Christmas can be stressful; it’s cold, money’s tight and old family feuds can resurface when you’re all together in a confined space over the holidays. I’m sure we’ve all thought that it’d be great to just get away from it all over the festive season and escape on a holiday where someone else was in charge of the shopping, cooking and cleaning so that we could just relax and enjoy ourselves! It may just be a pipedream for most, but if you’re lucky enough to be able to go away for the holidays here are my picks for the top destinations.
For Beach Paradise: Maldives
Fly to Male before heading off to the small island of Baros – a resort that offers fantastic snorkelling, delicious food and long stretches of sand frequented by the island’s turtle colonies. It’s easy and fun to indulge in some island hop; we recommend Soneva Gili, a chic destination famed for its incredible spa and extraordinary water lodges. If you’ve got family in tow, try the larger island of Soneva Fushi; who’s slogan is “no shoes, no news”. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the tropical haven in peace, and travel through its organic gardens by bike or barefoot. It’s the perfect place to wear all those summer clothes that haven’t been out of the wardrobe since September.
For City Sun: Marrakech
When you’ve had enough of the city’s vibrant markets, intimate souks, incredible food and aromatic teas (as if you ever could), pack up and head to the breath-taking scenery of the High Atlas Range and Draa Valley. You could camp in the Sahara and stay in a Berber Village such as the gorgeous Sijimassa before ending up at the historic port town of Essaouira.
For a British Christmas: Edinburgh
The Scots are bound to get you into the party spirit, so if you can’t head abroad for some winter sun, then a festive city break to Edinburgh is hard to beat! Don’t forget to pack layers as Scottish weather is unpredictable at the best of times, and you’ll want to make the most of all the beautiful countryside surrounding the city by spending as much time as possible in the Great Outdoors.
For Snow: Zermatt, Switzerland
The best time to visit Zermatt for skiing is December through March. A top tip is to take the first helicopter of the day, fly around to the top of the Matterhorn and then land at Plateau Rosa Testa Grigia, which is at the top of the Italian ski area. You’ll manage to get to the top at the same time as the lifts open at the bottom so you’ll get to ski the 12km down to Italy on completely empty runs! Don’t forget sunscreen to keep sun-burn at bay on the way down!