Last-Minute Getaways To Avoid Christmas

These destinations are the perfect last-minute getaway, well away from the hubbub of the festive season, and (probably) not a twinkle of tinsel in sight!

December in Sal, Cape Verde

Cape Verde Fishing Image

Image by Schland CC0

The weather is warm at this time of the year in Sal – a gorgeous sandy escape, and just one of the many islands that make up the volcanic archipelago of Cape Verde. While your all-inclusive hotel may have popped a token Christmas tree up in the lobby and have a sprinkling of tinsel here and there – you can head to the beach, the local markets, and all the best attractions without much “Christmas” getting in the way.

Top things to see and do:

An island tour stopping for a spot of paddling with lemon sharks, and a photo op at Buracona, the Blue Eye Cave, where the midday sun turns the water a bright and beautiful blue. It certainly beats looking at baubles!

Christmas in Tenerife, Spain

Image by Hans CC0

It is warm enough to brave it in a swimsuit at the end of December in Tenerife, but the water might be pretty cold! The black volcanic sand of the beaches will however help keep you warm as they soak up the rays, especially on the more sheltered beaches on the northern coast. Most places are open for business on Christmas day, so it can feel just like any other day – as long as you are away from the tourist hotspots such as Puerto De La Cruz and Los Cristianos. Having said that if you suddenly get a pang for a mince pie or dancing to a Christmas playlist – these are the places to go!

Top things to see and do:

An excursion to the top of Mount Teide is a must! Grab yourself a ticket for a coach tour that comes with a guide so you can learn all about the flows and formations of this spectacular volcanic peak whilst you traverse the lunar landscape. For an extra treat, once you get to the stop at the top get a ticket for the cable car to take you all the way to (almost) the top. Here you are above the clouds in a world of wonder where thoughts of Christmas are million miles away.

Winter in Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakech Souk lane with rugs Image

Image by emma-bosley-ritchie CC0 via pexels

This is the place to be if you fancy a bit of retail therapy over the festive season but without the hustle and bustle of tinsel-strewn shopping centres and endless Amazon boxes on the driveway! Don’t however expect it to be the epitome of pace and calm. Marrakech, and Morocco in general, is an extremely popular destination at this time of year. It takes a little over 3 hours to fly there and the temperature is a very pleasant 20ºC – but there won’t be a Christmas carol to be heard or a festively decorated tree in sight!

Top things to see and do:

Head to the Souk! A maze of narrow streets filled with a world of wonders such as handcrafted goods, spices, clothes, glasswear and ceramics. Make sure you go with your bartering head on as it expected that you will haggle. Top tips for getting a good price: don’t look too keen, start at about a quarter of the price, and try not to settle for an amount that is more than a third of what is displayed!

Xmas in Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul mosque in snow Image

Image by vedatzorluer via Pixabay CCo

For a quieter vibe – head to Istanbul. It’s business as usual with shops, galleries, and museums all open but it is definitely a quieter time to to enjoy these Turkish delights! “Why?” you may ask! Well, it is a little chilly at this time of year. It is recommended to pack a jumper or two, and although it is unlikely to fall into single figures at this time of year a coat is recommended in case it rains, and be warned that it has been known to snow on occasion during December.

Things to see and do:

Head to The Blue Mosque, an Ottoman-era place of worship that is known for its beautiful architecture which includes a blue tiled dome, and six minarets! The Blue Mosque is free to enter, welcomes non-worshipping visitors, and is open all year round. Do check times before visiting though as it is an active place of worship. This means that it is closed to non-worshippers in the times leading up to, during, and just after call to prayer.

You will need worldwide travel insurance to travel to Turkey!

Travel Insurance to Turkey is not covered by EU policies – so make sure you upgrade your travel insurance to a worldwide policy before you travel!

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