10 Unique Christmas Holiday Destinations
When it comes to Christmas getaways, it’s easy to think of a Christmas market in Europe, an ice skating spot in the UK, or even a ski holiday in France. But how often do we think of less-obvious destinations that are just as festive? If you’re thinking about Christmas off-the-beaten-track, consider one of these 10 unique destinations instead.
Christmas in Bali
Known for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant markets, spending Christmas in Bali is a unique experience. While the Balinese do not celebrate Christmas as one of their main festivals, they do make a huge effort for tourists who visit during this time of the year. Whether you’re in the mood to sit back and relax or participate in festive activities like Christmas dinner and carol singing, there’s something for everyone. If you’re looking to be close to the festivities, consider staying at the Bandha Hotel & Suites.
Christmas in Tokyo
While Christmas isn’t widely celebrated in Tokyo, locals have started to get into the holiday spirit over the past few years. Starting in early December, the city comes alive with dazzling trees and elaborate LED displays. Admire the bright lights from the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo, which resides in a 38-story tower. You can also visit a number of Christmas markets, ice skating rinks and large Christmas trees. To be close to all the highlights, book your stay at the Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba.
Christmas in Jordan
In Jordan, Christmas is celebrated as a day for family and friends. The capital city, Amman, is especially festive during this season. Christmas lights are strung up throughout the city, along with a series of festive events. During this time of year, both tourists and locals can be seen shopping at the bazaar. Displaying an impressive array of food, drinks and decorations, the bazaar is an unmissable experience during the season. For a luxurious visit to Jordan, stay at the InterContinental Amman.
Christmas in Zimbabwe
For a truly unique Christmas, consider visiting a safari lodge in Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe, Christmas day starts with a special church service and ends with the whole family gathering to share an elaborate meal. Instead of spending the holiday at home, a traditional custom is to go from door to door to visit family and friends before returning home. Ask around for local events and stay at the charming Ilala Lodge, very close to Victoria Falls.
Christmas in Colombia
Colombia creates an impressive atmosphere around Christmas time. After ringing in the festive season with fireworks at the Alborada festival (on November 30th), the country is decorated with candles and lights up until the new year. Colombians have many Christmas traditions that come alive during this period, from novena gatherings to Christmas shopping. If you’re looking to be close to the attractions, book your stay at the Sheraton Bogotá.
If you’re looking to skip a white Christmas, Seychelles is known for its wonderful beach parties during the holidays. Perfect for adventurers, the holiday season offers water sports and activities while celebrating Christmas. Visitors can enjoy sailing, diving or fly-fishing, or experience the holidays like the locals. Christmas morning in Seychelles is a time for family and delicious food, followed by gift-giving and parties. Treat yourself to the ultimate tropical paradise, and stay at the Kempinski Seychelles Resort.
Christmas In Sri Lanka
While the majority of Sri Lankans are Hindu and Buddhist, only 7% of the population is Christian. Despite this, the festive season is celebrated with great enthusiasm, beginning a month before Christmas. Locals are known to host lavish parties, with glittering Christmas displays and colorful trees. For a traditional Sri Lankan Christmas, make sure to devour some Christmas cake and sample some local seafood or roast. Looking to spoil yourself? consider the Shangri La Hotel Colombo.
Christmas In South Africa
On the hunt for warm temperatures? consider Christmas in South Africa. Blending older traditions with modern takes, the festive season is a busy and exciting time. With shops on sale and plenty of events, it’s an ideal time to visit the country. Expect to find shopping malls with unique Christmas gifts, catchy carol singers and delicious mince pies. Make sure to visit the stunning soft-sand beaches to make the most of the weather. For an off-the-grid hotel stay, book your stay at the Grande Roche Hotel, situated in Drakenstein Valley.
For most travelers, Geneva in winter is simply an entry point for ski trips, but the city transforms into a winter wonderland during Christmas. Flushed with holiday markets, art deco trees, and no shortage of concerts, the city oozes festive appeal. The largest and most famous Christmas market in the Lake Geneva region is ‘Marché de Noël à Montreux’, located 40 minutes away by train. Looking for a Christmas getaway with privacy? Have a look at Hotel Rotary Geneva – McGallery, located right on Lake Geneva.
Christmas In Peru
For a truly unique holiday destination, consider a Christmas surrounded by volcanic rock. Christmas in Arequipa, Peru is a unique experience, known for its nativity scenes made from potatoes and straw. In the run-up to Christmas, there are special events called ‘chocolatadas’ where people meet to drink hot chocolate and eat some ‘panetón’ (similar to Italian Christmas cake). Make sure to visit one, and watch the community come alive. For an equally unique hotel stay, consider the Monastario, A Belmond Hotel.
So, which unique Christmas destination will you be heading to? Enjoy the holidays in a different part of the world, and experience Christmas like never before. Considering a classic destination instead? Have a look at some of the best winter destinations in Europe.