IF YOU HAVE 1 WEEK

Canadian Living - - LIFE & COMMUNITY | TRAVEL -

Bu­dapest, Hun­gary

Sum­mer may be Bu­dapest’s busiest time, but in De­cem­ber, the city trans­forms into an idyl­lic Christ­mas vil­lage with ice rinks, trams cov­ered in twin­kling lights and hol­i­day street mar­kets (like the Vörös­marty Square Christ­mas Fair) lined with local craft and food stalls. Steep in tra­di­tion at one of the city’s many pub­lic baths, then in­dulge in sweets at the Ger­beaud Café or a clas­sic Hun­gar­ian meal at the New York Café—each with or­nate turn-of-the-20th­cen­tury decor. Score a deal on ac­com­mo­da­tions with Airbnb’s “Opera Down­town Loft” listing, a two-bed­room apart­ment with brick walls and high ceil­ings close to the opera house and ar­chi­tec­turally rich An­drássy Av­enue. WIN­TER WON­DER­LAND HIS­TORY & AR­CHI­TEC­TURE UR­BAN ES­CAPE

Madeira, Por­tu­gal

An is­land clus­ter lo­cated off the coast of Morocco, Madeira is known for steep cliffs, lush vege­ta­tion and mild win­ters. For a scenic in­tro­duc­tion, hike the Le­vada “walks” (a se­ries of path­ways along the ru­ral ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem) or, if you have an adren­a­line junkie in your midst, try canyon­ing. Stay at the Meliá Madeira Mare Re­sort & Spa, which is close to the cen­tre of Fun­chal (the cap­i­tal of the re­gion), and ex­plore the Mer­cado dos Lavradores (a.k.a. farm­ers’ mar­ket), ride a cable car and ogle the elab­o­rate New Year’s Eve fire­works dis­play. If you have time, board the ferry to Porto Santo Is­land and spend a day on its golden beaches. EX­OTIC ES­CAPE BEACH GET­AWAY AC­TIV­ITY & AD­VEN­TURE

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