Christmas is celebrated in various styles around the world – whether in cold, snow or sunshine, there are plenty of appealing destinations where you can join in the festive season.
If you do plan on heading abroad, here are five destinations that are particularly popular:
Images of surfing Santas and building sandmen are just some of those that spring to mind when you think of Christmas Down Under. Perennially popular, it’s not hard to see why. It’s hot, and while it’s not Christmas as we know it, throwing a prawn on the barbie before heading to the beach can be a sublime experience. The city holds famous firework displays, Santa Fest and a variety of other festivities to make the season go with a bang.
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To the opposite extreme, there’s the magic of the Northern Lights in Iceland. Renowned for dark, beautiful landscapes and fascinating sights, a stay in Reykjavik holds great appeal. While cold, there are plenty of spas, and hot springs to indulge in to take the edge off. And this magic land has plenty of peculiar traditions, such as 13 Santas, known as the Yule Lads.
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Bright lights, big city; it’s the perfect time of year to visit NYC. The city lights up, turning into one big winter wonderland. Just think of the huge Christmas tree in Rockerfeller Center, ice-skating in Central Park, and all the festive films that are based in the city. Perusing the holiday window displays and taking in the atmosphere is enough to crack a big Christmas grin.
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There are plenty of splendid Christmas markets around Europe, but Bruges is one that stands out from the crowd. From mulled wine to a multitude of pastries, you can meander the cobbled streets and canals for hours. The picturesque and cosy atmosphere helps to make it one of the most appealing city destinations to spend the festive season.
Read our guide to the best Christmas markets.
Stunning beaches, friendly people, and delicious food. For a total break away over Christmas, this is a great choice. Sri Lanka has some of Asia’s most beautiful beaches, and is a well-trodden tourist spot. This means there’s plenty of information on where to go and what to see. The majority of the population are Buddhists, but Christmas is still a public holiday for everyone – with decorated streets and plenty of Christmas trees around.
Christmas on a cruise
Can't decide where you would like to spend Christmas? Why not try a bit of variety? A festive cruise to the Canaries allows you to spend Christmas Day onboard with delicious food and drink while enjoying overnight moorings in Gran Canaria and in Madeira. It also means you won't need to make those stressful new Years Eve plans, as you'll see in the New Year with a magnificent fireworks display over Funchal harbour.
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For more tips and inspiration, browse our travel articles.