Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, won’t you put a nickel in the old man’s hat. That’s how the nursery rhyme goes, right? It talks of snow falling, and wrapping presents. But nowhere does it mention planning that relaxing Christmas getaway, whether you’re staying in Kenya, or escaping to an exotic location with your family or friends.
As the seasons change, now is the perfect time to plan a festive December trip. Near or far, if you’re struggling to decide where to go, global real estate portal Lamudi has compiled a list of suggestions for you.
If you want to stay in Kenya this holiday season, why not experience one of the country’s most loved activities? Safari. Make the most of the dry season, when game-viewing is optimal; witness the stunning landscapes of the Masai Mara, or visit the elephants at Amboseli, where you can also enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro in neighboring Tanzania. If animals aren’t your thing, the country can also offer beautiful beaches, however we’d suggest spending any spare time exploring the trails of Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest mountain.
The home of the Christmas market. You can’t escape Christmas celebrations in Germany, and why would you want to with all the festivities throughout December. Visit some of the country’s most famous, and traditional, markets, including the oldest market in Dresden, Berlin’s popular Charlottenburg market, or Heidelberg’s 30-year old German Christmas market. While you’re wandering around the markets, don’t forget to try the traditional Lebkuchen and Glühwein to get you in the festive mood.
With the rainy season a distant memory, December is the perfect time to visit Myanmar. And there are so many possibilities, from city life in Yangon, to relaxing on Ngapali Beach. If your holiday is an attempt to escape the hustle and bustle of home, then the latter is for you. With palm-lined beaches, Ngapali Beach has all the charm of an old fishing-village, and with peak season underway, there couldn’t be a better way to spend Christmas than laying on the beach in the sun.
4. Sri Lanka
For those celebrating Christmas in Sri Lanka, festivities begin on December 1, when firecrackers are set off at dawn. You will find Christmas trees in shopping centers, and streets will be decorated with traditionally festive trimmings. Sri Lanka has so much to offer. Why not spend half of your trip exploring city life in areas such as Kandy and Galle, and then head to the beach to relax. Start with river cruises and traditional markets, before settling down in Bentota, Negombo or Unawatuna, to enjoy some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Merry Christmas!
New York is renowned for being one of the world’s biggest holiday destinations. Come December, millions of tourists head to the city to enjoy Macy’s Santaland, or to go ice skating in Central Park. You too can feel like you’re part of a movie, staring up at the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center, breathing in the Christmas festivities while taking in the lights of the city. If you really want to embrace Christmas, head to Christmas Town USA. Yes, there is a small town outside Charlotte, North Carolina, that becomes so caught up in the festive spirit, it changes its name each December.
If you’re looking to escape Western Christmas traditions, take a trip to Zambia’s Zambezi River this Christmas, and experience the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls. No twinkly lights, or Christmas trees, but you will get stunning views and a lifetime of memories. If you’re planning a visit to southern western Zambia, explore Livingstone, and get involved with the city’s wildlife safaris, museums, colonial architecture and gain insight into traditional village life in Zambia. If you want to enjoy an alternative Christmas, this would definitely be a December to remember.
Who needs a Santa hat, when you could be spending December in a sombrero? The weather stays mild and the capital city, in particular, really embraces the holiday season. Start at Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square. Every winter for at least the past fifty years, the buildings in the square are decorated with candles, flowers, and candles, while the main square is lit up with thousands of lightbulbs. If you want to spend your holiday by the beach, head to Acapulco, a resort city on the Pacific coast. Here you can explore the mountains and their hidden coves, as well as exciting nightlife, and stunning stretches of sand.
When Christmas has ended, do you think to yourself ‘Wow that passed by in a flash?’ If so, the Philippines is the place for you. The country boasts the world’s longest Christmas season, from the start of September, until January 6th, when the Feast of the Epiphany is held. However, the main celebrations are held in Metro Manila on December 16th, with the unmissable lantern festival. Really embrace the festivities by joining in with the Christmas Eve street parties, and singing some traditional carols.
Morocco has become a popular destination for Christmas trips in recent years. Marrakech offers a great escape, where you can get lost in the winding streets, and among the city’s many souks. But if you’d rather stay away from the city, or you’re missing the snow, head to the mountains. In December, the sun will be shining, and you can discover hidden regions such as Ouirgane, nestled in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains.
Follow the snow. If you want a cold Christmas, then Iceland will deliver. In December, Iceland is plunged into darkness, creating the perfect place to enjoy the abundance of lights traditionally enjoyed at Christmas. While the main celebrations last only three days, in the run up to Christmas, small markets are popular across the capital, Reykjavik, while the city is illuminated with warm, welcoming lights. The country is rich in traditions; here you can expect not just one, but 13 Santas, who live in the mountains and travel into town to bring children gifts on Christmas Eve.