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Escape Christmas - Our top 5 alternatives

Are you a bit ‘bah-humbug’ this year or maybe you just want a Christmas that's a bit different to the norm? If you want to turn your back on turkey, the Queen's speech and Christmas television, here are some options for you.

1. Thailand

This beautiful Buddhist country is a perfect escape at Christmas time. Perfect if you want to soak up a completely different culture, spend time enjoying the beautiful beaches and seeing the incredible temples. Thailand, 'the land of smiles', is a top choice for winter sun and is popular all round with visitors. With an average temperature of 27°C (when it’s the cooler season) that’s not bad.  www.tourismthailand.org

2. Morocco

Have a completely different Christmas in Morocco, which is of course a Muslim country and combine seeing the mountains, sea and the colourful city life. Experience the exotic markets of Marrakech and see the famous Koutoubia mosque.  In the evening the main square Djemaa el Fna comes alive with music, dancing and food galore. The ultimate escape must be to head to the beautiful Atlas Mountains, where the weather is usually dry and mild in December. www.visitmorocco.com

 3. Mauritius

Sunshine, beaches, watersports and not a turkey in sight. You are more likely to be eating fish and salad than a big dinner here. This beautiful, tropical island is a wonderful place to relax, soak up the sun and leave the bustle of December to everyone else. The chance to swim with dolphins and also to see the rare Giant ‘Aldabra’ Tortoises also makes it an alternative Christmas to remember.  www.tourism-mauritius.mu

4. Australia

Sunshine and Christmas are not two words that you would normally associate with each other, but in Australia this is certainly the case. Take for example Christmas Day on Bondi Beach. Thousands of revellers will watch over artists performing and have an all-day barbecue (of course), as well as plenty of fun outdoor activities. www.australia.com

5. Dubai, UAE

If you are looking for different, head to Dubai where Christmas Day isn't a national holiday. Instead of the traditional turkey and dark skies, head out for lunch in the sunshine or by the beach. Winter is an ideal time to visit here when the temperature is slightly milder (in summer temperatures reaching a scorching 104F). I think cocktails by the pool is the option I'd take!  www.dubaitourism.ae

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