Christmas is one of the best holidays of the year. There are family meals, presents, the best TV of the year and the ubiquitous company Christmas party. To some this is heaven, to others it can be hell. Because the festive period is at the end of the year, there’s a lot of people with holiday days left to burn, meaning it’s a great time of the year to get away. There is always a good reason for a mini break and the pre-Christmas season doesn’t have to be a time where you can’t enjoy going away on an amazing trip – here’s our top choices for pre-Christmas mini breaks!
The most obvious reason for getting away from December in the UK is to get somewhere with a bit of heat and where the sun’s shining. The Canary Islands are a year-round sunshine heaven, where it rarely goes below 20C. In addition, these islands are around only four hours on the plane!
The various islands all provide something different depending on your taste. Tenerife is perfect for the classic family holiday experience with pools, beaches and water parks. Fuerteventura is an outdoor playground where the wind blows and the waves crash. Surfing and windsurfing are great choices if you don’t mind getting wet, whilst the desert like interior is good for hiking or cycling. Lanzarote boasts plenty of artistic sights thanks to the islands celebrated artist Cesar Manrique who helped shape the appearance of this fantastic island today.
If you’re looking for something to take your Christmas to another level, then a trip to the home of modern Christmas is a must. You will be ashamed of your own decorations once you go to Munich. This historic city is beautiful without being lit up, but at Christmas it comes alive. The trees are beautifully adorned and the lights make you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland (which doesn’t cost a fortune to get into!). What’s even better is that this great city is just a few hours flight.
Enjoy the real German cuisine instead of those awkward attempts at your local Christmas market. Once you try the beer here too, you’ll wonder why you even bother with those markets in the first place!
It is fair to say that a large part of modern Christmas is presents, and with that comes a lot of shopping. We now worship the gods of retail and nowhere can you find a better selection than in New York. The city is home to all the biggest global brands as well as some special American ones which you can’t get in the UK.
The city also has famous department stores like Macy’s which are often depicted in your favourite Christmas films. The city is ever more affordable to reach and with around an 8.5 hour flight time from London, you can actually do a nice long weekend in the city, just like you would be able to in Europe. Just make sure you bring enough luggage space for all your shopping!
If you can’t stand Christmas and are fed up with the constant advertising and feeling forced to be spend money, then you might feel the only way to escape would be to leave the planet itself. It’s quite expensive to hire a rocket ship from NASA, but if you still have time to summon your escape, then there is no ‘other worldly’ country better than Iceland. This Island nation looks like something from a sci-fi film with its sparse rocky landscape riddled with active volcanoes. You can visit the geysers or hot spas and forget all about the festive chaos at home.
We can’t think what Christmas would be like without Santa Claus. He’s part of our folklore, entertainment and let’s be honest; marketing. If you want a mini break somewhere that represents Christmas, then you can’t get much better than Mr. Claus hometown of Lapland. This area of northern Finland is reportedly where the great man lives. You can go on the hunt for his home and elf factory, where they seem to be able to make perfect replicas of commercial products…
Even if you don’t find what you’re looking for, this winter wonderland with reindeers, snow and incredible landscapes will have you returning home and believing in Santa all over again!