If the sight of the Christmas products creeping into the shops has left you yearning to get away from it all, here are some of the best places to head to over the festive period.
Cape Town | If the mere thought of a White Christmas leaves you cold, then head to the sunshine city of Cape Town over the festive break. Swap overcrowded shopping streets for fantastic beaches in a world so far away from a British Christmas that you won’t remember what turkey looks like, let alone how it tastes. It may be a clich*, but Cape Town really does have something for everyone, from mountains and vineyards to traditional culture, stunning scenery and magnificent shopping.
Thailand | If you want to escape all of the festivities, you need somewhere that will keep your attention for at least a couple of weeks, and Thailand will certainly do that. In fact, you could probably stay until next Christmas and never be short of things to see and do. Head to Bangkok for nightlife like you have never experienced before, or simply sit back and relax in the outstanding natural beauty of one of the country’s southern beach-resort islands. This is a country filled with exotic traditions and customs, and it is as diverse a place as anywhere in the world.
For the best weather in December, head to one of the Andaman resorts such as Phuket, Koh Lanta, Khao Lak or Krabi. Here the days promise to be sunny and the seas should be calm. Find out more about the different places to visit by reading the Lonely Planet Thailand – Travel Guide, available from Waterstones.
Sri Lanka | Sri Lanka feels outstandingly exotic but is still surprisingly affordable if you are happy to stay in average accommodation, even over the Christmas season. Boasting an unrivalled historic and cultural combination, there are so many different things to experience that you simply won’t have time to miss mince pies and corny cracker jokes. Animal encounters are a must during a visit to Sri Lanka, as is a trip to the unforgettable Sigiraya rock fortress.
Morocco | Morocco is a great choice if you do not want to spend hours on a plane but still want to feel like you have been transported to a different world. Be prepared to be seduced by this colourful country, with its stunning landscapes and bustling souks. This is a country that has long mesmerised travellers from around the world. Will you be next?
Get away from the hustle and bustle in the spectacular surroundings of the Atlas Mountains, or simply while away the hours reading a book beside the beach. If you can, however, do make time for a visit to the incredible fortification of Ait Benhaddou.
Maldives | There is nowhere on Earth that will feel further away from a British Christmas than a beach in the Maldives. Wriggle your toes in pure white sand or take a dip in crystal-clear waters before phoning your family back home to find out who forgot to turn the oven on this year and how much sherry Aunty Mabel has managed to consume.