Whether you want to escape the chilly British weather, or embrace the season with a frosty festive break, winter can be a great time to leave the (often) dreary UK behind. And thanks to a number of airline carriers introducing new routes just for winter 2018, there’s a mixture of exciting off-the-beaten-track destinations and popular tourist hotspots to choose from.
Here’s the Flexicover team’s roundup of its favourite new routes launching at UK airports this winter.
London Luton to Eilat, Israel From 26 October, Wizz Air will offer direct flights from London Luton to Eilat, Israel’s most southern city. This resort town is located on the Red Sea, known for its beautifully calm waters where you can often spot playful dolphins. The weather is great, with November highs averaging 28C, dropping to the early 20s in December and January. Visit the spectacular Timna Valley desert park, where you can go biking and camping, or make the most of the ocean life at Coral World Underwater Observatory or Eilat’s Coral Beach, a marine reserve famous for its beautiful coral reef.
London Gatwick to Tampa, USA Fly west for guaranteed winter sun with a side of carefree Floridian charm, with Norwegian Airlines’ new route from London Gatwick to Tampa. The twice-weekly flight will run from 31 October, offering Brits the chance to sample the stunning beaches and thrilling theme parks of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Perfect for family holidays, Tampa boasts theme parks such as Adventure Island and Busch Gardens. It’s also home to an endless coastline of white sandy beaches that will seem even more heavenly given the chilly weather back home, while the cultural hotspot of Ybor City serves up vintage shops and museums.
Manchester to Faro, Portugal If you want a little bit of winter sun without jetting too far from the UK’s frosty shores, Easyjet’s new route to Faro from Manchester could be just the ticket. While you’re unlikely to get sizzling temperatures here, it’s still going to be significantly warmer than the UK. The route launches on 2 November, the month where highs in Faro average a solid 20C, which drops to a still respectable 17C in December. Which means you’ll still be able to enjoy a sunshine walk around the cobbled streets of the idyllic old town, and then recuperate by sitting alfresco at a café with some wine and cheese. Perfect.
Edinburgh to Riga, Latvia Ryanair’s new route to the Latvian capital of Riga from Edinburgh launches on 3 November, providing an easier way for Scots to experience this up-and-coming destination. This spectacular cultural centre is known for the medieval architecture of its old town and the pedestrian-only area that contains endless shops, restaurants, and bars – perfect for an idyllic weekend away. Winter is a spectacular time to visit this Baltic city, with its beautiful buildings dusted in snow and plenty of cosy nooks in which to relax with a glass of traditional Latvian balsam. There are also a number of gorgeous Christmas markets to explore: two in the Old Town and one at the Esplanade Park.
Bristol to Östersund, Sweden
Travelling from Bristol? You’re well-located to discover Östersund, one of Sweden’s lesser-known gems. Easyjet is launching 16 new routes from the UK for winter 2018 and this beautiful city, located by Lake Storsjön and dotted with reindeer, is bound to become a firm favourite with Bristolians looking for something a little different. Launching 9 December, just in time for Christmas, this destination offers a beautiful mix of idyllic snow-capped scenery and vibrant cosmopolitan life, perfect for that festive break. Visit the picturesque Christmas market, take a hike in the snow, or stay up late for a chance of catching the Northern Lights as they paint the sky emerald.
If you’re planning to travel this winter there may be the opportunity to partake in sports such as ice skating, sleigh rides or tobogganing. Just check that your policy covers such activities automatically or if additional insurance is required.
Wherever you plan to head to this winter it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.