5 ideas for a festive group adventure

Date Posted: 10/10/2013

Northern Lights

Whether you want to experience festive traditions and customs in another corner of the world, or simply plan a group escape over Christmas and New Year, here are five ideas for a seasonal getaway.

The traditions and customs surrounding Christmas and New Year form the foundation of many a good seasonal celebration, so what can you expect when travelling overseas during the festive season? 

Norway: Northern Lights

Finnmark is a wild area of northern Norway boasting mountain scenery and rugged island seascapes. Offering a festive escape for those keen for a glimpse of the Northern Lights, your group holiday could also include star gazing, snow activities, and a coastal cruise.

Discover the World has a seven-night Christmas adventure ‘In Pursuit of the Aurora’ that departs on 20th December.

Iceland: 13 Christmas ‘lads’

In the days preceding Christmas, the 13 Christmas ‘lads’ - known locally as ‘Jólasveinar’ - come down from the hills to make mischief in the towns and villages. Leave a shoe in the window overnight and hopefully the ‘lad’ of the day will leave a small gift.

Groups can take part in a traditional Icelandic Christmas on a six-day ‘Killer Whale Watching at Christmas’ break, which includes tours of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Golden Circle route, plus entrance to the Blue Lagoon.

Finland: Melting horseshoes to predict the New Year

This New Years Eve tradition involves melting tin to predict your future. Each person is given a small tin horseshoe, which is melted in a ladle over the stove and placed in cold water.

View the resulting shape by holding it up to a candle and ‘interpreting’ the shadow. Lots of little pieces means money, an anchor shape could mean a new job, or a heart might represent a new relationship. 

Predict your future, discover Arctic wildlife and enjoy a variety of winter activities on a ‘Arctic Wildlife at Ranua’ holiday, departing daily from December.

Arctic Fox accommodation from Discover The World.

Sweden: Chinese lanterns

The IceHotel in Swedish Lapland has created its own New Year’s Eve tradition releasing Chinese lanterns on the stroke of midnight followed by a celebration in its IceBar.

The tradition of the lanterns came about, because in Jukkasjärvi many people are dog owners and the hotel didn’t want to light fireworks that might scare the animals. A few years ago it was decided to use lanterns instead, and all guests are given a lantern to release on New Year’s Eve, enjoying the spectacle as they rise towards a dark night sky. 

Antarctica: Polar Paradise

Explore the wintery wonderland of Antarctica at Christmas with an exhibition cruise.

You can bear witness to its vast breeding grounds of Gentoo, Adelie and Chinstrap penguin colonies, wonder at its huge tabular icebergs and visit sights of historical significance including Elephant Island.

These festive break ideas were put together by specialist tour operator Discover the World, which can offer tailor-made holidays for groups throughout Christmas and New Year, celebrating festive traditions around the world. For more group travel information visit www.discover-the-world.co.uk.

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