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12 days of the best Christmas and New Year getaway destinations

12 days of the best Christmas and New Year getaway destinations

Make the most of your seasonal holidays this year and let someone else take care of the turkey and festive decorations. Whether you’re seeking some much-needed warmth in tropical surroundings or planning to escape to a winter wonderland for more traditional winter activities, Wesleyan Bank has picked 12 of the best Christmas and New Year holiday destinations from across the globe.


Mt Pilatus, Switzerland     

At just under 7,000 feet above sea level, Mt Pilatus is one of Europe's highest Christmas markets and an idyllic setting to combine your shopping with a spot of snowboarding.

From homemade gingerbread to handcrafted items, Mt Pilatus is the perfect place to pick up some stylish Christmas stocking fillers.

2.-DubrovnikDubrovnik, Croatia

Situated in Croatia's sun-soaked Dalmatian Coast, Dubrovnik was the main filming location for King's Landing in the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones. As well as boasting some historic landmarks and World Heritage sites, Dubrovnik really comes into its own during the winter months.

The city boasts a vast array of Christmas markets specialising in handmade crafts and authentic Croatian food.

3.-Europe-Christmas-marketEurope Christmas and New Year Escape 

Can't decide where to go over the festive season?

The Europe Christmas and New Year escape provides a picturesque coach tour taking in some of the continent's most famous sights, including Paris, Rome, Venice, Vatican City, the Swiss Alps, Germany's Rhine Valley and Amsterdam over 12 unforgettable days.

4.-IschglIschgl, Austria

The old farming village of Ischgl is an unlikely location for snow-sure pistes and raucous nightlife. Now a sophisticated tourist centre with stylish hotels and bars, Ischgl's parties attract some of the world's most renowned artists.

The village remains something of a hidden secret to British tourists but with 238km of snow covered terrain, experienced and intermediate skiers can revel in the festive atmosphere.

5.-WegenWengen, Switzerland

Perched on a sunny sloping shelf, Wengen is one of the best ski resorts for a family Christmas break. The car-free village's streets will be decorated for the festive celebrations and local residents embark on a woodland walk on Christmas Day.

In addition to providing unforgettable mountain views from the snow-filled slopes, Wengen offers several family-friendly activities including toboggan runs, curling and outdoor skating facilities.

6.-IcehotelIcehotel, Swedish Lapland

For a guaranteed white Christmas, venture above the Arctic Circle to the Icehotel in Swedish Lapland for a memorable winter break. The world-famous hotel has a mix of permanent and seasonal ice structures which are changed each year to provide a unique experience.

Outside the snow covered landscapes host a range of activities from snowmobiling, husky sledding to Christmas games on the frozen Torne river.

7.-Madeira-fireworksMadeira Islands, Portugal

Take a cruise to the Madeira Islands and celebrate the end of 2016 in style.

Funchal has been recognised by the Guinness World Records for staging the largest display of fireworks in the world which transform the port into a stunning ampitheatre of multi-coloured lights which decorate the night sky, making Madeira one of the most attractive party hangouts.

8.-Northern-lightsReykjavik, Iceland

Spending New Year's Eve in Reykjavik is an extraordinary experience. At 11:35pm, 200,000 people (approximately the city's entire population) unleash around 500 tonnes of fireworks and bars and nightclubs celebrate the start of the New Year well into the early hours.

While you're there, make sure you search for the magical Northern Lights and bathe in the warm, soothing waters of the Blue Lagoon.

9.-Koh-SamuiKoh Samui, Thailand

With its white sand, rustic-chic beach shacks and clear blue seas, the tiny island of Koh Samui has everything that is required for a relaxing sunshine break.

Formerly the spiritual home of hippies and backpackers, the island has evolved into a modern, resort-based paradise famed for its super-spas, variety of bars and restaurants and action-packed water sports scene.

10.-Costa-RicaCosta Rica

The Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica guarantee sunshine and warm temperatures to create a contagious atmosphere of relaxation, alluring scenery and fun.

Whether you want to enjoy cosmopolitan afternoons in the national capital San José, view the spectacular Arenal volcano standing at 5,437 feet or explore the wildlife rich canals and lagoons of the Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica has something for everyone.


Nicknamed 'Little Britain' due to the Caribbean island's historic links with England (Queen Elizabeth II is the nation's head of state), Barbados is home to spectacular coastlines, vivid coral reefs and calm turquoise waters.

Whether you want to go for a leisurely beach stroll or drink a glass of rum punch while gazing at the colourful sunsets, there is no better destination to relax.


Mozambique is a rising star of southern African tourism. The bustling capital of Maputo is an Indian Ocean port with preserved Portuguese and colonial architecture, creating a melting pot of cultures and exotic influences. 

Meanwhile Mozambique's 1,430 miles of coastline house chic resorts which provide a lavish base to unwind in the high sunny temperatures. 

While December is an alluring time to travel, remember you can pay a premium for holidays in the festive period. If you decide to take out a loan to pay for your holiday, always be mindful of tempting offers and check the small print as the lowest rate is not always the best value option.

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