Celebrate Christmas in style, with your feet in the sand in Mauritius, sipping a Piña Colada to a tune of Bachata in the Dominican Republic, diving into the magical atmosphere of Valsesia, exploring the Big Five in South Africa or relaxing in a palace in Indonesia. Live the waking dream of a sunny or snowy Christmas with your family with our selection of the best destinations to spend Christmas holidays with children. An overview of these five key destinations.
What if this year you spend Christmas holidays under coconut trees, with your feet in the sand on the edge of a 28° turquoise lagoon? An incredible experience to end the year in style in the heart of the Indian Ocean.
The beautiful image and exoticism inspired by the old French island are a reference throughout the world. Its fine sandy beaches, its palm trees undulating under the trade winds, its octopuses drying in the sun… Discover the hidden treasures of this fantastic island. Under the branches of a large banyan – a sacred tree more commonly known as « pye la fouche » in Mauritius, an ice cream seller has set up his cart by the sea. From his little cart, reggae-style music escapes, bringing the children to him. Further away, the sun caresses the roofs of the old red and grey buildings of the capital Port-Louis. Leave the beaches behind to explore the alleys of this multicultural city. Immerse yourself in the heart of the colourful market to smell the scents of spices and taste the local cuisine in an unparalleled blend of flavours before going a few blocks away to the Jummah Mosque decorated with Hindu vegetable ornaments on either side of its superb door carved with copper motifs. The best way to follow in the footsteps of the waves of Indian and Chinese immigration that built Port-Louis, the mixed race. Itinerary.
While some will rush to the mountains to hurtle down the ski slopes, others will enjoy going far away to enjoy the sun and water sports. Winter is the preferred season for diving enthusiasts on Mauritius. With the ideal water temperature in December, the aquatic flora and fauna are alive and well, celebrating the beauty of the seabed. This time of year is also time for dolphins’ reproduction. The perfect opportunity for a great aquatic excursion aboard a glass-bottomed boat.
Shanti, this singing name is already on its way. Drop off your luggage at the Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa ***** to taste the Mauritian way of life, through a top-of-the-range and personalized service. Discover local cuisine in the Stars restaurant under a starry sky. To enjoy delicious samosas with colourful cocktails, we invite you to the Rum Shed restaurant. The Shanti hotel is the ideal place for a relaxing and invigorating break. Well-being is at the forefront in this luxury establishment nestled in the heart of nature and bordering the Indian Ocean. This tourist spot offers many activities to relax: massages and treatments, beauty workshops, yoga, meditation or Pilates classes, watsu pool, hot tub and aquafit. Children are also invited to relax: yoga, floriculture, musical games, art session and swimming pool. To finish the day off well, head for the hotel beach. Housed in a superb creek inhabited by corals, this long ribbon of fine sand is the privileged witness of legendary sunsets.
Mauritius lovers will certainly know this fishing village located in the north of the island and which has grown over the years to become a luxury seaside resort. Its vast beaches and restaurants, where the local cuisine is refined, seduce many travellers. To eat the best meatball broths and fried noodles on the island, we recommend Ti Kouloir (Itinerary), a little known destination, stuck behind Grand Bay but certainly worth a visit – as evidenced by the long line (remember to book in advance). Further south, hikers discover vast areas in the middle of tropical nature. Don’t miss spending a day with your family inland to admire the lush vegetation of this island known as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.
To get through the harsh winter, go to Dominican Republic under the tropical sun. In addition to its pleasant climate and unbeatable white sandy beaches, the country is full of natural riches, surprising activities and memorable hotels immersed in a rich and exhilarating Spanish culture. Santo Domingo, a treasure of history. With its cobbled streets steeped in history and life that make up the richness of its colonial district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the capital of the Dominican Republic refers to the time of Christopher Columbus and the discovery of America. Between its colourful markets and its inhabitants who speak this nonchalant Spanish typical of the capital, Santo Domingo offers you a real cultural trip. To taste Sancocho (stew with seven meats), go to the Plaza de España, the highest point in the old town where you will find the best local restaurants. To enjoy a breathtaking view of the colonial city, climb up to the Ozama’s fortress (Itinerary), this military construction with impressive walls built to protect the city from attacks by English and French conquerors as well as from pirates who were trying to loot the city.
Located on the East Coast, romantically renamed « The Coast of Coconut Trees« , Punta Cana is renowned for its idyllic beaches, palm trees defying the ocean and crystal clear waters. Cradle of innovative and varied nautical activities, the east coast of the island has all the assets for sea lovers: kayaking, diving, snorkeling, sailing or catamaran, visit of sea caves. The coconut tree paths and the festive atmosphere at night make Punta Cana the ideal place to enjoy a fiery family holiday, or to reconcile parents’ idleness and teenagers’ fiesta.
Located at the eastern end of the island, along the beach of Uvero Alto, Nickelodeon Hotels & Resort Punta Cana *****, is resolutely a family establishment. In a setting inspired by the fantasy world, your children’s favourite cartoons are set in villas with contemporary architecture. Housed in a pineapple tree, the Pineapple Suite combines modern comfort with fantastic decorative elements. In this emblematic suite, the hotel has made Sponge Bob the king of the place, and the design’s key word in its interior layout. For Christmas, Nickelodeon puts the little dishes in the big ones and offers special menus for parties and wine tastings.
Christmas time is often synonymous with family holidays. Parents, children and grandparents like to get together to enjoy the holidays. Certainly, you don’t need to cross the Atlantic to find some warmth at Christmas. Valsesia, an Italian alpine valley, is an ideal destination to warm up by a fire in a cosy and family atmosphere. The idea of the trip here is not to go far, but high.
