Heading off on holiday in 2018? Where is top of your list? We’ve got some fantastic destinations to tickle your fancy, from sensational city breaks to beautiful beach resorts.
One of the most beautiful and picturesque parts of Spain is calling you. Seville, the capital of southern Spain’s Andalucía, is famous for its artistic values. The large Gothic cathedral towers over the historic centre. Seville has recently received a profile boost due to Game of Thrones being filmed in several parts of the city, such as The Alcazar. The Alcazar is a royal palace developed by Moorish kings and is regarded as one of the most outstanding examples of Mudejar architecture. In Game of Thrones Season 5, you’ll see the palace in a number of episodes as it represents the Water Gardens of Dorne, the private estate of the House of Martell. Entering the palace, on the left you see the oldest part of the building, whilst on the right you see the Renaissance palace.
Seville’s charming neighbourhoods, bars and markets make it a suitable place for sampling the finest tapas and taking in some flamenco dancing. During the summer you can enjoy blisteringly hot sunshine on some of the best rooftop bars in Seville. You could sip creative cocktails and take in the stunning views of the EME Cathedral from the La Terraza-Bar. Walk around the upper level of the Metropol Parasol; the world’s largest wooden structure. The structure is a mass of grids and swirls, consisting of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms, and has become an icon of Seville. Seville is a romantic city and walking along the Parque Maria Luisa is a must-do. This public park stretches along the Guadalquivir River and is lined with hundreds of exotic trees, fairy-tale buildings, colourful tiled benches, and Moorish fountains and pools. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and hire a rowing boat to sail around the canals of the park. Wherever you go in Seville, relaxing is going to be a big part of your break!
A place you should seriously consider is Tokyo. This place is buzzing, as they are gearing up to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympic Games. Aiming to create an innovative and engaging games, Tokyo is working hard to ensure the Olympics benefits the region for years to come. A great fact is that they are encouraging Japanese people to donate their used electronics for the creation of the medals! Walk around the city and visit the Tokyo Tower. Inspired by the Eiffel Tower, this lattice tower is a great place to go up and enjoy the observation decks. The main observatory tops out at 490ft whilst the smaller, special observatory reaches a height of 819ft. On a clear day, you can see the Tokyo Skytree (another observation tower) and even Mount Fuji.
Visiting the cherry blossom in the Sakura season is a must-do. This beautiful flower lines several parks and paints them pink. Typically blooming in the first two weeks of April, it is a great time to go visit. If you’re thinking about heading to Japan for the cherry blossom, you must visit during that time as the blooming season is very short and can be cut short due to strong winds and rain.
Japan is known for its shopping and offers a wealth of stores, selling everything from traditional souvenirs to hot fashion brands and local food. Grab your chopsticks because you will find the most delicious, mouth-watering noodles with rich pieces of tender pork. Sample the finest sushi in Tokyo in one of more than 5000 sushi restaurants available. To put that into context, one of the largest fast food restaurants in the world only has 500 outlets in Tokyo. The sights you’ll see are extraordinary. Tokyo is a must!
The Fortress City, Valletta, is the capital of Malta. It offers original Baroque architecture, including the St John’s Co-Cathedral – a gem of baroque art and architecture built as the church for the Knights of St John. To this day, the church is still an important shrine for worship. The polychrome marble floor contrasts with the gilded vaults and painted ceilings.
Hire a bike in Malta and head off on your adventures, tackling the landscapes that change with every twist and turn. Malta offers fantastic views of the country and sea on both sides of the routes! On top of mountain biking, there’s hiking, rock climbing and scuba diving. Jump on an organised trip and discover an astonishing variety of wild flowers on a hike. You’ll see some of the most stunning views anywhere in the Mediterranean.
Discover the Blue Lagoon, a small bay with shallow blue jade seas. One of the most beautiful spots in the Maltese islands, it is a fantastic place for snorkelling and scuba diving. It offers one of the most picturesque waterfronts around. The Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Temples are among the most ancient, religious sites on earth and well worth a visit. Made up of coralline limestone, these temples stand on a hilltop overlooking the sea and island of Filfla. You’ll see two very beautiful, carefully-constructed stone rooms and structures which were built around 3000BC. Another sensational place to visit is the Grandmaster’s Palace. This is the only place in the world to house an 18th century complete set of intact French Gobelins tapestries. The palace is well over 400 years old and has played host to the Knights of the Order of St John, British Governors, and the Presidents of the Republic of Malta. A visit to the armoury is a must, with the arms collection being one of the most valuable historic monuments of European culture! Valletta is a sensational place with a lot of history to behold.
TENERIFE (Corales Suites)
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Tenerife has been a popular destination for families and couples for many years now. The brand new Royal Hideaway Corales Suites is a brand new luxury place for families. This 5* hotel is home to 114 designer apartments, with capacity for up to six people. Indulge yourself in pure relaxation as lounging around the pool is taken to the next level in this tropical swimming paradise. The wellness centre makes for a luxurious treat, leaving you feel fresh and new! Head for a bite to eat in the Maresia restaurant, which is headed by the Michelin award-winning chefs, the Padron brothers. Corales Suites is located at the foot of the charming village of La Caleta, balancing the hustle and bustle of Playa de las Americas.
Want something a bit more up tempo? Tenerife is full of fantastic places to enjoy whilst your there and it is home to the #1 waterpark in the world, Siam Park. This Thai-themed water park holds seven world records! With 12 rides to enjoy, there is something for all the family. A great fact is that the 25 on-site buildings are the largest collection of Thai-themed buildings outside Thailand. Relax by the Siam Beach and watch as people tackle the largest man-made wave in the world at 11ft. Being Thai-themed, it is only right to serve food from there, meaning you can pick up some delicious Thai snacks as well as family favourites. Feeling brave? Head up to the Tower of Power (you can’t miss it) and take on a 28m drop, reaching speeds of up to 50mph as you slide through an aquarium of sharks and sting rays! Tenerife is definitely a destination for both relaxing and thrill seeking!
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With 41% of travellers planning a city break in 2018, Bucharest deserves a chance in the spotlight. Its trendy cafés, museums and parks make it a great place for travelling. Its museums would take a few days to get through as there are 40 museums and memorial houses. Its centre is modern with a touch of 17th and 18th century architecture. Stag dos happen here often and it is plain to see why from the variety of nightlife on offer. From Irish pubs and trendy bars to mega-clubs that attract the top DJs in the world, there’s something for everyone. For those looking for a quiet evening of culture, you can head off to the theatre and enjoy some opera or ballet.
Most visitors head straight for Transylvania after a couple days of exploring Bucharest. Home to legendary castles, why not visit the one that inspired Dracula? Often referred to as the home of Dracula; Bran Castle holds all of the answers to the myths, intrigue, and history of Transylvania. The best time to visit is December, as you will catch all of the Christmas markets. Maybe Bucharest could be your winter break this year?