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Where to spend Christmas?

Holiday Ideas & Foreign Travel
PinkDalek
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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#265823

Postby PinkDalek » November 20th, 2019, 4:10 pm

From a random website:

Fuerteventura in December - Generally speaking, Fuerteventura is a windy island. Over the course of the month, typical wind speeds range between light to moderate breezes rarely rising to become strong.

https://www.holiday-weather.com/fuertev ... /december/

Lanzarote in December - Wind Over the course of a typical December, wind speeds range between 2 m/s (light breeze) and 8 m/s (moderate breeze), rarely rising above 11 m/s (strong breeze)

https://www.holiday-weather.com/lanzaro ... /december/

We liked the look of Fuerteventura*** but didn't manage to make the 3 hour ferry trip from Lanzarote.

*** Not least using the scroll function here:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1yJkPh8wNkFzXzog-eHw5OXktFJ8&ll=28.59091227657124%2C-13.339537328502956&z=9

One matter not mentioned so far, I think, is sunshine hours on both those islands are said to be only six hours daily. This might be longer though than the Claripeople are used to in the UK! :D

scrumpyjack
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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#265829

Postby scrumpyjack » November 20th, 2019, 4:52 pm

We've been there twice in November with no wind problem but of course fuerteventura means strong winds in Spanish! The weather was lovely both Novembers

PinkDalek
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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#265840

Postby PinkDalek » November 20th, 2019, 5:14 pm

scrumpyjack wrote:We've been there twice in November with no wind problem but of course fuerteventura means strong winds in Spanish! ...


I nearly mentioned its derivation but I didn’t, having checked first, as it isn’t as clear cut as both you and I thought.

scrumpyjack
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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#265857

Postby scrumpyjack » November 20th, 2019, 6:18 pm

Yes - could be Strong Fortune or maybe Storm in a Tea cup?

It's a lovely place but from the air you see just how barren the Canaries are, except where there's water.

77ss
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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#266185

Postby 77ss » November 22nd, 2019, 8:10 am

scrumpyjack wrote:...
It's a lovely place but from the air you see just how barren the Canaries are, except where there's water.


A truism I suppose.

But the smaller islands of La Gomera and La Palma are delightful - much more interesting than Tenerife.

I went to then one Xmas and had very fine weather.

Other places where I have had warm/hot, fine weather at Xmas

Cuba
South Africa (I liked Cape Town and its surroundings)
Cambodia
South India (the north can be cold)
Sudan
Burma
Sri Lanka

Lots of options.

I found Sri Lanka and India the best for Xmas festivities.

tea42
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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#266240

Postby tea42 » November 22nd, 2019, 11:00 am

I have been to Lanzarote twice and found it to be a very interesting place. We stayed with an ex Oxford Dons B&B in the middle of the island away from the grotty tourist part.

The volcanic park was fantastic walking through lava tunnels etc. The seashore was full of exotic sea creatures in rockpools. At the north of the island was a lovely little town with a great market. There is also a stunning viewpoint with a view looking over the adjacent island. The cactus park is jaw dropping as is the huge cave with a lake in it. What I enjoyed most of all was visiting ceasar Manriques house which is built into lava tubes. He was a fantastic artist and designed wind sculptures all over Lanzarote. He also persuaded the powers that be to ban structures over 2 stories. We took the Sunflower book which contains lots of nice walks and driving routes. Some of the walks on high cliffs were pretty hairy and slippy underfoot. Every lunchtime we found little cafes and had the 'plat de jour' thing alongside the locals which was great.

If you get out and explore instead of flopping Lanzarote wont disappoint.

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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#266475

Postby airbus330 » November 23rd, 2019, 10:06 am

I've spent quite a few Christmases away from home for work and play. If doing it on a budget, the Canaries takes a lot of beating. In December I'd avoid Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, the northerly wind flow has got stronger over the last 20 years and they are a lot less sun sure than they used to be. Tenerife has really upped its game trying to improve its rep. for quality. The south coast is sunsure but is less attractive than the north, I love Puerto de La Cruz, but the sun tends to disappear in the afternoon. Los Gigantes might be a good compromise.

Gambia, I'd avoid at all costs, Cape Verde is underdeveloped, Madeira is lovely, but again the weather is unreliable in December.

