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2022-2023 Holiday Season Travel - Where To Go This Year

Updated: July 13, 2022

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Festive tree and lights in Portofino, Italy during the winter holiday season

Portofino, Italy

Holiday season travel is an opportunity to experience traditions and festive spirit, and this list recommends places to go for the 2022-2023 holiday season.

Our selected countries can reveal the snowy scenes of Europe during winter or guide you to warmer destinations in the Southern Hemisphere for a tropical Christmas or New Year vacation. With the spectacular attention to detail a local travel specialist provides, you can embrace the jovial atmosphere of where to go this year.

From the cheerful Christmas markets of Italy to holiday season safaris in South Africa, find out where to go and what to do with our holiday trip ideas at these top destinations.

Overview

  1. 1. Argentina
  2. 2. Belize
  3. 3. Brazil
  4. 4. Chile
  5. 5. Colombia
  6. 6. Ecuador & Galapagos Islands
  7. 7. Egypt
  8. 8. England
  9. 9. Germany
  10. 10. Italy
  11. 11. Peru
  12. 12. South Africa
  13. 13. Tanzania
  14. 14. Thailand
  15. 15. Morocco
  16. 16. Croatia
  17. 17. Australia
  18. 18. New Zealand
  19. Start Your Holiday Plans

1. Argentina

Small town at the foot of the Andes, province of Salta

Salta Province in the the Andean Northwest, Argentina

Average Temperature in Buenos Aires, Argentina: 69°F Low • 82°F High

Argentina is warm and vibrant during the holiday season. The cities come alive with Christmas colors early in December as locals celebrate Catholic holidays during the Southern Hemisphere’s sunny summer days.

Many traditions are a part of the Argentina holiday season over Christmas and New Year. Locals and visitors enjoy signature dishes like pionono, a sponge cake stuffed with chicken, cheese, tuna, and vegetables, and traditional Argentine Asado, barbequed meat, over the holiday season. Fireworks light up the sky on Nochebuena, Christmas Eve, paper lanterns known as globos float towards the stars, and tango performers take to the stages and streets for holiday shows.

New Year’s Eve is marked by more mesmerizing firework displays and extravagant celebrations. You could partake in the festivities of major cities or choose to wake up on New Year’s Day to views of the Andes or Patagonian glaciers.

Argentina Holiday Trip Idea

Argentina Explorer: Capital, Forests, Andes Mountains, and Wine Country embodies the spirit of the holiday season while bringing the exciting visions of the Southern Ice Field to life. Experience the holiday festivities of Buenos Aires, sip wine while you indulge in traditional Christmas dishes, and spend the start of the new year wandering the dramatic Andes peaks.

Highlights: Indulge in Argentine Christmas cuisine like pionono and Asado • Explore the capital city Buenos Aires during the festive season • Watch fireworks and light paper lanterns, globos, on Christmas Eve • Wake up on New Year’s Day to views of the Andes

Learn more: Argentina Tours & VacationsArgentina Travel Guide

2. Belize

Paradise Beach on beautiful island South Water Caye, Belize.

Paradise Beach on beautiful island

Average Temperature in Belize City, Belize: 71°F Low • 81°F High

Escape to Belize during winter for the holiday season and enjoy the tropical weather and festive Caribbean lifestyle of this destination in Central America.

Belize offers a bounty to explore during the holidays as travelers embrace the local Christmas and New Year traditions between private trips to castaway beaches and exciting outdoor adventures in the tropics. Holiday celebrations in Belize are unique. Drummers, Jankunu, and Charikanari dancers from the Garifuna communities flock to the promenades wearing elaborate headdresses to play, sing, and dance. You can enjoy traditional Christmas cuisine like pebre, roast pork with gravy, and sip on rum popo, Belize-style eggnog.

You can also experience Misa de Gallo, or Midnight Mass, on Christmas Eve at a Belizean church, follow carolers through cultural villages the day after Christmas for Christmas Bram, or spend the first day of the new year relaxing on the white sands of Belize’s best beaches, without a soul in sight.

Belize Holiday Trip Idea

Tropical Beaches to Lush Jungle: Beautiful Belize Escape is a family-friendly tour perfect for the holiday season. On this holiday you can spend time in Belizean villages and join the locals for Christmas celebrations and traditions. You can also enjoy days at leisure, soaking up the sunshine and participating in water sports as a family in the crystal-clear waters.

