New routes from Glasgow Airport

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Marrakech

An exotic blend of tradition and modernity, Marrakech is one of the world’s most intriguing cities. This is a place where donkey-drawn carts share the road with Rolls-Royces, centuries-old souks squat in the shadow of luxury hotels and snake charmers rub shoulders with be-suited businessmen.

  • Time difference : GMT +1
  • Currency : Dirham
  • Summer avg temp : 29°C
  • Flight time : Approx 3hr 30min

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Square meals

There’s only one place to start exploring Marrakech, and that’s in the main Djemaa el-Fna square. A UNESCO World Heritage Site at the heart of the old medina, it’s a whirlwind of acrobatics, storytelling, belly dancing and street theatre. But the best time to come is in the evening, when hundreds of chefs descend on the square to create one of the greatest alfresco dining experiences on the planet.

Souk up the atmosphere

The labyrinthian souks behind Djemaa el-Fna are packed to bursting point with craft stalls, fresh food stands, traditional fashion shops and pop-up stalls selling almost anything you can bring to mind. Keep an eye out for ancient herbalist shop Herboriste Avicenne (172-174 Souk Laghzel), gorgeous jewellery boutique Atelier Moro (114 place de Mouassine) and Aya’s Where (11 bis Derb Jdid Bab Mellah), a favourite with celebs including Sarah Jessica Parker.

Relax and unwind

A holiday to Marrakech from Glasgow Airport is the perfect chance to chillax. Start by wandering around the glorious Majorelle Garden (Rue Yves Saint Laurent), then make a beeline for a hammam such as Dar Karma (51 Derb El Mennabha) near the Royal Palace. With modern bars springing up like mushrooms around the city centre, there are plenty of places to unwind on a hot evening. Try the secret roof terrace at Kechmara (3 rue de la Liberté), where you can sip on a chilled cocktail while admiring the panoramic urban views.

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Las Vegas

Nowhere on the planet has a good-time reputation to match that of Las Vegas. The simple reason? There’s nowhere else quite like it. Gamble, eat, drink, go wild. What happens on a city break to Las Vegas from Glasgow Airport … stays in Vegas.

  • Time difference : GMT -7
  • Currency : US Dollar
  • Summer avg temp : 31°C
  • Flight time : Approx 10hr

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Nevada nights

No one comes to Vegas for an early night. Speakers pound, corks pop, dancefloors shake. There are clubs, bars and shows of every shape and size. After a blockbuster stage performance? Catch Britney Spears at the Planet Hollywood Resort (3667 Las Vegas Boulevard South). A pool party in Prince Harry’s footsteps? Make a splash at XS Nightclub (3121 Las Vegas Boulevard South). And if you just want a great bar with even greater people watching? Head to the Petrossian Bar at the Bellagio (3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South). 

Make a meal of it

If you thought Las Vegas was all buffets and burgers, think again. Its gastronomic line-up is seriously impressive, with celebrity chefs like Joël Robuchon and Wolfgang Puck – both of whom have restaurants at MGM Grand (3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South) – just two of countless examples. Meat lovers should be aware that Carnevino at the Palazzo Hotel (3325 Las Vegas Boulevard South) has what some critics consider to be the best steaks in the USA.

Surprise yourself

Las Vegas built its name on glitz, glam and goodfellas, but away from the casinos and nightclubs there are some hugely rewarding alternative activities. A trip to the Grand Canyon is the obvious example – by helicopter, if you’re feeling flush – but other options include dune-buggy racing, balloon rides and the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay (3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South).

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Split, Croatia

Occupying a prime stretch of Dalmatian coastline, Split is the second largest city in Croatia. The number of swish hotels in town tells its own story, too – today’s Split is somewhere where you can eat, drink and sleep very well indeed.

  • Time difference : GMT +1
  • Currency : Croatian Kuna
  • Summer avg temp : 24°C
  • Flight time : Approx 3hr

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It’s a cut above your average seaside spot – the town centre still occupies the sprawling Roman remains of Diocletian’s Palace – and it’s a big draw for everyone from the yachting fraternity to cultural travellers.

Island-hopping

As well as being an established destination in its own right, Split is also a hub for holidaymakers heading out to some of Croatia’s 1,000-plus islands. Brač, Vis and the very glamorous Hvar are the main draws, with regular ferry or catamaran services out to all three. If you have the time and the inclination, it’s even possible to island-hop all the way down to the walled city of Dubrovnik.

Special centre

Having a 1,700-year-old palace as the framework for a city centre is a pretty unique state of affairs, and the remnants of the once-grand residence are fascinating in their own right. To see the UNESCO-listed city at arguably its most memorable, try to come along during the Summer Festival (July-August), although you can get a good feel for its one-off character at any time of year. The palace has four main gates.

Sands of Split

As well as having enough bars and restaurants to waylay you for days, the city has several popular beaches. A short break to Split from Glasgow Airport is a fine way to make the most of them. The best known is Bačvice, which is around 10 minutes’ walk from the centre of town – it’s no stranger to late-night parties over the summer period – while close by is the smaller beach of Ovcice.

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Isle of Man

Set in the Irish Sea halfway between England and Ireland, the Isle of Man is a rural gem with its own unique culture, history and heritage. There's high octane excitement too in the form of the famous annual TT race.

  • Time difference : 0
  • Currency : Pound (GBP)
  • Summer avg temp : 17°C
  • Flight time : Approx 1hr

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Beauty spots

With over 18 national glens, a sprinkling of landscaped botanical gardens and a 160km-long coastal footpath that winds through lip-smacking scenery, the island has plenty to tempt nature lovers. Head down to the Sound and Calf of Man in the south to spot seals, dolphins and basking sharks. Discover the secluded charm of Glen Maye and Bradda Glen, or take a picnic to the TynwaldNational Park and Arboretum to see native trees taken from all of the 17 Manx parishes. The clear skies here are also perfect for stargazing. On clear nights, you can spot the Orion Nebula, the Milky Way and occasionally even the dancing lights of the Aurora.

Family fun

A short break to the Isle of Man from GlasgowAirport makes the perfect holiday for the whole family. This verdant little island has superb sandy beaches at Castletown, Port St Mary and Peel, not to mention a charming Victorian steam railway and a watersports centre at MooraghPark near Ramsey. CurraghsWildlifePark (Ballaugh) and the Mann Cat Sanctuary (Santon) are must-visits for animal lovers, while younger kids will love the soft play areas at Shorties Pirate Adventure (Alexandra Road, Castletown).   

History and heritage

It may be small, but the Isle of Man packs plenty of cultural punch. The island is home to one of the best-preserved medieval fortresses in Europe, Castle Rushden (Castletown), as well as ancient VikingfortPeelCastle. Learn more about the Viking invasions at ManxMuseum (Douglas), or visit the House of Manannan (Mill Road, Peel) to see fascinating reconstructions of a Viking longhouse and longship. The Neolithic tombs at Meayll Hill and Cashtal Yn Ard are incredibly atmospheric – particularly if you’re brave enough to check them out after dark.

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Dubrovnik

Croatia’s cultural capital and the diamond of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik combines a glorious ancient citadel with airy sea views and brochure-ready beaches. Its ubiquitous charm draws hordes of visitors during high season, including a glittering army of celebrities, but there are still secret to be discovered within those medieval city walls.

  • Time difference : GMT +1
  • Currency : Croatian Kuna
  • Summer avg temp : 24°C
  • Flight time : Approx 3hrs

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Soak up the history

A weekend away to Dubrovnik from Glasgow Airport is nothing short of a cultural odyssey. The UNESCO-listed Old Town is ringed by weathered stone fortifications, built between the 13th and 16th centuries and rising to 25m high in some places. Take a day to explore the walls and their medieval forts by foot, stopping off to see the crumbling Pile Gate and the shell-pocked beauty of St Saviour’s Church (Od Puča 8). Then enjoy a taste of the city’s secret history by wandering down sleepy Iza Roka Street and hunting for a piece of 16th-century graffiti that warns boys against playing football in the area.

Pull up a sunlounger

Ranging from elegant crescents of icing sugar sand to hidden rocky coves, Dubrovnik’s beaches are the wonder of the Adriatic. Banje Beach is just a stone’s throw from the Old Town, but venture out a little further to Sveti Jakov and you’ll discover the locals’ favourite coastal hangout. For tropical-style strips of sand, take a Jadrolinija ferry from the port and hop off at Lopud Island with its fragrant cypress parks and white-sand bay. Saplunara Beach on the eastern side of Mljet Island is another secluded gem.

Seafood smorgasbord

The narrow, pedestrianised streets of Dubrovnik’s Old Town are scattered with top-class seafood restaurants. Tuck into exquisitely crafted Dalmatian dishes at Proto (Široka 1), where fresh oysters and garlic shrimps are served against the backdrop of a romantic first-floor terrace. Restaurant Nautika (Brsalje 3) might be costly, but you can’t put a price on those spellbinding views over the Adriatic or on the famously warm service. Working to a budget? Lokanda Peskarija (Na Ponti bb) is a bustling seafood restaurant with reliably delicious food.

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Halifax, Nova Scotia

Halifax combines the appeal of a modern city with a close connection to the great outdoors. With the region's distinctive seascapes and stunning landscapes getting around is all part of the adventure as you will soon discover on your holiday to Halifax from Glasgow Airport. 

  • Time difference : GMT -4
  • Currency : Canadian dollars
  • Summer avg temp : 23°C
  • Flight time : Approx 6hrs

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Breath of fresh air

This breezy seaside city is surrounded by natural playgrounds, from the golden sands of the Northumberland Strait to the ethereal mountains of the Cabot Trail. Spot orcas and dolphins on a whale-watching trip around the Bay of Fundy, hike through Kejimkujik National Park, explore the fertile Annapolis Valley lowlands by bike, or hire a surfboard and hit the huge waves of the Eastern Shore. Thrill-seekers can raft on the Shubenacadie River’s tidal bore; and if you’re looking for something a little less death-defying, there are more than 75 golf courses dotted around the province.

