When the weather starts taking a turn and we get closer towards the winter months, I find myself wanting to spend more time just being cosy and end up spending time in my own home. But, it is such a magical time of the year with all the festivities going on. I can still be cosy, but spending winter break abroad is a way to get out of the house and enjoy this time of the year in a whole other way. The wintertime can get pretty overwhelming, especially during the holiday season, and a trip abroad can bring the focus back to spending time with our loved ones and away from the extra madness.
My ultimate dream for the wintertime is snow, roaring fireplaces and quality time with my family. But most of the time, the days here are grey and rainy. So why not mix it up?
Winter break, but at the seaside with a warmer climate? Yes please. Sicily and Crete are two places that have been on my list. Sicily is a cultural hub that shines during the Christmas season. The Palermo Christmas market is one to write home about, there is the ‘Presepe Vivente’ in Taormina, the small town of Erice becomes a Christmas wonderland, and so much more. The island of Sicily has a lot to see and do, so it is highly recommended to book one of the many Sicily villa rentals, especially for a winter holiday there. That way, you can recreate the privacy of your own home and choose a villa located amongst the areas that you are most drawn to for festivities. Crete, Greece’s largest island draws so many people for summer but is also so special during winter. The locals in Crete are known for being hospitable and the island is not too big and overwhelming, but has four main cities, villages and plenty of nature throughout that offer plenty to see and do.
For a winter wonderland holiday, there are plenty of destinations to choose from. Berlin and Prague look particularly attractive to me!
Christmas markets in Germany are very well known and automatically put this country at the top of my list for winter travel. The markets are all around magical, serving food, drinks and all sorts of items. Berlin, of course, has markets scattered across the more modern city. For a little exploring, the Nikolai Quarter with its cobblestone streets and colourful surroundings is a must-see.
Prague has a unique skyline and feel to the entire city. It is also known for its famous Christmas markets (especially the ones in Old Town Square and Prague Castle) and the city has twinkling lights throughout. The city is also very walkable, so while it is particularly cold there, it is easier to get around than a lot of European cities can be. For something extra special, you can see a festive concert in a palace, such as the Clam-Gallas Palace.
The idea of spending winter break abroad has me thinking, “Do we? Do we not?” You can still feel home-y, even if you’re not at home! So, what would your family miss? What about family traditions? Do your best to continue them on holiday abroad! Matching family pyjamas for Christmas morning? Bring them along! Do you have a traditional breakfast? Rent a place with a kitchen so you can whip it up! And remember to enjoy the winter traditions of wherever you go, and plan with any family members not travelling with you for a FaceTime or Skype call, especially if you are abroad for Christmas.