Highlights: Watch Jankunu and Charikanari dancers celebrate Christmas on the streets • Tuck into roast pork with gravy and sip rum popo • Attend Misa de Gallo, or Midnight Mass, on Christmas Eve • Follow the Christmas Bram carolers through cultural villages

Learn more: Belize Vacations & ToursBelize Travel Guide

3. Brazil

Amazon rainforest in Brazil

Amazon rainforest in Brazil

Average Temperature in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 75°F Low • 87°F High

Brazil during the holiday season is festive, fun, and a warm welcome to the summer in the Southern Hemisphere. There are many ways to celebrate the holidays in Brazil, with trips away from the busy cities into nature the perfect option for a peaceful and joyous festive season.

You can experience colorful Christmas markets, watch the elaborate fireworks over Rio de Janeiro, and view the nativity scenes known as presepio during a short stay in the capital. However, we recommend traveling off the beaten path during the holiday season to explore the Pantanal on a river cruise and delve deep into the vibrant sounds of the Amazon Rainforest in search of blue and gold macaws.

With professional naturalist guides, you can embrace the timeless power and beauty of nature as you search for nocturnal wildlife or simply bask in the comforts of secluded lodges for a different perspective of the festive season. This is a unique way to spend the holidays in Brazil, but a worthy contender for a quiet and calming Christmas and New Year vacation.

Brazil Holiday Trip Idea

Experience a touch of traditional Christmas in the bustling cities of Brazil before you escape to the breathtaking wilderness on our 10-Day Brazil: Wildlife and Nature Explorer, which is perfect for a tropical getaway over the holiday season.

Highlights: Admire the presepio nativity scenes • Explore the Amazon Rainforest • Escape the crowds for New Year’s Eve at forest resorts • See the wildlife of Brazil on guided nature tours

Learn more: Brazil Tours & VacationsBrazil Travel Guide

4. Chile

Horseback riding in Chilean Patagonia

Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Average Temperature in Santiago, Chile: 56°F Low • 85°F High

The joyful ambiance around the holiday season in Chile highlights the splendor of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer as you travel away from major cities to remote regions for a tranquil trip.

In the Chilean countryside, you can find rural villages hemmed in rolling hills and fishing villages hovering above lakes that reflect the golden sunshine during the summer days. Families are eager to show you their holiday traditions, from sips of borgoña, a Chilean cocktail of chilled red wine with strawberries, to bites of pan de Pascua, a bread filled with candied fruits and nuts, also known as Easter Bread.

Over the holiday season in Chile, you can also ride on horseback through the Patagonian forests, embrace epic panoramas on a scenic rafting excursion, sample the soothing wines of celebrated vineyards, and enjoy the remarkable glaciers that sculpt the surrounding landscape. Holiday trips in Chile combine tradition, culture, and the outdoors.

Chile Holiday Trip Idea

The holiday season represents togetherness and Chile brings together charm, wonder, and joy with our Wilderness Wonderlands and Gorgeous Glaciers of Chile's Patagonia tour, a true representation of how holiday trips in Chile infuse tradition, culture, and the breathtaking outdoors.

Highlights: Visit cultural villages during the Christmas season • Indulge in Chilean Christmas cuisine like borgoña and pan de Pascua Easter Bread • Spend the holiday season exploring Patagonia on horseback • Enjoy New Year’s Day tours across the Patagonian glaciers

Learn more: Chile Tours & VacationsChile Travel Guide

5. Colombia

Cartagena skyline at night

Cartagena, Colombia

Average Temperature in Medellin, Colombia: 63°F Low • 77°F High

Colombia is a colorful country with a fascinating cultural history that you can explore over the Christmas and New Year period during a holiday trip to the vibrant cities and rural regions.

Being in South America, the warm temperatures during the holiday season are inviting and a pleasant departure from the cold that prevails in the Northern Hemisphere. The Christmas customs and holiday heritage in Colombia are pronounced, and you can combine a celebration of the season with adventures across the country’s breathtaking landscapes. You can start with a tour of Cartagena’s colonial architecture, covered in brightly colored Christmas lights, and find the best restaurant for natilla, a silky and sweet Christmas custard.

