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Unique Christmas Holiday Destinations for 2023

Escape the trappings of a UK Christmas (short days, over-spending, in-laws...) and experience a one-of-a-kind Christmas adventure like never before. Check out these trips in some of the world's less usual holiday destinations.
Author: Donná Louw - Digital Content Executive at Explore Worldwide
Date Published: 4 August 2023
As the most magical time of the year draws near, it's time to step away from conventional celebrations and  experience a unique destination for Christmas. 

This Christmas, dare to explore beyond the familiar and unwrap the gift of unforgettable experiences in the most extraordinary corners of the world with these below destinations. 

India

Christmas in India is all about eating delicious food. Swap out a traditional Christmas meal for some flavourful Indian food packed with plenty of spices. 

On our Taste of Southern Indian trip you'll get to experience Christmas through your taste buds. You'll be introduced to South Indian cuisine, including trying out Indian street food like Masala vada and Bonda, followed by lunch at a tea Bungalow. Here you'll get to enjoy a meal that introduces Kerala's distinctive food, particularly Sadya, a traditional vegetarian banquet served on a banana leaf. The Tea Bungalow's resident chef provides insights into the origin of these dishes, followed by sampling various freshly prepared flavoursome dishes.

A Taste of Southern India - Departing 24 Dec 2023 
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Jordan

Celebrate a festive and meaningful cultural Christmas by visiting Madaba, a small town with strong Christian heritage, also known as the "City of Mosaics", and Mount Nebo; referenced in the Old Testament as the place that Moses once stood to look over the Promised Land. On a clear day you'll have views of the Dead Sea, Bethlehem and Jerusalem from Mount Nebo. 

Something even more different is our spectacular walking holiday where you'll camp in a beautiful desert area of Wadi Rum for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It's a sensational 17 kilometre circular walking experience where you'll get to walk the same route Nabatean traders once walked carrying spices, silk and perfumes. Along the way, tea and lunch will be enjoyed. The evening is spent at the desert camp under the star-studded sky. A truly magical Christmas scene set out in the desert under the stars. 

Treasures of Jordan - Departing 23 Dec 2023
Walking Jordan's Spice Trails - Departing 23 Dec 2023
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Cuba

Did you know that between 1969 to 1998, Christmas was banned in Cuba? Today, the holiday has evolved, becoming less religious and more focused on festive gatherings with loved ones on Christmas Eve, often accompanied by the enjoyment of mojitos. Embrace a unique Christmas experience with one of our cycling or discovery tours. 

If you are a cycling enthusiast, experience Christmas holidays differently on our Highlights of Cuba by bicycle trip. After spending the previous days cycling through Cuba, you'll get to enjoy a well deserved rest day on Christmas to spend on a beautiful Caribbean coastline in Playa Ancon, with the option to take a trip on a catamaran or wander through Trinidad's charming colonial streets. 

If cycling your way through Cuba is not your ideal trip, we have our Cuba Libre trip. On Christmas Day, you'll embark on an unforgettable hike through a pristine rainforest to La Comandancia de La Plata. This promises an extraordinary experience amidst nature's beauty and historical significance. 

Cuba Libre Departing - Departing 19 Dec 2023 Trip
Highlights of Cuba by Bicycle - Departing 22 Dec 2023
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Thailand

As Christmas is not recognised as a bank holiday in Thailand, this allows most attractions to remain open, offering you the opportunity to explore and experience a unique Christmas in the country. Thailand is one of the best places to be in during the festive season. It is over this period that the weather is the best, making it an ideal time of the year to explore the various islands

Experience a tropical Christmas adventure as we cruise between Thailand's idyllic islands in the southern Andaman Sea, swimming and snorkelling in warm tropical waters and eating deliciously fresh and fragrant Thai food. 

The majority of our Thailand trips start in Bangkok, where every mall in Bangkok is lit up with lights and decorations as the city recreates the magic of Christmas in different ways. 

