Like it or not, winter seems to have finally arrived. And while that might be a cause for grumbling and daydreaming about warmer locales, you have to admit that winter isn’t all bad. In fact, snow-covered mountains and icy lakes make for some of the most captivating scenery on the planet. Don’t believe us? Keep reading to find 20 places that are so pretty that it’s worth braving the cold to visit them. —Michael Alan Connelly
Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
Jökulsárlón is a large glacial lake located in Vatnajökull National Park, which covers roughly 13 percent of Iceland.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Iceland Guide
Bavarian Alps, Germany
In Ramsau, St. Sebastian Church stands in front of a mountain backdrop, forming a typically stunning scene in this region.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Bavarian Alps Guide
Remote and sparsely populated, the largest and northernmost region of Finland features stunning scenery and iconic hotels like the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Finland Guide
It might not be the easiest place in the world to get to, but where else are you going to find scenery like this?
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Antarctic Cruise Planning Tips
One of the most pristine and rugged places on the planet, Greenland is also an ideal place to see the northern lights in winter.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit 4 Ways to Get to Greenland
Blue Pond, Hokkaido, Japan
Located southeast of the town of Biel in Hokkaido, the Blue Pond has an otherworldly appearance that enchants visitors.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Hokkaido Guide
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Patagonia Guide
The beauty of Vermont’s Green Mountain National Forest is never more apparent than in wintertime.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Central Vermont Guide
Le Corbusier called the Dolomites “the most beautiful work of architecture ever seen,” and it’s hard to disagree when you’re in this idyllic town.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Dolomites Guide
Banff National Park, Canada
Bow Lake is one of the many beautiful sights you can see in this breathtaking national park.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Banff National Park Guide
St. Primoza Church sits atop in a hill in the remote, beautiful, and unspoiled region northwest of Ljubljana.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Slovenia Guide
Lake Tahoe, California
Located on the southwestern corner of Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay offers some of the most incredible views on the lake.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Lake Tahoe Guide
Mount Buller, Australia
You may not associate Australia with snowy mountaintops, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Mount Buller, 129 miles east of Melbourne.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Murray River Region Guide
Though it’s not far from the flashy resort of Davos, Langwies feels light years away from civilization—in a good way.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Graubünden Guide
Mount Douglas, Alaska
Standing 7,021 feet high, Alaska’s Mount Douglas features a warm, highly acidic crater lake at its summit.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Katmai National Park and Preserve Guide
Torres del Paine National Park, Chile
Fed by Grey Glacier, Torres del Paine National Park’s Grey Lake stands out visually with its floating icebergs.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Southern Chilean Patagonia Guide
Sitting at an elevation of 9,603 feet and surrounded by towering peaks, this former mining town is among Colorado’s prettiest.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Breckenridge Guide
The islands of the Svalbard archipelago, the largest of which is Spitsbergen, have officially been part of Norway since 1920. This wild, fragile area lies halfway between the North Pole and the mainland.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Svalbard Guide
Mount Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park, New Zealand
Towering more than 9,000 feet, Mount Ruapehu dominates the landscape of Tongariro National Park.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Tongariro National Park Guide
Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada
Mont-Tremblant is an ideal place to appreciate Quebec’s natural beauty in the winter months.
PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Quebec Guide