You can also embrace the wonders of Medellin before heading to hidden plantations to indulge in local coffees, and celebrate Christmas in style as you find streets decorated with candles, lanterns, and lights from the Andes to the Caribbean Sea.

Colombia Holiday Trip Idea

With idyllic landscapes, stunning coastline, and vibrant cities that spring into festive action during the holiday season, our eight-day Breathtaking Culture and Nature Tour of Colombia tour uncovers the diversity and connection between the natural scenery and local heritage over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Highlights: Tour the colonial neighborhoods of Cartagena covered in Christmas lights • Discover Colombian Christmas cuisine like natilla, a silky and sweet Christmas custard • Explore the coffee plantations near Medellin during the holiday season • Light lanterns in the Andes during New Year’s Eve

Learn more: Colombia Vacations & ToursColombia Travel Guide

6. Ecuador & Galapagos Islands

Pelican with Pinnacle rock on the Bartolome Island in the Galapagos

Bartolome Island, Galapagos, Ecuador

Average Temperature in Quito, Ecuador: 49°F Low • 64°F High

There is a charming and distinct Christmas spirit that overcomes Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands during the holiday season. Certain aspects of the season overlap with our ideas of Christmas, such as colorful lights and nativity scenes, though the representations are unique.

Nativity scenes, or pesebres, are hand-crafted to perfection and feature rolling hills with live plants, rivers and creeks, and detailed miniatures. The townspeople also construct Christmas trees for the center of their towns, with competitions across the country to see which town can create the tallest and brightest tree. Christmas pageants are also popular, and the Pase del Niño Viajero, or Passage of the Traveling Child, is an iconic celebration in which musicians and dancers take over the streets for flamboyant performances.

Beyond traditional Christmas festivities in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, you can explore the diverse landscapes on a holiday trip. Trek volcanic slopes to find a cloud forest, travel to Earth’s equatorial line, wander through charming colonial architecture, and sail through the Galapagos archipelago in search of fur seals and penguins.

Ecuador & Galapagos Islands Holiday Trip Idea

Ecuador and the Galapagos straddle the equator to create a stunning holiday destination with pleasant weather and distinct Christmas and New Year celebrations to participate in during A Perfect Family Vacation to Galapagos Islands.

Highlights: Experience hand-crafted Ecuadorian nativity scenes, or pesebres • Enjoy the Christmas tree competition in Ecuador’s towns and villages • Witness the Pase del Niño Viajero, or Passage of the Traveling Child, Christmas pageant • Spend New Year’s Day in style on the Galapagos islands

Learn more: Galapagos Islands Vacations & ToursGalapagos Islands & Ecuador Travel Guide

7. Egypt

Giza pyramid complex in Egypt

The Giza Plateau, Egypt

Average Temperature in Cairo, Egypt: 51°F Low • 67°F High

The holiday season in Egypt is very different from our own, predominantly because the majority of Egyptian Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church, with particular traditions and celebrations to follow. This is why Egypt is such a wonderful holiday destination to consider.

Your children will be thrilled to know that the holiday celebrations in Egypt occur twice, on December 25 and January 7. Christmas feasts are typical, with dishes centering around the turkey. Christmas trees and ornaments decorate some homes in Cairo and smaller cities, money is given as gifts on Christmas Eve, and locals enjoy a cup of tea with Kahk el Eid, or Eid cookies, on Christmas morning.

The New Year celebrations in Egypt are mind-blowing in Cairo. Colorful fireworks displays backdrop the pyramids of Giza, cruise ships glide up and down the Nile River, and bonfires attract travelers to festivals in the desert dunes. Embrace the holiday season spirit as you discover Egypt on a trip during this joyous time of year.

Egypt Holiday Trip Idea

Discover the grandeur of the Great Pyramid of Giza or float in the soothing waters of the Dead Sea on our Excellence of Egypt's Wonders Tour, a trip designed to showcase the highlights of Egypt, while you immerse yourself in the new holiday season experiences.

