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Where to go on holiday in December

Molly Thompson

Tis’ the season when old Jack Frost is nipping at your nose. Whether you want to embrace a cold wintery wonderland, or escape to somewhere tropical, the choice is yours: there are destinations aplenty to appease your wanderlust this time of year, but here we pick a modest three to get you on your merry way.

See our where to go, when guide for destination recommendations throughout the year.



Turkey is a fantastic choice at this time of year. The wintry landscapes of Cappodocia  are magical, and if you’re looking for a city to explore, Istanbul is perfect. With grand palaces, temples, mosques, restaurants, and museums it’s a beautiful city to unpack in the quieter month of December.

Six Senses Kocatas Mansion

Set amidst immaculately landscaped gardens and meandering pathways in the prosperous Sariyer district with the centre of Istanbul a short boat ride away, Six Senses Kocatas Mansions incorporates two wonderfully restored Ottoman mansions, recreating historic architectural features.

Four Seasons at the Bosphorus

Close to the Dolmabahce Palace area in an enviable central location on the European bank of the celebrated Bosphorus and boasting tremendous views.

Saltzburg From late November to December Salzburg’s lights will be lit, there’ll be incense in the air, choral singing from the cathedral steps, and stunning nativity scenes are annotated with the warming sounds of brass and traditional wind instruments. Undoubtedly one of Europe’s loveliest cities, Salzburg is a Baroque masterpiece set against an operatic backdrop of mountains, forests and rivers. The birthplace of Mozart, it boasts a rich history of music and art. The Christmas market is a particular highlight.

Goldener Hirsch

Beautifully located by Lake Fuschl and dating back to 1450, Schloss Fuschl has been carefully restored and modernised whilst retaining its historical heritage and its unique collection of paintings by Old Masters lends an air of grandeur.

Sheraton Grand Salzburg

Set right on the edge of the glorious Mirabell Gardens and facing the 17th century Mirabell Palace.

Thailand The best time to visit Thailand is during the long sunny spell between November and March, avoiding the rainy season and the more intense heat of April and May. A land of breathtaking natural beauty, captivating Buddhist monuments, tantalising cuisine and the warmest of welcoming smiles. Step outside the energy and vibrance of the capital Bangkok and you’ll find the mountainous landscape of the north, whilst to the south a world of tempting gastronomy, tropical beaches, and picture perfect seascapes awaits.

The Sarojin, Khao Lak

A boutique hotel infused with an air of romance, The Sarojin lies ensconced in a lush tropical garden and edged by an 11km beach. A sanctuary for couples, delight in private dining experiences, luxurious guest rooms, awe-inspiring views and pampering spa treatments.

Katathani Phuket Beach Resort

A long sweep of golden sand edges the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort. Enjoying peaceful seclusion, this extensive resort features six pools including four children’s pools, six restaurants, the Chang Noi Kid’s Club and the luxurious Tew Son Spa.

Highlights of Thailand

On this 9-day escorted tour visit Bangkok’s iconic Grand Palace and view the Emerald, Gold, and Reclining, Buddhas. Explore superb ruins at Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, and visit the Golden Triangle where Laos, Myanmar and Thailand meet at the Mekong River. Meet tribes’ people, visit hilltop-temple Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, and journey to an elephant camp.