Plan your 2024 holiday in Spain, Cyprus or Italy – if you choose now then next year’s holiday could cost you surprisingly little. Let us give you the lowdown on the best places to go.
Fiesta and siesta – Spain
If you dream of a holiday where you can relax, party and sightsee, then Majorca is an excellent choice. As the largest island in the Balearic archipelago, you’ll be able to spend sunny days on the beach – Es Trenc and Cala Agulla are considered some of the island’s most beautiful. In the evening you can admire the illuminated La Seu Cathedral in Palma de Mallorca; a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with an impressive façade and interior. Don’t miss Bellver Castle which is perched on a hill with panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside below.
Valencia, which sits on mainland Spain’s east coast, combines rich history, modern architecture and a balmy Mediterranean climate. One of its main attractions is the City of Arts and Sciences, a modern complex that includes an interactive science museum, an oceanarium and even an opera house.
After an intense day of sightseeing, you can relax on Malvarrosa beach. Families with children and nature lovers should also add Biopark Valencia to their list. This unique zoo allows animals to live in conditions similar to their natural habitat. The nearby town of Buñol plays host to the annual tomato fight – one of the most unusual and memorable events in Spain.
Holidays in the homeland of Aphrodite – Cyprus
Legend has it that Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and fertility,was born here in Cyprus. And you can feel it at every turn – lush forests, vineyards, towns and villages lie scattered in the valleys, while the island’s unique beaches have something of the divine about them. Ancient ruins such as those at Paphos and Salamis invite you to discover the island’s fascinating history. Meanwhile, the fort at Larnaca and the capital Nicosia, with its picturesque old town, can all be visited while enjoying the world-famous friendliness of the Cypriot people.
Head to the Troodos Mountains for great trekking routes or to Lake Akrotiri for water adventures like scuba diving, windsurfing and sailing. Cypriot cuisine is a celebration of Mediterranean flavours. Here you will discover dishes such as souvlaki (consisting of spit-roasted pieces of meat, often chicken or pork), mezze (a set of small snacks based on the various foods for which Cypriot cuisine is famous, like seafood and cheese) or halloumi (Cypriot cheese made from sheep’s milk, sometimes with the addition of goat and cow milk, often with mint added).
Luxury relaxation – United Arab Emirates
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are relatively new holiday destinations. Relaxing in these Arab cities is not only a chance to spend an exclusive holiday in modern resorts but an opportunity to open the door to the future. Futuristic, tall and very expensive buildings show that nothing is impossible for those with enough money.
Yet the UAE retains its roots and rich culture. A perfect example of this is the Al Fahidi area of Dubai. A visit here offers a break from the big city atmosphere and traditional wind towers, narrow streets and low buildings demonstrate what life was like in the Emirates just a few dozen years ago. Experience the hospitality of the Bedouins on a desert safari and watch the sunset over the endless sands as you drive through the dunes.
Exclusive restaurants serve international cuisine, including famous steaks that are cooked in front of you. Traditional taverns invite you to taste original Arabic flavours, including fresh and dried fish, dates, camel milk and meat, all of which form the basis of Bedouin cuisine. Dubai is also a real shopping destination, featuring everything from traditional markets to exclusive designer boutiques.
Sightseeing and beaches – Rimini and Sardinia
Located on the west coast of Italy, Sardinia is the jewel of the Mediterranean, famous for its varied landscapes, including plenty of clean and well-kept beaches. Costa Smeralda, or the Emerald Coast, is one of the most famous stretches. But you don’t have to limit yourself to sunbathing while on the island. A trip to the Gennargentu Mountains and their highest peak, Punta La Marmora, will give you the opportunity to relax and admire picturesque views.
Be sure to visit the Grotte di Nettuno – these sea caves are one of the most unique places on the island. Take some time to uncover the history of Sardinia through its ancient ruins, villages and monuments. The town of Alghero is sometimes referred to as a little Barcelona as Catalan influences are clearly visible in the architecture and art. Scattered throughout the island are nuragi – conical towers built over stone altars since the 15th century BC.
Over to Rimini, a picturesque town on the east coast of Italy that is another perfect place for a great holiday. It is famous for its wide, sandy beaches that are perfectly equipped for relaxation and water sports. In the evenings, Rimini comes alive as a nightlife centre packed with numerous clubs, bars and restaurants. The old town is full of historical monuments, such as the Triumphal Arch of Augustus and the Roman Tiberius Bridge. Families with children will find plenty to do here, including the famous Italia in Miniatura park, where you can see miniature versions of Italy’s most important monuments.