We always seem to think of sparkling, snowy scenes at Christmas, but the reality in the UK is that the holiday period is usually grim, grey and soggy. Why not escape the gloom this year and spend Christmas 2018 under the sun? Maybe you’re fed up of all the Christmas cheer, and want to escape the relentless seasonal merriment. Or maybe you love Christmas – just not the weather that goes with it! We’ve chosen our favourite alternative Christmas holiday destinations, whether you’re the Grinch that hates Christmas or just want to enjoy the holidays in the sun. You could go for a dream holiday on a paradisiacal island in the Caribbean. Or, head to the gorgeous Canaries for plenty of sunshine closer to home. The sun-drenched island of Malta is a fabulous destination for a Christmas break to remember, or you could head to exotic and romantic Morocco.
If you really want to escape hearing Jingle Bells for the 189th time, why not head off somewhere completely different and escape the Christmas madness? Somewhere like… Morocco! While Christmas is a festival that locals enjoy, it doesn’t play a major part of the country’s culture, so no one will be hissing ‘bah humbug’ if you choose not to join in with the carol singing. Take your mind off all the most annoying aspects of Christmas by picking one of the fabulous all inclusive hotels in top resorts like Essaouira and Agadir, and basking in the sunshine (expect midday temperatures in the mid-20s). Or soak up the rich culture of this ancient nation by losing yourself in the enchanting Medina of Marrakech, or watching the spectacular street theatre on Djnaa el Fna square. Forget about the dull Christmas routine you’ve been living through for years, and give yourself up to the mystery and romance of Morocco!
Malta, a gorgeous Mediterranean island, is a superb place to spend Christmas – not least for fans of the TV series, Game of Thrones: the island capital of Valletta doubled for King’s Landing in the first series – and who wouldn’t want to spend Christmas at King’s Landing? Across the island, Malta’s historic towns and charming resorts are prettily decorated with lights, there are manger scenes and carol services at all the churches, and lots of fantastic Christmas markets to make you feel very Christmassy. And yet, the temperature rarely dips below a balmy 20 degrees, and you can enjoy long, lazy lunches on the seafront as the sun shines down on you.
The stunning beaches and world-class diving sites have long made the Red Sea in Egypt a hugely popular winter sun destination for holiday-makers. It offers balmy temperatures, fantastic facilities for all kinds of outdoor activities, and a fabulous choice of resorts whether you want somewhere lively like Sharm El Sheikh or prefer to kick back somewhere quieter like Makadi Bay. What could be more appealing in the dark depths of the British winter than to stroll along the seafront as the palm trees sway overhead? Or how about spending Christmas Day enjoying a traditional dinner with the Bedouins under the desert sky? There’s plenty more in Egypt besides beachfront attractions: it is home to some of the world’s great cultural treasures, including the great pyramids in Cairo, the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, and the early Christian monasteries hidden deep in the desert.
The Canary Islands have long been a favourite for winter sun holidays – it’s hard to resist the allure of these warm and sunny volcanic islands, with their spectacular volcanic scenery, gorgeous beaches, nature reserves, mountains and vibrant towns. And all just a 4-hour flight away! Thanks to their popularity with British visitors, you can choose just how much of a Christmassy Christmas you want to have on the Canary Islands: slap-up turkey dinners and carols on a loop are available if you want them, or you can check out of Christmas all together and head to the hills!
When people talk about dream holidays, they’re usually picturing Caribbean beaches of dazzling white sand, with turquoise waters and perhaps a palm tree or two. The Caribbean is the perfect destination for winter sun – and is also a fantastic place to go to experience Christmas with a little added Caribbean flavour. In Barbados, for example, the temperatures may be in the 30s but you can see go for a sleigh ride! And the towns and resorts of the Riviera Maya feature wonderful candlelit processions and carol services. Wherever you go, you’re sure to experience a unique Caribbean-style Christmas that you’ll never forget!