Why not try something different this year and opt for a Christmas or New Year break? Europe and America really do come alive during the festive seasons and you’ll be amazed at what you can get out of a short break to New York, Spain, Copenhagen, Barcelona or any one of the many cities which play host to Christmas markets, traditional Christmas festivities and world-famous New Year celebrations.
Try the Rhine and Moselle Christmas markets itinerary for opportunities not only to explore the extensive markets in the cities of Trier, Heidelberg and Rüdesheim but also to take a cruise down the Rhine River and discover the medieval riverside castles and their enticing histories. For an up-market and sophisticated Christmas break, book a four-day trip to Copenhagen and discover just what the guide books rave about when you see how beautifully the shops, cafes and streets of the Danish capital are decorated; attractive in the day and even more stunning at night as the lights come on and the Danish streets come alive with the locals experiencing the Christmas markets and Christmas decorations for themselves.
If you fancy something further afield, try a trip to America and take in the magic of a white Christmas amid the snow-capped mountains of Vermont, with your evenings spent relaxing by roaring open fires in a setting that conjures up memories of fairytale Christmas depictions. Choose to take part in some winter sports such as snowboarding or skiing, or wrap up warm and enjoy some nice bracing winter walks in the fresh mountain air – there’s nothing like a bit of snow to get you into the Christmas spirit! New England even hosts a ‘Spirit of Christmas’ festival during December, filled with gingerbread, hot cider and local arts and crafts.
If you would prefer to get away after Christmas and welcome in the New Year abroad, why not visit New York, the city that doesn’t sleep? Don’t watch everyone else having all the fun in the world famous Times Square, experience the dropping of the Waterford Crystal Ball for yourself, an event which marks the start of a series of incredible fireworks displays and laser light shows that will give you a New Year’s Eve to remember forever.
It is not just New York that doesn’t sleep at New Year, Amsterdam stays alive well after the clock has struck midnight too. Wander from decorated beer tent to cobbled street, to jazz bar and take in some spectacular fireworks displays and street entertainment on the way – this is a great destination for a short New Year’s break, combining traditional New Year’s Eve celebrations and time for an exploration of the country’s historical architecture.
The great thing about choosing an escorted tour or air holiday is that you will be given a flexible itinerary, which allows you to decide exactly what you want to see and do while you’re abroad. So if you choose to go to New York, for example, and shopping is your bag, spend your free time in trendy Soho or wandering up the sophisticated and star-studded Fifth Avenue and if art and culture are more your thing, don’t miss out on MOMA (The Museum of Modern Art), The Met or a trip to The Statue of Liberty – you won’t believe how big it is until you’ve seen it in real life!
The same goes for Christmas and New Year breaks to Munich, Berlin, Paris and Prague; all itineraries are carefully researched and planned to make sure that you come away with a true taste of the city and everything it has to offer. Not only will you get to see sights such as the transformed Champs Elysees when you choose Christmas abroad, but you’ll even get to enjoy a traditional turkey Christmas dinner!
Now is the time to book your Christmas and New Year breaks and if you book an escorted holiday or air break, the only thing you’ll need to think about is what to pack – don’t forget to leave plenty of space for all that Christmas or sales shopping!
Europe Christmas Markets are all the rage with British tourists who are new to these festivities, check out the Berlin Christmas Markets to get a proper taste of tradition and festive spirit