highest point on the island is an exhilarating experience for everyone.
Bøur, Vágar, Faroe Islands
Gásadalur, located on the west-side of Vágar
The Faroe Islands float between Iceland and Norway, but they are officially part of Denmark and the biggest among them – Vágar – is truly breathtaking during the winter months. Hike the verdant grassy cliffs that surround the waterside village of Bøur, an experience that becomes all-the-more special when the waning daylight allows for sweeping views across the choppy North Sea and shifting ice floes.
Namiseom, Chuncheon, South Korea
A frozen day at Namiseom
A tiny island in the North Han River, Namiseom is a self-declared micronation. While it’s worth paying a visit just to see the island’s special passport, currency and fierce local pride, it’s the pristine snow and magical landscapes that make winter an extra special time to for a trip. This is also when campfires are set up all over the island and vendors sell piping hot red bean buns to help you keep the cold out.
Lofoten Islands, Nordland, Norway
'Blue hour' at Lofoten Islands
The Lofoten Islands offer an near-guaranteed view of the Northern Lights, and – if you can tear your eyes away from the luminous sky – the view at ground-level is pretty good, too. During the winter Lofoten is blanketed in a thick layer of snow, turning the usually-rushing fjords into elaborate ice sculptures and leaving visitors with the impression that the White Witch might appear at any moment.