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New places to ring in the New Year!

New Year’s Eve is one of the calendar’s biggest events, celebrated with enthusiasm and ceremony the world over, from lavish fireworks displays over a city to a merry gathering of friends at home. Iconic destinations such as Edinburgh, New York, London, Paris and Sydney are typically flooded with locals and tourists alike, all looking to take in the atmosphere and anticipation of the clock striking midnight.

The great thing as well is that the party often doesn’t stop once the new year dawns, as many of the ensuing revelries will typically go on into the small hours.This is helped by some local authorities subsidising public transport, making it free to wend your way home after a glorious night of festivity and fun.

While these renowned hot spots all offer wonderful ways to celebrate the start of the next 365 days (well, 366 in 2016), the Flexicover Teams lists a number of alternative yet equally exciting destinations to celebrate the turning of the year.

Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

If you want the New Year to start with a truly dazzling display of fireworks, this island’s capital could be the perfect spot. The city’s display, which has in previous years been the world’s largest, lights up the sky for around ten minutes. You don’t really have to make any special plans here as there are festivities scattered across the city. Simply join a street party, eat at some of the many food stalls or dance the night away to live music! Alternatively, board a boat cruise to enjoy an unadulterated view of the fireworks from the water. And when in Madeira, do as the locals do, by following the tradition of wearing blue underwear (for good luck) and eating raisins at each stroke of the bell before midnight.

Kitzbühel, Austria

For a New Year’s celebration set amongst a winter wonderland, head to the famous ski resort of Kitzbühel in the Tyrolean Alps. On New Year’s Eve, Jochberg (10km south of Kitzbühel) plays host to a renowned party with torches, fireworks and live music a-plenty. Then it’s back to Kitzbühel on 1st January for the highlight event, the Rasmusleiten, which starts in the late afternoon and includes torchlit skiing, daring jumps over fire and even more music. Since admission is free and spectator numbers run into the tens of thousands, it’s best to bundle up and head out early to get the perfect viewing spot from which to watch all the action and catch the impressive fireworks too.

New Providence, The Bahamas

If welcoming in the New Year in the cold isn’t appealing, head for the warmer climes of the Caribbean for the sheer energy of these island celebrations. While most of the popular hotels organise their own parties, another fun option is to join in with local traditions. Follow Junkanoo parades through the streets and down to the beach. Like a Bahamian version of Mardi Gras, these involve masquerading performers, bright colourful costumes, loud music and vibrant dances set to rhythms beaten out on goatskin drums and cowbells. The biggest parties are in the capital but the whole archipelago blazes with colour and sound, making this all-night carnival the perfect way to see in the New Year.

Apia, Samoa

This Pacific nation is ideal at this time of year as it’s one of the first countries (along with Kiribati) to see the sun rise on a new year. However, amazingly, this wasn’t always the case – it used to be the last place to see the sun set on the last day of the year. But in 2011 Samoa redrew the International Date Line, jumped across to its western side and lost a whole day (30th December 2011) to kick 2012 off in unique style! Make the most of this head start on your celebrations by delving into Samoa’s tropical beauty. From swimming with turtles and snorkelling in crystal-clear waters to enjoying its stunning waterfalls and forests, take your New Year’s experience to a new level by being one with nature.

Key West, Florida, USA

Watching the ball drop in Times Square, New York, has become one of the symbols synonymous with seeing in the New Year. However, several places across the world have come up with their own version of this iconic moment. Key West, in particular, has the Red Shoe Drop on its renowned Duval Street, started in 1996. The ‘Drop’ involves famous local drag queen Sushi being lowered to the ground from atop one of the street’s bars inside a gigantic fibreglass red glitter high heeled shoe! Plus don’t miss the chance to watch the fireworks over Key West Harbour or you can chose to enjoy the party atmosphere on one of the many cruises on the waters around the Keys.

Wherever you’re heading to this year to spend 31st December, we at Flexicover are committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure that you are safe and secure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year when away.