Well, I don’t know about you but depending on what is going on in my life, christmas can be either fun or awful but one thing I know, is that the best christmas I ever spent, was with my husband and family – tobogganing down the snow covered slopes of Grindelwald in Switzerland. Drinking a chilled Jack Daniels and coke on a bedroom balcony, snuggled under a warm blanket, whilst overlooking the crisp, cornflower blue water of Lake Brienz. It’s a memory which will stay with me forever and can be quickly accessed with a flick of a thought, bringing about a happy feeling in my belly!
So I thought I would share with you, five of my favourite places to visit at christmas and see if you fancy making a break for it and trying any of them.
Lake Thun – Switzerland
The old town is located on the River Aare, about one kilometre from the lake and under the imposing glare of Castle Thun – which now houses a museum, allowing you to explore the rich cultural history of the area. Boutique Confectioner’s selling doorstep slabs of Swiss chocolate are frequently dotted around the lanes, between coffee shops, bars, restaurants and the occasional large department store.
2. Koh Chang Thailand
Christmas is probably the most perfect (if not the cheapest) time of year to explore this little island which has nestled its way into my heart. A multi-centre stay is the best way to spend time on this little island.
Enjoy a relaxing contemporary break in the Awa Hotel in Kai Bae. Walk straight down the steps into the sea to enjoy a sunset dip, before sipping cocktails on a sun lounger. Maybe reside at the side of Klong Prao river and enjoy a evening firefly tour into the mangroves. Or why not make your way to Golden Beach at the far end of the island. Relax with your feet up at The Beach Cafe or wander round the bend and sit under one of the colourful sun umbrellas at the I Do I Do restaurant. There you can enjoy my most favourite thai dish Pad Cha, served up with a chilled Chang Beer or a fresh banana milkshake (no sugar!).
3. New Zealand
If you want to leave Blighty and really get away for christmas. Why not travel half way around the world. Whilst I was in NZ I truly felt the release of being so far from the UK.
If you visit the Milford Sound or make your way to my personal favourite town called Picton. You realise you’re beginning to touch the South Pacific with your finger tips. Visit Queenstown, explore the lake, outskirts and tramp up into the mountains and you’ll understand why this range kissing the town is named The Remarkables…
4. Gran Canaria
What is there not to love about this little island. Why not find a traditional finca high up in the mountains. Hire a car-explore the island. Visit Little Venice, the coffee plantation where Stephen Hawkings visited in 2014. Surf off the beaches, take a submarine ride under the water. From mountain to sea, it has delicious food, friendly folk, some amazing adventures and a liberal attitude.
5. The Top End. Australia
Why not take some time to fly into Darwin, visit the Northern Territories in Australia. Explore the vast, red, dirt, outback, which is Kakadu National Park. Enjoy walks, waterfalls and croc spotting. Encounter the seasonal changes of the Kakadu wetlands and definitely take a boat trip down the yellow water billabong with the indigenous owned, Yellow Water cruises.
Relax under the stars in the spa at Aurora Kakadu, explore the watering holes with wild horses and catch sight of alligators fishing for their breakfast. If you love wildlife and being outdoors, then this is a great place to visit.