7 Islands for Christmas Vacation
Which islands are special for spending Christmas?
Do you know there are some islands for Christmas that the Americans and the Europeans go to spend the number one festival of the year?
Once there on the 24th of December, naturally, they will stay until the night of January 1st to enjoy the New Year celebrations also. On some islands, the holidays start two weeks prior to Christmas and on some, the holidays will go on until the first week of January.
Look at the title photo again. Imagine the coconut trees are covered with colorful lights, and decorative paper posters and the chairs, chaises, and tables are arranged neatly, facing the sea.
This scene will not change until the New Year celebrations. A Christmas and the New Year events are spent on an island that is closest to nature. Won’t that be the most memorable Christmas holiday you have ever celebrated?
The last week of any year is invariably cruel as far as the weather is concerned. By choosing to go to a tropical island at that period of the year, you can escape the harsh snowy climate and enjoy the sunny warmth on the islands.
Usually, The Caribbean Islands are the most sought-after places to go during Christmas.
Other ideas for islands for Christmas are:
- Spanish Islands
- Greek Island
- Mexican Islands
- Australian Islands
- South Pacific Islands
- Hawaiian Islands
- Italian Islands
As it seems, the choice is very wide but even among these exotic places, only a handful of islands get crowded for the year-end holidays.
Come on; find out the list of islands for Christmas. Please be aware that these festive places are generally in high demand for the yearend festivals. Therefore, you need to book your accommodation at least two months in advance.
Islands for Christmas: How to Spend Your Christmas Holidays
By this way, you can also ensure cheaper flight tickets and get vantage rooms or overwater villas.
If you choose to spend your New Year’s eve on this island, you are one of the few wisest men in the world because it is one of the very few places on the earth where the new year dawns first. Yes, it is the world’s farthest island in the forward time zone. Kiritimati belongs to the UTC+14 time zone.
The next unique factor of this island is its large land area in spite of being an atoll. An atoll has a lagoon front that is ideal for swimming and scuba diving and snorkeling. The reefs of atolls located in various oceans and seas vary quite dramatically in size and color.
Kiritimati atoll comprises an area of roughly 390 sq. km, thus making it the largest atoll in the world. It is really a mammoth lagoon in the world.
Kiritimati Island’s lagoon extends up to 48 km in the North Pacific Ocean. That is quite a big lagoon and ideal for swimming and kayaking.
Now, let us look at Kiritimati’s location in relation to some of the world’s prominent places.
- San Francisco is a mind-boggling 5360 km away.
- Hawaii is 2160 km to the North of Kiritimati
- New York is 5800 km to its southwest
- London and Kiritimati Island are separated by an incredible 13,680 km!
- Even Japan, the land of the rising sun is 7600 km away to the west of Kiritimati Island
Man, what a place to greet the New Year! You will be basking in glory when you post the pictures of you watching the first-ever sunrays of the year in Facebook and Instagram.
The fourth unique factor of this Christmas Island (yes, it is its alternative name) is the entire island is declared a wildlife sanctuary. I think most of animals and birds must be endemic to the island because of its isolation from other inhabited islands.
Some sea birds that live happily forever on Kiritimati Island:
- Christmas Shearwater
- Sooty Tern
- Red-footed Booby
- Red-tailed Tropicbird
- Black Noddy
There are hotels here with a built-in restaurant. I wonder what the cuisine is on this Fareast island!
The flora of this island captivates the fantasies of botanists.
Reaching Kiribati Island.
Kiritibati has an international airport. Fiji Island operated flights. I believe there are flights from Honolulu also.
You must have heard of a group of Spanish Islands known as the Canary Islands. They are located in the Atlantic Ocean.
Out of the eight main islands of the Canary archipelago, Lanzarote is one of the islands that attracts Christmas celebrators from Morocco, an African nation which is just 100 km to the east of it and also all the way from Spain that is more than 2000 km north of this island for Christmas.
