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Travel Ideas in December

Best places to travel in December 2020

December brings celebrations of all shapes and sizes across the world. Embrace a wintry yet magical Christmas in Russia, where Gorky Park turns into an ice rink and sleigh rides are offered throughout the month. Top off your year joining in a New Year’s celebration in another part of the world. Travel to Brazil and watch the cariocas (Rio’s locals) dressed in white as they gather on a sunny Copacabana in tribute to the goddess of the sea. Or head to Australia for a New Year’s celebration of a lifetime in Sydney. Witness fireworks exploding off the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, while enjoying the summer temperatures.

Festivals and events around the world in December

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As well the legendary festive celebrations in New York, Rio and Sydney, it’s well worth seeking out smaller events such as the Festival of Lights in Villa de Leyva, Colombia or the annual Franschhoek Champagne Festival in South Africa. See Japan’s scenic hot springs and snow monkeys, try a safari in Malawi or Zambia, or opt for romantic sleigh rides and ice skating in Moscow’s Gorky Park.

Tours we recommend in December

Trip suggestions that we know capture a route at its best if you’re planning to travel in December.

  • Blue Hole, Belize

    Belize Beach Break

    • Five night stay at one of Belize's best beachfront hotels

    • Incredible snorkeling and diving opportunities

    • Flyover of The Great Blue Hole

    • Enjoy a sunset boat cruise off Ambergris Caye

    6 days from $1,665pp

  • Sugar Loaf Rock, Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park, The Margaret River region

    Southwest Uncovered

    • Sample fabulous local wines in the Margaret River wine region.

    • Hang out with super cute Quokkas on Rottnest Island.

    • Relax on some of the country's finest pristine white sand beaches.

    • Wander through ancient Karri forests.

    • Enjoy dinner overlooking an Indian Ocean sunset.

    • Explore the historic town of Fremantle, with its convict jails, whaling ships and old taverns.

    • Includes over £350/USD$440 of hotel savings.

    11 days from $2,190pp

  • On the road to Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse

    Western Cape self-drive discovery

    • Enjoy a shared tour of the magnificent Cape Point and Cape Peninsula.

    • Take a private tour of Robben Island to learn about South Africa’s apartheid history.

    • Go wine tasting at the various estates in and around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.

    • Enjoy game drives in a private nature reserve, looking for zebra, wildebeest and antelope.

    • Relax and stroll on the beach in the laid-back coastal town of Paternoster.

    13 days from $2,675pp

  • 4X4 Transfer

    Oman self-drive tour

    • Wander Muscat's charming old city.

    • Discover Nizwa's mountains and forts.

    • Wake up to sunrise over the Wahiba Sands.

    • Shop for spices in the city souks.

    • Watch turtles nest at Ras Al Junaiyz.

    8 days from $2,740pp

  • Sadhu in Varanasi

    North India Uncovered

    • Experience the contrast between Old and New Delhi.

    • Enjoy the breath taking views of the Taj Mahal.

    • Take a guided tour of Gwalior's little-visited Fort.

    • Explore Khajuraho's quirky temples.

    • See the evening pooja (prayers) in Varanasi.

    11 days from $2,770pp

  • Japanese bridge, Hoi An

    Essential Vietnam tour

    • Drift among stunning limestone karst scenery on a traditional junk in Lan Ha Bay (a quieter alternative to Halong).

    • Unearth Vietnam's modern and ancient history in imperial Hue.

    • Shop and relax in charming Hoi An.

    • Explore the French influence in the bustling cities of Hanoi and Saigon.

    11 days from $2,820pp

  • Jebel Akhdar, Oman

    Discover Salalah tour

    • Spend a night camping under the stars in the Empty Quarter desert.

    • Go snorkeling in the Indian Ocean.

    • Explore the beautiful coastline surrounding Salalah with your private driver.

    8 days from $2,840pp

  • Isandlwana in KwaZulu-Natal South Africa Battlefields

    Battlefields and Midlands

    • Soak up the art and culture of Durban and sample local Afro-Indian delicacies.

    • Relax at a countryside retreat in the Midlands, taking leisurely strolls along the river.

    • Find out about the history of the Battlefields, touring the sites with a knowledgeable guide.

    • Go hiking, horse riding or mountain biking in the Drakensberg Mountains.

    11 days from $2,840pp

  • Tasmanian Devil, Australia

    Classic Tasmania self-drive

    • Browse the Salamanca Markets in Hobart for local arts and crafts, surrounded by the historical harbour buildings.

    • Cruise the Gordon River and take in the local flora, fauna and convict history.

    • Get up close to the elusive Tasmanian Devils at Cradle Mountain National Park.

    • Walk to the Wineglass Bay lookout in Freycinet National Park and take your own pictures of one of Australia's most photographed beaches.

    10 days from $2,870pp

  • Camels, The Wahiba Sands

    Oman family adventure

    • Enjoy a self-drive tour of this scenic Sultanate.

    • Witness the majestic green turtles laying their eggs.

