From cavernous-cave-based markets in the deep Netherlands to elf dashes in jolly Welsh villages, even hardcore Scrooges will feel the festive spirit seeping into their soul among Europe’s wintry wonderlands. Wrap up warm and enjoy these less-obvious Christmas shopping locations:
Where to stay: Finish your festive jaunt with a night at As Janelas Verdes, a cosy 18th-century mansion right in the heart of the capital.
Where to stay: Snuggle up by an open fire at Portmeirion’s luxurious waterfront gem, Hotel Portmeirion. Eclectic rooms decorated in exotic artefacts, big beds, whirlpool baths, underfloor heating and dazzling floor-to-ceiling mirrors overlook the prettiest Snowdonia surroundings.
Where to stay: Just 10 minutes from St. Mark’s Square, Hotel Giorgione is a handy base to explore the city, yet it feels like an authentic Italian home – dreamlike, yet sleek, with a romantic courtyard and gorgeously decorated guest rooms.
Valkenburg aan de Geul, Netherlands
Where to stay: Visit on a Wednesday or Saturday to make lifelong memories at the joyous Christmas parade, then take the 40-minute drive to Kasteeltje Hattem to spend the night in the smallest (and arguably prettiest) castle in the Netherlands.