Ideas for Christmas, New Year, and Winter Vacations in India

What’s your idea for Christmas and New Year? Is it the beach, the wild, the forts, and palaces, or the sand dunes or the hills?

If it is something listed above and if you are in India, we do have some suggestions for you to celebrate your Christmas and New Year holidays in India in a fashion that you’ll cherish for your life.

There is Goa with its beaches, carnivals, and vibrant nightlife, there’s Rajasthan with its magnificent forts & palaces and dazzling culture, there are the mighty Himalayan kingdoms of Himachal & Uttarakhand and then there is pristine North East and ‘God’s own Country’ Kerala when it’s come to Christmas and New Year Celebration, India with its eclectic mélange of culture, attractions and biodiversity beckons millions of tourists from around the globe.

Christmas and New Year Vacation Idea in India
Sunburn Festival in Goa is an International Hit

With only a few weeks to go before the year’s end and with the arrival of winter and New Year, it’s the time when tourism in India reaches a crescendo. Winter is the time when overseas tourists love to explore India. From tiny emerald Goa to royal Rajasthan, every place is abuzz with tourists from all corners of the world.

Here are a checklist of places and themes to add to the colors of Christmas and New Year Celebrations in India this season


Honeymoon in Goa in December

The romantic beaches of Goa attract many a honeymooner during the winter season of December and January

Nothing beats this tiny emerald when it comes to Christmas and New Year celebrations in India. This truly global beach destination has it all. From Carnivals, festivals, beaches, and churches to vibrant nightlife, Christmas and New Year is peak season in Goa. You’ll find it really hard to book a place to stay if not done in advance.

One of the major draws of new year’s festivities in Goa is the Sunburn Festival, a musical extravaganza with some top international music performers thrilling and entertaining the crowd for 3 days.

[Plan your trip to Goa]


Desert Kingdom of Rajasthan in Winters
Multi-hued turbans, camels, and sand dunes are the irresistible allure of royal Rajasthan

Very close to Goa in terms of popularity, the appeal of Rajasthan lies in its royal past. Made up of erstwhile princely states of Rajputana – the land ruled by Rajput Warrior Princes – Rajasthan is a riot of colors.

Extravagant color evident in saris, Kurtis, and turbans look striking against the stark landscape of this desert kingdom wherein lies the appeal of Rajasthan internationally.

The major draw of this royal land are the forts, palaces, Havelis, desert, wildlife, shopping heritage hotels, and the vibrant culture.

From sundowner cocktails in Sam sand dunes to boat rides in Lake Pichola overlooking the magnificent Taj Lake Palace and from shopping in local bazaars to having high teas with Maharajas, Rajasthan has it all.

Add to that a dash of wildlife in Ranthambore National Park renowned for its tiger spotting opportunity and Keoladeo National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and tours to Rajasthan keep even the fussiest of travelers always on their toes. Major destinations in Rajasthan include Jodhpur, Bikaner, Bharatpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Pushkar, and Ranakpur among others.


Lighthouse Beach, Kovalam
Kerala is rated one of the 50 Places in the World to Visit in a Lifetime by National Geographic Traveller

Marketed as ‘God’s Own Country, Kerala has managed to capture the attention of the international tourism market in no uncertain manner.

Kerala’s tourism brand is listed among the top 100 brands of India and has been accorded the highly coveted ‘Super Brand’ status.

Kerala is cited as one of the 50 destinations of a lifetime by National Geographic Traveller and is also a ‘partner state’ to the World Tourism and Travel Council. Need we say more?

The captivating beauty of palm-fringed backwaters in Alleppey, tea gardens in Munnar, and a laid-back Varkala area near Kollam with superb scenery are some of the must-to-do things in Kerala. And here’s a lowdown on more things to do and tourist places in Kerala.

You can arrive in Kochi (renowned for its Fort and Chinese Fishing Nets) and plan a trip which covers, Munnar and Thekkady (hill stations and wildlife at Periyar National Park), Kumarakom and Alleppey (Bird sanctuary, backwaters, and houseboats), Varkala and Kovalam both beaches and Kanyakumari which is the southern tip of Indian Mainland.

