Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge, situated next to Rwanda’s renowned Volcanoes National Park, is on track to open for guests on 1 June 2017. Comprising just six forest villas, Bisate Lodge will offer a luxurious base from which to enjoy an extraordinary gorilla conservation experience and a holistic exploration of this beautiful region. Situated within the amphitheatre of an eroded volcanic cone, the 27-hectare Bisate site is incomparable in terms of its natural splendour, with sweeping views towards the Karisimbi, Bisoke and Mikeno volcanoes. It is close enough to Kinigi (the Volcanoes National Park Headquarters) to be convenient for guests’ morning gorilla treks, but far enough away so as to feel remote and even – as a result of the onsite indigenous reforestation project – part of the spectacular Park. Featuring six luxurious forest villas, the real generosity of Bisate in the Rwandan context will be the amount of private and exclusive space that surrounds the Lodge, cosseting it in a rare natural landscape brimming with Albertine Rift biodiversity and beauty. Each spacious forest villa will comprise a generous yet intimate combination of bedroom, reception space and bathroom, all warmed by a central fireplace and with breathtaking views out across a private deck towards Mount Bisoke. Bookings for Bisate Lodge open on the 3rd of October 2016. All sales will be handled by Wilderness Safaris’ partner and ground handler in Rwanda, Thousand Hills Africa (previously Thousand Hills Expeditions). “With over 12 years’ experience in tailor-making life-changing journeys in Rwanda, we are thrilled to partner with Wilderness Safaris and look forward to welcoming many guests to the luxurious new Bisate Lodge next year”, said Jacqui Sebageni, MD of Thousand Hills Africa.
They bring onto one website the best local tour companies from across the world (an Indian company in India, a Peruvian company in Peru), facilitate communication with customers and bond all payments through ABTA. They aim to bring the 'buy local' and 'fairtrade' movements into the travel industry: harnessing positive change and ensuring an authentic experience for their customers. Each destination they offer has multiple sample itineraries and local tour operators can be contacted through their online platform to tailor-make each trip. Whether its treetops or temples you're seeking: TravelLocal can craft the holiday of a lifetime. The concept promotes a more sustainable way of travelling while not sacrificing on security, price or support (they have a 24 hour phone line in the UK so are always on hand to help).
UNESCO World Heritage travel specialists Battered Suitcase are introducing twelve luxury, new bespoke tours for late 2016-17 increasing their portfolio to over 30 tours across all five continents including the UK. Highlights include a tour through heritage Germany marking the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and retracing Martin Luther’s journey. This experience is part of a new five-part tour collection, which also includesThe Royals and Religion, following in the footsteps of the former German nobility and connections with the British Royal family, and the Great Writers, a literature journey of distinction through the UK.
2017 will see the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution and Private Jet Tour's new tour – Empire of the Tsars will have you following in the footsteps of the Romanov family, rulers of Russia for over 300 years. Departing in April, this is one of their new, smaller group tours offering just 16 places. Over 9 historically filled days, you’ll visit Yekaterinburg, where the Romanovs died, Moscow, believed to be where the first Tsar was born and the celebrated St Petersburg, home to fabulous architecture built by the Tsars. Visit Private Jet Tours for more info.
Introducing Remote Spidsbergseter by the Rondane National Park, a Journey among Norway’s Arctic Islands and a Northern Lights Adventure Featuring limitless ways to have fun in the white stuff, Inntravel’s Snow programme for 2016/17 offers so much more than skiing this winter. Though cross-country skiing still lies at the heart of many of the tempting breaks, the snow-covered landscapes can be explored by a variety of other means - whether downhill skiing on un-crowded slopes, snowshoeing through silent forests, winter walking, husky sledding, visiting Christmas markets, or glimpsing the Northern Lights. For more info head to Inn Travel
MGallery by Sofitel, the intimate collection of boutique hotels with stories to tell, unveils Sensory Storytelling, a programme of sensory guest experiences that bring to life the unique story of each property. Available from 31st October, guests staying at Francis Hotel, Bath; Castle Hotel, Windsor; and Queen’s Hotel, Cheltenham will be able to choose their own scent to help create memories that live on past their stay. Visit M Gallery for more info.
Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, the luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, is set to make its debut in the Sultanate of Oman this autumn with the opening of Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort in the north east of the country and Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara in the southern province of Dhofar. Situated in dramatic natural beauty, each resort will offer authentic indigenous experiences, allowing discerning guests to immerse themselves into the culture and landscape of this extraordinary country. See Anantara for more details.
Yes of course, eating and drinking are functionally necessary. But isn’t it wonderful when they are much, much more than this – when they make the heart beat a little faster? No one understands this better than the Italians – and in particular, nowhere is it better recognised than at Castello del Nero, a five-star luxury hotel in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa in the heart of the Chianti wine region just outside Florence. It’s a perfect base from which to go on explorations to delight the palate. Why? Partly because of its beautiful Tuscan location, and partly because the hotel is a culinary destination in itself.Castello Del Nero
Boiling Lake, Dragon’s Mouth, Valley of Desolation: a roll call of Dominica’s evocative place names leaves little doubt that the little-known island is far removed from the typical Caribbean cliché. It makes the perfect destination, therefore, for Slow holiday specialist Inntravel’s first foray into the region. The Secret Treasure of the Caribbean walking holiday – available from this November – encourages visitors to get off-the-beaten path and experience the island’s raw and rugged landscapes. And, with same day flight connections now available from London, seeing a different side of the Caribbean has never been easier. Inn Travel
Content editor Philly recently explored new local island experiences in The Maldives. From tucking into delicious traditional dishes, to exploring important cultural sights to appreciating everyday life of Maldivians, here she reports back on her findings that have formed the basis of our new cultural holidays to this fascinating country. Experience Travel Group
Kelpers has inaugurated a new 4X4 tour of the lesser known western Falkland Islands. For seven days, travellers will tour the west coast with founders of Kelpers and local islanders Peter and Shelly Nightingale to discover areas still unspoilt by tourism and staying in self-catering accommodation along the way. Falkland Islands Holidays can arrange for the tour to start in Darwin House in the east Falklands close to the international airport and from there travel to the west for a four day tailored trip of the island with the Nightingales. Prices of the holiday are available upon request. Falkand Island Holidays
The specialist tour operator to the Nordic countries has launched an array of unique experiences, including the ICEHOTEL 365, exploring Iceland from a luxury yacht, family adventure in Svalbard and Norway’s biggest cultural event Nordic Experience is delighted to announce exciting new additions to its program of holidays in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen, Denmark and the Faroe Islands. For more information visit Nordic Experience
Canyon Ranch® has been a pioneer and an industry-leading proponent of the wellness lifestyle for nearly 40 years, operating the world's most celebrated collection of life-enhancement properties. Canyon Ranch is proud to bring its holistic and integrative approach to wellness to the global stage with its international destination resort Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort at Kaplankaya near Bodrum, Turkey.
Ellerman House, in partnership with Benguela Diamonds, is offering its guests an exclusive opportunity to embark on a ‘diamond safari’ to the mineral-rich west coast of South Africa – a unique place of origin for diamonds worthy of the most exquisite jewellery settings.
Luxury Edinburgh venue, Dundas Castle, has launched five star glamping in the grounds of its 500 acre estate. In association with UK operator, Glampotel, this is the first venture for the brand in Scotland and gives Edinburgh visitors a unique luxury offering this summer. Head to Glampotel Dundas Castle for more information.
When it comes to tropical fruit, mangoes are king on Nevis with more than 40 different varieties all growing on the island. This year, the Nevis Mango and Food Festival has a spectacular roster of events that will take guests throughout the island and will feature dinners and cooking demonstrations by two very special European chefs. For more information head to Nevis Island
Intimate and understated, yet contemporary and refined, Milaidhoo Island Maldives, opening November 2016, will tell the complete story of the Maldives across its 13 acres. The design and concept of this Maldivian-owned resort are proudly rooted in local tradition, where materials and crafts blend effortlessly with natural elements and modern, sympathetic sustainable architecture.For more information head to Mailaidhoo
Off the Map Travel have teamed up with two incredible professional Arctic photographers, both renowned for their images of the Northern Lights and the Arctic wilderness, to offer an exclusive new intimate photography experience designed to capture the history, culture and natural beauty of Iceland. For more information head to off the map travel.
Based in the pretty seaside village of Olymbiada, very close to ancient Stagira, his birthplace, festivities include walks on the new Aristotelian trail, ancient cookery workshops and a range of interesting talks on his life and work, both as a philosopher and teacher of Alexander the Great. You can find more information here
This summer you can enjoy a leisurely cycling break on the small and friendly island of Rugen, off the Baltic Sea coast of Germany, yet to be explored by British holidaymakers. The island boasts long sandy shores, quaint fishing villages, and Belle Époque architecture - perfect for experiencing on two wheels. For more information, head to Inntravel.
There’s 24 hours of daylight during the summer months in Sweden, Finland and Norway. Why not enjoy a Scandinavian summer this year, swimming at midnight, encountering shy wildlife in the forest, foraging for nuts and berries in the never-ending daylight, or putting into practice new photography skills? Artisan travel is offering six different trips this summer, promising resplendent views of fjords and mountains, all manner of modes of transport, from cruising to kayaking - not to mention hiking with huskies - and a wide variety of original styles of accommodation, from wilderness lodges to contemporary apartments. Sweden. Norway and Finland are all covered and prices start from £455 pp. All the information can be found at Artisan Travel.