Festival time

A calendar packed with cultural highlights makes Halifax an exciting year-round destination. The Halifax Jazz Festival kicks off in July, bringing the crème de la crème of the international jazz scene to the city. Autumn is enlivened by The Word on the Street (September) – a day-long celebration of the written word that encompasses every form of literacy from poems to books and magazines. The Atlantic Fringe Festival (August-September) provides a platform for edgy, up-and-coming artists, while MultiFest (June) is a long-running festival aimed at preserving cultural traditions in the province.   

Bright lights of Nova Scotia

It might be best known as an outdoor adventure hub, but Halifax is also the nightlife capital of Nova Scotia. Mix with an elite crowd of actors, journalists and student trendies at tapas bar Economy Shoe Shop (1663 Argyle Street), join in the singing and quaffing at sociable hangout Lower Deck (1887 Upper Water Street), or relax with a chic cocktail at hipster hangout Onyx (5680 Spring Garden Road). The Carleton (1685 Argyle Street) hosts live acoustic music accompanied by scrumptious side dishes late into the night.

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Fuerteventura

The ultimate beach lover’s paradise, Fuerteventura is home to the best sandy spots in the Canary Islands, while the interior is a beguiling blend of lofty volcanic peaks, towering palms and pretty rural villages. Thanks to the breeze that drifts in off the Atlantic, it’s also a haven for watersports fans.

  • Time difference : 0
  • Currency : Euro (EUR)
  • Summer avg temp : 24°C
  • Flight time : Approx 4hr 30mins

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City sights

Fuerteventura’s capital Puerto del Rosario might be small but it more than makes up for its lack of stature with its pretty harbour and plethora of lovely old churches. Calle Primero de Mayo is where most of the action happens and is awash with street cafés and well-preserved examples of 19th-century Canarian architecture. Elsewhere, you’ll find the Casa Museo Unamuno (Calle Virgen del Rosario), a tiny museum dedicated to the poet Miguel de Unamuno who once lived in the little house that contains it.

Cheese delights

Cheese is a serious business in Fuerteventura and having a nibble is one of the island’s greatest pleasures. Queso majorero is the name of the local type and it comes in several different varieties, albeit all made from goat’s milk; rolled in pimento, rubbed with oil or smothered in roasted cornmeal. Although you can pick up a slice in most restaurants and delis, a visit to Betancuria’s Finca Pepe (Granja la Acaravaneras), a working dairy farm and cheese museum, lets you sample the wares while getting a glimpse of how queso majorero is made.

Beach adventures

Its famously breezy beaches mean that a holiday to Fuerteventura from Glasgow Airport wouldn’t be complete without attempting a new watersport or two. Sotavento in the south of the island is where you’ll find the best of the action, with kitesurfing, windsurfing and plain old surfing all among the activities on offer. For those who don’t fancy hitting the waves, the island’s famously long sandy beaches are the perfect alternative.

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Madeira

Portugal’s North Atlantic outpost is a deservedly established holiday destination, and to travel to Madeira from Glasgow Airport is to be transported to the kind of lush, unrushed island that traditional breaks in the sun are all about.

  • Time difference : GMT +1
  • Currency : Euro (EUR)
  • Summer avg temp : 22°C
  • Flight time : Approx 4hrs

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But don’t fall too quickly into the it’s-just-for-oldies trap – today’s Madeira has a huge amount to offer families and younger groups, evidenced by everything from its camping options to its extreme sports.

Love the levadas

Wondering why Madeira draws so many outdoor types? It has much to do with the levadas (hillside canals) that snake around the slopes of the island, doubling as panoramic walking paths. Constructed primarily for irrigation purposes, they’re now a major tourist draw. Elsewhere in Madeira, you can also try your hand at the likes of canyoning, paragliding and kitesurfing. Coastal spots like Paul do Mar, meanwhile, provide some of the best surf waves in Europe.  

Moving with the times

Madeira’s most famous son is footballer Cristiano Ronaldo (who recently opened a self-dedicated museum at Rua Princesa Dona Maria Amélia in Funchal), and his ubiquitous presence on the world stage has helped the destination sharpen its image. Part of this fresh appeal is thanks to the classy modern spas and wellness centres found on Madeira and neighbouring island Porto Santo.  

Wine and flowers

It may have a changing reputation, but Madeira’s more time-honoured charms remain a big part of the allure. Madeira fortified wine is still a popular draw – take a tour of Blandy’s Wine Lodge (Avenida Arriaga 28, Funchal) for an insight into its long history – while a springtime visit will coincide with the hills becoming carpeted in flowers. If you happen to be here over New Year, capital city Funchal puts on one of the world’s most extensive firework displays.

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