When choosing a holiday, some obvious places spring to mind. Barcelona, anyone? This year, however, has seen many travellers looking for an escape from the ordinary. From paragliding in Chamonix to fossil hunting in Weymouth, here are 12 spots that are already proving popular for 2016. Pick your favourite rental in the area before it gets snapped up!
This scenic Spanish town of Nerja has gained popularity in recent years. Thankfully it still retains an old village charm with stunning sea views. A visit to Cueva de Nerja, a breathtaking 4km-long cave complex, is a must for anyone staying in the area. If you’re feeling adventurous, diving conditions here are excellent, so why not join one of the many guided excursions? And if you simply want to go for a wander, stroll around the village of Frigiliana’s pretty streets and admire the Moorish architecture.
The laid-back vibes, sheltered sandy beaches and magnificent coastal views are reason enough to visit picturesque Carvoeiro, but if you need more convincing, read on. With two water parks, sea life centres and a range of eateries, the town is perfect for families. For couples, the riverside walks and pavement cafés set the scene for a romantic break, while thrill seekers are also catered for, with jet skis and diving schools. There really is something for everyone in Carvoeiro.
In need of a little artistic inspiration? St Ives is for you. Walking around this beautiful seaside town, it’s easy to see why so many artists, from Turner to Moore, have been inspired by it. There are art galleries and exhibitions on every corner. Plus, the golden beaches and luscious landscape will make you want to spend most of your time just staring at the view. If you can drag yourself away, tuck into some freshly-caught seafood near the working harbour, check out the locally made pottery or take tea at one of the pretty cafés.
It may go without saying, but Chamonix’s epic mountains make for some of the finest skiing in the French Alps. The range of runs and off-piste activities are perfect for anyone looking for an exhilarating ski break. But it’s not all about the slopes; in the warmer months, hire a bike and use the ski lifts to zoom down the mountains or take a dip in the lakes. Come summer, why not give paragliding a go? And in winter, try something a little different and join a mushing (dogsledding) course for an unforgettable experience.
Sometimes, holidays are about lazing on the beach and taking things easy and that’s exactly what you can do at Vale do Lobo. Spoil yourself with a pampering day at the spa, browse the shops or wander through the landscaped gardens. If golf is your thing, the famous Royal and Ocean golf courses are within walking distance. If you’re into yoga, there are regular classes in the resort. However you choose to spend your day, you’re sure to feel recharged, relaxed and ready for a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants in the area.
Even seasoned travellers to Turkey may not have heard of Kalkan, but this upmarket town on the Turkish Mediterranean coast is charming its visitors. The town has a rich history and with excavation work still taking place, more and more treasures are being uncovered. From the pretty Kalkan harbour, join a boat trip to Kekova where you’ll be able to see the ruins of the ‘sunken city’ and the pirate cave at Tersane Bay. After a day’s sightseeing, refresh with homemade lemonade and some of the finest seafood in the area at Korsan Fish Terrace: situated on the roof of the 19th-century Patara Stone House.
This beautiful seaside town on the South Wales coast has been a favourite with holidaymakers for over 200 years. With so much on offer, it’s not surprising. Discover the history of the 13th-century medieval walls that surround Tenby, take a peek inside the National Trust’s Tudor Merchant’s House or browse the exhibitions at the Tenby Museum and Art Gallery on Castle Hill. There are kayaks, motorboats and jet skis for hire and a championship links golf course at Tenby Golf club. There’s never a dull moment in this Pembrokeshire town.
Everybody knows that the Great British weather can’t always be relied upon but, as Weymouth has one of the sunniest and warmest climates in the country, chances are you’re more likely to be sunning yourself on the beach than sheltering under a brolly. It’s just as well, as there’s an abundance of outdoor activities to be enjoyed. Go fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage site, take a stroll along the impressive Georgian seafront or even try your hand at sailing (the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were held in the town).
From shopping to theatres to quirky restaurants, Manchester has it all. You’ll want to pack as much into your days as possible in this exciting city as there’s so much to do. Highlights include Chill Factore, the UK’s longest indoor skiing and snowboarding slope, world-class productions at the Palace Theatre and numerous museums and art exhibitions. Manchester’s lively music scene means that you’re never short of live entertainment in the evenings and the cool cocktail bars and fine dining restaurants make for a fantastic night out.
To experience a slice of local Maltese life, head to the picturesque town of Mellieha. The views of the coast from the town are stunning and the atmosphere here is relaxed and friendly. The wildlife is beautiful and the Għadira Nature near Mellieha Bay is one of the best places to view it. Just don’t forget your camera! Mellieha is quieter than some neighbouring towns, but if you’re looking for even more seclusion, pack a beach bag and visit Selmun Bay. Here, you can catch some rays while listening to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore.
Liverpool is welcoming, friendly and fun, so it’s no surprise that it was voted as Rough Guides’ “fourth friendliest city in the world”. It’s also the World Capital of Pop with more number one hits than any other city. That’s why, wherever you are, you won’t be far from a live gig. Music has been at the heart of this city since The Beatles and their contemporaries changed the face of British music. Alongside The Cavern Club, other must-see attractions include a RIBA city tour, a day out at the World Museum and a boat trip on the famous Mersey Ferries.
Unspoilt countryside, glorious Jurassic Coast beaches and the elegant Victorian Pier are just a few of the delights that Swanage has to offer. It’s an excellent choice for all ages as many of the attractions, such as Swanage Steam Railway and Durlston Country Park, have a timeless quality. Explore the picture-postcard villages of the Purbeck Hills on foot or by bike. Places to stop off along the way include the RSPB nature reserve in Arne and Corfe Castle – a Norman stronghold built in the 11th century.