Where to go on holiday in December: 28 top destinations

Temperature: -3°C high; -9°Clow
Season: winter
Flight time from UK: 6 hours
Time difference: GMT+2

What better time to visit the North Pole than December, for Christmas? When a sleigh ride through Lapland, pulled by reindeer or huskies, is surely most unforgettable, when the glittering frozen Narnia landscapes of the Arctic Circle are most magical. And when the lightshow in the skies, the Northern Lights, playing all the colours of the spectrum over Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, is at its brightest and best.

Sustainable travel tip: Experiences with the indigenous Sami people of Lapland are becoming ever-more popular, but be sure that the operator is providing a genuine connection with their culture (rather than a ‘show’). Done right, this kind of tourism helps boost a local economy that can only rely on a lucrative revenue stream – tourism – a few months of the year. Magnetic North Travel, for example, organises time with genuine reindeer herders and their families, so you get a real sense of their way of life.

Where to stay: In Swedish Lapland, check out Treehotel, where rooms are not on the ground but above it, in the trees.

Above: Icebergs floating in the Illulisat Icefjord, one of the northernmost UNESCO World Heritage sites.

For where to go in other months, see our Holiday Calendar:

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