As sang by Andy Williams, Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of the year. We all take time off to exchange gifts, enjoy great food and spend time with those we are closest to. Many people like to celebrate Christmas by taking some time away from home and going on a Christmas holiday. This is a great chance to see in person how different cultures celebrate the largest religious event in the world.

Some places completely transform around Christmas and become truly special destinations, making them particularly desirable festive getaways. To help you choose your dream Christmas retreat, we’ve picked out the best places to go for a Christmas holiday:

Florida

Florida is one of America’s tourism hotspots and the main reason for that is Disneyland. Disneyland is a magical holiday destination for families to visit all year round, but at Christmas it becomes even more special. Mickey Mouse and friends really go all-out around this time of year, with special events and activities taking place right across the festive period. This includes special firework displays, special parades (Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime parade is a must) and the biggest Christmas tree you’ve ever seen at Epcot. The parks come alive with spectacular festive lights and decorations and are even open on Christmas day, making for a truly special family holiday.

Lapland

It’s not hard to see why Lapland makes for a magical family Christmas holiday. Lapland is synonymous with Christmas, so as you’d expect, there are heaps of magical activities to enjoy. Take a one horse open sleigh ride through the spectacular snowy scenery, see the famous nine reindeers which can be spotted roaming the area, including Rudolph, and there is even the chance to meet Father Christmas himself (and that’s the real one too, not one of those pesky impersonators that can be seen in every supermarket in the country).

The Caribbean

If you’re looking to experience a more tropical holiday rather than the cold conditions of Lapland, consider visiting the Caribbean this Christmas. The Caribbean is ideal for those looking to escape the loud, busy atmosphere of Christmas and use their time off to take a bit of “me time”. The Caribbean is warm all year round, with temperatures in December averaging out at 27oC, so you can even catch some rays on Christmas day. Sun-drenched beaches with golden sands and turquoise waters make for an idyllic Christmas getaway.

A visit to the Caribbean at this time of year is also a great chance to experience the traditions of different cultures at Christmas. Christmas is a massive festival in the Dominican Republic, which includes firework displays and feasts of roast pork and the local equivalent to Christmas pudding – Pudim Navideno. Other great Caribbean Christmas break destinations include Jamaica, Barbados and Puerto Rico.

La Palma

La Palma is another ideal location for those looking to escape the cold conditions of winter and catch some rays during the festive period. La Palma is a small, peaceful island that sits amongst the Canary Islands which can hit temperatures as high 22oC in December. It is a quiet destination, but at Christmas it comes alive and is celebrated with Christmas themed festivals and Nativity scenes, all of which are worth a visit.

New York

New York at Christmas is a bucket list trip for thousands of travellers. There are few more magical sights in the world than that of the Rockefeller Plaza draped in festive decorations and dazzling with pretty Christmas lights. There’s loads to do at New York at this time of year; go ice skating at the iconic Rockefeller ice rink, enjoy the festive lights and hubbub of Times Square and visit Macy’s “Santaland” to experience one of the most festive atmospheres the world has to offer.