Christmas and New Year Holidays
I’m thinking of going away for Christmas and New Year this year (currently based in UK), does anyone have any suggestions of where to go? Or has anyone spent the festive season in India? If so where would you recommend?
I’ve been to Goa over Christmas and New Year and would recommend it. As it’s a Christian state, it may not be representative of other parts of India, so I can’t speak for elsewhere. We stayed in basic huts on the beach in Arambol, which is beautiful and relatively chilled out. It was very busy, but the atmosphere was great, with plenty of live music and good places to eat and drink. We had a seafood lunch on Christmas day (much more exciting than a turkey) and on New Year’s eve everyone partied on the beach (not just the tourists). You need to book your accommodation well in advance, as it’s such a busy time of year, and be prepared to pay over the odds for it, as prices get bumped up for those few weeks.
Also been to Cuba and Sri Lanka over that period, and would recommend them too – let me know if you want info on either.
Celebrating NYE in another country is always an incredible experience and other cultures often celebrate a new year differently. For example, in Iceland the Northern Lights are best seen around New Years Eve or the raucous parties on Copacabana Beach in Rio De Janeiro where everyone is dressed in white (to represent good luck) and parties until the early hours. Alternatively, Hogmanay in Edinburgh where the celebrations include a light procession and street parties.
In regards to India, the parties in Goa attract tourists from around the world and is renowned for its dance parties on the beach complete with fireworks. If you’re looking for an incredible NYE party, Goa seems to be the place to go!
Oh man, there are too many places that sound good, it’s so hard to make a decision.
Adam I had thought about Iceland as it’s easy to get to from Scotland for a short break. Are the celebrations there open to the public or is it more local people getting together in their communities/houses?
Helen I hadn’t thought of Sri Lanka, any further information you can give me on that would be great.
Cheers for the responses guys
I guess travelling to India during festive season is a great Idea, i myself have been there throughout the year attending various festivities all across, the weather all around the parts would be great.
Goa/Portblaire(havelock island) would be a terrific option. Not a single house would go by without a Grotto, if you choose Goa then make sure to stay in South Goa , its clean and is not crowded. While there you surely would catch free invites to some groovy parties. As its said in Goa “Go Goa”.
Also let me know if you wanna go there as i can give you a local guys no. who i befriended while my journey, nice fellow can help you get miles.
Compared to India, Sri Lanka is more of a holiday destination than a backpacker hotspot – there’s more luxury accommodation and it’s more expensive in general to travel there. Again, prices are bumped up over the festive season and you should book in advance. That said, if you avoid the very touristy restaurants there are still cheap local places where you can get great food, and if you move slightly away from the beachfront in the popular resorts, accommodation prices go down significantly. I absolutely loved it there and managed the trip on a tight budget, so it can be done!
We worked our way down the southwest coast from Hikkaduwa (fun, laid back, surfer central), spending Christmas in Mirissa on the south coast, which is a fairly touristy but beautiful little area, and then moving further east to even more beautiful beaches and cute, small resorts (honeymoon central!) towards Tangalla. It’s easy to move around the coast from town to town on public transport, or you can hire a driver to take you inland to some of the many beautiful national parks.
New Year’s Eve was much busier than Christmas, and there are parties all over the country. Hikkaduwa is known for the big beach party held there every year, but we went to Wijaya Beach, just by Galle, for a party at a beach restaurant. It was fun but markedly different from NYE on Arambol Beach in Goa, and probably rather different from the Hikkaduwa parties, as it’s quite an upmarket place, so depends what you’re looking for really.
Hope that helps,