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Instead of traditional presents under the Christmas tree, why not give yourself a gift that will leave lasting memories? Plan a short city break in Europe or an exotic holiday over Christmas and New Year.

You may love the festive atmosphere, but less so the stressful s preparations for family gatherings and unpredictable weather. This year, do something different! Forget cleaning, cooking and shopping and head off on a trip! What will it be – a warm-weather holiday or a short European city break? Check out where you can spend Christmas and New Year’s for an overseas break.

A couple in Vienna around Christmas time © iStock
A couple in Vienna around Christmas time © iStock

New Year’s Eve in Vienna

Vienna is the perfect destination for a December city break. During the Christmas and New Year period, the city is illuminated by street decorations, with the scent of mulled wine lingering in the air. Be sure to visit the colourful and lively Rathausplatz Market before Christmas. Meanwhile, New Year’s Eve sees a traditional open-air waltz that begins at midnight in the Old Town. Listen carefully – you’ll hear the sounds of the Pummerin bell ringing from St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Christmas market in Vienna © iStock
Christmas market in Vienna © iStock

Another options is to head to the Vienna State Opera for New Year’s Eve performance of Johann Strauss’s “The Flittermouse or The Bat”. We recommend securing your tickets quickly as they sell out fast. Every year, wonderful fireworks displays erupt in a riot of colour over Vienna, and while you can see them perfectly well from the ground, the Ferris wheel in the Prater district allows you to enjoy the dazzling display from a height of 65 metres! If you feel cold there are plenty of dance clubs to enjoy with friends. Want to know more? Get to know the artistic side of the Austrian capital.

Malta – a sunny-yet-traditional holiday

White winter gives way to white sand. And although you won’t be able to build a snowman in Malta, both Christmas and New Year’s Eve are celebrated with the same dedication. Almost every family prepares their own version of a nativity scene every year – these are the main feature of every home’s Christmas decorations. After dark, the smell of fried pastizzi and a warming chestnut drink wafts from nearby fairs. The carol singing echoes from baroque churches as groups gather by candlelight. Will you join them?

Crystal Lagoon, Comino © iStock
Crystal Lagoon, Comino © iStock

It’s a loud and intense way to ring in the new year. On New Year’s Eve, the Maltese sky is lit up by fireworks, best viewed from the beaches. Clubs and bars in places like Valletta, Floriana, St Julian’s and Sliema are packed to the rafters, ready to party until dawn. You can dance, listen to live bands and watch cabaret performances, or, for a quieter atmosphere, head to fishing villages such as Marsaxlokk. Here, you can enjoy a special dinner in one of the local restaurants and soak up the tranquillity of the coastal towns.

Plan your trip to Malta

In the heart of the Côte d’Azur – Nice and holidays

A Christmas trip to the South of France is always a good idea. Nobody loves a festive atmosphere as much as the French, especially those from the south. You may not find snow on the streets of the Côte d’Azur, but you can admire it on the snowy slopes of the Maritime Alps. Take your camera with you as the number of light decorations on the streets can make you dizzy. As you stroll the Promenade des Anglais along the Mediterranean coast, you will see not only festively lit palm trees, but also fountains, market stands and Christmas nativity scenes.

Christmas decorations © freestocks on Unsplash
Christmas decorations © freestocks on Unsplash

Are you thinking about Nice for New Year’s Eve? During this period, you can find both flights and accommodation at really good prices. It is also a great starting point for exploring nearby towns such as Cannes, Monaco and Menton. Follow the locals and choose a quiet New Year’s Eve dinner in Nice on, followed by a great party in Cannes.

Plan your trip to Nice

Christmas 2023 in the sunshine

Say goodbye to the winter blues with a sunshine holiday this winter. Recharge your batteries, take a break from everyday life and improve your well-being on a relaxing family break without the stress of the season. During the Christmas and New Year season you can enjoy great prices on overseas trips.

Family celebrating on New Year's Eve © iStock
Family celebrating on New Year’s Eve © iStock

Choose wisely and you can be spending Christmas on the beach! We love the affordable, warm and relatively close Canary Islands, but are also excited by the buzz and vibrancy of the Philippines.

Into the sun – the Canary Islands for a winter vacation!

Did you know that the average annual air temperature in the Canary Islands is 24 degrees celsius, with sunshine totalling over 3000 hours per year? Even in winter, the Canaries are typically around 22 degrees with sea temperatures warm enough for bathing. If you’re dreaming of a solid dose of heat without the cost, choose the Canary Islands. These volcanic islands offer a break from the norm without the need for long flights.

National Park Garajonay on La Gomera island © iStock
National Park Garajonay on La Gomera island © iStock

What to do here in winter? Get active or laze around – the choice is yours! Do you love nature? There are plenty of natural attractions here such as the Garajonay National Park in La Gomera; desert landscapes by the sea in Fuerteventura and the Maspalomas dunes in Gran Canaria. Prefer sports? You can go sailing, windsurfing, diving, paragliding, climbing and cycling. Love sampling new flavours? The Canaries are packed with delicious treats to try. The only choice left is which island? Check out our Canary Islands article to help you decide!

A tropical winter break in the Philippines

If you have a little longer to spend travelling then why not enjoy some winter sun in the beautiful Philippines? This slice of tropical paradise has it all – fine white sand, warm seas and delicious cuisine at affordable prices. After landing in Manila, take a transfer flight to the paradise island of Bohol, in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. There you’ll encounter beautiful beaches ringing lush greenery. Enjoy hikes in the famous Chocolate Hills, so named for the bright green grass that turns brown in the dry season. Another Bohol highlight is the Tarsier sanctuary in Corella. Here, you can view these timid nocturnal mammals in their natural habitat – look out for the adorable babies clinging to their mothers’ fur.

A couple admiring Chocolate Hills on Bohol Island, Philippines © iStock
A couple admiring Chocolate Hills on Bohol Island, Philippines © iStock

Another tried-and-tested Philippine favourite is Boracay, again accessible via a connecting flight from Manila. Visitors are drawn to the bars and restaurants of White Beach, where you can dine with your toes in the sand before taking a post-dinner dip in the sea. Nearby Puka Shell Beach offers perfect snorkeling conditions, while more active tourists can hike Mount Luho to take in picture-perfect views across this paradise island.

Plan your trip to the Philippines



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