All working ladies need a break sometimes, and with the world a much smaller place than it once was half of the dilemma is deciding where to go.
With that in mind, here is our guide to ten fabulous destinations to visit in 2016:
China isn’t the first place you would think of when planning a beach holiday, but the city of Sanya on the island of Hainan boasts white sands, beautiful clear waters and a tropical climate. On top of this, the city is home to some fascinating architecture and some truly beautiful and unusual hotels. The lively city and the peaceful beach makes for the perfect combination – although avoid monsoon season!
THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
The Scottish Highlands are home to incredibly rugged scenery, a great deal of ancient history in the form of prehistoric sites, roman villas, ruined castles and ancient cities. Steeped in myth and legend (Loch Ness monster?), Scotland has a haunting magic about it. Combine a tour of the highlands with whiskey tasting at the country’s famous distilleries and a visit to the vibrant cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The new Tuscany! Also located in Italy but much further South, Puglia is also wine country. Home to Primitivo di Manduria, Negramaro and Salice Salentino it is the perfect place for wine buffs to come for tasting and touring. It has an advantage over Tuscany in that the climate is milder and the seaside resorts are among the best in Europe with the white sands and clear blue waters giving rise to the nickname “le piccole Maldive” – the little Maldives.
This island paradise in the Indian Ocean is perfect for relaxation and for observing nature. With sandy beaches to laze on and an easily accessible coral reef for diving or snorkelling as well as a plethora of water sports to choose from this is a beach bum’s paradise. Getting to Mauritius might not be cheap, but once you are there living in luxury is surprisingly affordable making it well worth shelling out for the plane ticket.
The beach resorts in Cuba are fantastic and definitely worth a visit… however there is so much more to Cuba than this so don’t spend all your time in an all-inclusive resort! With fascinating history behind it, Havana is well worth seeing with its slightly fifties vibe making you feel like you stepped back in time. With an amazing live music scene, the nightlife is pretty hot as well.
Located off the coast of Southern Italy, Sicily is a place of contrasts and flavours. It would be no exaggeration to say that Sicilian food is the best in Italy and for a country with such an incredible culinary heritage that is saying something. Sicily has something for everyone, from the crystal clear waters and sandy beaches of Taormina to the ancient cities of Palermo and Ragusa and the naturalistic wonders that are the Eolie islands – a group of active volcanic islands you can visit in the day for their beautiful secluded beaches and in the evening to get a glimpse of natures’ very own fireworks display.
For an adventurous twist to the classic tropical holiday look no further than the African archipelago of Cape Verde. Beautiful and rugged, with a population known for their hospitality Cape Verde may lack the conventional luxury of many other tropical destinations but it more than makes up for it in character and interest.
If you want to visit a completely different culture then Japan is a good option, and the island of Myajima just across the bay from Hiroshima is something of a paradise on Earth, with its beautiful waters, virgin forests and historic settlement. At sunset you can enjoy a glass of wine and admire the play of colours over the red gates, one of Japan’s most famous views. Be sure to try the oysters too, they are a local delicacy.
One of Europe’s most vibrant cities, the sprawling metropolis of Moscow is filled with history, culture, art and architecture. From the famous sites such as the Kremlin and the Red Square, tourists can move on to visit the Tretyakov gallery or to see a spectacular show at the Opera or the Ballet. Moscow was once very expensive, but has now become an affordable destination.
Singapore is a small island state, but it packs a great deal into its limited size. With and eclectic mix of cultures, visiting Singapore is almost like visiting several countries squeezed into one. The city can be expensive but if you keep your eyes open for where the locals go you can eat very well on a budget. As well as being a bustling, multicultural, hyper-modern city, Singapore is also close to Malaysia which can easily be visited for a day trip.
So where are you thinking of going on your holidays this year? One of the places on this list, or somewhere else entirely?
Written by Paula Clarke