Christmas getaway inspo: The 7 most exotic destinations

Fancy escaping the stress and expense of Christmas this year? We’ve got you covered.

As more people opt to forgo the backyard barbie and archaic family gathering (see also: bickering), many of your clients are going to be looking for a stress-free, relaxing alternative before the start of the new year.

Smart Lemur, a travel site that offers smart travel advice, has selected a list of exotic destinations, packed with quirky seasonal traditions for a Christmas with a difference. Check them out below.

1. Christmas Island, New Zealand

Christmas Island, Kiribati

Rising above the clear waters of the Indian Ocean, 1,550km north-west of the Australian mainland lies Christmas Island.

Apart from its obvious affiliation to Christmas after being named on December 25th in 1643 by Captain William Mynors, the island is bursting with natural wonders: from the spectacular annual red crab migration to birds found only indigenous to the island.

Glorious deserted beaches and the majority of the island residing inside the National Park mean Christmas Island is a place of natural beauty and wonder, sure to provide any seasonal visitor with a trip to remember.

2. Goa, Southwest India

Hindu Temple in Goa

On the Southwest coast of India, two and a half hours flight from the international hub of Mumbai, lies the former Portuguese province of Goa.

This tropical paradise is a favourite holiday destination for Indian and International tourists with its variety of day and night time activities.

Quiet sandy beaches, palm trees and an abundance of wildlife including dolphins, pink-bottomed macaque monkeys and Olive Ridley turtles are on show.

Goa is a popular spot with those looking to escape the winter cold and immerse themselves in a true tropical paradise that still celebrates Christmas.

3. San Juan, Puerto Rico

Colors of San Juan

Located on the north-eastern coast of Puerto Rico, the capital city of San Juan is the second oldest European-established capital city in the Americas.

San Juan combines old town 16th Century Spanish colonial architecture with the hustle of the modern Isla Verde resort strip, lined with bars, nightclubs and casinos.

Also known as the Enchanted Island, San Juan can offer seasonal visitors an exotic mix of tropical weather and unique Christmas festivities.

4. Barbados, Atlantic Ocean

Aerial shot of beautiful blue lagoon at hot summer day with sail

In the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 km east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea lies Barbados.

Clear waters, natural coral reefs and idyllic sandy beaches coupled with a strong Christian ethos make the island a popular destination with international visitors at Christmas.

Barbados offers unique traditions such as an early morning walk through Queen’s Park on Christmas morning or taking a taxi ride around the island to view the enthusiastic locals approach to Christmas decorations.

5. Samoa, Pacific Ocean

To Sua trench, Samoa

Situated halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, in the Polynesian region of the Pacific Ocean lies a tropical paradise.

Natural jungles, waterfalls and long sandy beaches interlaced with Polynesian culture and tradition mean Christmas in Samoa is a real treat on the senses.

The island embraces Christmas with choirs singing Pacific-style carols and shows in the Upolu village of Vaitele-Uta.

Despite its location, Samoa is still one of the most affordable South Pacific destinations to enjoy at Christmas.

6. Kauai, Hawaii

Hiker Celebrating The Beauty

Kauai, also known as the Garden Isle, is an island in the Central Pacific.

Part of the Hawaiian archipelago and has featured in more than seventy Hollywood movies and shows such as Jurassic Park, due to its stunning natural geography.

In December, the island really comes to life and one can enjoy the Festival of Lights, Hula Celebration, and a Christmas parade.

For those seeking an alternative festive period, winter time in Kauai is perfect for surfing.

7. Cape Town, South Africa

Waterfront Cape Town reflection in the morning

On the southernmost tip of South Africa lies Cape Town, known for its harbour, beautiful natural setting in the Cape Floristic Region, and for landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point.

Activities range from mountain hikes with spectacular sceneries to lazy days on one of Cape Town’s many beaches.

Christmas in Cape Town is especially lively with traditional celebrations, light parades and Christmas carols.