New year, new routes

What better way to start 2018 than planning a break to one of the new destinations direct from Birmingham Airport

Take 2018 as an opportunity to explore places you’ve never visited and indulge in new experiences. They couldn’t be easier to get to – just fly from Birmingham Airport. Simple!

Make a short hop over to the other side of ‘the pond’ and discover the fascinating cities of Boston and Toronto. Accessible fares make both of these destinations perfect for either a long weekend break or an extended family holiday.

Boston is often referred to as America’s oldest city, boasting a unique charm and brimming with stunning architecture and symbolic red brick buildings. The Freedom Trail is arguably the most iconic way to spend a day in the city. Encompassing 16 of the most historically significant sites, take a guided walking tour along the two-and-a-half mile path and be immersed the highlights of the city.

If you’re visiting with the family, spend an afternoon at Boston Common where there’s an outdoor theatre, carousel, tennis courts and a splash pool to keep the kids entertained. If you’re a foodie then check out the Beacon Hill district – Figs, a snug pizza eatery, comes highly recommended for a lunchtime bite and one of the traditional dive bars with a loud jukebox and friendly staff are popular for the evening.

In contrast to Boston, Toronto is a dynamic and buzzing city with a skyline of skyscrapers. Famous for the CN Tower and its stunning 360-degree views, it’s home to so much more than the typical tourist traps. Our must-do list includes an afternoon picnic beneath the cherry blossom trees in Trinity Bellwoods Park with a macaroon from Nadege, the best French patisserie in the city.

Follow this with a day spent in Toronto’s Annex district, a Bohemian neighbourhood full of independent businesses and entertainment venues including the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema and Lee’s Palace, the area’s concert venue. Then either check-out Ossington Avenue and grab a signature bagel from Schmaltz Appetizing or Kensington Market, with its gluten-free bakery, burrito bar and vintage shops.


If you’d rather stay a little closer to home there are some exciting new destinations in Europe easily accessible from Birmingham Airport this summer. Stockholm, Venice, Bodrum and Dubrovnik are all fascinating cities worth exploring.

Stockholm, spread across 14 individual islands, has become known as one of the coolest Scandinavian cities to holiday in. Built on the water, Stockholm has an air of calm about it, while still being a dynamic and modern city to explore. Brimming with museums and interesting buildings, most notably Skansen – the world’s first open-air museum – you’ll leave the city feeling enriched and inspired.

Venice with its Grand Canal, Venetian buildings and Basilica di San Marco is on the top of most people’s ‘to visit’ lists. To do the city justice, you’ll need to spend longer than just a few touristy hours there. Stay for at least a couple of nights in the city itself so you’ve got a chance to venture off the beaten track and discover its quieter, narrow backstreets.

You’ll stumble across neighbourhood churches, cafes offering cicheti (Italian tapas) and bistros with a plentiful supply of the infamous Venetian prosecco. The best way to take in the city is from the water. Bypass the expensive gondola trips and have a go at being a gondolier yourself in a lesson with Row Venice, or jump in a kayak and paddle yourself through the city’s canals.

Dubrovnik, in the still fairly undiscovered southern part of Croatia, is known for its incredible stone-walled Old Town and picture perfect views across the Adriatic Sea. To get the best bird’s eye view of

Dubrovnik climb the city walls either first thing in the morning or before they close in the evening – the cruise ships will have left the port so the city will be quieter and even more magical.

If you are looking to escape the tourists in the peak of the day, Cavtat, just across the bay, is worth a visit. A slightly calmer version of Dubrovnik with an old Riviera style, the town has a range of harbour front restaurants and bars and is a perfect boat day trip ride from Croatia’s capital.

Bodrum has managed to retain its elegance and culture even through its progression to a popular beach holiday destination. Jutting out into the Aegean and home to an impressive castle, lots of mosques and multiple marinas, the city has an exotic feel and is a fascinating place to discover. To enjoy the best of the coast, head about 20 minutes south of Bodrum to Barbaros Bay with its breath-taking panorama views. A more remote spot with white washed buildings and deep azure haze, this is the perfect place to really relax and unwind.

Getting there:From May there will be direct flights from Birmingham to Boston and Toronto with Primera Air. Services to Boston will operate four days a week with flights to Toronto three times a week. Fares start from £149 per person, one way. has launched flights to Venice, Bodrum and Dubrovnik for summer 2018 and SAS has recently announced a new direct route to Stockholm from Birmingham starting in April.