Back to top

Encompass® Insurance Insights & Articles

Forget Ski Resorts: Where to Go for the Most Unique Winter Vacation

When most folks think "winter vacation", skiing and snowboarding come to mind for many. But there's a lot more to outdoor winter adventures than just these sports. Innovative travel outfitters and cold-weather thrill seekers continue to push the limits. From dog sledding to tobogganing, check out these winter adventure vacations off the beaten path.

Dogs pulling a sled.

1. Tobogganing

In the French Alps, many toboggan enthusiasts head to Val Thorens to experience the longest toboggan run in Europe. The 45-minute ride takes you down a glacier and past magnificent natural valleys. Tobogganing is a fun, safe activity for the entire family — even children as young as five-years-old can participate.

2. Bobsledding

Ever dream of racing down a bobsled or luge track like an Olympic athlete? There's no better time than the present! For the thrill of a lifetime, head to the Olympic Sports Complex Sliding Track in Lake Placid, New York. Here, a professional driver and brakeman pilots you down the winding track, banking against turns and picking up speed in the final straightway.

3. Tracking the Northern Lights

While many tourists head to Iceland in the summer to experience life under the midnight sun, don't overlook the country's most stunning light show in the winter. The northern lights (aurora borealis) are best seen in winter under a clear night's sky. From Reykjavik, head west and watch the lights flicker above Iceland's vast lava fields. Alternatively, head north to take in the incredible view while soaking in geothermal hot springs.

4. Polar bear spotting

Spot majestic polar bears in their natural habitat in the small city of Churchill, located in Manitoba, Canada. From the safety of a unique tundra vehicle, watch polar bears gather along the frozen shores of Hudson Bay. Prime polar bear spotting time is October and November when polar bears begin their migration from their summer habitat on the tundra back to Hudson Bay. Beluga whale watching and bird watching trips are also available. Everything Churchill provides a comprehensive list of operators.

5. Dog sledding

Tether up a team of Huskies and get ready for an exciting, one-hour journey through pristine backcountry. Participants can learn how to shout commands and even take turns harnessing and solo driving the team. After that adventure, you've definitely earned yourself a relaxing soak in the hot tub!

Family in the kitchen.

Cover home, auto & more.

Encompass Insurance offers protection for the things that matter most.

Find an agent

The general information contained in The Encompass Blog is provided as a courtesy, and is for informational and entertainment purposes only. The contents of this website are subject to periodic change without notice. Information provided on The Encompass Blog is not intended to replace official sources. Although attempts will be made to ensure that the information is accurate and timely, the information is presented "as is" and without warranties. Information contained on The Encompass Blog should not be mistaken for professional advice. Information contained herein should not be considered error-free and should not be used as the exclusive basis for decision-making. Use of website information is strictly voluntary and at the user's sole risk. We encourage you to obtain personal advice from qualified professionals when making decision regarding your specific situation.

Other resources linked from these pages are maintained by independent providers. The Encompass Blog does not monitor all linked resources and cannot guarantee their accuracy. Statements, views and opinions included in an independent provider's material are strictly those of the author(s). These views may not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of The Encompass Blog, the Encompass family of companies or its agents, officers or employees.

ECC Monitor: OK