christmas market breaks from Ireland

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10 Winter Holiday Destinations With Direct Flights From Ireland

Winter holidays

Can’t wait to get back on a plane again? Check out my top winter holiday destinations with direct flights from Ireland.

We all need something to look forward to, so perhaps now is the time to plan a well deserved winter holiday. I understand some of you wish to travel alone or with friends, and many will be travelling with kids – so with this is mind I have selected a broad range of winter holiday destinations to suit all tastes and budgets.

top winter holiday destinations for families - skiing

There are of course many great winter holiday destinations available to us, South Africa and the Caribbean spring to mind. However, I have limited this list to winter holidays with direct flights from Ireland, something I think there is an appetite for at the moment. Hopefully this list will give you lots of inspiration to plan a well deserved break away.

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1. The Canary Islands

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The combination of direct daily flights from Ireland, balmy temperatures, and a low cost of living, has made the Canary Islands our most popular winter holiday destination for many years. There are many accommodation options to choose from, with hotels and apartments to suit all tastes and budgets.
 

 

 
Fuerteventura is blessed with stunning white sandy beaches, while the sheltered resorts of Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogán in Gran Canaria are popular with sun seekers. Tenerife has the largest selection of luxury hotels, but my personal favourite is Lanzarote – find out why, here:

Read: Why Lanzarote is my favourite Canary Island

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2. Dubai

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Dubai is another great winter holiday destination if you want sunshine, but it is also packed with things to do. Try a desert safari, go to the top of the world’s tallest building, ski in the worlds largest indoor ski slope, or simply relax on one of its stunning beaches. We visited Dubai last year and had a blast. Activities and dining are expensive, so you will need to budget accordingly, but if you can afford it, it is a great destination for winter sun.

Top ten things to do in Dubai

The best family activities in Dubai
 
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3. Ski trip

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A ski holiday is one of my favourite winter holidays, and is the only holiday where I can completely switch off. The crisp cold air, snowy mountains and pretty villages are things I never tire of, as is the natural high I get from skiing. Austria, France and Italy are the firm favourites from Ireland and there are plenty of direct flights available during the winter holiday season.  Söll in Austria is one of my favourite resorts, but if money is not an option, check out Val d’Isere in France.
 

 

 
Top Tip: If you are looking to ski in Austria, flights to Munich are usually cheaper than Salzburg and the transfer times are similar. 

Read: Skiing in Soll, all you need to know and why you should go

Read: My top tips for family ski holidays

Read: My love affair with Club Med Val d’Isere
 
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4. Lapland

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I will never forget the look in my children’s eyes when we went to Lapland to see Santa Claus. It was a magical family experience that we will never forget. It has been seven years since we visited, but the memories never fade. There are many ways to visit Lapland, with packages from Dublin with TUI and Sunway to see Santa, as well as the option to go via the UK for a longer holiday. 

Read: Our trip to see Santa in Lapland
 

 

 

5. Christmas market breaks

best winter holiday destinations - european christmas markets

A Christmas market break is a great way to kick-start the festive season without breaking the bank. Many markets open from the end of November and there are super deals available on flights and hotels, especially if you can travel mid-week.
 

 

 
More and more cities are embracing the trend, but there are still a few show stoppers! Germany is probably the most famous country for Christmas markets, with Cologne and Berlin being most popular. However Budgapest, Vienna and Salzburg should not be overlooked.
 

 

 
Copenhagen is another city you may not have thought of, but if you are looking for a Christmas market break with children, this is a great choice. Tivoli Gardens comes alive with over 500,000 Christmas lights and there are plenty of activities to keep all the family happy. It stays open after Christmas too so it is an ideal choice for a Twixmas break.

Read: Europe’s top 10 Christmas markets

Read: Wonderful wonderful Copenhagen
 
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6. Paris

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Paris might be popular in the Spring, but winter time is also a great time to visit. There are no crowds, its great for shopping, and is have you ever seen the Eiffel Tower look so pretty?  We went for New Year and loved it. If you happen to have children, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris at Christmas time – it is magical.

Read: Our visit to Disneyland Paris at Christmas time

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7. Iceland

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Scratch one off the bucket list and choose Iceland for your next winter holiday. Go in search of the Northern Lights, swim in the Blue Lagoon and enjoy Iceland’s typical winter weather. Iceland is one of the best winter holiday destinations if you are looking for a snowy destination with winter wonderland feels, and plenty to see and do. 

Read: Top things to do in Iceland
 
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8. New York

 

 
 
 
 
 
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New York is amazing to visit at any time of year, but I think it is a great winter holiday destination. You don’t need to worry about the roasting summer time temperatures or the jam packed streets, and of course you can ice-skate in Central Park in the winter time! We all know New York is a super city for shopping so it is ideal for a pre or post Christmas break.
 

 

 
The Christmas lights are turned on early December so that is a great time to visit, but if you want to avoid the crowds and the high hotel prices, leave it until January.

Read: 5 Christmas Shopping breaks to New York with flexible booking options

Read: Top 25 things to do in New York

Read: Top things to do with New York with kids 

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9. Abu Dhabi and Emirates cruise:

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Abu Dhabi is the largest and wealthiest of the Emirates and a popular destination for winter holidays. However, why not go one step further and add a cruise to your trip. Many cruise companies offer seven-day cruises around the Emirates taking in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as their own private islands.
 

 

 
There are direct flights to Abu Dhabi so you can choose to extend your stay if you wish. Don’t miss the opportunity to see one of the largest and most impressive mosques in the world – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the iconic Louvre Museum, and if travelling with little or ‘big’ kids – Ferrari World is a must visit.

Read: Ferrari World – Going Italian in Abu Dhabi
 

 

 

10. Florida:

best winter holiday destinations - Orlando

With direct flights to Orlando and Miami all year round, why not choose winter over summer in the sunshine state. Winter is the optimum time to visit Orlando’s theme parks, although Christmas holiday time will be busy. Take the opportunity to explore Florida’s coastline too including the beaches of Miami. Why not fly into Orlando and home from Miami to make the most of your winter holiday?

Read: 10 things you need to know about Universal Studios before you book

Read: Where to stay in Orlando

Read: The best theme park tickets to buy in Orlando
 

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I hope this post on winter holiday destinations will inspire you to plan a trip overseas soon. Please note some of the links in this post contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made but at no additional cost to you. This helps me to run my website and bring you lots of great holiday tips and ideas!

 

Sarah

 

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