Summer is almost here… it’s time to get your 2015 holidays booked and start looking forward to jetting off to sunnier climes. From relaxing beach escapes to city breaks, and adventure holidays for the daredevils among you, we’ve rounded up our top travel spots for traders in 2015…
So let’s start off with the traditional beach holiday – let’s face it, for total rest and relaxation to combat the stress of chart-watching, you just can’t beat lazing by the sea or round a pool with a book in one hand and a cocktail in the other. Here’s where we’d like to spend our 2015 beach holiday…
2014 saw holidaymakers flock to Santorini and Mykonos, thanks to new direct flights from UK airports. So steer clear of the hotspots this summer and head to tiny, rugged, unspoilt Folegandros instead, home to several beautiful beaches from secluded, tranquil coves to busier organised beaches as well as boutique hotels and (as you might expect) incredible seafood.
Where to stay: The stunning Anemi hotel – gorgeous suites, private pools and absolute attention to detail. You won’t ever want to leave.
This small but beautiful isle, ranked as one of the most glorious stretches of coastline in the Caribbean, will be easier to reach this year as Virgin Atlantic are restoring their connection from Gatwick (via St Lucia). Tobago is thought by some to be the island that inspired Robinson Crusoe – so make like you’ve been marooned and cut yourself off from the charts, the internet and social media for a truly relaxing break.
Where to stay: It has to be the Magdalena Grand for the beachfront location alone.
After 26 years of civil war, Sri Lanka is starting to open to tourists again, and it’s not short of beautiful sandy beaches to explore or laze around on. Top tip: Head to the Kalpitiya peninsula (between the ocean and the Puttalam Lagoon) for unspoiled beaches and whale watching before a slated billion-dollar development takes over the area.
Where to stay: Jetwing Beach, Negombo is a stunning beachfront hotel with excellent facilities, perfect for a relaxing break.
Some people like to spend their holidays basking in the sun and doing as little as possible. If that sounds like your worst nightmare, go for something a little more active with our top picks for adventure holidays: think trekking, camping and canoeing…
Five years on from the devastating earthquake, Haiti is set to welcome visitors in 2015 with a number of tour operators running trips for the first time. Wild Frontiers are offering an adventure holiday package that promises “rhino” jeeps (whatever they are), dolphin watching, walks in the remote hills, mountains and waterfalls, and a chance to explore Haiti in all its glory before the masses come.
Make sure you: Have a go at the Dragon’s Breath Zipline on Labadee island – fly over stunning views for half a mile for a once-in-a-lifestime experience.
Taiga Forests, Finland
It doesn’t get much more adventurous than a wilderness escape in the forests of Finland, just below the Arctic Circle. Take charge of a husky, learn forest survival skills, see wildlife including bears, wolves and reindeers, canoe to an island and experience almost 24-hour daylight if you go in the summer. (Heading to Finland instead of Norway will also keep you out of the way of the crowds of Frozen enthusiasts set to flock to Norway for Disney Cruises this year… you can thank us later).
Make sure you: Experience a Finnish sauna – I know you’re after an adventure, but you are on holiday, after all!
Nepal is home to some of the most extreme adventure holidays out there – free fall from a bridge, abseil, jump down canyon walls and waterfalls, mountain bike off-road, raft wild rivers, paraglide and much more – basically, if it gives you an adrenaline rush, you can do it. There’s no better place for thrill-seekers.
Make sure you: Try out Nepal’s only bungee-jumping spot: 12km over the Bhote Kosi River from a suspension bridge.
If lying on a beach with a book is a little too relaxed for you but you don’t want to go fully action-packed, maybe a city break will provide the right amount of distraction from the trading charts. From culture and history to fashion hubs and party centres, here are our top three…
Marrakech has been the overwhelming tourist destination of Morocco for over a decade – but this year, long-overshadowed little sister Fez is making a name for herself. The Moroccan city has been slowly developing over the past few years, with riads, hotels, restaurants and galleries popping up around the city. Opening in 2015, Fez’s upgraded airport will accommodate 2.5 million passengers – so go before the crowds.
Where to stay: The Hotel Sahrai is the place to be in Fez. With a rooftop pool, Parisian restaurant and a Givenchy spa, it blends history and culture with modern luxury.
As the host of Expo 2015, Italy’s style hub will be in the spotlight this year, so there’s no better time to visit. The city is gearing up for an expected 20 million visitors over the 184-day summer extravaganza, themed around nutrition and offering visitors the chance to sample food and traditions of people from all over the world. And that’s before we even start talking about Milan itself: the industrial, financial and commercial centre of Italy, packed full of history, shopping, landmarks, sport and culture.
Where to stay: Milan isn’t short on luxury hotels, but we reckon you won’t do much better than Chateau Monfort, a stylish boutique hotel housed in a historical building and updated by architect Paolo Mezzanotte.
Malaga has long since been on the shortlist of city break destinations, but it’s set to bump up the listings this year with the €5 million Cube – a striking glass building set on the revamped marina and home to a modern art collection. Also set to open this year are the St Petersburg State Russian Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts and Archaeology, so you won’t be short on culture. And if museums aren’t quite what you’re after, Malaga also boasts cheap flights, great nightlife, plenty of restaurants and nearby beaches.
Where to stay: Room Mate Larios for a calm, luxurious atmosphere and rooftop bar – ideal for grabbing a beer after a busy day exploring the city.