Top Picks for a Magical Christmas Holiday

Christmas Holiday

The scent of roast wafting through the air, presents nestled beneath a beautifully adorned tree, and glasses clinking with mulled wine. 

Now, hold that thought and consider escaping the typical British December drizzle and the inevitable post-Christmas lunch dishwashing debate. 

Why not switch things up and venture to a different corner of the world for a holiday season like no other? 

Whether you’re yearning to meet Santa in Lapland, explore an enchanting German market, or bask in some much-needed winter sun, here are our top recommendations for the ultimate Christmas holiday destinations.

Iceland: A Winter Wonderland Adventure

Iceland: A Winter Wonderland Adventure

Image Credit: Pinterest

Imagine a Christmas where lively markets set the stage, wooden booths overflow with treats, and towering Christmas trees stand guard. 

Welcome to Iceland, where the festive spirit dances amidst wild lava fields and snow-capped mountains. 

Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon‘s geothermal waters, drive into the mountains for a glimpse of the northern lights, and embark on seasonal sojourns like trekking near the Snaefellsjokull glacier. 

It’s the perfect recipe for a winter wonderland getaway.

The Rhine: A Cruise of Festive Tranquility

Rhine: A Cruise

Image Credit: Pinterest

Sail into the Christmas season on the serene waters of the Rhine, a glass of local wine in hand as vineyards and historic castles glide by. 

A Rhine cruise offers a tranquil celebration, stopping at Rhineland cities such as Cologne, Koblenz, and Bonn. 

Amid twinkling lights, immerse yourself in charming Christmas markets, where the festive soundtrack includes the swish of skates, shoppers’ chatter, and the melodies of Christmas carols.

Germany: Where Christmas Magic Comes Alive


Image Credit: Pinterest

Germany knows how to celebrate Christmas with flair, and its famous markets are a testament to that. 

From mulled wine to dazzling lights, the festive spirit is palpable. In hip Berlin, a massive funfair awaits, and the Alexanderplatz show sets the stage for holiday cheer. 

Brace yourself for a snowy experience; December temperatures often dip well below freezing, creating a magical backdrop for your Christmas festivities.

Barbados: Christmas in Caribbean Paradise


Image Credit: Pinterest

For a Christmas like no other, head to Barbados, the crowned jewel of the Caribbean. 

The period between mid-September and mid-December unveils the island at its most laid-back, with hotel prices taking a delightful dip and the winter-sun-seekers yet to make their grand entrance. 

While a brief rain shower is a possibility, the temperature hovers around a pleasant 27°C. 

Venture to the wild east, where the Atlantic side showcases dramatic shores, rolling surf, and hills that transport you far from the bustling beach resorts. 

Drive over to Martin’s Bay and savor the peace and fresh air at Bay Tavern, a laid-back spot where Bajans gather for a Thursday afternoon “lime” (informal hangout).

Courchevel, France: Opulence on the Slopes

Courchevel, France

Image Credit: Pinterest

Courchevel, a playground for the world’s superrich, marries broad, easy-skiing pistes with Michelin-starred restaurants and five-star hotels, creating the epitome of luxury ski resorts. 

The social buzz peaks from Boxing Day to New Year’s Eve, with champagne bars and perfect smiles against the backdrop of a razor-sharp mountain ridge. 

While New Year celebrations in Courchevel can be pricey, opt for a central self-catering apartment in the Forum for savings. 

Sharpen your skiing skills with the New Generation Ski School, ensuring you navigate the slopeside bars without a tumble. 

And why wait until December 31st to kick off the festivities?

Muscat, Oman: Arabian Delights for the Holidays

Muscat, Oman

Image Credit: Pinterest

Board an overnight flight, and in just seven hours, you’ll wake up in Muscat, ready to hit the beach a mere 15 minutes from the airport.

For the rest of your stay, embark on a traditional dhow boat trip from Marina Bandar al Rowhda for a family-friendly experience of rare marine life. 

Immerse yourself in the Bedouin vibes of the Arabian desert with your teens, whether it’s stargazing and camel-riding at Wahiba Sands or exploring the turquoise-hued Wadi Bani Khalid oasis

Alternatively, hire a local driver through your hotel and day-trip around Muscat, from the frankincense-scented Mutrah Souq to the opulent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, where the call to prayer echoes around the minarets, inviting you to explore its grandeur.

Edinburgh, Scotland: A Cozy Winter Retreat

Edinburgh, Scotland

Image Credit: Pinterest

Beyond the gingerbread-scented markets and lively Hogmanay celebrations, Edinburgh’s winter charm lies in its warm museums, exquisite restaurants, and the perfect excuse to seek refuge from icy North Sea winds in snug Scotch-filled havens. 

For a quieter visit, choose early December when the Christmas markets open but the city remains relatively serene. 

Take a spin on the panoramic big wheel, stroll under the twinkling lights of George Street, and find solace in the Scottish National Gallery’s winter scenes. 

After sunset, indulge in spiced cider at the Royal Botanic Garden while marveling at its enchanting Christmas illuminations.

