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Our Top Christmas Holiday Destinations: Sunny Trips

12 Dec 2022 by Liz Tod

Feeling the need to get away and relax completely, away from the hustle and bustle?

Want to swap grey skies and cold temperatures for blue skies and warmth?

Top up the vitamin D levels?

Prepare yourself for January?

Then take a look at our top suggestions for a Christmas break outside the UK!

Just don’t forget to sort your Christmas gifts before you go!


1. A Winter trip to the Canaries

Finding some winter sun doesn’t have to mean long-haul flights.

The Canary Islands have a lovely spring-like climate at this time of year, around 16 – 21 deg c. with just a little rain.  There are 8 islands in total each with their own character.

Try the south of Tenerife for its luxury spa hotels, beaches and varied activities or visit the interesting colonial capital Santa Cruz  in the north which also has one of the best beaches on the island, Las Teresitas.

Or there’s Gran Canaria, a fascinating island with its beaches, mountains, history, culture and of course a great climate. Golfing, snorkelling , hiking are just a few activities you can enjoy. Or visit the lively capital of Las Palmas.

Plenty of holiday choices at loveholidays.com or sovereign.com.

Escape to a beach in the Canary Islands this winter. Photo by Magic K.

2. A Christmas holiday to Morocco

A short flight away (just over 3 hours from London) and with temperatures around 20’ C, Morocco’s a great place to visit in December.  Beaches, deserts, spice-laden markets, a rich culture, there’s so many fascinating things to see and do.

Maybe stay in the bustling cities of Marrakesh or Fes and take tours into the desert, mountains or to ancient cities.

Check out britishairways.com or coxandkings.co.uk.


3. Get festive whilst keeping warm in Goa, India

Further afield is the wonderful state of Goa which at this time of year promises 30’C and no rain. Christmas is one of the most important festivals here and you’ll find it SO festive!  Enjoy the Christmas carnival, Christmas sweets, delicious Goan dishes and fireworks.

Take a river cruise, laze on beautiful beaches and marvel at the ancient architecture in interesting towns.

Choose from quiet spots to lively ones, there’s something to suit everyone.

Check out tui.co.uk for a good selection of holidays.


4. Catch some winter sun in the Maldives

If you’re after paradise then the Maldives is for you. It’s picture-postcard pretty with soft white coral beaches, palm trees and clear seas. The sea temperatures are around 28’C and daily temps 25- 30’C though there is a little risk of rain and storms.

Snorkel, dive, swim, take a boat trip or island-hop!

Check out kuoni.co.uk or the adventurepeople.com for an interesting selection of holidays on the numerous islands.

The Maldives is the ideal spot for Winter sun, Photo by Asad Photo Maldives.


5. A winter break to Madeira

Volcanic, green, rugged Madeira is ideal to visit during December. Daily temperatures are 17 – 20’C with around 18mm of rain in the month.

Christmas is a wonderful time to visit as the island celebrates with gusto with everything revolving around the ‘festa’ (festival).

Enjoy all the colourful traditions and customs, the illuminations and decorations and indulge in the delicacies of the season!

Perhaps stay in the lively capital Funchal with its colonial buildings, narrow streets, tavernas and wine bars?

Or escape from it all and go walking, exploring gardens, whale-watching or wine-tasting?!

Check out tui or classic-collection.co.uk.


6. A festive break to The Gambia

Uninterrupted sunshine, no rain, 30’C plus and with a flight time of around 6 hours……..that sound good?

The Gambia has something for everyone whether you want to relax on one of the great beaches, go bird-watching, spot African wildlife or take a river cruise.

Christmas is one of the major festivals here so expect a festive vibe.

Enjoy the local traditions, perhaps you’ll see carnivals and dancing and indulge in the beautiful cuisine of The Gambia. Most hotels serve deliciously special food during the festive time.

There’s a wide variety of accommodation to choose from – 5* hotels, 2*, eco-retreats and lodges.

Check this out at gambia.co.uk.


Before you go, some fun Christmas facts from around the world: 

  • Norway – many people still hide their brooms on Christmas Eve. Centuries-old legend has it that witches and evil spirits looked for brooms to ride on at Christmas.
  • Venezuela – in Caracas on Christmas Eve the residents head out early morning to church…..on roller skates! No one knows why!
  • Iceland – in the 13 days leading up to Christmas 13 mischievous troll-like characters come out to play across Iceland. These ‘Yule Lads’ leave nice gifts for good boys and girls and rotting potatoes for naughty ones. They have different names according to the trouble they might cause.
  • Japan – Christmas is called the ‘Festival of Love’ and couples enjoy romantic evenings together whilst singles go partying looking for love.
  • Italy – many kids get 2 sets of gifts, one on the 24th and a larger one on the 6th January, Epiphany Day. A witch called Le Befana arrives in the night and leaves sweets for the good children and lumps of coal for the naughty ones.


Going to be away for Christmas? Send your Christmas gifts in advance by ordering a hamper online with us.

Explore our range of gourmet Christmas food hampers for international delivery here.