10 Magical Places

1. Better Living Project, Cascais, Portugal

We chatted to Andy McLean about his newest venture; The Better Living Project in Portugal!

Andy's motivations for starting The Better Living Project was to escape the rat race and create a space for a healthy, fun and inspiring way of living.

If you are looking for a sun-filled Christmas which is a home away from home, but with a BBQ on Christmas day, a swim in the sapphire blue sea and the warm sun on your back, then this is the place to be.

It may seem like a leap, but you’ll be welcomed with open arms and gain that much needed headspace. There’s also Stand Up Paddle boarding, surfing, trail runs, ocean swimming, yoga and more to get stuck into!

2. Santa Claus Village and Santa Park, Napapiiri in Lapland, Finland

Photo credit: visitfinland.com

Photo credit: visitfinland.com

Santa Claus invites you and your family to his official office in Finland, which you'll find on the mysterious Arctic Circle.

Revel in the enchanted atmosphere that only comes with the St. Nic's magic and if you're lucky, Santa will encourage the Northern Lights to put on a spectacular dance for you.

This is the time of year when Santa completes his annual mission to deliver happiness all around the world, so we're sure he would appreciate some festive loving from you - and maybe a sip of sherry and a bite of a gingerbread house! 

Just beware that Rudolph might be unavailable as he prepares for his trip and the elves will most likely be missing as they make the final touches to the presents! 

3. Old Quebec City, Canada

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If you're looking for a Christmas in the wilderness, but with a hint of luxury comforts, then Quebec City might be your stop.

The grand and magnificent Chateau Frontenac rises from the decadent and historical cityscape, creating a scene from a charming European fairytale.

During Christmas it's blanketed in snow and the streets are lined with Christmas trees that are dripping in fairy lights, you'll also find horse-drawn carriages with red ribbons and street entertainers signing and playing beautiful Christmas songs.

After a day of strolling round the shops or snowshoeing, dog sledding or cross country skiing, there's nothing better than warming up with a hot chocolate and maple taffy. 

4. Budapest, Hungary 

Photo credit: Smart Group

Photo credit: Smart Group

Budapest is all about fairy lights, mulled wine, outdoor ice rinks, Christmas markets, Chimney Cake and the Nutcracker. When the snow falls, it is made even more enchanting.

If you're looking for a traditional Christmas in a historical city, where you can indulge in festive treats, some with a twist, from gingerbread to bubblegum marzipan and blackcurrant rum punch, then look no further.

You can also jump in the open air thermal baths, which are blissful during the cold winter times.

5. Berlin, Germany

Photo credit: Wall Street Journal

Photo credit: Wall Street Journal

If you want to combine history and culture with a dash of Christmas shopping and a splash of delicious food, then this could be your Christmas destination.

German people simply love Christmas and during this festive season, Berlin is dazzling with lights and bustling with it's well renowned Christmas markets, that boast a fun and lively atmosphere, as well as variety of holiday present and treats! With over 50 markets you have lots to choose from!

However, don't forget that Berlin is rich in history and culture, which is not to be missed.

6. Hawaii 

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There may not be chestnuts roasting on an open fire and you won't find a white Christmas here, but you will find gorgeous white sand beaches, turquoise water, sun and a laid-back lifestyle. Making it the perfect escape.

If you're into surfing you're going to love it here too.

Need we say more? 

7. London

The Churchill Pub, London. Photo credit: Time Out

The Churchill Pub, London. Photo credit: Time Out

Our home town!

We love London at Christmas time, there's a great sense of excitement around the festive period, with parties, Christmas markets, Winter Wonderland, ice skating rinks, mulled wine, hot chocolate, themed Christmas street lights, Christmas shop windows... It makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it!

Our founder, Adelaide, loves waking around London and absorbing the festive cheer that permeates the cities atmosphere. Adelaide especially enjoys visiting the shop windows at Harrods, as there's always surprise! One year she remembers seeing a live skater in the window! Selfridges and Fortnum and Masons also have great shop windows too!

We don't want to bore you with our love for London at Christmas, so check out our list of 7 Adventurously Christmas Things to in London.  

8. New York

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It's the most wonderful time of the year - and by 'it', we mean New York! 

Did you know the famous poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' was supposedly inspired by the festive atmosphere in one of the city's downtown markets in 1822?

Almost no one does festive cheer and spirit like New York & unsurprisingly, this spectacular city boasts one of the best places to experience during Christmas. 

Over Christmas the city transforms into a illuminated winter wonderland, as it's decked out with Christmas trees, festive lights and holiday windows. Including a 69 to 100 feet Norway spruce tree in Times Square, decorated with about 30,000 lights attached to 5 miles of wiring and topped off with a 550 pound star!

Friends was also filmed here. Enough said!

9. Paris

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At Christmas time come under Paris' magical spell.

Paris is transformed at this festive time with its beautiful monuments being illuminated in twinkly lights, christmas decorations adorning the streets and department store windows are filled with animated whimsical seasonal displays.

The city is taken over with more festive cheer as markets pop up and millions of Christmas street lights sparkle, hundreds of decorated trees ling the boulevards and there are nativity scenes, open-air ice rings, carousels and many more wonderful events!

10. Everest Base Camp, Nepal

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If these are all too tame for you, why not head to Nepal for a real wild and mountainous adventure?!

When our founder Adelaide was there in February 2014, her guide told her how he took a couple to arrive at Everest Base Camp on Christmas Day! How cool is that?!

Where's been your favourite place you've spent Christmas? Let us know below! We'd love to get inspiration for next year :)

Adelaide GoodeveComment