The holidays are fast approaching. Have you already decided where to go on a trip during the Christmas holidays? Here, we share our 9 favorite travel destinations for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Some are exotic and far away, others near you. Are you more like feet in the sand or fireworks in the heart of a metropolis? Anyway, you will find among these Christmas and holiday destinations incredible places to spend quality time with your partner, friends or family!
Where to go on a trip during Christmas or New Years' holiday?
1. Easter Island
If you are looking for overcrowded holidays, the hustle and bustle, the electric atmosphere before the stroke of midnight, Easter Island is not the place to go. Go to Easter Island for its remote, isolated character. Being at the end of the world with some stranded travelers, all in a tropical climate and feet in the water, it gives the eve a festive air to the Robinson! And to avoid spoiling the adventure, Easter Island has a Polynesian island atmosphere: it lives without a watch, nose to the wind and a smile on the lips ("Aloha" mode activated!).
Enjoy a festive menu on a terrace overlooking the moai of the village and the setting sun drowning its last rays in the sea. Magic! And, best of all, this is the only place on earth where you can see ... a moai wearing Santa's hat!
For Christmas, we imagine rather snowy destinations where we can snuggle at the foot of a fire. And yet, there are sunny and Mediterranean countries that are particularly interesting to visit during this holiday season. This is the case of the island of Malta. Why? Simply because of this discreet territory, but no less charming has the distinction of being very pious. A notable cultural aspect, whether one is to believe or not. The number of churches per capita testifies. The fervor of the Maltese is such that the offices are always full and religious festivals are numerous and large.
At Christmas, the monumental cribs adorn the front of the parishes. Some are even animated to the delight of Maltese who also decorate their homes. The domes of the churches are also adorned with sublime illuminations. Finally, Christmas in Malta is also an opportunity to eat well. If the Christmas meal is British-inspired with the classic turkey baked and pudding, the typical dish is to cook different roasted birds by superimposing them in the manner of Russian dolls. For dessert, if you have room, many pastries are made for the occasion, including the delicious honey ring or tender nougat.
Thailand offers experiences for all tastes to those who want to celebrate the holidays. At Christmas, many people decide to trade the tree and the snowman for the sun, the fine sand and the turquoise waters of the southern beaches. The magic of Christmas operates differently. For big party-goers, the famous "Full Moon Party" of Christmas Eve on Ko Pha Ngan Island is the place to be. The New Year is also celebrated in Western-style in the central square of Bangkok with concerts, shows, parades, street food, fireworks and evenings well watered.
For those who are looking for a more serene atmosphere tinged with a little more exoticism, it is necessary to go to Chiang Mai to let go of sky lanterns. It is a tradition borrowed from the Loy Kratong celebrations, the Thai New Year, which wants everyone to write their most cherished greetings on a paper lantern, before lighting it and making it fly in the sky. On New Year's Eve, the "night market" of Chiang Mai is in full swing. The Thais and visitors all gather on the banks of the river and on the bank of the Ping River to launch firecrackers, fireworks, and release lanterns. At the twelve strokes of midnight, the New Year's Eve sky lights up with hundreds of lanterns loaded with wishes that, all through the evening, fly silently towards the heavens, carrying with them all the problems and worries of last year. It's magical!
4. Sydney, Australia
Sydney is just amazing for New Year's Day. Famous all over the world for its New Year's fireworks, it's more than that the city offers. This firework will exceed all of your expectations. Simultaneously, it is more than 60 barges distributed throughout Sydney, the most beautiful fireworks in the world according to the media. The best locations are packed on the eve of the 31st and more than 2 million people come from all over to watch the shows. It's literally madness. To be patient, the city offers free concerts and a parade of illuminated boats everywhere. The first fire starts around 9 pm, but it's just an appetizer for midnight that lasts more than 15 minutes.
5. Lapland, Finland
Who has not dreamed of spending Christmas in Santa's country? At this time, the magic of Lapland makes sense. The first step, Rovaniemi to meet Santa Claus and his reindeer in his village. A unique experience for adults as well as children. After that, it will be time to enjoy the large white spaces that Lapland offers. You can engage in many activities such as sledding, snowmobiling, or Nordic skiing. And when the day ends, you will absolutely have to finish with a sauna to warm you up. And if you are lucky, you will be able to observe the magic of the northern lights at nightfall!
6. Sicily, Italy
If the Sicilian Christmas is celebrated around a plastic tree, it is to satisfy the clichés. The churches seem to be embarking on a competition of the most beautiful, the largest, the most magnificent nursery. It is home to real sheep, there are hundreds of characters, while the village hall hosts an exhibition of Crèche carried out by locals. While in Sicily, may you have the chance, on Christmas Eve, to listen from your balcony of the traveling musicians sing a lullaby in Sicilian. Take the time to listen to them, they are there to make sure that your sleep will be deep and that Santa will be able to pass without waking anyone.
7. Ljubljana, Slovenia
In Slovenia, Santa Claus is dressed in white! Even if throughout the world, the end of year festivities are becoming more and more mercantile, in Slovenia traditions still exist. The first of them is the procession of St. Nicholas, accompanied by devils dragging chains, they distribute biscuits, fruits, and sweets to children.
The obligatory passage in this period in Ljubljana: the Christmas market, with these chalets offering various local specialties both culinary and artisanal, not to mention the famous mulled wine. The children are really spoiled because, in addition to St. Nicholas and Santa Claus, the Grandfather Gel (in Slovenian: Dedek Mraz) spends the evening of December 31 to bring them gifts. He looks a lot like Santa, except that he is dressed in white.
The year ends with concerts and fireworks. Sports enthusiasts will be able to enjoy the nearby Alps for skiing by day and stroll through the alleys of Ljubljana in the evening, after a session at the spa. With the city center completely pedestrian, in one of the safest countries in the world, Ljubljana is really a very beautiful destination to enjoy the Christmas magic with your family.
8. New York City, United States
New York is a dream city. This American megapolis is omnipresent in the culture across the Atlantic. And it's true, New York City has a lot to offer. The Big Apple never sleeps. It is possible to skate at the foot of the Rockefeller Center of the rink at Central Park facing the huge buildings. The holidays are a time when New York can be even more beautiful to discover thanks to the snow. Who does not dream of counting down the New Year on Times Square or drinking hot chocolate while strolling in Central Park? New York City is a truly magical place to be during the Christmas holidays.
To celebrate the new year, Icelanders have the right to fire domestic fireworks. Reykjavik - the capital - has festive side all year round with its illuminations, colorful shops and even Christmas shops open all the time. It is really a place that will make you dream, as well for its coldness as for the warmth of its inhabitants. And of course, there is also the possibility of seeing aurora borealis.