Hearts are heading to Spain for a winter training camp next month with friendly matches planned against Nuremberg and Vitesse Arnhem.
Craig Levein and his squad will leave Edinburgh on January 11 for a five-day stay near Valencia during the Premiership's three-week winter break. They will train in the warmer climate and also face German and Dutch opposition, with exact dates and venues for the games still to be confirmed.
Hearts plan to return to Scotland on January 16 to prepare for the Scottish Cup fourth round tie against rivals Hibs at Tynecastle Park five days later.
Assistant coach Austin MacPhee explained to the Evening News that it's important to keep players active during the winter shutdown.
"We're going to Valencia and we're playing Nuremberg and Vitesse because it's important that we play. In Scotland, you can't always guarantee that at this time of year," said MacPhee.
"Nuremberg and Vitesse are in training camps, which allows us to get match practice outside of the Premiership. We are there for five nights and then we come back to train here for a few days before the Scottish Cup game."