By Neil Kook
WINTER IS HERE and many are starting to dream of escaping to warmer climates this Christmas. Why not spend the festive season sunning yourself on the beach in Mexico, snorkelling in Indonesia, or wandering the markets in Germany?
Lamudi has compiled the top eight locations for winter getaways this Christmas.
Nusa Lembongan, Bali, Indonesia
Still relatively unknown, the stunning Nusa Lembongan is one of a group of three islands making up the sub-regency of Klungkung, located southeast of Bali. Cookies are a must at Christmas in Indonesia, so if you want to escape the cold and enjoy some festive treats, Nusa Lembongan has a drier climate than Bali, but make sure you leave by January, when the rainy season begins. If you’re looking for adventure, spend your winter holiday snorkelling and diving among the aqua blue surf, and experience the abundance of marine life that the island has to offer. If you just want to relax, the quiet, white sandy beaches are the perfect place to soak up the sun.
Famous for its warm sea, stunning beaches and watersports, Aqaba is Jordan’s only coastal city. Explore the unbelievable underwater world of the Red Sea, with its abundance of marine life, or relax on the white sandy beaches. The temperature reaches highs of 27 and 22 degrees celsius in November and December respectively, Aqaba’s warm winter climate provides the perfect winter getaway spot.
Once the summer rains have watered the grass, take a trip to the national parks of Tanzania and spend your vacation in their peaceful surroundings. Stay in Musoma, the capital of the Mara region, which sits on the edge of Lake Victoria and is just a drive away from the Serengeti National Park – home to lions, elephants, and buffalo, to name just a few – and the Grumeti Game Reserve and Ikorongo Game Reserve. Whilst the likelihood of rainfall in the winter months is high, average temperatures reach 28 degrees celsius in November, December and January.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Scotland’s capital city holds a traditional German Christmas market from the end of November until Christmas Eve, filled with festive treats. If you’re looking for a colder climate – temperatures average at a chilly seven degrees celsius – Edinburgh is the perfect yuletide destination, with spectacular decorations, ice-skating rinks, Christmas trees and a real life advent calendar bringing the city to life. With family friendly amusement rides, and a children’s market, there is something for everyone in Scotland at Christmas.
Ngapali Beach, Myanmar
With the rainy season a distant memory by November and December, and temperatures reaching highs of 31 degrees celsius, Myanmar is an ideal location for a Christmas break. So why not travel to Ngapali Beach, located seven kilometers from Thandwe, formally known as Sandoway. The beach itself overlooks the Indian Ocean and the three kilometers of white, sandy beaches make for a tranquil, picturesque vacation destination.
If you’re looking to escape Western Christmas traditions, take a trip to the Zambezi River this Christmas and experience the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls. As well as this stunning waterfall, known as the Smoke that Thunders, Livingstone offers wildlife safaris, museums, colonial architecture and an insight into traditional village life in Zambia.
Christmas in Latin America is known as Las Posadas, Navidad and Dia de los Tres Reyes, and is celebrated with flowers, songs and festive foods. Travel to Cartagena de Indias, a beautiful, colorful city on the Caribbean coast, and celebrate Christmas in the stunning old town. Roam along the cobbled streets of this Unesco World Heritage site and take in the lights of the festive decorations whilst enjoying the hot climate – with average temperatures of 31 degrees celsius in December.
Another breath-taking winter destination, make sure you pack your hats and scarves for a holiday in Heidelberg. With temperatures scraping only five degrees on average, Heidelberg is perfect for those looking for colder climates. Located in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Southwest Germany, Heidelberg is home to a 30-year old traditional German Christmas market, with stunning illuminations, an ice rink, and over 140 individual stalls. Enjoy the romantic, picturesque landscape of Heidelberg, by strolling through the baroque-style old town, and taking in the views from Heidelberg Castle.