Christmas can be a magical time to get away, whether you're trying to avoid the weather or seek out the snow, here are five suggestions for you.
The UK is certainly a curious place to spend Christmas. At this point in the year, we’re not cold, but we're certainly not warm either. It snows here, sometimes, but we’re usually not blessed on Christmas morning with a blanket of snow on the lawn - no matter what the romantic comedies might have us believe.
If you have long been deprived of a Christmas escape, or a holiday in general, it might just be your year to celebrate the silly season abroad. And there are plenty of reasons why you should go on holiday at Christmas, the top ones being you can enjoy a change of scenery AND you won’t face any of the usual pressures and stresses of hosting.
And so comes the only tricky point in the Christmas holiday planning process. Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Envisaging hours spent by the fire, sipping spicy mulled wine and opening thoughtful gifts? Or are you seeking something to hoist you out of your wintry funk? Maybe you have daylight - lots of it -on your mind, and a long walk on the beach? Whichever way you lean, let us help you discover where to go on holiday at Christmas.
A holiday over Christmas is the perfect way to recharge the batteries after the year that was. Of course, you can do this from anywhere if you’re in the right mindset, but being in a new (and potentially scenic) location separate from your normal environment will really allow you to sink into that relaxation. It will mean you can take a complete break. Whether you need a sun-drenched escape to boost your mood during the winter months, or you simply want to cosy up in the snow-covered mountains, we have a few destinations to help you on your merry way...
Don’t leave it till the fierce onset of winter to flip open your laptop and type “Where is hot at Christmas?” or some other sunlight-hungry combination of words into Google. You can start dreaming - and booking - right now.
We have rounded up a few beautiful locations which not only offer hours of sunshine, but temperatures that hover between 15-18 degrees even in late December!
The Mediterranean is often associated with summer boat trips and relaxing beach vacations, but Christmas is a deeply underrated time to visit. A Mediterranean escape at this time of the year means you can avoid the crowds that flock to this idyllic region during the peak months, and also experience the sunshine and warmth without it feeling overwhelming.
As such, Malta and Gozo are ideal hot weather destinations for December. The capital of Valetta has vibrance and atmosphere in spades, plus its ideal for feasting on a delicious Christmas Eve gala dinner. The capital is also a fantastic base from which you can explore the twinkling lights of medieval cities Vittoriosa, Cospicua, and Senglea.
You might even fancy heading out to Gozo to explore the charming port of Mgarr and pay a visit to the island's fortified capital of Victoria. You can’t miss Calypso's Cave overlooking the picturesque Ramla Bay!
Suggested tour: Christmas in Malta
If you need to be thawed out this chilly season, we can confirm that Cyprus is warm in December. There’s sun, there’s beaches, there’s more. Venture through Paphos – the island's fascinatingly ancient capital – to discover Cypriot burial practices, the Paphos Mosaics in Roman villas, and the ninth-century church of Agia Paraskevi.
On Christmas Day, relax by the seaside with a festive seafood spread, or head deep into the Troodos Mountains to savour the views, tour ancient monasteries, and maybe even catch a glimpse of some Christmas snow.
Suggested tour: Christmas in Cyprus
Spend Christmas journeying through the Andalusian cities of Seville and Granada. In the winter months, you will have the opportunity to see Granada against snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains. In the city, you can marvel at the Alhambra Palace in Granada, which features intricately tiled mosaics, artfully constructed towers and minarets, and delightful formal gardens.
Then it's time to find yourself in Seville, the home of flamenco, where you can stroll the charming, narrow streets of the Old Quarter and people-watch in the stunning Plaza de Espana beside the fountains. Why not hit the city’s boutiques for some last-minute shopping for gifts? On Christmas Day, indulge in a delicious buffet lunch - it’s the season to celebrate, after all - and make a splash in your tranquil hotel pool.
Suggested tour: Christmas in Andalucia
There’s something exceptionally romantic, almost fairytale-like about spending Christmas in a snow-covered cottage or a chalet surrounded by ski slopes. So if you have mulled wine on the mind - naturally - and can already smell the sticky, toasted marshmallows, let us help you find a frosty escape for December.
Sometimes, you cannot entirely get away for Christmas. And that’s okay. Work requirements, relatives, and pets - that’s all part of life! But that’s where Sweden comes in. The Lapland region is another gorgeous destination that is snowy in December. It’s also where you can easily enjoy a one-day trip.
On a chartered flight, make your way to Pajala, the heart of Swedish Lapland. There you will be greeted by local hosts clad in traditional Sami costume. Be sure to take a minute to truly take in the landscape. It’s a winter wonderland of snow-covered hills as far as the eye can see, twinkling lights, and lush forests of pine.
If you are a parent to little ones, you might be fielding the usual questions about a certain jolly man in the big red suit. So if you are wondering where to go on holiday to see Santa, you have chosen the right place. In Lapland, you can head to Santa's Home where you can enjoy a magical ride in a traditional reindeer-drawn sleigh and also on a sled pulled by huskies. There’s even an exhilarating snowmobile ride waiting for you.
Sip hot berry juice, build a snowman, and at the end of the day, take the secret, lanterned-light path through the forest, visit Santa’s log cabin home. The kids will never forget a Christmas like this.
Suggested tour: Lapland Santa Experience Day Trip
Being home to the most celebrated Christmas market in all of Europe, Vienna is a city famous for the festive season. Against the elegant backdrop of Baroque palaces, glamorous retail districts, and world-class museums, lie Vienna's most renowned Christmas markets. Wander through the idyllic lanes of Spittelberg and Freyung Square and soak in the market atmosphere. The stalls simply burst with festive cheer, cosiness, and delicious traditional food and drinks.
If you have the time and are looking to make the most of your Christmas trip, venture across to Slovakia, a hidden gem of a holiday destination. Pay a visit to the Slovakian capital of Bratislava, where you can wander along the Danube and take in the exciting, bustling metropolitan ambience amidst the historic palaces and churches.
Suggested tour: Vienna Christmas Markets
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