    • Spend a couple of nights under the stars.

    • Relax in the sunshine as you unwind at the beach.

    10 days from $2,980pp

  • Brays Beach, Byron Bay

    Australia By the Beach

    • Explore Sydney's stylish city beaches.

    • Watch the surfers at Byron Bay.

    • Visit the tropical city of Brisbane.

    • Relax on the beautiful Sunshine Coast.

    • Take a tour to the amazing Fraser Island.

    13 days from $2,985pp

  • Monks on the way into Angkor Thom

    Cambodia's cities & the southern coast

    • Four full days to explore the iconic temples of Angkor and some time to enjoy the town of Siem Reap.

    • Head out to the Tonle Sap lake and explore the floating village of Kompong Khleang.

    • Explore Cambodia's turbulent history and haggle at the Russian market in Phnom Penh.

    • Take a boat trip from Kep to the idyllic Rabbit Island where you can relax on the beautiful beach.

    12 days from $2,995pp

  • Bathsheba coastline, Barbados

    Barbados and Bequia

    • Experience Bridgetown on foot with a guided walking tour

    • Join the locals on a Friday evening for Oistins Fish Fry

    • Visit Bequias small, quaint Capital town, Port Elizabeth

    • Navigate your way along the Belmont coastal walkway

    13 days from $3,070pp

  • Alleppey Backwaters, Kerala

    South India's temples and backwaters

    • Soak up the view of the Shore Temple at sunset.

    • Enjoy France in India in the former colonial enclave of Pondicherry.

    • Stay in a village of 19th century merchants' homes.

    • Witness the ceremonies in Sri Meenakshi temple with hundreds of pilgrims and the smell of incense.

    13 days from $3,105pp

  • Mekong River Delta, Vietnam

    Vietnam's Mekong Delta

    • Spend a few days navigating the mesmerising city of Saigon.

    • Explore the kingdom of coconuts, Ben Tre.

    • Enjoy two nights at a charming riverside lodge in Vinh Long province.

    • Discover the hidden charm and culture of one of the few remaining Khmer communities in Vietnam.

    • Journey along the Mekong and Bassac River on board a traditionally styled sampan.

    • End the trip in Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh.

    10 days from $3,130pp

  • Dharamsala, India

    Western Himalaya Explored

    • Enjoy a ride on a 'Toy Train' to the colonial hill station of Shimla.

    • Visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

    • Enjoy the spectacular 'Closing the Border Ceremony' at Waga border.

    • Explore Tibetan culture at Dharamsala.

    • Witness an evening aarti ceremony in Rishikesh.

    12 days from $3,165pp

  • Kalbarri National Park

    Western Australia's Coral Coast

    • Explore the National Parks to view canyons and dramatic rock formations.

    • Marvel at the spectacular marine life including manta rays, whale sharks and turtles.

    • Explore the historic town of Fremantle, with its convict jails, whaling ships and old taverns.

    • Take a sunset walk along a deserted beach.

    13 days from $3,245pp

  • Sloth, Tortuguero National Park

    Family Adventure in Costa Rica

    • Explore the canal networks of Tortuguero National Park.

    • Zip line through the cloudforest and relax in a natural hot spring.

    • See a huge array of wildlife from tiny frogs to sloths and tropical birds.

    • Trek in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano.

    • Relax on the beach, or take a surf lesson instead.

    10 days from $3,255pp

  • Rhino, Greater Kruger Park

    Mpumalanga self-drive & Kruger safari

    • Drive along the Panorama Route for incredible views over the Drakensberg Escarpment.

    • Stay in a luxurious lodge in the private Sabi Sand Wildtuin reserve.

    • See the Big Five on morning, afternoon and evening game drives in the Kruger.

    • Head out on bush walks with a knowledgeable guide to learn more about the area's wildlife.

    6 days from $3,355pp

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Travel Ideas in January

Places to travel in January

As Christmas slopes into the distance and with cold weather still to come, traveling to find some sun is an appealing prospect for January. We recommend beach time in the west of Thailand in Krabi, Phuket and Koh Lanta. In Africa, the January rains break the Kalahari heat and the quenched plains spring to life. Journey to Botswana to watch the migration of wildebeest and zebra as they follow the scent of the fresh grazing. And January marks the start of another wildlife showpiece. It’s the whale watching season in Baja California on Mexico’s Pacific Coast and on a cruise you can sit alongside as hundreds of whales and dolphins leap, arch and twirl in and out of the ocean.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in February

Places to travel in February

February might be bleak in the top half of the world, but it’s summertime down south and New Zealand and southern Australia are basking in the life outdoors. Walking trails are open and you can stretch out on the beaches while they're at their best. In Hong Kong, 15-day-long festivities kick off in February, when ancient Chinese traditions combine with true multicultural modernity. Relive New Year’s there before spring boarding to dry and sunny Cambodia to extend your journey in Southeast Asia.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in March

