Are you wondering Where to Go For Christmas This Year?
I bloody love Christmas. I do. The family come to us, and we make it a big traditional deal. But I do totally get that not everyone does. Nor does everyone have a big extended family to make it a fun, busy, happy time at home. And even if you do have a big family, it might well be that sometimes you dream of getting away, and making Christmas just about your family. Or not about a traditional Christmas at all.
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So if you’re thinking of the turkey and the tree with the horrors, then we’ve got some suggestions for you. Where to Go For Christmas This Year? Whether your seasonal idyll is a Christmas Day walk along a windy Cornish beach, a stroll through a souk, après ski in the mountains or simply splashing on a tropical beach, I think we’ve got you covered for Christmas 2019…
Where to Go For Christmas This Year:
Christmas in Cornwall
What’s not to love about Cornwall in winter? It has all the same beauty, the dazzling beaches – but without the summer crowds.
You can enjoy late night shopping in Truro, with twinkling lights, delicious local foods and handmade craft stalls. Maybe the nine lessons and carols on Christmas Eve in Truro Cathedral (or take your dog for Truro Cathedral’s carol service for pets on the 28th?). Brave the sea, and leap in for a Boxing Day swim (have a blanket and flask of hot chocolate prepped and waiting for your return to dry land!). See Mousehole’s famous Christmas lights, and take the chance to walk the coastal paths without seeing another person – that never happens in the summer.
All while staying in a perfect Cornish cottage with a roaring open fire, squashy sofas and a big sociable kitchen. Some properties will even put up a tree & some fairy lights for you before you arrive. What’s not to love?
We suggest: try HolidayCottages.com ‘Christmas in Cornwall’ page to start your search. And if you fancy the holiday, but aren’t so worried about it being in Cornwall, how about the amazing farmhouse in the Brecon Beacons we stayed in this year? No beach, but all the peace and mountains you could ask for.
A Christmas Skiing
I know, it’s a bit obvious. But seriously – why not? If you’re wondering Where to Go For Christmas This Year, simply book yourselves a Christmas break with a specialist family ski company, and you’re guaranteed a white Christmas, surrounded by stunning and endless views of winter mountain scenes. You can stay in a warm and cosy luxury chalet, open your presents around a Christmas tree, enjoying an amazing Christmas meal (which will be served without you having to lift a finger!), and the slopes are right outside your door. Some will even ensure that Father Christmas himself pops by your chalet to personally deliver a gift!
(NB – I wrote a post on Have Kids Can Travel around How to Choose the Resort for your Family Ski Holiday; definitely worth a quick read before you book!)
Christmas in California
Yes of course you could head to Yosemite (word is that the Ahwahnee Hotel is THE place to spend Christmas in the park), and enjoy the mountains, the snow, the log cabins, the wilderness… but we’ve gone less obvious – but just as beautiful. How about heading to the California coast – we’re thinking Carmel-By-The-Sea, one of America’s best beach towns according to National Geographic. It’s warm(ish), there are vineyards, there’s hiking, there’s the beach… this is where Big Little Lies is filmed, and it’s perfect for a wintery-but-not-freezing-your bum Christmas holiday.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a small beach city on the Monterey Peninsula, known for its museums and library, the fairytale cottages and galleries in its city-pretending-its-still-a-village. You’ll get all the traditional trappings, but somewhere enticingly new – and it’s so perfectly pretty.
Christmas in the Souk
So, flipping everything on its head – why not think about Morocco?
Lower prices, warm temperatures ( a comfortable 20º on average), chillier nights for cosying, and a definite lack of other tourists to allow you to explore the sights without the jostling.
Marrakech is a Muslim city, so December 25 and 26 are normal working days. There’ll be no sitting around the tree or eating mince pies – instead go shopping for spices, slippers, leather goods and brass lanterns in the souk; soak in the atmosphere of the Djemaa el-Fna square by night; or take a stroll around the exotic cacti at the city’s Jardin Majorelle.
Christmas in Finland
I know, it’s another super-Christmassy one. Sort off. But it’s my list, and I love the snow, so I make no apologies. Finland though. Oh yes please!
As the tourist board says:
“Finland steps up with a winter wonderland that is so enchanting that even Santa Claus calls it home.”
So this year why not go where you can drive a snowmobile? Ice skating on an actual frozen lake? Screaming your way down the ice slides? And how about meeting father Christmas? Come on, you’re actually in the Arctic Circle!
During a Finnish winter, the country is blanketed in a deep layer of snow. If you’ve only known British winters, and our generally pitiful white smatterings, be impressed by the awesome snow castle at Kemi and the Game of Thrones snow village at Levi.
Complete your Finnish experience with a magical reindeer sleigh ride. At this time of year, literally dashing through the snow is going to feel as Christmassy a sit gets – and everyone will be watching to see if reindeer really know how to fly…
Christmas in Mauritius
If you’re wondering Where to Go For Christmas This Year, and are looking for the very opposite of everything you know about an English Christmas, then a tropical island is no doubt where your face will turn. There are other options, of course – the Maldives are all about your luxury escapes, the Seychelles are still without mass tourism and as a result are wilder and untamed – but Mauritius is the most popular island in the Indian Ocean. The luxury resorts are family-friendly and affordable, getting there is easier, and the whole family can enjoy the glorious tropical surroundings.
Be aware though – tourist season is at its peak in December, and most of the hotels hit a 90 to 100% room occupancy rate. There will be special Christmas breaks, but they won’t be bargain busting deals, and the sooner you book the better. Experience Christmas in a totally new way, enjoy Mauritius’ delicious cuisine and revel in the odd beauty of Christmas in a tropical paradise.
If there’s nothing there that quite fits for you, then take a look at the Rough Guides list of 20 of the best places to go for Christmas in 2019. They’ve gone for the most picturesque, with cosy corners, twinkling lights and a determination to let the Christmas spirit shine no matter how cold (or rainy) it might be.
If you’ve got itchy feet and don’t want to wait til Christmas, there’s also some fabulous Christmas Market short breaks on TravelSupermarket right now: