January: The Baltic buffs up its cultural credentials

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Where to go, what to do in 2011


The destination


Turku, Finland (Turku2011.fi) and Tallinn, Estonia (tallinn2011.ee) are the European Capitals of Culture for 2011.

Turku may be small but the former Finnish capital packs a big punch and its year-round celebrations kick off on 15 January with fireworks, concerts along the River Aura, and dockside art installations. Estonia marks the 20th anniversary of its independence this year, so celebrations won't be confined to Tallinn, but head here for such cultural highlights as rooftop film screenings and "sonic" city tours.

The route

Remote Easter Island has been difficult and expensive to reach, due to tight restrictions on international routes that limited stopovers to flights from Chile and Tahiti. But the airline LAN (lan.com) starts its bi-weekly flights from Lima, the Peruvian capital in early 2011.

The accommodation

Three major hotel openings kick off the New Year. The Four Seasons Hotel – London, at Park Lane (fourseasons.com/London) will reopen with 1930s-inspired interiors by Pierre-Yves Rochon and a rooftop spa. Rooms from £265. Dubai-based Jumeirah's first Maldives property, the Jumeirah Dhevanafushi (jumeirah.com) on the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, will offer 22 villas with 24-hour butler service. Rooms from £1,265. And the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende (rosewoodsanmiguel.com) is due to open in the rural town in Mexico of the same name with 67 rooms and suites. Rooms from £189.

The cultural attraction

The biggest Dali collection outside Spain is held in the Florida resort of St Petersburg (salvadordalimuseum.org). Now, these 2,000-plus works are getting a new museum, named after the artist, which opens with a "surreal procession" at 10am on 11 January, headed by Infanta Cristina, younger daughter of King Juan Carlos of Spain.

The great outdoors

The rainforests of Tasmania are opened up with a new walking trail this month. The Tarkine Rainforest, set to be listed as a World Heritage Site, is an uninhabited 3,800sq km area of mountains, rivers and eucalyptus forests. Walks organised by Tarkine Trails (tarkinetrails .com.au) explore the forest. Prices from £805 for a three-day trek.

The family holiday

UK family-friendly hotel chain Luxury Family Hotels (luxuryfamilyhotels.co.uk) is kicking off 2011 with a special offer: kids stay free throughout the year at all five of its hotels, which include Woolley Grange in Wiltshire and Moonfleet Manor in Dorset. The B&B deal is based on children under 12 sharing their parents' room. From £160 per night.

The adventure

World Expeditions (worldexpeditions .co.uk) gets the year off to an exhilarating start by launching its Journeys of Discovery brochure. Twenty new trips have been added to excite the discerning adventurer, including an expedition to the ruins of northern Peru.

The British day out

The Book of Destruction, an exhibition by award-winning German photographer Kai Wiedenhöfer, will have its UK premiere in London (mosaicrooms.org) from 28 January to 12 February. Having documented the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for 20 years, Wiedenhöfer returned to Gaza in 2009 to record the devastation of the area and its people.

The winter sports

The Polo Masters Tour (polo-master.com) arrives in Val d'Isère from 11 to 14 January, with the world's best professional players competing on snow in a high-octane contest beneath the dramatic Face de Bellevarde. Competitions start at 6pm each night, with lively festivities for spectators creating après-ski with a difference.

All prices are per person, based on two sharing, unless otherwise stated. Hotel room prices are per room per night, unless otherwise stated

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - Franchised Main Dealer

    £30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Recruitment Genius: Group Sales Manager - Field Based

    £21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Located on the stunning Sandban...

    Guru Careers: Email Marketing Specialist

    £26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Email Marketing Specialist is needed to join...

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee