Love it or hate it, the nights are quickly turning in, the mornings are getting colder, and the sun is disappearing fast. There’s no doubt about it: the festive season is fast approaching, so it’s time to think about where you’ll jet off for your winter break.
But where will your journey to lift the winter blues?
1. New York City
When Christmas is fast approaching there is no more magical place in the world than New York City to celebrate in style. From spectacular shop window displays to outdoor ice rinks, the city is transformed into a whimsical wonderland.
What better way to shop for gifts than being carried by the buzz of Fifth Avenue under the enchanting glow of twinkling fairy lights. And when you’re done, head to Broadway to take in a seasonal show, or head to one of the many bustling markets and craft fairs to seek out festive treasures.
2. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest comes to life when the weather gets cold. Wrap up warm and sip steaming mugs of coffee and mulled wine to take in the live entertainment at the famous Gőzölgő food festival, or Fridge Festival if you like action snow-sports.
Strictly speaking, the summer months have the most daylight hours and tend to be the more popular time to rattle through the breath-taking Russian landscape. But in the winter there’s something quite magical about looking out onto the Siberian scenery blanketed in a coating of glistening snow from the warmth of a heated compartment. Wrap up warm to wander around the city stops as the Russian air will be crisp at this time of year.
4. Marrakech, Morocco
If you’re sick of the ice and snow and desperate for a bit of sun, the cosmopolitan city of Marrakech, Morocco, is gloriously rich in both culture and history. By day, head out into the Atlas Mountains and experience real Berber culture or take a desert trip on camel-back before taking in the dusky African sunset by night. Alternatively, head to the city to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the winding souqs, feast on aromatic street food and familiarise yourself with local customs.
Beware though, by day Marrakech will hit around 60˚F but by night the temperature will drop, so it’s advised to pack layers to anticipate fluctuation.
5. Sri Lanka
Fancy waking up on Christmas morning to a sun-soaked sandy beach? The small island of Sri Lanka is flanked by sprawling white beaches, whilst still boasting all the cultural integrity of fascinating South Asia.
This teardrop paradise, quite simply, has it all. Sun, sea and palm-tree-lined sands make way for ancient Buddhist temples, mountains, safari and tea plantations further inland, meaning you’ll never be short of something to do. And you won’t miss the turkey and trimmings when you can gorge on the latest catch of stilt fishermen.
6. Covert Canary Islands
Whilst the widely-hailed Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Tenerife will be teaming with tourists seeking out winter sun, the Canary Island’s lesser-known areas are arguably the best for a winter retreat.
The Canary’s unsung heroes, La Gomera, El Hierro and La Palma have virtually no tourism, but for snow-dodgers seeking gorgeous climes and unspoilt landscapes, they provide a gloriously reclusive haven. Untouched by external influences, these islands are renowned for their local wines and cuisine, to be enjoyed against the tranquil backdrop of unspoilt landscape.
Whether you want to embrace festivities by embarking on a wintery voyage, or just fancy escaping to foreign climes to feel the sun on your bare skin, there are a wealth of fantastic destinations out there to suit all travellers. So where will you choose this winter?