Inside Asia, Easter Chocolate and the Algarve
Whether its sunning it up in Biarritz, magical Madeira, getting Inside Asia, sampling a great chocolate festival, railing it through India, visiting the Algarve or penning that novel we all have inside us, our friends at Travel PR have rounded up the best there is to offer at the moment.
Three nights BIARRITZ FROM £557 PP, SAVE UP TO £129 PP: AITO member Kirker (020 7593 2283, www.kirkerholidays.com) offers three nights for the price of two at the Radisson Blu, a stylish modern hotel overlooking the Bay of Biscay in one of Europe’s most beautiful and vibrant coastal cities. Until 26 April, the price is from £557 pp (two sharing) including direct flights (Stansted), car hire, accommodation with breakfast, and the services of the Kirker Concierge. Stays between 27 April until 31 May are from £619 pp.
Magical Madeira Family Adventure – from £1,315 pp with Activities Abroad
Based in Funchal, explore the island of Madeira through a host of fun-filled family adventures. Take jeep tours, experience sea kayaking, embark on a levada biking tour and try canyoning and snorkelling in the Garajau Nature Reserve. Discover Sao Vicente’s volcanic caves and swim at the lava pools, go on a whale watching tour and swim with dolphins in their ocean home. This seven-night trip, priced from £1,315 per adult (age 12+) / £1,105 per child (age 8-11), includes flights (London), transfers, seven nights’ B&B, two lunches & dinners, activities listed and expert guides. Departs 26 May, throughout July & August, & 20 October. Call AITO* member Activities Abroad on 01670 789 991 (www.activitiesabroad.com).
InsideAsia Tours helps travellers find the best Time to Travel
Specialising in travel to Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma, InsideAsia has launched When To Travel, a clever online tool for those looking for the best time to travel to these sought-after destinations. James Mundy of InsideAsia commented: “The When to Travel tool helps to answer those burning questions that most people have when planning a trip, as well as offering them the best of our expertise. We know these destinations intimately, and we know when the best time of year is to travel for your needs and interests, whether it be certain festivals, attractions or preferred weather.” Visit AITO* member www.insideasiatours.com to use the guide or call 0117 244 3380 for more information.
Extend Easter with extra dates at the Óbidos Chocolate festival – Portugal from £630 pp with Sunvil
Óbidos’ famous International Chocolate Festival has added two extra weekends for visitors to sample cocoa delights, attend classes, explore the Kids’ Chocolate House and more. The festival, which has made headlines for displaying the ‘world’s most expensive chocolate’, a limited-edition truffle-filled, edible gold covered bonbon, will now open from 13 to 15 and 20 to 22 April. Stay at the four-star Real d’Óbidos Hotel, a charming 14th century residence with a pool and excellent views of the town’s castle and surrounding countryside. Departing in April, the price is from £630 pp (two sharing), including flights (London), seven nights’ B&B and car hire. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 020 8758 4722 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
Indian Hill Railways in the tracks of Michael Portillo – from £4,995 pp with Ffestiniog Travel
Michael Portillo’s latest BBC Two travelogue, Great Indian Railway Journeys got underway last week, its first episode focusing on spectacular train rides between the Sikh holy city of Amritsar and Shimla, in the Himalayan foothills. Experience the exceptional railways that served the former British Hill Stations (the Kalka Shimla Railway, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and the Nilgiri Rack Railway) on this 21-day escorted tour. Departing 17 February 2019, Indian Hill Railways costs from £4,995 pp (two sharing) including flights (London), B&B, 16 lunches, 12 dinners, excursions & tour leader. Call AITO* member Ffestiniog Travel on 01766 512400 (www.ffestiniogtravel.com).
El Andalus & the Algarve – cruise Spain and Portugal from £2,095 pp with Jules Verne
Pretty fortified towns, whitewashed houses and delightful waterside scenery await on this seven-night cruise, sailing on the Guadalquivir and Guadiana Rivers from Seville in Spain to Faro in Portugal. Explore Córdoba and its Mezquita, visit Jerez (famous for its wine and horses) and take a walking tour of medieval Cádiz. Enjoy wine tasting in El Puerto de Santa Maria, wildlife spotting in the Doñana natural biosphere reserve and sightseeing in Granada. Departing 31 May, El Andalus & the Algarvecosts from £2,095 pp (two sharing) including flights (Gatwick), full board with drinks on the MS Belle de Cadix, excursions, and the services of local guides and reps. Call Jules Verne on 020 3553 3722 (www.vjv.com).
Write your life story under the Tuscan sun – from £1,560 pp at The Watermill at Posara
If you have been pondering whether to write your memoirs one day, Write Your Life Stories (18-25 August 2018) with prolific author Jo Parfitt may be the perfect way to get started. Based at The Watermill at Posara, an idyllic Tuscan retreat, Jo’s course will inspire students to put pen to paper in a lively and engaging way. The price from £1,560 pp (two sharing) includes tuition, seven nights’ full-board accommodation including delicious Italian cuisine (think Florentine salads, Roman beef stew, tiramisu) and meals at local restaurants, transfers and an excursion to Lucca. Flights (Pisa) extra. Contact The Watermill at Posara on 020 7193 6246 (www.watermill.net).