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Where to travel in December

December is a great month to travel. If you're looking to top up your vitamin D levels, there are some great places offering warm, winter sun. If you prefer the cold, then there are lots of atmospherical places with crisp, sub-zero temperatures to enjoy. Here are just some ideas of fantastic holiday destinations to visit in December. And, as we love to immerse ourselves in the local culture, we've also included the most popular or traditional dishes of each destination. The sort of things that you'll spot on menus, markets or street corners.


Skip to: India | Jordan | Morocco | New York | Poland | Scotland | Sri Lanka

 

1. Where to travel in December - Jordan

Food Travel More's ideas of places to holiday in December
Visit Petra in Jordan in December

Hot dry days and avoiding the crowds at noticeably quieter historic sites make Jordan a great place to visit in December.

Visit Petra - the jewel in the nations crown of World Heritage Sites that was built in the 3rd century. Petra is also known as Rose City because of the beautiful colour of the stone.

Ride through the deserts to reenact famous scenes from Lawrence of Arabia.

​Average Daytime Temperature

​15° C

Flight Time from the UK

5 hours

Time Difference

+2 hours GMT

What to eat in Jordan

There's more to the cuisine that chickpeas ground into hummus. There are distinct tastes and ingredients with centuries-old dishes remaining just as popular today.

L-R: Idiyappam, Puttu & Kadala Curry, Palada Payasam

Idiyappam: made of rice flour, water and salt, idiyappam are strands of vermicelli entwined together.

Puttu & Kadala Curry: Puttu is a cylindrical steamed rice cake that is cooked with coconut. It's a popular breakfast item usually served with a Kadala Curry that is made from chickpeas.

Kerala-style Beef Fry: slow roasted in spices, onions, curry leaves fried in coconut oil.

 

2. Where to travel in December - Morocco


Morocco ticks so many boxes for a winter holiday: scenic coastlines, sought-after cities and mountain ranges. It's just a short flight from the UK, so you'll be enjoying the warm weather and sunshine before you know it!

Marrakech is a bustling city that's vibrant, cosmopolitan and historic. Browse around the market stalls in the city's souks - but get ready for a haggle! For something more adrenaline-pumping ride the dunes of the Sahara Desert either in a four-wheel drive or on the back of a camel. For photographers, the Atlas Mountains offer dramatic landscapes.

Average Daytime Temperature

22° C

Flight Time from the UK

3 hours 40 minutes

Time Difference

+1 hour GMT

What to eat in Morocco

Moroccan food ranks high on the lists of the world's best cuisines - so indulge away!


L-R: Harira, Chicken Bastilla, Lamb with Prunes

Harira: Tomato-based soup laden with lentils and chickpeas and sometimes with the addition of rice and fine noodles. .

Lamb or Beef with Prunes: Sweet and savoury combinations are prolific in Moroccan cuisine. Tender meat with saffron, ginger, onions and topped with prunes and fried almonds. .

Chicken Bastilla: This is the Moroccan equivalent of a savoury pie. Traditionally made with pigeon, nowadays chicken is the preferred meat. A light pastry shell conceals saffron-infused chicken and a spicy omelette stuffing.

 

3. Where to travel in December - Sri Lanka

Food Travel More's round up of where to holiday in December which includes the beautiful island of Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya Rock - Sri Lanka

December is the start of the most popular travel season for Sri Lanka (which goes through until March). This beautiful Indian Ocean island is a melting pot of dramatic landscapes, history, wildlife and faith. Don't just stay in the hotel - get out and see what the island has to offer as it's as fascinating as it is colourful.

Wildlife-lovers may be able to spot a few whales. But to really indulge in the diverse nature, take a jeep safari to see Asiatic elephants and elusive leopards.

The best way to see Sri Lanka is probably by having a guide and taxi. Self-driving is a bit like experiencing an episode of Wacky Races!

Average Daytime Temperature

27° C

Flight Time from the UK

10 hours 30 minutes

Time Difference

+5 hours 30 minutes GMT

What should I eat in Sri Lanka?

Be prepared for big flavours and colourful dishes - oh and if you're a fan of ginger beer then you're in for a treat!

L-R: Egg Hoppers, Pol Sambol, Parippu

Hoppers: They're the Sri Lankans answer to pancakes. Made from a fermented mix of rice flour, coconut milk and a hint of sugar. They can be sweet or savoury and often served as an accompaniment to a delicious curry. At breakfast, enjoy an 'Egg Hopper' where a fresh egg is cracked into the middle of the pancake. You may also see string hoppers that are made from a thicker batter to create a string-like pancake.

Pol Sambol: This coconut relish is made of finely grated coconut, opinion, chilli, lime juice and salt. It's used liberally as a garnish or as a side dish. If you're a coconut fan like me then you'll absolutely love this dish.

