Festive (or not so) pre-Christmas breaks
Whether the idea of a pre-Christmas break is to start feeling festive, or to escape the Christmas mayhem all together, there are plenty of destinations to cast away the winter blues. Here are some top ideas from LOTUS clients on great ways to spend the Christmas break – festively or not so.
Spend Christmas in Palma, the capital of the Balearic Islands
With year-round warm temperatures, an array of boutique hotels and easy access from the UK, Palma is the perfect option for a December celebration where the streets come alive with fairy lights and quaint Christmas markets. The Balearic capital caters for all: young ones will enjoy skating on the indoor ice rink whilst parents may prefer to get lost Christmas shopping or dine in the Michelin-starred restaurants offering traditional Christmas menus with festive flavours and locally-sourced ingredients.
The 20th anniversary of Winter Efteling
From 12th November up to 31st January 2019, Efteling – the fairy-tale theme park in the south of Holland – is celebrating its 20th anniversary of Winter Efteling, when the park is transformed into a winter world of twinkling lights, bonfires and snow-covered pine trees. The theme park, which is open year-round, offers a wide variety of winter-themed activities including ice skating and cross country skiing. Its famous Fairytale Forest is cloaked in a wintry atmosphere and the Fairytale Tree gives a special winter performance. All of the park’s attractions will be open as usual, apart from the water rides, meaning that visitors can enjoy all the fun, magic and thrills that Efteling has to offer with a winter wonderland twist. www.efteling.com/en/park/events/winter-efteling
Jet2CityBreaks offers three nights during Winter Efteling from £279 per person, based on two adults and two children travelling, staying at the Efteling Hotel on B&B basis with return flights and unlimited park access. The price is based on departing Leeds Bradford on 20 November. www.jet2holidays.com/poi/amsterdam/efteling / www.Efteling.com
Christmas Shopping in Guernsey
With Christmas decorations, festive performances, local craft fairs and quirky shopping, Guernsey is a popular destination for a pre-Christmas break. Visitors are promised a stress-free and budget-friendly getaway without the need to change up British pounds. Festive craft markets are open every Saturday from late November up until Christmas in the heart of the capital, St Peter Port, offering gifts from local crafts. On select weekends in the run-up to Christmas, shoppers can also take advantage of a ferry crossing to Herm Island for just £1. Just a 20-minute ferry, day trippers can do their Christmas shopping in Herm’s gift shop, enjoy the hospitality of the Mermaid Tavern or have a winter walk around Herm’s stunning coastline.
FlyGuernsey.com is offering four nights for the price of two, from £199 per person between 1st November and 20th December. The package includes B&B accommodation and return flights from London Gatwick with Aurigny Airlines. www.visitguernsey.com / www.flyguernsey.com
Maybe not so…
Rock out at Children of the 80s at Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife
Those preparing for a fun-fuelled festive season can warm-up with a sun-soaked winter break at Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife. With temperatures at an average 20ºC in December and only 4 hours by plane from the UK, Tenerife is the perfect location for a short burst of sun ahead of Christmas. The five-star Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife provides the perfect base for rocking, relaxing and exploring the island with the monthly ‘Children of the 80s’ event held on Saturday 8th December. Free for hotel guests and held in the outdoor concert area, party-goers can expect a fun-filled eighties’ vibe with a legendary headline guest performer from yesteryear, as well as DJ sets. The event promises dance-floor-fillers, sing-a-long classics, dazzling entertainers and a touch of 80s nostalgia.
Jet2Holidays offers a five night break to Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife over Children of the 80s from £394 per person, staying in a Deluxe Gold Room with sea-view. The price is based on two people departing London Stansted on 6th December and includes breakfast. www.hrhtenerife.com / www.jet2holidays.com
Escape the Christmas madness with Alpharooms
Those wanting to escape the madness of endless parties and shopping frenzies can spend a week of sun, sea and sand in the Dominican Republic. Stalling the Christmas celebrations, holidaymakers can relax in 28⁰C heat, take a stroll along the beach, or visit the neighbouring "El Cortecito" – a typical Caribbean village – to sample some of the local cuisine.
Alpharooms offers seven nights at the 4 star Vista Sol Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic starting from £979 per person based on two adults sharing. The package is based on an all-inclusive basis, flying from London Gatwick on 13 December 2018. (alpharooms.com / 0114 407 0241) www.alpharooms.com / https://www.alpharooms.com/extras?id=53e9c83c-036e-46f3-a968-d9a15aac847f
Sant Mateu D’Albarca Local Wine Festival
The peaceful village of Sant Mateu d’Albarca, located in the north east of Ibiza hosts the island’s most popular wine event just before Christmas - the traditional Festa del Vi Pagès (local wine festival). Taking place on the second Saturday of December, the day is devoted to young wines from small and medium-sized vineyards and invites visitors to enjoy locally produced wines and charcuterie. Visitors can also enjoy meats such as sobresada (a spicy sausage paste) and butifarra, a sausage made of pork and local seasoning, as well as enjoy winter BBQs, all going hand in hand with the exquisite island wines. This festival is a celebration of wine and local produce and is one of the best ways of discovering Ibiza’s authentic side in the lead-up to Christmas.
BA CityFlyer operates year round flights between London City and Ibiza, with flights from £103 in December. www.BA.com. For more information on Sant Mateu d’Albarca, please visit: www.seeibiza.com/events/sant-mateu-wine-festival-sant-mateu-d'albarca-702186