Europe in December offers the picturesque Christmas markets of Germany and the Czech Republic as well as the warmth of exploring the Canary Islands and Sardinia, Italy. Enjoy a winter wonderland or relax on a warm secluded beach, December is a great time to visit Europe. Germany, Czech Republic, the Canary Islands and Sardinia all offer accommodation for every style and budget.
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Germany in December is a great place to be. In the larger cities of Germany the old town squares come alive from the end of November until Christmas Eve with traditional style "Weilnachtsmarkts" - or Christmas markets. Although they are open from early morning onwards the best time to visit is in the early evening when the sun is down and everything is lit up with a soft glow. You can sample "glühwein", a hot spiced wine that is custom over winter, but particularly during the Christmas season, in Germany. The Black Forest area in Southern Germany is a real treat this time of year, as in addition to the Christmas markets you can participate in winter sports like cross country skiing before returning to your "wellness hotel" where you can treat yourself to sauna, massages or a cup of "glühwein" while watching the snow settle on the trees. A warning to the more faint of heart however, as wonderful as the wellness areas can be, most saunas in Germany are nude. The good news however is that many have swimming costume areas where you can still sit in your hot tub and watch the winter wonderland from a window that was specifically created to capture that view. Only be sure to keep an eye out for when the textile area ends.
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The Czech Republic is a treat year-round, but much like Germany, its one snow-covered country that you can enjoy even if you are not a fan of winter sports. Culture and history abound, and although the Czech Republic is not as cheap as it once was, the area outside Prague still offers great value for money when compared to the rest of Europe. With that in mind however, Prague on New Year's Eve is a treat that should not be missed. Also keep in mind however that the rest of Europe already knows this, so be sure to book accommodation early.
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If you are thinking that snow is the last thing you want on your holiday then you want to head to Southern Europe, and the Canary Islands in particular. The Canary Islands enjoy year round fantastic weather, with a bad day in winter coming in at the high teens to low 20s. As such it makes the islands popular year round, but if there is a low season it is December, making it the best time to go price wise as well. The islands abound with things to do from hiking and biking trails, to beaches for pure relaxation.
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This island off of the coast of Italy is a dream destination, but particularly during December. The oppressive heat is gone and replaced with the more comfortable cooler Mediterranean winter -- and the tourists are almost all gone as well. As a result accommodation is cheaper but the food remains superb. It can be harder to find accommodation in the smaller towns in December, but that just means staying near one of the larger urban centres and exploring the island on day trips.