We want to make sure your Christmas is a memorable one, which is why we have compiled our guide to THE best places to spend the holidays. From Scandinavia to Brazil, the religious and the relaxing, we believe that Sunvil can offer something for everyone.

Gothenburg


Combine festive markets, mouth-watering cuisine, twinkling candlelight, warming glogg and spectacular sights on a winter escape to Gothenburg.

Gothenburg has been described as the ‘city of Christmas’. Liseberg Amusement Park is one of Scandanvia’s most visited Christmas attractions, with over 3 million tourists travelling to see this winter wonderland every year.  Here you can meet Santa, visit a medieval village and sample top quality food and delightful restaurants.

Alternatively, wander around some of Gothenburg’s glorious architectural sites such as Tjoloholm castle, built in 1898-1904. The castle’s façade is a mix of 14th century English style, Art Noveau, and displays innovative and beautiful design features.

Let us take you to your winter wonderland on our ‘A Christmas escape to Gothenburg and the West Coast’ itinerary.

Liseberg Amusement Park, Gothenberg Liseberg Amusement Park, Gothenberg

Malmo

Christmas markets are a fantastic way to get you and your loved ones into the festive spirit. Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city, transforms the central Gustav Adolfs Torg into a glittering market square, filled with stalls selling handicrafts, local delicacies and festive designs. The market opens on the 24th November 2018.

Indulge yourself and sample spiced mulled wine, devour smoked sausage and savour cheese and biscuits. Or, why not try a beloved julboard, a sharing platter serving local and festive delicacies.

All shopped out? Coincide your trip with the ‘Lucia Celebration’ which takes place on the 13th December – a 400-year-old tradition rejoicing the ‘Queen of Light’.

Eleven nights before Christmas, Saint Lucia, with a crown of burning candles, brings light into the northern winter darkness. Songs dating back to the medieval times are sung by a group of children, both girls and boys, in a breath-taking display.

If you would like to take a mini break to Malmo during the Christmas period, take a look at our ‘Malmo Christmas Market Break’ itinerary, you won’t be disappointed.

Christmas Market, Malmo, Sweden Christmas Market, Malmo, Sweden

Stockholm

The Swedish capital of Stockholm, has all the attributes required for your perfect festive break. We highly recommend the Christmas market at Skansen, an open-air museum which has been hosting all things festive since 1903.

This market promises to heighten your senses: taste the local food, touch the arts and crafts, listen to live music, see Stockholm’s largest Christmas tree illuminated, and smell sweet mulled wine.

As well as the Skansen Christmas market, Stockholm also features some utterly moving concerts. On December 16th and 17th, Swedish and Anglo-Saxon Christmas carols are sung alongside remarkable organ music and grand arias. Generally, the concerts require you to purchase tickets in advance, however, on December 20th it is free of charge.

Our expert team have carefully put together this ‘Christmas Market break in Stockholm’ itinerary, so that you are sure to not miss out.

Christmas market, Stockholm, Sweden Christmas market, Stockholm, Sweden

Svalbard
 
Nothing screams Christmas more than the Arctic, so why not spend some time in Svalbard? Only explorers, and Santa, will be closer to the North Pole.

This is a truly magical place, and it is even more so during Christmas time.  Svalbard’s magic is exemplified by the calm of the Polar night which descends on it, allowing you to experience the awe-inspiring Northern Lights in the day, as well as the night.

The darkness, along with the twinkle of the stars and the glistening of street-lined Christmas decorations, is like something out of a story book. Join in with the Christmas tree lighting tradition on the first Sunday in Advent, held along the main street of Longyearbyen.

There are many other traditions which you can experience in Longyearbyen, such as the concert by Store Norske Mandskor, the mining company’s male choir. Or, why not accompany the locals at Lonyearbyen’s church, and take part in a variety of festivities? Then relax and enjoy a delicious Christmas dinner at a local restaurant.

Our ‘Christmas in the Polar night’ itinerary can take you on a 5-night trip of your Arctic dreams.

Svalbard, Norway Svalbard, Norway

Rome

The holiday season in Rome officially starts December 8th (the day of the immaculate conception) and ends on January 6th (the epiphany). With Rome’s close connection to Christ and its claim of being the place where Christmas celebrations first originated, can you think of a better place to spend your Christmas?

Everywhere you go in Rome during the festive period you will be reminded of exactly what Christmas is all about. For example, elaborate nativity scenes can be found in Piazza del Popolo, Piazza Euclide and Santa Maria Maggiore. With a life size nativity scene set up in Piazza Navona, where Christmas markets have previously been held.

While Rome offers a variety of celebrations during Christmas, seeing the Pope deliver the Christmas Eve Mass at the Vatican is THE best experience of them all. This takes place on December 24th at 9:15pm and is traditionally celebrated in St. Peter’s Basilica. All tickets are free, but you’ll need to plan ahead as thousands of people attend.

If you do not manage to get tickets, fear not! On Christmas day you can see the Pope at the Urbi et Orbi, St. Peters Square, and no tickets are required.

See the eternal city in a completely different light and book your stay with Sunvil today.

Vatican City, Rome, Italy Vatican City, Rome, Italy

Cyprus

Cyprus is an ideal winter sun destination, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. And, unlike other Mediterranean destinations during the winter season, Cyprus does not shut down. Visiting museums and historical sites during this period is ideal because they are less crowded and are still very much open.

Coastal temperatures are still mild and average between 16C and 18C. However, if you do want a small taste of winter there are opportunities to ski in the white blanketed Troodos Mountains.  

Why not spend your Christmas in Paphos – cosmopolitan city of culture. 

Troodos Mountains, Cyprus Troodos Mountains, Cyprus

Rio de Janeiro

Christmas in Rio de Janeiro is celebrated like many other countries, it is family orientated, gifts are exchanged and people indulge in lots of food and drink. However, what is different is the weather. During this time of the year, the climate is forgiving, with plenty of warm sunshine, coupled with glorious white sandy beaches - perfect if you prefer to spend your holiday season away from the cold.

Rio is also renowned for its enormous floating Christmas tree, which stands 53m-tall and weighs 350 tonnes. The world’s largest floating Christmas tree drifts about in Rio’s lagoon for all of December and is removed by the 6th January, the traditional day of the Epiphany.

By mid-December, Rio also holds a ‘lighting’ of all the Christmas decorations, on a night that is usually filled with fireworks, festivities and street parties. Thousands descend on the shores of Copacabana and fill the streets to mark the official start of the holiday season.  

Make all you Christmas dreams come true and plan your festive break with Sunvil. You can even combine it with some memorable activities and experiences, here are our some of our suggested itineraries: Classic Brazil & Classic Costa Rica.

Written by Nicole Cunningham

Copacabana Beach fireworks, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Copacabana Beach fireworks, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

13th November 2018



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

Sunvil's holidays are designed by passionate travellers just like you. Our reservations experts and product teams, many of whom have been with us for many years, are passionate about our destinations and, through their personal, first-hand knowledge can answer any questions that you may have. They are well qualified to advise and recommend, based on your own holiday criteria. We can point you to those special, little-known places, some not found even in guidebooks.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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