Are you looking for the best Europe winter tours? We have the answer. With a ton of European travel experience (with and without guided tours), we have curated this list for you. The tour operators mentioned here are one of the best in the travel niche, and you can read further reviews and book online at the comfort of your house.
10 Europe Winter Tours (Snowy trips, Christmas Vacations & More)
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|Winter Tours||Highlights||Learn More|
|Iceland Northern Lights||Duration - 6 days|
Place - Iceland
|Christmas Markets||Duration - 8 days|
Places - 3 countries
Germany, Austria, Hungary
Type - Christmas Markets
|Central Europe||Duration - 9 days|
Places - 3 countries
Germany, Czech Republic, Austria
Type - Christmas Markets
Festive, old town
|Italy winter||Duration - 8 days|
Places - Italy
Type - City, culture
|London Winter||Duration - 50 mins|
Places - London
Type - Winter sightseeing
City & culture
|Finland Winter||Duration - 8 days|
Places - Finland
Type - Winter wonderland
|Trans Siberian Winter||Duration - 15 days|
Places - Russia
Moscow & Russian Far East
Type - Train, winter adventure
|Turkey Winter||Duration - 15 days|
Places - Turkey
Type - City & Culture
|Taste of Scandinavia||Duration - 7 days|
Places - Danmark, Norway, Sweden
Type - City & Culture
|Spain & Portugal||Duration - 15 days|
Places - Spain & Portugal
Type - Warm, coastal sites
Winter is an incredible time to travel Europe. Some countries become a winter wonderland, with frozen lakes, snowy days, and hot drinks. Other destinations are still warm and evergreen.
There is also lots going on around the Christmas season! You’re truly spoilt for choice on this historic continent.
One of the best ways to see it all and learn about the destinations you’re interested in is to go on a guided tour. We’ve found all the best European winter tours, from the southern coast to the tip of Iceland.
Europe in Winter – What to Expect
Europe in winter is a very different experience to summer on the continent. One of the best things about the season is the crowds – or lack thereof.
In most of Europe, winter is far quieter than summer, and even the shoulder seasons of spring and fall. This means that prices are lower, lines are shorter, and you’re a lot more likely to book that hotel or the tour you’re interested in.
Why Choose a European Tour Experience
Europe is so fantastically rich in history and culture. Often, if you’re not able to spend weeks in every city, you won’t be able to take everything in. Tours are a great way to learn about the area while being shown all the best it has to offer.
Whether you just take a half-day food tour or a multi-day experience, you’ll leave Europe with a greater understanding. And fun experiences to boot.
So – while we fully support going out on your own and discovering Europe – if you’re pressed for time, or want to learn more about the places you’re exploring, try out these beautiful European tours.
Top Winter European Tours
Europe can be truly phenomenal in winter. You just need to find the right place and the best experience. We found the top European tours in winter so that you can have an incredible European holiday, without spending too much time and effort planning.
Northern Lights Experience in Iceland
Most of us dream of seeing the otherworldly Northern Lights for all our lives. It is one of those epic once-in-a-lifetime experiences you only get in winter.
Iceland is also a surreally beautiful place, with unusual geography and sometimes harsh conditions you need to be well-prepared for. It’s certainly best experienced on a guided tour.
This tour is perfect for those who want a little adventure and nature on their vacations. Very different from city exploring, you’ll be hiking fjords, chasing waterfalls, and melting in geothermal hot springs. It is definitely one of the best winter destinations in Europe.
The tours start and end in Reykjavik, embarking on a small-group minibus in search of adventure. Visit volcanoes, and learn about local culture and customs. And of course, taking in the exquisite beauty of the Northern Lights.
- The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are a natural phenomenon. So while it’s likely that you’ll see the incredible display from these altitudes, it cannot be guaranteed
- Bring very snug clothing, and be aware that a few long drives are involved – which just offer a great opportunity to get to know your small tour group
You might also like this tour from G Adventures: Northern Lights Tour by G Adventures
Christmas Markets Tour – Munich to Budapest
Europe is so brilliantly festive around December. Christmas tours in Europe are one of the most unique ways to experience the festive season.
