While the holiday season is over and the January blues are upon us, the start of the New Year means it’s time to look ahead and plan one trip (or even several).
For the past two years, traveling abroad has been a bit hit and miss; the restrictions have constantly changed and many people have chosen a trip over a trip abroad – and we have some amazing places to visit right here in the UK.
But sometimes you have to go further to satisfy your travel urge or seek guaranteed sunshine.
Whether it’s a European cultural city break or a relaxing island vacation, there are plenty of destinations you can fly to from Manchester Airport.
READ MORE: 11 Quaint Cheshire Villages That Will Make You Want To Live There This Year
Take a look at these amazing towns and islands below for inspiration on your travels.
The second largest city in Portugal, Porto sits on the Douro River and strikes a balance between old and new architecture. And the beach is just a short walk away too, so it has everything you could possibly want.
The old town of Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is here that you will find buildings decorated with intricately painted tiles. Check out Libraria Lello, a beautiful art nouveau bookstore that is said to have inspired JK Rowling and is a popular destination with Harry Potter fans.
Of course, a visit to Porto wouldn’t be complete without getting a taste of its world-famous port, which you can try in one of the city’s many harbor houses.
For a slightly more adventurous city break, head to Toronto, one of Canada’s hippest places and a hotbed of arts and culture.
Definitely a place for foodies, Toronto is home to a huge range of restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world. The city hosts several food festivals throughout the year.
Iconic Niagara Falls are just over an hour away, so you can tick them off your bucket list while you’re at it.
Boasting awe-inspiring mountains, glaciers and geysers, Iceland is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, and it’s not that far from the UK.
The capital Reykjavik offers all the cool features you would expect from a Nordic city (think pastel-colored buildings, minimalist interiors, and independent boutiques) but with a few extras that give this city an original edge.
A must-see is the Hallgrimskirkja, a Brutalist-style church with a 60-meter-high bell tower that rises above the city. If architecture isn’t your cup of tea, you can still whale watch or spot the Northern Lights.
Boa Vista, Cape Verde
The Cape Verde Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the westernmost tip of Africa, are a hidden gem. They offer long, sandy beaches and laid-back living, without the long-haul flights of Caribbean vacations.
Boa Vista is the third largest island in the archipelago and its name means ‘beautiful view’ – and it truly lives up to it. Its beaches stretch endlessly, so there is no danger in fighting for sunbathing.
One of the island’s must-sees is the awe-inspiring Cabo Santa Maria shipwreck, and if you’re a fan of abandoned buildings, check out Curral Velho, an abandoned village on the island’s south coast.
Located in one of the largest ports in Europe, Hamburg is full of charm with canal walks, magnificent buildings and a vibrant nightlife.
During the day, stroll through the town’s harbor where you will find old warehouses reminiscent of the town’s commercial past, then visit the Elbphilharmonie, a contemporary concert hall with stunning views of the harbor.
Hamburg is also home to the delightful Miniatur Wunderland, the world’s largest miniature railway. When day turns to night, visit the infamous Reeperbahn, the heart of Hamburg’s club scene and where the Beatles have performed on several occasions.
Kefalonia, Greek island
Pristine white sand beaches and turquoise seas make Kefalonia a top destination if you are looking for a relaxing getaway.
This Greek island is dotted with idyllic coves, many of which are only accessible by foot or by boat, perfect if you want to escape the crowds. The crystal-clear waters are ideal for snorkelling or exploring the coast by kayak.
Pretty villages can be found all over the island, where you can sit, relax and taste local delicacies.
For the latest Manchester Evening News email updates, click here.