Highlights: Discover the unique seasonal traditions of Egypt’s Muslim community • Partake in two Christmas events on December 25 and January 7 • Enjoy Kahk el Eid, or Eid cookies, on Christmas morning • Spend your new year beginnings exploring historic Egyptian wonders

Learn more: Egypt Tours & VacationsEgypt Travel Guide

8. England

Red double-decker buses pass under twinkling Christmas lights on Regent Street in London, England

London, England

Average Temperature in London, England: 40°F Low • 48°F High

England during the holiday season is filled with delight and charm. Light shows illuminate the cities and towns, carol singers stroll the streets, and travelers hold their thumbs for a White Christmas.

Embrace the seasonal spirit and the countryside beauty of the Cotswolds with a Christmas scarf wrapped around you while sitting by the fireside or wandering the village. Amble the boulevards of London to view the extravagant decorations, visit Christmas markets for typical holiday treats, and sip afternoon tea with pastries as your worries disappear among the rhythmic luster of your seasonal celebration.

You can also sip mulled wine, discover the wonders of Westminster Abbey, and embrace historic castles to make a perfect English Christmas.

England Holiday Trip Idea

Our English Christmas Tour: Majesty and Magic on Display will immerse your family in the endearing beauty and enduring wonder of the festive season across the country as you uncover the quintessential ambiance of the Cotswolds and London as a thriving winter escape.

Highlights: Watch the light shows in London’s bustling boulevards • Spend the Christmas season in the winter wonderland of the Cotswolds • Visit the magical Christmas markets of England • Explore England’s castles and immerse yourself in a royal holiday season

Learn more: England Tours & VacationsEngland Travel Guide

9. Germany

Christmas Market in Frankfurt, Germany

Christmas Market in Frankfurt, Germany

Average Temperature in Berlin, Germany: 30°F Low • 38°F High

Germany during the holiday season feels like the world’s center for a seasonal celebration and can connect you to twinkling lights and the alluring aromas of distinctive spices.

Enjoy a tradition of wooden toys, explore Baroque architecture or storybook homes, and experience the true pleasures of Christmas. You can find lebkuchen, or gingerbread, in stores, hear the songs of Christmas echoing from restaurants, and participate in Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

The New Year celebrations extend the holiday spirit in Germany. You can have your fortune told as you warm up with a glass of glühwein, a hot red wine infused with spices and fruit, and watch the fireworks light up the night sky as the clock ticks down to midnight.

Germany Holiday Trip Idea

Christmas in Germany: Picturesque Villages and Enchanting Castles lets you discover the welcoming ambiance of Germany’s Christmas markets, fairytale villages, and romantic castles for a timeless commemoration of the local culture and holiday spirit.

Highlights: Try German lebkuchen, or gingerbread, and glühwein, a hot red wine infused with spices and fruit • Spend Christmas Eve experiencing a German Midnight Mass • Explore the storybook villages during the holiday season • Watch the firework displays over Berlin on New Year’s Eve

Learn more: Germany Tours & VacationsGermany Travel Guide

10. Italy

Christmas tree on the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy

Christmas tree on the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy

Average Temperature in Rome, Italy: 38°F Low • 54°F High

Christmas in Italy is not just an observance of a holiday, but an immersive celebration of custom, an eruption of festive spirit, and a display of timeless connection to Italian culture.

From truffle hunting to Midnight Mass at the Vatican, medieval towns glistening with seasonal lights to sampling heartwarming Prosecco at a family-owned vineyard, Italy blends its spirituality with its passion, its tradition with its beauty, its Christmas Markets with its culinary markets, for an unforgettable festive season.

Fireworks and festivals mark the New Year celebrations in Italy and locals typically savor cotechino con lenticchie, sausages with green lentils, when the clock strikes midnight. You can also receive gifts of figs wrapped in laurel leaves, an ancient Roman tradition that locals continue to observe in Naples.

Italy Holiday Trip Idea

Italian Christmas for 2022-2023: Winter Beauty and Festive Traditions embraces Italian heritage and provides you with mesmerizing and tangible holiday season memories. You can experience the seasonal traditions as you explore iconic places like Rome, Venice, Siena, and Florence.

