Christmas holidays around the world

Sunday, 19 December 2010 12:00 AM

Christmas holiday ideas around the world

Christmas holiday ideas around the world

For many, Christmas can be a stressful time where tempers are highly strung and everyone is hard to please. If you fancy getting away from it all and putting your feet up over Christmas then here are a few Christmas holiday ideas - great destinations to visit over the festive period.

Christmas in France

Why go over the Christmas period?
If you live in the UK, snow at Christmas is a thing that many of us have only see on postcards or in Christmas movies, but if you have always dreamed of a white Christmas then spending it on the slopes will make your dreams come true.
Only a short flight away is Val d'Isere in France. While keeping with the charm of its origins as a small farming village, Val d'Isere combines charm and atmosphere whist still being one of the livelier French ski resorts with reliable snow, varied terrain and a great nightlife.

I don't like skiing
Skiing can be hard work so maybe not for you if you prefer a Christmas full of rest and relaxation. However, Val d'Isere offers more than just skiing, from husky rides, to French Patisserie classes, Igloo evenings and shopping, or you can just curl up by a log fire with a good book, some mulled wine and watch the snow fall out the window. You don't even have to lift a finger for Christmas dinner as most resorts will include this in the price. During December ski resorts come alive with festive lights, traditional fairs and the warm seasonal scents. You would have to be scourge not to get into the Christmas spirit!

Did you know?
Skiing helps you prepare for the next holiday trend - travelling to the moon! According to Harrison Schmitt, part of the 1972 Apollo 17 crew, if you want to go to the moon, you should prepare by learning to cross country ski!

Getting there and prices
Give the kids a white Christmas this year with Christmas on the slopes with Mark Warner. This December the ski specialist has family ski holidays in Val d'Isere for under £500. Seven nights staying at the Chalethotel Moris, with return flights departing on the 19th December is now available for just £499pp.

Christmas in Egypt

Why go over the Christmas period?
Egypt is a great choice over Christmas if you're after warmer weather; the average temperature is a very comfortable 20°c so you'll be hot, but not sweltering. Also, because Egypt is reasonably near to the UK, there is only a five hour flight and a one hour time difference, plus flights are also not too expensive in comparison to other sunny climates at this time of year. If you want to go diving over Christmas, the red sea is a great place to go. All year round it has stunning reefs, great visibility and warm water. Furthermore, if you are not an experienced diver, you can easily learn in Sharm El Sheik or Dahab, as they both offer cheap packages where you can qualify in under a week.

I don't scuba dive
Whilst Sharm El Sheik and Dahab are great for diving, there are plenty more activities available if you don't fancy Christmas under the sea! There are long stretches of sandy beach where you can relax or take a boat trip out to sea and most of the hotels have spas, massage therapy, tennis, dune buggy desert trips and historical tours. There are even kids clubs so parents can take a break from entertaining the little ones. Even though Egypt is a Muslim country the hotels make a massive deal of Christmas, Father Christmas always comes on a camel with little gifts for the kids and housekeeping leave satsumas and dates on your bed.

Did you know?
Christmas in Egypt is actually celebrated on the 7th January, so if you time your holiday right you can try and blag two Christmases in a row!

Getting there and prices
Egypt holidays around Christmas needn't cost the earth. (0871 664 0294) has seven nights in Sharm El Sheikh for just £299pp this December. Accommodation is at the four-star Luna Sharm Hotel on an all inclusive basis and flights and baggage are included in the holiday price.

Christmas in Florida

Why go over the Christmas period?
Disneyland is magical all year round but even more so at Christmas. The park has regular Christmas parties where the Cinderella castle looks even more enchanted with the Christmas lights on. You will also have the chance to see Mickey's 'Once Upon A Christmastime Parade,' magical snow fall on Main Street, USA and Father Christmas himself. As if that is not enough, the parties end with a fantastic fireworks extravaganza.<>

I don't like Disneyland
There is so much more to Florida than Disneyland. If you don't fancy opening your presents with Mickey Mouse, pop down to Miami for a totally different scene. You can spend your days sunbathing and relaxing on South Beach and then when the sun goes down there are loads of bars to see and be-seen-in. What's more, December, January and February are some of the best times to go to Florida as these months see more comfortable temperatures and low rainfall.

Did you know?
The Walt Disney World Resort is 30,500 acres which is approximately the same size as San Francisco.

Getting there and prices
Florida holidays with Jetsave include added value offers such as 'kids dine for free' at the Walt Disney World Resort and free car hire with most holidays, you can really get the most for your family.

Christmas in Australia

Why go over the Christmas period?
Christmas falls in the summer in Australia so what better way to celebrate than going to the beach. Bondi beach is the closest ocean beach to the centre of Sydney and it has become tradition for international visitors in Sydney to go to Bondi Beach to celebrate Christmas day. As many as 40,000 people now turn up to party on Bondi's half mile of sand to enjoy the surf, sun, bands and entertainment.

Looking for a quieter break?
If you are looking for a more sophisticated occasion then head over to Sydney Harbour on Boxing Day, where you can watch over 100 yachts as they begin The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The dramatic race is a tradition that has been running for over 65 years. Beginning in Sydney harbour the course covers 628 nautical miles and is described as one of the most gruelling races in the world.

Did you know?
If you are looking to put a banger on the barbie an Auzzie sausage is more likely to contain beef than pork - it is unusual to find pork sausages in Australia.

Getting there and prices
For further information and great deals on Australia holidays or flights to Australia, readers can check out offers from the Australia specialist, Austravel. With over With 32 years experience providing holiday deals, cheap flights, hotels, cruises and organised tours in Australia. Austravel is the ultimate specialist in all things down-under.

Christmas in the Caribbean

Why go over the Christmas period?
If you fancy treating yourself this Christmas with a luxury holiday in the sun, look no further than Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Set in 1,000 acre retreat on one of the most exclusive private island sanctuaries in the Caribbean, Parrot Cay effortlessly combines nature with understated style. Tucked away in the quiet corner of the Turks and Caicos, Parrot Cay offers a true back-to-nature experience where the infinity-edge pool and mile-long powered beach offer the perfect setting for leisurely swims and sunset strolls. A sanctuary for privacy, relaxation and rejuvenation, Parrot Cay also boasts an award winning health spa Parrot Cay & COMO Shambhala Retreat which offers a whole range of Eastern inspired therapies and fitness classes. Shambhala retreats offer exclusive therapies and experiences for the most discerning spa lovers and is also adored by celebrities, such as Bruce Willis and other A-Listers.

I get bored sunbathing
For the more adventurous, the snorkelling sites in the Caribbean are some of the best in the world, so consider sampling some of the 200 miles of reef marine life. For those who like to swim a little deeper, the islands are ranked as one of the top ten dive sites in the world. Not only is this magnificent island rich with marine life and lush vegetation but it is also home to more than 175 species of birds, so whilst walking around the island expect to see colourful flamingos and hummingbirds.

Did you know?
The Caribbean islands contain about eight per cent (by surface area) of the world's reefs.

Getting there and prices
Sovereign provides luxury holidays, flexible 5 star holidays and luxury family holidays. For holidays to Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands, contact Sovereign Luxury Holidays to take advantage of the five per cent online booking discount.

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