There are lots of people who prefer spending the holiday season at home. However, there are some who prefer to be out, traveling and exploring. December offers many unique opportunities for adventurers. Do you want to embrace the “White Winter” dream, and head towards the lands of snow? Or do you want to escape to the warmth and the sun during these bleak winter months? Here are some of our top picks for December!
Goa, India (above image)
Goa is a must-see destination for any tourist traveling to India, and for a reason. Goa is an eclectic mix of the modern and the traditional, and it offers weary travelers a wonderful opportunity to rest and unwind. First and foremost, Goa adorns its festive hat during Christmas, with hundreds of festivals and major concerts happening here. The beaches will be full of partying crowds- so make sure you get your hotels booked early. There is no dearth of beaches for you to choose from- Anjuna, Arambol, Palolem, etc (Anjuna is the popular option among the party crowd). If you have some time off during the day, and want to do some exploration, you could head to one of the many Portuguese settlements in the area, and soak in the history as well.
Recommended Tours in Goa:
The Scottish capital might get incredibly cold during winter, but that is exactly why this is the place to be. Enjoy Christmas in the land of snow! Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations are second to none- with dozens of markets and fairgrounds. The must-see exhibit during this period is definitely the Princess Street ice-rink, where you can try out your skating skills against the backdrop of the beautiful Edinburgh Castle. Party it up in the historical taverns, and attend the gigs and ceilidhs Edinburgh has become so famous for. There is literally no wrong option for you!
Recommended Tours in Edinburgh:
It’s impossible to pick just one place to visit in Cambodia, so we’re going to nominate the entire country. December is the ideal time to visit because this is right after the monsoon season, and right before the summer. If you want to enjoy the perfect tropical climate during Christmas, this is your best option. Enjoy Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage by exploring Phnomh Penh and the world famous Angkor Wat. If you are a foodie, then Cambodia’s street food will be heaven for you! Whether you’re exploring the hundreds of architectural marvels at Siem Reap, or you’re relaxing at the beautiful beaches in Koh Rong, Cambodia will never cease to surprise you.
Recommeded Tours in Cambodia:
If you are looking for a more spiritual way to celebrate Christmas, Guadalupe in Mexico is the perfect destination for you. The feast of Our lady of Guadalupe is Mexico’s most important festival, and if you are a fan of religious festivals, you’re definitely going to enjoy it. The entire festival happens in and around the Basilica de Guadalupe, which was built in the 16th century, after a man is supposed to have seen the Virgin Mary appear in front of him. The festival happens over multiple days, and is full of wine, music, prayers, food and drinks! It’s a beautiful experience that will unite people from all walks of life, and that is precisely why you should be visiting this magical place over Christmas.
Ever since Game of Thrones got shot here, Croatia has become a bucket list destination for a number of people. Zagreb is the perfect winter destination for a number of reasons – quaint Christmas markets, amazing wine, beautiful ski slopes- the city has it all! The biggest event in the city, during December, is Advent. It’s the perfect Christmas town. You can grab some mulled wine, and bask in the glory of the choir singers serenading your visit to the live-action nativity scenes around the Zagreb Cathedral. It’s an experience of a lifetime! Once you get in the mood for action, drive 20 minutes up from Zagreb, to the beautiful Sljeme Ski Resort, and enjoy a wonderful day on the slopes, no matter what your skill level is.
Recommended Tours in Croatia:
Uruguay is just becoming more popular among travelers the world around. It is an undiscovered South American paradise (tourists haven’t started flocking to it as much as they have to Ibiza). There are dozens of dreamy beaches scattered all across the country. December is the party month in Uruguay, so if you’re looking for a lively party scene, head to the beach, and book a little wooden shack for yourself. Whether it is José Ignacio, Punta del Este, or La Barra, you will get your fill of sandy beaches, warm waters, beach parties, and as much alcohol as you can handle! If you’re traveling to Uruguay, your Christmas and New Year plans are pretty much set!
Recommended Tours in Uruguay:
Picture the perfect Winter Wonderland. The perfect Christmas postcard! The image that came to your mind is probably Zermatt in the Swiss Alps. The Matterhorn towers over the scenery, where a quaint little village rests in the valley underneath. During Christmas, the village gets decked up with Christmas lights, and wonderful baking (it’s definitely a sight to behold). Oh, and the best part? The entire slope surrounding the Zermatt, over 200 km of it, forms one of the greatest skiing slopes in the world! Zermatt has the best hotels and resorts for those who want to spend their holiday skiing, eating, and relaxing. After a long, stressful year, what more can a person ask for?
Hawaii is a beautiful place to spend your December. The beautiful weather, amazing beaches, and the stunning vistas make for a wonderful vacation. A Hawaiian vacation can be enjoyed by couples, or people who are traveling with their entire family (and that’s saying something). If you want to do something different, you can go bird watching, In December, a lot of birds migrate to the island, giving people a unique chance to observe rare birds you might not spot otherwise. If you feel like pushing yourself to new lengths, you could hike up one of Hawaii’s many volcanoes as well (if that’s not already on your to-do list).
Kalahari Desert, Botswana
Why would you want to go to a desert? Because in December, the Kalahari Desert sprouts extensive greenery, encouraging the local flora and fauna to come out in their full glory. You may even enjoy a Kalahari thunderstorm when you’re there- the size and intensity of which will definitely blow your mind! The star of the season is the Kalahari annual show- the annual migration of thousands of animals across the desert. Spot lions, cheetahs, zebras, Springboks, wildebeest, buffalo’s, and lambs galloping across the vast lands. Make sure you sign yourself up for a safari tours to get the most authentic experience. Just reminds you of the iconic Great Migration that takes place in the Serengeti.
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is probably the most relaxed metropolitan city on the planet. If you don’t want to give up the pleasures of a city life, but still escape, this will be your top destination. After all, it was voted the World’s Best City in 2014! Cape Town is full of great restaurants, scenic mountains, vineyards, beaches, reserves, and parks. Basically, anything and everything you’d ever want from a vacation! If you’re traveling with your family, the Garden Route is the best option for you- filled with golf courses, beautiful sandy beaches and tropical waters meant for a good swim. If you want to do something more luxurious, but are on a budget, travel further north to Kwa-zulu Natal Beach, where you can get a beach spa resort at throwaway prices!
Recommended Tours in Cape Town:
Christmas is a time of celebration, rejuvenation, and reconnecting with what truly matters. Every single destination on this list will bring you closer to those ideals. Nobody knows what the next year is going to bring, so it’s best to send this one off with a bang. Which one of these destinations is going to be lucky enough to host you?