Have you decided where to spend New Year yet? How about seeing dawn break from a volcano or dancing the night away on a moonlit beach? Holiday Lettings gets you a ticket to the best parties in town, from Berlin to Maui.
5 - London, UK
Float down the Thames on a dinner cruise for spectacular views of London’s New Year festivities. There are 100,000 partygoers and 10,000 performers lining the river for you to watch. You’ll spot stunning fireworks illuminating the London Eye and hear the midnight countdown as Big Ben heralds in the New Year. Will you be able to resist joining in the mass rendition of “Auld Lang Syne”?
See the Thames from a different perspective the next day with a stroll from Tower Bridge to Westminster, stopping off at the imposing HMS Belfast warship, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and the inspiring Tate Modern gallery. The city’s January sales make this the perfect time to bargain-hunt on bustling Oxford Street or window-shop on chic Bond Street.
4 - Maui, USA
Is there a better place to see in the New Year than a beautiful tropical beach or a traditional luau banquet? Or you could forget feasts and fireworks and join the locals around the crater of Haleakala volcano to witness the rise of the new year sun from above the clouds.
Head back down the mountain to soak up the sun and chill out. Alternatively, you could try your hand at favourite local sports like surfing or stand up paddling. It’s also the perfect time of year to spot majestic whales migrating through the Hawaiian Islands, so it’s well worth getting out on the water.
3 - Berlin, Germany
For a flipping fantastic start to your New Year celebrations, you could attend Berlin’s yearly pancake race, Berliner Silvesterlauf. Don your best fancy dress costume and set off from the trendy Grunewald district, tossing pancakes as you run. You can celebrate completing the run that night at the city’s biggest party and admire fireworks exploding over the iconic Brandenburg Gate.
Next day, why not head to buzzing Potsdamer Platz and glide around its 40m-long ice rink? For the panoramic city vistas, you could make your way to Norman Foster’s dramatic dome at the Reichstag parliament building. There are also stretches of the Berlin Wall that you can walk along - the East Side Gallery section conserves 105 murals painted as the Wall fell.
2 - Goa, India
Imagine feeling the sand between your toes as you dance on an exotic star-lit beach. You admire the glitter of a vibrant sari whirling around and gaze up at twinkling fairy lights strung from gently swaying palm trees. Yep, you’re spending New Year’s Eve in Goa!
Fancy drifting back to the golden beach on New Year’s Day? After all, it’s an excellent place to recover from coconut cocktails the night before. Alternatively you could get a strong sense of the region’s Portuguese colonial heritage at the Basilica Bom Jesus in Old Goa or its hippy past at the mellow fishing village of Arambol.
1 - Cape Town, South Africa
See the sun set on 2014 and welcome in 2015 from the top of one of the world’s most beautiful landmarks. You can picnic and party atop Table Mountain: its stunning birds-eye views of the Victoria and Albert Waterfront fireworks will make the night go with a bang.
If you want to party on, join in the fun of the raucous Cape Town Minstrel Carnival parade on New Year’s Day. Just feel the beat and follow 10,000 revellers dressed as minstrels and parading through the streets. When you feel tired, make the most of the balmy weather and head to a nearby beach for a little R&R.