The best winter destinations by private jet charter
Winter is the best time to explore some of the world’s most exotic destinations. Most of the tourists have gone home, so there’s no queuing to see world-famous attractions. For powderheads there’s top-notch skiing as far afield as Japan, and the mild winters along the Mediterranean make it seem like summer all year round.
Hit the slopes
For supreme skiing well away from the alpine crowds, head to the small central Slovakian village of Jasná, where the skiing is so good, the village was in contention to co-host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Off piste, night skiing, tree runs... Jasná has them all, with slopes that welcome novices as well as intermediate and advanced skiers. The Tatras Mountains have a rugged beauty, and the long descents are flanked by snow-laden spruce trees.
Where to stay: There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses staffed by friendly locals. Hotel Jasná, right on the slope, and Hotel Posta a few yards from the Chopok cable car, are excellently located, while Hotel Bystrina has a premium wellness centre, and Penzion Drak is a family-run guesthouse offering fine cuisine.
How to get there: Fly into Bratislava Airport and catch a train to Liptovský Mikuláš (the nearest station to Jasná) or get there via a small air taxi private charter, or fly directly to Poprad Airport. Alternatively, Vienna International Airport is 34 miles from Bratislava.
Whistler, BC, Canada
Whistler Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America and hosted the alpine skiing events Super-G, slalom and giant slalom in the 2010 Winter Olympics. If you fancy a bit of Olympic action of your own, this is where you will also find two massive mountains, stunning terrain, deep snow, a ski school and a long snow season (from November to May). To top it all off, the après-ski vibe is world class.
Where to stay: Your accommodation options range from budget lodgings to top-of-the-range luxury. The award-winning Fairmont Chateau Whistler is a landmark hotel that offers classic elegance and full resort amenities. You’ll be equally charmed by the romance of the Delta Whistler Village Suites, set right in the heart of Whistler Village.
How to get there: Hop on a flight to Vancouver International Airport and from there enjoy a two-hour journey along the scenic highway to reach your snowy winter playground.
Host to the Winter Olympics in 1972, Sapporo is one of Japan’s premier skiing destinations. Nearby ski resorts receive abundant snowfall, there is vibrant nightlife around the clock, and of course there’s also the city’s other claim to fame: lots of beer. If you don’t want to miss the International Snow Sculpture Contest, which draws teams from all over the world, plan your trip for the first week in February.
Where to stay: Sapporo is a modern city and the fifth largest in Japan, so when it comes to accommodation you’re spoilt for choice. Three top options are the centrally located JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo, Sapporo Grand Hotel (with excellent restaurants), and the luxurious Hotel Okura Sapporo. Plan ahead, because rooms get booked up fast.
How to get there: It’s just a 90-minute flight from Tokyo to Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport.
A winter wonderland
Holy Hill is your ultimate goal when you plan a winter vacation on Hubertus, Wisconsin. The neo-Romanesque National Shrine of Mary built atop a glacial hill is the centrepiece of Erin, a small town just outside Hubertus, and in winter it is a sight to behold. When fog rises out of the dense surrounding forest, the church takes on an ethereal presence. Where to stay: There’s accommodation aplenty in the surrounding villages. The Ranger House at Glacier Hills County Park and the Westphal Mansion Inn both come highly recommended. How to get there: Fly to Milwaukee, where you will find both General Mitchelle International Airport and Timmerman Airport, and continue to Hubertus by bus (travel time: 80 minutes) or taxi, which gets you there in just over 30 minutes.
Luna Pier, Michigan
The city of Luna Pier is a small resort community with a good deal of small-town charm located at the west end of Lake Erie – and it is the lake you have to go see. Its shallowness allows Erie to freeze over large distances and after snowfall it is peaceful and white as far as the eye can see.
Where to stay: This is no tourist hot spot, but the historical (and quirkily named) Actual Pretty Boy Floyd’s Hideout is a reliable choice, plus it’s a two-minute walk to the lake.
How to get there: Your closest airport is Toledo Express Airport, but many travellers prefer to fly via Detroit, whose airports are well serviced by private jet charter.
Dreaming of a white Christmas
What better destination for your winter Christmas break that the official hometown of Santa Claus? Snow, reindeer and the bearded man himself welcome you at Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland in Northern Finland. It’s close enough to the Arctic Circle to guarantee a long, cold and snowy winter.
