If you are thinking about your holidays for 2016 and want to know when the best times to visit particular places are, have a look at some fantastic destinations we have selected and a little about the areas.
If you have HotelVoucherShop vouchers to use, you can find hotels in all of the various locations.
January – Swiss Alps
The Swiss Alps are a perfect destination for a break in January as the ski slopes tend to be a little quieter as most children are back at school and before the next school break in February.
The ski slopes are some of the best in Europe and there are many resorts to choose from. St Moritz is one of the largest resorts with 88 pistes and is very popular. Davos is a similarly busy resort with great opportunities for snowboarders. For a quiet resort Wengen in the Bernese Oberland is a good choice, whist still offering challenging ski runs.
After a hard day of skiing, enjoy après ski at mountain side taverns whilst sampling local cuisine such as bratwurst. Let the evening take its course at one of the resorts nightclubs/bars.
If you don’t fancy spending your whole trip skiing you can take a day trip to the capital Geneva or Lausanne. In Geneva you are able to take a boat trip on Lake Geneva to take in the views of the snow-capped mountains.
February – Marrakech
Catch a winter tan while enjoying a city break in Marrakech. It tends to be a little quieter on the tourist front in February.
Within the dusky pink walls of ‘Medina’, the old city, you can find many fashionable boutique shops enough to keep the shopaholic in you busy for days.
If shopping isn’t your thing, you will still be amazed by the vast amount of colour and vibrancy that the souks have to offer you.
Take a visit to The Majorelle Gardens, one of Morocco’s most visited locations. It took over 40 years for the two and a half acres of garden to be created by Jacques Majorelle. The gardens are where Yves St Laurent’s ashes were scattered which means that many fashionista’s make a visit to pay their respects.
March – Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands are a perfect location for some early summer sunshine. Its long white sandy beaches, turquoise water and exquisite coral reefs mean it is an extremely popular destination for divers.
Three islands make up the Cayman Islands; Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. These islands are only five miles apart so you are able to take trips to visit them if you wanted to.
The islands have a relatively slow pace so they are a perfect destination if you are looking to de-stress.
There are many different activities you can undertake, other than diving, whilst on a visit to the Cayman Islands including caving, horseback riding and kayaking.
Whilst visiting the Cayman Islands you must experience alfresco dining under the stars. If you fancy dancing the night away, enjoy jazz, folk, rock & roll, reggae and calypso music at one of the many bars where rum is a speciality!
April – Tokyo
A visit to Tokyo in April means that you will be there for its beautiful cherry blossom, aka sakura, season. At this time of year regular hanami parties are held in parks to celebrate the arrival of the cherry blossom.
Japanese culture is a fusion of old and new, fashionable and traditional in almost every aspect. You could walk down one road and see a restaurant where you are served by robots and turn a corner to find a traditional Japanese eatery.
Similar to New York, you will find the neon lights of Shinjuku and Shibuya a constant source of amazement. It competes with New York on many other levels including its nightlife.
When in Japan you should aim to watch a live Sumo Wrestling match, visit the Imperial Palace. Alternatively you could visit the Asakusa District, the old downtown area of Tokyo. It has been described as the Japanese version of London’s Soho/Leicester Square. To get here, you have to take a river cruise up the Sumida River.
May – Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands boast a magical landscape of rivers, lochs, craggy peaks and isolated beaches. It is the place to go for fishing, walking, relaxing and switching off. Tucked away in these remote parts are some of Britain’s finest hideaways offering stunning scenery, gourmet meals and plenty of peace and quiet.
There are many spectacular castles and wildlife parks to visit whilst in the Highlands. If you fancy getting active, take a visit to Loch Morlich and Loch Insh where you can partake in water sports including windsurfing, sailing and kayaking. Alternatively, if you don’t fancy getting wet you can take part in a mountain biking tour or hill walking.
May is the perfect time to go to the Highlands as it is just before a serious influx of midges, which can be a huge pain and make your visit slightly less enjoyable.
June – St Petersburg
If you want warm days and long summer evenings, June is the perfect time to visit St Petersburg. An 18th century city of ancient grandeur, St Petersburg is slowly reviving from the Communist era. The buildings have colourful Baroque facades, and are slightly more western than the domes in Moscow.
There are many different places to visit in St Petersburg, particularly if you are interested in the history of the area.
A must go to is Winter Palace – the official residence of the Russian monarchy from 1732-1917. Similarly, if you are fond of art, you must visit State Hermitage, part of Winter Palace. Here you will find the art collection on three floors of Winter Palace and the main two floors of the Little and Large Hermitages.