Highlights: Experience the sensational Midnight Mass at the Vatican on Christmas Eve • Sip the finest Italian wines during the holiday season at historic vineyards • Explore the magnificent Christmas markets • Tuck into cotechino con lenticchie, sausages with green lentils, at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve

Learn more: Italy Tours & VacationsItaly Travel GuideTop 5 Reasons to Spend Christmas in Italy11 Best Christmas Markets in Italy and Where to Find Them

11. Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu, Peru

Average Temperature in Lima, Peru: 67°F Low • 77°F High

Celebrate sheer wonder as you travel from the Andes to the Amazon during the Christmas season and enjoy the summer climate of the Southern Hemisphere in Peru.

The picture-perfect weather welcomes travelers who choose to spend their holiday season trekking to the ruins of Machu Picchu, exploring the natural diversity of the rainforests, and capturing the striking images of ancient fortresses nestled into the mountains. Christmas feasts with turkey and tamales, a stuffed corn dough steamed in a corn husk, dominate the dinner tables of homes during Christmas, locals celebrate Peru’s chocolate-making heritage with decadent cups of hot chocolate, and nativity scenes honor Peruvian Christmas tradition.

You can also enjoy the breathtaking landscapes of Peru between the festive experiences on tours of pre-Columbian ruins, seaside excursions to spot manatees, and adventures in search of colorful macaws, building to a New Year during which you can eat 12 grapes for each month of the new year, making a wish with each bite.

Peru Holiday Trip Idea

Explore the Christmas culture of Peru on our Pure Peru: Amazon to Ancient Cusco Tour that can introduce you to the unique traditions tracing back to Mayan civilization and the festive celebrations from December 25 to New Year’s Eve.

Highlights: Trek to the ruins of Machu Picchu • Savor Christmas feasts with turkey and tamales, a stuffed corn dough steamed in a corn husk • Delight in Peru’s chocolate-making heritage with tasting tours of chocolate and hot cocoa • Eat a grape for each month and make 12 wishes on New Year’s Day

Learn more: Peru Vacations & ToursPeru Travel Guide

12. South Africa

Herd of springbok antelopes in South Africa

Sprinbok Antelopes in South Africa

Average Temperature in Cape Town, South Africa: 62°F Low • 75°F High

South Africa during the holiday season is an easy and blissful escape into the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, where joyous adventure and an endless festive ambiance await.

Christmas services take place on the morning of December 25, after which families open their gifts around Christmas trees. Lunchtime on the day is a feast, with restaurant chefs and family cooks creating authentic dishes that often center around the South African braai, a traditional barbeque of meat cooked over an open fire. The collective culture of South Africa celebrates the festive season with traditions that trace the roots of many ethnic tribes and settler communities, showcasing the inclusive spirit of the Rainbow Nation.

From Christmas to New Year, you can also experience the country on tours to the summit of Table Mountain in Cape Town, wine tastings in Franschhoek, safaris in the Kruger region, and more.

South Africa Holiday Trip Idea

Ten-Day Classic South Africa Safari for First-Timers is a perfect combination of togetherness, exploration, and relaxation that will provide you with endless memories of the festive season in the country. Discover the culture and traditions of the Rainbow Nation as you travel from the Western Cape to the Kruger region.

Highlights: Experience a traditional South African Christmas braai, a barbeque of meat cooked over an open fire • Admire the diverse blend of cultures in the Rainbow Nation that come together for the holiday season • Taste the prestigious wines of the Cape Winelands • Wake up in the Kruger on safari for New Year’s Day

Learn more: South Africa Tours & VacationsSouth Africa Travel Guide

13. Tanzania

Coastline of Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa

Zanzibar, Tanzania

Average Temperature in Dodoma, Tanzania: 67°F Low • 85°F High

Tanzania is a holiday destination to set your sights on for a unique safari experience, complete with a trip to the Zanzibar coastline. Instead of Christmas lights and caroling, a trip to Tanzania over the festive period provides travelers with an opportunity to escape the crowds.

Search the grasslands of Ruaha National Park for the famous Big Five, and admire tree-climbing lions and elephant troops crossing the plains to refreshing rivers. You can view the birdlife through binoculars, follow game rangers on walking safaris, and head out at sunset to see the nocturnal animals.

Enjoy the warm island living in Zanzibar to find lively markets and rainbow reefs as the splendors of Tanzania shine over the Christmas and New Year period.

Tanzania Holiday Trip Idea

Safari and Seascape: Nine-Day Tanzania and Zanzibar is a fantastic way to experience the wonders of the season from a new perspective as herds migrate, the landscape becomes a haven for birdwatching, and the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean brush against Zanzibar’s white-sand beaches.