Travelling over Christmas can also be really expensive, but Thailand provides a budget friendly tropical holiday

Simply Thailand - Departing 17 Dec 2023 
Thai Island Hopping - Departing 19 Dec 2023
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Vietnam

The vast majority of Vietnam is Buddhist – but that doesn’t stop them from celebrating Christmas. In Vietnam, Christmas Eve is a more important celebration than Christmas day. Midnight Mass services are held on Christmas Eve where people go into the centre of Ho Chi Minh city to a Catholic Cathedral. Christmas decorations light up the city and it's all about indulging in delicious local cuisine

From cycling, to walking to simply just exploring the cities, you'll get to experience a festive Christmas trip packed with loads of adventure. Similar to Thailand, Vietnam offers great weather over the December period. 
Spend Christmas day visiting historical sites where you will get to explore the DMZ site and Vinh Moc tunnels. After a day of exploring you will be treated to a traditional 10-course Royal Banquet. This Christmas evening you'll sample several dishes in a traditional way and be accompanied by royal folk music. You will get to try dishes such  as nem cong (peacock starter), Tom ngu thuyen ron (shrimp in passionfruit sauce) and chuoi ngu & banh phu the (stuffed mung bean cake served with banana), taking you away from the traditional Christmas meal. 

Simply Southern Indochina - Departing 17 Dec 2023
A Taste of Vietnam - Departing 17 Dec 2023
Cycle Saigon to Hanoi - Departing 17 Dec 2023
Simply Vietnam - Departing 17 Dec 2023
Walking in Vietnam - Departing 20 Dec 2023
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Antarctica

Experience a trip like no other an on extraordinary Polar Christmas adventure in the Antarctica Peninsula

Your festive trip starts by cruising along the mesmerising Beagle Channel, and then venturing across the 400 mile Drake passage, all while spotting dolphins, orcas or albatrosses, to reach the captivating Antarctic Peninsula. Enjoy the festive spirit on board the expedition ship Ocean Endeavour, where your presents come in the form of landings and wildlife sightings throughout the day. Explore ice-filled bays and channels on Zodiac excursions and by foot where you will walk among a colony of characterful gentoo penguins, spot humpback and minke whales and look out for leopard seals, before returning to the ship for a delicious chef-prepared dinner with your fellow passengers and expedition crew. Dependent on weather conditions, some of the spectacular sites you may visit  include, Brown Bluff, Paradise Bay, Hope Bay and Danco Island. 

Experiencing Christmas in the Antarctic Peninsula is an unparalleled adventure that offers a truly unique and unforgettable holiday destination. 

Classic Antarctica M/S Ocean Endeavour - Departing 18 Dec 2023
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Sri Lanka - Family

Sri Lanka, one of our top family holiday destinations, is an ideal choice for a perfect Christmas trip that promises loads of fun and adventurous activities for adults and kids alike. From exhilarating white water rafting and staying in a jungle to enjoying pristine beaches, exploring by canoe and tuk-tuk, and embarking on a thrilling jeep safari in search of leopards, this Christmas will be an unforgettable experience for the entire family.

Family Highlights of Sri Lanka - Departing 17 Dec 2023
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Morocco

Celebrate Christmas a little out of the ordinary in the vibrant country of Morocco. It's makes a popular destination during the festive period, offering local cuisine and cultural dancing. 

Our action-packed Morocco trips will keep the entire family entertained for hours. Take a camel ride into a desert camp where you'll camp for a night under the stars in the Sahara Desert or choose a coastal scene and ride a camel on the beach

Christmas Day is spent in Marrakech with an afternoon tour of the city experiencing the true authentic culture of Morocco. Haggle with local traders to come away with an authentic souvenir, continue onto a spice shop, watch street performers up close or head to a rooftop café. 
Or spend Christmas with a leisurely family walk through stunning scenery set in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Your journey will lead you to a local Berber family's home, where they will host you for a delicious lunch and learn more about their remarkable culture. 

Family Atlas Mountains and Sahara Adventure - Departing 19 Dec 2023
Family Marrakech, Atlas & Essaouira Adventure - Departing 23 Dec 2023
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