New from UK tour operator Fred.\, a “have it your way” adventure portfolio covering some of the world’s favourite bucket-list destinations. The new Discover holidays come in two flavours: Authentic, for travellers yearning for an immersive experience of the wild side, and Comfort, for those who like their adventures infused with luxury. Experiences on offer range from living the cowboy life on a Colorado ranch (from £2559pp) to cruising the Yangtze River and spotting crocodiles in the Australian outback. More at Fred.\ Discover.
Taber Holidays have responded spectacularly to the rising demand for fire and ice by tricking out their Iceland itineraries with two new excursions. "Inside the Volcano" takes you hiking through the Blue Mountains to the rim of the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano where you can ride the world's only lift inside a magma chamber (£220pp). "Into the Glacier" is a full-day tour - by bus and monster truck - to the man-made Langjökull Ice Cave (£166pp). Tours depart from Reykjavik as a perfect addition to Saber's 3-night "Reykjavik and the Golden Circle" break, from £795pp, easily reachable via new flights from Aberdeen.
Small ship adventure cruise specialist One Ocean Expeditions has announced two brand new voyages for summer 2016 to take you through the ruggedly enchanting Northwest Passage. Choose from a seven-night wildlife encounter designed for travellers who are short on time but would like a true High Arctic wildlife experience, or eight nights travelling in the footsteps of the great explorers including Sir John Franklin. Departures in August 2016, prices start from US$6195 per person based on twin share plus charter flights within Canada at US$1200 per person.
Learning Italian: Exploring the Language, Art and Cuisine of La Dolce Vita from Sep 3-10, 2016 is http://www.petersommer.com first language learning related trip - an expert-led tour that combines an in-depth Italian language course with an exploration of the history, gastronomy, archaeology and culture of Siracusa and Sicily.
The guide is t Marcello Baglioni, rated Sicily’s Top Travel Specialist by Condé Nast Traveler magazine and one of their World’s Top 126 Travel Specialists.
Due to a last-minute cancellation, Natural World Safaris has space for two people on their exclusive Polar Bear Cub Safari departing March 14th. Just eight people are allowed on the trip, which gets you up close to polar bear dens to watch the cubs emerging into the world for the first time. The safari usually sells out years in advance, so this could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance! Find out more on the Natural World Safaris website, but you'll have to move fast!
Aimed at independent travellers whose interests focus on cultural heritage, Battered Suitcase is now offering tailor-made trips to a worldwide range of UNESCO World Heritage sites. With loose itineraries open to change and interpretation, you can be sure of a truly individual experience. Even the level of independence is up to you: you can go it alone or hire a private guide. New additions to their portfolio include 2 week, customisable self-drive trips to the USA's Deep South, Northern Argentina, Alaska by railroad, and Ecuador including the Galapagos.
Archaeological and cultural tour specialist Peter Sommer Travels has unveiled a new escorted tour and introduced extra departures for some of its most popular expeditions, unlocking some of the greatest treasures of the ancient Mediterranean in its newly released 2016 brochure. From the Amalfi Coast to the Ramparts of Rhodes, the small-group tours and gulet cruises offer a fascinating insight into past civilisations while at the same time exploring some of the most spectacular scenery in Turkey, Greece and Italy. Hosted by expert guides from fields including archaeology, ancient history and the arts, each expedition delves into the vivid history of past empires while also offering a chance to enjoy the magnificent culture, food and wine of each country. New for 2016 is their Exploring the Peloponnese tour. This new archaeology tour includes visits an impressive six UNESCO World Heritage sites, as well as exploration of undiscovered spots far off the beaten track, such as the cliff-top monasteries of Arcadia and the frescoed churches of the Mani peninsula. There’s also much to please gastronomic travellers, who will have ample opportunities to enjoy fine food and wine throughout. To find out more visit http://www.petersommer.com
We've a treat for you: Journeys Magazine readers can get reduced price advance tickets to the Adventure Travel Show 2016! To get your tickets for only £6 (saving £4 off the door price) just quote ‘JOURNEYS’ when booking online on the Adventure Travel Show website or when calling 0871 230 7159. (Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras.)
This Tyrolean winter sports resort celebrates its great winter opening this year with Sportfreunden Stiller, who will be firing up the crowds at the concert arena on the evening of 5th December. Kim Wilde is the special guest and snow sports fans have the opportunity over the next 3 days to test the latest equipment free of charge. Its an event not to be missed with traditional Austrian hospitality at its best. For more information visit http://www.stantonamarlberg.com
The plane’s last stop is the top of the world. This July, reserve one of 9 seats on an exclusive charter flight that takes you into the High Arctic wilderness of Quttinirpaaq National Park of Canada. Choose a guided hike with world-class wilderness adventure company Black Feather or plan your own independent adventure with Parks Canada’s help. Only 800 km from the North Pole and virtually untouched by tourism, the vast tundra wilderness is yours to explore in 24-hour daylight. Starting at $8,000 CDN, the package includes access into Quttinirpaaq National Park via Twin Otter plane from Resolute (Nunavut, Canada), park fees, an orientation, and a celebratory meal at Tanquary Fiord. http://parkscanada.gc.ca/quttinirpaaq and http://blackfeather.com to learn more about the guided trips
http://www.lostearthadventures.co.uk who specialize in small group adventure tours to Nepal, Thailand and Laos. They have launched Secret Trails of Nar Phu, a 16 Day Teahouse Trek which veers into the restricted area of Nar Phu, having only been opened to visitors since 2003, the difference is hugely noticeably from the busier trails of the Annapurna Circuit and visits an area that few others have explored before. The trek begins in the lower reaches of the Annapurna Circuit. Walk along rugged mountain trails carved into vast, steep sided gorges and experience fantastic views of the awe-inspiring snow-capped peaks, like Manaslu and Annapurna II. The land only price for this trek is £1,295, departures available on 21 November in 2015 and 9th April, 1st and 22nd October plus 12th November 2016
See a new side of the blue Aegean on intimate traditional gulet cruises in 2016 with Westminster Classic Tours. Just announced, their new programme includes brand new expert-led cultural tours to Sicily as well as their mainstays of Greece, Turkey and Croatia. Hop ashore for a walk along the Carian Trail, climb Mount Atmos, visit Wonders of the World and hidden ruins, and bring the kids at half-term for a trip around the Greek islands. See the Westminster Classic Tours website for more.
With the 150th anniversary this year of Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling’s birth, this is the perfect time to see the Indian jungles where it all began. Responsible travel agency Village Ways has just launched Forsyth Trails, a 10-night tour of the national parks of Madhya Pradesh. You’ll help create jobs for local residents by experiencing village life in luxury tents, as well as jeep safaris and a special tour in hidden Satpura National Park – the only place in India where you can walk through tiger country. First tour leaves 1 November, from £1,258pp including accommodation with full board, rail journeys, transfers, safaris and guiding.
Jessops has recently announced its partnership with Your Safari to offer tailor-made safari breaks created specifically for photography enthusiasts – both amateurs and experts. This partnership is the perfect trip for photographers who want to capture the very best images possible on safari. Namibia is a top destination for photographers throughout the world and there are two specific expeditions which guests are able to choose between: one being focused on the highlights of Namibia; including both stunning landscape and unique wildlife opportunities, and the other mostly for wildlife photographers concentrating on the beautiful Etosha National Park. The opportunity for night time photography is also available, aided by floodlit waterholes and starlight trails www.jessops.com/academy
Off the Map Travel have launched a range of NEW opportunities for guests to experience the Northern Lights. From the world’s first Aurora Festival and Floating under the Northern Lights; to an Aurora wellbeing retreat and a new glass roofed snowcat – these eight new opportunities are set to allow guests to experience the Aurora in a new light. Jonny Cooper, Northern lights travel expert and founder of Off the Map Travel, said: “We are still at a very positive point of the solar cycle which drives Northern Lights displays with the vast majority of our guests last season experiencing Northern Lights displays at least once during their visit. This season we have looked to add new opportunities for our guests and have developed a number of exciting ways to experience and engage with the Aurora. We believe there is something new for everyone.” www.offthemaptravel.co.uk
Don’t let your brain cells go stagnant just because you’re on holiday: activity holiday operators HF Holidays have just launched over 70 brand new trips for 2016. New to the portfolio is a range of art and craft trips including life drawing, book binding, playing the ukulele, painting silk scarves in the Yorkshire Dales or discovering Italian culture over seven nights in Puglia. It’s never too late to learn some new tricks! Visit the HF Holidays website or call 0345 470 7558 for dates and prices.
Grasshopper Adventures has launched Stunning Shikoku, a new cycle tour of old-world Japan taking in the islands’ unique blend of quiet tradition and modern sophistication. Over 14 days, participants will travel 832km starting in Kyoto, crossing the Seto Inland Sea by boat, exploring the temples of Shikoku Island and then back to the mainland to experience the coastline, ending the trip in Hiroshima. Prices start at £3270 including accommodation and excluding flights, with no single supplement. With a maximum group size of 14, this guaranteed departure on 16 April 2016 is a unique opportunity to see the best of both ancient and modern Japan.
