Category Archives: Deals

Crystal Ski Holidays, All inclusive, catered, or self catering – Silvija Travel Tips

Whatever type of ski or snowboard holiday you are planning – you can have it with Crystal Ski Holidays

Treat yourself and go all-inclusive! Breakfast, dinner and lunch are included, either served in your hotel or packed for you to take away. Drinks are covered too – from late afternoon tea to wine with your evening meal – so you can go all out on the slopes knowing everything else is taken care of.

Alternatively, stay in a catered chalet which includes 3 meals on 6 days of your stay, all prepared by your chalet host. In the evening, everyone sits down together for a relaxed, social meal. This is made up of 3 courses for 5 nights of the week and a 4-course farewell feast on your last night. Early suppers are available for children on request and adults’ evening meals come with boxed house wine which is free-flowing until coffee is served.

Whether it is munching breakfast at lunchtime or taking a well-deserved nap, in a self-catering apartment you can do what you like, when you want. Plus, this type of getaway is great value, so you can experience your dream ski holiday without breaking the bank

Self-catering offers from €429pp:
  • Italy: Depart 6th January 2019, stay at the 3* Apartments Planibe, La Thuile, for 7 nights, from €429pp (based on 4 sharing)
  • France: Depart 12th January 2019, stay at the 3* Grand Bois Apartments, La Tania, for 7 nights, from €489pp (based on 4 sharing)
  • Andorra: Depart 13th January 2019, stay at the 2* Manzano Apartments, Pas De La Casa, for 7 nights, from €495pp (based on 4 sharing)
  • Austria: Depart 2nd March 2019, stay at the 4* Aurora Apartments, Bad Hofgastein, for 7 nights, from €599pp (based on 4 sharing)
 
Catered chalets’ offers from €745pp:
  • Italy: Depart Dublin, Ireland 2nd March 2019, stay at the 3* Chalet Violetta, Val Di Fassa, for 7 nights, from €745pp
  • France: Depart Dublin, Ireland 2nd February 2019, stay at the 3* Chalet Tetras, Les 2 Alpes, for 7 nights from €789pp
  • Austria: Depart Dublin, Ireland 5th January 2019, stay at the 4* Chalet Tirolerhaus, St Anton, for 7 nights from €865pp
 
All-inclusive offers from €739pp:
  • Italy: Depart Dublin, Ireland 20th January 2019, stay at the 3* Grand Albergo, Claviere, for 7 nights, from €739pp
  • France: Depart Dublin, Ireland 16th March 2019, stay at the 4* Royal Oursblanc, Alpe D’Huez, for 7 nights, from €1,319pp
  • Andorra: Depart Dublin, Ireland 23rd December 2018, stay at the 4* Euroski Resort, Soldeu/El Tarter, for 7 nights from €945pp
  • Austria: Depart Dublin, Ireland 12th January 2019, stay at the 4* Hotel Bergland, Seefeld, for 7 nights from €1,079pp
 All holidays and prices are subject to change and availability, and are based on 2 sharing (Unless stated above). Prices do not include optional extras such as insurance, in-flight meals or group seating. Normal Crystal Ski terms & conditions apply.

To book your holiday now call (01) 653 3504, visit www.crystalski.ie or contact your local travel agent.

Crystal is fully licensed by commission of aviation regulation (TO 029)

Source: Press release provided by TravelMedia.ie
If you have a travel deal or press release you would like featured on Silvija Travel Tips email silvija@silvijatraveltips.com

Hop over to St. Johns, Canada – Silvija Travel Tips

It’s not just European beaches that are on our doorstep – did you know that the stunning Canadian destination St. Johns, is just a 4.5 hour flight away?

This colourful coastal town is nestled at the most eastern point of North America. A culture overflowing with Irish influences and history, it’s no wonder this cousin to the east is a must-see destination for the Irish.

With its perfect blend of city and nature, St. Johns offers its visitors a wide array of activities. From hiking thru Terra Nova National Park and sampling the craft beer from the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company to climbing up to enjoy the views at Signal Hill and taking a boat tour out to go whale watching, St. John’s is a destination with plenty to see and do.

You can fly direct from Dublin in less than 5 hours, with fights from only €423pp return. So what are you waiting for?

Book your Canadian adventure today with GoHop and explore North America’s oldest city for yourself.