Places to travel in March

Japan’s springtime blossom starts to pop open in March, and milder temperatures coupled with the showings of early plum blossom make it a good-value time to travel here ahead of the peak blossom season. In Bhutan, the subsiding cold is encouraging high-altitude rhododendrons to wake, while a number of colorful festivals take place. And a full spectrum of colored powders plume in the air in Indian towns and villages as locals celebrate Holi festival. Our specialists can give you advice on how best to experience the ‘festival of colours’ as part of your trip to India.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in April

Places to travel in April

Travel to South America in April as nature offers wonderful bird watching in the Galapagos, including likely sightings of the fascinating mating ritual of the blue-footed booby. The Iguaçu Falls, bordering Brazil and Argentina, are also at their most dramatic after the summer rainfalls. In Morocco, the April climate is cool enough for you to explore Marrakesh’s souqs or hike the High Atlas Mountains in clearer air. And, if Easter falls in April, a trip in the Philippines is a window into the Spanish legacy of a ‘fiesta’ culture, and the weather is fantastic for the beaches.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in May

Places to travel in May

If you’re planning a May break, the sun is always out over Bali’s soft-sand beaches at a time of year before the crowds hit their peak. Planning in advance pays off, as some of our favorite hotels are quick to book up. For a trip in the mountain air, hike along the wildflower trails of the High Atlas in Morocco. The temperature is comfortable for enjoying the scenery and it's an ideal time for camping out in Bedouin-style tents. It's also a good time to visit Europe before the weather gets too hot.

Places to travel

Herd of elephants in South Africa

Places to travel in June

June marks the start of the dry season in southern Africa and the chance to see newly born game as you safari in Botswana. Newborn gorillas are given their names in a traditional festival in Rwanda each June and we can design you a trip there gorilla trekking, which pairs nicely with added time on safari in Kenya's Masai Mara. June is also an ideal time for visiting Costa Rica in the quieter green (or rainy) season when you’ll still find plenty of dry weather, quieter national parks and better views of the famous Arenal Volcano.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in July

Places to travel in July

Ladakh in India is an ideal destination for July, with warm weather and little rain to accompany the Himalayan scenery. Spend time in Leh immersing yourself in the Tibetan Buddhist culture and exploring the monasteries, lakes and high-altitude deserts. We also recommend the Manu Rainforest in Peru in the month of July. Few parks can match its incredible wildlife, which includes giant otters, caymans and flocks of macaws.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in August

Places to travel in August

In August, Africa plays backdrop to one of the great wildlife spectacles: the annual migration of over two million wildebeest from the Serengeti plains to the grasslands of the Masai Mara. In Colombia, the start of August heralds the annual flower festival in Medellin. It attracts visitors worldwide with more flowers than you’d imagine possible, fireworks and live music. Or travel to Kandy in Sri Lanka at the time of the Parahera Festival held at the Temple of the Tooth, where Buddha's tooth is said to rest. Get swept up in dancing and parades by torchlight.

Places to travel

Travel ideas in September

Places to travel in September

September kicks off the changing of the seasons in many regions, bringing with it shifting climates and bright landscapes. Before the wet season sets in, take a trip to Borneo and observe the orangutan at the Sepilok sanctuary in Kota Kinabalu. In Peru, September is the best time to take a hike to Incan city in the clouds Machu Picchu while there's still very little rain. And there’s no better place to witness the seasons change than in China, as the locals celebrate the harvest season across the country with the Mid-Autumnal Festival.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in October

Places to travel in October

October is a great time to immerse yourself completely in another culture. Head to India and join millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains for Diwali, the five-day ‘Festival of Lights’. Experience the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival with the locals in Myanmar, where revered Buddha images are paraded around Inle Lake in an elaborate barge for over 20 days. Or discover the historical sites in Jordan, where the lifting of the summer heat allows you to explore in comfort the Roman ruins at Jerash, and biblical sites such as Mt Nebo and the desert of Wadi Rum.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in November

Places to travel in November

Though the temperatures may begin to drop, November still offers plenty of opportunity for active adventure. Work off your Thanksgiving dinner with a trek on the Himalaya Mountains in Nepal, and witness the sunrises over the tops of the peaks. Enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving in the warmer temperatures of the Red Sea in Egypt, where the water is a clear blue and the coral reefs teem with marine life. Or experience Vietnam by bicycle, along the countryside around the historic merchants' town of Hoi An or through the rice terraces and remote villages of Sapa.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in December

Places to travel in December

December brings celebrations of all shapes and sizes across the world. Embrace a wintry yet magical Christmas in Russia, where Gorky Park turns into an ice rink and sleigh rides are offered throughout the month. Top off your year joining in a New Year’s celebration in another part of the world. Travel to Brazil and watch the cariocas (Rio’s locals) dressed in white as they gather on a sunny Copacabana in tribute to the goddess of the sea. Or head to Australia for a New Year’s celebration of a lifetime in Sydney. Witness fireworks exploding off the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, while enjoying the summer temperatures.

Places to travel