From the Alps to the Pyrenees, Europe is house to among the most lovely mountains on the earth. Tucked into valleys between these peaks, straddling foothills, or lapping on the fringe of lakes and ocean inlets are numerous picturesque mountain cities and villages. Every of those historic hamlets radiates a appeal that turns into much more irresistible when the winter snowfalls. From Italy to Norway and throughout the Alps, winter makes these European mountain cities all of the extra engaging.
1. Salzburg, Austria
The birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, probably the world’s most celebrated composer, lies within the northwest nook of Austria, the place it completely blends metropolis tradition and rugged Alpine life-style. Salzburg means “salt mountain,” and its famed salt mines account for among the wealth that resulted within the city’s elegant, baroque structure — which is frosted with a fragile coat of white snow all through the winter. Towering above the city, the Fortress Hohensalzburg headlines Salzburg’s UNESCO World Heritage website and once-protected the salt mines under. Gazing on the surrounding mountains from the town middle is the proper technique to really feel as if you’ve stumbled right into a Charles Dickens movie.
2. Zermatt, Switzerland
With its pyramid-like rock spire, the Matterhorn would possibly simply be the world’s most iconic peak. Squeezed right into a valley practically on the base of that almost all memorable mountain, the city of Zermatt itself is not any much less putting, an expansive mountain village in Switzerland the place the signature chalet structure has develop into a staple in ski cities the world over. Zermatt so carefully resembles a mountainous fairytale that Disney filmed Third Man on the Mountain right here in 1958, and that impact is barely amplified when the sloped rooftops of the village are loaded up with snow. If ever there have been a spot to get pleasure from year-round snowboarding and Swiss fondue, it’s in Zermatt subsequent to the towering and stylish Matterhorn, one of many world’s most harmful mountains to climb. Though you may admire the mountain from many spots on the town and ski or snowboard with it in view for a lot of the day, there are additionally a couple of different good methods to get a more in-depth look.
3. Hallstatt, Austria
On the western shore of Lake Hallstatt, the Austrian city that shares its identify with the gorgeous alpine lake, is a postcard come to life. The lake itself covers over three sq. miles and, reaching depths over 400 toes, dazzles with its piercing blue coloration. From city, company can take the funicular to the Skywalk Hallstatt overlook platform for their very own postcard shot of that very lake and the Alpine peaks that encompass it. They’ll additionally go to an underwater salt lake and tour the salt mines that when supplied a significant supply of earnings for the city. Looking onto snow-capped peaks, over the tiny village and to the crystal lake is taken into account some of the iconic experiences within the Austrian Alps. All the space is a UNESCO World Heritage website, and it’s so lovely that China erected a reproduction of the village in Guangdong Province in 2011.
4. Mittenwald, Germany
No Bavarian mountain city is extra classically Bavarian than Mittenwald. Downtown, the Obermarkt district fills with snow and revelers who stroll between the famed St. Peter and Paul Church and chalets, eating places, and pubs. Mittenwald is called the “village of a thousand violins” because it was as soon as a significant producer of the instrument, and lots of a musician nonetheless charms the city with tunes on busy evenings. Every December Mittenwald hosts one in every of Germany’s most enchanting Christmas markets, with residents and guests perusing picket stalls whereas sipping sizzling Feuerzangenbowle.
5. Alesund, Norway
Norway’s fjordland is a typical dream trip for Individuals, and these images of the waterside mountain city of Alesund make it clear why. Its location embodies what makes coastal Norway a singular place: cities constructed at sea stage surrounded by fjords, peaks, and inlets that provide views not like any on the earth. Within the winter, downhill snowboarding, ski touring, and snowshoeing are all inside simple attain. Or you can simply loosen up and admire the northern lights string over snow-capped peaks and the Norwegian Sea concurrently. The truth is, snowboarding is feasible on its glaciers in summer season as nicely — as is heading out onto the water to gaze again on the city’s gumdrop-colored buildings.
6. Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
Italy’s Dolomites vary accommodates among the most irresistible ski areas in Europe, combining as they do slopes for each kind of ski capacity with gorgeous vistas, unimaginable delicacies, and a pleasant mountain vibe. Amid all of the cities within the Dolomites, Cortina is called “the pearl.” The location of the 1956 Winter Olympic Video games lies within the Ampezzo valley the place two rivers meet and is a spot to be loved not simply on skis, snowboards, cross-country skies, or snowshoes, however in a pair of cozy winter boots. The city is a superb place to buy or to step into one in every of its many eating places for a singular meal that showcases the realm’s Alpine Austrian influences, with zesty salamis and wealthy cheeses, however, after all, inimitable pastas as nicely.
7. Chamonix, France
Chamonix is well-known for its fearsome peaks, and it attracts not simply among the most rugged and fearless athletes in France but in addition on the earth. It’s understandably a popular vacation spot to movie the sort of ski movies that make you surprise how among the feats are humanly attainable. However Chamonix can be very French, with unforgettable eating places serving wines from the Savoie area. So if ski touring with a information and bypassing deep crevasses will not be in your journey bucket checklist, to not fear. There’s loads to do within the city’s outlets, brasseries, and cafes. Chamonix’s historic city middle is a superb place to be as soon as the snow begins falling.