Another New Year’s Eve sitting by the fire with the cat and a glass of bubbly? I don’t think so! Dotted around Europe are some of the most colourful New Year’s Eve celebrations to be found – whether you prefer putting on the ritz in a luxury hotel or watching fireworks from the street. Here are five of our favourite places, but let us know if you have more to add! Happy New Year HolidayHypers – stay safe and be merry!
Dancing at the Verdiales Music Festival in Spain
Enjoying New Year in Spain can be as simple as feasting until midnight and donning a bright costume to greet the New Year with countless other revellers in the streets. But if you’re in the mood for something a bit different, venture into the hills behind Málaga in Andalusia where the Verdiales Festival takes place. It attracts groups of musicians from all over this olive-growing region who perform folk dances and songs in different styles. The intricate flowered hats and colourful ribbons – combined with the general air of bonhomie – are a great way to see in the New Year.
Find out more about the Verdiales flamenco festival near Málaga.
Tapping into ancient traditions in Turkey
Turkey has a long tradition of extravagant celebration, which stretches back to the Ottoman Era, when according to the Imperial Festival Book, the sultans hosted opulent feasts loaded with roast oxen, tents of tulips and small armies of tortoises that roamed the imperial gardens with candles fixed to their shells! It’s a little different nowadays, but one tradition is to book tickets to live local and international music performances scheduled for New Year’s Eve.
Find out how to book live music over New Year in Turkey.
Join the New Year carnival in Santa Cruz
If you enjoy a bit of a party, you can’t go wrong in one of the traditional towns in the Canaries, whose inhabitants really understand how to host a South American-inspired Spanish carnival. Free-flowing cava, open air dancing, funfairs, churros and dressing up to the nines are what it’s all about. There’s plenty of choice between the al fresco street parties, cosy bars and clubs, but if you’re up for it, some of the best fun is to be found in the open air among the live bands, fireworks and fiestas.
Find out more about festivals in Tenerife.
Soak up some culture in Guimarães
In 2012, revellers gathered at the Largo da Oliveira Square to see videos projected onto the facades of the buildings. Named the European Capital of Culture for 2012, Guimarães has quickly gained a reputation as the place to visit owing to its beautiful medieval centre, unique gastronomy and lively arts scene. There really is a lot to see and do in the city, but I have hunch that the town square is the place to be if you’re in Guimarães for New Year.
Find out more about visiting Guimarães, Portugal.
New Year’s kisses in Milan
A quieter spot from which to enjoy the New Year, the banks of Naviglio Grande canal in Milan provide a romantic setting for couples to have a drink or snack and enjoy the count down to midnight. Lit up artificially, the Ticino River sparkles under the moonlight and reflects the midnight fireworks that are set off from the city’s many elegant piazze. Of course, there’s plenty of live music, dancing and celebration elsewhere in Milan, and it wouldn’t be Italy if there weren’t plenty of feasts! Enjoy traditional lentil (for good fortune) and cotechino or spiced sausage suppers washed down with mouth-watering Italian red wine.
Find out more about celebrating New Year in Italy.