India just got a little bit closer with the recent streamlining of its visa application process – it’s now so easy to get to that you can just pop over for the weekend. Tour operator Western & Oriental are launching three brand new weekend city breaks for Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad, each lasting four nights. Tour the city in a private car, visit markets, soak up the glamour of Bollywood or dive in for a taste of authentic India with cooking lessons from a local family. From £749 including flights and accommodation.
HF Holidays have just launched their 2016 brochure and it’s filled with fascinating new walking holidays and outdoor leisure trips. Trek through the Indian Himalayas accompanied by an expert walking guide, climb the Cape Wrath Ben Stack and relax on Britain’s whitest beach at Sandwood, or venture further afield to New Mexico and Colorado, the Lisbon Coast, Spain’s La Gomera or Cape Verde. The brochure is available now on the HF Holidays website, covering the second half of 2015 and first half of 2016.
Coming up in October is the Jambay Lakhang festival – one of the high points of Bhutan’s calendar. Insider Journeys is running a special 13-day Highlights of Bhutan tour to take in the festival, which includes dancing in the buff to purify sins and pray for the harvest (not mandatory). You’ll also see the stunning Tiger’s Nest Monastery, iconic temples and the lush Jakar Valley before climbing through rhododendron-studded mountain forests to Jele La Pass, 3,988m above sea level. This intriguing tour leaves 21 October 2015 with prices starting at £2965 for twin bookings.
Guests on safari in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park now have the opportunity to see the park in style on the Elephant Express. Launched by Imvelo Safari Lodges, the train whisks guests from the northern boundary to the south-eastern corner of the park in a smooth two-hour trip with a cool drink in hand. Shorter game-watching tours or longer day trips are also available, and guests can enjoy refreshments at Impofu siding in the midst of the forest. The Elephant Express seats 22 guests and runs daily between Bomani and Camelthorn Lodge, with transfers available between each lodge and its siding.
Bike tours are big right now and Macs Bike is a brand new cycle-focused website launched by Macs Adventure, with 12 fresh European itineraries to suit cyclists of all stripes. Family itineraries, gourmet tours and more challenging rides cover Catalonia, the Austrian Lake District with a Sound of Music twist, Burgundy, western Germany and many more. Those who lack legs of steel have the option of hiring an electronic bike for 13 of Macs Bikes’ tours, so that no one gets left out. There’s no excuse for getting lost in your search for the perfect bike holiday – although how you fare on the road is up to you.
Experience an in-depth introduction to Ecuador’s lively capital with a “Live Quito Like a Local” walking tour from the historic Casa Gangotena mansion hotel. Designed in collaboration with grassroots NGO the San Roque Heritage Guardians, the tour includes Quito’s Old Town, local artisans, a visit to the vibrant San Francisco Market and a lunch of Ecuadorian specialties, led by a San Roque resident with a rich knowledge of the city. Tours start from £134 including a guide, English translator, driver and lunch, departing daily from Casa Gangotena.
There’s much more to Cambodia than chugging round temples on a tour bus. The new 12-day premium bicycle tour from eco-friendly operator Grasshopper Adventures allows you to explore iconic temples and head out into enchanting countryside on two wheels. In the evening, practice your downward dog with yoga classes in eco-resorts and cosy guesthouses. The tour, which covers 460km and operates with a maximum group size of 10, departs on July 19 and November 9 and again on January 30, 2016. Cost is from £1900 based on 2 people travelling (excluding flights), with single supplements waived for same-sex room sharing.
This July, head to Zagori in north-western Greece for the North Face Zagori Mountain Run – a race through strikingly beautiful river gorges and spectacular mountain ranges in the Vikos-Aoos National Park. Virtually untouched by tourism, the area is perfect for adventure travel and is under consideration for the UNESCO World Heritage List. But it’s also home to the Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas, an award-winning luxury property just 15 minutes from the start of the run where race participants can indulge at the spa at the end of the day. Rooms will be available for a special rate of £65 per night (down from £115) on a B&B basis with full access to the spa and other facilities during the race in the last week of July 2015.
Aardvark Safaris is ready to show you the other side of safari life this May, combining a holiday and safari guide training. Over five packed days at Cottar’s Mara Camp in Kenya’s Masai Mara, you’ll learn in-depth about Kenya’s bushland and its wildlife. At the same time, you’ll be giving back to the community: proceeds will help ten Kenyan guides to finish their training. The owner-run camp sits on the border of the Serengeti and Loliondo areas of Tanzania, with ten en-suite tents and a swimming pool. The trip runs only once, from 19 to 23 May 2015, and just five spots are available. Full board, training and certificate included, from £2,027.
Selective Asia now offers a tour of Laos' little-explored Bolaven Plateau in a genuine Vietnam War-era Jeep, the first UK tour operator to do so. Participants will visit local villages, explore pristine wilderness and tour a plantation of what is said to be the world's best coffee, grown in the Bolaven Plateau's cool jungle climate created by volcanoes millions of years ago. The Jeep tour can be added to any of Selective Asia's existing tours including Essential Laos from £1497 or Laos In Style from £2237 (both for 2 people, excluding flights).
Macs Adventure will be running a 12-person South Greenland Adventure this summer, with just one departure on August 25. The guided trip will include hiking across the tundra, helicopter trips and kayaking and participants will stay in B&Bs and a family farm run by local Inuit people for a chance to be immersed in Inuit culture. Experience markets, fur shops and the true spirit of remote Greenland from the capital, Qaquortoq, and the small settlement of Narsarsuaq to the wilderness of the tundra including the breaktaking glacial Flower Valley. From £1805 including flights, accommodation and transfers.
Amazon Creek have announced three new holiday packages hosted at their deluxe Chamonix chalets this summer. The indulgent Women’s Only Weekend Break in September includes yoga, hiking, cooking, mountain biking and an hour-long massage for ladies to unwind after a busy few months. The Family Adventure Break is available all summer long, catering to families who love to play together with rock climbing, a catered private BBQ with marshmallows to toast, and a night’s babysitting to give parents the evening alone. And just for couples, the Romantic package includes massages, star-gazing, wine tasting and a candlelit dinner cooked by the resident gourmet chef. Each chalet features spa facilities, concierge service, fresh bread and pastries daily and a welcome pack with a bottle of Champagne.
To witness a rare full solar eclipse pack your bags to The Faroe Islands now ! At precisely 09:41 on March 20th these stunning islands will be in pitch blackness for more than 2 minutes. www.faroeislands.com
Home to the Maldives’ first fully functional marina, Hideaway Beach Resort and Spa has just re-opened after a massive $50 million renovation. Located on the crescent-shaped Dhonakulhi Island in the northern Maldives, this five-star resort lives up to its name with luxurious, secluded accommodation. Hideaway offers a huge range of dining options and plenty of ways to take advantage of the sun and sea. Cocoon in a choice of a beachfront or over-water villa while you treat yourself to one of the largest spas in the Maldives, or explore the island’s unique reefs.
This March, Adelboden’s Igloo Festival at Enstligenalp, Switzerland, invites one and all to try their hand at igloo-building. They supply tools, equipment and expert advice, while your team spends the day creating an igloo to shelter you through the night. The best igloos win prizes of dinner, outdoor gear and lift passes, and you have the option to self-cater or enjoy three cosy meals in an alpine hut. Everyone gets a drink to toast the sun as its sets. The Igloo Festival runs from March 14-15 and entries start at £58, including a lift pass and welcome pack. Registration has been extended until March 2...for those who dare.
Seminal English author Jane Austen published her much-beloved work Emma 200 years ago this year. To celebrate, Visit Winchester is re-launching its popular Jane Austen trail this March. Spend the day learning about Austen's life, including her birthplace in Steventon and her grave at Winchester Cathedral. Her home in Chawton where she wrote her books is now a museum dedicated to her life. On Friday the 13th of March, local Austen expert Dr Nigel Paterson is set to give an enlightening talk about the author's life accompanied by a 3 course dinner. Tickets are £40 from the Visit Winchester website.
Feather Down Farm Days provides "glamping" farmstays - a new way to enjoy all the fun parts of country living without the daily grind. Take your family horse-riding, fishing, foraging and quad-biking; learn to groom the ponies and make your own fishing flies, and come home to a five-star luxury tent. Choose from over 60 farms throughout the UK in gorgeous locations like the Malverns, Cornwall and North Wales. In a fast-paced, tech-obsessed world, this is a perfect opportunity to get away from it all without giving up your creature comforts.
Sunvil Travel has now launched their 2015 Portugal and Madeira brochure, packed with options for the ultimate walking or self-drive holiday. This beautiful country offers gorgeous beaches, city breaks, countryside tours full of home-made Portuguese cuisine, history, wineries and more. Choose your own flexible itinerary and explore seven stunning regions, including Lisbon, the Algarve and the Azores. All 28 of Portugal's historic Pousadas are also included - these castles and monasteries are located in some of the country's most breathtaking settings. Tailor your trip as much as you like and create your own Portuguese paradise. Visit Sunvil to book yours today.
This year, UK tour operator Gane and Marshall introduces a gruelling element of challenge to their Namibian desert tours. Desert Nights 2015 will be the first tour ever to incorporate the Desert Knights Mountain Bike Ride, a five-day, 180km adventure across the harshly beautiful Namibian desert. Starting in Windhoek, you’ll travel to Fish River Canyon to join the ride. Cycle through the striking landscapes featured in the newest Mad Max film and finish by kayaking along the Orange River. The 13-night tour ends with a night in a luxury lodge, a gourmet three-course meal and an indulgent massage. Desert Nights 2015 runs from 20th September til 3th October; see Gane and Marshall for details.
