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Top 5 places to visit in December

by OnverZe
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Do you ever want to go somewhere but can’t decide where? We’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in each month of the year so you can find the perfect experience for you. December may be the end of the year, but that doesn’t mean your travel plans have to be. If you’re looking for the best places to visit in December, here are some of our top recommendations.

Arctic Sweden

The sun never rises in the last three weeks of the year in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi, one degree north of the Arctic Circle. The dominant state in December is darkness, which is ideal for viewing the Aurora Borealis. Jukkasjärvi is the original Icehotel, where you can spend the night in an ice bed — this year’s winter Icehotel 33 opens on December 16. The area is also a starting point for cross-country skiing, husky sledding, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, meeting reindeer, and learning about traditional Sámi culture – all of which are magical for both children and adults. Abisko National Park, some 100 kilometres (62 miles) to the northwest, is even further removed from the light, an otherworldly landscape offering arguably the best aurora-watching in the world.

San Diego, California

In southern California, winter is relative. Rain is more likely in San Diego, but the days are still mild (average highs: 19°C/66°F). It’s certainly still warm enough to wander the city’s village-like neighbourhoods – posh La Jolla, surfy Encinitas, alternative Ocean Beach, foodie Little Italy, the lively, bar-packed Gaslamp Quarter – and get lost in sprawling Balboa Park, with its museums (Air & Space, Art, Natural History) and world-famous zoo. Book a boat tour or hike the cliff-top trails of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in the hopes of spotting dolphins and migrating grey whales, which pass along the coast here between December and March.

Martinique

In the French Caribbean, December is more than just Christmas. It stands for Chanté-Nwel. From November to Christmas Day, people gather to sing carols to Creole rhythms (a practise dating back to the days of slavery) and feast on local favourites such as yams, pâtés, boudin créole (blood sausage), yule logs, and potent shrubb – a Christmas cocktail crafted from dried orange peel, sugarcane syrup, and white rum. Very festive rum With sunny skies and average highs of 28°C (82.4°F), this is ideal beach weather; relax on the vast sweep of white sand at Les Salines or the black sand of Anse Nour. ire.

Vancouver Island, Canada

As winter approaches, the agitated zone where Arctic and subtropical air collide shifts south, and low-pressure systems form in the Gulf of Alaska. This results in massive storms pounding the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, one of our Best in Travel 2022 picks, creating massive swells, roaring winds, and epic skies. It’s Mother Nature at her most bizarre and cinematic – and it’s worth braving the elements for front-row seats. The small town of Ucluelet (meaning “people of the safe harbour”), on the outskirts of Pacific Rim National Park, is a great place to watch the action unfold.

Chhattisgarh & Odisha, India

The neighbouring states of Odisha (Orissa) and Chhattisgarh (a sliver of Madhya Pradesh) provide perhaps the most authentic glimpse into rural India. These areas are largely ignored by tourists, possibly due to a lack of “big” attractions. The appeal here, however, is in getting away from the cities and meeting the people, such as the majority Gond (famous for their vibrant art), the tattooed Kutia Kondh, the Indigenous groups of the jungles around Jeypore, the bead-wearing Bonda, or the cultural melee of a haat bazaar (weekly market), where many tribal groups gather to haggle over everything from butter and salt to clothes and jewellery. Visit markets, hike between village homestays, and witness tribal festivals: the Madai Festival, which moves around the communities of Bastar, Kanker, and Dantewada from December to March, is a good place to start (when temperatures are mild, too).

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