Our Top Rail Holiday and River Cruise Destinations for 2019

And relax… with the busy festive season now behind us, you’re probably wondering what to do with all your spare time?

Usually it’s around about now that we start to consider those pesky New Year’s resolutions, that probably only last until the second week in January… but, what if we could offer you a New Year’s resolution that you’d certainly be able to keep?

New beginnings bring new horizons and in 2019 why not vow to travel more, or to travel to a place you’ve never been before.

We’ve rounded up our top destinations and places to visit in 2019, with the hope of providing you with a little travel inspiration, or perhaps just something to read, whilst you tuck into the rest of the festive leftovers.

Moscow – Russia

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St Basil’s Cathedral

Since hosting the world cup earlier this year, Moscow has become a destination everyone wants to visit. And, we’re really not surprised, nowhere does the past meets the present quite like Moscow and remnants of its Soviet past clash with its capitalist present on every corner.

The Russian capital has a whole host of attractions, from modern marvels to medieval masterpieces and even the weird and wonderful…

Arguably the most colourful sight in the city is St Basil’s Cathedral, located in Red Square, which is often attributed as being the symbol of Russia, not just Moscow.

Built between 1555 and 1561, legend has it that once complete, Ivan the Terrible blinded the poor creator, Postnik Yakovlev, so he could never build anything to rival it anywhere else.

However, thankfully this was proved to be untrue and Yakovlev continued to build well into the 1560s.

Another popular attraction with visitors to the 800 year old capital is Lenin’s Mausoleum.

Opened to the public in 1924, tourists get the chance to take a peek at the embalmed body of Lenin himself, not for the faint hearted but certainly an interesting visit.

And, for the shopaholics out there, you must visit GUM. The country’s most famous department store is home to brands from Dior to Zara, so it caters to almost any budget.

Not only that, but the interior of the building is simply stunning and it’s worth a visit even if you’re not looking to splash the cash.

Hvar – Croatia

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Hvar

Over the last few years Croatia has become one of Europe’s most desired destinations, but it’s not all Dubrovnik and the Game of Thrones.

Hvar has been described by many as not only one of the most beautiful destinations in Croatia, but the world. And, it comes as no surprise as not only does the island offer a picture perfect coastline but it contains Greek, Roman and Venetian influences.

One of the most famous attractions in Hvar is actually the Spanish Fortress but don’t let its name fool you. Situated high up in the hills and dominating the town, the impressive structure which is now frequented by tourists on a daily basis, was commissioned by the Venetians way back in the 13th century.

It served to protect the town, along with its fortified walls, for centuries and was given the name the Spanish Fortress in the 14th century, when the Spanish came and repaired the structure – much to our benefit, as it offers the most spectacular views of the island.

Hvar also has a great nightlife, but if that’s not your bag, the restaurants and beaches are to die for.

What more could you possibly want from your holiday than fresh seafood, local wine, medieval structures and breathtaking coastal views?

Ljubljana – Slovenia

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Ljubljana

An up and coming destination and one often overlooked by people travelling to Europe, Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana should be on your bucket list for 2019!

One of the most friendly and greenest cities’ in Europe, this vibrant, omission free oasis does not allow cars to drive in its centre, meaning you can roam free and take in the splendid sights without worrying about any traffic.

Some of the most famous sights to see in this stunning capital include the Franciscan Church, Ljubljana Castle, which dominates the city and the famous Dragon Bridge.

The Dragon is actually the symbol of the city, and not only will you find homage’s to this fearsome reptile on the famed bridge, but you’ll also find references on architecture throughout Ljubljana, the city’s coat of arms and even on manhole covers. See how many you can spot whilst there…

We’d also recommenced a trip to the impressive castle. Easily accessible by funicular train, the 12th century fortress has a deep history but now also offers visitors unique experiences in the form of exhibitions and even movie screenings!

A stunning city to visit in the summer, Ljubljana is also a winter destination, as the capital is transformed into a festive wonderland. Twinkling lights, border festive stalls and the smell of delicious treats fill the air.

This beautiful city is also the perfect base for exploring further afield. Lake Bled and the Postojna Caves are not to be missed. Don’t forget Slovenia’s capital in 2019!

Annecy – France

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Lake Annecy

Situated on the tip of Lake Annecy, the French town of the same name looks like it’s been pulled straight from the pages of a fairytale.

Dubbed the ‘Venice of the Alps’, the pure, crystal clear waters of Lake Annecy are bordered by the French Alps, as a network of canals wind through its centre and old town.

You’ll discover an array of beautiful coloured buildings, with picture perfect flower boxes, as you wander Annecy’s quaint cobbled streets.

What’s more, Annecy is famed for its homemade ice cream shops, and whilst visiting we’d certainly recommend popping into one and treating yourself to one of the delicious creamy delights – Le Glacier des Alpes is the firm favourite with locals and tourists alike and you won’t be disappointed by what you’ll discover inside.

And, for those thrill seekers out there, you can even partake in a spot of paragliding whilst in Annecy, not one for those who have a fear of heights but the views you will see are truly out of this world…

Marrakech – Morocco

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Marrakech

Morocco and Marrakech have been tipped as being the hottest travel destinations for 2019, but that’s not just due to the warm climate and sunny weather.

Situated in the foothills of the mighty Atlas mountains, this vibrant Moroccan city offers visitors a unique experience, as they delve into the streets of Marrakech.

The bustling square of Jemaa El Fnaa fills the senses with sights of snake charmers and the delicious tastes of fresh juices in the daytime, whilst in the evening smells of spices from the many food stalls will make your stomach rumble, as entertainers, acrobats and storytellers perform for those coming to explore.

Make sure you also visit the market stalls, or souks on the edge of the square to see what wonders the different vendors have to offer.

Intricate leather goods including babouches slippers, colourful fabrics and rugs, and ornate Moroccan lanterns can all be purchased.

With stunning courtyards and amazing Arabic decor also to be enjoyed at every corner, why are your bags not packed already?

Corte – Corsica

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Corte

Easily accessible by the Trinicellu train, which services the whole of Corsica, and enclosed in a circle of jagged mountains within the heart of this fabulous French island, you will discover the ancient capital of Corte.

The town has been fortified for over two thousand years and its remarkable citadel stands proud at the top of a rocky peak.

The city has an impressive history and you can find out more about it within the citadel itself. Situated within its mighty walls you will find the Museum of Corte, which features tales of how the city came to be and life in former times.

After you’ve explored the town’s rich history, you must pay a visit to the viewing platform for some of the most spectacular views on the island.

A bustling university town, there are also plenty of pavement cafes and bars, offering the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by. One of the liveliest parts of town is the Rampe Sainte Croix, which is situated along a set of wide steps that run up to the church of Santa Croix.

If a French experience is what you’re after, than we certainly recommend Corsica and Corte in 2019.

So, ditch the diets in 2019 and get planning your next adventure. If none of the destinations we’ve mentioned in our blog tickle your fancy, there’s plenty more on offer. Head over to our River Cruise or Rail Holidays websites to find out more! 

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