21 July 2014

Holiday hotspots for 2014

If you haven’t already planned a break this year, here are some holiday hotspots for 2014.


It probably won’t have escaped your notice that Brazil hosted the World Cup this year. The football may be over, but you can still soak up the atmosphere and check out the iconic sights of Rio de Janeiro, including the Christ the Redeemer statue, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Copacabana beach, or get off the beaten track with trips to the Amazon rainforest. Brazil also boasts the world’s best beach, Baia do Sancho, named by TripAdvisor as the number one for 2014.


Portugal has always been a favourite destination for Brits and, after a slight dip in popularity, holidaymakers are flocking there once again. If you’re on a budget it’s ideal because it’s cheaper than many other European countries. Lively cities, beautiful beaches and excellent food and drink are some of the reasons why we just can’t stay away. 

There are now direct flights to the main cities of Lisbon and Porto, while the Algarve remains the main draw for UK holidaymakers, although wine buffs might prefer to head for the vineyards of Alentejo.


This Italian island has breath-taking scenery and a warm climate, with temperatures peaking at around 30°C in July and August. It offers an enticing mix of Mediterranean influences, a wealth of historical and archaeological attractions and spectacular views of Mount Etna. Its hotels are much improved, and the island is easier to get around than it was previously, although watch out for aggressive Sicilian drivers.


Bali is the world’s best value holiday destination for 2014, according to a Post Office survey. The tropical Indonesian island offers a slice of paradise with its stunning beaches, fabulous diving, hidden temples and landscaped gardens, although some of the more populated areas can get rowdy. If you want something more peaceful, head to the neighbouring island of Lombok.


This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, and in 2014 the country has come a long way from its troubled past. Its many unspoilt natural wonders are a huge draw for travellers, offering something different to Kenya and Tanzania. It’s one of the best places in the world for spotting mountain gorillas, and the development of the Congo Nile walking and mountain-biking trail takes in the stunning Lake Kivu.


Until now, Mexico’s Pacific coast has remained relatively undiscovered by British tourists, but, thanks to expansion from tour operators, that’s all set to change this year. The town of Puerto Vallarta has wonderful beaches, and is surrounded by lush countryside and rivers where dolphins can be spotted. Adrenaline junkies can enjoy thrilling sporting activities in the Sierra Madre mountains.


If you’d prefer to stay in the UK, Scotland is the place to be this year. Not only is it hosting the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, it’s also celebrating the Year of Homecoming with a 12-month-long programme of events focusing on Scottish culture and tradition.

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