If you haven’t already made your New Year’s Eve plans this year, it’s time to start, especially if you’re considering an international destination. Whether you desire a romantic, adventurous, or wild night life on New Year’s Eve, here are three great choices.
Romantic New Year’s Even in an Irish Castle
How about a fairy-tale New Year’s Eve spent in a beautiful Irish castle? One of my favorite vacation stays was in this spectacular Castle Hotel in Clifden, County Galway, on the west coast of Ireland. Do you remember the scene in the film “The Holiday” when Kate Winslet’s character sees Amanda’s Hollywood mansion? She runs through the house like a kid in a candy store, shouting, “Wow!” That’s exactly how I felt at the Abbeyglenn Castle Hotel.
Their rooms are luxurious, romantic, and you’ll feel transported back in time to the medieval days, yet feel treated like a royal at the same time. Many of the rooms are furnished with four poster beds, all of the usual amenities and then some, spectacular views, and even a fireplace.
The castle is located on Sky Road, overlooking the village of Clifden, with views of Galway bay, and nestled in an Irish mountain range, the Twelve Bens. The castle is known for its unforgettable New Year’s Eve celebrations, and includes a Champagne Reception and Candlelight Gourmet Dinner. Heading into 2012, you can dance the night away to “Big Show Band Sound.” During the day, you can participate in a treasure hunt in the surrounding scenic landscape.
Clifden is only a 20 minute drive from the picturesque Connemara National Park, one of the most magnificent areas in Ireland. You’ll also find wild Connemara ponies in the region, and in town there are museums, theaters, art galleries, antique shops, and much more. You’ll even find the famed folk musician, Malachy Bodhrán, working at his craft of making Ireland’s oldest product the Bodhrán.
Adventurous New Year’s Eve in Lapland
For those who love adventure, how about a New Year’s Eve in a winter wonderland underneath a natural light show in the night’s sky. The Silent Way offers a “Happy New Year Adventure,” in which you experience this and much more.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a dinner in Umnäs village, a Swedish village with just 40 inhabitants that sits at the foot of a picturesque mountain range in a stunning location in southern Lapland. Adventurers will be trained as dog sled mushers, where during the day you’ll glide through peaceful forests surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery, and by night you’ll be rewarded with the wondrous Northern Lights as you sit by a crackling fire.
Wild New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh
There’s always Paris, Rio and Bankok, but how about Edinburgh, Scotland? Edinburgh is not just one of the best cities in the world, it’s home to the world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, one of the biggest New Year’s Eve parties on the planet.
The celebration started in ancient times, and today, hundreds of thousands of people come for the spectacular New Year’s Eve event from all corners of the world. Here in this great capital city, you can take a ride on the Edinburgh Wheel an experience an exhilarating view of the city on this majestic wheel that towers over Princes Street and the Gardens, giving you the best possible view of the celebrations.
Dance the night away in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle to bands that come from across the world, and at midnight you’ll be rewarded with one of the best fireworks displays you’ll ever experience.
What are you waiting for, book those airline tickets now and get ready for one of the best nights of your life!
K.C. Dermody is a freelance writer and a Featured Contributor for Yahoo!Travel. She has traveled to nearly all 50 states, and many countries worldwide, and has a passion for imparting what she has learned from her experiences to others.
More from this contributor:
Three of the Best European Winter Wonderland Destinations
Ireland Side Trips: An Overnight Adventure to Inishmore in the Aran Islands
Three of the Best International Destinations for Winter Sun