Where to stay: The highly rated Arctic Light Hotel – just five miles from Rovaniemi Airport and Santa Claus Village – offers world-class luxury, while the Arctic Treehouse Hotel has forest views and you might even glimpse of the Northern Lights.How to get there: Rovaniemi Airport is the official airport of Santa Claus. Your private jet charter from Helsinki Vantaa Airports should get you to Lapland in just over an hour.
Copenhagen is a fairy-tale city where you can enjoy the white Christmas you’ve always dreamed of. Go ice-skating, soak up the festive cheer at holiday markets, take a stroll down the Kronprinsensgade and relax in a hot sauna. Take a day trip into the surrounding area to visit exquisite castles, making sure you don’t miss out on Kronborg Castle – the set of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. A visit to Copenhagen isn’t complete without experiencing Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park founded in 1843 that inspired Walt Disney to create Disney World. In winter the park and gardens light up, transforming it into an unforgettable winter wonderland. Finally, drink a steaming mug of something delicious to experience that warm fuzzy feeling the Danish call “hygge”.
Where to stay: Pick one of the city’s funky hotels, such as the trendy and luxurious Hotel Herman K or the modern and centrally-located Hotel SP34; or go elegant and classic at the Nobis Hotel, which is set in a historic building built in 1903.
How to get there:Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen is the main international airport in Denmark, and is located five miles south of the Copenhagen City Centre. It’s busy, so if you want fewer crowds, consider Copenhagen Airport, Roskilde, a short distance away.
Catch the winter sun
Tapas, nightlife and easy access to standout attractions like the city’s own famous cathedral (the largest Gothic cathedral in the world), and the Alhambra in Granada a day trip away, make this vibrant city in southern Andalucia an excellent winter destination. Constantly topping lists of the best places to visit, Seville is wet and cool (but not cold) in winter. Its summers are the second hottest in Europe, which is another reason to visit during the cooler months.
Where to stay: Seville is compact and walkable, but if you really want to stay in the heart of the city, look for accommodation in the Barrio Santa Cruz where you’ll find plenty of boutique hotels.
How to get there: Seville Airport lies 6.2 miles east of downtown Seville and has capacity for six million passengers per year. Alternatively, there is the no-nonsense, highly functional San Pablo Airport, a 15-minute bus ride from the city centre.
So, you long to visit Athens but the teeming crowds, tourist pricing, long queues and intense heat are just too much to bear. The answer is making Athens your winter vacation destination. There’ll be less jostling of tourists at the Acropolis and at Daphni Monastery (both are World Heritage Sites), you can take your time shopping in the Plaka, and although it’s winter, the weather is pleasantly mild.
Where to stay: Avoid the area around the Plaka, which even in winter offers mostly tourist traps. Neighbourhoods like Thisio and Petralona are close to the centre; you’ll find plenty of nightlife in Psirri, a former industrial area now known as the ‘Athenian Soho’, and if shopping is what you’re here for, Kolonaki is the place to be.
How to get there: Athens International Airport is among the best in the world, so why go anywhere else? The city centre is a 30-minute drive away, and you’ll have no trouble finding a taxi or shuttle service.
This seaside resort on the Adriatic coastline of this petite country in south-east Europe is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. Formerly a part of Yugoslavia, Montenegro has a Mediterranean energy, welcoming locals, beautiful lakes and fantastic food. Mild temperatures throughout the year is one of the reasons tourists flock to Budva in winter.
Where to stay: Old town or beach resort? Hotel Astoria in old town Budva is beautiful and atmospheric; trendy Hotel Avala has fantastic sea views, while Hotel Majestic offers the best of both worlds, being close to both the town and beach.
How to get there: Montenegro has two international airports: Podgorica Airport in the Montenegrin capital, and Tivat Airport nearer the coast. It’s a tiny country so Budva should be within easy reach, wherever you choose to start your winter vacation.
Winter travel on a private jet
If you plan to visit any of these winter wonderland destinations for your winter getaway, you might want to consider private jet charter. For more information about any of these destinations and where you could be flying to, browse our country guide. To book your charter, contact one of our offices and we will take it from there.