IF you’re dreaming of a white Christmas - or even just less seasonal stress, why not book yourself a break away? Lisa Salmon rounds up her festive favourites
To some, Christmas couldn’t come soon enough, but for others, the festive countdown just spells chaos and mayhem.
If the chill in the air is getting you down, now could be the time to cheer yourself up by booking a Yuletide get-away.
The world is your Christmas oyster - but festive fun can be found not too far afield, both in Europe and the UK itself. Here are our top picks.
GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKETS - BY AIR
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a German market selling festive goodies - but why not try the real thing this year? Skyscanner’s travel editor Cat McGloin suggests Berlin’s Christmas markets, particularly WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt and Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt, which both run from November 23. McGloin says: “This time of year, markets start springing up all over Berlin, with about 60 all over the city specialising in a range of Christmas delights. WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt is the best for some tasty Noel nosh, from smoked salmon to apple strudel - there are enough food stalls here to satisfy even Santa’s appetite.” Alternatively, the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt, a romantic Nordic-Scandinavian style market set in the courtyards of a 19th century brewery, has more than 60 stalls selling plenty of gifts.
• From £111pp on Skyscanner. Valid for travel December 1-4. Price includes return flights from Stansted to Berlin with Ryanair, and three nights at the four-star Abacus Tierpark Hotel in a double room (based on two sharing) on a room-only basis. Visit www.skyscanner.net
GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKETS - BY RIVER
How about touring some of Germany’s Christmas markets by boat on a festive river cruise? The River Cruise Line offers a four-day German Christmas Markets cruise on the three-star Lady Anne. After coach travel from the UK, the cruise departs from Andernach, and travels through the spectacular Rhine Gorge to Oberwesel for an excursion to the pretty town of Rudesheim, bursting with Christmas stalls. Then it’s on to Koblenz, before finishing with a day exploring Cologne - home to five Christmas markets.
• From £269pp, based on two sharing an en-suite cabin on full-board basis, including return coach travel from joining points nationwide, transfers and a walking tour of Cologne. Departures available from December 1-13. Visit www.rivercruiseline.co.uk or call 0844 544 6437
Indulge in the magic of Disney’s Enchanted Christmas celebrations at Disneyland Paris from November 7-January 7, 2016. This year, there’s Disney Dreams! of Christmas, a seasonal night-time spectacular with Frozen characters adding a special glow to musical fireworks, a water show, Mickey’s Magical Christmas Lights display and Disney’s Christmas parade.
• Eurostar return travel from London to Paris from £72pp (www.eurostar.com), plus £321 for two nights at Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch in a two bedroom Trapper Cabin (with kids under seven free deal). Visit www.magicbreaks.co.uk
SKIING IN FRANCE
If you want a picture postcard Christmas, head for the snowy French Alps. Located high up in the mountains, reaching heights of 2,735m, Serre Chevalier offers extensive, quality skiing for all levels. Enjoy a Christmas made easy at the three diamond Chalet Le Lodge, where you can forget all about cooking and simply relax - after a hard day’s festive skiing, that is!
• From £499pp for seven nights, departing December 19. Price includes chalet catering, return flights from London Gatwick to Turin and resort transfers. For more information or to book, visit www.inghams.co.uk or call 01483 791 114
Real reindeer and luxury five-star lodges nestled in the wintry Cornish countryside makes the Gwel an Mor resort in Portreath the perfect place to visit for a festive family break. Children can enjoy a reindeer encounter at the resort’s own wildlife centre, before meeting Father Christmas and enjoying family film afternoons. There are also festive welcome packs and gifts for children, and children’s Christmas parties on both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
• From £419 from November 28, for either a three-night weekend break or four-night mid-week break, in a luxury lodge sleeping four. Visit www.gwelanmor.com