It may only be September, but some travel companies are already thinking ahead to the end of the year – with some lovely options for New Year’s getaways.
If you fancy ringing in 2019 on foreign shores, escorted tour experts Travel Department have put together packages to the Algarve, Italy and Tenerife.
Their New Year’s Getaway to the Algarve offers return flights from Dublin to Faro, seven nights’ accommodation half-board, and all transfers from €799 per person.
The itinerary includes a guided tour of Lagos with an afternoon visit to the town of Sagres, and a full day excursion to the Spanish city of Seville in Andalucia. Here, you’ll get to visit the Barrio de Santa Cruz, the Jewish Quarter, Maria Luisa Park and the Spanish Square.
There’s also a morning tour of the historic town of Silves, travelling through the Algarvian countryside on the way, and plenty of free time for relaxing and shopping.
New Year’s Eve will be spent at the hotel with dinner, entertainment and music to help the celebrations along.
If Italy is your thing, then the New Year in Lake Garda package offers seven nights’ half board in a four-star hotel in Milan from €929 per person, including return flights to Milan and all transfers (departing December 28).
The trip includes a full day guided excursion to Venice, visiting St Mark’s Square, the stunning Ca’d’Oro and the imposing marble Palazzo Ducale.
There is also a morning excursion to Bolzano in the provincial capital of the South Tyrol and a full day excursion to Verona to take in its famous sites, such as the amphitheatre and Juliet’s Balcony.
New Year in Tuscany, again seven nights at a four-star hotel, is from €1,069 per person including return flights (departing December 27) and transfers.
The schedule includes a full day guided walking tour of Florence, visiting the famous Duomo Piazza della Signoria, the political hub of the city, and Ponte Vecchio.
A morning guided tour of Siena also features, visiting the Piazza del Campo, home of the famous Palio horse race.
There is an afternoon tour of San Gimignano, a UNESCO world heritage site that is famously known as the ‘Town of Fine Towers’.
Again, New Year’s Eve will be celebrated with dinner and entertainment at the hotel and there are leisure days factored in for rest, sightseeing and shopping.
After this there’s a morning excursion to Pisa visiting the Piazza dei Miracoli, home to the Leaning Tower, followed by an afternoon visit to Lucca, the birthplace of Puccini.
New Year in Andalucia (seven nights from €949 per person staying in a four-star hotel on a half board basis) departs on December 28.
You will take in a morning guided excursion to Antequera, visiting the impressive ‘Dolmen de Menga’, one of Spain’s oldest monuments.
There is also a full day excursion to the UNESCO world heritage city of Cordoba, including a guided walking tour of the historic centre to see the wonderful Mezquita Cristo de la Lu and other treasures.
A full day guided excursion to Granada visiting Alhambra and the Generalife Gardens also features, along with a full day city tour of Seville, visiting San Telmo Palace, Golden Tower and the beautiful Plaza Espana.
A celebratory New Year’s Eve gala dinner at the hotel features a live orchestra and ballroom dancing.
You could try seven nights in Tenerife, departing December 27, available from €959 per person for full board at a four-star hotel.
The schedule includes a half day guided tour of Santa Cruz visiting the UNESCO world heritage site of La Laguna, and a morning excursion to the village of Icod de los Vinos, famous for the Canary Islands Dragon Tree, before continuing on to Playa de Las Americas.
There is also an afternoon excursion to visit the Basilica of Candelaria, to see the famous statue of the Black Madonna, and a morning trip to the volcanic Mount Teide National Park.
Ring in the New Year with a celebratory buffet dinner with music and entertainment.