2016 is coming to an end and 2017 will shortly be upon us, and this is the time that many people decide to make changes in their lives. We’re no different but instead of starting our changes next year, we’re doing it a little earlier as we’re foregoing the local celebrations on New Year’s Eve for something a little different.
We’ll be renting a boat and catching some of the best New Year’s Eve firework displays and here are our thoughts on the best places to see the top pyrotechnics around the globe!
Sat on the Mediterranean coast, this Catalonia city is one of the most famous and beautiful locations in all of Europe. There is so much to see and do in this 2000 year old city and, as you’d expect from such an aged city, much of this is cultural – although you can slip away for a tour of the Camp Nou to see where some of the world’s top footballers ply their trade too!
The most famous sights in the city are ancient buildings, such as the modernist museum Casa Batlló, the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia and the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, but just roaming the areas of the city such as the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas can see you lose track of time and find your way off the beaten track from the tourists to wind down and experience peace in the middle of this non-stop town.
With Barcelona so popular with tourists – with at least six million people visiting each year - and the locals loving their lives in this amazing city the end of year parties are something to behold! These swell to massive numbers, with the official city party at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc seeing the biggest gathering of people, and finding peace on New Year’s Eve after the events no matter where you’re staying in the city is difficult. The city does offer a vast number of mooring spots and marinas along the Mediterranean coastline so once you’ve celebrated with the masses retreating to the peace and tranquillity of your own boat is the perfect way to kick off a new year.
Naples (or Napoli as the locals know it in Italian) is one of the most historic cities on the planet as it is considered to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on the globe and this makes it vastly attractive to tourists. The city’s architecture is one of its biggest draws with ancient religious buildings, castles and countless museums all available within the city limits, while catching some natural history in Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii plus Naples Botanical Garden, Naples Zoo and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary are all musts too.
Of course, with Naples being the home of pizza, you must also sample some of the finest examples of this most wondrous food on the planet in your time in the south west of the country.
For New Year’s Eve the city hosts many live, open air concerts, with the largest of these happening at the Piazza Plebiscito with live music, a procession and a midnight fireworks display all available to view close to the Royal Palace as the entire sky around the Bay of Naples is lit up for the first hour of the new year! The people of this Italian city also have a tradition where they throw old things out the windows of their houses on New Year Eve to portray the throwing out of bad omens for the coming year, so once this happens the best place to retreat to is one of the quietest parts of the city – The Bay of Naples and your rented boat to avoid being hit by anything thrown from windows!
Settled around the River Tagus, Lisbon is a beautiful and multi-cultural area that is the oldest city in Western Europe. Its beautiful location and its almost timeless age, coupled with a Mediterranean climate that sees good temperatures all year around, makes it a city that brings in vast amounts of tourists. The highlights to see around this Portuguese city come from its location and age as the Lisbon Oceanarium in the seaside area that has been rejuvenated from the 1998 World Expo provides an excellent look at the local marine wildlife, while there are also many cultural and historical buildings and museums such as the Belém Cultural Centre which houses art from Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and René Magritte. There are also a number of areas for people to relax and look out across this beautiful city, with the statue of Cristo Rei being a prime example.
As one of the most populous multi-cultural cities in all of Europe, as well as being the capital of Portugal, Lisbon knows how to throw a party – especially on New Year’s Eve! The two best viewing locations in the Portuguese capital are the always packed Comercio Square and the stone tower at Belém Tower. If you’re looking to mix with the locals the former of these two areas is best to view one of the greatest firework displays in Western Europe and the second one provides some excellent views of the ocean lit up by fireworks at midnight as the New Year begins. Of course, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds and get closer to the off-shore fireworks then there is always the option of hiring a boat, and this also opens up a new world of things to do while you’re in Lisbon with sea bream, shark, octopus and more all inhabiting the waters around the city!
The Madeira Island is known for two things – its wine and its New Year’s Eve fireworks displays! The autonomous region of Portugal is located off the coast of Morocco and the archipelago is comprised of four islands, although the main island of Madeira is the biggest tourist draw. Even at the end of the year, the weather in this part of the weather is generally dry and warm making it a perfect place to visit for relaxing on the beach with some of the local wine produce, with the Porto Santo beach having been voted as one of the seven wonders of Portugal.
For those visiting this area of the world it is recommended to hire a boat to travel around all of the locations that make up this beautiful island chain so that all the wonders of the area can be viewed in your time off the African coast. Being on a boat at Madeira also gives you the perfect vantage point to view the world’s best fireworks display too – Madeira’s New Year’s Eve fireworks extravaganza entered the Guinness World Records in 2006 – as you can moor in the amazing harbour and view the spectacle from your own personal slice of heaven.
Hire your sailing boat for catching the certified best New Year’s Eve fireworks display in Madeira!
The Canary Islands
Sitting close to the equator, the Canary Islands offer sun and beautiful beaches to anyone looking to escape the harsher, colder and wetter weather of the Northern Europe winter. They are a group of seven in these islands, which are located close to the Moroccan coast line, and there is plenty to do on them with the aforementioned beaches and the fantastic nightlife being the main draws for tourists.
The Canaries also offer plenty of stunning sights of nature to see while you’re there too with volcanoes, natural parks, deserts and a wide range of wildlife that includes whales and sharks.
At the end of the year, no matter where you go on any of the islands you’ll be treated to firework extravaganzas with every town and village hosting events - and the biggest event happens in Puerto del Carmen on the island of Lanzarote. The quickest and easiest way to get to this fantastic end of year celebration is to sail around the south coast of the island from Arrecife, taking in views of the fireworks from Fuerteventura – and perhaps even some of the whales and sharks that populate the area too.
