Why You MUST Visit Edmonton And Jasper in Winter

If you're looking for the perfect winter destination - somewhere that's breathtakingly beautiful, safe, lots of fun and doesn't have to be expensive, look no further - you've found Edmonton and Jasper, Canada. We visited Edmonton and Jasper in January and couldn't believe that they're considered 'summer destinations' they are SO incredible in winter, let me tell you why you must visit Edmonton and Jasper in winter:

1. Skiing in Marmot Basin

Marmot Basin is by far one of the most beautiful places we've been across the globe - magnificent snowy mountains, beautiful sunrises, gorgeous wildlife, they have it all. But it doesn't just stop there, compliment the beauty with a fun winter sport: skiing. Marmot Basin is perfect for skiing no matter what level you are - they have novice, intermediate, advanced and expert slopes and all in that awe-inspiring environment. 

We skied for the first time ever in Marmot Basin and can only recommend it - as Jasper is still (weirdly) considered a summer destination, the slopes were far from packed - in fact, we didn't have to queue for the lifts or the slopes once! Our instructor was really kind and helpful to me (I'm a gigantic wuss when it comes to winter sports, but by the end he not only taught me to ski, but actually showed me how to enjoy it too)!

He was also really encouraging and complimentary to Tanbay - it was Tanbay's first time too, but as a great snowboarder, he picked it up really quickly. Marmot Basin also has the most incredible food - super important after an afternoon of skiing! But great food, excellent variety of slope levels and nice teachers aside, the views at Marmot Basin are unforgettable. Further reading: don't just stop at winter, there are plenty of things to do in Jasper in Autumn too! 

2. Edmonton is the coolest winter city

Edmonton is Canada's fifth largest city and one of our favourite cities ever - read more 17 fun things to do in Edmonton in winter. Edmonton has a real entrepreneurial / youthful feeling to it with it's hip start-ups and cool cafes. The food there is world class, the people are friendly, there are lots of fancy hotels, and lots of culture and art. But it's so much more than a cool city - this is Canada and with a great city often comes incredible nature less than a stone's throw away! Elk Island, a beautiful national park with bison and elk, is less than an hour's drive away and Jasper itself can be reached in four hours, either by driving or by taking one of the convenient shuttles!

3. Exciting spot for winter sports

Edmonton and Jasper aren't just about skiing, in fact when it comes to winter sports they really have it all: snow shoeing, ice walks, snowboarding and even fat biking - bikes with tyres so thick you can cycle on snow and ice. From the weedy to the super-fit, Edmonton and Jasper will have a winter sport that can cater for you that's both exciting and corporates that unbeatable winter nature. 

4.  Canadian food is delicious

Edmonton and Jasper are stunning winter destinations with lots of cool activities and sports to try out, but if you're anything like me, these wonders and fun times will feel tainted if they're not complimented with mouthwatering, delicious foods. Luckily, there's plenty of this, in fact the food in Edmonton is simply world-class. And it's not all just traditionally Canadian food that they do well either, they also do absolutely incredible Mexican food. The tasty food is matched by the fun atmosphere in the restaurants and cafes and the excellent presentation of the food. And even vegans like us will find top places to eat in Edmonton :)

5. The winter wildlife and nature in Jasper 

The nature and wildlife in Jasper is out of this world! Especially in winter! Gigantic snow topped mountains; rivers, waterfalls and lakes turned into sparkling ice - everyday there is a winter wonderland. And the nature! We spent a short weekend in Jasper and saw coyotes and wolves. It was so exciting and they're so beautiful - yet another thing we love about Canadians is their healthy respect and love of wildlife. 

6. Ice festivals, ice castles, ice walks, hiking and more

Edmonton and Jasper have a tonne of ice in the winter, so what do they do? Make the most of it of course! In Edmonton, from ice festivals where world champions compete to make the most beautiful sculptures; to entire castles made of ice where you can play and (priorities) take the most beautiful Insta-good photos. And Jasper, where you can hike through ancient, natural canyons on frozen rivers, passing ice waterfalls and feeling like you're in a magical dream. Put simply, hiking in Jasper is an absolute must! 

7. It doesn't have to be expensive!

Last, but not least, if you're from the UK/ Germany / Netherlands etc and thinking 'damn, this looks so beautiful but it's so out of reach for me', I've got great news for you!! A winter trip to Edmonton and Jasper is probably not as expensive as you think. With cheap flights to Edmonton and plenty of Snow Sure Deals, a winter skiing holiday to Canada is down-right reasonable. E.g. you can go skiing in Canada for 9 days, for £1159 p.p - this includes return flight with KLM, 7 nights in a hotel, 5/6 day lift pass and transfer!

Wrap Up: Visiting Edmonton and Jasper in Winter

So there you have it 7 reasons why you simply must visit Edmonton and Jasper in the winter. It's hands down one of the most beautiful, fun places we've ever been to and has so much to offer - truly something for everyone: romantic couples, families, adrenaline junkies, solo travellers, anyone and everyone will find something to love here. [Read more:Cruising the Icefields Parkway, Canada]

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