The alpine valley of Valesia surfs on the desire for snow and fresh air. Nestled between the peaks of the Northern Alps covered with their white mantle, the Valsesia Valley accesses the vast Monte Rosa ski area. With its 180 km of slopes covering the three valleys of the Monte Rosa massif, the Monte Rosa domain welcomes ski, luge and sledge enthusiasts. Since the beginning, the well-kept slopes and the excellent technological level of the ski lifts have made Monte Rosa a coveted destination for the most demanding skiers.
Mirtillo Rosso Family Hotel ***** is a good place to enjoy the fresh mountain air. The surrounding nature offers beautiful walks in the Monte Rosa massif. The hotel provides shuttles to the slopes and offers private ski lessons for young and old. Warm and family-friendly, rooms in this mountain-style establishment offer all the necessary comfort to rest after a day spent outdoors. Mom and Dad can also enjoy the spa with a sauna, hot tub and a custom-made treatment program that combines sports activities and beauty rituals while children are invited to play in the large indoor playroom. The architecture of the establishment combines wood and dry stone walls, reminiscent of the authentic villages of Piedmont. The restaurant offers a wide range of local products. Don’t miss the traditional « Walser » dinner, a tribute to the peasant people who colonized this mountainous region during the Middle Ages.
Christmas folklore reigns at the Mirtillo Famille Hotel. Every 24th and 25th of the month, and not only in winter, many festive activities are organised to celebrate this great family celebration. The famous treasure hunt invites parents and children to follow in Santa’s footsteps in the Valsesia Valley. At the end of the year, the hotel’s restaurant occasionally offers a special « holidays » menu as well as fondues, tartiflettes and other croziflettes. A gastronomy rich in tradition.
With its long white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, breathtaking landscapes, and lodges nestled in lush nature, South Africa offers a thrill and a change of scenery for the whole family.
If Nelson Mandela’s country attracts travellers in clusters, there is a reason for this. Welcome to a setting worthy of the Lion King: tall dry grass, water points surrounded by greenery, steep mountains, rocky cliffs… Many roads criss-cross the South African region to discover the emblematic animals of the savannah. Enjoy magical moments spying on the elegant giraffes at their slender neck that stand out from the setting sun. Admire the perfect harmony in which the ancient African tribes, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes live in rich and varied flora. Observe lion prides in the shade of the acacias. The joy of children in front of this show is indescribable! Kruger Park, this animal sanctuary very popular with exploring tribes, offers a magnificent safari tour in your own rental vehicle on paved and safe trails. In addition to its savannah-covered hills suitable for safaris, its penguin beaches, its green Blyde River canyon, its vineyards at the foot of the Hottentots Mountains and its tropical forests, South Africa is a must-see destination with many enchanting panoramas.
Recognized as one of the most pleasant cities in the world, Cape Town has everything to offer to travelling families. A cosmopolitan city with 1001 facets, Cape Town is full of diverse and varied activities. Stroll around the quayside area, where artists and restaurants are located, in the long pedestrian avenue lined with orange trees, between the colourful Bo-Kaap houses. Take a look up with the cable car and enjoy a breathtaking 360° view of the Bay of Good Hope. Once at the top of Table Mountain, you can take advantage of the nature trails to stroll through lush vegetation dotted with proteas, the region’s emblematic flowers. For a gourmet break, the Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock is a must see during a visit to Cape Town. Itinerary.
As the European continent plunges into winter, Indonesia acts as a reserve of sunshine. Celebrate Christmas in a Bikini on the island of Bali, a true paradise where culture, nature and adventure are at the forefront.
Indonesia’s most famous island owes its reputation to its many surf spots, its famous beaches of Nusa Dua, Seminyak, Canggu or Kuta, but not only to them. Bali is also the sacred temple of Goa Lawah, the hot springs of Banjar, the peaceful fishing village of Kusamba, the volcano of Batur which rises to an altitude of 1,717 metres, the blue lakes of Mount Batur, the famous waterfall of Git Git, the stalls of the city of Ubud, the rice fields on terraces, the monkey forest, the volcanic beaches with black sand… Bali has much to offer! Christmas holidays are the perfect opportunity for a first trip to Indonesia.
On the southwest coast of Bali, Villa Sungai opens its doors to its small village of luxury and exclusivity in the heart of the rice fields of the Tabanan region. The staff of this private mansion is attentive and dedicated to the needs and privacy of travellers. Here, everything is carefully thought out to meet the comfort of our customers. A personal concierge welcomes the families as soon as they arrive and remains at their disposal throughout the stay. Let yourself be lulled by the murmur of the water and the sounds of the jungle in one of the 2 villas – Sungai or Gold – specially designed for large tribes. To visit the surroundings at your own pace, Villa Sungai offers bicycles for adults and children. This exceptional establishment focuses on eco-responsible tourism and offers activities that respect the land and its inhabitants.
To appreciate the Balinese soul, move away from the beaches of southern Indonesia and sink into the land of prayer littered with offerings north of the island of gods. It’s in a small country village that the city of Ubud reveals the culture of Bali, its colours and its joyful ceremonies. This village on a volcano hillside, located 40 minutes from Villa Shanghai, embodies the travellers’ quest for sense and has managed, despite its growing popularity, to keep its charm of yesteryear. Very attached to their traditions, the inhabitants of Ubud reveal their know-how in small craft shops, pretty painting galleries, music schools and yoga workshops. Free from the crowded beaches of the south, the village of Ubud is a cultural showcase and a jewel dedicated to the exceptional natural environment that surrounds it. A haven of peace where the sensory and visual experience is at the forefront. Itinerary.
HAVE A GOOD TRIP!
Audrey, 25 years old, journalist and travel lover, from Brussels