Skiing in the French Pyrenees
What better way to welcome in the New Year than with a few days of skiing, snowboarding and all kinds of other winter sports at Piau Engaly on the north face of the French Pyrenees close to the Spanish border? With guaranteed snow, 65 kilometres of piste and slopes of differing difficulties, the resort offers the perfect playground to try out new skills as well as a full range of off-piste activities. Stay either in the modern resort itself, or at Saint Lary Soulan just a short drive down the valley.
Sailing off the coast of Norway
The winter holiday season is a perfect time to sail the chill waters of the Arctic Ocean, and the cruise company Hurtigruten has arranged a special New Year trip aboard one of their newest vessels, the MS Trollfjord. Departing from Bergen on December 27th, the ship will sail north along the beautiful coastline of Norway to arrive at Tromso – the Paris of the North - in time for an extra special New Year's dinner celebration. The fun doesn't stop there, though, as it's a twelve day voyage which includes crossing the Arctic Circle, discovering the legends of the north, a snowmobile safari, sightseeing and dog-sledding.
In style in the Czech Republic
The customs and traditions of the Czech Republic are waiting to be discovered, and the Grandhotel Pupp, in the spa town of Karlovy Vary, offers a wonderful base from which to explore some of the prettiest markets in Europe, view the fascinating nativity scenes or simply indulge in the luxury of the spa facilities - and of course, enjoy the New Year gala with music, gourmet dining and fireworks.
Get away from it all in China
If you're one of those who prefers to get away from all the festive fanfare, you could do a lot worse than opt for China, a country where Santa has barely established a foothold. The country offers ancient cultural treasures from the Great Wall to the Shaolin temples, the Forbidden City and the Terracotta Army and spectacular natural scenery of mountains, lakes and waterfalls. Later on there will be the traditional celebration of the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Rabbit begins on February 3rd, 2011.
The glamour of Biarritz
Maybe you fancy an exclusive New Year celebration, dressed in your best for an exquisite dinner with fine caviare and oysters on the menu, with classical music and fireworks to brighten the departure of 2010. If that's the case, there are few places to beat the Hotel du Palais in Biarritz. A double room with breakfast, costs from 470 €, the New Year's Eve dinner dance is 550 € per person and to firmly set the sparkle on 2011, there's a New Year's Day brunch for 195 €, which includes 'free-flowing champagne'.
Magnificence and meditation in Cambodia
If Asian exoticism is more in our line, you may want to try the alluring suggestions of the Hotel La Residence d'Angkor in Cambodia, near the majestic temple of Angkor Wat. In addition to an exquisite dinner with live entertainment, you can discover the picturesque rural life of the country and even participate in meditation sessions with local monks.
Family-style in the Algarve
Of course the New Year is also a time for celebrating with the family, a fact which Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel at Sagres has well under control. Here you'll find an ice-skating rink, a cinema with classic Christmas and Disney movies, Christmas trees for every family, craft workshops, surprise visits from Santa Claus, magic shows, puppets, concerts, casino and gourmet dining with live music.
Fantastic fireworks in Madeira
Madeira will be seeing the old year out with an explosion of sound and light. Since 2006 when the New Year pyrotechnics earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records, each year more and more people attend the firework show and each year there's an attempt to out do the previous year's spectacle.
A choice of cultures at La Mamounia
The legendary Moroccan pleasure palace, La Mamounia offers a magical ending to 2010. Each of the hotel's fine restaurants will be serving up a brilliant selection of special dishes – Italian, Moroccan and French haute cuisine – which would be a treat in itself, but which, combined with the musical performance The Best of Broadway, and dancing into the small hours guarantees an unforgettable evening.
The height of luxury in Bangkok
And to end our selection of 'top' destinations for the festive season, we've chosen the Sirocco restaurant perched up on the 63rd floor of the the Dome at Lebua in Bangkok. Offering an unequalled panoramic view of the city, the open air restaurant and Sky Bar have undeniable wow factor at any time, and are the height of cool to see in 2011.
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