Parippu: Also known as Dhal Curry, this is the most common curry eaten in Sri Lanka. IT's made of red lentils, fresh onions, tomatoes and tempered spices before being thickened with coconut milk. Enjoy with a hopper!

 

4. Where to travel in December - India

Avoid the humidity in December and travel around this colourful country to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of amazing India. It's also a great time for sightings of the elusive tiger as you are much more likely to see them during the winter months.

India is a vast country so if you're short on time, there are lots of tours and trips you can do. Read about our experiences of The Golden Triangle tour. Here are our top tips to get the most out of your visit to the majestic Taj Mahal.

Average Daytime Temperature

21° C

Flight Time from the UK

12 hours

Time Difference

+4 hours 30 minutes GMT

Where to eat in India

Food doesn't disappoint in India. It's a great place to go if you're vegetarian but meat eaters can still enjoy authentic curries and bakes.

L-R: Paratha, Pani Puri, Barfi

Paratha: Often eaten as a breakfast food, this shallow fried dough can also be stuffed with aloo (potatoes) or methi (fenugreek).

Pani Puri: Hollow, deep-fried balls are made of wheat or semolina. They are typically served along with spicy potatoes and chickpeas. Bit into them for that surprise yogurty filling.

Barfi: These milk based Indian sweets are made from milk powder, condensed milk, ghee and cardamom. Lovely with a warm cup of chai. If you're on a low fat diet perhaps stick to a fruit platter!

 

5. Where to travel in December - New York City

Cinematically festive, there's ice-skating under the Rockefeller Center and shopping on Fifth Avenue. Packed with festivity, there's even an official bus tour to the most extravagant decorated houses!

Average Daytime Temperature

8° C

Flight Time from the UK

8 hours

Time Difference

-5 hours GMT

Popular things to eat in New York City

There are so many foods synonymous with New York but here are some of the favourites.

L-R: Bagels, Pastrami, Hot Dogs

Bagels: Absolutely synonymous with New York (there's even a famous brand bearing the city's name). They're boiled and baked for a shiny finish and chewy consistency. They are generally sweetened with malt or honey. Eat like the locals and enjoy a bagel smothered with cream cheese as a morning snack.

Pastrami: Seasoned and peppery brined beef that's deliciously tender. Best eaten warm and piled high on rye bread. Enjoy simply with some spicy mustard.

Hot Dogs: As ubiquitous as a yellow taxi! Frankfurter style sausages enveloped in soft, white rolls. Buy one from the street carts on city corners and drizzle with mustard, ketchup or both.

 

6. Where to travel in December - Scotland


Where better to spend Hogmanay than in Scotland? Cosy up against a roaring log fire or be more energetic and go for a fresh, energetic hike in the Highlands. If you're lucky, there may be some snow dusted on the slopes so that you can indulge in a little skiing.

Average Daytime Temperature

7° C

Flight Time from the UK (London airports)

1 hour 15 minutes

Time Difference

0 hours GMT

What should I eat in Scotland?

If you're going to go to Scotland, then it's best to go completely traditional.

L-R: Cullen Skink, Haggis, Cranachan

Cullen Skink: This classic Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and leeks. It's classic and comforting, especially after a day walking the fells.

Haggis: Served at all meal times - expect some on your plate with a full Scottish breakfast. Not sure what haggis is? Well. it's made of sheep's pluck - liver, lungs, heart and minced with spices, oatmeal, suet and onion. Tastes better than it sounds!

Cranachan: Traditional Scottish dessert that's normally made to celebrate June's raspberry harvest. Made of oats, raspberries, cream, honey - and of course, the finest Scottish Malt Whisky. It's all layered as you would a trifle.

 

7. Where to travel in December - Poland

Head to Krakow in December to wander around the Old Town's Medieval Square which will be home to a traditional but really beautiful Christmas market. There are horse-drawn carriage rides around the city. Within driving distance are the Salt Mines, a mysterious carved world that's housed below ground. Auschwitz is also on the doorstep and whilst it is in many ways horrific and chilling, it is a place to educate, honour and remember the atrocities of the past.


What to eat in Poland?

Expect hearty and heavy dishes with lots of rich meats, butter, cream and butter. Here are some of the most popular Polish dishes.

L-R: Pierogi, Tartare, Makowiec

Pierogi: This is famous and simple comfort food. These filled dumplings cooked or fried. Stuffed with meat, vegetables, cheese, fruit or chocolate. They're served as street food right through to posh restaurants.

Tartare: Find this as a starter on the restaurant menu. One for carnivores who like their meat rare (or blue) as it's raw minced beef topped with an egg yolk.

Makowiec: You'll see this a lots around Easter and at Christmas. It's a poppy seed roll that has beautiful contrasting swirls of poppy seed and white yeasted dough. It's not overly sweet and usually eaten with a tea or a coffee.


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