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Five dream destinations to see in 2018

Celebrating the 12 chimes of midnight is all well and good, but doing it on the beach on a balmy day or watching a stunning natural phenomenon at below zero – or even bringing in a new tradition and throwing out the old – is the way to go. These plans will convince you.

  1. 1 The Canary Islands, just a stone’s throw away

    With an average temperature above 20°C during the winter, this archipelago is an up-and-coming desirable destination on which to spend New Year’s Eve. The most popular spot is Gran Canaria and its Las Canteras beach. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy dinner right on the sands (careful, though, as many restaurants are closed), with fireworks and, for the more daring, the first swim of the year.

     

    The Canary Islands, just a stone’s throw away
    Las Canteras beach. Getty Images
  2. 2 In the heat of Rio de Janeiro

    Another, and different, way to welcome in the New Year by the sea, is the Rio réveillon, the name the Brazilians give to New Year’s Eve. The event takes place on the beach and features some very special traditions, including wearing white (a true visual spectacle as thousands of people gather wearing the same colour), throwing flowers and fruit into the sea to invoke the goddess Iemanjá and jumping seven waves to bring good luck.

     

    In the heat of Rio de Janeiro
    Getty Images
  3. 3 Aurora Borealis inside the polar circle

    The Northern Lights are, without a doubt, one of the most striking natural phenomena known to humankind. Commonly seen in many Nordic countries, they’re especially concentrated in Finland’s Lapland. The increased hours of darkness during the winter months make this time of year perfect for enjoying them. Here’s a tip: the best time to view them is between 11 and 12 at night. You can even stay in an igloo hotel (albeit one made of glass).

     

    Aurora Borealis inside the polar circle
    Getty Images
  4. 4 Fireworks by Argentina’s Río de la Plata

    Besides the usual New Year fireworks, Argentina‘s capital, Buenos Aires, offers the additional attraction of fine summer weather. Fun fact: it’s very hip to wear pink underwear, which is commonly given as a gift on 24 December. If you welcome in the New Year near the beach, you can debut yours when you take a dip in the sea.

     

    Fireworks by Argentina’s Río de la Plata
    Buenos Aires. Adobe Stock
  5. 5 Double the celebrations in China

    Although the Chinese calendar is governed by other rules (the Chinese New Year usually takes place between January and February), the large cities celebrate New Year’s Eve in style and with tourists in mind. There are endless plans in Shanghai and Hong Kong: you can enjoy dinner and a party on the beach and some impressive fireworks in the harbour. In addition, given that these cities celebrate their New Years in late January, there’s the perfect excuse to extend your stay.

     

    Double the celebrations in China
    Shanghái. Getty Images