Opening in 2015, Tri is a stylish and ecologically conscious design hotel overlooking Sri Lanka’s Lake Koggala. With just ten luxury suites set in a spiral design around the hilltop, it’s a true sanctuary that still features up-to-the-minute modern technology. Experience treetop yoga, a private beach, lake kayaking and the serenity of great modern design, plus the peace of mind that comes with knowing your hotel is using cutting-edge tools to achieve total sustainability. This is a definite feel-good holiday retreat. Room rates start from £125; see the Tri website for more details.
Taste the real South-East Asia this year with Selective Asia’s new in-depth food tours. In Laos, grill your own traditional feast with a local family, while in Phnom Penh you’ll experience the secret restaurants Cambodians love. Penang itineraries include a visit to historic Georgetown coupled with famous regional dishes like mee goreng and chendol, and in Chiang Mai you’ll discover local cottage industries and harvest your own ingredients from a family garden. Food tours can be added to Selective Asia’s other South-East Asian itineraries for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience this culinary wonderland.
Discover the Mekong provide tailor-made trips in Cambodia, led by the finest hand-picked guides. With a team of passionate, friendly staff with expert knowledge, Discover the Mekong understand that everyone is unique so the emphasis is on tailor-making trips to create the perfect holiday. Cambodia is still relatively undiscovered and has a much to explore outside of the temples of Angkor, with paradise beaches, tropical jungle,unspoilt countryside, mountains and quaint cities. Equipped with a wealth of knowledge on the country and its rich culture, their intimate knowledge and enthusiasm truly makes Cambodia come alive. For enquiries mail: email@example.com
The first truly mobile luxury camps in India cover a calendar of destinations and festivals and introduces the discerning traveller to different adventures in carefully selected exceptional locations in the mountains, deserts, jungles and unexplored countryside. 4 different camps offer 4 very different experiences from staying in the grounds of a monastery in Ladakh to the Eastern province of Nagaland at Kohima Camp for the 10 day Hornbill Festival or travel to Kotwara and Suheli Camp in India's most pristine forest reserve just 3 hours drive from Lucknow. For more, visit The Ultimate Travelling Camp.
Artisan Travel is a new sister brand to established agents Activities Abroad and The Aurora Zone, offering package holidays built on authentic local knowledge. “Whenever we visit new destinations, we always ask our local hosts to show us their favourite places...we know that our clients share our desire to dig that bit deeper," says managing director Alistair McClean. This winter, Artisan is offering five nights with a Sami family in Finland, a husky safari in Norway and a self-drive holiday around Iceland's best little-known sights - among other tours. Prices from £1775pp, flights included.
As a provider of high-quality tours to South Asia for over 25 years, TransIndus has always placed great emphasis on its brochures. For its 25th anniversary year, it wanted to do something really special. Amrit Singh, Director of TransIndus says: “Our aim was simple: to produce a document that would be of genuine value to prospective travellers. The result goes well beyond the limits of a conventional brochure. It is, in effect, a potted guide to the Indian Subcontinent that not only looks wonderful, but also contains fresh, engagingly written accounts of all the destinations you might wish to visit, regardless of budget.” New destinations for this season include the Jawai Leopard Camp, located in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan - an area with the highest density of leopards in India.
Canadian Affair has revealed it will be offering non-stop flights from London to the remote Canadian city of St John's for summer 2015. St John's is known for its fresh seafood and it's the gateway to Newfoundland and Labrador - a wild, dramatic province known for its icebergs, whale-watching tours and miles of rugged coastline. Flights will continue from St John's to Halifax, connecting travellers to the centre of Nova Scotia as well. Prices start at £448 return and flights will run from June 18th until September 2nd, 2015.
Combine a Tuscan summer holiday with a boost to your artistic skills at The Watermill at Posara. Nine new seven-night courses led by accomplished painters, illustrators and knitters have just been announced for the 2015 season from May to October - including watercolours, sketching and pastels. Improve and learn new techniques in the serene surroundings of the mill in between rich home-grown meals, as well as day trips to the inspiring surroundings of Tuscany. Book by December 31, 2014 for a £75pp discount!
Here's a winter idea you've never thought of: snowshoeing in Serbia. Starting in January 2015, Ramblers Holidays are running 7-night tours through the mountains, including Divcibare, Kopaonik and the Zlatibors. You'll stay in traditionally designed cottages as you hike and snowshoe through the frozen hills, as well as a horse-drawn sledge ride, a chance to gain some local knowledge, and a night in beautiful Belgrade to finish the trip. Prices from £965 including flights and accommodation; first departure January 27th, 2015.
Essential Myanmar is a 14-day guided tour of all Myanmar's highlights run by Selective Asia, combining the requisite temple and pagoda trips with light trekking, visits with the locals and plenty of time for R&R on Ngapali beach. The itinerary covers Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Heho and a sprinkling of tiny rural villages. From November 2014, you'll also have the chance to add on a cruise on the brand new Sanctuary Ananda luxury river boat - complete with its own spa, gourmet cuisine and onboard yoga classes.
This summer in the Caribbean, tour operators Wildlife Worldwide are running specialised animal-watching trips through Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. From autumn 2014 until spring 2015, take a leisurely boat journey along the Essequibo River and catch glimpses of jaguars, leatherback turtles, rare birds, howler monkeys and maybe even a manatee. There's also the chance to snorkel pristine reefs, stay in an Amerindian village and hike with a native guide. Rates start at £5,195pp including flights and accommodation.
Inspired by BBC2’s stunning Jungle Atlantis: Angkor Wat’s Hidden Megacity? Specialist tour operator Travel Indochina is offering up to £350 per couple off small group tours to Cambodia for bookings made before October 31. The company accesses the mesmerising Angkor temple complex away from the crowds, entering the site via the lesser-used eastern entrance to watch the sunrise. Other highlights of the tour include a home-stay with a local family in Takeo and a trip to a village producing palm sugar. The 11-day Cambodia Revealed journey visits Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Kampot, Kep, Takeo, Kampong Thom and Tonle Sap Lake as well as Angkor and Siem Reap and costs from £1,590 per person, departing November 11.
If you’re going to go to Switzerland, go for quality: this is, after all, the home of all the finer things in life. New luxury travel service Bespoke Switzerland is offering custom-made high-end holidays this winter, featuring such memorable experiences as bungee jumping from a mountainside gondola or a magical hot-air balloon flight over the snow. If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, you can opt for a visit to traditional Swiss watchmakers and a mouthwatering train tour to the Cailler Chocolate Factory – not to mention limo transfers, a private butler and an array of other glorious indulgences.
Sweden’s famous Ice Hotel celebrates its 25th anniversary this winter with big plans and new designs that promise to be spectacular. This year, the hotel will include Aurora Hall – an ice theatre created by spraying water onto giant balloons – as well as Art Suites featuring a clam-shaped bed, orang-utans, the cogs of a clock and a forest fairy, all carved entirely from ice. And as a birthday gift for those who like a gamble, every 25th person who books an Ice Hotel break with Discover the World this year travels for free.
See Malta’s hidden side this autumn with Private Malta, a luxury four-day break organised by the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa and beyond3sixty. You’ll have the chance to visit Malta’s private stately homes and Palazzos, normally closed to the public, and meet their owners in person. Also included are a private tour of St John’s Cathedral and the ancient city of Medina, a tour of Malta’s enchanting Grand Harbour on a yacht, and concerts performed in the Palazzos. It’s a rare opportunity for an in-depth look at this popular Mediterranean island.
Portugal’s medieval heart holds undiscovered joys for intrepid travellers. Sunvil Discovery is offering a week-long stay at the sumptuous former palace of Quinta das Lagrimas in the city of Coimbra – it’s said to be the setting for a local legend of star-crossed lovers. Explore the 16th century Velha Universidade, where the baroque Joanina library hosts its very own bat colony and students perform daily concerts of traditional Fado music. The extensive Roman ruins of Conimbriga lie nearby for a fascinating day trip.
With Scotland’s independence vote making headlines, now is the perfect time to take time out from the politics and rediscover the wild places of the Cairngorms. Wilderness Scotland has just launched a new Winter Highlands walking tour, a relaxed ramble through ancient pine forests, spectacular lochs and snow-covered glens. There’s also the option to go in October for an Autumn Glens trip based on the shores of Loch Ness. Both trips come as package deals including 4 cosy nights in a 4-star B&B, transport, several meals and a guide.
Indulge yourself at one of Sri Lanka Collection’s privately owned high-end hotels, scattered across a wide range of stunning locations throughout the island of Sri Lanka. Choose from a leopard-spotting safari in luxury tents at Yala National Park; a golden beach retreat at Why House on the south coast; a romantic hilltop getaway at Kahanda Kanda; or the idyllic Bougainvillea Retreat, as well as several exclusive villas large enough for groups of friends to share. The Wallawwa provides a blissful spa retreat near Colombo, or you can experience the best of the capital’s chic shopping districts at Casa Colombo. There’s even a chauffeur guide on offer so you can discover this breath-taking country in total comfort under the guidance of a local expert.
