Wrapped up in family, snow, tape, and miles of gift-wrappings? Want to get away to somewhere warmer and less commercial? Can’t afford the price tag? Don’t fear, with all the Xmas Holiday Loans available out there, it’s still possible to spend Christmas on the beach.
In the Mediterranean, Paphos is a warm seaside destination for a Christmas getaway with temperatures averaging around 68 degrees F in December. The mythical birthplace of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Paphos was designated as the European Capital of Culture for 2017. Paphos offers beaches, dining, shopping, history, museums, sports and so much more. So stuff the parka in the back closet, grab the swim suit and make your way to this welcoming Greek Island.
In Southern Spain, Malaga is “the capital of the Costa del Sol” and the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. During the cold winters of Europe and the States, tourists will enjoy the subtropical Mediterranean climate of Malaga. The average temperature in December is a little over 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Christmas in Malaga is magical, as the city centre is transformed into a festival paradise of lights, decorations, and bright blooming poinsettias. The shops get into the holiday spirit with decorations and traditional Christmas sweets of turron and mantecados. When you are taking a break from the amazing museums, try rock climbing and the warm inviting beaches. You might also want to learn Spanish and how to salsa. While more laid back than Madrid or Barcelona, Malaga is still the centre and transport hub for the hugely popular Costa del Sol region.
Nestled among the Canary Islands is the largest and most populous isle of Tenerife. About 5 million tourists visit Tenerife each year in search of luxurious leisure opportunities besides the sand and sea. The islands are internationally known as the “Isla de la Eterna Primavera” (or the Island of Eternal Spring) and on the same latitude as the Sahara Desert. The climate delivers year-round warm temperatures, many days of sunshine, mild humidity, light trade winds, and cool sea currents. Christmas in Tenerife is a laid back affair that centres around the family meal on Christmas Eve and a quiet day at home on Christmas day. One special aspect of the Christmas season in Tenerife is the Belen. Beléns are wonderfully detailed Middle Eastern scenes of village life in biblical times. These spring up in towns in the weeks before Christmas and the best are nearly the size of a small village themselves. Look out for the man caught short in each belén; he’s always there. This is the perfect combination for a holiday resort and vacation hideaway.
In the southeastern part of Spain, jetting out into the Mediterranean Sea, travellers continue to flock to the coastal region, as they’ve done for thousands of years. With average temperature ranges between 16.8 °C (62 °F) and 6.2 °C (43 °F) in January and between 30.6 °C (87 °F) and 20.4 °C (69 °F) in August, and an average annual temperature of 17.8 °C (64 °F), not only can you enjoy the world-class beaches almost year round, but the winters are delightful as well. If you ever have the pleasure of being there during the Christmas season, you’ll find the most exquisite nativity scenes. Plus there are workshops and stalls selling traditional Alicante sweets and breads, mouth-watering chestnuts and craft stalls. All the vendors are dressed in medieval costumes and traditional Christmas music and carolling drifts through the streets of Alicante to the tune of “House of Santa Claus”, making a very festive Christmas atmosphere!
Portugal offers a beachfront community with history dating back to the Roman Occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. This quaint beach town has large pristine shorelines with sparkling clean water featuring an aqua show, shopping, and cruises for as little as US$20 (15 euros) per person. Quarteira was not built as a tourist town, locals call it a ‘proper’ town, and therefore it never becomes an off-season ghost town thereby giving it a laidback atmosphere. The town is fully active during the holiday break, but the Portuguese celebrate the Christmas holiday on Christmas Eve.
Whether you want to escape from the hustle and bustle or immerse yourself in another culture, these destinations will offer you a change from the Christmas celebrations you are accustomed to at a reasonable rate.