Further afield, Florida, although not super warm, has a lovely climate in December, but may not be the character you like.
Caribbean. Cuba, worth it to see Havana, but it struggles on quality. Barbados, playground of the rich is less salubrious if you scratch the surface, not helped by the accessibility brought on by cheaper airfares. Dominican Republic, choose the hotel wisely and it is great. Westin Punta Cana is very nice. Mostly the Caribbean is predictably warm, humid and a bit showery in December.
I have been to Goa quite a few times around Christmas and it is a great pick. Strong Christian culture and crazy Indian decorations everywhere. Love it. Grand Hyatt is nice.
If the beach life is not your thing Singapore is a fantastic mix of east and west. Hot and wet at this time of year.

bungeejumper
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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#266491

Postby bungeejumper » November 23rd, 2019, 11:03 am

airbus330 wrote:I love Puerto de La Cruz, but the sun tends to disappear in the afternoon. Los Gigantes might be a good compromise.

I remember Los Gigantes, on the north west coast, as quite a classy spot (although the intervening decades may have changed that?) It's far away enough from Playa de las Americas to be quiet-ish, and the cliffs around the bay are spectacular. But the real gem is the black volcanic beach.

One of the locals' favourite pastimes is to sit in the seafront bars, watching the antics of the bathers who parked their beach umbrellas on the beach at 10 am, and who have discovered by lunchtime that the volcanic sand around them is now red hot. They dance to the water's edge on tiptoe and hurl themselves into the waves with evident gratitude. Flip-flops or beach sandals highly recommended, especially when it's time to return to your beach towel. :lol:

And all this in the week before Christmas. Good choice, but best with a rental car so you can get around.

BJ

BrummieDave
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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#266979

Postby BrummieDave » November 25th, 2019, 11:40 am

And if none of these splendid ideas grab your fancy, you'd be welcome to join me as I spend Christmas going up and down the M6 and M40.

For anyone who yearns for the good old days of enjoyable stress free motoring, I heartily recommend Christmas Day when you pretty much get the whole motorway network to yourself. I'll be doing around 250 miles on Christmas Day, and about the same on a busier, but still quite enjoyable due to the almost complete absence of lorries, Boxing Day.

Clariman
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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#267631

Postby Clariman » November 27th, 2019, 12:23 pm

Thanks very much for all the ideas. This has been a tricky one for us because we have done Christmas Dinner for over 30 years for family - usually about a dozen folk. This year Master C and Grandchild C are at the in-laws, so we've decided to do something different. Mrs C still has a 91 year old parent living near us but on their own - and in need of more support. So we have debated how far to go away and whether we go away at all.

Mrs C suggested Prague which is a city we've visited before and loved it. It will be flipping cold in December but we'll take some warm clothes and enjoy the different Christmas culture. I gather than Christmas Eve Dinner is their equivalent of our Christmas Day. We've booked into a hotel with a cracking restaurant so we're looking forward to hit. In the end culture won out on warmth.

Please don't think we've ignored your suggestions. Far from it. I've followed them all up and done costings - only to have Mrs C saying she wasn't sure if we would get away anywhere. So I am taking the easy option and going with her choice. It is a great city. Hope it isn't 4 feet deep in snow!

C

stockton
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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#268384

Postby stockton » December 1st, 2019, 3:28 pm

airbus330 wrote:Gambia, I'd avoid at all costs,

Just out of curiosity (and for future reference), what is wrong with the Gambia ?

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Re: Where to spend Christmas?

#268436

Postby airbus330 » December 1st, 2019, 10:53 pm

stockton wrote:
airbus330 wrote:Gambia, I'd avoid at all costs,

Just out of curiosity (and for future reference), what is wrong with the Gambia ?

Hi, the Gambia is a true 3rd. world nation with the good and the bad that comes with that title. It is small, poor, recently Ismalified by its leader. Tourism is very important to the economy, so it is encouraged, but the standards achieved in most of the hotels are less than you might expect. Security is reasonable, but solo trips after dark carry the risk of robbery. Hotel room security can be an issue, our staff staying have had multiple break ins to their room, but no assaults. By far the most annoying thing Gambia has to offer westerners are 'bumsters'. These are young men who will actively, rather than aggressively, attach themselves to you as guide, fixer or for sex. This is a popular destination for single middle aged women seeking company. The young men are often to be seen at the airport seeing off one friend, before walking to the arrivals hall to seek another. You can definitely have a cheap sunny winter hol in the Gambia, preferably within the confines of your hotel complex, there are some downtown restaurants which are popular with foreigners. Being an Islamic state since 2016 alcohol is not so popular with the locals anymore, although I'm sure drinking under the radar is prevalent. Foreigners can find alcohol in all hotels and restaurants without issue. Last, by no means least, Gambia is malarial so you need to take Malarone or an alternative. Gambia has a range of quiet and busy beaches. You will get hassled on the busy ones. Swim in the Atlantic with caution, some beaches are not recommended to swim from. I realise that this is all a bit negative, and for a cheap week for something different give it a go, but having endured it quite a few times I won't be spending my own money going again when there are better options out there. If you want winter Africa, try Cape Town. Beautiful place.


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