For more information or to book visit www.GoHop.ie or call the experts on 01-2412389.

Source: Press release provided by TravelMedia.ie
If you have a travel deal or press release you would like featured on Silvija Travel Tips email silvija@silvijatraveltips.com
 .

Indian Ocean Island dreaming (Hayes & Jarvis Ireland) – Silvija Travel Tips

Live out your island dreams on any of the beautiful islands the Indian Ocean has to offer with amazing deals from Hayes & Jarvis Ireland   www.hayesandjarvis.ie

The Seychelles is made up of over one hundred and fifteen islands. Hike the rolling jungles on Mahe, soak up the sun on the world famous Anse Lazio beach of Praslin, spot the countries amazing wildlife above and below the water,and discover the rustic village island of La Digue.

From the tropical mountains in the interior to the beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters that line Mauritius, the island will draw you back again and again.

Nestled within stunning landscapes and golden beaches, a Sri Lankan beach stay is perfect for ultimate relaxation and tranquility after your touring exploration.

Picturesque island escapes can become a reality with Hayes & Jarvis Ireland tailor-making your dream trip.

Seychelles Island Hopping

Spend 4 nights at the 4* Coco de Mer Praslin, 4 nights at the 4* Le Domaine de L’Orangeraie la Digue and 4 nights at the 4* Carana Beach Hotel Mahe, on a B&B basis from only €3,289pp

Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 12 nights’ accommodation as stated, all internal flights and transfers, taxes and charges.

Travel: October 2018   www.hayesandjarvis.ie

Dubai and Mauritius

Spend 3 nights at the 5* Taj Dubai on a B&B basis and 7 nights at the 5* Heritage Le Telfair Golf and Welness Resort on an all-inclusive basis from only €2,639pp

Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 10 nights’ accommodation as stated, transfers, taxes and charges.

Travel: November 2018.  www.hayesandjarvis.ie

Sri Lanka

Spend 7 nights on a private escorted Classic Ceylon Tour followed by 7 nights at the 4* Avani Kulatara Resort on an all-inclusive basis from only €1,939pp

Price includes: Return flights ex. Dublin, 14 nights’ accommodation including a 7 day tour, transfers, taxes and charges.

Travel: September 2018.  www.hayesandjarvis.ie

For more information visit www.hayesandjarvis.ie to be truly inspired or call into the Hayes & Jarvis office just off Grafton Street – 18- 19 Duke Street, Dublin 2 – where the expert staff will help you create your dream holiday.

Source: Press release provided by TravelMedia.ie
If you have a travel deal or press release you would like featured on Silvija Travel Tips email silvija@silvijatraveltips.com

Colorado Springs Offers Slew of New Adventures for 2018

Colorado Springs, Colo. – Home to more than 55 attractions and activities including Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain and Garden of the Gods Park, Colorado Springs is sure to inspire an unforgettable visit.

New Things to Do

Cave of the Winds Mountain Park Via Ferrata – One of Colorado Springs oldest attractions will open a thrilling new outdoor adventure in 2018. The Via Ferrata (Italian for “iron path”) is under construction. This rock-side climbing path consists of metal rungs connected to a secure harness ideal for those 12 years and older. The course ends with two zip lines. https://caveofthewinds.com

DroneSpace – Drone racing is a wildly growing sport featured on major television networks and taking the world by storm. Pilots don goggles, which allow them to look through the “cockpit” of the racing drone as they fly the course. The site is the first location in the world that allows first-time fliers to experience this vibrantly lit course. The 12,000 square-foot indoor facility has a large dedicated race track, racing drone shop and spacious lounge. www.dronespace.org

Dragonfly Stand Up Paddle Board Glowga – This special stand-up paddleboard class has been timed to experience Colorado’s setting sun alongside paddle yoga practice. Boards are illuminated with colorful LED lights to guide the class atop Quail Lake. Guests can even choose their favorite color. The class lasts 60 minutes and is open to all levels of practitioners ages 18 and up. www.dragonflypaddleyoga.com

Ent Center for the Arts – This transformational, state-of-the-art 92,000 square-foot facility features year-round music and performances. The impressive concert hall houses 774 seats, the Gallery of Contemporary Art, a recording studio and audio laboratory. www.uccs.edu/entcenter/

