Dream Holidays

, CULTURE

New Year is on us. Have you planned your holiday calendar yet? Let us help you decide you next sojourn

For any traveller, selecting a perfect destination is always a task. With so many destinations and so little time, how do you select that once-in-a-lifetime adventure, that relaxing getaway, that ski trip, that road trip, the culinary tour de force? For 2017, the answer is: It will be all about great experiences, all about immersing yourself in a destination, living like a local, of doing rather than just seeing.

Moscow, Russia

WHY GO: Russia may not have gone all out to woo travellers in the past, but it’s as clear as a crenellated Kremlin façade that there will be radical changes in Moscow. Since the city is going to host football matches in the 2017 Confederations Cup and the 2018 Fifa World Cup later, the race is on to showcase the best of its infrastructure to the world. The new Ramenskoye Airport and a new metro line will mean an all-time high in the city’s connectivity, and Moscow will gain a blockbuster attraction.

Pistoia, Italy

WHY GO: Often referred as the ‘little Florence’ for its concentration of art and architecture this Tuscan town sees just a fraction of Florence’s tourists. That’s set to change soon as Pistoia will be titled as Italy’s Capital of Culture. The city earned the title in recognition of its impressive cultural credentials and devotion to grassroots ideas and local entrepreneurship and hence, has a lot to offer to the visitors that flock here.

County Kerry, Ireland

WHY GO: Whether they realise it or not, plenty of people will be seeing Ireland in 2017. That’s because the opening scenes of Star Wars: Episode VIII, due for release next December, were shot in County Kerry. That sci-fi stardom is sure to provide a boost to the country’s tourism numbers, as Star Wars fans flock to this picturesque location.

Merida, Mexico

WHY GO: Mérida’s cultural offering is like no other on the Yucatán Peninsula (even though Cancún has pretty beaches but its party culture is quite dull). On any given day you’ll find a dizzying array of live music, art shows and dance performances, and the booming culinary scene is hotter than a Habanero pepper. This year Mérida has been designated the American Capital of Culture and the so-called White City ranks among the safest places in Mexico nowadays.

Hull, UK

WHY GO: Hull’s selection as UK City of Culture 2017 caught many by surprise, not least the people who live there. But this once prosperous port has a rich history of art, design and free thinking. It is said that Hull has got it all going in 2017 – from theatre to dance to music to film to art – you name it, they have got it. The arts and cultural programme for the year will celebrate the unique character of the city, its people, history and geography offering something distinctive and intriguing.

By: Pascal Matthews

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