The arrival of October used to mean the start of the off-season in Europe. Today, travelers looking to avoid the crowds, higher prices, and hot weather eagerly await this time of year. Affectionately dubbing it “cozy season,” here are some things you can do in Europe once the weather turns chilly.
Shop the Christmas Markets in Germany
There truly is no better place than a German Christmas market to knock out your holiday shopping. With warm drinks, hearty food, and loads of handicrafts to buy, it’s easy to spend a day perusing and snacking your way through the largest—markets of Munich, Nuremberg, and Dresden top the list.
Visit an Ice Hotel in Finland
Once winter arrives in Northern Europe, hotels made of snow and ice seem to pop up like daisies awaiting the adventurous traveler. Not only will you have a chance to spot the northern lights, but you’ll also have bragging rights of visiting a unique property, as many ice hotels are redesigned every year.
Party at Carnival in Venice
A festival of bright colors and gluttony before the beginning of Lent, this is the time of year to see Venice at its most vibrant. Start with watching the famous “Flight of the Angel”—where a costumed daredevil rides a zipline from the bell tower in San Marco square, catch a costume parade, and stuff your face with frittelle, sweet fritters reminiscent of donuts.
Unwind in the Canary Islands
If escaping the chill of winter weather is your goal, head to the Canary Islands. Located off the coast of Spain, this archipelago is known for its beautiful beaches, national parks, and charming cities of Las Palmas and Santa Cruz.