WhirlyBall – This exhilarating sport combines lacrosse, hockey, basketball and bumper cars in a game of skill coupled with chance. While maneuvering, two teams of five players use hand-held scoops to pass a whiffle ball to one another to hit a scoring target. Visit Colorado’s first and only location. www.whirlyball.com/colorado-springs/

Garden of the Gods Collection International Health and Wellness Center – An innovative, destination healthcare and wellness center has come to Colorado. Applying evidence-based healthcare principles and practices with the latest advances in complementary medicine, the highly-skilled and compassionate physician team at the International Health & Wellness Center intuitively provides medical and wellness services with the aim of restoring clients to optimal health and functionality. www.gardenofthegodsclub.com.

New Lodging

SCP Colorado Springs – From the big picture to the little details, SCP is cultivating a new guest experience. Centered around the concept of holistic hospitality, guests stay consciously. The first property of its kind in the country will provide a range of opportunities for guests to refresh their bodies and souls, to connect with community and to make better choices for the planet. Discover the artful reuse and recycling of original materials used in the hotel’s construction alongside dining options with a focus on local goodness. www.scphotel.com

Garden of the Gods Collection Cottages and Casitas – Nestled on the bluff within the Garden of the Gods Collection property, the newly constructed cottages and casitas are designed to be an exclusive gated resort community with spectacular views of Garden of the Gods Park. The properties will join hotel inventory between spring of 2018 and spring of 2019. The six three-bedroom cottages and 14 exquisite casitas will be framed with meticulously designed and lush landscaped gardens. Covered and open patios support outdoor living that offers transformative beauty while promoting a synergetic balance of nature and tranquil living. www.gardenofthegodsclub.com

The DoubleTree by Hilton has finished a $9M renovation of the property including meeting space totaling over 25,000 square-feet, guest rooms, lobby and expanded bar, the largest in Colorado Springs.

The Embassy Suites by Hilton completed multimillion-dollar renovations in 2017 with a transformation including modernized design updates to all guest suites, in-house restaurant and bar, atrium and a new 7,000 square-foot meeting and event space.

The highly anticipated Home2 Suites by Hilton, an extended-stay property, will have 120 available rooms and 3,500 square-feet of meetings space. The property will also feature an indoor saltwater pool and pet-friendly accommodations. The opening is slated for this summer.

New Dining and Drink Offerings

Trail’s End Taproom is the first self-pour taproom in the entire state of Colorado. Trails End has 40 taps available for the adventuring beer connoisseur. Pay by the ounce, and 100 percent of tips are donated to local trail and humanitarian nonprofits. www.trailsendtaproom.com

Pikes Peak Lemonade Company is more than just a cup of lemonade. With organic lemons, organic cane sugar and filtered water, they proudly serve a fresh and healthy drink. Starting with organic lemonade or limeade Colorado-grown lavender, real hibiscus or a variety of other fresh ingredients are then added. Enjoy fresh, hand-crafted syrups while also reaping amazing health benefits. Stop in to the lemonade tap room for an individual creation, or purchase pre-made mixes with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. www.pikespeaklemonade.com

Oskar Blues Fooderies Downtown Colorado Springs – The newest addition to the area’s culinary family is in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs. The eatery takes up two levels in one of the area’s historic buildings. Enjoy underground bocce courts and an outdoor patio. Grab a pint from one of the 48 taps and munch on locally sourced meats that round out the menu. www.oskarbluesfooderies.com

Goat Patch Brewing Company/Lincoln Center – A variety of local tenants come together in a former elementary school space. Goat Patch Brewing offers a variety of hand-crafted beers along with a fundamental goal of supporting the local Colorado Springs community. Flavors range from a mocha latte stout to a fruit goat patch punch. www.goatpatchbrewing.com

Crafts and Drafts Passport – Colorado Springs has crafted a new way to entice travelers to experience the grandeur of the Pikes Peak region. A new digital passport highlights the destination’s diverse craft beverage scene. From microbreweries to moonshine, visitors can sip and savor their way through the area using a downloadable Crafts & Drafts Passport featuring 24 libation and coffee locations. Colorado continues to make its mark on the adult beverage industry with more than 284 craft breweries state-wide and an economic impact of $2.7 billion. www.visitcos.crafts-drafts