Take a stroll around the beautiful Summer Gardens located on an island between the Moika and Fontanka rivers. In June the park is open 8am-10pm.
When in Russia, it should almost be compulsory to watch a ballet performance, and in St Petersburg you can catch performances at Mikhailovsky Theatre.
July – Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island, off Canada’s Pacific Coast, is known for its mild climate and thriving arts community. On its southern tip is Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, and its boat-lined Inner Harbour, neo-baroque Parliament Buildings, grand Fairmont Empress Hotel and English-style gardens. With abundant parkland, the island is a destination for hiking, biking, and camping. Its rugged west coast is popular for surfing.
Vancouver Island has something to offer all types of people. If you are an outdoor person you could not find a better location. Backpack through wilderness parks, go whale watching, hike up distant snow-capped mountains or just appreciate them from below on a sandy beach.
If none of that takes your fancy or you have completed the above, there are plenty of small towns and harbours to peruse.
August – Amsterdam
August is a perfect time to visit Amsterdam as you can happily stroll the cobbled streets and winding canals for hours on lovely summer evenings. Less so a place for stag dos, Amsterdam has become a hive for romantic weekends and back packers.
Many art galleries, boutique hotels and trendy cafes have opened and attract visitors from all over. There is also the infamous Red Light District which makes for an interesting stroll.
A must go to in Amsterdam is the Anne Frank House. It is advisable to pre-purchase your ticket otherwise you face long queues to get in. Close by is the Van Gogh Museum if you are interested in art.
For a relaxing afternoon a visit to Vondelpark is in order. It is the largest city park in Amsterdam. Often free concerts are held at the open-air theatre or in the park’s bandstand. There is a popular restaurant in the Pavilion that opens in the summer months.
September – Barcelona
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is defined by quirky art and architecture, imaginative food and vibrant street life. It has medieval roots, seen in the mazelike Gothic Quarter, but a modernist personality represented by architect Antoni Gaudí’s fantastical Sagrada Família church.
Barcelona’s barrios boasts some of the most inventive cuisine in the world. Go here to drink wine in lively bars, savour the taste of Spain in traditional tapas restaurants, and soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant and cosmopolitan Catalan city.
It is recommended that to take in the views that the city has to offer, that you take the cable-car ride, or teleférico, from San Sebastiá up to Miramar.
October – New England
As the weather starts to turn, New England is the perfect destination to go. Famously many New Yorker’s travel to New England in autumn (or fall as they like to say) to look at the leaves changing colour on the trees (or leaf-peeping).
Vermont is a popular destination to travel to mainly because it is quite close to New York. It is also a famous producer of maple syrup thanks to the large amount of maple trees that people flock to visit.
Many people visiting New England travel into New York to spend a few days before spending a few days in New England. Autumn is the perfect time to sample the locally grown organic produce in New England, mainly consisting of pumpkins and marrows.
November – Cape Town
If November is getting you down, escape to Cape Town for a bit sun. Famous for its surfing beaches and vineyards along the coast. There are many stylish and affordable hotels in the city, as well as villas and town houses to rent if you want to.
There are countless historical buildings, museums, shopping centres, restaurants, jazz cafes, theatres and nightclubs to enjoy when in Cape Town.
Choose from numerous sandy beaches to top up your tan or take a dip and surf. Walk along a two-mile promenade at Sea Point among rocky beaches and seawater pools.
Enjoy a jazz brunch at Winchest Mansions and eat breakfast whilst listening to fantastic live musicians if you fancy doing something a little different to your usual bowl of cereal. Prices for this start at R295pp (roughly £14pp).
December – Sydney
December is summertime in Australia so it is the perfect place to visit if you want to get away from the cold winter nights in Britain and soak up the rays or have Christmas on the beach.
Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities. It is best known for its harbour front Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design. Massive Darling Harbour and Circular Quay are hubs of waterside life, with the towering, arched Harbour Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Gardens nearby.
Sydney Tower’s 268m glass viewing platform, the Skywalk, offers 360-degree views of the city, harbour and suburbs.
If you are able to stay over New Year’s Eve, Sydney doesn’t half know how to put on a fireworks display! Over 1.6 million revellers flock to watch the fireworks live, with many making a day of it and bring their own sofas and picnics to ensure that they have a comfortable, fun filled day and night.
If you are feeling brave whilst in Sydney, you can climb across the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a truly memorable experience.