Lanzarote Island is all warm and sunny during Christmas. Though, the mainland of Spain doesn’t lack sunny weather right through the year, spending the most awaited Christmas holidays on an island near North Africa is certainly thrilling and fun.
As part of the Canary Islands archipelago, Lanzarote welcomes the week-long holidaymakers with numerous cultural shows, music, and dances on its streets that reflect the culture of the Canaries. You can search the web for “Navidad Isleña cultural shows” for more detail.
Once on Lanzarote, you can go to two other islands of Canary are the Tenerife and Gran Canaria islands.
It might lure you further to book your Christmas holidays in Lanzarote if you know the island is a biosphere reserve declared by UNESCO.
Reasons for Lanzarote’s popularity as an island for Christmas:
- It’s comfortably warm weather that earned its name “The Island of Eternal Spring”.
- The is volcanic in nature. As a matter of fact, Lanzarote was an outcome of numerous volcanic eruptions and breaking away from North Africa.
- The rare grape variety called “Malvasia” is cultivated here. After all, Christmas and wine are inseparable-right?
- Some of the beaches have black sand due to volcanic activities that happened very long ago.
- It is a high-traffic country that is visited by as many as 7 million-plus tourists a year.
- The island’s resorts and nightlife attract lots of Christmas and New Year holidaymakers.
Let us move on to the third island for Christmas.
Syros Island, Greece
Greece and its gorgeous islands are known for numerous orthodox churches in the world. The cathedrals and anciently established monasteries attract Christians from all over the world.
People who visit these churches in Greece, spend the dawn of Christmas in prayer in one of the cathedrals and monasteries and hit one of the many warm Greek Islands.
Syros Island is located 170 km east of Athens in the Aegean Sea. Syros is alternatively called Siros.
The location of Syros, Greece.
Syros’s three important churches are:
“Resurrection of the nation” is located on a cliff that is typical of Greek churches. They remind of the Buddhist monasteries in Sikkim and Bhutan that are invariably not easy to access because of their location somewhere on tall cliffs with narrow steps leading to them.
The Resurrection of the Nation is in Ermoupolis, the capital of Syros.
- The Assumption of the Virgin
This stunning church is also in the city of Ermoupolis. It has tremendous historical and artistic vales.
These two and several other Greek orthodox churches are the main reason for the Greeks and even Italians to visit the Syros island for Christmas and New Year.
- St. Nicholas Church
Usually, the vacationers in Syros stay until the first week of January. The entire island will be brilliantly lit and the spirit of festivity latches onto everyone on the island.
If you choose Syros as your island for Christmas, you will have opportunities to visit some more Greek Islands that include Crete and Mykonos in the Aegean Sea.
How to reach Syros Island for Christmas?
Flights are available from Athens to Syros. The duration of the flight is just 35 minutes.
Alternatively, you can reach Syros in your car not by road but through a sea passage. Large ferries ply from the port of Piraeus in Athens. The voyage involves 4 hours of ferry ride.
In case, you are spending Christmas on other Greek Islands such as Mykonos or Paros, you can take a boat trip to Syros Island.
Cozumel Island, Mexico
You didn’t expect a Mexican island for Christmas-right? Read on to find an interesting custom that is very popular among families in Mexico.
Well, Cozumel is special because of long Christmas celebrations that start as early as 16th December. The hymns and carols, sung even by the children are called ‘Las Posadas’.
Why Cozumel is a preferred Christmas island for Christmas?
There is a special tradition here at Christmas. There is this Pinata, a star-shaped container that is filled with hundreds of candies.
As per the local Mexican Christmas culture, the children gleefully smash open the Pinata to gather the spilled candies. They simply love this part of the holiday. Why not? Even I too would love to watch the fun.
Another reason for calling this place an island for Christmas is the diverse species of marine creatures and coral reefs. Such things attract scuba divers and snorkelers in large numbers.
Christmas crowd throng the Sam Miguel church on this island.
San Miguel is an important city on Cozumel. It is one of the ports of call for cruise ships. Look at how many cruise liners are docked here.