Hire a bareboat for sailing around the Canary Islands!
Jutting out into the Andaman Sea, the island of Phuket is the Southwest of Thailand is one of the most visited areas in a country that sees millions tourists each year. Despite being a small section of the large and varied country of Thailand, there is much to see from the Big Bubba statue that dominates the island and can be seen no matter where you are on Phuket to small and idyllic towns as well as stunning viewpoints that allow visitors to see every corner of this stunning corner of the world.
Visitors to the area can also catch any number of local shows, with the world famous FantaSea Show offering trapeze artists, elephants and pyrotechnics a must see for anyone who travels to Phuket, while those looking to explore further afield can venture to any number of smaller islands surrounding Phuket, with the Phi Phi Islands most favoured due to them being used in movies such as The Beach, Cutthroat Island and 2005 action movie Stealth.
Phuket is also the place to be on New Year’s Eve as the entire island turns into one giant party with world famous musical acts and DJs blasting out the sounds all night long, fireworks displays that turn night into day and barbeques on every beach. No matter where you turn, you can celebrate the new year in Phuket and the most massive parties can be found at Surin Beach, Kamala Beach and Patong Beach – which is the largest free entry party in Phuket – or if you’re looking for something different you can join the new year countdown at Sanam Chai, opposite Phuket City Hall, further inland.
Find your favourite New Year’s Eve party in Phuket by sailing your own yacht charter around the island!
New Caledonia is a remote location being more than 750 miles away from Australia in the Pacific Ocean and this makes the the small island is the perfect place just to get away from it all! It offers the best of everything with its people and culture a mix of French and Melanesian and this makes them the perfect mixture of friendly and welcoming to make you at home during your stay. Whether you’re looking to take time out on your holiday on land, in the water or in the sky there is something for you with long stretches of perfect sandy beaches to soak up the sun on as well as corals, canyons, ship wrecks plus local and friendly whales to catch up with in the Pacific. The availability of microlights for hire allow tourists to view everything that this remote paradise has to offer from high in the sky too.
There are a number of marinas in New Caledonia that will allow you to find a place to stay should you decide to visit this corner of the globe and rent a boat for New Year’s Eve. Luckily the biggest two places to drop anchor are in the capital city of Nouméa where the biggest firework displays and celebrations, including local and traditional music, to bring in the new year will be held on the Petite Rade in the city.
Located on the East of Australia along Queensland’s Whitsunday Coast, Airlie Beach is a must visit for anyone going ‘down under’ who is looking to spend time on the ocean. The resort town offers stunning views into Airlie Bay and for those looking to stay on land there are numerous beaches to relax upon and view the vast number of boats sailing around the bay. The main draw to this area of Australia is the fact that it offers a perfect place to launch towards the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.
The area is perfect for snorkelling and swimming, with the Great Barrier Reef the most visited location for this, and people who explore under the waves can view some outstanding sights. The marine life is so varied, with turtles, sharks, whales, dolphins and countless numbers of colourful fish all available to get up close and personal with as they travel between the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands.
This means that no matter where you choose to sail around Airlie Beach you’ll be treated to some of the most magnificent sites that Australia has to offer. When visiting the area as the year comes to a conclusion the sights are not limited to on and under the water as Airlie Beach is known as a party town and beach parties are prevalent with almost every grain of sand covered by partygoers celebrating the end of the year and the start of another. The partygoers are also treated to double fireworks displays at 9pm and midnight to ring in the new year so whether you’re on the beach or on the waves you’ll be treated to double the fun!
Pick your perfect catamaran for hire in Airlie Beach and experience double the pyrotechnics!
Although one of the smaller island nations in the Caribbean Sea, the island of Grenada is one of the top tourist destinations as the Spice of the Caribbean thanks to miles and miles of perfect sandy beaches and crystal clear waters that are perfect for diving in. In fact, Grenada is home to the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Park and this along with more than 50 different underwater reefs and the sunken wreck of the ship ‘Bianca C.’ are all available for those on holiday who are looking for a change from simply lying in the sun.
Adding to this there is the wondrous Levera National Park and Mt. Qua Qua Trail that are readily available for getting closer to nature on this Caribbean isle too, while it is possible to hire a boat to visit the neighbouring islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique which offer more perfect waters for snorkelling and unique cultures to experience at events such as Carriacou Maroon and String Band Music Festival.
If you’ve hired a luxury yacht charter to cruise around this corner of the Caribbean sea in time for an end of year celebration then you’re in luck as the Port Louis Marina offers plenty of space to drop anchor in time for the famous New Year's Eve All Inclusive Fete that sees live music, DJ sets, a gala dinner and, at midnight, a spectacular fireworks display that can be seen the whole island over.
View the options available to you for your Caribbean sailing holidays here.
Known as one of the biggest party towns in all of the USA, Miami is the place to go for New Year’s Eve as everyone goes all out for this biggest celebration to bring in a new year. As the clock ticks to midnight on December 31st the entire length of Miami Beach is lit up by countless firework displays and there is no better place to see the full spectrum of this mind blogging set of pyrotechnics than being moored out at sea in a boat sipping champagne!
If you visit the land to party the night away, whether you choose to go downtown to Bayfront Park and South Beach, visit the official City of Miami event on 9th Street and Ocean Drive or locate one of the countless other parties and events, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your boat will be moored in one of the countless marinas up and down the coastline so that you can fall into your floating bed as dawn breaks on the new year.
Find your luxury sailing yacht for exploring the sights of Magic City!