Holiday ideas for December

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.
 

Let us inspire you...

  • 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…
  • 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 to 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.
  • For us, Sicily's cities are at their very best in the relative quiet of autumn and winter. Without the jostling summer crowds, you can take your time to appreciate the celebrated Baroque architecture. Travel by rail between Ragusa, Siracusa and Catania, 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. There's the chance, too, to visit the remarkable town of Noto, another Baroque jewel, and to take a train journey around the base of towering Mount Etna.
  • Where better to spend Christmas, or the run-up to it, 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...
  • For a truly relaxing Christmas, why not head to the mountains for a winter holiday? At the Belle Epoque Hotel Victoria in Kandersteg, Switzerland, holidays over Christmas include a torchlit stroll followed by mulled wine, a return trip on the gondola to the magical lake of Oeschinensee, and a gala dinner. Other hotels that we particularly recommend for Christmas are the Ylläshumina in Lapland, and the Hotel Wiesenhof in the Austrian Tyrol.
 

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