We’re delighted to share our first post under ‘P1 Insights’, a blog where we discuss opinions on travel trends, topics and personal travel memories with the national media and key influencers. Linked up through social media it is an open conversation to share thoughts and inspire travel.
Our first topic looks into a finding from the ABTA 2017 Market Overview as part of the 2018 Travel Trends Report on city breaks, stating: ‘City breaks continued to be the nation’s favourite holiday type in 2017, with over half the population having taken one.’
Kate Kenward, the Executive Director of AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) agrees and says “the events of 2017 have not deterred people’s appetite to go wandering and that the popularity of city breaks could be indicative of the busier lives we lead. (source: The Independent)
We asked some our favorite top travel writers to share their most memorable city break and why this destination is a must-visit?
Vicky Lissaman, Travel Editor of The Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday:
“My favourite city break is Mallorca’s capital, Palma, because of its glamorous seafront and spectacular gothic cathedral, its atmospheric medieval lanes with hidden bars, restaurants and music venues, sunny pavement cafes, beautiful shops and stylish galleries.
Vicky’s Palma hot spot: Hidden behind an unassuming brown door in La Lonja is Bar Abaco. A former 16th century palace, it is opulently decorated with masses of flowers, fruit, fountains, candles and birdcages and specialises in colourful cocktails mixed with measures poured until you say stop.”
Chloe Gunning, Wanderlust Chloe:
“When I look for a great city break destination I take a number of things into account. Good food, lots of places to visit, a few beauty spots and something quirky you wouldn’t find anywhere else in the world. In the last few years I’ve visited Berlin, Stockholm, Barcelona, Malaga, Nice, Cadiz, Helsinki and Istanbul amongst others.
Despite venturing to new places, my favourite hasn’t changed! Barcelona wins every time. It has so much character and offers plenty to tourists. I love the way the Gaudi architecture is scattered across the city. The Gothic Quarter is so charming with its skinny streets filled with hidden bars and places to stop for tapas. There’s the beach, which is absolutely heaving in the warmer months. There’s Montjuic – the small hill which overlooks the water, and offers some magical city views too.
Plus, this is a place that’s hugely passionate about food. From La Boqueria market where you can sit and eat a small plate while people watching, to Disfrutar – a Two Michelin star restaurant where I’ve eaten not one, but two of the best meals of my life, there’s something to satisfy every taste and budget. Plus, throw in some warm weather, and it’s easy to see why Barcelona is my favourite city break destination.”
Nicki Grihault, Freelance Travel Journalist & Mauritius expert for Daily Telegraph
“One of my most memorable city breaks was to Tbilisi. Researching a piece about Georgia as the birthplace of wine, of course, I had to try it. In Georgia, with wine – red, strong and unfiltered – there’s toasting (Georgia’s answer to psychotherapy), feasting (delicious, and mainly vegetarian) and haunting polyphonic singing.
I (hazily) remember sitting in a wooden hut by a lake, surrounded by burly men who had been singing together for 20 years (embarrassingly, on a recording, you can hear me giggling as the toasts go on)! A trip to a traditional sulphur bath house brought me to my senses, and sober, in Sioni Cathedral on a Sunday, truly heavenly voices rose up with the incense, from behind a screen.”
What’s your most memorable city break destination? Do you have any planned this year? We’d love to hear your plans!