Where to spend Christmas in Europe

A skyline of a European city in the winter
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If you’re thinking of getting away this holiday season but you’re still not sure where to go for Christmas, Europe is a fantastic option for those who want to travel while still going somewhere where festive spirits are high. Traveling to Europe is becoming more affordable, and from traditional holiday markets and nostalgic settings to charming medieval squares and Gothic churches, all throughout Europe there are countless destinations that can definitely deliver a hefty dose of holiday spirit.

St. Moritz, Switzerland

Photo courtesy of Snow Magazine

The perfect time to take a ski trip to avoid an overcrowded resort is Christmas! That’s because the peak season for the European slopes is February through March. Traveling to Europe for a ski holiday is totally worth it for the experience; you’ll get the opportunity to ski where the sport originated from, enjoy the beautiful scenery, and indulge in the local food and wine. The Alps are a haven for anyone who loves adventure and outdoor sports, and with towns as idyllic as St. Moritz, it’s perfect for a Christmas holiday!

There are hundreds of ski resorts to choose from, but St. Moritz in Switzerland is a truly special destination. This resort is the oldest winter holiday destination in the world, making it the most luxurious and unique escape you could ask for this holiday season. Spend your mornings skiing, and in the afternoons, get cozy by the fire with a hot chocolate and relax in style and elegance.

Lapland, Finland

If you’re traveling to Europe with family this holiday season and have young children, taking them to Lapland will create the most amazing winter wonderland experience. Make it a weekend trip, and stay in this unique igloo before taking a short road trip to Rovaniemi to visit Santa’s Village. Your day will be full of fun, family activities, which may include a ride on a snowmobile, a reindeer safari, a husky ride, and, of course, saying hello to Santa!

Pertisau, Austria

A view of Pertisau, Austria, at night with snow covered mountains in the background
Photo by Fardus

Nestled on the shores of Lake Achensee and surrounded by dramatic mountain ranges, this unique village is perfect for a fantastic Christmas. Europe is spoiled for choice when it comes to mountain villages and lake side cities, but this lesser known spot offers a leisurely pace of life all year round. With an atmospheric bazaar offering traditional crafts, freshly made waffles, and the Pertisau Parish Church offering a beautiful Christmas concert, you can really indulge in all things festive with a stay in this adorable spot.

Kiruna, Sweden

As the Northern Lights are one of the seven wonders of the world, the best time to chase the Aurora is during the holiday season. In December, evenings are long and dark, so the chances of seeing the lights are very high. During the day, there will be plenty of time to spend in the snow so finally, you can enjoy the white Christmas you’ve been longing for.

Spending the nights beneath the Northern Lights is the ideal retreat for a romantic getaway. In Kiruna, Sweden, you can fall asleep watching the Aurora dance the night away under a completely translucent glass roof—a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Granada, Spain

Photo from Spain Attractions

If you’re looking for a storybook Christmas, Granada is the perfect place to visit. The city is famous for its breathtaking, postcard landscapes and magical nativity scenes, known as belenes. Set the tone this festive season and introduce something different and exciting—a Spanish navidad, perhaps? Reconnect with nature and go glamping for the holidays by staying close to the snow-capped mountains of Sierra Nevada in this beautiful tipi, or enjoy a luxourious stay in this stunning vacation rental with a pool just 20 kilometers from Granada.

Want to avoid the cold this Christmas? Europe has some great destinations to enjoy some winter sun!

Malta

A street in Valletta at sunset

Christmas in Europe doesn’t have mean snow and cold snaps. With warm weather, rarely dropping below 15°C, you can look forward to relaxing getaway in the sun, strolling through the picturesque streets of Valletta, or taking long walks through the unspoiled countryside. With natural harbors, idyllic fishing villages, rocky coves, incredible cliffs, and a range of unique accommodations, Malta boasts nine UNESCO Heritage World Sites, giving you a mix of both culture and relaxation for a quiet, sunny Christmas.

Cyprus

Cyprus boasts upwards of 340 days of sunshine—some years even boasting temperatures of 20°C on Christmas day—and with some wonderful spots to stay, it is a fantastic option for Christmas with a sunny twist! Christmas day could be spent on the beach, or up in the mountains where it is slightly cooler. The capital, Nicosia, boasts incredible restaurants and museums, and with incredible archaeological sites to explore, you can truly lose yourself in this stunning, Mediterranean island.

Despite the heat, Christmas is still a big deal here. Starting on the 24th December with kids going door to door singing carols, and continung unitl 6th January with a feast to celebrate Epiphany, this island nation offers an incredible 12 days of Christmas!

Rocks and caves along the Cyprus coastline


Want to check out some more of our winter glamping options in Europe? Keep exploring here!

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