If you’re feeling the post-Christmas comedown, keep the party mood going and start the year in style by booking a blues-busting break of festivals and culture
Festivals of light, music and culture can help you beat the January blues
1. The Fiesta of Sant Sebastia, Majorca
One of the largest festivals in Majorca takes place from mid January in the island’s capital, Palma. The Fiesta of Sant Sebastia celebrates the city’s Patron Saint and sees the streets and squares come alive with music concerts (from flamenco to funk), food and entertainment for revellers of all ages.
Most of the action takes place around 18-20 January. The Day of Saint Sebastian is 19 January and in the evening thousands gather for a huge bonfire and to take part in fire parades, finishing off with some spectacular fireworks over the bay.
A stay at the Hotel Summum, a new boutique hotel in Palma’s Old Town, will put you a short walk from the festival action, Palma Cathedral and other key sites.
2. The Winter Lights at Canary Wharf, London
While the rest of London’s famous Christmas lights are packed away for another year, over in its business district the lights begin to shine brighter than usual. Canary Wharf’s dazzling Winter Lights show is back for 2018, lighting up its skyline with over 30 dazzling artworks, installations and interactive experiences from some of the world’s most innovative artists and designers.
This year’s highlights include light graffiti Dazzling Dodecahedron (a 3D installation where you’ll be immersed in a spectrum of colour) and Halo (a giant halo suspended above the fountain in Cabot Square). Stay at the Riverside Intercontinental London - The O2, which has spectacular Canary Wharf views.
3. Il Carnevale, Venice
The beautiful city of Venice becomes an explosion of colour and creativity later this month when its famous carnival comes to town. From 27 January to 13 February, Il Carnevale brings floating parades on the city’s canals and fabulous entertainment to its streets, as well as glittering masked balls and masked costume contests.
Join a Shearings holiday and you too will be feasting on Venetian specialities and be wowed by the elaborate costumes and artistry. Its seven-night tour, staying in Bardolino at the Hotel Caesius Thermae and Spa Resort, also takes in the Dolomites mountain range and a trip to Verona.
4. Broadway Week and Must-See Week, New York City
Not only is this one of the best times to bag cheap flights and hotels in New York, it’s also the time of year when you can enjoy its top Broadway shows and attractions for less. In a bid to woo visitors after the busy post-festive period, each year New York runs special dedicated weeks offering promotions on shows and dozens of attractions.
This year, Broadway Week starts on 16 January and, despite its name, runs longer than a week – until 4 February – and means you can get two-for-one tickets for Broadway shows. Meanwhile, Must-See Week (29 January to 11 February) means two-for-one tickets to attractions, museums, tours and performing arts across the Big Apple. Check out lastminute.com for some great late deals on flights and hotels, and you’ll save more if you book both at the same time.
5. Light Festival, Amsterdam
Thousands flock to Amsterdam each winter for its famous Light Festival. Starting at the end of November, the event runs right through until 21 January in the Dutch capital.
The organisers have selected over 30 different illuminated art installations from many hundreds of contributions hailing from around the world. Positioned along the city’s canals and historic streets, visitors can join walking tours or evening cruises, and it’s also possible to explore the festival by bicycle for the first time. Short break specialist Superbreak offers a wide range of hotels in the city and the option to fly, or hop on the Eurostar.