Winter is the season that quietly slows nature down and there’s an incredible peace to be found in the low sun and long evenings. Some roads become impassable and the hum of daily life gives way to the beautiful silence of snow. We tend to tread more carefully, in tune with our surroundings.
Whilst winter is known as a time for hibernation, it's also a season in which many wildlife species roam freely under the cover of snow and uninterrupted landscapes. Slow Adventures during winter are an opportunity to not only encounter beautiful wildlife, but also an opportunity to support a local Impact Project that either directly cares for a species, or preserves their natural habitat.
Below, we’ve created a round-up of the various types of wildlife that you might see on a winter Slow Adventure. Some of the species that we mention are supported by an Impact Project that you can choose to support with your booking. You can decide which cause you’d like to support, and we will give them 5% of your booking fee.
With its vast forests and alpine mountains, Jämtland Härjedalen is home to many species that have adapted to the harsh winter conditions.
It is a part of Sweden that is home to the Arctic Fox, that takes on a beautiful white coat in the colder months, for warmth and camouflage against the snow. When visiting Härjedalen, you’ll also be able to find a wild herd of musk oxen, who are descended from a group of just five animals that migrated from Dovrefjäll in Norway in 1971.
Jämtland Härjedalen's pristine lakes and rivers attract otters and beavers, who can be observed building their homes and seeking food. You might just get lucky and spot a lynx - one of the region's most elusive predators, hunting in the winter forest.
Lapland in winter is a magical place for wildlife enthusiasts. During the winter months, reindeer roam the vast Lapland tundras in search of food, while foxes and hares blend in with the white landscape. The region also attracts large bird species such as eagles, owls, and hawks, who come to hunt for small mammals and fish in the icy lakes.
Winter in Iceland offers a unique opportunity to witness wildlife such as arctic foxes, reindeer, and seal populations. It’s a time in which many birds migrate to warmer climates, but you might see some of the hardier species such as the gyrfalcon and the ptarmigan.
Whales, such as humpbacks and orcas, also frequent Iceland's waters, putting on spectacular displays as they hunt for food in the frigid seas.
Icelandic ponies are a breed of horse native to Iceland, known for their hardiness, intelligence and friendly nature. You can spend time with these incredible creatures on our Riding and Rambling to Hidden Gems adventure.
The majestic peaks and valleys of the Italian Alps provide a stunning backdrop for nature spotting, making the region a popular destination for winter wildlife enthusiasts. It’s a place that is home to birds such as the golden eagle, ptarmigan, grouse, and snow finch, and mammals such as the ibex, marmot, chamois, deer and ermine. These species have adapted to the harsh mountain environment and can be seen foraging for food, playing in the snow, and hunkering down in their dens during the coldest months.
The Highland’s harsh winter conditions and limited food supplies lead to adaptive behaviour for year-round dwellers such as red deer, mountain hares, and pine martens. Bird-lovers can spot a variety of winter migrants including geese, ducks, and whooper swans. On the coast, seals and otters can be observed searching for food along the shoreline.
Winter is also a great time to look for the iconic Scottish Wildcat, although they are highly elusive and sightings are rare.
Ready to explore? Take a look at our calendar for upcoming slow adventures, departures and itineraries.