Location of Cozumel:
It is located in the Caribbean Sea, off the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. In between the peninsula and Cozumel Island lies the Cozumel Strait.
The island has an international airport. I guess you can fly directly from Texas or Florida. I believe you can even fly from Canada. The port in Playa del Carmen in Cancun is the gateway to Cozumel. A boat takes you to the island in forty-five minutes.
If you are holidaying in Cancun, you can take a bus to Playa del Carmen. The duration of the bus ride will be two hours.
Elba Island, Italy
The entire island of Elba rejoices with gaiety the Christmas festival. I hope you are aware of something called a “nativity scene”. Usually, figurines representing the various humans and animals that were present during the birth of Jesus are exhibited.
In Elba, people of all age groups become the exhibits of a nativity scene. One should the Elba Island for Christmas to witness the spectacular nativity scenes in the towns and villages of Elba.
Elba is situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is part of the well-known Mediterranean Sea. Elba Island is a large island in the Tuscan archipelago.
Reaching Elba by boat takes just 15 minutes from the coastal city called Piombino, Italy. The distance to be covered is only 10 km. The ferries that depart from Piombino port are capable of taking in buses and cars.
Rome and Piombino are connected by a train. The duration will be a little less than 4 hours. If the Italian countryside is as scenic as Switzerland, then, I am sure we can enjoy both the train journey and the ferry ride immensely.
I think it will be a totally different Christmas for you if you decide in favor of Elba Island for Christmas.
What you see above is the Grand Anse Beach, located in St George’s, the capital of this West Indian island. This beach is voted as one of the best beaches in the world and it is quite lengthy too measuring nearly 3 km.
Who wouldn’t prefer to spend the year’s best holiday on this island?
Why Grenada is included in the list of islands for Christmas?
The island’s perennial warmth acts as a wonderful winter escape for the Americans. Though Christmas and snow are generally inseparable in North America and Eastern Europe, the majority of the people living in the snowy states of America like to spend the last week of the year on an island, preferably a Caribbean island because of its proximity to them.
Christianity is the predominant religion on Grenada Island, the protestants are scoring over the Roman Catholics.
The next big attraction in Grenada during Christmas is the simply superb food scene. Though the cuisine is the same all over the Caribbean islands, maybe the Caribbean Sea surrounding Grenada bless the people of the island with diverse marine creatures that make to the dining table of homes and restaurants.
The national dish of Grenada is “Oil Down”, a kind of stew with meat and vegetable. It is a specialty food of Grenada. Breadfruit is one of the main ingredients.
Some of Grenadian Christmas food specialties that you should taste:
- Saltfish fritters
- Conch stew with lemon juice
- Callaloo Soup-Callaloo is not a seafood buddy, but a leaf that tastes like spinach. The Grenadians make a thick soup by adding coconut milk.
Oh, I should mention the unique drink called ‘eggnog’ which is a combination of egg, milk, and alcohol. What a strange combination! I can understand egg and milk but an egg in alcohol? It is a special Christmas drink in Grenada.
Christmas itself is celebrated with gaiety and fervor. The local residents of Grenada wear masquerades, colorful costumes, and bizarre masks that are meant exclusively for Christmas.
I think the masquerade is a major crowd puller of Grenada. The masquerade bands would start playing on the streets of Grenada, two weeks before the 25th of December.
Aren’t these reasons enough to call Grenada an island for Christmas?
Malta is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea, closer to Italy’s south coast. Only 80 km separates them. It is no wonder Malta is a predominantly Christian country, the Roman Catholics constitute the majority of the population.
Malta has lots of Sicilian flavors, in the local language, in the festivals. Sicily also influenced Maltese cuisine.
Malta has over 350 churches. That data makes a church for every one thousand Maltese. This is one of the main reasons for Malta to be included in the list of islands for Christmas.
Valletta, the capital of Malta is a stunningly beautiful, historic city. It is the warmest of all European countries in the winter.
These seven islands are the best to spend Christmas and New Year. I have not looked at Australia and New Zealand. I guess they have their favorite islands for Christmas.