Fancy a truly weird and wonderful holiday? Check out these unusual Christmas destinations.
Christmas can be a very stressful time of year, it can literally give you a heart attack. 38 percent of people said their stress level increases during the holidays, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association. A lack of time, holiday spendings stress, the pressures of gift-giving, and family gatherings are among the top stressors. More and more people these days choose to escape the holiday rush by traveling to unusual Christmas destinations.
1. Christmas Island, Australia
Christmas Island is in the Indian Ocean, 1,550km north-west from the Australian mainland. This tiny island was named on Christmas Day, 1643 by an English sea captain. Today Christmas Island is a lush, off-the-beaten-path tourist destination famed for its caves and coral reefs.
It is the only place on Earth to witness one of the most incredible natural processes – an annual red crab migration, that usually occurs in December.
Despite the natural wonders and sandy beaches, the destination is still under the radar, receiving just 2000 visitors a year.
2. Sri Lanka, South Asia
December in Sri Lanka, is the most pleasant time – sunny, not very humid and not overcrowded with tourists. The average daily temperature for this month is 27°C, the sea temperature is 28°C.
Visitors spending Christmas here enjoy the best tea and cinnamon in the world, exchange presents on the sandy beaches, drink from coconuts and watch wild elephants. Sri Lanka ranks among the top destinations in the world for spotting blue and sperm whales and is perhaps the best place on the planet to see these two majestic species swimming together.
Although Sri Lanka is a mostly Buddhist country Christmas is celebrated as a public holiday by everyone.
3. Mauritius, Indian Ocean
Mauritius, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, known for its beaches, lagoons, and reefs is popular with Christmas holidaymakers looking for a tropical break. December is one of the warmest months of the year with an average temperature of around 27-28°C.
In December flame trees are in bloom with their bright red fiery flowers and markets are full of exotic fruits like mangoes, papayas, longans, breadfruit, bilimbis, bananas. It’s a perfect Christmas destination!
4. Svalbard, Norway
Svalbard is one of the northernmost settlements in the world, luring travelers who dream of Arctic Christmas, it is a very unusual Christmas destination.
From mid-November to late January, Svalbard enters into a dark season known as Polar Night. During this period, the sun is at least 6 degrees below the horizon during this period and it’s pitch-dark 24/7. The darkness is the same around the clock, so it does not give you any hints about what time it is.
The only light sources outside the settlements are the moon, the stars and the Northern Lights (aurora borealis). Svalbard may the best place in the world to experience the ultimate Christmas atmosphere and one of the most unusual Christmas destinations.
5. The Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galápagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, famous for its diverse friendly wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery.
December is a hot and rainy season with air temperature reaching 27°C.
An exciting Galapagos Islands highlight in December is that giant tortoise eggs start to hatch. Visitors get a chance to see baby tortoises on Isabela Island. You will see the young chicks starting to gain their wing feathers, growing these so that they are ready to take off. Note, that the Christmas-New Year period is usually packed until early January.