One of the things people look forward to the most is going on holiday. But where should you choose to go this year?
European City Breaks
Bordeaux, France – The Garonne is surrounded by boulevards, neoclassical buildings and public gardens line the curving river quays. This already sounds blissful, doesn’t it? But, its stunning scenery isn’t the reason this wine producing port city is set to be a popular destination this year. The city wants to be known as the wine capital of the world! And, it’s proving to be a real contender for this prestigious title, with a museum “La Cité du Vin” set to open in June. Dubbed as the “Gugenheim of Wine”, this futuristic building is certainly set to turn some heads. So, if you’re an avid wine lover, a quick trip to Bourdeaux could be the trip for you!
- Ljubljana, Slovenia – This historical and vibrant Slovenian city is set to be a top destination this year. The former Soviet states are often forgotten or dismissed as undesirable city break destinations, but Llublijana in particular has lots to offer which could see it becoming one of this year’s top European city-break destinations. Slovenia’s capital has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘European Green Capital 2016’
and for good reason. To encourage outside activities, an initiative called ‘Library Under the Treetops’ has been introduced and has been extremely successful. Locals and tourists regularly flock to the seven locations and are able to lounge on free deckchairs whilst reading complementary books. Also, the architecture in the city is astonishingly beautiful!
- Lisbon, Portugal – Once a popular tourist destination, the capital of Portugal is making a comeback. A vibrant city that is rich in history, Lisbon (or ‘Lisboa’ as the Portuguese call it) is set to be major travel destination this year. There are luxury boutique properties such as ‘Memmo Alfama’ to ensure you have a nice stay. Once again, this is a city that offers something for any type of tourist – football fans can visit Estadio de la Luz, which holds 65,000 spectators and is home to Benfica, one of the biggest clubs in Portugal. But if you’re not a sports fan, the historically rich Vasco de Gama bridge (a fantastic work of Civil Engineering) might interest you, or if you feel peckish, you can sample a ‘Pastel de Belém'(also known as ‘Portuguese Egg Custard Tarts’ for those who aren’t sure what they are).
In the UK
- Cornwall – The idyllic county of Cornwall is set to become a much-visited location. Although this county, located on the rugged southwestern tip of England is renowned for scones, pasties and surfing, it’s actually something else that’s set to make it a popular destination – Poldark. Experts have predicted that following the release of the new series of ‘Poldark’ in the autumn, the Cornish towns will be thriving, with visitors coming from far and near.
- Stratford-Upon-Avon- April 23rd marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, so the locals can expect literature lovers and scholars from near and far to visit. To celebrate Shakespeare, the BBC will be broadcasting a live tribute from the RSC theatre and the RSC will stage several performances of Hamlet. And, if you’re really interested in Shakespeare you can go and visit King Edward VI school; which opens as a major tourist attraction in April.
Rest of the world / long haul
Brazil – Although most think this one is fairly obvious it actually isn’t. The chaos that hosting the Olympics brings is often a deterrent to many seasoned travellers. So, although many will be travelling to Rio de Janeiro to watch the Olympics in the summer, there are other things to see in the coming months. Many enjoy visiting the tropical forests of Parati or Recife and relaxing in the popular beach resort of Fortaleza. And, if you’re looking for something really different, Olinda, one of Brazil’s best-preserved colonial cities has much to offer. Perched on the top of rolling hills, picturesque views are available from within the city’s colourful architecture and artisan studios. There’s also a celebration of African heritage once a year; this is an event not to be missed!
- Toronto, Canada – Known as the low-key transatlantic alternative to New York City, this Canadian city is set to have lots of tourists flocking there this year and it’s all down to Iceland. The Icelandic airline ‘Wow’ is launching a series of really cheap (£198 return cheap) flights to this Canadian city. And even better, there’s lots to do once you arrive! Popular tourist attractions include the CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame and the Distillery District – there’s something for everyone!
But, there are always a few old favourites which return to the ‘hot locations’ list year after year. This summer, the top holiday destinations for Brits are likely to be Spain, Greece and Croatia. Having said that, there are always a few dark horses, so keep an eye out for Montenegro, Mongolia and Burma – these lesser-known countries have lots of potential!