30 December - 1 January 2012: Madeira with a bang
The Portuguese outpost of Madeira may have a somewhat fusty reputation, but on New Year's Eve it puts on a show that rivals any Sydney, Edinburgh or New York can put on. The 2006 fireworks display over the Madeiran capital, Funchal, entered the Guinness World Records book as the largest the world has ever seen; things have barely been scaled down since. It's not just about the bangs though - temperatures are pleasant in Madeira at this time of year, and it's an excellent opportunity to get some winter sun.
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