Explore Beyond the Ordinary
Adventure travel specialist Explore has announced nine new ‘Beyond’ trips for 2018. Getting back to our pioneering roots, the Explore team has designed a collection of exciting new trips for 2018 from festivals and eclipse departures to photography expeditions and a one-off trip to one of the world’s most remote islands.
This 12-day trip uncovers a fascinating country, staying in Sofia, Tarnovo, Varna, Kazanluk, Plovdiv and Samokov. Departing 18 January, you’ll attend the Surva Festival, a celebration of ancient traditions, with participants dressed in a wonderfully weird array of elaborate outfits. Explore Bulgaria’s capital city of Sofia, against a winter backdrop of snow-capped mountains; visit old Soviet monuments; spend a night in the Borovets and try snowshoeing, and discover the colourful mansion houses in Plovdiv’s old town, Europe’s Capital of Culture 2019. From £1,399 per person including flights, accommodation with breakfast plus some additional meals, and an Explore Tour Leader throughout.
Visit the energetic Guca Trumpet Festival, Nisville International Jazz Festival – one of the largest celebrations of Jazz in Europe – the Nis Wine and Fine Fair and Belgrade Beer Festival. As well as experiencing Serbian culture and music at these four diverse celebrations, you’ll also discover its wildest and most attractive National Park, Tara NP. Departing 7 August, this one-off trip costs from £1,495 per person including flights, accommodation with breakfast and some additional meals, and an Explore Tour Leader throughout.
‘Isolation’ is the word most synonymous with this remote and rugged British outpost marooned in the middle of South Atlantic. Such is its remoteness, almost equidistance between Brazil and Angola, that St Helena was chosen as the place of exile for its most famous resident – one Napoleon Bonaparte. Taking advantage of a newly-built airport, Explore is offering a one-off trip to the UK’s second-oldest Overseas Territory in February 2018. Well-placed for the old Cape shipping route, the island has a rich history, rugged wind-swept coastlines and a forested interior with many endemic flora and fauna. Small towns dot the island and the welcome received from the 4,000 ‘Saints’ that live here is legendary. Explore haven’t visited St Helena before, so this trip will be run in the form of a ‘recce tour’ where we will explore it together, and where your feedback will be used to help shape a group trip to be launched later in 2018. Departing 9 February 2018, this recce trip costs from £4,295 per person including flights, accommodation and an Explore Tour Leader.
Combining wildlife and culture in northern South Africa and Botswana, this new trip is ideal for people wanting to see wildlife beyond the main tourist circuit. Discover sacred waterfalls and look out for endangered Cape Vultures in the Goo Moremi Gorge; search for the Big Five in Marakele, Mapungubwe and Kruger National Parks; explore the ruins of Palapye’s old town, and spend time wildlife spotting in the lesser-visited Tuli Block. 11 nights from £2,329 per person including flights, accommodation with breakfast and some meals, and an Explore Tour Leader throughout.
WILDS AND WILDLIFE
Earlier this year, it was announced that visits to Belarus of fewer than 5 days would no longer require a visa (from UK passport holders) making it easier than ever to visit this interesting country. Explore has announced a new four-night trip for 2018 that combines the attractive city of Minsk with wildlife watching safaris in vehicles and on foot to spot wolves, bison, beavers, elk and eagles. Spend two nights at a simple eco station in a remote forest location and learn about Belarusian wildlife from a local guide. From £1,759 per person including flights, accommodation, breakfast and some meals, and an Explore tour leader.
View the total solar eclipse of 2019 in some of the world’s clearest skies in the Ulqui Valley with a local astronomer. Take a 4WD trip through the moon-like landscapes of the Salt Flats, stay in a salt hotel, visit a Pisco factory and join a shoe shiner’s tour of La Paz on this once in a lifetime trip. From £6,399 per person including flights, accommodation with breakfast and some lunches, plus an Explore Tour Leader throughout.
Travel through the spectacular scenery of Bolivia by bus, boat, 4WD and cable car. Discover the Andean wonderland of Sajama National Park, with its snow-capped volcanoes, bubbling hot springs, grazing llama and alpaca and ancient burial towers. The trip is accompanied by a photographer, an ex-Explore Leader who has accompanied hundreds of trips in South America and who is on hand throughout to help you capture the dazzling beauty of Bolivia. The photogenic vistas of this country are ideal for a photography trip – capture flamingos on bright red lakes, alpaca wondering past volcanoes that pop out of the horizon, and bright white salt lakes. From £4,999 per person including flights, accommodation with most meals, and an Explore Tour Leader throughout.
From Motown to the new world. This journey travels from Afro-American history in Detroit to medieval French Canada and the big cities of Toronto, Montreal and Quebec, through to the isolated Maritime Provinces – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. From Newfoundland, go out in zodiacs to view whales (July-August) and icebergs (May-June). You’ll travel by ferry, bus and on four train trips and follow the Cabot Trail, rated as one of North Americas ten most scenic drives, on this memorable trip. 13 days from £4,250 per person including flights, accommodation and an Explore Tour Leader throughout.
This epic journey covers more than 5,000km by land and sea as you discover Japan, South Korea and China.Explore Tokyo’s lively neon-lit streets and nearby Hakone National Park for a spectacular view of Mount Fuji before travelling by iconic bullet train to ‘traditional Japan’ before crossing into South Korea. Experience lively Seoul, its Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Demilitarised Zone; sleep in a monastery and learn about the monks’ traditional lifestyle, and visit Tongdosa Temple where the candle has been burning for 1,300 years. The trip ends in China, where you’ll walk along the Great Wall at Mutianyu, climb China’s holiest mountain, Taishan, see the Terracotta Warriors and visit the house of Confucius. The 21 day trip costs from £5,595 per person including flights, accommodation with breakfasts, and a Tour Leader throughout.
Visit Beijing and Xian and explore the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors. Travel across the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa on the world’s highest railway and visit Yumbulagang Palace, the oldest dwelling of Tibetan Kings, and the dramatic Potala Palace. Fly to Kathmandu and explore the jungle at Chitwan on foot and by jeep to search for the one-horned rhino. Travel overland to India and visit the holy city of Varanasi and end in the old colonial capital of Calcutta. This 22-day trip costs from £4,395 per person including flights, accommodation with breakfast and some additional meals, plus a tour leader throughout.
For more information or to book, visit www.explore.co.uk or call 01252 884 723.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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