This 8-day tour takes you from Germany to Hungary, stopping at the best Christmas markets and other attractions in three countries.
Visit markets in Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, and Budapest. Stroll through brightly lit streets, sipping on mulled wine and trying all the local specialties. You’ll find hand-crafted toys and decorations, delicious food, and one-of-a-kind gifts.
In addition, visit castles and fortresses, admire the architecture, and contrast the Christmas traditions and culture in every unique city. This captivating Europe tour in December is an unforgettable, extended Christmas experience.
- Be prepared for crowds within the markets
- Pack for different kinds of weather, as much of your time will be spent outdoors
- Most of the traveling is by train, so you’ll be able to watch the countryside pass by without sparing a thought for traffic jams
Best of Central Europe – Iconic Medieval Cities
Experience the charm and vibrant visual history of Central Europe. With medieval towns and epic historic cities, there is so much to see here.
Explore Prague’s historic Old Town, the Berlin Wall, and Vienna’s bustling 16th-century market. You’ll also have plenty of free time in some of the most impactful cities in history.
Pass through gorgeous countryside, and learn all about the area’s historic and cultural significance. This is a truly spectacular tour, made only better by the snowy chill of winter.
Pack lightly, as there will be times you have to carry your luggage upstairs.
Best of Italy – Rome to Venice
This is an incredible tour to embark on in winter. You’ll see the best and biggest cities in Italy, enjoying plenty of free time to discover everything on your wishlist. You’ll even enjoy a traditional pasta-making class.
Italy tours in winter are ideal, as you can explore the most famous landmarks without the summer crowds. There’s a lot to tick off the bucket list, including the Colosseum, Vatican City, Venice canals, and a myriad of charming churches.
Wander around Rome, stopping at all the magical landmarks of the ancient city. Spend time in romantic Venice – far more romantic for its lack of crowding and the pollution that often comes with it. And learn to make pasta in Bologna.
- Be sure to pack both for warm weather and cold, as Italy’s winters include both
- Pack light, as you’ll have to carry your bag upstairs and off of trains
A week in London
Explore England’s greatest city on this exciting 6-day tour. You’ll see all the top attractions, including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, and Stonehenge.
You’ll be guided by enthusiastic and knowledgeable local guides, learning all the fascinating details of your various stops. This is the perfect winter sightseeing tour.
The city is a lot less active than in summer but becomes vibrant as Christmas and New Year nears.
Get the full tour of London from your local host. You’ll see all the famous architectural masterpieces and learn some fascinating history while you tour.
Then, enjoy four days of self-guided sightseeing, taking everything at your own pace. Catch a show at the West End and try England’s famous fish and chips.
- Accommodation and buffet breakfasts are included
- You’ll have plenty of free time, so find out what you’re keen to see in London
Finnish Lapland in Winter
A relatively unknown destination, Lapland is a magical place. Snowy woodlands and vast wilderness, dog-sleds and extreme temperatures set this adventure apart from anything else. If you’ve ever dreamed of pristine white nature, this is where you’ll find it.
Experience an actual dog-sled and hike across the snow-covered countryside. Get to know the locals over hot dishes and unusual drinks.
You’ll tour Santa’s workshop, stop in Helsinki, and explore remote villages you’d hard-pressed to find without a tour guide. You will even visit a Finnish family, and try out a little reindeer-herding!
- Lapland is extremely cold in winter, so pack appropriately
- Be sure to look outside at night – the Northern Lights can often be found lighting up the sky
Winter Trans-Siberian Adventure
The great Trans-Siberian Railway is the best way to experience Russia’s winter. You’ll pass vast landscapes, often covered in snow while sipping on hot cocoa.