Do check out Vivekanand Rock Memorial when in Kanyakumari, it’s an awesome attraction and highly recommended by us.

[Explore Kerala Tour Packages]

Golden Triangle with Extensions

Khajuraho Temples
Khajuraho is one of the most sought-after extensions of Golden Triangle Tours that include Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra

Perhaps the most popular tour circuit and not just in winters but throughout the year, the golden triangle tours connect 3 leading tourist destinations in India: Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra.

Three cities with innumerable legends and folklore, it is here that India comes alive. Cradle of ancient Hindu dynasties and bastion of later Sultans and Mughal Empire, these 3 destinations are characterized by a cultural ethos that defines India’s secularism.

The attractions in the golden triangle tour circuit could include more than 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India which if this post is to be believed could be covered in 4 days or less.

Unmissable are the Taj Mahal in Agra, Red Fort, Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, Fatehpur Sikri, and the Amber Fort & Jantar Mantar in Jaipur.

Add to this nearby tourist destination like Rishikesh (Yoga), Varanasi (Hindu Pilgrimage), Amritsar (Golden Temple), and Khajuraho (UNESCO World Heritage Temple Complex), and what one gets is a magical tour of India in all its vividness.


Hill Stations in India

Tungnath Temple, Uttarakhand
Hill Stations in India become a hot favorites as places to go for honeymoon in India during December & January

With these prime destinations leading the Christmas and New Year celebrations, we must not forget the hill stations in India. There is some gem of destinations where Christmas and New Year is celebrated with great gusto.

Dalhousie, Shimla, and McLeodganj in Himachal Pradesh are some of the destinations to be in to celebrate the Holiday Season. What make these destinations unique is their connection to British Raj. With the arrival of snow, travelers from overseas are at home in these picturesque locales.

[Explore Hill Station Tour Packages in India]

Wildlife Safaris in India

Asiatic Lions, Gir National Park
Gir National Park in Gujarat is the only habitat of lions outside of Africa

With home to over 100 National Parks, India is one of the best places for wildlife safaris in the world. Be it the elusive Royal Bengal Tigers, the endangered Great Single Horned Rhinoceros, or the Asiatic Lions, animal and plant species abound in the wildlife sanctuaries across India.

For rhino spotting, Kaziranga National Park in Assam – a UNESCO inscribed World Heritage Site – which is home to 2/3rd of the global Great SIngle-horned Rhino population is your best bet.

If it is the tiger spotting then wildlife sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh like Bandhavgarh, Pench, and Kanha National Park, and Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan in your best bet to spot the royal predator.

For bird watching head south to bird sanctuaries in Kerala and Karnataka or the World Heritage Site Keoladeo Ghana National Park popularly referred to as Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Rajasthan.

[Plan your wildlife tours in India]

Luxury Trains

Luxury Train Travel, India
Luxury Train Travel Packages in India

Luxury Trains in India are fast gaining global popularity. India has one of the world’s most loved trains Palace on Wheels as the forerunner and the newly introduced Maharajas’ Express (which is dubbed India’s answer to the Orient Express of the West) as the top contender for the throne of the world’s best luxury train.

Luxury train tours in India offer unique, opulent, and elegant ways to celebrate Christmas and New Year with your loved and dear ones.

These luxury rail journeys take you to some of the best destinations in India covering UNESCO World Heritage Sites, wildlife sanctuaries, forts and palaces, and places of cultural and historical significance.

One of the advantages of luxury train tours over conventional tour packages is the all-inclusive itineraries and tastefully crafted journeys to give you a peek into the culture, heritage, and royal facets of India.

Just curious whether you’d be interested in knowing more about the 10 best luxury trains in the world?

There are 5 luxury trains in India offering a total of 11 train tour packages to offer you a taste of ‘Maharaja’ life. Besides Palace on Wheels and Maharajas’ Express, there is the Deccan Odyssey, Royals Rajasthan on Wheels, and the Golden Chariot to choose from for luxury train tours in India.