The Piccadilly Bar at The Antlers Hotel offers 50 beers on tap, specialty cocktails and 100 wine choices. This bar offers a classy-cool atmosphere with sophisticated menu items and a nod to the hotel’s history. http://antlers.com/dining.shtml

# # #

About Colorado Springs, CO

Founded as a resort town in 1871, Colorado’s second largest city has drawn travelers from around the world for decades offering unrivaled natural beauty, endless blue skies, a mild climate and more than 55 man-made and natural attractions. Home to iconic landmarks such as Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, Garden of the Gods Park, the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the U.S. Air Force Academy, the city and surrounding region is a popular destination for families, outdoor enthusiasts and couples. Find out more and order a free vacation planner at VisitCOS.com.

Source: travmedia.com

CityPASS Announces Its Newest Partner Destination: Denver, Colorado

Denver (May 2, 2018) — It was announced today that the newest North American destination to offer the popular CityPASS® formula of discounted, bundled admission to the most popular visitor attractions is Denver, Colorado. Today’s launch increases the number of destinations for which travelers can purchase CityPASS tickets to 13.

“We’ve had our eye on Denver for several years now,” said Megan Allen, CityPASS president and CEO. “The city offers that perfect blend of family-friendly and cultural attractions that makes it ideal for our customers. Combine that with Colorado’s striking scenic beauty and Denver’s nearly 300 days of sunshine per year, and you’ve got a pretty compelling draw for travelers.”

The new Denver CityPASS C3/C4/C5 ticket is a mobile ticketing concept that allows users to select any three, four or five attractions from a list of eight top sights. The ticket is delivered directly to the purchaser’s email, which can be saved to their smartphone and easily scanned at each attraction. Designed to be both flexible and customizable, the tickets do not require the buyer to pre-select the attractions that will be visited; travelers are free to choose as they go.

Depending on the attractions chosen, Denver CityPASS ticket holders can save up to 31 percent off the cost of purchasing the included tickets individually (savings increases to 34 percent on June 1, 2018). The list of attraction options includes:

Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
Denver Art Museum
Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Denver Zoo
Downtown Aquarium—Denver
History Colorado Center
Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum
“Depending on their length of stay and personal interests, Denver CityPASS ticket holders can customize an itinerary that best fits their schedule,” Allen added. “CityPASS has always been guided by the tenets of making travel easier, more affordable and more accessible. Our development team made sure the new Denver program directly hits all those goals.”

Denver CityPASS mobile tickets are valid for seven consecutive days, including the first day of use. Available for sale exclusively on CityPASS.com, the tickets are available in the purchaser’s choice of seven languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.

Pricing for Denver CityPASS tickets starts at $39 for adults; $29 for children, age 3-11:

C3 (visit any three attractions): $39, adults; $29, children

C4 (visit any four attractions): $48, adults; $38, children

C5 (visit any five attractions): $57, adults; $47, children

About CityPASS: For more than 20 years, CityPASS tickets have been premier products for travelers who want to visit a destination’s top attractions while enjoying significant savings. CityPASS tickets, which have a 97 percent customer recommendation rating, are currently available in 13 North American destinations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Tampa Bay and Toronto. For more information, visit CityPASS.com.

Prices and programs subject to change. CityPASS® is a registered trademark of City Pass, Inc., and the exclusive property of City Pass, Inc.

Source:  ipw.travmedia.com

Celebrate US Independence Day with TrekAmerica

North America’s specialist tour operator for 18-38-year olds, TrekAmerica boasts a whole host of special departures so visitors can immerse themselves in America’s flamboyant Independence Day celebrations. Trekkers can party the night away with patriots in Las Vegas, Nashville and Miami, as well as other incredible cities including Washington D.C and San Diego.

Be in Washington D.C for 4th July

The nation’s capital is a wonderful place to celebrate the Fourth of July. Trekkers can learn the history of American Independence by heading to the steps at Constitution Avenue for the Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony, before free time to explore the city. As evening hits, it’s time to find a spot on the Capitol’s West Lawn for a free concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and an extravagant fireworks finale.

Southern Sun, departing 3rd July, from £2,259pp

Be in Nashville for 4th July

In Nashville, the music takes centre stage; Trekkers can check out the annual free concert – Let Freedom Sing! – followed by a 30-minute firework show in Music City. Named one of the best July 4th celebrations, this one is not to be missed!