Salzburg, Austria: Fantasy Festive Bliss

Salzburg, Austria

Image Credit: Pinterest

Surrender to the unapologetic charm of Salzburg, a city adorned in baroque splendor and surrounded by snow-capped peaks. 

Immerse yourself in the city of Mozart and The Sound of Music, where the Old Town streets offer a magical winter stroll. 

Explore the glittering shopping alley of Getreidegasse, discover hidden gems like Balkan Grill Walter, and warm up with prosecco at Seppo’s wine bar or join the lively crowds in the hidden Sternbräu beer garden. 

In Salzburg, every corner exudes warmth and nostalgia, creating the perfect fantasy festive break.

Finnish Lapland: Wholesome Festive Fun

Finnish Lapland

Image Credit: Pinterest

For an authentic winter wonderland experience, venture north to Finnish Lapland and embrace endless wintry activities like snowmobiling, skiing, and reindeer rides. 

Explore smaller resorts like Levi, Yllas, or Saariselka for a truly magical escape. 

Levi, just 20 minutes from the airport, hosts Santa’s village in the wilderness, where kids can indulge in festive activities, visit Elf school, and even have a private chat with Santa. 

Opt for a visit from the second or third weekend in December for a guaranteed snowy landscape, and ensure a stay of at least four nights to fully savor the magic of this enchanting destination where darkness reigns, and daylight falls between 10 am and 2 pm.

New York, US: The Christmas Icon

New York, US

Image Credit: Pinterest

New York is the epitome of Christmas, immortalized in films and bustling with holiday spirit. 

Marvel at the enchanting displays at Macy’s, relive moments from Home Alone 2 on the steps of the Plaza Hotel, and gaze in awe at the iconic Rockefeller tree as seen in Elf. 

While the chances of snow may not match the movies, the city embraces the festive season with charitable fervor, with epic window displays turning stores into free galleries. 

From Bergdorf Goodman on Fifth Avenue to Tiffany’s and Saks at the Rockefeller Center, each stop is a visual feast.

For Christmas shopping, Bryant Park transforms into a Winter Village, offering affordable gifts amidst a festive atmosphere. 

And if you’re up for it, hit the ice rink for a quintessential New York winter experience.

Tenerife, Spain: Sunshine Soaked Christmas

Tenerife, Spain

Image Credit: Pinterest

For a Christmas bathed in winter sun, look no further than Tenerife. While tourism has left its mark, the unspoiled beauty beyond the resorts in Costa Adeje and Playa de las Americas is nothing short of captivating. 

Seaside villages, picturesque coves, colonial towns, a lichen-draped rainforest, and majestic ravines await exploration—all beneath the watchful gaze of Mount Teide, Spain’s highest and ancient volcano, standing proud for 200,000 years.

Cities along the Danube: A Christmas Cruise Extravaganza

Cities along the Danube

Image Credit: Pinterest

Embark on a Christmas cruise along the Danube, one of Europe’s great rivers, where enchanting cities like Budapest, Bratislava, and Regensburg come alive with festive cheer. 

Meander through the heart of central Europe, indulging in the magic of bustling Christmas markets adorned with twinkling lights. 

Savor a glass of mulled wine here, relish a juicy grilled sausage there—each Christmas market along the Danube promises its unique charm. Which one will be your favorite?

The Ganges, India: A Sacred Christmas Journey

Ganges, India

Image Credit: Pinterest

Experience Christmas on a luxurious cruise along the holiest river in India, the Ganges. 

Bask in the warmth of the winter sun as misty mornings reveal ancient temples, small boats gently navigate the waters, and bustling bazaars come to life. 

Sail past the solemn fortresses of Jaipur and Varanasi, immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of Indian culture and spirituality during this festive season.

Marrakesh, Morocco: Sun-Kissed Winter Escape

Marrakesh, Morocco

Image Credit: Pinterest

Escape to Marrakesh, where Morocco’s “cold country with a hot sun” beckons.

While snow blankets the Atlas Mountains, the city enjoys piercing blue skies and warm sunshine, inviting you to hit the pool. 

Snag a bargain during this time, but don’t forget to pack layers for chilly nights. 

While July and August are cheaper, they come with scorching temperatures in the high 40Cs, making the winter season the perfect compromise.

Mauritius: Festive Flair Beneath Flame Trees


Image Credit: Pinterest

In Mauritius, the festive season is heralded by the blossoming of flame trees, reminiscent of Santa’s suit in vibrant red. 

From late November to early December, the island transforms with hotel lobby decorations and seasonal displays. 

Embrace the Mauritian Christmas spirit with gala dinners and festive brunches in beach resorts like Grand Baie and Flic-en-Flac, allowing you to savor delicious treats with a cocktail in hand.

About Author

Fashion and Travel enthusiast ✈️💃 Sharing my stylish adventures and wanderlust-filled journeys ✨ Join me for fashion inspiration, travel tips, and a glimpse into my fashionably nomadic life 🌍👗 #FashionandTravelBlogger #StyleWanderer #WanderlustFashion