Instead of bringing the Christmas fairy tale to you, this year it's time to seek out your own one.
Where better to enjoy a Christmas adventure than Lapland? Rovaniemi is the capital of the region and, most importantly, the official home of Santa Claus - 'his Buckingham Palace' if you will. With over 10,000 students, it's not simply a great place to take children but one where all manner of fun abounds. And if you're seeking the spectacular, Rovaniemi is also a great spot to take in the Aurora Borealis. Who needs twinkling Christmas lights when nature will do it for you?
The scenery surrounding this Alpine village - the imposing Dachstein mountains and the serene lake Hallsätter See - are matched only by the chocolate box beauty of the town itself. Like something out of a snowglobe, this picturesque village with its baroque architecture will have you wishing you'd brought that extra floppy disc to store those holiday snaps of heaven.
Set among seven hills and seven fjords is Norway's second largest city, Bergen. Whilst its setting could be enough to make this list in its own right, the old harbor district of Bryggen is a place of great authentic intrigue and unparalleled charm. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995, the buildings - although damaged by a number of fires - have been rebuilt to forge a link to the city's trading future dating back to the 12th century. When the colorful houses reflect off Vagen Harbour, you will swoon.
Ceský Krumlov, Czech Republic
Its spectacular castle is just the cherry on top of the fairytale cake that is Ceský Krumlov. The small city in the South Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic has enjoyed a miraculous revival after the communist era threatened to leave it derelict and despairing. Careful restoration has seen ancient building transformed into tasteful locations fit for modern life. The old town was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992, and it is no wonder it has become the second busiest tourist spot in the country.
In the bleak midwinter that sends sheets of white snow down onto Greenland, there is one town whose charm radiates a cosiness that could not encapsulate the Christmas spirit more. Ittoqqortoormiit (spelling the word is Mississippi x 1000) has a stunning colourfulness about both architecture and atmosphere. With a population of around 450, you can almost guarantee everyone will be friendly.
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