The best places to spend Christmas

Fancy a winter adventure this Christmas? These charming breaks may just fit the bill!

Spirit Island Alberta

by Emily Gilbert |

Spending the festive holidays at home is always lovely but sometimes, you might fancy a change of scenery. And why not? There are so many wonderful places to jet off to that you'll be spoilt for choice, whatever it is you're looking for.

To whet your appetite, we've picked out some of the top spots to head to for your next Christmas celebration.

Iceland

Iceland

Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, provides a fascinating location for Christmas. Focus on Iceland’s bewitching wilderness and night skies and explore where the European and American tectonic plates are slowly moving apart. Marvel at the spectacular Gullfoss Waterfall and the bubbling muds and spectacle of the Geysir hot spring area with its Strokkur geyser. Don't forget to try to watch the Northern Lights too!

Norway

Arctic Cathedral, Tromso
©Getty

Dubbed the Arctic Capital, in Tromsø, Norway the sun literally never sets in summer and its midnight light casts a magical spell. You can see the Northern Lights too, but there’s so much more to Tromsø than its dazzling skies.

Visit the Arctic Cathedral to experience Northern Lights concerts, see the seals in Polaria or find out more about the town’s history as a starting point for Arctic expeditions at the Polar Museum. Ride the cable car up to Mount Storsteinen – or even climb the 1,200 stone steps up the Sherpa staircase for the most stunning views. Go reindeer sledging, whale watching, or race across the landscape on a husky sled.

Tromsø has plenty of nightlife to enjoy; check out the restaurants and sample local delicacies such as grilled stockfish, reindeer sirloin or seagull eggs.

Canada

Getty
Vancouver, Canada

Canada boasts some of the most dramatic and beautiful snowscapes in the world so why not experience the country’s stunning winter landscape?

Cross the snow-drenched Canadian Rockies, glide past icy forests of spruce and aspen and cut through the white blankets of the vast prairies. Explore the vibrant cities of Toronto and Vancouver and you can even pay a visit to Niagara Falls.

Germany

Lake Schliersee
Lake Schliersee ©Alamy

A short scenic train ride or drive from Munich, the Bavarian Alps are a stunning winter wonderland and the village of Schliersee makes the perfect base. Located on the shores of Lake Schliersee, which often freezes over in winter, it’s delightfully off-radar outside of Germany but a dream destination for those in the know. You can ski or snowboard, go ice skating, or take a comfortable horse-drawn carriage ride, warmed by mulled wine.

Head to the mountains for spectacular views of the Alps, or explore other snowy sights, such as King Ludwig II’s famous fairytale castles – including the iconic Castle Neuschwanstein, the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty.

Switzerland

 Grindelwald, Interlaken
Grindelwald, Interlaken ©Getty

Offering stunning scenery and centuries old traditions, the whole family will enjoy a trip to Switzerland. If you're a fan of skiing, the Swiss Alps can be beaten for a white Christmas. Alternatively, head to Grindelwald where there's sledging and snow-shoeing to try or cities such as Geneva and Zurich for amazing Christmas markets where you can sip mulled wine and munch gingerbread.

Barbados

Bowling Alley Hill, Barbados
Bowling Alley Hill, Barbados ©Getty

If you fancy somewhere without any snow, what about sunny Barbados? Prices are at their lowest from mid-September to mid-December and although there may be a chance of rain, the temperature tends to stay around 27C. Swap your hot toddy for a rum-based cocktail and swim in the clear, turquoise waters - just preferably not at the same time!

Lapland

Lapland, Finland
Lapland, Finland ©Getty

If you've got the funds, there's nowhere more magical to spend Christmas than Lapland. You don't need little ones to enjoy a trip to the land of Saint Nic!

Located in northernmost Finland, deep inside the Arctic Circle, spend time exploring Lapland’s snowy countryside. Winter sports like snowmobiling are as easy to come by or you could head to cosmopolitan capital Rovaniemi, full of shops and restaurants.

New York

New York
New York Central Park ©Getty

While you could head to many places in America for a feel-good Christmas, New York is top of our list. As well as having some of the most incredible lights in the world, there are outdoor holiday markets to mooch round, famous attractions to visit and of course all the shops you could ever want.

The Cotswolds

 Castle Combe, Wiltshire
Castle Combe, Wiltshire

If you're looking to stay closer to home, you can beat the pretty Cotswolds. While we can't promise snow in December, we can promise villages decked in fairy lights, roaring fires, ample dog walking spots and cosy pub dinners.

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