Best last-minute holidays to book in December

Kitzbuhel has bundles of wintery charm  (iStock)
Kitzbuhel has bundles of wintery charm (iStock)

Planning to get away for Christmas, or planning a final fling of the year? Embrace the cold on a ski trip, escape to the sun on an Atlantic island, or keep it local – there’s still availability if you want a self-catering holiday in the UK. Wherever you plan to have a holiday in December, take a look at some of these ideas for inspiration.


The thought of spending Christmas in Kitzbühel, that magical village in Austria’s Tirol, is irresistible. Enjoy some fabulous skiing – including the scene of the hair-raising Hahnenkamm World Cup races – when you’re not wandering round the medieval streets of the village. SNO has a week’s half-board at the Hotel Bruggerhof from £668pp departing 24 Christmas, and includes flights from Stansted, half-board accommodation and transfers.

La Gomera

La Gomera is one of the quietest Canary Islands (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
La Gomera is one of the quietest Canary Islands (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

If you want to get away from it all on one of the quietest of the Canary Islands, book one of the cottages in Casas del Lomo in La Gomera. You’ll be surrounded by rolling farmland, vineyards and lush valleys about 7km from the island’s capital, San Sebastian, and have lots of great walking on your doorstep. Booked through Cachet Travel, a one-bedroom cottage costs from £911pp and includes flights to Tenerife, ferry crossings, transfers and car hire for departure dates between 8 and 12 December.


If you’ve been toying with the idea of staying in a romantic country cottage during Christmas, there’s still time to book Flint Cottage through Suffolk Hideaways. This one-bedroom bolthole sleeps two and is in the village of Wenhaston, about a 15-minute drive from the coast at Southwold, and it’s also very close to the RSPB Minsmere nature reserve. Curl up by the log fire after a day of cycling, walking and checking out the village pubs. Four nights’ self-catering from 23-27 December costs £684.


View of the Colosseum and the Campidoglio, Rome, Italy (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
View of the Colosseum and the Campidoglio, Rome, Italy (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Get a pre-Christmas taste of Italy with a few days in Rome, which never fails to enchant. At this time of year, this already gorgeous city is draped in lights and Christmas decorations, with nativity scenes in front of St Peter’s Basilica and its countless other churches. Stay in the central Albergo Amalfi in the trendy Monti district, where a three-night break with Citalia costs from £422pp. This includes flights, transfers and breakfast, departing 13 December.


If you haven’t thought about how to spend New Year’s Eve, gather five of your friends and spend a week in Four Winds cottage in Portscatho in Cornwall’s Roseland Peninsula. Along with lovely sea views, there are three bedrooms, open-plan living areas and a wrap-around terrace. Start off 2023 with walks along Portscatho Beach and along the Cornish coast. Booked through Classic Cottages, it’s available from 28 December to 4 January for £943, down from £1,258.


Madeira has perfect hiking weather in winter (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Madeira has perfect hiking weather in winter (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

In the peaceful hills above Madeira’s capital, Funchal, is Quinta a Bela Vista, a 19th-century manor house that’s been turned into a handsome, elegant hotel. After exploring the old town and discovering Madeira’s subtropical landscapes, you’ll have a heated swimming pool and luxuriant gardens to relax in. Temperatures in December are in the high teens – perfect hiking weather. Sunvil has a week’s holiday from £956pp, including flights, private transfers and breakfast, departing 9 December.

Mary Novakovich is editor at large at