Where to travel in December


By Issy D’Arcy Clark for High Life magazine

Photography by Getty

Skip to Navigation

September 2017

From Christmas in New York, to skiing in Bergen, we’ve gathered together the places to go in December when the weather gets chilly. If you’d rather a little sunshine instead, we’ve got that covered too, in the form of chic Miami and dreamy Mauritius.

The beach…

Mauritius

Relax during December, with average temperatures of 25°C on the island of Mauritius. Kick back on picture-perfect white sands or liven things up with water sports or zip-lining through jungles. Go scuba-diving and plunge into the Indian Ocean at Roche Zozo, off Blue Bay on the southern coast, to experience colourful coral reefs and experience creature encounters. Venture south west to find wild dolphins and enjoy the revitalising spray of sea water on a catamaran.

Eat

Savour the delights of luxury at the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita, with a choice of four restaurants and mouthwatering menus. The Beau Champ is open for breakfast and dessert, with a beautiful setting on the water’s edge. In the morning, choose from crab benedict, Mauritian dishes, and sweet French toast. Come nightfall, dine on the six-course menu, created by multi-award-winning chefs.

Stay

The five-star exotic luxury of LUX* Belle Mare offers plenty of quirks and spectacular views. Take pleasure in the ice-cream parlour, then head to the new gin haven IM-A-GIN. Take a sunset stroll across the blissful beach, or horse-ride by the waves. Head to the glistening sands in the morning for beach yoga, then hop on a red bicycle to explore more of Mauritius.

Find our cheapest flights to Mauritius

  • Ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza skating rink, New York City © Alamy

    Christmas time in the city

    The Rockefeller Center tree is usually about 23m tall and is topped by a Swarovski star made up of around 25,000 crystals.

    Book flights to New York
  • Graffiti in the Miami’s Wynwood District, USA © Getty Images

    Did you know…

    Wynwood Arts District plays host to over 70 art galleries, quirky shops, antique stores and public art installations.

    Explore Miami
  • Beach huts on the shoreline in The Bahamas © Getty Images

    Collecting shells

    No visit to The Bahamas is complete without a helping of conch, a type of sea snail. You can eat it raw with lemon juice, stewed in soup or fried in fritters.

    Visit The Bahamas

The city…

New York

There are few places as magical as New York at Christmas. Slip on skates and glide across the ice at the Rockefeller Center, beneath an 80ft Christmas tree that lights up the Big Apple each year. Ride on a horse-drawn carriage through the snow-dusting of Central Park or wander along Fifth Avenue for festive window displays and Christmas gift shopping in Macy’s. Visit one of many Christmas markets across the city and treat yourself to hot chocolate and snack on crepes, as you wander through.

Eat

Soak up the foodie joys of the secret burger joint in Le Parker Meridien. Try not to inhale your food, as you tuck into a melt-in-the-mouth cheeseburger, with all the tasty fillings, crispy bacon extra and lip-smacking golden French fries. Share a pitcher of beer with friends or slurp on a delicious Oreo milkshake. Order an epically chocolate brownie for dessert, with a big scoop of vanilla ice-cream, to top off a spectacular New York dining experience.

Stay

Bed down at New York Hilton Midtown, where halls are decked with holly and you’ll feel like a guest of Santa himself. Savour the superb location when you stay here, close by to big city sights and a short walk from the year-round charm of Central Park. After a long day of exploring in the winter chill, cosy up in your comfy bed and grab a morning treat from the coffee shop to warm you up before heading out again.

Where are the best hotels in New York?

The family trip…

Trysil

Get ready to hit the slopes on a European powder-snow adventure. Soak up the beauty of a Norwegian winter wonderland with a visit to Trysil, Norway’s largest ski resort. When you’re not skiing greens with the family, there are plenty of December activities to keep you busy including sleigh rides and dog sledging. If you want a break from the minus temperatures, warm up inside with hot chocolate, bowling and swimming pools. Soak up the views of the Trysilfjellet Mountain or if you’re ready to ride the red or black pistes, you can drop the kids at ski school for a few hours.