Inca Rail in Peru offers rail experiences between the Incan Fortress town of Ollantaytambo and UNESCO World Heritage site, Machu Picchu, a journey of approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. Inca Rail caters for travellers of all budgets and preferences with 3 different Train options. The Machu Picchu Train launched in June 2014 offers a clean, reliable and value for money service. The Inca Train with its own Executive and First Class options offers comfortable seating, great service and *complimentary meals and drinks (*First Class only) The Inca Princess Carriage is a private carriage and offers exclusivity, combined with the elegance and sophistication of luxury rail travel of a by-gone era. www.incarail.com
Discover the ‘real’ Yorkshire on a new gastronomic walking break with Inntravel that combines self-guided walks amid the beautiful Howardian Hills and visits to historic jewels like Rievaulx Abbey, Helmsley Castle and Nunnington Hall, with guided ‘foodie’ visits to a variety of independent artisan food producers, and the chance to dine in some of the region’s most highly acclaimed restaurants including the award-winning Star at Harome and James Martin’s new restaurant, The Talbot, in Malton. With accommodation in high-quality country hotels along the way, this promises to be a very indulgent break. http://www.inntravel.co.uk/holidays/short-breaks/UK/Yorkshire-Gastronomic-Celebration
A new ship, Aranui 5, will set sail in 2015 to explore the exquisite Pacific islands of Tahiti and the Marquesas. The 254-passenger Aranui 5 will replace Aranui 3, the current vessel sailing the route, and will offer a greater degree of luxury; both ships offer a dual purpose as cruise vessels and cargo carriers, bringing supplies to the remote villages and islands of the Marquesas.
The regular 14-night voyages include such exotic activities as snorkelling in the turquoise lagoons of Tuamotu; a visit to the towering cliffs and waterfalls of Nuku Hiva; a trip to artist Paul Gauguin’s former home and grave on Hiva Oa; and jeep trips to explore mysterious unspoiled jungles, mountain villages and significant ancient temples.
Experience true inner peace at a full moon yoga session in Dubai. Each month, guests at The Madinat Jumeirah Resort will be encouraged to unite mind, body and spirit on a journey of self-discovery under the light of the full moon. The various ‘asanas (yoga postures)’ repeated during a full moon help maximise oxygen intake and provide better blood flow as in-house yoga master Vijay Sharma takes the class on a journey of internal reflection. The yoga takes place on a peaceful, 3 km stretch of beach near the hotel with the next sessions at 7.30 pm on Saturday, July 12; Sunday, August 10; Tuesday, September 9; Wednesday, October 8; Thursday, November 6; and Saturday, December 6. Sessions cost AED 199 per person (approx £32).
The Mediterranean coast of Turkey is renowned for its fabulous beaches, warm climate – and long-distance footpath, the Lycian Way. With Inntravel you can explore the first section of this thrilling route, on a week of self-guided, hotel-to-hotel walking that takes you along the dramatic and beautiful coastline. You follow cobbled trails that link one quiet village to the next, passing high above small isolated coves and the Seven Capes that jut out into an impossibly blue sea. Challenging, yet hugely rewarding.
Join an expedition cruise on Silversea's Silver Discoverer in Bali and sail through the Indonesian islands, spotting the legendary dragons on the island of Komodo. Then, cruise Australia's wild Kimberley Coast, a region of rugged gorges and huge waterfalls, rich in aboriginal culture and galleries of ancient artwork. This is real ‘outback’ country, where the colours of nature are vibrant and intense, with green eucalyptus and brilliant white sandy beaches, the sky cobalt by day, pink and orange in the evening and more stars than you have dreamt of at night.
From £6,960 including flights, three nights in Bali with sightseeing and 12 nights on board the ship, all-inclusive. Book through Mundy Adventures.
The turtle-hatching season begins in July and local hotels in Puerto Vallarta will be doing their best to ensure the hatchlings' safety. You can catch their release at one of many locations (Casa Magna Marriott, Presidente Intercontinental, Westin Resort) as the young turtles are helped on their perilous journey across the sand to the sea.
Taber Holidays is offering an exclusive, four-night trip to the Norwegian Arctic to learn about the reindeer migration. Stay at the luxurious Lyngen Lodge in Olderdalen, on the beautiful Lygnenfjord, and take a full day’s hike on the forested Uløya Island, from where more than 60 snowy mountain peaks are visible. With a local guide, climb up to a high plateau where where hundreds of reindeer are found cooling themselves on the melting snow, enjoying an undisturbed summer free from insects, wolves and wolverines.
The reindeer are herded up here by their Sami owners in May and in September, as summer draws to a close, they swim back to the mainland and migrate inland to avoid the harshest conditions of the Arctic winter. From £1,645, departing weekly from June 5 to the end of September.
Adventure Canada is upgrading its charter fleet with the announcement of its newest ship, the Ocean Endeavour. The 1B ice class ship is replacing the Sea Adventurer on explorations beginning with the 2015 Arctic summer. Purpose built for passenger service and outfitted with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, multiple lounges and a top deck observation room, Ocean Endeavour is a stylish and robust vessel perfect for intimate expeditions to remote environments throughout the Arctic, Greenland and Canada’s East Coast.
For visitors and locals alike, there’s an extra buzz about the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh this July. His Holiness the Dalai Lama will make a long-awaited appearance at the Kalachakra Festival, which takes place from July 4–13. Alternatively, visitors can attend the famous Hemis Festival (July 7-8), the Lamayuru Festival (July 30-31), or go camping Shakti-style at the Tsomoriri Festival (June 24-25). For more information and to plan a private Ladakh journey, contact Shakti Himalaya at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mahout at email@example.com.
Old Chapel Farm is a working organic farm that grows nearly all its own food, as well as making cheese and wine, in a secluded valley in Powys. Accommodation is in yurts sleeping between five and seven people, and there’s a Rayburn for cooking or heating water on the days when there’s not enough sun to provide solar power. The farm has a team of volunteers from all over the world who run courses in prehistoric arts and traditional crafts such as stone carving, flint knapping and basket making. It’s the perfect introduction to a simpler lifestyle! Price: From £200 for four nights in a yurt sleeping up to six people.
With breath-taking views over the Mawddach Estuary and LlÅ•n Peninsula, where the mountains of Snowdonia hit the sea, Bwlchgwyn Farm and Pony Trekking, near Gwynedd, makes for a relaxing break. Mind you, with dog training classes on a Tuesday and Thursday evening and agility classes on a Sunday, pampered pooches may think they’re at boot camp! There’s also on-site pony trekking for beginners and expert riders, starting at £20 an hour. Pitches start at £12 for one night for two people.
Start your holiday in style next year. Award-winning escorted tour specialist Titan is offering free lounge passes at Heathrow and Gatwick to all passengers on selected 2015/16 holidays worldwide, if booked by April 30, 2014. Places at special offer prices are limited and once these discounted offers have sold, prices will increase, so now is the time to book.
Travellers with a brief stopover in Singapore can now get under the skin of the city and experience it 'like a local' in just a few hours, thanks to global city tour brand, Urban Adventures. On its new Chinatown Food Adventure (3.5 hours, US$52), travellers can tuck into an authentic local breakfast at Singapore's largest hawker centre, with a local guide to help them navigate the 220 stalls in search of mouth-watering specialties such as toast with kaya (coconut and egg jam), chwee kueh (water rice cake) and chee cheong fun (rice noodle rolls). On a walk through Chinatown, travellers will learn about Singapore's origins and culture as they visit the city's oldest Chinese temple, last remaining wells and the landing place of early immigrants, before savouring a delicious local lunch.
Go on the trail of the big cats on this adventure in Chile with the renowned photographer and expert guide Diego Araya. Sightings of these very elusive creatures are most likely in Southern Patagonia, and Torres del Paine National Park is one of the hot spots. Discover the most famous trail in Torres del Paine, the W Circuit, on a five-day private trekking programme past huge blocks of twisting granite turrets, giant glacier fields and opal-blue lakes, followed by a further five days in search of this solitary predator. South American Explorations
Experience first-hand the challenges faced by early explorers on this 12-day expedition to the South Pole. The journey begins at 89° South, where you are dropped by ski aircraft. Travelling by ski and sledge, South American Explorations will take you on an epic 60-mile journey to the most southerly point on Earth. The unforgettable adventure across the stark and beautiful emptiness on this Antarctic expedition will test anyone’s endurance, but the reward will be worth it.
From barefoot chic to urban retreats, The Chic Collection is the ultimate resource and authoritative voice for discerning travellers. Originally a series of dedicated travel books, they have now expanded into the digital travel consumer world with a brand new website building to more than 1,000 Chic Collection hotel partners. A feeling, not a formula, this cutting edge collection stays ahead of the trend by only working with an elite membership of small and chic hotels; hotels that are integrated in their local custom, culture and history.
Though famous for Kathmandu and the iconic peaks of the Himalayas, Nepal has much more to offer. And thanks to Inntravel’s new walking holiday in Nepal, which has been created in conjunction with community tourism pioneers Village Ways, visitors can finally go beyond the tourist trails. Launched in March 2014 in a region not featured in guide books, Inntravel’s privately guided, non-group, village to village walking lets guests explore Nepal amongst the mountain communities of the mystical Sailung Valley. Very different to trekking and a world away from the Base Camp tourist trail.
There’s a traditional Turkish cookery class for villa guests staying in Kayakoy, a rural hamlet in the Gulf of Fethiye, formerly a Greek settlement. Local resident Ayse invites guests into her home to pick, prepare and eat fresh vegetables and fruits from the kitchen garden, creating some of Turkey’s classic appetisers. Guests stay in the heart of the hamlet of Kayakoy at Levissi Lodge, a beautifully renovated one-bedroom cottage that is over 200 years old, with large gardens and a pool surrounded by fields.
If you’re looking for a trip that’s off the beaten track, Korea has plenty to offer. Ice-climbing, whale-watching and paragliding are just some of the more unusual activities featured, along with sailing, diving, skiing (Korea is the venue for the 2018 Winter Olympics) and white water rafting. You can view Korea’s new brochure online, turning pages on screen, or there are good old fashioned printed copies available by request from London@GoKorea.co.uk.
Sick of holidays in the midst of the camera-clad crowds? Let locally-resident scientists and scholars lead you on an exquisite and exclusive journey through Cambodia. Venture into the lesser-visited countryside on a new tour, avoid the crowds of Angkor, and follow untrodden paths with ABOUTAsia Travel. Tours take guests along unique crowd-avoidance routes, allowing you to soak up the atmosphere in peace. What’s more, this 100% not-for-profit bespoke company’s itineraries fund ABOUTAsia Schools, supporting 53,000 Cambodian children with English lessons, school uniforms and text books.
Tailor-made wildlife specialist, Wildlife Worldwide, is introducing three new African safaris:
• a journey to Zimbabwe and Zambia including Kafue National Park which is one of the greatest places to see cheetah in Zambia – and currently one of the best-kept secrets in Africa;
• a journey in Botswana that takes in the most idyllic wildlife locations in the whole of Africa, and
• the highlights of Uganda combining trekking through mountain gorilla territory and exploring the Western Rift Valley.
Don’t miss out!
Leading independent operator Sunvil Holidays has launched a new interactive brochure app featuring eight of its brochures. Developed in conjunction with specialist holiday search engine Travelwhere?, the app is designed to motivate new customers to contact the operator, or check out availability on the Sunvil website. Users can quickly and easily download editions for offline browsing, view, search and save pages, share over social networks and link to the Sunvil website. The app is available to download free of charge on both Apple and Android platforms.
From a floating hotel to dog sledding on wheels, Taber Holidays has just the tour for you. The Scandinavia specialist has launched a number of new itineraries across Norway, Sweden and Denmark, from May to October. These include a dual-centre ‘Arctic Wonders’ trip featuring Tromsø and Spitsbergen, ‘The World of Hans Christian Andersen’, a self-guided celebration of the Danish author, and a combined tour of Gothenburg and Bohuslän, including a stay in Sweden’s beautiful floating hotel, Salt and Sill. For more information call Taber Holidays - 01274 875 199.
Weekend At The Edge Of The Lake Festival is returning to its much-loved Swiss Alpine lake home in the heart of Sierre this June. Renowned for bringing together party-goers from across Europe, this festival features a relaxed family atmosphere alongside live bands, local wine and food and the chance to swim in the open-air pool and relax on the beach against a stunning mountain backdrop. This year’s line-up is due to be announced shortly, so visit the website for more information.
From 4th July 2014 Avianca will start direct flights from Heathrow to Bogota with 4 direct flights a week. This will cut the flying time to Colombia from the UK to just 10 hours 30 minutes. Flights will depart from LHR at 22:30 arriving in Bogota around 03.00 local time. Journey Latin America specializes in tailor-made holiday and group tours to all of Latin America. A 12-day Highlights of Colombia holiday visits Bogotá, Cartagena and the coffee-growing region. The price includes direct flights with Avianca, comfortable mid-range hotels, transfers, breakfast and most excursions.
Forestry Commission England will host Forest Discovery Day on Sunday 30 March, during English Tourism Week, to invite more people to explore all that England’s woods and forests have to offer. Find out about the past and present of timber production and uncover wildlife living amongst the trees as Forest Discovery Day events take place at woods and forest across the country. For those not able to get to an event, there are also activities to download from the Forestry Commission website to enjoy any woodland location.
From Caramel Chew Chew to Phish Food, enjoy a winter getaway with several distinctive flavours in Vermont - as you take part in Ben & Jerry’s Annual Winter Festival! Held this year on Saturday 1 March, the festival takes place in the town of Waterbury which is home to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. For one day, the factory grounds are transformed into a winter playground for the local community and visitors to central Vermont with 2014 flavour tastings, games, entertainment and free tours of the factory to be enjoyed.
Iceland specialist Discover the World has launched a new concept to help travellers on self-drive holidays: iPad Touring.
Available from May 2014, the iPad, picked up with your rental car, will come pre-loaded with your itinerary as well as lots of extra information and quirky facts about Iceland, including best hikes, hidden beaches, geological facts and folklore.
The iDiscover iPad has free WiFi and cellular connectivity (available throughout most of Iceland) and comes with a guidance system to aid navigation. A range of apps will assist with everything from pronouncing Icelandic to checking local road conditions and keeping kids amused with child-friendly facts, figures and information about Iceland.
Dive Worldwide is offering an unrivalled collection of handpicked diving adventures for 2014, in 190 locations across the globe. Exciting new experiences include the chance to witness the famous mobula ray aggregations in Baixa, do Ambrosio in the Azores, go on thrilling dives with hammerhead sharks in the Bahamas, learn to dive in the Philippines, stay at a luxurious resort in the Phi Phi islands of Thailand and holiday on a world-class liveaboard in the Maldives.
Italy specialist Sunvil Discovery has just launched its 2014 real Italy & Sicily brochure, featuring an outstanding choice of accommodation including five-star villa hotels, agriturismos (farm properties), apartments, spa resorts and trulli houses (traditional cottages with conical roofs). From simple short breaks to flexible fly-drives, travelling by air or perhaps aboard the Orient Express, tailor-make Italy as you like it.
Calling all bear lovers…. Tailor-made wildlife specialist, Wildlife Worldwide is introducing its exclusive new tour, ‘Bear Cave Mountain’. You’ll be able to join up to 50 bears at their annual gathering in Yukon, where they congregate to fish for salmon in the thermal spring-warmed water. Watch from the kitchen window as grizzlies gather, fish and roam just outside.
MasterChef Travel is a brand new range of culinary holidays, focusing on the world’s most inspiring cuisines. All the tours feature local culinary experts and many also include time with popular contestants who have appeared on MasterChef programmes across the world. The holidays, including both multi-centre tours and shorter single-centre trips, offer the opportunity to discover local cuisine and explore the countries’ most interesting sights.
Tour operator Rainbow Tours is offering visitors a unique opportunity to pay homage to Nelson Mandela, drawing on the company’s own connections to the anti-apartheid movement. This 15-day tour, In the Footsteps of a Legend, will be led by highly acclaimed anthropologist and specialist South Africa guide, Roddy Bray, and will visit key locations that shaped Mandela’s story.
In Strasbourg, Valentine’s Day lasts for 10 days! Strasbourg is undoubtedly one of the most romantic cities in France, with its extraordinary heritage, its half-timbered houses, its picturesque narrow streets and small squares, its canals and bridges. From February 7th-16th, the Alsatian and European capital will celebrate lovers by hosting an original, glamorous, different and slightly quirky Valentine’s Day.
Get free tickets to the Destinations show (6th – 9th February) and visit the Journeys stand at LA 134 to subscribe and be entered into our prize draw to win a holiday to Argentina, or a £400 piece of designer carry-on luggage.
Follow this link: destinationsshowtickets.com & enter DST64
This February, join Peru and the city of Puno for Virgen de la Candelaria, the largest cultural, music and dance event in the country. Celebrated in honour of Puno’s patron, the Virgin of Candelaria, this huge folk festival features processions of the virgin, demon dances, elaborate costumes and colourful masks. Tour operator Rickshaw Travel offers a three day tour of the islands of Titicaca, which can be combined with other South America tours and uses Puno as a base.
Tour operator Headwater is introducing new self-guided walking and cycling holidays on the shores of Lake Worthersee. Tucked snugly into the eastern Alpine triangle, where the borders of Austria, Italy and Slovenia meet, this pristine lake is the largest Alpine lake in Europe and is widely regarded as the crown of Carinthia. Sunny climates and 27°C waters make this a perfect destination for swimmers, surfers and sailors and the street music, beach bars and friendly locals create a relaxed environment reminiscent of the Caribbean.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Alaska’s Wilderness Act, which created the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1964. With more than 32 million acres, Alaska contains more designated wilderness than anywhere else in the USA. Visit the iconic Denali National Park and Preserve, or discover the more remote and lightly visited Gates of the Arctic. Visitors will have the chance to see grizzly and black bears, wolves, caribou and even Dali’s sheep and marmots. nps.gov/akso/index.cfm
Tahiti’s ‘freighter to paradise’, Aranui 3 , is adding a day stop in the stunning blue atoll of Bora Bora to its itinerary for 2014. The new stop will come into effect during two special 2014 voyages departing April 5 and December 13, which will begin in Papeete and wind their way around Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands before anchoring in Bora Bora. From the black sand beaches, steep volcanic peaks and unspoilt culture of the Marquesas to the pristine secluded white beaches of Bora Bora, these itineraries will give passengers plenty to look forward to.
Join One Ocean Expeditions for a 12-night celebratory voyage through the fabled waters of the Northwest Passage. The journey will take place this August on board the comfortable, ice-strengthened Akademik loffe, retracing the deep-sea route followed by the St Roch when it completed the first ever single season transit of the Northwest Passage. Guests will travel between Cambridge Bay and Iqualuit, where they may also be given the chance to see pods of beluga or bowhead whales, rafts of ringed harp or bearded seals and herds of walrus.
Want to see more? Whether you’re traveling, out for a walk, sightseeing or on an excursion, Swarovski Optik's new CL Pocket binoculars will accompany you wherever you go. Featuring a robust design with a large field of vision and outstanding optical performance even for eyeglass wearers, this product guarantees quality. Whether it’s plants and animals you’re looking for or close-ups of the stage at an open air event, these binoculars are sure to broaden your horizons.
Independent tour operator Sunvil Discovery is launching its 2014 real Scandinavia brochure, which delves deep into the heart of Scandinavia. The brochure features hand-picked accommodation and itineraries throughout Sweden, Norway, the Faroe islands and, for the first time, the Danish capital of Copenhagen. Visitors will be given the chance to experience one of Europe’s oldest capitals, either as a stand-alone city break or as part of a new rail tour, also visiting Stockholm and Oslo. And with Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, just across the Öresund Bridge, this city has plenty to offer.
Tired of jam-packed ferries? Hellenic Seaplanes is offering new island routes, cutting travel time from hours to minutes. From April 2014, it will operate its first ten routes in a 19-seater aircraft from mainland hubs in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and Volos, with further island hubs in Crete, Santorini, Kos and Mylos. Built for rugged coasts and islands, these durable seaplanes will operate safely from port to port, even when high winds mean that ferries are cancelled.
Fresh for 2014, Peter Sommer Travels has launched four new tours to its ‘Exploring…’ range. Journey to Greece and discover Macedonia, home to Alexander the Great, or experience archaeology, culture and food in Athens. In Turkey, combine tours of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cappadocia with a selection of walks along the recently-opened Hittite Way. In Italy, uncover Sicily’s rich and diverse history. All tours are accompanied by expert guides and specialists to help give guests the best possible insight into their chosen destination.
Kiss a wolf and hunt down the Northern Lights in Arctic Norway this February. The White Circle is offering a brand new trip to Harstad, where you’ll get to enjoy close encounters with wolves at a polar park with the chance to enter the enclosure. An expert guide calls the wolves with a human howl and the majestic animals come up to give you their sign of acceptance and friendship: a sniff, lick and, if you want, a kiss. Once night falls, embark on an RIB (rigid inflatable boat) and head out to the pitch black Archipelago to hunt for the Aurora.
Learn to sing in Italy this August with The Watermill at Posara. Led by Joy Hill, choral conductor at London’s Royal College of Music, this brand new choral singing course is the first to be held by The Watermill. Focusing on a cappella classical and contemporary European music, learn works by Vaughan Williams, Mozart, Holst and Britten in between daily warm-ups, concerts and vocal development sessions.
Rickshaw Travel is introducing a new range of trips to Bhutan for independent travellers. Though group tours are the norm in Bhutan, adventure-hungry holidaymakers will now be able to explore the country’s cultures and landscapes under their own steam, whilst benefitting from the support of local guides. Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, this seldom-visited country is known for its friendly locals and welcoming attitude so embark on an adventure and see what makes the Bhutanese so happy.
After eighteen years in the making, the brand new Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) will be opening its doors on December 4, 2013. Designed by the acclaimed architects Herzog & de Meuron, who were also behind the design of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and the Tate Modern Project in London, this museum will be a central focus of the 29-acre Museum Park. The selection and presentation of artwork reflects the museum’s mission to create dialogues across and through local, regional and international contexts.
As the 2014 Brazil World Cup approaches, Rainforest Cruises’ new World Cup Manaus Amazon Cruise provides more adventurous fans with a perfect alternative way to view the tournament. This unique five-day tour offers fans the chance to watch four matches at brand new venue in Manaus, while discovering the magical lure of the Amazon. Embark on a traditional Amazon riverboat and experience city tours, jungle hiking, canoe adventures and even a night safari, all conveniently worked around the football fixtures.
Short break specialist Kirker Holidays has launched a dedicated Morocco brochure for 2014, featuring tailor-made itineraries with boutique riads and private guides across this diverse and fascinating country, just three hours’ flight from the UK.
The brochure features more than just the classic destinations like Fes and Marrakech; check out Taroundant, a wonderful old city just 50 minutes from Agadir, encircled by massive ramparts, or Erfoud, to the east of the High Atlas, gateway to the rippling dunes of the Sahara.
With this brand new luxury service from ski concierge company Valet Alpin, ski holidays have never been easier. Valet Alpin Black will collect ski equipment from your home or office, store it safely and securely in Switzerland all year round and deliver everything to the resort when it’s needed. Perfect for removing the stress of storing, packing, carrying and transferring gear… leaving you free to hit the slopes and leave your worries behind.
Journey Latin America has introduced a brand new Tangara group tour. Accompanied by one of the company’s expert tour leaders, the 15-day holiday starts by exploring the vineyards in Santiago and continues to the heart of the Chilean Lake District. Travel to two of the world’s great cities, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, then visit the mighty Iguazú Falls and explore Paratí’s forested islets and deserted sandy bays. For further information contact Journey Latin America (T.020 8747 8315)
Get set for a wild ride on safari in Kenya with Sir Richard Branson’s tented camp, Mahali Mzuri. Positioned within the Maasai Mara ecosystem, this is the place to be for a front row view of the abundant game in the area and is also in the path of the world-famous annual Great Migration. Guests can expect exciting game drives with experienced guides, delicious meals, and a relaxed camp atmosphere in a luxurious tent. For more information or to book email firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free on 0800 716 919.
Travel the world and join the biking revolution with Exodus. With the success of our top UK cyclists and the popularity of cycling holidays on the rise, Exodus is launching nine new cycling trips for 2014. Cycle through the mountains in Slovenia, pedal through hilltop towns in south east Sicily or take a gentler approach in Rioja over quiet lanes and cycle routes with local wine stops along the way. For more information and other destinations visit exodus.co.uk
What better way to celebrate Halloween this year than in its birthplace. Boston is notorious for pulling out all the stops for people of all ages with celebrations beginning about a month prior to the night itself. The Franklin Park Zoo puts on a show with creature encounters, creepy crafts, ghoulish games and a trick-or-treat trail. Ghost & Gravestones Frightseeing tours take place though out the city and include visits to haunted sites including XX and the Omni Parker Hotel (said to be spooked by the ghost of Harvey Parker). At the top of children's agendas will most probably be Spookyworld - open at weekends, visitors will find a mix of frightening destinations and a host of special events and scary characters sure to scare even the most hardened visitor. XV Beacon is a 1903 landmark Beaux Arts building standing at the crest of Beacon Hill and with 63 guest rooms. It is the ideal location to celebrate a Boston Halloween. XV Beacon's new 'Ghoulish Getaway' package enables guests to enjoy the best the city has to offer throughout October with 2 tickets on the 'Ghost & Gravestones Frightseeing Tour' and 2 creepy cocktails in Mooo. Available from 1st to 31st October.xvbeacon.com
Head to Switzerland this winter for a ski holiday to remember. Swiss villages of Lenzerheide and Arosa are being linked, opening up a ski area of 225km and becoming the second largest ski area in Switzerland. The brand new Priva Alpine Lodge combines the best of both private chalet and hotel experiences, so you can hit the slopes and relax in style. Call Powder Byrne on 020 8246 5300 to find out more or visit powderbyrne.com
Escorted rail specialist, Great Rail Journeys, has launched its new ‘Europe & UK Holidays by Rail 2014’ brochure which features ten new tours - its largest ever programme with a total of 104 tours, with the majority including First Class rail, quality hotels, compelling itineraries, fantastic excursions, and the services of a professional Tour Manager. New Great Rail Journeys tours include, The Splendid Italian Lakes; A Castle in the Venetian Hills; The Beauty of Calabria; 1930s Pullman Glacier Express; The GoldenPass Panoramic Express; Heritage Railways of Austria; Journey to the Orient; Britain’s Royal Heritage; Little Trains of the Somme and The Battle of Bannockburn. Visit GreatRail.com
Journey across Tanzania and see Africa from a different perspective - all under your own steam. Discover Adventure features a 229-mile cycle challenge from the base of Mount Kilimanjaro to Ngorongoro Crater National Park. Highlights include a day’s safari at Ngorongoro, home to an amazing diversity of species including lion, leopard, elephant and rhino and four nights’ camping experience. The trip departs 28 February and 17 October 2014. Visit discoveradventure.com
Silversea is introducing its eighth expedition ship, the 128-guest Silver Discoverer. The ship will sail in Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, Russian Far East, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand from March 2014. Silver Discoverer features extensive onboard facilities, twelve Zodiac boats and a glass-bottom boat for unique exploration of marine life. 2014 voyages are on sale from 10th September 2013. Visit silversea.com/expeditions
ViewRanger, the GPS navigation app, offers mapping and recommendations for good walking, cycling and riding routes. The app is free to download with all its functionality and Open Source mapping. Users can also purchase premium mapping, such as Ordnance Survey maps. Once installed, maps can be viewed without a mobile signal and your position found using GPS. ViewRanger is available for Apple, Android, Blackberry 10 and Symbian devices. Visit viewranger.com
Embrace the winter freeze and embark on the journey of a lifetime to see the polar bear in its natural environment. Frontier Canada offers a five-night tour during October and November so you can watch the kings of the Artic stride across the tundra from the comfort of a purpose-built tundra-buggy. Visit frontier-canada.com
Discover the incredible wildlife of Nepal’s Bardia National Park on an elephant-back safari, part of a 13-day luxury tour of Nepal. As well as the three-day elephant tour - where an expert will help you spot rhino, deer, leopards and maybe even tigers - you’ll get to fly along the Himalayan mountain chain to go walking and bird-watching in the Annapurna region, and explore the artistic and cultural heritage of ancient Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. Visit mountainkingdoms.com
Already missing the summer? Try Nightboarding™ at the Ibis Bay Beach Resort in the Florida Keys. Visitors can explore the ocean night-life by stand-up paddleboard or two-person clear-bottom kayak, using waterproof LED bars to light up the water. Tours launch at sunset each day and include a free CD loaded with photos from your adventure. Visit ibisbayresort.com or fla-keys.co.uk
Railbookers are featuring a one off special offer departure on the Eastern & Oriental Express. Make a 2 night journey from Singapore to Bangkok on the 19th September, including accommodation on the train in a Pullman cabin, all meals and excursions from only £1,560 per person. This one off departure also includes complimentary return flights from London! For more information or to make a booking, call 020 3327 0800 or visit www.railbookers.com
Planning an early autumn break to the Azores? Specialist tour operator Light Blue Travel has some hot tips for foodies:
Dine on slow-cooked food in the village of Furnas, situated in the crater of a dormant volcano, where the local hearty stew, Cozido Das Furnas, is cooked in a large pot in the ground.
