New Year's Eve winter sun holidays

Say hello to Hogmanay – champagne in hand

Jules Pearson

Sophie Gackowski
HomeAway travel expert

AnguillaBy the time New Year's Eve rolls round, most of us are sick and tired of the cold. Well, we're are pretty sick and tired of the weather generally, whether it's storm clouds, grey clouds or rain clouds... but it's particularly gloomy come the month of December. It's a time of slush and snow, bad scarves and songs – especially those we only ever sing once a year (here's looking at you Auld Lang Syne).

So forget bubble wrapping your Georgian windows this winter (don't judge me – they were tough times), and instead stroll along the shore, toes in the sand, champagne in hand as the clock strikes 12. It beats watching Jools Holland hands-down. Sadly, you'll have to forget the French Riveria or Spain for a quick reprieve. The Med is, for the most part, cool – but the further you travel, the better it gets. 


Here comes the sun


New Year's Eve in Rajasthan, India	New Year's Eve in Rajasthan, India

What do you eat on New Year's Day? I'm guessing it's not curry, but it should be. Not to reduce this gargantuan country to clichéd cuisine, India's a country of amazing diversity – and the state of Rajasthan's always a good place to witness it. It contains some of the coolest cities in India, foremost of which is Jaipur. Though often crowded and noisy (beware of the rickshaws – seriously) it's worth bearing with the bustle to sample its culture away from the tourist trail. Grab a lassi and admire the five-storied Hawa Mahal, before people-watching from the inside – just observing 'Pink City' life is worth the trip. As for NYE, there'll be swish dinners and masquerade parties galore.

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New Year's Eve in Miami, Florida New Year's Eve in Miami, Florida

Travel across the pond this year to Miami, Florida, and it's unlikely we'll get you back; the sun-soaked, southeastern tip of the US is a pretty great spot at any time of year. Come New Year's Eve, however, and its nightclubs will be filled with rich and beautiful people; the rest of us gather for the free fireworks celebration near Ocean Drive and 8th Street... Once you've got over the hangover, you'll know what to do: South Beach; Latin food; expensive martinis and even more expensive yachts. Miami doesn't disappoint on the activity (or non-activity, as the case may be) front. As for specifics, head for the Everglades: it'll be just the breath of fresh air you need.

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New Year's Eve in Sydney, Australia New Year's Eve in Sydney, Australia

Sydney has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Sydney Opera House; Sydney Harbour Bridge; more famous restaurants, nightclubs and museums than you could shake a stick at. Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or simply jumping on a ferry, are actually both great ways to acclimatise youself – but they sure won't give you much in the way of what to do next. Our recommendation? Slap on the suncream and join the bronzed bodies of Bondi Beach. And, when that becomes a little too lazy, grab your gladrags (or T-shirt and jeans – whatever, this is Sydney!) and hop on a luxury catamaran to watch the New Year roll in. 

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New Year's Eve in Cairo, Egypt New Year's Eve in Cairo, Egypt

It's certainly going to be sunny come December, but temperatures won't be topping the 30s like they do in summer. It's a much nicer time to explore the city's main attractions, sit back with a sheesha and a nice glass of sweet tea. You'll want to see the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Sphinx of course, but then what? Well, the Museum of Antiquities will take up an entire day (or two), and you'll want to stroll around Islamic Cairo, transporting you back – not quite as far as Giza – to medieval Egypt. Then, at sunset, you could head up Mokattam Mountain: in a city with 7 million people, there aren't many places free from chaos, but at the top you'll find one of them.

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New Year's Eve in Barbados, the Caribbean New Year's Eve in Barbados, the Caribbean

Last on the list is that most famous of winter destinations, Barbados. It's the place to be for basking in the sun, swimming in the sea, relaxing under palm trees... y'know, just being a great big lump for a fortnight! Sure, there are other things to see and do in Barbados, but nothing comes close to spending your time on your tan. If you tire of all that peace and tranquillity, however, there are plantation homes and rum producers, and – if you're already on the east coast, and not the superstar-laden west – crazy waves to tackle on your board. Come New Year's Eve, stuff your face with flying fish and Bajan bread pudding, before making the most of that rum you bought.

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New Year's Eve Winter Sun

Villa AA RCH - Billa with a pool and ocean views.

Seldom can a more idyllic setting be found for a beach vacation. Serene yet spectacular, this privately owned villa shines in a breathtaking setting on the West Coast of Barbados. Gracious Royal Palms set in an "Eden" like tropical garden welco...

Villa AA OLD - Beachfront apt. with renovated kitchen.

AA OLD is set on one of Barbados' most magnificent West Coast beaches just south of the Sandy Lane Hotel. This spacious three bedroom, all ensuite, fully air-conditioned apartment, which enjoys magnificent sea views from the living, dining and mas...

Villa AA MON - Steps from Sandy Lane Beach coral stone villa.

Villa AA MON is located on the prestigious Sandy Lane Estate, a coralstone villa set in a tropical garden of exotic flowering plants. Only steps away from the Sandy Lane Beach, this two-storey luxury villa has private and direct access to the isla...

Villa AA BLF - Seps from Sandy Lane Beach.

Villa AA BLF in the highly desirable location - mere steps away from the legendary Sandy Lane Beach, Barbados - has been perfectly complemented by the careful expansion and refurbishment. Now significantly enlarged and exquisitely furnished throug...

Villa AA CAS - Heart shaped pool with townhouse.

Villa AA CAS in Sandy Lane, Barbados will be your home away from home. Enter a world of barefoot elegance, extreme comfort, excellent service and superb surroundings. Villa AA CAS will be an unforgettable experience. A Palladian-style architectur...

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