Christmas day is coming and while the most of the people like to spend a quality time with their loved ones in the warm and cozy comfort of home, some of you may want to explore different places. Here are the 5 perfect destinations for Christmas.
1. Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland
Visit winter wonderland, home of the Santa Claus for a genuine Christmas experience. Santa and his merry band of elves are open for welcoming guests all year round. Children can visit Santa Claus Official Post Office, enlist in Elf School and write Christmas wish-lists with a traditional quill.
Rovaniemi offers a wide range of attraction. You can visit a Ranua Zoo and see polar bears, mosses and wolverines. Witness the spellbinding astral show of Aurora Borealis, embark on a snowmobile safari or a husky and reindeer ride.
2. Quebec City, Canada
At the end of the November, Quebec is starting to transform into “A Christmas Carol” like village. Cobblestone streets, covered in snow and breathtaking architecture makes you feel like in Europe. On December 21. Québec City Lights Festival opens which is also known as QuebecAdabra. Taking a stroll through narrow streets during Light Festival is mesmerizing as all the streets are illuminated and decorated with Christmas lights.
German Christmas market is a place where you can taste the bratwurst, mulled wine, gingerbread, and much more. It’s a truly unique and friendly atmosphere amongst wooden kiosks and dazzling lights.
3. Reykjavik, Iceland
In December, Reykjavik is host to various events, concerts, markets, crafts and Christmas lights. While the main celebrations traditionally last for just three days, a lot more is going on in the capital during the month of December. The biggest difference between the Icelandic Christmas tradition and that of other countries is that there are 13 Yule lads. According to old folk tales, each one is a kind of Santa. Interesting facts: Iceland sells more books per capita than any other nation in the world, and the vast majority of them are sold just a few days before Christmas. In Iceland, this is known as the Christmas Book Flood. The tradition in Iceland is that everyone must receive at least one book for Christmas to take to bed on Christmas Eve along with some chocolates.
4. Salzburg, Austria
The Christmas season starts with the traditional Salzburg Adventsingen at the Great Festival Hall, which started over 60 years ago. With the Alps virtually at its doorstep, visitors to Salzburg can easily combine a city stay with skiing in the mountains, especially since the “Salzburg Snow Shuttle” takes the city’s residents and guests to a different winter sports region each day. However, if you’re not in Salzburg to ski, a very popular thing to do in Salzburg is to go on a horse-drawn sleigh ride and enjoy the winter scenery. In early December, certain districts of Salzburg such as Obergnigl and Maxglan hold Perchta processions that are very popular. This is a pagan custom for which young man dress up as a devil-like creature in fur and beat everybody they encounter. They are called Krampus, the Alpine, holiday demon.
5. Queenstown, New Zealand
If you are not all that into cold and snow, the Queenstown is a perfect place for you. With it’s hot and long, shiny days it is one of the best places for holidays. Queenstown offers entertainment and good food for all ages and budgets. Kids can play and swim with Santa while parents can enjoy a good old kiwi barbecue on the sandy beach. There is a Shotover Jet Christmas Cracker event for the kids.
For those with adventure spirit, Queenstown offers jet boating, skydiving, paragliding, cruise on the Earnslaw steamship, ride the gondola and more.