Highlights: Enjoy a Christmas vacation in the Tanzanian wilderness on safari • Escape the Christmas season crowds to national parks in search of the Big Five • Embrace New Year’s Day on the breathtaking Zanzibar coastline • Explore the cultural fishing villages of Zanzibar

Learn more: Tanzania Safaris & VacationsTanzania Safari Guide

14. Thailand

Beautiful Phang Nga Bay in Thailand

Phang Nga Bay, Thailand

Average Temperature in Phuket, Thailand: 75°F Low • 88°F High

Christmas in Thailand is about enjoying the tropical paradise, from the luxurious islands to the expansive forests, and the unique way locals, expatriates, and travelers celebrate Christmas and the holiday season.

Visit the Grand Palace complex to find elaborate visions of Buddha or wander through the colorful ambiance of a night market in Chiang Mai. Embrace the flavors of Thailand with a private cooking class, witness the fascinating karsts rising out of the crystalline sea, and enjoy the wonders of wildlife as you indulge in the beauty of Thailand in the warmth of the tropics These are year-round experiences that are made more meaningful on a family trip for Christmas and New Year.

The New Year celebrations are particularly exciting, as families send their floating lanterns off into the sky and thousands of shimmering lights reach for the stars. Music performances and fireworks set the stage for the celebrations from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, Phuket to Pattaya.

Thailand Holiday Trip Idea

Embrace the Christmas influences that extend to the tropical shores of Thailand with our Best of Thailand for 2022-2023. You can discover the similarities between Christmas in Bangkok and the Western world, as well as the differences between the holidays in Chiang Mai and other parts of the globe.

Highlights: Visit iconic heritage sites and landmarks • Swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Thai islands when the weather is perfect in December • Light lanterns and watch elaborate firework displays across Thailand for New Year’s Eve • Spend New Year’s Day on the breathtaking Thai beaches

Learn more: Thailand Tours & VacationsThailand Travel Guide

15. Morocco

Ait Benhaddou in Morocco

Ait Benhaddou, Morocco

Average Temperature in Marrakech, Morocco: 44°F Low • 66°F High

Morocco is a colorful country and a unique place to visit for Christmas as the holiday is not officially recognized by the Muslim community. For this reason, you can explore a country with a unique culture of tradition and celebration instead of experiencing a typical Western Christmas culture.

On your trip, you can escape typical Christmas tropes and head for the Sahara Desert to celebrate December 25 or the beginning of the new year. You can visit villages perched in the Atlas Mountains dressed in snow during December to bring your White Christmas to life or discover how cities like Marrakech display their distinct Christmas perspectives.

You can also use this opportunity to learn about the religious and cultural celebrations that are observed by the local communities. Morocco’s Independence Day and Anniversary of the Independence Manifesto are two that fall on either side of Christmas and New Year.

Morocco Holiday Trip Idea

Experience the colorful culture of Morocco during the Christmas season with our Ancient Heritage to Hot Sands: Immersive Morocco Tour that reveals the beauty extending from vibrant cities to far-flung villages and the desert sands of the Sahara.

Highlights: Avoid common Christmas tropes and spend your season exploring the sand seas of the Sahara Desert • Visit cultural villages in the Atlas Mountains for a White Christmas • Wander Marrakech during Christmas to experience the bustling markets and bazaars • Discover distinct local celebrations such as Morocco’s Independence Day and Anniversary of the Independence Manifesto

Learn more: Morocco Tours & VacationsMorocco Travel Guide

16. Croatia

Sunset in Rovinj, Croatia

Rovinj, Croatia

Average Temperature in Dubrovnik, Croatia: 43°F Low • 54°F High

Christmas is one of the most important holidays in Croatia as a vast majority of the population is Catholic. The country is festive during December and January, rolling out a series of customs and traditions for you to explore.

Split’s Christmas market is a brilliant experience for your trip, and you can browse the stalls and eccentric shops with a backdrop of the snow-covered Dinaric Alps. It is a holiday spectacle of grand design that represents Christmas immaculately. You can wander beneath the twinkling lights and tuck into roast pig, mlinci, a Croatian flatbread dish, and more signature dishes during your visit.

