Where to go at Christmas
For many people, Christmas can be a highly stressful time of year. Whether you are yearning for some winter sun, a break with friends or a solo journey, we have the perfect Christmas getaway for you.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
This Middle Eastern playground has everything you could ever want on offer. From gigantic water parks to ski slopes to deserts, this place really does have it all. Although Christmas is not a national holiday in Dubai, every shopping centre and hotel is adorned with Christmas decorations and enormous trees. Not to mention that the weather is at a glorious 26˚C in December and with the abundance of beaches this makes the perfect destination for some winter sun.
Top Tip: When travelling to Dubai over the Christmas season make it a point to visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah at Christmas as it transforms into a beautiful Christmas Market with Father Christmas riding a gondola-sleigh around the mall’s canals.
During the holiday season, the atmosphere in Cartagena is something that you will never experience anywhere else. You will find the streets glowing with Christmas lights and beautifully decorated Christmas trees. One of the best ways to experience Cartagena is from the sea. Whether you plan to scuba dive around the gorgeous coral reefs of The Natural Park Corales Islas del Rosario, or simply relax on a sunset cruise.
Top Tip: If you are looking for somewhere to dance the night away, visit Bazurto Social Club, where the bar doesn't close until 4 am.
Whilst Christmas is not an official holiday in Japan, there are still a lot of winter festivities going on in the larger cities. For instance, in Tokyo, there is a strange concoction of German-style markets, sparkling decorations and robotic Father Christmas'. If you are trying to avoid the merriments of Christmas, head towards Kyoto where you can explore Japan's beautiful culture.
Top Tip: As Christmas is not traditionally celebrated in Japan, you may find it difficult to find a traditional roast dinner. Instead, on 25th December, KFC is Japan's favourite food.
Even when to travel as far as Nepal, you will find among the Hindu temples and Buddhist prayer flags - Santa hats, decorated trees and glittering lights. Although it is very cold in the Himalayas at this time, the trails are blissfully quiet for those heading for the Roof of the World on an Annapurna trek.
Top Tip: December in Nepal has the perfect hiking weather throughout the day. However, come nightfall it often dips below freezing so be sure to bring plenty of layers.
There is nowhere more magical to spend Christmas than Bali. Explore volcanic crater lakes and tropical rainforests, spend time in a local village and witness traditional ceremonies. There is so much to do in Bali. To get really into the Christmas spirit, visit Canggu Xmas Bazaar: a unique blend of traditional wooden Balinese architecture, festive crafts and delicious Indonesian street food.
Top Tip: To finish off Christmas Day, gaze at the mesmerising firework displays which occur all over the island.