Our top festive vacations
Christmas is a time for family, food and excessive shopping. It’s also a great time to go on holiday and have some last minute fun before another year ends.
We’ve put together a selection of our favourite Christmas getaways. Whether you’re looking for winter sun or something a little more festive, we’ve got you covered.
What could be more Christmassy than staying in a glass igloo in Lapland? If you’re lucky you may even see the Northern Lights flashing in the sky. That would be quite a sight to see as you drift off to sleep.
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Kakslauttanen offers a range of accommodation, including log chalets, luxurious suites and, supposing you’re feeling brave, real igloos!
If you head into the forest you can visit Santa in his red chalet. You’ll need to book an appointment, he’s very busy in December – snowed under, you might say.
When you’ve visited Santa, you could set out on a reindeer safari with the local reindeer herders. All in all, this will be the perfect Christmas getaway.
Alpine forests, the Brothers Grimm, Black Forest Gateaux and magical castles – so far, so Christmassy. We have the perfect seasonal itinerary if you want to explore Germany.
Everyone loves a German Christmas market. Berlin hosts a huge one throughout December by the baroque Charlottenburg Palace. If you’re still in town for New Year’s Eve, you’ll see one of the best festive celebrations in Europe. One thing is for sure: people in Berlin know how to party.
Prague is stunning all year round but it’s especially enticing during winter. A layer of snow covers the buildings and Prague becomes a fairy-tale city. It does, however, get cold. Bring some warm clothes – we’re talking thermals, long johns and chunky scarves.
It’ll be worth the effort. Walking around this winter wonderland during Christmas is like being in a movie. Especially with the iconic Prague Castle looming over you. It has towered over the city for a thousand years.
Christmas in New York is always a happening, to use a New York turn of phrase. It has been the setting of so many seasonal movies it’ll feel like you’ve already been there, ice skating by the Rockefeller Center.
The city will be sparkling with Christmas lights and, if you’re lucky, snow. Supposing you’re in town for New Year’s Eve you may even see Mariah Carey’s ‘New Year’s Rockin’ Eve’. Hopefully, she won’t storm off stage after one song.
200km north of the Arctic Circle you’ll find Sweden’s Ice Hotel. The hotel’s rooms are carved out of ice by a range of international artists. You’ll be sleeping on a bed of ice wrapped in a reindeer hide. Thermal sleeping bags are included!
This is one of the most Instagram-friendly hotels in the world. The rooms are decorated with dazzling ice carvings. You can even book an ice sculpting class and create your own masterpiece.
Out of season, the ice suites melt away. They are newly carved every winter.
If you’re looking to escape the cold weather on your Christmas getaway, Orlando is a great choice. Florida doesn’t really “do” cold. The temperature in Orlando is unlikely to drop below 20C.
You’ll still get the Christmas holiday vibes here, this is America, after all, and the home of Disney World. You’ll find a carnival of Christmas in Orlando with fake snow and Disney characters wandering around. If they don’t have something in America they just build a synthetic version of it.
If you’re looking for winter sun Sri Lanka is a good choice. December is not in the monsoon season, so that’s a bonus.
Sri Lanka is packed with culture. You can explore the ancient temples of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s major city during antiquity: 113 kings ruled over the country from Anuradhapura.
Here you can visit Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, planted in 288 BC, it is the tree where Lord Buddha gained Enlightenment and oldest known tree to be planted by a human.
A great choice if you’re looking for a sunny Christmas getaway. Cancun is also ideal if you’re looking to relax. Most of the resorts offer all-inclusive deals so you can have all your needs and desires fulfilled – well, within reason.
There isn’t much to see in Cancun city, people come here for the affordable luxury resorts. If you’d like to experience some culture you can take a trip to Chichen Itza and see the great ruins of the Mayan empire.