New year, new holidays: 9 places to visit in 2019

Want to get 2019 off to a flying start? It’s time to book your next holiday. If you need some inspiration, take a look at the places we’re dying to visit this year. Then figure out how many breaks you can squeeze in over the next 12 months…

Once in a lifetime wine festival

Wine lovers won’t want to miss Fête des Vignerons in Vevey, Switzerland. 2019 marks the first time in 20 years the UNESCO-certified event has been held and it runs from 18 July to 11 August.

Panorama of Vevey, Switzerland
Panorama of Vevey, Switzerland

The majestic setting on the banks of Europe’s biggest lake almost matches the spectacle of the celebration. Don’t miss the enormous show that celebrates winegrowers and employs over 2,000 actors.

Get there: Fly to Geneva and enjoy the hour-long lakeside train journey to Vevey.

Cosmopolitan cool

Lively doesn’t even begin to describe Montreal. One of the continent’s cultural hubs, the Francophone city is home to hundreds of annual arts festivals. It’s also the birthplace of world-famous acts including Cirque du Soleil.

Montreal by night
Montreal by night

If you travel in the colder months, you’re in for a treat. Montreal knows does winter extremely well with plenty of places to get cosy, including unforgettable comfort food in sugar shacks. So why not book an early bird trip for winter 2019? Here are some suggestions for things to do in Montreal.

Get there: Fly direct from 8 August.

Modern culture in ancient city

Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited city plays host to the European Capital of Culture this year. Plovdiv in Bulgaria is an infinitely charming place, filled with colour and heritage. This is your chance to get to know this undiscovered gem before it gets inundated with tourists.

Roman theatre of Philippopolis in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Roman theatre of Philippopolis in Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Use the European Capital of Culture programme to explore the city – catch performances everywhere from the Ancient Roman theatre to hip bars to rickety 18th century houses.

Get there: Fly to Burgas and rent a car for the two and a half hour trip to Plovdiv.

Kick back on the island

Île de Ré, the beautiful island of the west coast of France near La Rochelle, is nothing short of idyllic. It’s the perfect palce for families, couples or solo travellers seeking sun, sand and relaxation.

Île de Ré, France
Île de Ré, France

Cycling and walking are the most popular modes of transport on the sun soaked island. After any exertion, treat yourself to a La Martinière ice cream or some boat-fresh oysters.

Get there: Fly to Nantes or Bordeaux and rent a car for the leisurely coastal drive to Île de Ré.

100 years of rethinking the world

First established 100 years ago, The Bauhaus brought together people from different backgrounds to “rethink the world”. And they did, influencing education, architecture, design and more in Germany and throughout the world.

Bauhaus architecture, Berlin
Bauhaus architecture, Berlin

To celebrate the centenary, there are events and exhibitions in Stuttgart, Berlin, Hamburg and lots of other places throughout Germany.

Get there: Fly from Ireland to a variety of airports around Germany.

Two holidays in one

Why visit one city when you can visit two? Minneapolis and its twin St Paul are separated by the Mississippi River. They share so much but still retain their individuality.

Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota
Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis is studded with skyscrapers and incredible galleries, including the unmissable Walker Art Centre. Meanwhile, St Paul has held on to its history and boasts beautiful Victorian buildings.

With the fabled Midwestern friendliness, jaw-dropping nature trails and a tantalising mix of old and new, we can’t wait to explore Minneapolis-St Paul in 2019.

Get there: Fly direct from 1 July.

The city behind the mask

The Venetian canals are on every travel lovers’ bucket list. The majesty of marble palaces lining the banks of the Grand Canal has to be seen to be believed.

View from gondola during the ride through the canals in Venice
View from gondola during the ride through the canals in Venice

See the Floating City at its most vibrant during the Venice Carnival. Taking place from 16 February until 5 March, this is your chance to get swept away by the magic of masquerade balls. Just don’t forget to pack your mask!

Get there: Fly direct to Venice.

Spoil yourself

With Roman roots and a hint of indulgence, Bath might be the best place in Britain for a mini break.

Roman Baths, Bath
Roman Baths, Bath

Take a closer look at the city’s most famous daughter in the Jane Austen Centre and treat your taste buds in a cosy gastropub. But no trip here is complete until you’ve gone to a natural geothermal bath like the Thermae Bath Spa.

Get there: Fly to Bristol and take the bus or train to nearby Bath.

Action-packed Gran Canaria

Dramatic mountainous landscapes and crystal clear seas make Gran Canaria a striking holiday destination. There is ample opportunity for thrill seekers to wear themselves out with outdoors activities, from scaling volcanic ranges to diving head-first into water sports.

Surfer carving on a wave in El Confital in Las Palmas in Gran Canaria

And there are countless ways to entertain children too, with family-friendly resorts and activities dotted throughout the island. If you haven’t explored this beautiful island off the coast of Western Sahara, 2019 is the year to do it.

Get there: Fly direct to Gran Canaria.