Discover the beauty of Russia and its difficult past. Embrace local tradition with a local family on New Years’ – there’s usually a lot of vodkas involved. This is one of those bucket list experiences that come alive in winter.
Explore Moscow, Russia’s famous capital. Celebrate New Year on the edge of the giant Lake Baikal. And experience a way of life that is nearly unchanged since the 18th century at the Old Believers Village.
- The weather in Siberia can get extremely cold, dropping below -30℃ outdoors
- This is a proper (and iconic) train journey, with many of your days and nights spent on the train – it’s not just a way to get around, it is the experience itself
Turkey – Winter Europe Tour
Not a lot of people think of Turkey when planning a winter vacation in Europe. But this is often a mistake.
The historic country has a lot to offer, from ancient cities to bustling bazaars and magical palaces. The weather is usually mild during Turkey’s winter, making it ideal for those looking to escape rather than embrace Europe’s icy winters.
This two-week tour includes a lot. Enjoy a traditional dinner with a local family in Cappadocia and a cooking class in Selçuk. Tour ancient battlefields and underground cities. Embark on a walking tour of Istanbul.
- At times, Turkey experiences political unrest – keep an eye on current events if you book your trip far in advance
- Breakfasts are included, and two dinners, but for the rest of your meals you can explore the area and try what catches your eye
A taste of Scandinavia
Scandinavia is the perfect place to visit in winter, picturesque and full of history and culture. This week-long trip will take you from Copenhagen to Oslo.
Taste the local delicacies and admire the architecture and wilderness along the way. And be sure to bring your camera!
Explore Scandinavia’s top cities across four different countries. Embark on a bike tour of Copenhagen with a local tour guide. Learn all about the contemporary culture and fascinating history as you cruise along. Visit markets, museums and churches in Gothenburg and Oslo.
- Keep in mind that Scandinavia can be pricey, particularly for meals. Breakfasts are provided, and you can get tips from your guide on where to get the best prices
- You’ll be spending a lot of time on your feet, so pack good walking shoes
- As the tour is relatively fast-paced, we recommend adding an extra day in your start and ending cities to maximize your trip
Explore Spain and Portugal
This primarily coastal tour is the perfect opportunity to soak up some sun in the winter months.
The route is phenomenally scenic and relaxing, with beaches, rolling hills, and cuisines that will melt winter away. These vibrant countries make for one of our favorite tours, no matter the time of year.
Visit Moorish fortresses like the Alhambra in Granada Spain. Immerse yourselves into the vibrant cultures – and the wine and food that accompany them. Take a boat trip off the coast of the Algarve Portugal, relax on beaches, and explore the quirky art of Barcelona.
- Crowds in Spain’s winter months are minimal – but the weather can be chilly and rainy, so pack accordingly
- Your rooms will be small but central
Which Winter European Tour Is Best For You?
So, now you know all the most amazing tours you can embark on in Europe over the winter season. Now all you need to do is decide which one is best for you – or which ones. And then get packing!
Magical icy escapes with castles, lakes, and Northern Lights. City-hopping tours with Christmas markets and delicious local cuisines. Beach holidays and street bazaars. Europe truly is a diverse destination, made only better by the small crowds, lower prices, and the strange beauty of winter.
Which of these European winter vacation packages is perfect for you?
ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TIPS FOR EUROPE IN WINTER
Planning your trip to Europe – If this is your first-ever trip to Europe, consider reading our Europe 101 guide.
Schengen Visa – If you require a visa to travel to Europe, most likely it is the Schengen Visa (for those belonging to the Euro Zone or EU, doesn’t include the UK). Read our guide to applying for Schengen Visa.
Travel Insurance – Don’t forget to insure your trip. Get Travel Insurance quotes from World’s Nomads here.
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- Best Winter Boots for Europe – Our top picks for winter boots
- Prague, Budapest Vienna Tours – Get our scoop to the best tours in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest
- Iceland Winter tours – Get our top Iceland winter excursions