Europe’s number 1 airline, Ryanair, continue their expansion across the continent with the announcement of new destinations. We’ve chosen 3 of the best new destinations for 2015 – The Azores, Santorini and Copenhagen.
The Azores (Language: Portuguese | Currency: € | Local Dish: Cozida)
Fly: London Stansted (£40), Lisbon and Porto (€19.99)
The most exciting Ryanair route to be announced this year is their new base at Ponta Delgada, located on one of the lush, tropical islands of the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. The Azores are 1.360km from mainland Portugal and until now flights have been extremely limited and expensive. The opening of this Ryanair base will allow you to visit one of the most stunning archipelagos in the world.
STAY: 3/4 Hostel, Ponta Delgada – Charming hostel in the heart of the small Azores capital, superb reviews to be found on Hostelworld. (From €15 for bed in 4 bed dorm)
SEE: Caldeira das Sete Cidades, San Miguel Island – Sometimes referred to as Gods home, this is a truly outstanding place with sparkling sapphire blue lakes, volcanic peaks and flowery meadows.
DO: Praia dos Moinhos, – A superbly located beach, with recently install amenities and close to the UNESCO citadel of Ribeira Grande. It can get quite busy in peak times but the rest of the year it is shared with just a handful of sun seekers.
EAT: Cozida, a heart warming, rich stew full of meat and veg. It can be cooked in the hot soil at Furnas volcano on San Miguel island, not very often you can have a volcanic cooked meal!
HUH?: The island of San Miguel has the only two tea plantations in Europe. Tea has been cultivated on the island since the early 19th century and has since become a highly sought after tea in European teahouses.
Santorini (Greek | € | Octopus)
Fly: Athens International (From €24.99)
The most well recognised of Greek Islands, Santorini is home to possibly the most romantic sunset in Europe. Ryanair has announced flights from Athens with the rumour of flights from further afield in the future. In the meantime, you can catch a connecting flight to Athens and then plane to Santorini.
STAY: Caveland Hostel – With a super swimming pool, and close to the airport and seaport of Thira, the Caveland hostel is an incredible hostel offering sensational views of the surrounding island. The welcoming hosts offering bike and boat tours, Greek BBQs and even yoga weekends. (From €16 in a 6 bed dorm)
SEE: Oia, the steep, whitewashed village featured on every Greek tourism advert. Oia is not to be missed. Despite the hoards of day trippers during the summer, in the summer evenings the steep, narrow alleyways quieten and the only sounds to be heard are the clatter of games of backgammon and laughter coming from tavernas serving the freshest shellfish.
DO: Ammoundi Harbour, located at the foot of Oia, can be difficult to reach by foot due to the steepness of the red cliffs. Luckily, if you don’t mind looking like a total tourist, there are a number of donkeys to help you down if needed. At the foot of the cliff is the small harbour with its boats, the turquoise Mediterranean and small restaurants serving freshly caught fish. The view up towards Oia is spectacular and a large feed is certainly required before the trek back up top (unless of course Mr. Donkey works his charms on you).
EAT: Santorini’s islanders have eaten octopus since time immemorial. Hung out to dry, and then grilled, it makes for a superb brunch or dinner. Accompanied of course by a tasty Assyrtiko white wine from the local vineyards.
HUH?: Over the past centuries the island has been quite earthquake prone. The last quake in 1956 razed the entire island and each town has since been impeccably rebuilt.
Fly: Dublin, Milan (from €9.99) London Luton (£17.99), Warsaw (59zł)
A little mermaid, cycling a bicycle while supping on a Carlsberg, that’s Copenhagen….right? Nah, Copenhagen has shaken off its stereotype and has become a hipster, bike lovers paradise with hundreds of welcoming cafes, bars and restaurants. Just try not to be too intimated by the outlandishly tall blondes around you!
STAY: Woodah Hostel – This funky, eco-friendly hostel is just minutes from the Central Station and is surrounded by trendy hipstery cafes and bars. Organic breakfast is served daily and you even join in on some free yoga sessions! (from €28 in an 8 bed dorm)
SEE: The infamous Christiana has been the home for free spirited minds since the 70’s and remains the hub of Copenhagen’s alternative culture to this day.
DO: Nokken – A secret oasis only a short bike ride from the centre. Wee little huts (á la Hobbitin) dot the streets and are intertwined with cute gardens and allotments full of fresh vegetables. For a totally chilled afternoon, Cycle out with a picnic basket, some wine, and some togs for the inevitable dip in the water!
EAT: Liver Pate Smørrebrød – The most popular tradition Danish food, this is an open rye sandwich with butter and pate spread all over…so you may like it, mayyybe not 😛
HUH?: There are over 400 kilometres of cycle lanes around the city – so watch out! Listen out for those bells!
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on more budget friendly destinations in the future! Happy reading and we look forward to hearing from you.