It’s May already, which means it’s about time to start thinking of your summer holidays (as if you haven’t already). With this in mind, this week we’re looking at the top holiday destinations for traders. With everything from deserted beaches and peaceful cruises to packed football stadiums and luxury camping, there’s sure to be something here to tickle your fancy…
Best For: Fine Wines
Bordeaux is the world’s major wine industry capital and produces some of the most expensive wine money can buy. Sample everything from a Claret to a Sauvignon Blanc, and learn about the history of the wine trade at the Musee du Vin et du Negoce. When you’ve had your fill, you can take in some of the city’s 362 historical monuments or indulge in some retail therapy on the Rue Sainte-Catherine, one of the longest shopping streets in Europe. Take your credit card…
Don’t Miss: From the 26th-29th June, Bordeaux will host Europe’s greatest biennial wine festival. There’s no better time to visit the wine capital of the world. Read more
Best For: Skiing
Andermatt is a quiet Alpine town set on the 9,800-foot Gemsstock mountain. But not for long – 2014 sees the start of a new development spanning 321 acres and including five hotels and a golf course. Andermatt’s first ski resort opened its doors last month, so we say go now, and be among the first to experience this made-over mountain.
Don’t Miss: Chedi Andermatt, the brand new ski resort set in a modernized chalet in the Urseren valley. It boasts several dining options to refuel after a day on the slopes, as well as a spa to soothe your aching muscles. Read more
Best For: Peace & Quiet
If what you need is a total escape from the daily grind, then look no further. These three sleepy islands a few miles from the coast of Trepani are the perfect hideaway. Our pick is Marettimo, the most isolated and unspoilt, with just a sprinkling of shops and restaurants. There’s little to do besides eat, sleep, swim and enjoy the sea views from the mountain paths: which is precisely the point.
Don’t Miss: Daily boat trips with local Marettimo fisherman, where you can see caves such as the Grotto del Cammello, which holds the remains of a Roman settlement. Read more
Best For: The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are always worth seeing, but 2014 is predicted to see double peaking of maximum solar activity, so the Lights will be particularly dramatic and well worth a visit. And you don’t have to stand out in the freezing cold to see them: you can stay in a Northern Lights safari hotel, see the polar lights from the comfort of a cruise ship or, if you’re feeling daring, watch the show from a husky-drawn sled.
Don’t Miss: The Icehotel in Swedish Lapland is the perfect destination: there’s even a Northern Lights-themed suite, decorated with light art to mimic the Aurora Borealis. If you can brave the “cold bed” made entirely of ice. Read more
Best For: Cruise Lovers
The Mekong River features the world’s third-largest waterfall and a plethora of rapids and canyons. Cruising it is not for the faint-hearted. But then, people say the same about Forex trading, and you manage that. The reward for making it down this formerly inaccessible river are views of the cities, towns and temples lining the Vietnamese and Cambodian shores, and nights spent on a sandbank in the middle of the jungle with all your creature comforts on board the ship.
Don’t Miss: Pandaw River Expeditions’ newly renovated ships, with an iPad in every cabin so you can keep on top of what’s going on in the trading world. Read more
Best For: City Breaks
Poland celebrates 10 years of European Union accession in 2014, so when better to visit its capital? Nicknamed the “Phoenix City” because of the number of wars it’s seen, 85% of the city’s buildings were destroyed during World War II. It has been meticulously rebuilt and was recently named one of the 7 Urban Wonders of the World. (Oh, and the beer is cheap).
Don’t Miss: Restauracja Polska Rozana is the best place to go to sample traditional Polish cuisine. Go for the crayfish or the duck. Read more
Best For: Football Fans
As Brazil prepares for the World Cup, get in on the action at Sao Paulo, one of England’s first host cities. Along with Rio, it’s the footballing powerhouse of Brazil, and the Arena de Sao Paulo stadium is a must-see. And there’s plenty of museums, markets and beaches nearby for any tag-alongs who don’t share your passion for the game.
Don’t Miss: Thomson are the FA’s Official Travel Partner, and are offering packages allowing you to see England’s dream team storm the group stages (maybe…). There are only a few places on the specially charted flights, so book quick! Read more
Best For: Exchange Rate
This shouldn’t be news to you, but the exchange rate on Japanese Yen is bringing the cost of Japanese holidays right down. In 2011, a US dollar would get you Y76. Now, you’ll get more like Y105. Take advantage of this and explore the Okayama prefecture, enjoying castles, botanical gardens, museums and several shopping arcades where you can make the most of the favorable exchange rate.
Don’t Miss: The luxury Ryokan Kifu No Sato, which has just opened. It’s centrally located and mixes Japanese traditions such as locally sourced furniture and pottery with modern essentials including a “pillow menu”. Read more
Best For: Glamping
Your 2014 holiday doesn’t have to be overseas: after last year’s heatwave, this year is expected to see an increased number of Brits taking a “staycation” in the UK. Our choice would be Cornwall, the perfect place for a camping holiday, but without the undercooked sausages and waking up to a flooded tent. Camping in 2014 has proper beds, duvets, fridges and even electricity.
Don’t Miss: Magic Canvas, Cornwall, a local company which allows you to arrive at your chosen campsite to a fully assembled luxury tent complete with lanterns, a wood-burning stove, bunting, a tea-light chandelier and an electrical hook-up. It’s not just camping…
Best For: A Historical Trip
This year is the centenary of the First World War and you’d need to spend more than a holiday in Belgium to take in all the exhibitions and attractions dedicated to it. Most of the city’s war museums have had a makeover with the Museum of War, Peace and Flemish Emancipation opening in February, and attractions at the Flanders Field Museum and the Royal Army Museum to follow.
Don’t Miss: The event of the year is set to be a football game to commemorate the “Christmas Truce” of 1914, when British and German troops left the trenches to play football in No Man’s Land. It is sure to draw in some big names of football present and past. The date is yet to be confirmed, but in the meantime, the story is told through film and interactive displays in the Plugstreet 14-18 Experience. Read more
Best For: Something Different
Okay, so you need to be a bit careful about this one. Current advice from the Foreign Office is to avoid all non-essential travel to Iran due to it’s lack of British Embassy – but this looks set to change following new nuclear agreements. Keep your eyes peeled and be part of a new wave of tourism in one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Iran is home to a wealth of bazaars, deserts, mountains, mosques, history and culture- just tread carefully. For now, group tours are the safest way to go.
Don’t Miss: The Golden Eagle train journey from Budapest to Iran via shores of the Bosphorous and Istanbul. It’ll definitely give you something to talk about at your next dinner party or trader meetup. Read more
Best For: Design and Architechture
Cape Town is already the most popular international tourist destination in Africa, but if design is your thing, this is the year to go. Cape Town is 2014’s World Design Capital. There are no end of things to get involved with, with 450 individual projects including fashion shows and architectural open houses taking place this year.
Don’t Miss: Cape Town: A Creative Journey. Want to get involved without the hassle of planning your itinerary? Take advantage of this tour based on the four main themes of the design projects and showcasing Cape Town’s beautiful landscape. Read more