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Best for: A skiing holiday

credit: haveseen

Where: Val d’Isere, France

Why: Crackling log fires? Check. Snow outside? Check. All the food and wine you can put away? Absolutely.

A break sliding down the white stuff in the French Alps is perfect for those who love classic wintery traditions, but hate that lethargic overdone-it feeling after endless housebound days.

In Val d’Isere, sporty types can burn off the last round of turkey sandwiches by flying down the powdery ski slopes.

But if you do want to indulge, warm up another saucepan of spicy mulled wine and stay by the fire in your cosy chalet. 

Everyone’s a winner.

Don't miss: From December 22-29, Val d’Isere hosts an Enchanted Christmas event, which includes giant snow sculptures, concerts, torchlight descents and fireworks.

Getting there: Fly from London Gatwick to Geneva from £79pp return (19th Dec - 26th Dec).

valdisere.com


Long Haul

Best for: Living out Xmas movie fantasies

credit: anouchka

Where: New York, US

Why: There aren’t many cities as iconic as New York at Christmas.

From the ice rink at Central Park and the giant tree at the Rockefeller Center Plaza, to choirs singing carols in lobbies across town and the OTT Santa’s grottoes, it’s no wonder all the best festive films are set here.

So if you’re a big soppy fan of feel-good slush-fests such as Miracle On 34th Street, Elf, Noel or Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (don’t be embarrassed, we won’t tell anyone), head to The Big Apple for the ultimate seasonal experience.

Go the whole hog like the New Yorkers do, and stagger about in the snow with armfuls of presents from Macy’s.

Don't miss: Taking a break in the nearest coffee shop, preferably one attached to a quirky second-hand bookshop, where you’ll probably fall in love after your cappuccino gets mixed up with a lonely stranger’s latte.

Getting there: Fly from London Gatwick to New York from £480pp return (19th Dec - 26th Dec).

nycgo.com


Best for: A sunny beach break

credit: tropicalpixsingapore

Where: Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

Why: Thailand has countless idyllic stretches of sand, but to combine heavyweight festive partying with relaxation,  head straight to Ko Pha Ngan.

Not only is it one of the country’s prettiest southern islands but it’s also a magnet for backpackers who want to let off a bit of steam.

Fill a week here soaking up the sun by day and slurping buckets of Thai Red Bull and whiskey at night. Then, cover yourself in glow-in-the-dark body paint and rave on the sand until the sun comes up, then do it all again.

Don't miss:
 Haad Rin beach is famous for its wild Full 
Moon parties, where everyone drinks, dances, watches fire poi and dares each other jump over burning skipping ropes.

The annual festive bash (on Xmas Day) is bigger, even more crowded and with a smattering of Santa hats.

This is a Christmas party you won’t forget in a hurry.

Getting there: Fly from London Heathrow to Bangkok from £969pp return (19th Dec - 26th Dec).

tourismthailand.org


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Christmas Getaways: Holiday overseas this festive season
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