Eat

Whether you’re skiing all day, playing in the snow or splashing about in a pool, feed your appetite at Radisson Blu Resort. Feel the spirit of the season and book in for weekday Christmas lunch between 27 November – 22 December. Head to the Chill Bowl & Dine for an American diner feel, with bowling lanes and pool tables too. Treat the family to ice-cream, snacks or drinks when you’re having fun at the Pool Bar and need to top up energy levels. Visit the Hill Buffet Restaurant for a variety of American, Scandinavian and English breakfast selections, before heading to the hills.

Stay

Make the most of family time with an apartment stay at the Radisson Blu Mountain Resort and Residences. Enjoy an alpine feel here, with beautiful touches of log fires and cosy lounges. Indulge in a full breakfast every morning, before you venture out for a day on the mountain. Or take the kids to the games room, swim in the indoor pool or take in your surroundings at the outdoor pool and Jacuzzi. There is a ski rental shop on your doorstep, as well as spa access, a bakery and après bar, to make your stay easy with the children.

Find out cheapest flights to Oslo

The big trip…

The Bahamas

Flee the British chill and head to the Bahamas for the ultimate Christmas holiday in the sun. Swap turkey and sprouts for rock lobster in a spicy Creole sauce and guava duff served with rum custard. The rainy season ends in November and hurricanes don’t kick in until June, so December is the ideal time for a visit, with average temperatures hitting up to 26°C. Don’t miss the Junkanoo parade, a carnival of colour and culture. It traditionally begins on Boxing Day and is one of the Caribbean’s oldest street festivals, dating back to the 17th century.

Eat

Be spoilt for choice with a variety of tantalising cuisine at the Atlantis Bahamas. With its 21 restaurants and 19 bars/lounges, there is something for everyone. Indulge in Japanese flavours at celebrity chef restaurant, Nobu. Enjoy the casual atmosphere of Virgil’s Real BBQ and enjoy a slap-up platter of marinated meats. Or dine alfresco at The Point Restaurant and Bar, for a taste of the Caribbean, from fresh seafood dishes, tasty salads, key lime pie, all with a hot spot for a crimson sunset.

Stay

Treat yourself to an All Inclusive adults-only retreat, with a stay at Warwick Paradise Island. Enjoy the twinkling lights of Nassau harbour at night, unwind poolside with a cocktail and feel holiday fresh with a few spa treatments. With its great location, close to a golf course, water park and more ivory sand beaches, enjoy your Caribbean trip your way. Forget about winter woes and Christmas bustle, with the ultimate lounging break away here.

Find our cheapest flights to the Bahamas

  • Swimming with dolphins in Tamarin, Mauritius © Alamy

    Coat of many colours

    Stop by Chamarel to witness the Seven Coloured Earths, a natural formation where the sand can be found in seven different shades.

    Explore Mauritius

The wild card…

Miami

The cooler weather of December brings a brilliant opportunity to explore this quirky, cool city. With lows of 16°C and highs of 27°C, you can venture around the exciting arts and beer-drinking scene of Wynwood one day, then sunbathe on Miami beach the next. For a Christmas feel, visit Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical park or enjoy the merriment and holiday lights glisten at Pinecrest Gardens. Elsewhere, Yuletide activities include a classic performance of The Nutcracker by the Miami City Ballet and the less traditional The Hip Hop Nutcracker.

Eat

Famous for Champagne and brunching, fish tacos and fresh seafood, Miami has some high scoring food joints. Make the most of an epically serene selection at the The Ritz-Carlton South Beach. Soak up the oceanfront views of Dilido Beach Club, enjoy crispy calamari and watermelon crush cocktails. Enjoy Sunday brunch in Bistro One LR, from bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, and a vast buffet selection, including pancakes and more bite delights.

Stay

Sleep in style at The Confidante by Hyatt, set on the world-famous and beautifully art deco Miami Beach, complete with two heated pools and a rooftop spa. Immerse yourself in the tropical gardens, play some table football with drinks, then lounge on the beach or poolside. Venture along the boardwalk by foot, or if you’re brave enough, by rollerblades, then explore the cool culture, fashion and shops along Collins Avenue.

Find our cheapest flights to Miami