Celebrate Christmas in true wanderlust style
With less than a month left until Santa makes his way down the chimney, there is still time to plan the perfect Christmas getaway. Let expert travellers Matt McMillan and Tim Farquhar, Directors of Eclipse Travel, help you plan the ultimate festive escape for your family.
For a White Christmas
For an authentic White Christmas experience, Matt McMillan suggests travellers look to Norway or Finland, “Like many European countries, most Norwegian towns and cities offer Christmas fairs and markets that will help create the perfect mood for the festival season.
“Tromsø in Northern Norway is voted as one of the best places on earth to spend Christmas and it’s only 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle,” McMillan says, “What’s better than celebrating Christmas whilst seeing the spectacular Northern Lights with your loved ones? There are a lot of cruise ships known to offer Northern Lights travel during the festive season. You just need to plan ahead.”
McMillan continues to explain, “If you’re taking the little ones with you, a visit to Santa’s office in the Finnish city of Lapland is a moment they will always cherish. Alternatively, head to Helsinki for the ultimate Northern Christmas ambiance – the city is breathtakingly beautiful when draped in white snow and lit by Christmas lights.”
For an island escape Christmas
The Galapagos Islands are a stunning paradise where you can rub shoulders with a world full of unique wildlife. Blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, whale sharks, Galapagos sea lions, flamingos and the signature Galapagos giant tortoise are all part of the experience to these unique islands.
“From black volcanic rocks and vast white sand, to lush green highlands and jewel-blue waters, the Galapagos Islands are filled with natural wonders and wildlife,” says Farquhar, “The wet season generally occurs between December and May where you can expect picture-perfect sunny days and blue skies combined with showers. It’s great for those who are looking to spend a warm Christmas at an off-the-beaten-track destination.”
For a tribal Christmas
Nowhere does diversity quite like South Africa. Home of the deserted Kalahari, the iconic Table Mountain and Cape Point, Kruger National Park’s wildlife-packed savannah….the list goes on.
South Africa is one of those rare destinations that has something for absolutely everyone. You can spot a great variety of native floral and fauna including the Big Five in the Kruger National Park. Or discover the country in the most luxurious way by exploring the pristine white beaches at Cape Point, visiting Cape Winelands for a romantic wine tasting tour, or hopping onto the world’s most famous mobile five-star hotel Blue Train to spoil yourself with an around-the-clock personal butler service.
“With our excellent exchange rates at the moment, a South African getaway has become very affordable. It’s a great excuse to treat yourself with another bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon!” McMillan suggests.
For a Latin Christmas
Palm-fringed beaches, delicious spicy cuisine, colonial architecture and blue skies, Mexico is the place to be for an exotic getaway during the festive season.
For a cultural fix, there are plenty of top-class museums and galleries for you to unfold the fascinating history of this beautiful country.
“You can also find vibrant pop culture from the underground dance clubs and street art in Mexico City, as well as interesting handicrafts made by indigenous people,” Farquhar recommends.
“And of course, you can’t skip the stunning beaches with their crystal clear water. If you are into sea creatures, don’t forget to book a diving or snorkeling tour for a chance to get up close and personal with coral walls, canyons, turtles, tangs, eels and even hammerhead sharks!”
Whatever your Christmas dreams are, experience a wanderlust-worthy festive season this summer.