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dutyfree Jun 28th, 2012 09:27 AM

Christmas family vacation-Cyprus or Dubrovnik?
Our family is looking at going to either Cyprus or Dubrovnik for a family Christmas vacation. Our adult children(27 and 30) live in the UK so wanted something less than 5 hours out of LHR or LGW to connect with them from traveling from the states.
We are trying to find somewhere that has decent weather,easy to find vegetarian food for our son and things that will be open during the holiday season-trying to stay away from very Catholic countries.We love museums/history;beaches;food and drink,etc. Past vacations have been Morrocco,Canary Islands and Egypt/Jordan during the Christmas holidays.
BA and Easy Jet have some good fares so was wondering if I could get some imput before I head to the library for research books.Thanks for taking the time to read this-looking forward to your imput?

thursdaysd Jun 28th, 2012 10:01 AM

Well, if you're ever going to go to Dubrovnik, December is a good month. Only three cruise ship visits are currently listed for the entire month! ( ) You could also visit Montenegro and Bosnia.

dutyfree Jun 28th, 2012 10:09 AM

Dubrovnik looks fabulous but was concerned that it might be wetter/colder than Cyprus at that time of the year.We were looking at both Cyprus and Dubrovnik because of the Muslim/Eastern Orthodox religions there that would allow us not having everything closed due to the Christmas holiday and the flights on BA or Easy Jet.

thursdaysd Jun 28th, 2012 10:40 AM

I was on the Dalmatian cost towards the end of October last year, and the weather was starting to get colder and windier...

Have you considered southern Turkey? Maybe Tunisia?

dutyfree Jun 28th, 2012 04:43 PM

Our family has been to Turkey and my daughter has been to Tunisia-would still be kinda nervous about their political situation too. Thanks for the suggestions. Anyone else?

Ackislander Jun 29th, 2012 02:50 AM

Well, Croatia is a deeply Catholic country, so that is out. And it can be very, very cold and windy.

When is Orthodox Christmas this year? You could go to Cyprus for western Christmas, probably celebrated mostly by exPats and tourists, so not offensive to your need to avoid religion, and if so, you could pop over to the Turkish side.

Israel? Pretty safe there if you stay away from Bethlehem. Dubai?

clausar Jun 29th, 2012 04:28 AM

Who said that Christmas is not celebrated in Cyprus?
Is is a big celebration, just like in every christian country...
and it falls on the 25th of December like in Western Europe.
The Cypriot Orthodox and the Greek Orthodox Churches follow the Gregorian calendar unlike most slavic orthodox churches.

Weather in Cyprus will be mild, allowing you to do some great day trips to the Troodos mountain, the Akamas Peninsula , and the sites of the island.

But please note if you like beaches, it won't be that warm, that you can spend a day on the beach....

In Cyprus i would stay in Limassol, the second largest city of Cyprus, which has a kilometer long sandy beach and plenty of good hotels.

Cypriot food is excellent and you will have plenty of choices if you are vegetarian :)

littlejane Jun 29th, 2012 04:28 AM

If you are planning to visit southern Cyprus, then it will be worth knowing that Greek Orthodox Christmas is the same as the Catholic one - I think the Russian orthodox one is a different day - either way, you will not avoid "Christmas" by going to Cyprus. Having said that, there will be tons of expats in Cyprus over Christmas (and it is not as big a deal as Easter to the Greek Cypriots) so I doubt everything shuts down completely.

littlejane Jun 29th, 2012 04:30 AM

Clausar we posted at the same time! I would vote for Pafos though :-)

clausar Jun 29th, 2012 05:30 AM


Paphos is nice as well, would rather go there in the summer...
I recommended Limassol, because as a larger city, will offer more activities during the winter.

You are right the Greeks and the CYpriots are celebrating Easter much more than Christmas, but Christmas is very important still..
On the 25th and 26th of December shops will be closed, of course not restaurants etc...

dutyfree Jun 29th, 2012 11:25 AM

Our family was not trying to avoid Christmas but wanted to be somewhere on the holiday that there might be restaurants open,etc. Through my travels working for the airlines, I know how Spain,Italy,France,etc. close up the last week or so of December.
If we fly into Larnaca and out of Paphos,where would you chose to spend the holiday? We will be renting a car so can be anywhere on the southern coast. Thank you so much for all of these tips-just ordered some books and maps off of Amazon but they won't be here for a week or so. I am trying to get our Easy Jet or BA tickets soon along with a hotel/apartment reserved as I am sure this area is busy for the holidays?

littlejane Jun 30th, 2012 12:55 AM

fair point clausar, i've been to paphos in january and there was enough action for me but you are right there is probably more happening in limassol alright. With a car you can see it all anyway. Flying into Larnaca and out of Paphos - either Limassol or Paphos would work fine.

clausar Jun 30th, 2012 03:05 AM

i totally agree with littlejane :)

dutyfree Jun 30th, 2012 02:15 PM

What does everyone think of staying in the Coral Bay area north of Pafos and south of Lara Bay?

clausar Jun 30th, 2012 05:11 PM

I have been to Coral Bay only in the summer and i liked it a lot, however i don't know how it would look like in the winter....
I think you would probably need a car, which would be advisable anyway in order to explore the island.

Odin Jun 30th, 2012 11:08 PM

Personally I am not a fan of Coral Bay itself, the main strip is very touristy with tacky restaurants but that is in summer. In winter I would expect it to be mostly closed if not all closed. The beach is nice though & the general area is also. Where precisely in the Coral Bay area are you considering? It could be far enough from the main strip. But a few mins away is the village of Peyia which is very pretty & has a large British expat community living all year round (alot of villages have more British than Cypriots).

Gordon_R Jun 30th, 2012 11:16 PM

Have you not considered Madeira? It's always been a popular place for northern Europeans to visit at Christmas as the weather is much milder (though not necessarily dry all the time). It's only a 3.5h flight from LGW and there are several alternative airlines doing this route. The scenary is spectacular and much greener than the Canaries.

dutyfree Jul 1st, 2012 09:27 AM

I found a lovely villa that backs right up to the sea called Blue Coral Beach Villas and appears to be more by itself between Coral Bay and Pafos.The photos show three villas by themselves on the beach and a resort down the road. I have fallen in love with the pictures and reviews as it seems like a great place to reconnect and do daytrips out of while we are there.Opinions?

Check out :

Odin Jul 1st, 2012 10:52 PM

I think it's fine. It is far away enough from the main Coral Bay strip and close enough to Paphos, close enough to Peyia but too far west for sightseeing in the east of the island.

If you are thinking of locations out on their own, look at Pissouri (midway between Limassol and Paphos, very nice village) or Aphrodite Hills (by Petra dou Romiou), they have some lovely accommodations.

dutyfree Jul 2nd, 2012 11:17 AM

Thank you Odin. We were going to try and fly into Larnaca and out of Paphos because of the times that the flights leave. I had read some really old threads about Larnaca stating that there isn't much to see and do there;oil refineries all over the coastline,etc. so thought that maybe we shouldn't do much in the eastern side? Thoughts?
Our family being from the US hasn't met anyone who has ever been to Cyprus so appreciate any help!

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