Want to leave the grey skies behind and do Christmas differently this year? For a Christmas holiday to remember, why not head to the sun? For guaranteed sunshine (plus plenty of golf and watersports if you’re in the mood!), you can’t beat the Canary Islands, or, slightly closer to home, there are the gorgeous Spanish costas and the beautiful Algarve. Corfu, with its appealing mixture of rural charm and lively towns, is a fantastic Christmas destination, or you could hang up your stockings in Dalaman on the Turkish coast or even jet off to the heavenly Caribbean beaches of Cancun.
Our top picks include the Costa Blanca, any of the Canaries (it does get hard to pick between Lanzarote, Tenerife and Feurteventura...), Albufeira in the Algarve, and of course the old favourite, Lloret de Mar in the Costa Brava. Read on to find out more.
Most popular December hotels
Alborada Beach Club
Costa del Silencio, Tenerife
H.TOP Olympic Hotel
Calella, Costa Brava
The St. George’s Park Hotel
St Nicolas Elegant Residence
Costa Teguise, Lanzarote
Muthu Clube Praia Da Oura
Christmas Holidays to Spain
What better Christmas present for you and your family than a few days in the sun? Spain is Europe’s sunniest country, and its stunning Mediterranean coastline – from the Costa Blanca to the Costa del Sol – boasts more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Temperatures rarely drop below a balmy 20 degrees, and, although perhaps a bit chilly for a dip, the weather is perfect for enjoying a lazy lunch overlooking the sea, or a stroll across the cliff-tops. You won’t have to handle the summer crowds, but most resorts still offer plenty in terms of entertainment and activities, whether you want to join in with some karaoke or perhaps indulge in a spot of golf. Popular resorts for a Christmas break in 2017 include Benidorm on the Costa Blanca, Salou on the Costa Dorada, Marbella and Torremolinos on the Costa del Sol, and Lloret de Mar and Calella on the Costa Brava.
Christmas Holidays to the Canary Islands
The stunning Canary Islands have everything you need to enjoy a fantastic Christmas break! Of course, there’s the guaranteed sunshine that you’d expect of these islands located just off the coast of Africa, but there’s also a wide range of spectacular landscapes, pristine nature reserves, charming cities, and well-equipped and inviting resorts full of plenty of places to eat, drink and relax. Plus, thanks to the excellent choice of all inclusive and package holidays available, it’s also a surprisingly affordable option for winter sun.
Lanzarote and Fuerteventura have been designated biosphere reserves by UNESCO for their magnificent natural beauty. Popular resorts on Lanzarote include Costa Teguise and Puerto del Carmen while outstanding options on Fuerteventura include Caleta de Fuste and Corralejo. Gran Canaria has been a popular winter break destination for decades, and takes excellent care of its visitors at long-established resorts like Playa del Inglés and Maspalomas. Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, offers something for everyone, with its mountains, forests, extraordinary volcanoes and beautiful beaches. Playa de las Américas and Adeje are two of the largest and best-equipped resorts, offering everything you need to celebrate Christmas in style.
Christmas Holidays to Portugal
Running along much of Portugal’s magnificent Atlantic coast, the beautiful Algarve is fringed with superb resorts, including the ever-popular Albufeira. A Christmas holiday here is sure to be special, as you’ll avoid the summer crowds and be able to take in some of the wonderful local Christmas traditions. Local restaurants will serve the traditional Christmas meal on Christmas Eve – Consoada, a fishermen’s dish made with cod and potatoes – but you’ll find plenty of places offering a traditional British roast if you prefer. You can make the most of the fine weather and empty beaches by going for long, romantic strolls, or perhaps enjoy a round or two of golf.
Christmas Holidays to the Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are just a short flight away, but feel like another world. Majorca, the largest of the islands, boasts a wealth of beautiful landscapes, from the rocky coves and turquoise bays of its northwestern coast to the vineyards and olive groves of the central plain. The hedonistic party scene of summer gives way to a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere in resorts like Magaluf, or you could opt for tranquil Alcúdia in the northeast, which has some of the island’s most beautiful beaches. The other Balearic islands – dreamy little Menorca, boho-chic Ibiza and tiny Formentera – are all ideal for an escape-from-it-all winter escape, with plenty of sunshine thrown in.