10 Best Places to Enjoy (or Escape) Christmas

Markets or beach? Mount the Bethlehem or Santa’s  hometown? Gala dinners or adventure in the desert? Tradition or transgression? We select 10 best travel deals for upcoming holidays. Here is the list:

 1. Helsinki, Finland     

The capital of Finland, the homeland of Santa Claus, is a true spectacle of street markets and bazaars during the month of December. We warn you, it is impossible to resist the unique art pieces and beautiful crafts that their stands offer. The epicenter of Christmas is Aleksanterinkatu street and especially in the Senate Square, whose Christmas market is the largest in the city. Also, the official Helsinki fir tree stands here and traditions such as spiced hot wine or carrousel ride can be meet. The online travel agency Expedia offers packages flight plus hotel to Helsinki from $500 (five nights). More information at: www.expedia.com and www.visitfinland.com 

2. The Owl And the Pussycat in Galle, SriLanka 

It is no coincidence that Sri Lanka has popped up on the list of the 10 best destinations in Asia to travel in 2018, according to the all-mighty Lonely Planet. Mostly because its combination of natural parks and tea plantations, pristine beaches and rugged mountains, whale watching and train travel, colonial legacy and local authenticity… And of course, accommodations like The Owl and the Pussycat. This small hotel near Galle, on the south coast, has only 17 suites. Decorated with taste and full of artworks by local artists, it can be the perfect refuge for those who seek privacy away from the festive atmosphere. Also, its wide range of activities will be more than enough motivation to start 2019 with renewed energy: cooking classes in front of the ocean, personalized meditation sessions, live jazz every afternoon, massages next to the beach … The options in this Eden are (almost) infinite. From $280 / night. More information at: www.otphotel.com

3. London, United Kingdom 

Those who have set sail to the British capital these days can take a different tour to learn the symbols and curiosities of Christmas in London. Civitatis, a company specialized in guided tours,excursions and activities, offers a route that will take us from the Coven Garden market to Picadilly Circus; to see the impressive ornaments of Carnaby and Oxford Street; to get the holiday spirit under the largest Christmas tree in the United Kingdom, erected in Trafalgar Square since 1947; to enjoy the shop windows of the Seldfridges shopping center and the visit to one of the most famous markets in Europe, Winter Wonderland. During this two-hour journey you will discover the best decorated streets, where carols are sung, the origin of postcards and many other curiosities. Price of the tour from $16 for adults. More information on this and other offers at: www.civitatis.com/en/  

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