Many people like to ditch the stress of a conventional family Christmas and head off for a winter adventure somewhere a bit different. If you fancy a Christmas getaway, here is a list of ten of our favourite festive locations for you to enjoy a winter break.
“Christmas” by Mike Slone, licenced under CC BY 2.0
1. Apulia, Southern Italy
Apulia is a glorious place to visit in the winter. The climate is mild and dry, but without the intense heat that characterises the summer in Southern Italy. The Italians have a unique, warm Christmas tradition that is a joy to participate in. For some unbeatable Christmas luxury, book yourself in for a stay at the exclusive Borgo Egnazia.
“Edinburgh Winter Dean Bridge” by Colour of Your Smile, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
2. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is a graceful, charming city. Despite its northern latitude, Edinburgh’s winters are milder than some parts of Scotland. Come and enjoy the festive atmosphere, Christmas markets and gorgeous lights. There are some great places to stay in Edinburgh. Try The Dunstane for a traditional Scottish Christmas with all the trimmings or the beautifully understated Parliament Hotel for a low-key Christmas break.
“Robin in the snow” by Vicky Brock, licenced under CC BY-SA 2.0
3. Scottish Highlands
There are few more Christmassy places in the world than the Scottish Highlands. When the snow hugs the soaring hills under majestic blue skies, venture out into the mountains or retire to a warm seat by the fire. For a warm Highland welcome and a Christmas to remember, try booking into the wonderful Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness.
“Somerset House Ice Rink” by Uri Baruchin, licenced under CC BY 2.0
4. London, England
London is the setting for many a Christmas film, from ‘A Christmas Carol’ to ‘Love Actually’. Although the snow doesn’t often settle in the bustling capital city, London is still one of the most romantic and exciting places to spend the festive season. The perfect place for a quiet Christmas with a special someone is the wonderful Royal Garden Hotel.
“30 days of gratitude” by Aussie Gall, licenced under CC BY 2.0
5. Sydney, Australia
Had enough of the cold, the damp and the snow? Leave it all behind and fly off to the southern hemisphere this Christmas. In Australia, Christmas falls in the middle of summer, and it is hot. Spend Christmas Eve swimming in a warm sea, enjoy a BBQ on the beach and sing your carols with a ‘cold one’ around the pool. Check into the Harbour Rocks Hotel for a boutique hotel just minutes walk from the main attractions.
“Reindeer sleigh ride Kuusamo Lapland” by Heather Sunderland, licenced under CC BY 2.0
6. Lapland, Finland
Lapland is the home of Father Christmas, need we say more? If you have young children, a Christmas adventure to the ‘north pole’ to visit Santa will be the trip of a lifetime. There are lots of fun activities you can enjoy with the family, such as dog-sledding, skiing and reindeer rides. Visit Rovaniemi in Finland for an excellent selection of festive hotels and ‘Father Christmas’ activities.
“Gingerbread at Christmas Market in Munich” by Heather Cowper, licenced under CC BY 2.0
7. Munich, Germany
Christmas is the favourite national feast day in Germany, and it is hard not to fall under the same spell when you visit. Many of our best-loved Christmas traditions are German in origin, not least the Christmas tree itself, as well as the haunting carol ‘Silent Night’. Head out to Munich for Christmas and drink in the atmosphere, twinkling lights and warming mulled wine of this great city.
“Poiana Braşov” by Guillaume Baviere, licenced under CC BY 2.0
8. Transylvanian Alps, Romania
Skiing resorts often get very busy and expensive at Christmas time. Beat the crowds this year and take a skiing holiday in the Transylvanian Alps in Romania. The mountain vistas and lovely little towns in Transylvania are simply glorious, and you will find some of the best skiing slopes in Eastern Europe. Try staying in the Ice Hotel for a unique experience that will leave you with plenty of stories.
“New York” by Andy Orin, licenced under CC BY 2.0
9. New York, USA
Alongside London, New York is one of the most magical cities in which to enjoy the Christmas break. The winter atmosphere is unbeatable, and there is no end to the fantastic hotels to pick and choose from. Take a look through TalkHoliday’s great deals to enjoy a ‘Fairytale in New York’ this Christmas.
“Church of the Nativity – Betlehem” by krebsmaus07, licenced under CC BY 2.0
10. Jerusalem, Israel
Head out to where it all started for a holiday in Israel this Christmas. Israel enjoys a warm climate and is home to some of the world’s most important cultural, historical and religious sites. Israel is a small country, so all the main attractions are easily accessible by road or public transport. Jerusalem itself gets very busy at Christmas, so we recommend one of the many high-quality hotels in Tel Aviv.
Wherever you choose to spend your Christmas holiday, make sure you get the relaxation and pampering you deserve. Have an enjoyable festive break, and let us know about any hotel gems you find on your travels.