Visit Rijeka and Galway next year

Prestige Holidays has introduced stays in 2020 to these European Capitals of Culture

Rijeka, Croatia’s third city (after Zagreb the capital, then Split), has an amazing chequered history, having been ruled by Italy, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the former Yugoslavia and now Croatia.

Known as the “city of diversity”, it has used its industrial heritage to create wonderful experiences for locals and visitors. Former sugar and tobacco factories are now world-class museums, Tito’s former yacht “Galeb” is being transformed into a “botel” (small floating hotel), museum and bar and Rijeka’s rock scene, just rocks on (Croatia’s top rock venue). Add to this, a massive art deco food market (which has featured in films and TV shows) some great beaches and its proximity to the Kvarner Bay islands and famous Opatija (Croatia’s “South of France lookalike”) and its sure to be a 2020 hot spot.

Prestige Holidays has a seven-night break staying at Grand Hotel Bonavia from £1099 per person including return flights from London Gatwick to Rijeka in June, with shared airport transfers and BB accommodation (01425 480400, www.prestigeholidays.co.uk)

Next year West Ireland’s jewel, Galway, will be bursting with cultural events as part of its stint as European Capital of Culture. Not to be missed are a reading of Homer’s Odyssey on the beaches, Finnish Light artist Kari Kola turning the extraordinary beauty of Connemara mountains green on St Patrick’s Day and a multi-art celebration of the writer JM Synge.

This wild and bohemian city is known for its exceptional food and music as well as its proliferation of festivals, cultural mix and offbeat café culture. Prestige has three-night stays at The Ardilaun Hotel, a former country mansion with an impressive leisure club and restaurant, from £452 per person with flights from Gatwick to Shannon. (01425 480600, www.ukprestigeholidays.co.uk)

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