It seems 2019 is the year to let your hair down a little, with an array of exciting and unique (and totally wacky) festivals and events promising travellers a very good time. From major milestones to ancient traditions, there's plenty to celebrate this year...
Related article: Unmissable events for your 2019 calendar
Rock on at the Grand Canyon’s centenary
Clocking up 100 years as a national park in 2019, it’s the perfect time to cross the Grand Canyon off your bucket-list. The incredible colours and sheer scale (it’s 1.6 kilometres deep!) of this natural wonder are just as breathtaking as ever, and the park is celebrating with a special calendar of events.
The fastest (and most glamorous) way to transfer from the glitz of Las Vegas to the majesty of the canyon is a helicopter tour – try Papillon’s ‘Grand Celebration’ which flies over the Hoover Dam and lands on a private plateau within the canyon for a Champagne picnic. So, if you were thinking of popping the question...
Shop Estonia’s charming Christmas market
Europe is a veritable chocolate box of Christmas markets during December, but our new favourite is found in Estonia’s historic capital of Tallinn. This delightful North European getaway showcases medieval streetscapes and pagan traditions with a vibrant, modern edge.
Claiming to have the oldest Christmas tree in Europe, Tallinn really gives the festive season an authentic local feel. The cobbled streets of the Old Town come alive with acres of lights and pretty stalls selling mulled wine, seasonal sweets and snacks, traditional handicrafts and contemporary gifts. The bonus? Because you can cross the Gulf of Finland to Helsinki in a couple of hours by ferry, you can combine two snow-dusted escapes into one totally romantic white Christmas itinerary.
Embrace Tasmania’s dark side
Ready to get naked? In a festival of memorable moments, Dark Mofo’s (7-23 June 2019) standout is still the annual Nude Solstice Swim. The assembled brave souls (more than 1000 in 2018) dive into Tasmania’s chilly Derwent River to welcome the light after the longest day of the year. Not your usual festival fodder, but perfectly aligned with an event that takes its cues from ancient winter solstice rituals.
Events across the island include the Dark Mofo Winter Feast on Hobart’s docks and public art displays including those at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art). Oh, and there’s usually a ceremonial burning. If you’re a couple who loves a little drama, head south for the winter.
Feel the love in Croatia
The name says it all. The Love International music festival (3-10 July 2019), held a 15-minute walk from the sun-kissed Adriatic township of Tisno, is perfect for couples who want to let loose.
There’ll be parties on beaches, boats and secret islands, plus onsite accommodation that’s made for two, including apartments, shiny aluminium Airstream trailers and glamping tents. This year you can even pitch your own tent under the stars among the area’s charming olive and fig trees – how's that for a romantic camping experience?
Planning your next adventure? Find amazing destinations and romantic accommodation here...
Image credits: Adam Gibson, Bruev, Adam Gibson and Khris Cowley