First Class Destinations for 2015

Published 28 November 2016

Round the World Experts blogger Helen Winter

Helen Winter

The old year is out, and the new year is in. Ahead lays a whole 365 days of adventure, experience, and a restock of leave allowance just waiting to be used up.

If you know you want to do something memorable in 2015 then take some inspiration, ideas and notes from our ultimate destinations for 2015. Explore Asia, the Indian Ocean and the USA in time for one-time annual events.

Beach and palm trees in Mauritius

See the solar eclipse in Mauritius

The Island of Mauritius is a magical location all year round, but there is a particular reason why you’ll want to exchange polluted cities for clear island skies in 2015.

On the 4th April the rare phenomenon of the solar eclipse will be visible from the Indian Ocean. The sight to behold is the natural occurrence when the moon passes in between the sun and the earth, creating a moment of eerie darkness.  Where better to witness this remarkable event than on the soft white sands of a tropical Island, with clear blue skies promising a glimpse of this humbling experience.

This exotic island isn’t only for witnessing galactic happenings though; there are plenty of other activities to keep you preoccupied whilst you wait – if you can resist from spending the entire holiday relaxing on the beach that is. Blue Bay is one of the top tourist hot spots. This underdeveloped patch is where you can make the most of the incredible paradise scenery, and flourishing landscape, as well as going snorkelling amongst coral reefs and tropical fish. In the capital, Port Louis, you can visit the World Heritage site, Aapravasi Ghat. Used in the 19th century as a landing point for labourers from India, this magnificent historic ruin can be explored on foot.

Boardwalk along harbour in Singapore

Celebrate 50 years of independence in Singapore

Singapore is a country that doesn’t do things by half, and in 2015 the city is going to be livelier than ever. Celebrating its 50th year of independence, the streets of Singapore will be filled with parties of joyful locals, venues will be holding special events to mark Singapore’s historic achievement, and there’s bound to be a marvellous firework display.

When the parties won’t be spilling out into the streets, this magnificent city still deserves to be explored. You can swim in one of the best pools in the world, visit glorious Buddhist temples, or take the kids to the renowned Singapore Zoo. Singapore will also be hosting the Southeast Asia Games from the 5th to 16th to June, so if there was ever a year to visit this fascinating country, then 2015 is it.

Old car and bus driving along a historic street in Cuba

Visit Cuba before everyone else

The opening up of US relations means that Cuba could soon be in for a bombardment of tourists who previously may have struggled to visit the country. Visit before the crowds and see Cuba in all its preserved glory by visiting in 2015.

Walk along the stunning yet quiet Playa Paraiso beach before hotel complexes and families mark their spot. The white sands and blue sea is a postcard of a Caribbean coast line. Snorkel in the clear waters and sip on a midday serving of rum in the shade of a palm tree. To get a feel for the colonial footprint left over from the 16th century, explore the historic Old Havana. Filled with darkening European buildings and the traditional classic Cuban cars; you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a time machine.

Neon lights lining a street in Memphis, USA

Celebrate Elvis'80th birthday in Memphis, USA

All Elvis fans should be to clearing their calendar and pencilling in a trip to Memphis to celebrate Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday.  You’ll have to get in quick though as the celebrations commence from the 7-10th January.

Over the four days, Memphis will be filled with the buzz of music, homages, and tribute events to celebrate the legend himself. Memphis is already full of proud Elvis fans who share the same roads and streets as the music idol, but this time of year expect a pilgrimage of Presley enthusiasts from all over the globe.

If you’re a music fan and you can’t get to Memphis for January then don’t worry. In the spring, celebrations will begin again to commemorate the opening of the Memphis Music Hall of fame.  A historic hub for country music, the hall of fame will acknowledge legends such as Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis and many more. Although, you’ll have to wait and see who actually makes it on to the wall.

Take the train to Kanazawa, Japan

Kanazawa Castle surrounded by snow in Japan

A tour of Japan from Tokyo to Kanazawa is going to be easier than ever in 2015. A new bullet train is planning to open in March allowing for super speedy travel between Tokyo and Japan.

Tokyo is an incredible city alone, with looming sky scrapers, shoulder bumping crowds and somewhat bizarre inventions. But, if you can only take the quirkiness of Tokyo in small doses, you’ll soon be able to hop on a train and visit the traditional city of Kanazawa – all in one trip.

This city has fallen under the tourist radar and the beauty of its remote location is unmissable. Walking around Kanazawa, you can experience the mix of old and new, and see evidence of the lives of Samurais, merchants, geishas and lord, who once roamed this city in past centuries.   The Kenroku-en Japanese Garden is one of the most famous spots, taking a place in Japan’s Top 3 Gardens. Filled with beautiful ponds, plants, and moss covered statues, this really is a stunning location. To discover more of Japan’s history, the Kanazawa Castle Park should be on the travel itinerary. This now restored castle was founded in 1583, and re-constructed in 1592 after an invasion from Korea. Unfortunately, this seemingly cursed castle faced further destruction from an earthquake and destroyed again by a fire in 1881. The remains of the rebuilt castle can be found adjacent to the Kenroku-en Garden.


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