Iceland is one of the best places to see nature’s famous light display and, luckily for you, a northern lights excursion is included in all of our three and four-night Iceland holidays. September to mid-April is the ideal time to catch the impressive show. With all of our northern lights trips, you’ll get several chances to see them. Plus, we throw in a Golden Circle tour, so you can see the best of Iceland’s scenery, too. Perfect.
Brazil’s Rio di Janerio Carnival might be the most famous of the street parties, but you’ll be pleased to hear there’s one much closer to home, in Tenerife. The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife happens to be the second biggest in the world, and it’s a much more convenient four-hour flight away from the UK. You can expect the event to be just as epic as Brazil’s carnival, as the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is actually twinned with the town of Rio di Janerio.
Whale watching is on just about everyone’s travel bucket list – and if it isn’t, it should be. You can see humpback whales all over the world, but one of the best places to spot the majestic beauties is in Mexico. Banderas Bay in Puerto Vallarta is the place to be, and this hotspot is frequently visited by humpback whales, grey whales, Bryde’s whales and even super-rare blue whales can be seen, if you’re lucky. February to April is your best time to see them, so pick March to maximise your chances.
If you want to experience a truly unique event, head to Thailand mid-April to take part in the biggest water fight in the world. Songkran – also known as Thai New Year – is the country’s biggest celebration, and takes place in most major towns and cities. The three-day extravaganza starts off with water being sprinkled over Buddha statues, and descends quickly into a huge water fight involving locals and tourists armed with hoses, buckets and water pistols. All in the name of good fun, of course. Stay in Phuket for the festivities, and you’ll be able to take part in the fun and then relax on gorgeous white-sand beaches after all the excitement.
Everyone needs at least one hedonistic clubbing experience in their life – party animal or not – and where better than the White Isle, home of the world’s best clubs? May is the month of opening parties in Ibiza, so you can expect amazing all-night raves and top line-ups to start the summer season. There are enough clubs to keep every raver happy. Pick the Zoo Project if you love a bit of fancy dress in the form of animal onesies and glow-in-the-dark body paint. Or, choose Pacha if you’re after a glitz and glam party hotspot with popular acts like David Guetta, Snoop Dogg and Usher. DC-10 is all about house and techno, for the more serious music fans. And, you can also take your pick from boat parties, chilled-out bars and sundowners at Café Mambo – one of the best sunset spots in the world.
Festivals in the UK usually mean rain, wellies and muddy fields. If you didn’t get Glastonbury tickets, the good news is you can head abroad to enjoy festival season in the sunshine. Pick between the likes of Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Secret Solstice Festival in Reykjavik, and the hippy Meadows In The Mountains in Bulgaria, which is all about live soul, folk and funk, if you’re after something a bit different.
Thanks to the schools being out and the summer holiday season beginning, it can be tricky to avoid the crowds on a July escape. That’s why we reckon it’s the perfect time to head off the beaten track. And our escorted tours help you do just that. Tick off faraway destinations like South Africa, China, and Peru, or discover the hidden sides of your favourite destinations, including Majorca, Cyprus, and Greece. There are no minimum group numbers, you’ll be escorted by a local, English-speaking guide, and you can book your entire trip online – simple.
If you’re a rollercoaster fan, you just have to ride the biggest and best. A rollercoaster that ticks off both of those credentials is Red Force in Port Aventura’s Ferrari Land. This terrifying coaster launches you 112 metres into the air at a super-speedy 110 mph, so it’s definitely one for the thrill-seekers. And, Port Aventura is conveniently located right next to the beach resort of Salou, so you can switch between sunbathing and getting your adrenalin fix at the theme park. July and August are also packed full of events in the Costa Dorada region, so you can enjoy Spanish festivities such as the Fiesta of Sant Pere and the Golden Nights in Salou fiesta which lines up open-air concerts and street performers.
Zanzibar’s nickname comes from its history of spice farming – you can still visit black pepper, vanilla and nutmeg plantations on this group of islands. But it’s the cotton-white beaches which line each island’s coast that give Zanzibar its paradise status. Expect pillow-soft sand shelving into turquoise-tinted water – plus, the palms that line most of these beaches add a bright splash of green. September’s the prime time to visit Zanzibar, because it’s one of the sunniest, driest months of the year. Temperatures hover in the high 20s, and the winds that pick up over summer have settled. It’s the ideal spot for a September adventure.
Check out our holidays to Zanzibar
Got a head for heights? If you’re the adventurous type, sky diving is definitely one for the bucket list. And, of course, while you’re flying through the air, it would help to have some amazing views. Enter Mauritius – an under-the-radar adrenaline-junkies’ hotspot – where you can pair gorgeous turquoise waters and views of almost the whole island with a thrilling 10,000-metre jump. Head to Anse La Raie, which is a top sky diving hotspot, to do the daring jump, and then carry on the activities with a zip-lining course and a canyon swing if you’re feeling brave enough. Besides the adrenaline-fuelled activities on offer, October is the perfect time to visit Mauritius.
The biggest Thanksgiving event in the whole of the USA is the spectacular Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade in New York City. Millions of Americans watch the event at home, but the best way to see it is in real life, or from the comfort of your hotel room. The event involves 60-foot-high pop culture-themed floats being paraded through the streets and, if you’re staying at a hotel along the parade route, you can watch the whole thing from your window. There are plenty of top restaurants in the city offering the full turkey and trimmings feast too, and you can make the most of the Black Friday sales the day after. New York’s famous Rockefeller tree and Christmas decorations go up a few days after Thanksgiving, so you can combine all three events in one holiday.
What better Christmas experience could there be than meeting Santa himself? Whatever age you are, this has to be on your bucket list. You can choose between a daytrip to Lapland – literally a flying visit to see the main man in his hometown – or a longer trip where you can spend a bit more time exploring the area, baking cookies with elves, and enjoying snowmobile rides. Stay in Santa's Igloos Arctic Circle, an actual glass-roofed igloo, to make the experience even more magical. You might catch a glimpse of the northern lights and tick off two once-in-a-lifetime experiences in one go.
With its high-design interiors and impressive pool scene, is a luxury escape par excellence.
With its lagoon-side setting and small, sandy beach, TUI BLUE Lagoon Mauritius is a real tropical hideaway.
This family-friendly hotel comes with top entertainment for children and a laid-back pool scene for adults.
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