We all know just how charming the Christmas markets in Europe are and how festive the Christmas celebrations are in Canada. But have you ever thought about visiting less obvious destinations for the holidays? If you want to experience something unusual on your Christmas trip, it may be time to start looking for off-the-beaten-track destinations with these unusual Christmas vacation ideas.
So, here are some unusual Christmas vacation ideas you might want to try.
Unusual Christmas Vacation Ideas
Hit the Christmas Markets in Japan
The first of our unusual Christmas vacation ideas is Japan! While Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan, major cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Hokkaido turn festive once the Christmas season comes.
Many of the things associated with Christmas, such as dancing lights, fancy Christmas trees, and vibrant Christmas markets, make an appearance, along with some unique traditions that are purely Japanese.
One of the best ways to celebrate Christmas in Japan is to visit vibrant Christmas markets. Several European-style Christmas markets would pop up all over the country throughout the winter season, from Hokkaido to Kyushu and Tokyo.
Browse through the stalls selling everything, from Japanese sweets to delicate tree ornaments. In Tokyo, you’ll find a Christmas Market set up by the German Tourism Association, which sells almost everything you can find from the Christmas markets of Germany.
Campervanning in Scotland
Scotland is one of the best places and a favorite among unusual Christmas vacation ideas for those who are adventurous enough to consider a luxury motorhome hire while spending the holidays there.
Campervanning in Scotland at Christmas is not like any other. Its landscape turns even more magical than ever, with snow-covered mountains and frost appearing on the hills.
Drive your van under a blanket of pristine snow, gaze up at the gorgeous mountain peaks, or head to the coast to enjoy the dramatic views of crashing waves!
Spending Christmas in Scotland is also a perfect opportunity to hit the country’s snowy slopes. Scotland is home to the world’s best ski resorts, offering ultimate outdoor skiing and snowboarding adventures.
If you fancy a more thrilling snow sport, try dogsledding in Aviemore or strap a pair of snowshoes and walk through the magical winter wonderland!
What’s great about campervanning in Scotland is you’ll find plenty of companies that offer motorhomes for hire. These motorhomes are fitted with all the comforts and amenities you would expect from a basic home, allowing you to explore Scotland in the most comfortable way possible.
You can even choose a van equipped with kitchen amenities, so you can prep your meals to celebrate the Christmas season in the cozy comfort of your motorhome.
Stay in a Castle in Transylvania
Transylvania turns magical when Christmas comes. Famous for its festive Christmas markets, the region is one of the best unusual Christmas vacation ideas. But if you’re looking to do an unusual trip, spend the night at a castle!
Transylvania is famous for its castles, but perhaps, the most iconic of them all is Romania’s Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle. Unfortunately, the castle does not offer the possibility to spend the night.
But there are castle hotels that provide accommodation to tourists, such as the Haller Castle in Romania, housed in a renovated 17th-century building located in the quiet area of Targu Mures, 200 m from the Mures River.
Aside from sleeping at a castle, you can do many other interesting things in Transylvania at Christmas. You can stay at an ice hotel in the Fagaras Mountains, on the banks of Balea Lake, explore the magical Clay Castle, or hit the slopes in Poiana Brasov.
Touring the Galapagos
The Galápagos Islands may not be the first place that people go during Christmas but touring the Galapagos would be a great idea if you want to do something unique during the holiday season.
Although the Galapagos is beautiful all year round, according to Galapagos experts, Rainforest Cruises, the best time to visit the islands is from December to May when the weather is pleasant, allowing you to make the most of your tour of the islands.
The various islands that make up the Galapagos are strikingly unique from each other. Some of these islands feature imposing active volcanoes, while others have idyllic beaches, yet most of these islands are home to remote wildlife reserves. If you have plenty of time, you should explore them all.
Wildlife watchers should venture into Puerto Ayora, a small town on Santa Cruz Island, to explore the Charles Darwin Research Station. Then head southwest to catch a glimpse of critters basking under the sun in Tortuga Bay.
If you are an avid hiker, conquer Sierra Negra, an active volcano in Isabela Island. And for those who love to be in the water, go on a snorkeling or diving trip. Regardless of what piques your interest, there will always be something to do on the Galapagos at Christmas.
Beach Holidays with BBQ in Australia
If you want to escape the harsh winter weather then an Australian beach BBQ might be the best of our unusual Christmas vacation ideas for you!
Unlike the traditional roast of Europe, Australians prefer to enjoy a lunchtime BBQ on Christmas Day. In fact, it’s common to see a queue at the local fish markets on Christmas Eve as locals prepare for their beach barbecue on the following day.
While seafood barbecue is often the norm, it’s also common to see traditional BBQ of grilled meats, a generous serving of salads, and tons of cold beer!
Australians are known for their love of BBQs, so it’s pretty common to find public BBQ areas all over the country. You will find Aussies firing up the grill any time of day, especially when visiting the beach.
If you’re in Sydney, some of the best places to enjoy a Christmas beach barbecue are Blackwattle Bay Park, Shelly Beach, The Basin, and Bronte Park. Meanwhile, St Kilda Beach is a wonderful destination in Melbourne for a fun beach barbecue.
Of course, there are several other fun things to do in Australia to celebrate Christmas. You can watch a cricket match, hike the Blue Mountains, swim at Bondi Beach, explore Lord Howe Island, or party at Melbourne’s Christmas Square.
If you’re still looking for unusual Christmas vacation ideas after reading this post then you might want to think outside the box. Check out some magical places, go on an adventure, or take a city break to a place you’ve never been to before. No matter what you choose, as long as you’re with the ones you love, Christmas is with you too.