Fairytale destinations you need to visit this winter

Thanks to a rich and varied historical timeline, Europe is blessed with an abundance of fairytale destinations that simply exude magical charm. With pretty towns, magnificent castle and picturesque woodlands, there is something for the story lovers out there. Check out my guide to magical, fairytale destinations you need to visit this winter.

Fairytale destinations you need to visit this winter

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Surely the ultimate go-to castle for Disney lovers and history fans the world over? Built in 1869, this truly breathtaking Bavarian castle is nestled at the foot of the alps and is said to be the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella castle in Disney World. It’s certainly at its most picturesque with a dusting of snow.

Fairytale destinations in Europe you need to visit this winter

Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

With its wide range of historic buidings, pretty cobblestone streets and impossibly blue river, the town of Mostar looks like it has been lifted straight from the imagination of brothers Grimm. The architectural centrepiece here has to be the Stari Most bridge.  This beautiful stone arch bridge crosses the river Neretva and connects the two parts of the city.

Fairytale destinations in Europe you need to visit this winter

Giants Causeway, Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway is a stretch of coastline in Northern Ireland that has perfectly formed hexagonal columns next to a frothing and wild sea, making for some pretty mythical and fairytale-like scenery. These columns were formed by volcanic activity, or, if you listen to local legends, they were built by an Irish giant, Finn MacCool.

Fairytale destinations in Europe you need to visit this winter

Lake Bled, Slovenia

This gorgeous lake in Slovenia is about as picture-perfect as a lake can be, with the dramatic peaks of Julian Alps as a stunning mountain backdrop, pretty alpine-like trees and a medieval castle overlooking it. The lake is also home to a quaint little island that houses a 170-ft high church that you can visit.

Fairytale destinations in Europe you need to visit this winter

Castell Coch, Wales

Take a trip to Wales this winter and marvel at over 600 castles ranging from ruins or as restored buildings. One of the prettiest is the romantic and fairytale-like Castell Coch. This charming castle is an iconic 19th-century, Gothic Revival castle created from a rather vivid Victorian imagination and is built above the village of Tongwynlais in South Wales.

Saint Petersburg, Russia

This port cit is regarded as Russia’s cultural centre, full of museums, historic venues and quirkily decorated churches, such as the striking Resurrection of Christ church. This iconic building is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg thanks to its fairytale-like, ornate decoration.

Kyoto Bamboo Forest, Japan

This seemingly endlessly forest in Arashiyama district of Kyoto s stretches in every direction with thick bamboo stalks, that give it an other-worldly quality that’s quite unlike any other forest, especially when covered in frost. You can take a pleasant stroll or bike through the bamboo grove and bask in its tranquillity.

Colmar, France

Colmar is an incredibly kooky town in northeastern France, on the border with Germany. With its classic medieval streets, half-timbered Renaissance buildings and cute cobbled roads, it looks like Belle’s village from Disney’s ‘Beauty and the beast’. there is also a gorgeous Gothic 13th-century,  Eglise Saint-Martin church stands on central Place de la Cathédrale.

Fairytale destinations you need to visit this winter

Cappadocia, Turkey

Cappadocia is an incredibly striking, semi-arid region in central Turkey. It is best known for its unusual cone-shaped rock formations known as ‘fairy chimneys’. You can also explore historic painted cave churches, the many vineyards and monastic valleys At dawn the sky is full of hot-air balloons floating above the unique volcanic landscape.

 

Fairytale destinations you need to visit this winter

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is best known for their historic old town that is surrounded by giant stone walls that are up to 25m high in places. The town has a range of well-preserved buildings, including palaces, baroque churches and plazas. The City is definitely best viewed from a height, by walking the circuit around the city walls.

Fairytale destinations you need to visit this winter

What fairytale destinations have you visited? Which one was your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!

Fairytale destinations you need to visit this winter

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22 Comments

  1. November 15, 2017 / 9:09 pm

    I’ve been to Neuschwanstein and it’s absolutely stunning! My dads side of the family live close to the Giant’s Causeway but I’ve actually never been so have to make my way to there sometime!!

  2. November 14, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    I would have never guessed that two Balkan countries offer such picturesque winter views and destinations. How many days would you recommend staying in Mostar, Pip?

  3. November 13, 2017 / 3:34 am

    Wow these are absolutely stunning! Been to a fre of the places you mentioned on my 7 month trip through Europe, but so many more to explore! Need to go back now and visit some of the places you mentioned! Great article!

  4. November 12, 2017 / 1:10 pm

    Where’s the first photo, of the cute little blue house, taken? I want to go there! The only place I’d add to the list is probably Riga, Latvia. I visited in February and under a fine dusting of snow the gingerbread-style houses and tall Gothic spires look like something plucked from the pages of a fairytale 🙂

  5. November 11, 2017 / 10:33 pm

    Oh my gosh these are gorgeous! I would love to visit the Neuschwanstein castle in Germany or Mostar.

    • November 12, 2017 / 9:37 am

      Mostar was such an amazing place, I visited in the summer and I am really keen to go in the winter time!

  6. November 11, 2017 / 10:24 pm

    You have convinced me that I need to take a return trip to Colmar in the wintertime! It was SO HOT when I went there in the summertime!

    • November 12, 2017 / 9:38 am

      I think it would look sooo pretty in the winter, can you imagine the Instagrams you could get??

  7. November 11, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    So gorgeous and Christmassy! Love the German and Welsh castles the most!

    • November 12, 2017 / 9:39 am

      Love a good Welsh castle, Castel coch is one of my favourites, although I do think Caerphilly castle is also very pretty! xx

  8. November 11, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    I am not a big fan of winter but I will battle the cold for these destinations. I went to Neuschwanstein this year (spring) and know it would be an awesome ares to visit during winter. Where was the first photo taken?

    • November 12, 2017 / 9:40 am

      This was from Finland, they also have some pretty cute fairytale houses there! xx

  9. November 11, 2017 / 7:55 pm

    Yup! Those are great fairytale destinations. I’ve been to Cappadocia and Giant’s Causeway and agree that they would be even more fairytale like in winter. Nice collection of destinations.

    • November 12, 2017 / 9:41 am

      I loved Giants Causeway, I went this year with a group of travel bloggers and we spent hours taking photographs!

  10. November 11, 2017 / 6:43 pm

    Headed back to Neuschwanstein for a second visit and to Lake Bled for the first time this winter! Can’t wait! Every place you mentioned looks absolutely amazing!

    • November 12, 2017 / 9:42 am

      I think we are so lucky in Europe to have so many amazing places on our doorstep! xx

  11. Lindsey
    November 11, 2017 / 6:33 pm

    Yessssss! Russia has also been on my lost since I was a small child! I’m all about winter travel. Weather doesn’t stop me!

    • November 12, 2017 / 9:43 am

      I’m from Wales, so you learn from a young age not to let a bit of weather stop you! xxx

    • November 12, 2017 / 9:43 am

      Thank you, they really are pretty aren’t they?

  12. November 11, 2017 / 1:32 pm

    I’ve been looking for places to visit this winter with the boyfriend; this is a perfect guide! Definitely keeping this for later – thank you!!

    • November 11, 2017 / 2:02 pm

      Thanks Nicky, I just came back from Dubrovnik and I would really recommend visiting in late Autumn, it’s so much quieter without the crowds! X

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