Atlantic Dream, departing 29th June, from £1,399pp

Be in Las Vegas for 4th July

Sin City lights up the night sky even brighter than usual on the 4th July, with spectacular firework displays and celebrations lighting up every corner of the Las Vegas strip. It’s also a great chance for Trekkers to hit up one of the many pool parties and clubs for a night long party!

Southern BLT, departing 30th June, from £2,879pp

Western BLT, departing 1st July, from £999pp

Western Wonder, departing 1st July, from £769pp

Westerner 2 BLT, departing 29th June, from £2,039pp

Be in San Diego for 4th July

Home to thousands of service members and veterans, the Southern California city of San Diego is a great place to witness true patriotism in the US. Trekkers can experience the annual ‘Big Bay Boom’, which sees fireworks launched simultaneously from four barges on North Bay. With mild mid-summer weather, beautiful beaches and tonnes of entertainment, it’s no wonder thousands of visitors head to San Diego to celebrate America’s Independence Day.

Westerner 2, departing 3rd July, from 1,659pp

For a full list of special departures or for further information on TrekAmerica, visit www.trekamerica.com

-Ends-

For more information, high res images or press trip enquiries – please contact WixHill: pippa@wixhill.co.uk / jo@wixhill.co.uk 01483 203992

Notes for editors:

* TrekAmerica now offers the Easy Go Guarantee – making bookings more flexible with the options to change dates, pay in instalments and cancel trips. Please see full details here

** Price is for the tour only – cost with flights available on request.

To book or for terms and conditions visit https://www.trekamerica.co.uk or call 0333 003 2051. Check out the Trek social scene, search #iTrekHere / #trekamerica or visit www.trekamerica.com/community

About TrekAmerica:

Over 40 years’ experience showing groups of travellers the USA, Canada, Alaska and Central America
Over 50 tours to choose from, ranging from 3 to 80 days, across all 50 States
Small groups of likeminded 18-38-year olds with no single supplements
Low deposits of £100 or 10% of total trip cost
Free Wi-Fi on tour vans in the USA
ABTA and ATOL protected
Contact
Louise Woodruff
+44 (0)1483 203992
louise@wixhill.co.uk

Source: travmedia.com

Seattle Is Closer Than Ever! – Direct Flights From Dublin

This summer, Aer Lingus launches four flights a week to and from the super cool city, gateway to the Pacific Northwest.

The city which swept coffee into the 21st century is an addiction like no other. From the iconic Space Needle to the glittering angles of the new Mark Tower, Seattle’s skyline is encircled by snow-capped volcanoes, verdant forests, lakes and sensational seascapes. World-renowned for Hendrix, then grunge 30 years ago, Seattle remains cutting-edge with riveting scenes of Americana, indie rock, hip-hop and electronic music today.

Wilderness adventures are close at hand – see whale watching, salmon leaps, bald eagles, sea otters, or head out on adventures in Washington state’s three national parks: Olympic National Park, Mt Rainier National Park and the North Cascades National Park.

Source: Visit USA

Audley Travel Tailor-Made Trips to Colorado for Outdoors Enthusiasts – Silvija Travel Tips

Audley Travel has launched a new sample itinerary for its tailor-made trips to Colorado that is perfect for lovers of the outdoors. Covering a new area for Audley, the suggested itinerary is a fantastic mix of city exploring, beautiful scenery, outdoor activities and wildlife spotting and is a great choice for couples, families and honeymooners alike.

The trip starts in Denver, America’s mile-high city, with time to explore the many art galleries and famous botanic gardens.  Clients then spend a day in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains enjoying sights such as the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a natural rock formation that has been home to many music performances.

Clients then drive themselves to Colorado Springs to ride the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. This excursion takes in the highest train in the country with an ascent of 8,000ft to enjoy stunning panoramic views before driving back down the mountain in a 4×4. Audley’s specialists also recommend a visit to the Garden of the Gods to view the striking red rock formations.

The trip continues with a drive west into the Rocky Mountains to the gold rush town of Breckenridge to wander along the high street sporting authentic 19th century shop fronts. Audley’s specialists recommend spending an extra day here – it is the ideal place to satisfy the adrenaline rush with zip-lining, cycling and hiking, before driving on to the historic mining town of Aspen. The journey takes guests over the Independence Pass with beautiful scenery to enjoy. Time in Aspen is spent relaxing in a spa or hiking, with a white-water rafting tour and gondola ride popular choices for visitors.

