Although you might be tempted to snuggle up next to an open fire as soon as the weather gets cold and the nights start to draw in, you'll be missing out on some amazing opportunities to get active in some beautiful locations.
Even if you don't fancy donning a pair of skis or strapping on a snowboard, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the great outdoors in northern Europe in the winter. Here are a few suggestions to get you in the mood for exploring some truly unique destinations.
Lofoten Islands, Norway
Winter in Norway's Lofoten Islands will be unlike anything you've ever experienced before, as this destination is well within the Arctic Circle. The best way to get here is by cruise ship, as you can relax in total comfort - and warmth - and soak up the stunning coastal scenery that you drift past.
Fjords cut into the towering cliffs and you can see snow-capped mountains in the background - it truly is breathtaking. One of the main reasons to head this far north is to give yourself an opportunity to see the Northern Lights, which are regularly visible in the night sky. The stunning flashes of coloured light dance around on the horizon and it's no exaggeration to say they're one of nature's most beautiful phenomena.
Lapland may be closely linked to the Father Christmas story, but even without the festive figure, it's a magical place to visit. One of the best ways to fully appreciate the tranquil and stunning scenery is to go snowshoeing or winter walking, as you can take your time and really enjoy the mountains, valleys and forests.
To cover a bit more ground - and to give your legs a rest - you can also try dog sledding with a pack of well-trained huskies. Another exhilarating way to travel is on a snowmobile, with such equipment available to hire if you want to explore under your own steam.
Head to Kangos in the far north of Sweden and you'll even be able to spend a night at an ice hotel, or to really get away from it all you can opt to stay in a remote wilderness cabin next to one of the many frozen lakes in the region - perfect if you're on a romantic holiday with your partner.
If you prefer to be in the thick of things rather than in the great outdoors, consider heading to Salzburg in Austria for a winter getaway. This historical city is a delight to explore and is renowned for its wonderful architecture - as well as its association with the famous composer Mozart.
However, the best reason to visit Salzburg in the winter is to experience its Christmas markets, which typically run from the end of November and throughout Advent. The most famous of these is the Christkindelmarkt, which takes over Cathedral Square every year.
There has been a festive market held here since the 15th century and there are so many stalls to browse you'll probably want at least one full day here, if not longer. This is the perfect place to pick up some unique Christmas presents, as there are dozens of people selling all manner of arts and crafts items, as well as delicious seasonal delicacies. Stop off at one of the many food stands to enjoy some traditional refreshments and round off your afternoon of shopping with a warm mug of gluhwein.
In addition to the Christkindelmarkt, you'll discover several other festive markets dotted around the city, including one at Mirabellplatz and another in the courtyard of the impressive Hohensalzburg Fortress.