Let it Snow: Three Festive Getaways to Get You in the Mood for Christmas!

The Christmas season is well and truly upon us. Shopping centres are alive with festive music and pretty lights, the Christmas tree down from the loft and the smell of mulled wine is in the air. However while the festive period is a lot of fun, it can also be chaotic and you might have a hankering to get away from the stress of organising the festivities for a few days. It’s great to pop to the odd Christmas party, enjoy the festive food and enjoy the company of friends, but sometimes we need a little time to ourselves. There’s no better way to have some quiet time than by getting away from it all on a short festive break. Take a look at these ideas for winter getaways

For a tranquil break, going to Iceland for a few days won't disappoint. The Land of Fire and Ice can be bitterly cold, but this is part of it's charm at Christmas time. With over seventy per cent of its population believing in elves (and a road not being built for fear of damaging elven habitat!) you can be sure of a slightly eccentric yet chilled out trip. You might choose to go Northern Lights hunting. Based in Reykjavik, you can keep an eye on the Aurora Borealis forecast and venture out in your hired SUV to a dark spot, to try and witness the scientific wonder. The geographical laser show can transform your festive season from ordinary to extraordinary. If you'd rather not do too much hunting by yourself, an organised tour will know the best sites to see the spectacular green lit sky best, so pre-book your seat on a coach and enjoy the view. Reykjavik itself is a fine capital city. The modern cathedral can be scaled from the inside revealing a fantastic view of the surrounding seascape from above. The nightlife is sophisticated, and there are many high-quality eateries in which to enjoy a gastronomic experience. Of particular note is a little vegetarian cafe directly opposite the south side of the cathedral. Perfect for a vegan curry and bitter hot chocolate hit. In winter time, Iceland comes alive with its dramatic ice landscapes. Gullfoss waterfall completely freezes leaving a powerful body of water almost frozen in time. You can snowshoe across a giant glacier, take a boat trip to spot minke whale and dolphins or scale a dormant volcano. Iceland is a fantastic adventure haven for those adrenaline junkies and activity seekers.

The French Alps
There’s nothing like partaking in a spot of skiing or snowboarding during the festive season. You could seek luxury in Meribel, enjoying the surroundings of a cosy chalet, awesome snow capped mountain vistas and incredible powder. If you are more of a budget traveller, Bulgaria has some up and coming skiing hotspots to contend with their established European rivals. For an active few days away with great off piste skiing, you can’t beat the Alps. The apres skiing scene is fantastic, the drink is forever flowing, the food is top notch, and you may even catch a World Cup event if you plan your trip accordingly. If you've never skied before, don't let this put you off. Plenty of resorts cater for novices, and you could spend your vacation learning how to snowboard before returning home full of festive cheer.

For the ultimate festive getaway, Lapland fits the bill. There’s nothing more Christmassy than visiting the homeland of the big man himself. While very child orientated, Lapland in Finland is perfect for everyone who adores winter holidays. You can find yourself enjoying a husky drawn sled ride through the finest pine forests in the world. You might fancy taking a visit to Santa Claus’s grotto, visiting his toy workshop and feeding the reindeer. Chalets here tend to be communal style or hotel-like. This means the catering is second to none, there is always a warming hot chocolate on hand, and you can feel snug as a bug with woollen fabrics, fleece throws and cushions aplenty adorning all the living areas and bedrooms. After an active day partaking in festive activities, what can be better than relaxing in a hot tub or enjoying a sauna session?

Forget two weeks in the sun, a winter break could be just what you need to recharge your batteries and return to a Christmas at home ready to eat, drink and be merry. Follow this essential guide and use one of these destination ideas to get away from the stress of the festive season this year.

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