The penultimate drive takes clients over Trail Ridge Road, climbing to heights of 12,000 feet through the Rocky Mountain National Park with grazing wildlife including elk, moose and bighorn sheep a regular sight. The itinerary then includes a few nights in Estes Park to enjoy some of the 300 miles of hiking trails. Film buffs will want to visit, or perhaps stay in, the spooky Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for Stephen King’s ‘The Shining’ before returning to Denver.

Will Scott, Product Manager for the USA, says: “This is a great new sample itinerary and we are delighted to be able to offer it to our clients. As with all of Audley’s suggested itineraries, it gives a basis on which our specialists can develop a client’s own personalised trip to Colorado, taking into account their interests, tastes and budgets.”

A 15-day tailor-made trip, Colorado Rockies Explored, costs from £3,425 per person (based on two sharing) and includes flights, car hire, accommodation and excursions. For more information visitaudleytravel.com/usa or call UK +441993 838755.

Silvija Travel Tips  www.silvijatraveltips.com

The Beauty of the Black Sea, Bulgaria – Silvija Travel Tips

Well known as one of Eastern Europe’s premier beach resorts, Bulgaria’s Black Sea Coast also holds a wealth of historic and cultural treasures which attract visitors from across the continents.

On this unique Travel Department holiday, you will be based in the coastal town of Nessebar, within walking distance of a glorious stretch of golden sandy beaches, as well as the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Nessebar, which is located on a small peninsula and home to charming cobbled streets, churches and ancient ruins.

From here, you will explore some of the coastline’s most notable towns and cities, including the ancient city of Sozopol, the former Greek trading port of Varna, and the charming town of Balchik, with its palace and botanic gardens. You will also have the opportunity to experience the Black Sea from the water, with a boat trip to the rocky island of St. Anastasia.

There will be plenty of time to explore this beautiful region at your own pace, with three full days to spend at your leisure.

Prices start from €749pp including seven nights’ 4* half-board hotel accommodation, return flights from Dublin, transfers, excursions and all taxes & charges, with flights departing May & September 2018.

To book, click HERE or call the Travel Department in Dublin on:     01-6371600

Silvija Travel Tips www.silvijatraveltips.com 

Need a last-minute Christmas gift? Here are 8 cheap flights from €50 return. – Silvija Travel Tips

Don’t panic. There’s no need to buy anyone a Christmas jumper. Give a return flight to one of these buzzing cities instead, and you’ll be top of the gift-giving tree on December 25th.

1. Amsterdam from €50

Amsterdam by night

Both night owls and culture vultures will love you for this gift. The party animals will relish a journey through Amsterdam’s club scene, with Encore’s hip-hop Saturday nights at Melkweg, and electro-flavoured Brainwash at Escape on the itinerary. And if they’ve got the stamina, they can fill the daylight hours with the visit to the Heineken Brewery or a craft beer boat tour.

Meanwhile, anyone with an eye for art will be straight into the Rijksmuseum to wonder at its Rembrandts and Vermeers – with the Van Gogh Museum nearby offering a dazzling post-Impressionist dessert of energy and colour. Both sets of travellers will also love whizzing alongside the canals on a bike – either renting their own, or joining one of Mike’s Bike Tours. Though the party animals probably shouldn’t try it straight after they’ve been round the Heineken Brewery…

2. Berlin from €50

Norman Foster’s Reichstag dome

After a rather serious 20th-century hiccup, Berlin is back on the map as one of Europe’s most dynamic cities. Every street seems to mix scary history and youthful culture, with a dash of cutting-edge design thrown in – and it’s the perfect place to send your hipster friends and relatives.

The Reichstag should be their starting point. Once the battered symbol of national catastrophe, it’s now topped with Norman Foster’s beautiful glass dome, and hums with a renewed sense of purpose and power (register first for entry). Meanwhile, a trip to the Bauhaus Museum will remind them of Germany’s profound influence on modern design and architecture – before they head to the Kreuzberg district for its bars, streetfood and nightlife. Club Tresor should be their final stop – a nightclub in a disused power station.

