Be honest: how do you really feel about the Christmas and New Year holiday season?
If you’re fortunate enough to have friends and family around you over the holidays then it can be lovely to spend some time with them. Even so, after a few days of indulgence and inactivity, many of us find that it starts to get, well… a bit boring?
But why do the same thing that everyone does, year after year after year? Why not try something new? That could be a small change, like replacing the turkey with goose or duck – or maybe even having a vegetarian Christmas Feast. And if you really feel like ringing the changes, why not spend the holiday break away from home? (And maybe even away from your family…)
Here are five holidays that might be perfect for a seasonal getaway.
The Alpujarras region is in Andalucia, in Spain, on the south slopes of the Sierra Nevada. It’s a stunningly beautiful part of the world, with mountains, valleys, orchards and olive groves. You’ll stay for a week in the small village of Capileira, over 4,000 feet above sea level, where you can walk down cobbled alleyways and explore the craft shops and restaurants. Choose from two grades of walks, which might take you to nearby villages, to the top of the Mulhacen mountain, or into the valley below it.
A week in Venice. What else do we need to say? It’s one of the most magical cities anywhere in the world – and it’s even better without the summer crowds. You’ll have time to explore the quieter corners that many tourists miss, and see how real Venetians live. Of course, you’ll get to visit all the famous sights too, like the Piazza San Marco and the Rialto bridge. And on one day you’ll take the train inland to the historic and spectacular city of Padua.
We offer a 5-night Christmas break or 4-night holiday over New Year. Both include moderate walking on the Cotswold Way, including some spectacular views from high points like The Devil’s Chimney and The Peak. The Christmas break includes a lunch at the hotel on Christmas Day (just like being at home except without the washing up!), and the New Year one features a gala dinner with entertainment on the evening of the 31st.
Stay for either 7 or 11 nights in the harbor town of Chania, where many buildings date back to Crete’s time as a Venetian colony between the 13th and 17th centuries. The White Mountains offer moderate walking in ruggedly beautiful scenery. You’ll often find yourself stopping to explore archaeological remains or just to admire a spectacular view down to the Mediterranean. At the end of the day, enjoy a peaceful meal in one of Chania’s tavernas, or a walk through the narrow, historic streets.
If you want make a really big change, 15 nights in Costa Rica will do the trick. Guided by a local English-speaking naturalist, you’ll explore protected landscapes like the Monteverde Cloud Forest and the Manuel Antonio National Park. Expect to see rainforests, volcanoes, waterfalls, and an incredibly diverse range of wildlife… sloths, hummingbirds, butterflies and monkeys to name just a few. You’ll also spend some time unwinding on the Caribbean beaches; the sunsets are unforgettable.
Or you could just fall asleep in front of a James Bond film again…
Whether you prefer to stay far away or closer to home, and however you like to spend your time, we think you’ll find something to excite you among the experiences described above. So why not try something different this holiday season? For once, it really could be the most wonderful time of the year.