A wide variety of destinations come into their own in this month so it’s perfectly possible to throw yourself headlong into the magical ambience of Christmas or forget about it completely.
Fortunately for those who enter December filled with festive cheer, our location is perfectly primed to take advantage of the myriad of Christmas markets the continent offers. Enjoy a shopping experience brimming with artisan gifts, twinkling lights and the ever-present scent of temptingly spicy mulled wine, before seeing the sights of Europe’s romantic villages, towns and cities. Some northern destinations might even offer a fresh white blanket of snow to top off your holiday.
If it’s hot sun you seek, you’ll most probably want to head off on the long-haul – much of Asia will be free of the monsoon rains at this point whilst parts of South America will be out of hurricane season and offer white-sand beaches and sunshine by the bucket-load. And let’s not forget our topsy-turvy friends Down Under who will be enjoying the heights of summer – the direct opposite to us!
So, let’s take a look at the options for travel in December to help you choose a little Christmas gift for yourself…
Germany is the godfather of the Christmas Market with excellent examples dotted throughout Berlin, Munich and much of the rest of the country. However, we have a soft spot for the one that takes place in the northern city of Bremen, set against a backdrop of its medieval architecture along the banks of the River Weser. As well as the famous market, make time to admire the magnificent cathedral, gothic town hall and sample plenty of rich wine and pastries during your trip. ’Tis the season, after all.
Lazing on the golden sands of Bondi Beach, wondering what temperature the poor folks back home are enduring is a time-honoured traveller tradition. With average maximum temperatures hovering around the 26C mark, you’ll be hard-pushed to even remember what it’s like to be cold. As well as barbecues a-plenty, Sydney offers a vibrant city break with world-class shopping, dining and nightlife as well as the iconic Sydney Opera House presiding over the glittering harbour.
More milky white beaches abound on the Yucatan Peninsula, and December is the perfect time of year to make the most of them. Lounge on the blissful sands of Tulum and take a stroll around the mysterious Mayan ruins that pepper this part of the coast. Alternatively, head inland to take a dip in one of the region’s famous cenotes – natural swimming holes set in limestone caves. And look out for the Mexican posadas – processions which re-enact Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem. Check out the history of the Mexican Posadas here.
For those who want to soak up the sun a little closer to home, The Canary Islands are the only European destination that experience consistently good weather all-year round. Of course, when it comes to the weather in Europe, nothing can be certain, but Fuerteventura boasts an average temperature of 19C at this time of year with the mercury regularly heading up into the twenties. Team this heavenly climate with stretches of white sand beaches, magnificent cliffside walks and the fact that it’s just a few short hours from the UK and Fuerteventura could just tick all those winter sun holiday boxes.
If you can’t imagine Christmas without cosy jumpers and mugs of mulled wine, perhaps a visit to Swedish Lapland will satisfy your soul? The homeland of Father Christmas is brutally cold during December – expect temperatures of minus 10-20 as a matter of course – but don appropriate clothing and you’ll find there’s an awe-inspiring, brittle beauty to this enchanting landscape that makes it the perfect setting for the festive season. Although we can’t promise elves and grottos, you can follow in Santa’s footsteps with a ride in a traditional reindeer sleigh or head out on a snowmobile safari, past frozen lakes and snow-covered forests. A December visit also puts you in a great position to witness nature’s greatest lightshow, the phenomena of the Aurora Borealis or ‘Northern Lights’.
Whether you’re beach-bound or looking for Santa this Christmas, make sure you book the right travel insurance for your trip. Try out our easy-to-use comparison tool at Medical Travel Compared to find the best travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions.