Airports are like marmite; heading away? Fab. You’re drinking champers like it’s going out of fashion, and buying perfume you really don’t need in the duty-free. Returning home? Hell. The sight of alcohol makes your stomach turn and you’re jumping out of your seat to get onto that plane faster than Concorde. Some airports however make you want to linger a little longer, providing those “holiday feels” as soon as you hit the ground – especially if you’re landing on the beach at Barra. With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at the airports that have us thinking twice about those stop-over flights, and loading up the insta-stories upon landing.
Vancouver International (YVR) calls itself an airport, but from a brief browse it looks more like a city. Never mind visiting Vancouver, the airport should be somewhere you book a holiday too! The airport boasts two giant marine exhibits – yes, you did just read that correctly – including wolf eels, sea urchins and orange cup corals, managed by the city’s aquarium. If this doesn’t float your boat, there’s aboriginal artwork to peruse; The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, created by renowned BC artist Bill Reid is quite the tourist trap. Or there are various bookshops to grab a good read in (if the other activities don’t suffice).
Whilst Scotland’s colder climes might not be an incentive to visit, you can’t take away the country’s beauty. Just off Scotland is Barra, an island in the Outer Hebrides and the second southernmost inhabited island there. How do you get to Barra you ask? OH, well you get a plane that lands on the beach! Yep, Barra airport’s charm lies with the fact that its one of the only airports where beach landings are still possible. So, if you’re opting for a beach holiday, why not Barra?! The unbeknown airport has been featured in a host of films and docs over the years, and will hopefully feature in your 2019 travel plans!
The travel grapevine is awash with “have you ever been to Singapore Changi?” and “oh my gosh, that Singapore airport is amazing”. So we had a little investigate and turns out the rumours are true. The airport features a butterfly garden in terminal three and The interactive Enchanted Garden in terminal two which is equipped with flowers and glass bouquets. Outside, there’s a cactus garden to enjoy and an outdoor swimming pool (pretty ridiculous, huh?), and if you’ve not watched enough films on the plane, you can watch a movie at a free movie theatre in terminal two and three.
Dubai’s known for its luxe, and shopping culture – so why not start the spree at the airport? Dubai airport has an array of designers, from Chanel handbags (so you don’t have to buy a fakie), to Tiffany and Jimmy Choo. Dubai is also known for its WOW-fi (aka, the WiFi is so speedy that they’ve thrown WOW in front of it), and there’s a kids zone in Terminal 3 featuring interactive games, and a climbing area. In essence, you can tire the little’uns out before the flight. The airport also looks super cool, which is a plus, with a sandy looking area and palm trees running throughout. Everyone wants to see a palm tree whilst on hols, right?
Going to the Maldives is pretty darn cool as is, but throw in a landing at Velana International and you’ve struck gold, my friend. The main gateway into the Maldives, travellers zoom into an airport surrounded by Maldive expectations; turquoise seas and blue as far as the eye can see. It is located on Hulhule Island in the North Male Atoll, near the capital island Male, and provides the most picture-esque of views. Get saving!
Madrid may be rich in architecture and, it appears, so is the airport. Re-designed in 2006, the airport and its bright and uncustomary ceiling was designed by architects Richard Rogers and Antonio Lamela, who said their design was meant to evoke a sense of calm. So, if you’re a bag of nerves and struggle to fly as is, Madrid is quite possibly the destination for you.