LONDON, England – With the first game set to kick off on 9th September in New Zealand, the UK travel website cheapflights.co.uk guides travelers to the world’s top destinations for celebrating the Rugby World Cup. Show your colors at any of these rugby loving spots, all past, future or, in our opinion, most likely hosts of the World Cup.
Having decided on England as the host for 2015 and Japan as the host for 2019, the bidding war is currently under way for 2023. Cheapflights.co.uk predicts Argentina will beat out the other contenders to be named host of Rugby World Cup 2023. Having played in every single tournament so far and been the only country in the top eight that has yet to host the games, it may well win the bid over Italy and Africa to become the first host country outside of Europe and Australasia.
“The World Cup, which kicks off on 9th September, will no doubt be hot on the calendars of British sports fans. Those heading out to New Zealand can enjoy the start of spring as well as the New Zealand Festival,” says Nadine Hallak, Travel Expert for Cheapflights.co.uk.
“However, as the Rugby Cup selection committee can tell you, there are a host of other great travel destinations where you can celebrate rugby and much more,” adds Hallak.
Here we explore five of the Top 10 Rugby Destinations, starting with Argentina.
Where better to start than Buenos Aires? One of the world’s most spectacular cities is also known for being the most European city in South America. Characterised by cobbled streets, hip neighbourhoods and stunning architecture, its sights are best explored by foot. Take a stroll over to the Plaza de Mayo and witness the balcony at Casa Rosada from which Evita famously greeted her crowds. For a touch of nature, head just 30 minutes outside the city for horseback riding and Polo matches. The Iguazu Falls are also a must see; taller than Niagara Falls and twice as wide, this is the world’s most impressive cascade of water. Sun seekers can hit the beach at Mar del Plata, the country’s most famous beach resort that also boasts its own impressive metropolis.
Kick off with the games in Auckland, the City of Sails, which derives its nickname for being home to the famous yacht-filled Waitemata. It’s also known for its scattering of 50 plus dormant volcanoes, which, combined with the metropolis, make for stunning views. Visitors can marvel at Auckland’s Sky Tower, the 12th highest in the world and the 90 kilometre views that it offers. Strong-hearted adventure seekers can also bungee jump off the tower as well as the famous Auckland Harbour Bridge. For the more ‘tame’ of heart, Rotorua offers authentic Maori culture and historic sites (as well as therapeutic thermal attractions including geysers, mud and hot pools.)
For those who’d rather keep things ‘staycation’ for the remainder of the year, why not celebrate by exploring England? Take a weekend break in Bath, the historic city of Roman baths and Georgian architecture, and the basis of many a Jane Austen novel. Or, for pampering of a different kind, indulge in the tranquillity of the trendy Cotswolds and watch the games from a countryside gastro pub. For a rowdy experience of the intellectual variety, hit the university towns of Oxford or Cambridge. The former is known as the City of Dreaming Spires, boasting a famous Art Gallery among its lively pubs and restaurants, while the latter hosts some of Europe’s finest medieval structures.
From urban sophistication to quaint rural villages, France has something for every travel taste. However but for the purposes of a World Cup celebration, look no further than the capital city, Paris. The stunning City of Lights delivers culture, history and people watching by day in the form of world famous museums like the Louvre, fairy tale-like structures such as Notre Dame, and street side cafes from which to watch the ‘chic’ go by. By night it dazzles with romantically lit avenues like the Champs Elysees and Boulevard Saint-Germain. Visitors can celebrity watch at venues such as Hotel Costes and Buddha Bar, or keep it casual in one of the city’s many bars or bistros where you can order a ‘steak frites’ while watching le Rugby and yelling ‘goal’ in a French accent along with the locals.
After hosting last year’s football World Cup, South Africa is on a roll in the popularity stakes as a holiday destination. Head to the progressive and trendy Cape Town, southern Africa’s oldest city where visitors are spoilt for choice for things to do. Feast your eyes on the fascination of whale watching, head to the beach, visit the Winelands or simply take your pick of hip bars, restaurants and clubs. Alternatively, stop off at the more brash city of Johannesburg, which is close to Kruger National Park, the most famous wildlife reserve in the world where visitors can indulge in a cycling safari then rest their feet at a luxury game lodge.
For the full Top 10 Rugby Destinations, visit http://news.cheapflights.co.uk/2011/08/top-ten-rugby-world-cup-destinations