Trips to take this Christmas (dreamstime)
List Words : Wanderlust team | 26 September

Top 9 trips to take this Christmas

Plan an adventure now to ensure you have the best festive season

1. Sweden

Embrace the chill

Want a 100% guaranteed white Christmas? Want to walk (or maybe snowshoe) in the most wonderful winter wonderland? Then make a December break for Swedish Lapland.

Discover the World’s Christmas at the ICEHOTEL trip guarantees the coolest yule. Spend a night bedding down on ice in a snow room at the Arctic’s most iconic accommodation; at this time of year, the ICEHOTEL is even more magical, bedecked with sparkling lights and decorated trees. On Christmas day itself, follow a torchlit procession to a carol service and raise a chilled vodka to Old Saint Nick.

There are a range of excursions available too – from husky-sled tours (on which you mush your own dogs) to snowmobile safaris, snow-sculpting lessons and cross-country skiing adventures. With luck, you might even glimpse the northern lights. Merry Christmas indeed.

Who: Discover the World
When: 23-27 Dec 2013
How long: 4 nights
How much: from £1,319 (incl flights)

2. Burma

Get spiritual

Immerse yourself in Buddhism and beauty on Tucan Travel’s Spiritual Burma tour. Wander the markets of Yangon, see monks heading to prayers at Mandalay’s Mahagandayon Monastery, set sail on the Irrawaddy River and spend time at Inle Lake. On Christmas Day itself, celebrate at the ancient city of Bagan, the densest concentration of Buddhist temples and stupas in the world.

Who: Tucan Travel
When: 21 Dec 2013-3 Jan 2014 (many other departures available)
How long: 14 days
How much: £1,209 (excl flights)

3. Madagascar

Support the local community

Enjoy lemurs and lush landscapes while giving something back this Christmas on Explore’s The Lost Continent trip. Stay in a community dormitory in Ambositra, which helps to develop local health projects, and enjoy a traditional Malagasy meal and folk dancing display. Then, explore dense rainforests, volcanic lakes and golden sands, before spending Christmas day itself seeking out the cyanide-eating golden bamboo lemurs in Ranomafana National Park.

Who: Explore
When: 18 Dec 2013-3 Jan 2014
How long: 17 days
How much: from £2,811 (incl flights)

4. South-East Asia

Country-hop by bike

See South-East Asia from the saddle on Adventure Worldwide’s Cycle Bangkok to Saigon ride. Pedal the back-roads of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, stopping at Pang Sida National Park, Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh and Saigon. Plus, spend a special Christmas day at a Mekong Delta homestay.

Who: Adventure Worldwide
When: 14-29 Dec 2013 (others available)
How long: 16 days
How much: from £2,194 (incl flights)

5. Jordan

See a world of wonders

Biblical mountains, lost cities, cool coasts, desert landscapes – Cox & Kings’ Jordan at Christmas trip packs in the best of the country. Highlights include a 4WD ride in Wadi Rum, ancient Petra and a healing Dead Sea float on Christmas day. Bliss!

Who: Cox & Kings
When: 22 Dec-29 Dec 2013
How long: 7 nights
How much: from £1,595 (incl flights)

6. Ecuador

Experience heat and heights

G Adventures’ Inland & Amazon trip will see you spend festive season high in the Andes and deep in the jungle. Hike, horseride and hot-spring soak amid volcanoes, homestay with the Quichua in the jungle and spend Christmas day canoeing the Napo River.

Who: G Adventures
When: 21 Dec 2013-5 Jan 2014
How long: 16 days
How much: from £799 (excl flights)

7. Italy

Walk the eternal city

Discover city secrets on Andante Travels’ Introducing Rome tour. Experts will lead you round the ancient core on foot, plus you’ll get a private viewing of the Sistine Chapel. On Christmas day you’ll head to the Vatican to hear the Pope’s blessing, followed by an Italian festive lunch.

Who: Andante Travels
When: 23-28 Dec 2013
How long: 6 days
How much: £2,175 (incl flights)

8. Russia

Hunt the northern lights

Feel festive on Steppes Travel’s Christmas Northern Lights Train Journey. Ride the luxurious Golden Eagle Train north from Moscow, celebrate Christmas day in Suzdal with a sleigh ride, cross into the Arctic Circle to search for the aurora and see in New Year in St Petersburg.

Who: Steppes Travel
When: 23 Dec 2013-2 Jan 2014
How long: 11 days
How much: from £7,295 (incl flights)

9. Antarctica

Sail to the sparkling south

World Expeditions’ Antarctic Peninsula at Christmas cruise takes in penguin colonies, scientific bases, whale-rich waters and myriad icebergs: in short, it’s the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime Xmas present.

Who: World Expeditions
When: 20-31 Dec 2013
How long: 12 days
How much: US$7,900 (£5,085 – excl flights)