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From Biarritz to Havana, the new flight routes and hot travel destinations to inspire your next trip


We're always searching for new destinations to add to our holiday hit list. And a fleet of new flights departing from London come summer means that a host of amazing cities will be easier than ever to get to.

Whatever type of traveller you are - arts fan, foodie, architecture buff or beach bum - there's a new route to suit.

Fly direct to Peru to see the famous Inca Trail and stay to acquire a taste for authentic ceviche, head to Costa Rico for amazing wildlife and cool colonial architecture, or Havana to dance your way into balmy nights, quenched by top-notch Mojitos.

Introducing the new hot spots that just shot to the top of our bucket list (you might just not want to leave)...

Lima, Peru

Inca trail, Peru

Peru's iconic Inca trail and ancient Citadel Machu Picchu are the stuff of globe-trotting dreams, though that's far from all it has to offer. And you can find out for yourself thanks to a new BA flight route to capital, Lima.

The sprawling metropolis is home to an eclectic mix of pre-Colombian temples, as well as galleries for modern and ancient art, including the Museo de la Nación which traces the history of its ancient civilsations. 

Lima's rich heritage isn't limited to architecture or art either. The city is unbeatable for its food scene. Its buzzing street markets are the best place to sample authentic Peruvian signature raw fish dish ceviche, as well as delicious Spanish, African, Chinese and Japanese cuisines.

We guarantee that once you get a taste of this city, you'll want to keep coming back.

To stay: The Miraflores Park Hotel, Malecón de la Reserva - modern, luxurious and boasting great views of the sea.

Flight time: 11.5 hours. British Airways will fly direct from London Gatwick from 4 May, from £575 return.

Gothenburg, Sweden


Not a new route but a newly regular one - this year BA and Norwegian airlines double their flights to Gothenburg, guaranteeing it's about to skyrocket in the city break popularity stakes. And rightly so, as Sweden's second-largest city has everything you could want in a chilled summer weekend away, from cool rooftop bars and leafy green spaces to bask in - plus great shopping and mouth-watering street food.

Shop the Scandi look at stores like Weekday, Acne and YMC, or Artilleriet for homewear, and soak up the pleasant weather with a wander along the cities waterways or at the city's largest park, Slotskoggen. When you need to break for food and drink, go for fika (afternoon coffee) in one of the independent cafes or stop for snacks at Feskekôrka, a traditional fish market built in 1874.

If you're into festivals, join the twenty-something crowds descending on Slotskoggen in August for Way Out West Festival - probably the most laid-back music event of the summer. This year it will host artists including Jamie XX and PJ Harvey amid its organic food trucks and chill out bars. The fun continues with Stay Out West parties into the night at bars around the city.

To stay: Hotel Pigalle, Gothenburg - a majestic boutique hotel complete with rooftop bar, which boasts great views over the city.

Flight time: 1 hour 45 minutes. From £29.90 each way with Norwegian.

San Jose, Costa Rica

National Theatre of Costa Rica in San Jose

With its lush rainforests, rugged volcanic peaks, breathtaking beaches and amazing wildlife, Costa Rico is home to some of the most stunning scenes in the world, but its capital San Jose has pretty much been seen as a through destination - until now.

Thanks to new flights from BA, as of April you can reach San Jose, fuss-free and direct. And before you head off on trips to zip-wire the rainforest or taste Costa Rica's world-famous coffee at a plantation, be sure to stick around for a bit. 

Chepe, as it's called by locals, is fast revitalizing and has plenty of culture to offer. A mish-mash of modern and colonial architecture, it's home to museums for jade, gold and the stunning Teatro Nacional theatre. Plus there's great street food (think tacos, fried chicken, and local delicacies), and a lively bar scene - the Costa Ricans love to party.

Barrio Escalante is the place to be for cool independent cafes and patios to have brunch, a few craft beers or full-on meals. Hip and historic Barrio Amon is home to a growing art scene, as well as Insta-friendly brightly painted Victorian houses and great restaurants. And if you're in town on a Saturday,  join locals at the Feria Verde organic market in Aranjuez for live music, shopping and even a spot of yoga.

To stay: San José, Hotel Grano de Oro - a restored mansion where every room is different and some boast views over the Poas Volcano.

Flight time: 12 hours with British Airways from 27 April, flying from London Gatwick, from £591 return.

Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba

Late this year, Virgin Atlantic will up their flights to Havana to three a week, making it easier than ever to reach Cuba's colourful capital. 

Its brightly painted post Colonial architecture, graffiti and the 50s American cars which line Havana's streets make it one of the most recognisable locales in the world, and it has more than enough buzz to match its colourful facades.

Throw yourself into the city's friendly music scene and culture by hitting up the cabaret clubs and trying your hand at salsa. Visit the markets in Old Havana to search for trinkets and jewellery. And when you need to cool down head to the Playas del Este for a dip in the clear waters.

You'll definitely leave with a taste for cocktails, as you'll taste the best Mojitos, Cuba Libres and Pina Coladas in the music and beach bars.

To stay: Hotel Ambos Mundos, Old Havana - famously home to Ernest Hemingway in the 1930s.

Flight time: 10 hours. Virgin will fly three times a week from Gatwick from November 2016, from £320 each way.

Biarritz, France


Many will know Biarritz for its royal connections, dating back to the mid-19th Century. But the queen of the Basque coast, attracts more chilled crowd too, thanks to its reputation as the surf capital of Europe. Pros arrive by the camper van-load every summer to compete in the Biarritz Surf Festival on Cote de Basque beach. And if you want to scratch up on your own wave-riding skills, there's surf schools across the town's six beaches. 

If surfing's not your thing there's still plenty to do nearby. Visit the Art deco inspired Musée de la Mer aquarium or appreciate the architecture of the uber modern wave-shaped Cité de l'Océan et du Surf museum. St Jean-de-Luz is one of the few places on the Basque coast offering water sports that aren't surfing and while you're there you can stock up on chocolate and macarons in the specialist shops.

Food wise: as well the obligatory fine wine and seafood (it is the French coast, after all), be sure to sample some pintxos (Basque tapas) in one of the friendly cafes.

To stay: La Reserve Hotel, St Jean-de-Luz - with stunning views over the ocean.

Flight time: 1 hour, 50 minutes. British Airways will fly twice a week from May to September 2016 from London Heathrow, from £40 each way.

Photos: iStock, ThinkStock



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