Travel experts’ top ten new year breaks

Over 130 travel experts have clubbed together to name their top ten new year breaks.

As well as favourites such as Sydney, Rio and New York, the Association of Independent Travel Operators (AITO) also added some more unusual destinations, such as the French ski resorts of Chamonix, Dublin and Vienna.

1 – Paris, France
Paris is an ideal way to have a stylish start to 2007. Elegant restaurants serving fine food lend themselves perfectly for a romantic New Year’s Eve. Recommended restaurants include the Michelin-starred Les Ambassadeurs, which is ideal for taking a romantic stroll after your meal and seeing the lights and fireworks of the Place de la Concorde. If you are feeling energetic then you can head for one of the trendy clubs on the Champs Elysées.

2 – Sydney, Australia
One of the best fireworks displays in the world can be seen as midnight strikes on New Year’s Eve in Sydney. In addition, British holidaymakers can bask in the heat of the balmy night as December marks the height of the Australian summer.

3 – New York, United States
Much colder, but no less fun, holidaymakers going to New York for New Year’s Eve can watch the countdown Times Square, a tradition dating back to 1906. And once 2007 starts there is no better place to be for the January sales.

4 – Rome, Italy
For a lively New Year’s Eve in Rome you can go to the Piazza del Popolo and enjoy both classical and rock music acts playing long into the night. Plus there is more to see with the New Year’s Day Parade.

5 – Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik’s skies come to life as hundreds of families across the city launch their own fireworks displays on the stroke of midnight.

6 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
More fireworks – Leidseplein, Dam Square, Nieumarkt and Rembrandtplein are all good places to see the displays.

7 – Chamonix, France
Holidaymakers get together and party after a day’s skiing on the legendary Alpine slopes.

8 – Dublin, Ireland
Refinement and culture are top of the bill at Dublin’s New Year’s Eve gala concert of classical music at the National Concert Hall.

9 – Copacabana, Brazil
One of the best-known New Year’s parties, Brazilians take to Rio’s most famous beach for a lengthy fireworks display and the age-old custom of throwing white flowers into the sea.

10 – Vienna, Austria
Celebrations start from the early afternoon of New Year’s Eve with a special trail in Vienna’s historic centre. Holidaymakers are offered sparkling wine and food from across the world along a trail through the city, with entertainment from live music and hits from an operetta stage. When the bells ring in the New Year, thousands celebrate to the sound of the Blue Danube Waltz.

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