Bored of spending Christmas at the in-laws swapping disappointing presents? Instead, spend the money treating yourself to a trip over the festive period. You can reignite your love of the season by visiting snowy villages in Switzerland or get away from it all in Bali. Here’s a breakdown of five great countries to visit over the Christmas period.
Embrace your inner child at one of Switzerland’s many Christmas markets with a hot chocolate to warm your hands. To really get into the spirit, the town of Caux hosts an enchanting Christmas village complete with Santa’s workshop, Santa’s post office and the elves’ village.
If you’d rather hit the slopes, Zermatt is the place to be for skiing and snowboarding. For a further breakdown of what the great towns in Switzerland have to offer over Christmas, read this post.
In Guatemala, there are more than 20 ethnic groups – each with their own special traditions for celebrating Christmas. It’s a great place to visit to experience how other cultures mark the occasion. Most Guatemalans, for instance, spend family time building an entire nativity scene.
But there’s another tradition that grabs our attention. As the Secret Traveller explains, some of the villages alongside Lake Atitlan worship a god called Maximon, who is the god of rum and cigars. Now that sounds like a great start to a festive break.
If you’re prepared to wrap up warm to protect yourself from the bitterly cold temperatures, Boston is a natural choice for Christmas. Throughout the city, decoration is in abundance – the Boston Common, for example, is lit up with thousands of lights. So whether or not there’s snow, it’s a beautiful backdrop for Christmas.
If you want to spend this festive season relaxing, Bali is the place to be. With average temperatures over 30 degrees, you’ll spend lazy days on the beach and evenings cooling off with a cocktail. It’s a far cry from stressful last-minute Christmas shopping and panic wrapping.
You can read one blogger’s experience of spending the festive period in Bali, including what he had for Christmas dinner, here.
For a magical atmosphere, you can’t beat Edinburgh – the city erupts with Christmas cheer. Take a ride on the Edinburgh wheel to get a perspective of how far the Christmas market extends.
What’s more, you’re in for a culinary delight. As Alison Dean, co-owner of the Edinburgh Spotlight told The Scotsman:“In the capital, eateries like Pierre Victoire, 21212, the Roseleaf, Calistoga and, my favourite, Indian restaurant The Spice Pavilion – who are doing a 20 set menu on Christmas Day – are all open.”
Have you spent Christmas away from home before? Where did you go? Let me know.