Ahhhh, drinking mulled wine in this bitter cold of Britain on the winter solstice, weighed down with Christmas bags full of goodies for my friends and family, I began to realise…Christmas is upon us. Another year in with the family, we would often wonder if it would be worth jetting off to celebrate Christmas in a more unique way rather than squabbling over who’s cheating at a rather violent game of monopoly while our Queen gives her special Christmas message in the background. This guest post tells me of 5 Xmas travel destinations. Maybe we’ll be doing this at Xmas 2013!

Christmas is finally upon us, and that means that wherever you live, you are probably seeing a fantastic array of holiday decorations. On people’s houses, lining the streets of downtown areas, and even in public parks and buildings, Christmas lights and decorations are always prominent this time of year, and play a large role in creating holiday spirit. However, the specific atmosphere is different everywhere, which is why some people prefer to travel to recommended destinations during the holidays. Here are a few words on some five different regions and towns known for Christmas atmosphere and celebrations, as noted by Travel and Leisure.


1. Reykjavik, Iceland

In Iceland, during the holiday season, there are only about four hours of daylight. This might be inconvenient at other points during the year, but for a season marked by its festive lights and celebrations, it’s perfect. Throw in the fact that aurora borealis often decorates the night sky, and Reykjavik has a beautiful atmosphere for the holidays. You’ll just have to get used to the “12 Yule Lads,” which in Iceland are the alternative to Santa Claus.

 

2. Edinburgh, Scotland

A city always recognized for its historical flavour and undeniable charm, Edinburgh is particularly festive during the holiday season. Christmas fireworks and carols played by bagpipes are just a few of the unique features you’ll be able to enjoy. You can also take advantage of a fun and festive local shopping scene for Christmas gifts, though you’ll also have access to the closest M&S if you’d rather rely on convenience.

 

3. San Juan, Puerto Rico

If you’d like to escape the winter climate this Christmas, consider a Caribbean destination such as San Juan, where you will meet an entirely new – but entirely festive – version of traditional holiday celebrations. Latin style Christmas carols, Caribbean seafood, and beautiful outdoor weather comprise the holiday season in San Juan, and you can spend your holiday week exploring a gorgeous colonial city and walking along a pristine beach.

 

4. Chicago, Illinois, United States

Chicago certainly demonstrates one of, if not the best Christmas celebrations in the United States, with various festivals occurring throughout the holidays. Be sure to take in the Magnificent Mile, a stretch of neighbourhood known for its particularly exceptional decorations, and don’t miss the Winter Wonderfest, which is a veritable theme park of Christmas cheer. Throw in some fine dining at any of Chicago’s large selection of world-class restaurants, and you’ll have a wonderful holiday experience.

 

5. Vienna, Austria

A city largely recognized for the dominant beauty of its old-fashioned architecture, Vienna becomes extremely pleasant during the holidays. The streets beneath the famed historical buildings become filled with holiday shops, craft stands, and booths for food and drink. Many flock to special holiday performances, such as those by the Vienna boys’ choir.

 

If I had to pick and choose, I’ll say Iceland. There’s nothing more magical than being in wintry delights of snow and ice, and finally seeing Father Christmas arrive with his Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. I mean, for the last 27 years, my parents keeps telling me that Father Christmas is coming to visit me but I’ve been eluded by this mysterious special figure in my life leaving behind a trail of crumbs from the mince pie I’ve left out for him. Meanwhile, I’ve got to go now, dad says he’s looking forward to his xmas eve mince pie so I got to go out and get some. We can’t be having dad eating all the mince pies right?

 

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