Christmas can be a stressful time of year. With plenty of parties to attend, decorations to put up, presents to wrap and cooking a feast for the masses, all of which can leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
One way to escape the madness is to get away over the festive period and leave the stress of the holiday behind you.
All Things Business spoke to Rob Gower of Dragonfly Traveller where he gave his top picks for a relaxing Christmas break away.
What better way to celebrate the festive season than to spend it somewhere that boasts a spectacular Ice Hotel and perfect Christmas-card-like scenery? As if a holiday at the famous Ice hotel in Jukkasjaroi isn’t special enough, at Christmas it takes on a whole new ambience, with the sights of twinkling lights and decorated trees and festive aromas of traditional gingerbread and warming Glögg filling the air.
You can have an amazing festive Norway adventure holiday with plenty of activities if you wish, or you can just take in life by the fireplace and enjoy the spa, sauna and eating excellent food. If you do choose to spend your Christmas in Norway, you can take part in various winter activities such as dogsledding, snow scooters, sleigh rides, skiing, snowshoeing and so much more. You can also take a trip to see the Northern Lights or the Norwegian Santa.
New York attractions transform into the most festive winter wonderlands at this time of year. During the holiday season, you’ll spot Christmas lights and trees in every borough. You’ll also find pop-up holiday markets outside subway stations which can be a source of excellent gift ideas for your friends and family. Aside from the decor, keep an eye out for Christmas movie screenings and concerts in NYC, including other popular shows such as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Perhaps the most obvious of suggestions, Lapland boats steady snowfall from October through to May and there’s usually a good thick covering in the run up to Christmas. Temperatures rarely rise above freezing point and can drop to anything from -7°C to a bone tingling -35°C so make sure you wrap up warm. As you are so close to the Arctic Circle daylight hours are limited to between 10.30 am and 3.00 pm, and unless the sun puts in a rare appearance, the whole place seems to stay in a state of perpetual twilight, giving a truly magical feel to your Lapland day trip. If you are far enough north you might even be treated to the breathtaking sights of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights as they are otherwise known.
December in Berlin is all about the Christmas markets. There are both indoor and outdoor markets where you can find the most unique gifts. Check out the Bröhan Museum market, where vendors sell items that are exclusively handmade by Berlin locals. If you’re after an indoor market, go to the Weihnachtsrodeo, where you can eat, drink, and be merry. There is also the famous Botanical Gardens, where you can enjoy a magical night time stroll through the lit-up gardens and see fire pits, giant blow-up Christmas figures and an ice skating rink.
Some people can get hung up on the idea of a white Christmas and find the idea of Christmas in the sun a little alien. The temperature in Dubai in December ranges from 24-29°C and Christmas is a time when the city’s malls and markets really come alive. You can expect to see incredible decorations, grand store displays and plenty of Christmas trees during your Christmas Dubai shopping spree. If you are looking for a festive day out on the ice, head to the Dubai Ice Rink at the Dubai Mall or the Emirates Mall for a the most fun you’ve ever had at ‘Ski Dubai’.
Rob Gower of Dragonfly Traveller works as a travel PA, building bespoke holidays and trips for customers. Call 01604 661100 or visit www.dragonflytraveller.co.uk to find out more.