Taking advantage of the premiere of The Grinch movie, we want to show you a list of places where Christmas is not celebrated, or at least not much celebrated. Now is your chance to escape from Christmas! Here, we are big fans of this time of the year, but we understand that there are people who want to get away from the tables full of food, garlands, family gatherings, and Christmas shopping. So, without further delay…
Here are the: 6 places to escape from Christmas if you aren’t in the holiday mood
One of the best destinations in which to enjoy other experiences than Christmas. You will be immersed in a very different culture, you will see the crowded souks instead of Christmas markets and trees, and you can try the culinary delights with spices and teas instead of nougat and shortbread. Whilst you are on your trip, you will discover the Arab world you can visit the Medina, declared as a World Heritage Site. Have a look at our 3-day guide to Marrakech.
Avoid the cold temperatures and jump into the warm waters of the ocean accompanied by white sand.
Spending some exotic Christmas is possible if you travel to Mauritius, which is also a great destination to visit with children. Catamaran excursions to see dolphins and other aquatic species, inactive volcanoes and parks with an ecosystem totally different to ours will be a highlight to your little escape. Enjoy the warmth and come back home as if you were coming back from your summer vacation ? Learn more about this paradisiac destination here.
For the Christmas dates, flights from the peninsula are at a great price rate. You can finish the year by taking a dip into the sea (or start the new one in the same sense). It’s not that hot, but the winter there is mild with average temperatures of 20º. You can also practice many water sports, and after that, give yourself a sweet afternoon by tasting the typical desserts of the area (such as the famous sweet potato trout) instead of shortbreads. The Christmas there is celebrated, but there isn’t such a buzz about it.
One more fact: in the Canary Islands the consumption tax is 7% meaning buying a little gift will be cheaper than doing it on the peninsula ?
French Antilles: Martinique and Guadalupe Island
Christmas is celebrated on these islands but somewhat in a different way from ours. The first thing is the weather, which is warmer there in the winter months. The highlight is his Chanté Nöel: Christmas carols in a Caribbean rhythm that are played in the streets of the Island with local instruments. These songs are accompanied by traditional dances, such as the Beguine, which is a fusion of local, Latin and French rhythms.
The inhabitants of the Lesser Antilles celebrate Christmas in a special way. They follow the French traditions but with Creole and Caribbean hints. They give more importance to reinforce their family and community bonds rather than purchasing gifts for Christmas as the Western world does. You would like to see how the Christmas lights wrap around the trunks of the palm trees that in a way give the islands a Christmas atmosphere.
Turkey is a Muslim country, so the celebrations of Christmas, as we know, are very discreet. Istanbul is one of the best places to escape from Christmas, you won’t notice the Western influence that nowadays is very commercial.
Make sure you visit the old Constantinople, one of the most incredible cities on the planet! To get another religion perspective, go to the great mosque of Sultan Ahmed (the Blue Mosque) and the Hagia Sophia. Go back home with a gift for your loved ones, take a tour through the souks in the Grand Bazaar or in the Spice Market.
What else can you do? Enjoy a cruise on the Bosphorus, go for a drink at the neighborhood of Beyoglu, visit the bridge and the Galata Tower.
St. Petersburg avoids all the festivity, thus Christmas decorations are lacking, but if you are coming for the winter, you will find it! St. Petersburg is all covered by the snow during that time.
A large part of the inhabitants of the city are Orthodox and don’t celebrate this festivity until January the 6th and the 7th. The dates don’t coincide because the Orthodox are guided by the Julian calendar and Catholics and Protestants by the Gregorian calendar. However, it’s increasingly common for a part of the Russian citizens to hold the celebration in the Western way. In any case, there are hundreds of beautiful things to see in St. Petersburg, we give you some suggestions: the Hermitage Museum and the Winter Palace of Catherine the Great (it was the residence of the Russian emperors!), The Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood, the Peter and Paul Fortress or the Peterhof Palace.
Have you found a place that you want to escape from Christmas? Don’t hesitate to tell us if you have others on your list! Regardless of the destination you choose, take a look at our tips for traveling by plane with children, so your family trip goes as smoothly as possible!