The destinations to spend the perfect Christmas

Christmas is coming and the geese are getting fat, the streets are packed with shoppers and every city centre is awash with markets and gluhwein.

While it can be a magical time of year, it can also be incredibly exhausting. There is so much to prepare. You have a list of presents as long as your arm, you have a million and one bits of food to buy and you haven’t even started decorating the house. If you want something a little different to a stress-filled holiday season, we have a solution – a Christmas break.

You could be opening presents on the beach, enjoying Christmas lunch with an ocean view and spending Boxing Day relaxing by a pool. Here are just some of the best places to spend the festive period this year.

Gran Canaria

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How does the idea of basking on beaches soaking up temperatures of 20°C in December sound? Well, that is the reality of Christmas in the Canary Islands. There is a much more relaxed vibe here than during the summer months meaning you can take advantage of the unspoiled beaches, welcoming resorts and charming towns.

Gran Canaria is the epitome of a year-round destination. The traditional beach destinations of Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas are excellent for families with a wealth of things to see and do while the capital of Las Palmas offers couples a different option for a city break. And did we mention that the views are spectacular? The views are pretty spectacular.

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Athens

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Do you fancy a cheeky city break for Christmas? Look no further than the cradle of Western civilisation that is Athens. The Greek capital is a special place at the best of times but it takes on a whole new dimension during the festive period.

Climb to the top of Lykavittos Hill and admire the full panoramic of Athens before ticking off the famous landmarks. Visit the icon of the city, the famous Acropolis a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the Late Bronze Age, wander through the National Garden of Athens and see the Panathinaiko Stadium which hosted the first modern day Olympic Games in 1896.

After all that you can live like Greek gods and goddesses by retreating to a local taverna and sampling local cuisine.

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Alicante

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How could you resist the allure of the Costa Blanca for a Christmas holiday? For many British holidaymakers it is our home away from home. It has everything we could wish for and with the added bonus of beautiful weather.

While Benidorm during the holidays can be very tempting, the city of Alicante is growing a reputation as one of the must-see places in Spain. Stroll along its quaint waterfront on Christmas morning and visit the Castillo de Santa Barbara and take in the panoramic views from this ancient fortress. You can also toast the occasion by sampling Alicante’s legendary nightlife.

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Marrakech

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Try something a little different by spending Christmas in the exotic escape of Marrakech. One of the most vibrant cities in North Africa you can haggle for gifts in the souks and admire the sheer beauty of the Moroccan landscape.

Marrakech embraces the traditional Christmas spirit and you can enjoy a buche de Noel from the variety of Moroccan bakeries. Experience the unique atmosphere of the famous Jemaa al-Fna square where you will see snakecharmers and market stalls and take a pleasant stroll through the picturesque Menara gardens.

How to top off this unforgettable holiday? Watch the sunset over the desert.

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Malta

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Christmas is a big deal in Malta. From Gozo to Valletta, the towns and cities are draped in decorations, choirs sing carols and there are nativity scenes wherever you look. Locals and holidaymakers gather at St John’s Co-Cathedral for a candlelit carol service and Manoel Theatre holds the annual pantomime – perfect for families.

The bars and restaurants all host their own special events ensuring that everyone who visits really feels in the Christmas spirit.

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Plan a Christmas you will never forget with a winter break with Sunmaster. We have a range of last-minute package deals available. Visit www.sunmaster.co.uk to create your next getaway.