Christmas inside-out

Christmas needn’t mean just bustling, consuming lots of food and alcohol, or watching television. If you’re one of those people who prefer to escape from the temptations of the holidays, you might enjoy our guide to locales where, instead of getting fat, you’ll get a peasant dose of endorphins.

Slalom on the steppes
The most popular skiing venue in Russia is the several-hundred-meter thick glaciers of the Caucasus, where there is year-round snow. The Elbrus and Čeget centers are popular, and the latter offers some of the most complicated trails in the world – extreme skiing fans like the Čegetskije bugry black trail or the Dollar trail in the northern part of the complex. In Russia you can enjoy a “second” Christmas and New Year, as Grandfather Frost hands out presents on 6 January. Some Russians spend Christmas Eve outdoors in the snow with their Christmas trees. New Year’s Eve follows four days
5. 1. – 12. 1. 06, price 24 390 Kč,, tel.: 568 839 611


Feasting in Bulgaria
Beautiful mountains with great skiing conditions that rank with famed Alpine centers – that’s Bulgaria. Improving services, beautiful countryside, and nice people are drawing ever more Czech tourists, mainly to centers like Bansko and Borovec. If you want to spend Christmas in the spirit of local traditions, be prepared for real feasting. The Christmas Eve menu has at least 12 courses (one for each month) consisting of beans, all sorts of nuts, dried plums, and cakes – but you won’t have any meat at all on this,
multiple dates, from CZK 3,448,, tel.: 257 941 306
multiple dates, from CZK 2,796,, tel.: 226 000 622


North for the aurora borealis
Canoeing, fishing, boat trips, horseback riding, and skiing – all in the middle of wild, untouched nature, in uninhabited forests, among lovely, clear lakes, with the northern lights dancing overhead. You might not even notice that during this inimitable Christmas in Lappland, in the north of Finland, the sun won’t rise. No matter – when you take part in the local traditions and folklore, your holidays will be truly unforgettable.CK Periscope Skandinávie
dates as requested, weekend price: about CZK 45,000, tel.: 542 213 346


Like at home, in Vietnam
In this land with a cultural tradition of over 4,000 years, you’ll spend a somewhat untraditional Christmas. Forget about snow and skis and get ready for limestone cliffs rising from the sea or cooling off in the azure ocean. You’ll learn about work in rice paddies and marvel at the mozaic of pulsing towns and ancient villages. Vietnam is a land of Buddhism, but there has also been a large Christian minority since the times of French colonialism, so Christmas is celebrated much as it is in Europe. On Christmas Eve, people go to Midnight Mass, followed by family celebrations where traditional chicken soup is served.China Tours
26. 12. – 3. 1. 06., price 19 900 CZK
(+ CZK 34 000 for airfare including fees),, tel.: 271 741 364


Sri Lanka still like paradise
This island quickly recovered from the destructive tsunami and is again prepared to show off its tea plantations, national parks, and endless sandy beaches. You’ll be enchanted by the varied flora and fauna, the ancient, “desolate” royal towns, and the friendly people. The Christmas holidays are a mix of Christian traditions and local native customs, with enormous fires blazing, and processions with lanterns, torches, and fireworks.Adventura
27. 12. – 4. 1. 06, price 18 900 CZK
(+ about CZK 29,000 airfare including fees),, tel.: 271 741 734-6
Marco Polo
23. 12 – 5. 1. 06, price 49 990 Kč,, tel.: 241 718 646


Paradise on Earth
The first inhabitants of the Seychelle Islands thought that the natural preserve Vallée de Mai on the second-largest island, Praslin, was the true biblical paradise. They might not have been far from the truth. It’s hard to imagine the beauty of these islands slightly below the equator in the Indian Ocean. The clear, turquoise-blue sea bathes endless, white beaches. Inland there is a unique bend of fauna and flora.Marco Polo
22. 12. – 30. 12. 05, price 46 990 Kč,, tel.: 241 718 646
Travel & Business Centre
departures based on individual agreement,, tel.: 224 234 964-5


Up to your knees in snow
At a time when most of the Czech Republic is cloaked in a smoggy inversion, the Jeseníky mountains are usually bathed in sun. The highest mountains in Moravia and Silesia are an ideal venue for Christmas holidays for other reasons as well. For example, Praděd, with the deepest, longest-lasting snow cover in the country, offers excellent skiing. You can relax in local spas – in Jeseník, in Schrot’s Spa in Lipová, or in Karlova Studá
multiple dates,
price from 1640 Kč,, tel.: 257 941 306


Fast as the wind
In the winter the Radhošť Hills attract skiers, mainly to the Pustevny center. It’s only six kilometers from Frenštát pod Radhoštěm and is dominated by wooden, folk-style buildings designed by Slovak architect Dušan Jurkovič. A total of nine trails with 11 lifts may save you from the usual post-Christmas gorging hangover.Čedok
23. – 27. 12., price from 3 530 Kč,, tel.: 800 112 112


Adrenaline nearby
Krkonoše are a traditional destination for Czech skiers offering them ideal conditions. Apart from well equipped slopes and ski lifts one can find there tens of kilometers of traces for crosscountry skiing with improved orientation system and numbers of mountains’ cottages.
And in recent years the services are adding up. What about trying a five-kilometer sled run from the heights of Krkonoše to Špindlerův Mlýn? Or trips on skidoos or four-wheelers, snowtubing (a ride in rubber boats through an ice corridor), or bobsled and toboggan runs? In short, today Krkonoše isn’t just about skiing. And in the evening you can relax with fitness, wellness, or beauty procedures offered by spas like Jánské Lázně
22. – 29. 12., price from 720 Kč,, tel.: 226 000 622






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