Hang out with yachties in Peter’s Café in Horta, one of the world’s most famous stop-offs for sailors crossing the Atlantic
Sear fresh fish and meat on a hot lava stone in Horta’s Canto Da Doca restaurant
Sample age-old specialities cooked in a wood-burning stove on an 18th century working farm, Quinto Do Martelo
Finally, visit the Pineapple Plantation on São Miguel to taste the fruit, the vineyards on Pico to sample the wines and the São Jorge Cheese Factory to nibble the cheese.
Featuring over 300 exhibitors and musical performers, World Tourism Day is a chance for holidaymakers to visit the archaeological sites of Crete, including the famous Palace of Knossos, at no cost. This annual three-day celebration takes place from September 27-29 in Heraklion, where other events include food tastings, live bands and the chance to buy traditional products. World Tourism Day is organised each year by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism. The focal points for most of the activities will be Museum Square, Agios Titos (Saint Titos’) Square, Kallergon Square, Eleftherias Square and Agia Ekaterini (Saint Catherine’s) Square in Heralkion. Aldemar Hotels has four hotels located at resorts less than half an hour from the Cretan capital; www.aldemarhotels.com
Visit the Peloponnese region in southern Greece this autumn and join the harvest season celebrations in the country’s largest olive and wine producing area. For locals, the olive harvest is a time to
celebrate the vital part olives play both economically and in Greek gastronomy. For visitors, the occasion offers a wonderful glimpse into an authentic Greek tradition and the opportunity to get involved with the harvest.
The Kalamata olive is possibly the most famous variety and the area around the city of Kalamata makes for an excellent base from which to experience the harvest and explore. Ripe olives hang from the trees in abundance and nets are set up below as people shake the trees to release the fruit. Then the olives are put in sacks and taken to the olive mills.
The harvest takes place in October and November. Olive harvesting tours in the Peloponnese can generally be arranged through local hotels and travel agencies. Tours range from short visits to a mill to see how the oil is extracted to seven day harvesting workshops which include picking and pressing, olive pickling and curing workshops, Greek cuisine workshops, olive oil soap production.
Enjoy a different perspective of the Florida Keys: from the air in a vintage WWII biplane, operated by
Overseas Aero Tours
On a biplane ride for two, passengers can view the historic and contemporary bridges connecting the islands of the Florida Keys and spot marine life such as fish, sharks, rays and dolphins in the clear shallow waters below.
Highlights include a bird's eye view of Marathon, Pigeon Key, Sombrero Lighthouse and the historic Seven Mile Bridge. Rides combine history and nature in a memorable, fascinating adventure for Keys visitors.
Overseas Aero Tours is a family-run endeavour. Pilots are Captain Brad Neat, who began Keys seaplane tours in 1993, and former Continental Airlines pilot Captain Evan Doumis. Excursion prices start at $110 for two people and range from eight-to-10-minute tours to 60-minute flights. The biplane is located at the Florida Keys/Marathon International Airport.
Guests at Tswalu Kalahari, the private retreat of the Oppenheimer family (of De Beers diamonds fame) can enjoy the largest private game reserve in South Africa. Horse riding in the Green Kalahari is just one experience; there's also oustanding game viewing, a luxurious spa, children's activities and gourmet cuisine. www.tswalu.com
Explore Asia this winter with Compagnie du Ponant on the brand new megayacht, le Soleal, which will roam the coasts of Russia, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka all season, calling at remote ports and offering incredible experiences, such as a visit to Bagan in Burma, an area of 2,000 Buddhist temples, or the legendary Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia. There are 17 itineraries to choose between, departing from October to March 2013. On board, expect five star luxury with a French twist; the ship is sleek and elegant and the cuisine reflects the company's french origins. Tel. 0800 9804027 http;//en.ponant.com
Whitewater rafting pioneer Western River Expeditions offers what is perhaps the ultimate adventure along the Grand Canyone, rafting some 200 miles through dazzling scenery, shooting 60 rapids but still enjoying the comfort of luxury riverside camps. The seven-day expedition includes helicopter in and out of the Canyon, equipment, gourmet campfire cuisine and hikes to nearby waterfalls and Native American ruins. www.westernriver.com
As travel restrictions and government sanctions are slowly lifted, visitors are drifting into Burma. Yet until the border with Thailand opens, this trickle of tourists is unlikely to become a torrent of backpackers, compromising this pristine cultural destination. If you have forgotten the feeling of having discovered something new, then the ancient temples, staggering beaches and remote cultures of this one-time pariah state are for you; Burma's 'Best By' date is still a long way off. One way to discover this mystical country is by bicycle with expedition expert Exodus. An 11-day small group tour costs from £2,199pp including flights, accommodation and most meals. Tel. 0845 8639601 www.exodus.co.uk
A new venture, EathWith, has been launched in Israel, connecting local hosts around the country with visitors looking for an authentic dining experience. Visitors can log onto the website and choose to dine in a number of homes offering different experiences, from traditional Orthodox meals in Jerusalem, Argentinian-style asado picnics, or a Hungarian feast against the backdrop of the ancient Roman ruins in Caesarea. Each host is carefully selected based on their personal background, hosting skills, entertaining space and food quality. Hosts can accommodate from two to twenty guests, depending on space (and weather conditions, as dining al-fresco is one of Israel's great pleasures). Prices range from around £18 to £54 per person depending on the price of ingredients, the host's culinary experience and the style of the event. www.eatwith.com
Next Easter, travel to Central America and immerse yourself in the mystical Semana Santa. There are street processions with solemn music and scented flower carpets, while churches are decorated and lit with candles. Add in banging drums, dance, tasty street food and bustling market stalls for a week-long cacophony of colour, noise and taste. Experience Holy Week in Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua or Mexico, where you can combine the festivities with the beach and antiquities. For tailor-made itineraries, tel. 01932 424252 www.centralamericarevealed.co.uk
A new itinerary from Corinthian Travel offers visitors to the Gulf a glimpse of the 'real' Arabia. The 12-day Pears of Arabia tour includes a glimpse of historic Dubai, taking in Deira and Bur Dubai, cradling Dubai Creek and home to the gold souq. Drive along the 'Pirate Coast' to Khasab, capital of Oman's mountainous Musandam province and take a safari into the wild interior as well as a dhow cruise through the dramatic fjords. Visit Oman's cultural capital, Nizwa; drive to Jebel Shams (the highest mountain in Arabia); walk the deep gorge of Wadi Nakhr; see the fairytale fort at Jabrin; and spend a night under canvas in the magical Wahiba Sands. From £2,875pp (flights extra). Tel.01372 496 300 www.corinthiantravel.co.uk
This winter is predicted to be another bumper one for spotting the Northern Lights so don't waste a moment sleeping. Book into an Aurora Bubble, a heated pod with double bed and loo and see-through ceiling, located in the remote Finnish town of Nellim and known for its frequent sighting of the lights. The pods are located in the grounds of the Nellim Wilderness Hotel, bookable through The Aurora Zone, which offers four-night breaks from around £1,470 per person including a night in an Aurora Bubble. Tel. 01670 785012 www.theaurorazone.com
At the Heritance Tea Factory in Sri Lanka, an hotel located in a converted tea factory, visitors can try picking their own tea. Tour the plantation with a professional tea plucker, collecting leaves in a basket. Back at the hotel, they're inspected, processed and packaged - one way to impress friends back home.www.heritancehotels.com
As an alternative to skiing, why not strap on a pair of snow shoes this coming winter ? Snowshoeing can be just the ticket for those who wish to experience the more remote alpine mountain environments without having to learn how to ski off piste and you can learn how to do it in no time. Wander through quiet pine forests, experience breathtaking views and study the local flora and fauna undisturbed by the crowds battling it out on the slopes. Powder Byrne organises snowshoeing groups in Switzerland and Austria, using experienced local guides who know the mountains like the back of their hands. Tel. 0208 246 5300 www.powderbyrne.com
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