Christmas 2013: top travel destinations selected for you by Excite UK
Spain is not only about sun, beach, beers and 'tapas' and Granada is proof of that. This beautiful city in Southern Spain is also full of magic and history. Its magnificent 'La Alhambra' is one of the most visited momuments in the country, a XIth century muslim castle that feaures stunning fountains and gardens. Not far from the Alhambra, there’s the Albayzin neighbourhood, a maze of pleasant narrow streets from the arabic time that embodies the essence of Granada and its people. If you like skiing, only 40 km far from Granada, there’s the 'Sierra Nevada', the most southern ski resort in Europe and one of the most large and famous in Spain.
Sarajavo is a unique place: nicknamed the Balkans’ Gerusalem, this city can only be described as charismatic. Sarajevo is much more young and vibrant than other countries from former Jugoslavia, people are welcoming and open. The historic centre features colorful bazars, cafes, mosques, churches as well as synagogues. The war has deeply affected this city, however, its fascinating original spirit is pretty much alive.
Snow, reindeers and sleeping in an igloo: Christmas in Lapland can be at the same time romantic and adventurous! Despite the long hours of darkness you can still take part to many activities like sleigh rides with huskies or ice-fishing. And if you are lucky, you can see the beautiful Northern Lights.
London Ice Sculpting Festival
If you’re heading to London for the new year and want to hold on to that festive feeling while doing something a bit out of the ordinary, you must check out the 2014 edition of The London Ice Sculpting Festival, which takes place in Canary Wharf between the 10th and the 12th of January. During this free annual event, ice sculptors from all around the world gather to compete against each other to create the most amazing artworks out of massive blocks of ice. While the talented artists work with chisels and chainsaws on their creations, you can learn the tricks of the trade at a free masterclass where experts introduce all the essential ice-sculpting techniques as well as providing all the necessary tools to create your own cool masterpiece. A folkloristic touch is provided by the Winter Market, where you can grab a hot cuppa as well as do some late festive shopping.
With December approaching, the number of lovely Christmas markets is spreading around Europe. Nothing better than a long weekend in Cologne, to discover one of the most sparkling and entertaining cities in Germany. Cologne’s Old Town hosts a magic and brightly illuminated Christmas market with more than 160 stalls offering traditional gifts, mulled wine and typical local sausages to drink and eat while shopping around. The market is very well known both in Europe and outside, attracting every year millions of visitors from. Being in Cologne also offers the chance to visit the magnificent cathedral in the town center and enjoy an astonishing view from the very top - but… mind the steps! If you are hungry, pit stop at the Brauhaus Früh am Dom to taste some delicious German food and thoroughly enjoy the Bavarian way of life. What are you waiting for? Book a flight now!
Galicia, also known as the land of witches, is a region of contrasts, oceans, rivers, mountains and endless beaches. In Santiago de Compostela you can enjoy a visit to its fabulous cathedral or maybe taste its delicious food, especially the unique fish and seafood dishes. In Galicia you can also find the traditional Albariño, a local coffee liqueur, or the famous queimada, an alcoholic beverage rooted in Galician tradition.
Copenhagen is famous for being the capital of the trendy Nordic food movement, but the city has lots more to offer. There is a big artistic movement that results in some of Europe’s best shopping when it comes to fashion and design. Copenhagen has a rich history as well, that dates back to the Viking age. On a sunny winter day you can join the Copenhagen residents cruising around on their bike, and enjoy the scenery of old Copenhagen, the famous harbor, and the hippie town of Christiania. A perfect destination for a Christmas trip.