As the dawn of a New Year beckons, we take a look at some of the best places in the world to see in the 1st of January. For those preferring to escape the festivities altogether, head for splendid isolation away from the crowds. For party animals and culture vultures, then take your pick from some buzzing, cosmopolitan cities. The destination specialists at Red Savannah have selected their recommendations for a truly memorable New Year’s Eve.
Arctic – An Adventure in Svalbard
Head to the Norwegian governed Svalbard Archipelago for a six-day journey traversing the Arctic landscape by snowmobile and dog sled. Accommodation is a quirky combination of a Dutch schooner frozen into the ice, an abandoned communications station and the rustic Trappers Hotel. Keep your eyes peeled for Svalbard reindeer as you swoosh across the snow; you may even catch a glimpse of a polar bear against the glistening glacial landscape. The icing on the arctic roll of this epic adventure would be a very special light show on New Year’s Eve courtesy of Aurora, which is sometimes possible at this time of year – be sure to cross your mitten-clad fingers.
Oman – A Sand Dune to Yourself
Long gone are the days of Wilfred Thesiger’s Oman with tales of swashbuckling adventures crossing the Empty Quarter by camel. What has not gone is the extraordinarily beautiful scenery and perfect climate during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter. Stunningly beautiful mountains punctuated with deep, cavernous ravines covered in juniper, wild olive and figs trees, apricot orchards and rose terraces. Miles of sandy beaches, verdant oases with clear freshwater pools, historic forts still rise majestically from the shimmering desert, stunning Islamic architecture, lively markets and of course, the Omanis themselves, the most hospitable and charming people in the Middle East.
Stay at the Salalah Rotana Resort on the coast to enjoy a bit of winter sun and then head out to the Empty Quarter (the world’s largest sand desert) on a private overnight camping trip to see in the New Year. Sit atop a serenely silent sand dune as the clock chimes midnight and enjoy rare solitude as people ring in the New Year all around the world.
Rio de Janeiro – Fireworks on the Beach
Rather than wrapping up warm to avoid the biting cold weather in the UK this New Year’s Eve, head to Rio where daytime temperatures average the mid-twenties. At midnight a few million revellers hit Copacabana Beach for its world renowned fireworks display and electric atmosphere. Unsurprisingly the beach will be heaving so Red Savannah’s Brazil specialist recommends splashing out on an ocean-facing hotel to enjoy uninterrupted views of the multi-coloured pyrotechnic show. The close-by Hotel Fasano in Ipanema is an ideal base with its roof top deck offering the perfect vantage point.
Cape Town – Heavenly Food & Frolicking
With its reputation for gastronomic excellence, world class vineyards and its cosmopolitan waterfront, Cape Town is a great all year round destination. However throw in the warm climate of the southern hemisphere and a great party atmosphere and you have some sure-fire ingredients for a memorable New Year. Red Savannah’s South Africa expert suggests staying at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa located just 15 minutes from the city and enjoying a stunning coastal position. On New Year’s Eve you can join in the hotel’s festivities. Recharge the batteries the following morning with a breezy stroll on the mountainside before heading for the city itself for the Minstrel Carnival. This colourful and musical street party, known as Tweede Nuwe Jaar (second new year) dates back nearly 200 years and marks the one day a year that slaves were historically allowed off. Just be warned you may very well need another holiday to recover…
Our Destination Specialists can assist you in arranging inspirational and experiential tailor-made holidays around the world, all year round – you can contact us on +44 (0) 1242 787800.