Joy, fun... it's Christmas in the sun!

A guide to the best desintations with Winter sun instead of sleet


Christmas Island The big problem about getting to Christmas Island for 25 December is availability. Everyone wants to reach this tropical paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 2,600km north-west of Perth. Half of Australia's offshore gem is a national park, with the requisite white sand beaches and diving among tropical fish and local spinner dolphins. To get to Christmas Island you can fly direct from Jakarta (one hour), Singapore (two hours) or Perth (four hours). Contact Island Bound Holidays in Perth (00 618 9381 3644) or CI Travel (00 618 94811200). Accommodation ranges from backpacker-budget to resort. The Christmas Island Tourist Association (00 61 89164 8382, www.christmas.net.au) can provide more information and arrange bookings.

Christmas Island The big problem about getting to Christmas Island for 25 December is availability. Everyone wants to reach this tropical paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 2,600km north-west of Perth. Half of Australia's offshore gem is a national park, with the requisite white sand beaches and diving among tropical fish and local spinner dolphins. To get to Christmas Island you can fly direct from Jakarta (one hour), Singapore (two hours) or Perth (four hours). Contact Island Bound Holidays in Perth (00 618 9381 3644) or CI Travel (00 618 94811200). Accommodation ranges from backpacker-budget to resort. The Christmas Island Tourist Association (00 61 89164 8382, www.christmas.net.au) can provide more information and arrange bookings.

New Zealand While shepherd's watched their flocks by night... they probably smacked their lips at the thought of that succulent New Zealand lamb - or, rather, crayfish on the beach. In New Zealand they celebrate Christmas and the start of the summer holidays together. The ovens are turned off and the barbies dusted down). You can have a very Maori Christmas on the beach in New Zealand with a two-week package from Austravel (0117 933 0450, www.austravel.com). The price of £1,500 per person includes return flights to Auckland leaving on 23 December, two weeks' board and 10 days' car hire.

Oman For a more traditionally exotic flavour you could head east. Frankincense and myrrh originated in Oman, where the incense trade supported an extravagant and wealthy civilisation for over 1,000 years. Arabian Odyssey (01242 224482, www.arabianodyssey.co.uk) has an eight-day tour departing on 22 December, from £1,505 per person. Exploring dusty villages, banana plantations, spectacular wadies and Oman's capital, Muscat, are all possible. Wandering around Muscat's Muttrah souk - a labyrinth of covered walkways - shopkeepers will tempt you with frankincense and myrrh, carpets and silks.

Tinsel Town Tinsel Town refers to Hollywood's year-round glitz, and is not to be confused with seasonal festivities. But if you do fancy seeing how the Americans do Christmas, Thomson Breakaway (0870 606 1476, www.thomsonholidays.com) has four-night breaks to Los Angeles from £503 per person. If you include a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood, you'll find that Christmas has been replaced this year by Grinchmas to coincide with the blockbuster adaptation of the cult 1957 Dr Seuss' Christmas book The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - York

    £18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - Y...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us