Let’s face it, 2016 hasn’t been the best year – we’ve had to say goodbye to Bowie and Bake Off (as we know it). Understandably, we’re feeling a little bewildered and slightly befuddled by what next year may bring. However, there’s no need to panic just yet. There’s still time to resurrect some of 2016, and what better way than taking a last minute beach break over the festive period? We have some great offers around Christmas and the New Year and with prices starting from just £43.90, there’s no excuse not to go.
Imagine ending the year on a stunning Thai beach. The island of Phuket is one of our most popular destinations in Asia, and it really isn’t difficult to see why. The crisp, white sands, azure blue waters and swaying coconut trees do nothing to dispel the fact you’re on an island paradise. The largest beach, Patong, is where you’ll find the island’s nightlife; a heady mix of clubs, karaoke bars and discos. During the day, take a speedboat to Phi Phi where the film ‘The Beach’ was filmed, or Khao Phing Kan, where James Bond’s ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ was shot (excuse our pun!). The ASHLEE Plaza Patong Hotel and Spa has rooms over the festive period from just £74.64 on a room only basis.
You don’t need to fly to the other side of the world to find sunshine in December. The Canaries are warm all year around, and with a flight time of just four hours from the UK, Lanzarote is a place the whole family can enjoy. Even the sea temperatures stay warm at this time of year which means it’s the perfect time to try your hand at water sports. You could even attempt the new “in” sport: fly-boarding, if you’re feeling particularly brave. This thrilling activity sees you propelled through the air on high-powered jets of water. Of course, you may just want to make the most of being on the beach. In which case, you’re in the perfect destination; Lanzarote has 156 miles of coastline. The Sol Lanzarote in Puerto Carmen has all inclusive deals from £151.43 over the holiday period.
If you still need to get a handle on your Christmas shopping, why not pack yourself off to the Emirates for a week and do it from there? Super glitzy Dubai is home to numerous shopping malls and some are amongst the largest in the world. The Dubai Mall contains a number of exclusive stores and boutiques, as well as an aquarium and a cash point that dispenses gold bullion. In the Mall of the Emirates, you’ll find some recognisable high-street brands, and also some much-loved American stores that you can’t find in the UK. Hello Aeropostale, Bath & Body Works and Dean & Deluca! If all that Christmas shopping has you craving snow and hot chocolate, the mall is also home to Ski Dubai – the world’s longest indoor ski slope! Dubai isn’t cheap, but during December the five star Nassima Royal Hotel is offering bed and breakfast from just £189.13 per night.
December temperatures in Madeira reach up to 18°C, which makes the island ideal for a laid-back beach break. Here the pace of life is slow, which is perfect if your plans are simply to rest and recuperate ahead of the start of the New Year. Funchal, the island’s capital boasts the accolade of Europe’s cleanest city and its meandering lanes are ideal for strolling. Make sure you take a cable car up Monte for spectacular views across the island and do pop into Blandy’s Wine Lodge in the centre of town to try the famous Madeira wine. On the beach, dolphin and whale watching trips are still popular in December and if you pay extra you can even jump off the boat and swim alongside the dolphins in the wild. The Ocean Gardens Hotel has rooms starting at just £43.90.
For more excellent deals on last minute winter holidays visit alpharooms.com.