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Inspiration for December holidays


Why not get away for Christmas or New Year and enjoy the festivities somewhere different? We have ideas for the run-up to Christmas too.


Head to the ‘Ends of the Earth’
Walking on El Hierro
It may not be the ‘Ends of the Earth’ as was once thought, but the fact remains that, of all the islands in the Canaries, El Hierro is the furthest from mainland Europe. It is also the least-known, but that just serves to make it all the more appealing – its unspoiled landscapes range from pockets of ancient laurisilva to volcanic deserts, and from the glorious sweep of the bay of El Golfo to pineapple plantations. Being so far south (it’s closer to Morocco than to Spain), the walking season is long. You could even spend Christmas Day exploring the well-waymarked paths…
Relax on deserted beaches in Almería
Beach in Almeria
With a very impressive average of 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, the southern Spanish province of Almería (which can also boast of being the driest region in Europe and of having the warmest waters in mainland Spain) is an excellent choice if you’re looking to escape somewhere warm. The walks along cliff tops and across the bare, reddish hills behind the coast, are gentle and leisurely, giving you plenty of time to relax on the sandy beaches, which you will have virtually to yourselves at this time of year.
Journey by rail between Italy’s great cities
For us, cities such as Venice are at their very best in the relative quiet of winter. Without the jostling summer crowds – or the queues – you can take your time to appreciate the world-renowned monuments and street scenes. Travel by rail on your very own Grand Tour, taking in Turin, Verona, Venice, Bologna, Florence and Rome, and we’ll provide you with detailed notes for self-guided walking tours of each city which not only lead you to the most important sights, but also reveal lesser-known treasures and corners.
Enjoy a unique Arctic experience in deepest Lapland
Yllashumina Hotel, Yllas
Where better to spend Christmas than Lapland, the land of reindeer and Santa Claus? With such a wide range of activities on offer, holidays at the Ylläshumina Hotel are always memorable. Sample more unusual activities such as reindeer sledding or ice-fishing, or make the most of the first-rate skiing – the cross-country domain here is extensive, with something for everyone, and there is also some good-fun downhill skiing for beginners and families. Don’t wear yourselves out, though – it’s worth staying up to keep watch for the Northern Lights...
Get in the festive spirit on a Christmas market break
Salzburg in December
You can’t beat a Christmas market break to fill you with festive cheer. We offer breaks to Mozart’s city, Salzburg, the Austrian lake district, Prague, Helsinki, Copenhagen and Gothenburg, whose markets are renowned throughout Sweden and indeed all of Scandinavia.
Spend Christmas in the Norwegian Highlands
Fefor Hotel
With a programme that includes activities such as making gingerbread houses, decorating the tree, cooking porridge to revive Santa Claus, sledging and skiing races, a festive quiz, torchlit walks, snowshoeing and dog-sledding, not to mention dancing and entertainment every night, the Fefor Hotel promises a Christmas you won’t forget, particularly if you have children. Elsewhere in northern Europe, the Ylläshumina is another great choice; in the Alps, we recommend the Hotel Wiesenhof, the Hotel Victoria and the Hotel Bella Tola for a very special Christmas.
See in the New Year in the warmth of southern Europe
New Year breaks
If you are looking to celebrate in the warmer climes of southern Europe, we have a wide range of New Year breaks to suit, from low-key, but gastronomic, celebrations in country hotels, to lively affairs in the heart of some of Europe’s most iconic cities. As well as a celebratory dinner of local specialities, all our New Year breaks – whether country or city getaways – include detailed walking notes to help you explore the surrounding area or historic streets.