I have always associated Christmas with a crisp cold London evening, overcast skies and a stiff, chilly breeze, the forever expectation of snow, twinkling of streetlights and warm brightly lit shops with hundreds of people (locals) walking
I have always associated Christmas with a crisp cold London evening, overcast skies and a stiff, chilly breeze, the forever expectation of snow, twinkling of streetlights and warm brightly lit shops with hundreds of people (locals) walking briskly shopping bags in one hand and brolly in the other. The black and brown overcoats out with gloves and Burberry scarfs completing the get-up. The buses heading down Regent Street are packed and the pubs always have a cheerful life of their own. The trio; Christmas, the year-end and the cold weather find companionship with conversations on holiday plans, parties or simply the joy of solitude.
A visit to the nearby Christmas market is essential, not for anything else but to ward off any pangs of depression brought on by a lack of sunlight! In my opinion, London doesn’t do Christmas Markets as well as Europe. In Continental Europe, the market is a proper miniature theme park done just right with a sprawling assemblage of craft and food, carols and laughter. The quintessential Christmas Market is a destination and an experience in itself.We round up unique Christmas destinations each with a twist to get your eggnog on.
For those fortunate enough to enjoy this festive season surrounded by a thick, powder-soft blanket of snow, waking up to a hot cup of cocoa with melting marshmallows or stepping into a hot tub with champagne in hand overlooking the alpine wonderland that is the French Alps – welcome to ski country. The Chamonix region and winter walhalla Val d’Isère are an outdoor playground with perfect ski slopes, thrilling activities and plenty of luxurious options for downtime. The snowy wonderland of the French Alps is an inspiring place to be during this festive season. To explore this place further, one of our features in this edition covers this region in the French Alps and our ‘where to stay’ department includes some of the best ski resorts in the world.
When it comes to destinations beyond this year end, our team has spent considerable time deliberating on the places that need to be on the watch list of savvy travellers. Our top 10 picks are Mongolia, Bhutan, Oman, Jordan, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Namibia, Mexico, Northern Italy and Indonesia, in no particular order. These are not the usual suspects. Far from it. These places offer unique adventures, experiences and are lesser known pieces of paradise that are simply put, far superior. What are the reasons for these 10 being on our 2019 watch list? – Read the feature in the pages that follow. We are confident you will enjoy being a part of the locals in Verona, sip tea in a café in Muscat or beach bumming on the golden sands of Ceylon. ◼
© This article was first published in Dec-Jan 2019 edition of World Travel Magazine.
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