BA's late bid for 'strangest new route for 2015' is a double bill: Santorini and Mykonos from London City airport

Where to go and what to know

1. Cycladic chic

BA's late bid for "strangest new route for 2015" is a double bill: Santorini and Mykonos from London City airport. The flights from Docklands to the Greek Cycladic islands take nearly four hours, and weight/fuel issues mean that the aircraft will not fly full. So, you can expect extra space and more attentive service. Fares for July are currently about £230 return.

2. Festive sounds

The annual Dubai Shopping Festival starts on New Year's Day – but with a difference. The cultural programme this year is very strong, and on 1 January the musicians of the Welsh National Opera will perform the Dubai premiere of Kahayla, by Joanna Marsh, at a free open-air concert in Zabeel Park. Rachmaninov also features.

3. Reading list

New arrivals by ferry to the port of Dun Laoghaire are now greeted by the sight of Ireland's most spectacular modern library. The town's new "dlr Lexicon" is as much a tourist attraction as a lending library, with dramatic architecture and excellent views of Dublin Bay.

4. India link

In Kerala, south-west India, a new bridge connecting the city of Kottayam with the Hindu pilgrimage site of Sabarimala opens on 23 December. The much-delayed 560ft link will accelerate access to the state's interior and make independent travel easier.

5. Sun 'n' seafood

Lisbon's annual Fish and Flavours Festival runs 9-19 April. Eurocamp is offering a beach and city break based on the Guincho Parc campsite, west of the capital close to Cascais. A week's stay from 11 April in a three-bedroom mobile home with decking and air conditioning costs £420. Travel by air, rail or car is extra; flights from London are likely to cost around £100 return.

6. Florida flights

Aer Lingus is continuing its bid to lure passengers from the UK to US with extra flights from Dublin to Florida from next May. The 2pm departure from the Irish capital to Orlando offers connecting opportunities from across Britain, as well as the opportunity to pre-clear US immigra-tion in Dublin.

7. Norman open

A new hotel has opened in Tel Aviv. The Norman occupies a pair of 1920s buildings that accommodate 50 rooms, two restaurants (one of them specialising in Japanese tapas), a bar and a rooftop pool. Doubles start at US$338 (£225) including breakfast.

8. Queue jump

A new website Wait A Moment highlights queue times for attractions around the globe. A search for Disneyland Paris revealed that weekends and school holidays are unsurprisingly busy, but that Saturdays in January offer rare windows of opportunity.