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Top Winter Destinations: Ice and Snow Travel Getaways 2013

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Jan 21, 2013 02:16 PM EST

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Harbin 2
The Harbin Ice and Snow festival in China is a winter wonderland.(Photo : Reuters)

With cold temperatures getting lower and lower and February approaching, it's the perfect time for a snowy winter vacation. Here are some top pics from around the world:

The Harbin Ice and Snow World Festival in China

The Harbin Ice and Snow World Festival is northeast China's annual winter festival. It started earlier this month and included fireworks over the opening ceremony, incredible ice sculptures made from massive blocks of ice from the Shonghua river all lit up with LED lights.

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The 29th annual festival began on Jan 5 and lasts for over a month. Travelchinaguide.com reported that the festival started in 1985 and became an annual event. Harbin is the capital city of Heilongjiang Province and the festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world.

Sapporo Snow Festival

Onoe of Japan's largest and most well known winter festivals is the Sapporo Snow festival. Every year millions of people visit the Japanese city to see stunning ice and snow sculptures and statues. There are also international Snow sculpture contests and it is a chance to visit the historic and beautiful city.

Icehotel, Sweden

Sweden's Icehotel has 50 rooms made completely out of, you guessed it, ice. The hotel is located near the Artic Circle near the Torne River in Jukkasjarvi. It is the largest hotel made entirely out of natural ice and show in the world and is made completely from ice and snow from the Torne River. It's also an ideal palce to see the Northern Lights, with the hotel hosting bus excursions and Northern Lights Flights.

Winnipeg, Canada: Festival du Voyageur

Winnipeg is home to the Festival du Voyageur which includes everything from music performances, a snow bar to ice skating on the Forks River Trail which National Geographic says is the longest naturally frozen skating trail. The annual festival is from Feb. 18-27. "Founded in 1969 by a group of Saint-Boniface entrepreneurs, this once three-day event, held in Winnipeg's French Quarter, has evolved into a 10-day province-wide celebration of sights, sounds, snow and spirit," says the festival's website.

Tierra del Fuego

The stunning glaciers and frozen tundra of Patagonia is a sight to see and one worth visiting in Chile and Argentina. The area boasts stunning wildlife and adventurers can take an expedition hiking in the area or do day trips. Many also opt for crusies that operate in the area and give those the opportunity to view wildlife and the beautiful glaciers without leaving the comfort of the boat.

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