Sveti tri kralja, known as the Epiphany or the Holy Three Kings, marks the end of the Christmas season in Croatia, but the beginning of the wait for New Year, when you can clink champagne glasses as the cities light up with fireworks at the stroke of midnight.

Croatia Holiday Trip Idea

Explore Croatia during Christmas and New Year to discover the snowy scenes of the Dinaric Alps, enjoy the seasonal cuisine, and partake in Christmas traditions with our Exclusive Food & Wine of Croatia tour.

Highlights: Visit the Split Christmas market in the shadows of the snow-covered Dinaric Alps • Tuck into roast pig, mlinci, a Croatian flatbread dish, and other Christmas dishes • Celebrate Sveti tri kralja, known as the Epiphany, in Croatia to mark the end of the Christmas season • Clink glasses of champagne at midnight on New Year’s Eve as fireworks light up the sky

Learn more: Croatia Vacations & ToursCroatia Travel GuideTop 5 Things to Do in Croatia in Winter

17. Australia

Child snorkeling in the great barrier reef in the tropical north of Queensland, Australia

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Average Temperature in Sydney, Australia: 67°F Low • 79°F High

Christmas and the holiday season are joyful in Australia as the country comes together to celebrate the day with local traditions and global customs.

Christmas lunch is a must and you can spend the spirited occasion at a gourmet restaurant in Sydney overlooking the Darling Harbour and the Sydney Opera House. Events take place across Australia, from Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne to Christmas at Twilight in Adelaide. These events invite travelers to experience the spirit of the season with local flair and flavor.

You can also enjoy trips to areas of Australia that are quieter than the cities during the holiday season for some downtime before New Year’s Eve. Cairns and sailing or diving in the Great Barrier Reef are an absolute must to complete your December stay in Australia.

Australia Holiday Trip Idea

Take time off during the holiday season and visit Australia to partake in the regional Christmas festivities and experience the country’s endless charms on The Ultimate Australian Family Vacation.

Highlights: Indulge in Christmas lunch with views of the Darling Harbour and Sydney Opera House • Partake in Australian Christmas events like Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne and Christmas at Twilight in Adelaide • Spend New Year’s Eve on the Cairns coastline • Snorkel or scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef to welcome the new year

Learn more: Australia Tours & VacationsAustralia Travel Guide

18. New Zealand

Couple sitting on the pier at Nelson Lake National Park

Nelson Lake National Park, New Zealand

Average Temperature in Christchurch, New Zealand: 54°F Low • 70°F High

New Zealand exudes quintessential Christmas charm during the holiday season, with biblical images creating a narrative thread from the Northern Hemisphere to the South Pacific.

The celebrations fall within the middle of New Zealand’s summer, a sensational time to visit the destination as the clear skies and warm weather make every activity and adventure possible. You can spend Christmas day tucking into classic New Zealand dishes like hangi, food cooked underground, witness original New Zealand carols and musical performances in the theaters of Christchurch, or extend your Meri Kirihimete, or Merry Christmas wishes, to the Maori locals.

The best way to spend Boxing Day through the New Year is on the beach, soaking up the sunshine as you anticipate a festive New Year’s Eve in New Zealand.

New Zealand Holiday Trip Idea

Embrace a trip to the South Island of New Zealand and spend your Christmas season exploring Christchurch and the surrounding region intimately on our Romantic South Island Vacation for Couples.

Highlights: View the New Zealand nativity scenes and biblical imagery on tours of Christchurch and other cities or towns • Enjoy the tantalizing flavors of New Zealand Christmas cuisine and try hangi, food cooked underground • Watch original Christmas carols performed at music theaters in New Zealand • Wish the locals and Maori people Meri Kirihimete, or Merry Christmas

Learn more: New Zealand Tours & VacationsNew Zealand Travel Guide

Start Your Holiday Plans

Mt Fitz Roy in Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia

The festive season brings charm and wonders around the world, whether trekking through the plains in the heat of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer or basking in the snowy blanket of a cozy winter ambiance for Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Working with a travel specialist, you can select from this list of great places to go for the holiday season and plan a festive vacation with our trip ideas as inspiration.

Our Zicasso Blog is also a great place to find more information about these destinations and the experiences that are possible for your holiday season travel.

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