3. Prague from €86

Prague’s astronomical clock

Prague’s mix of dreaming spires and cobbled streets comes straight out of a fairy-tale, and it’s never more magical than on a snowy January morning. Take a walk across the medieval Charles Bridge, and up to the hilltop cathedral and castle, and you’ll think you’ve wandered out of the 21st century altogether. For incurable romantics, it’s the dream destination.

Just make sure they don’t get sucked into the usual touristy bars and restaurants. Instead, point them in the direction of up-and-coming Dlouha, a street at the eastern edge of the Old Town. Nearby, Italian restaurant Divinis is the place for a slap-up celebratory meal, but it’s the wine-bar Bokovka they’ll remember longest. Set in a crumbling Renaissance courtyard, its vaulted, candlelit rooms are packed with the city’s fashionistas – and a few of its ghosts too.

4. Barcelona from €58

Barcelona’s Nou Camp stadium

Got any football fans in your circle? Give them return flights to Barcelona as a present. The thought of a stadium tour of the Nou Camp – one of the greatest cathedrals of the modern game – will have them buzzing all the way to New Year’s Eve.

Footie aside, the Catalan capital offers a very seductive version of seaside life. A Devour Barcelona tapas and wine tour will give them a taste of the city’s world-class cuisine, before they dive into the Gothic Quarter; a warren of small streets that bleeds cosmopolitan cool. Top-class bars here include laid back Sub Rosa Cocktail Bar and Bar Lobo.

5. Rome from €87

The Vatican, seen from the Pincio Hill

This one’s for the art lovers and time-travellers. No other city is piled quite so high with history, and if all they’ve ever seen of the Romans is an indecipherable pile of rubble somewhere in northern Europe, they’ll be blown away by the magnificence and density of the remains. The Pantheon – which has been in continuous use for nearly 2,000 years – is the most remarkable single building. But the great sweep of ruins, from the Forum to the Colosseum and up to the Palatine Hill is what really dazzles. The ordinary lives of Romans seem almost within touching distance when you walk there.

The food is memorable, too. For lunch, point your historians in the direction of l’Asino d’Oro, in the fashionable Monti district: an inexpensive restaurant with a serious gastronomic edge. But they must book ahead, to be sure of table. Tell them to eat well, and catch their breath. Next stop is the Vatican.

6. Reykjavik from €128

The Aurora Borealis in Iceland

Got a wannabe Bear Grylls in your circle? Give them cheap flights to Reykjavik. Iceland’s pricier than the other destinations on our list, but for anyone who yearns for big landscapes and jaw-dropping geology, it’s an unforgettable experience.

For a day of adrenaline-edged adventure, join a snowmobile safari that takes groups blasting across stunning glaciers and through natural ice caves. Or try a Golden Circle Tour, which includes a night in a see-through bubble hotel, purpose-built for watching the Northern Lights. The Icelandic capital is an essential stop too – for both the Viking World Museum and the city’s legendary nightlife.

7. Oslo from €63

Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo

Give them flights to Oslo in February, and they’re getting two breaks in a single trip. First is a snowy taste of winter, courtesy of ski lessons at the Oslo Vinterpark – followed by the even bigger thrill of zip-lining down the ski jump at the Holmenkollen Ski Museum.

Then, it’s time to explore a wealthy, harbourside city that’s been raising its cultural and gastronomic game in recent years. Art lovers will want to pay their respects to Munch at the Munchmuseet, as well Anselm Kiefer, Damien Hirst & Co at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. Meanwhile, foodies will love snacking through the streetfood at Vippa, and the sharing plates at Sentralen. Afterwards, drinks and live music at Café Mono are a must.

8. Faro from €68

The Algarve coastline

Know any golfers or surfers? In Faro the daytime temperature averages 13C, and the sea’s at 16C – perfect for a vigorous sporting break while everyone else is huddled up at home. The golf is world-class, courtesy of courses such as the Quinta Do Lago ‘North Course’ or the Jack Nickalus-designed Monte Rei. Meanwhile surfers will want to hire a car and head to Sagres – which offers everything from beginner-friendly surf schools to fun beach breaks and bigger, expert-only waves.

After the fairway or the sea, your sports stars can then dive into the frenetic pace of Faro’s university-fuelled nightlife. For an atmosphere that’s a little more chilled, order at cocktail at Columbus – home to some of the most highly-rated mixologists in Portugal.

Source: Skyscanner.com