If you’ve had enough of all this cold weather – look no further – and we even have some ideas about how you could enjoy the snow if you’re that way inclined, with our weekly salvo from our friends at Travel PR. So whether it’s Cuba, Barcelona, the Congo, the French Alps or County Durham that piques your interest, read on …
8nts, THE BEST OF CUBA, FROM £1,895 PP, SAVE UP TO £200:
Jules Verne (020 3553 3722; www.vjv.com) offers a great value holiday to Cuba, staying at five-star hotels in Havana, Trinidad and Cayo Santa Maria. Enjoy white-sand beaches, colonial architecture, vibrant music and warm hospitality. The Best of Cuba costs from £1,895 pp including Virgin Atlantic flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ B&B, most meals, excursions and the services of guides & local reps. One overnight flight. Departs 10 May.
4nts, BARCELONA FROM £744 PP, SAVE £114 PP:
AITO member Kirker (020 7593 2283, www.kirkerholidays.com) offers four nights for the price of three at the boutique hotel Sixty Two. Located on the Passeig de Gracia, it is the perfect base for exploring Gaudi’s architectural landmarks and nearby Plaza Catalunya. The price is from £744 pp (two sharing) including flights (Gatwick), private transfers, B&B, entrance to the Sagrada Familia, and Kirker Guide Notes & Concierge Service. Valid on stays until 1 May.
NEW: The wildlife of Africa’s dark heart – Congo from £10,495 pp with Naturetrek
Blanketed by equatorial rainforest, the Republic of the Congo is a peaceful and little-known country where ecotourism is in its infancy and exciting wildlife-spotting opportunities abound in the varied habitats of dense forests, meadow-like savannahs and mighty rivers. Based in three camps within Odzala-Kokoua National Park, this 11-day trip goes in search of Western Lowland Gorilla, Forest Elephant, Chimpanzee, rich birdlife from Great Blue Turaco to Congo Serpent-Eagle, and more. Departing 12 September, the price is from £10,495 pp (two sharing) including flights (regional departures), accommodation, most meals & naturalist tour leader. Call AITO* member Naturetrek on 01962 733051 (www.naturetrek.co.uk).
A Springtime treat on the Snowdonian – North Wales by rail from £380 pp with Ffestiniog Travel
Join fellow rail enthusiasts on the aptly named Snowdonian train as it makes its annual 80-mile trip through North Wales’ spectacular Snowdonia National Park, travelling the full length of both the Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog Railways over the course of one unforgettable day. Departing 13 April or 8 June, this springtime break costs from £380 pp (two sharing) including two nights’ B&B at the four-star Tudor Lodge guest house in Porthmadog, a full-day journey on the Snowdonian and a souvenir of your trip. Alternatively, treat yourself to a luxury stay at Hotel Portmeirion, in Sir Clough Williams-Ellis’ famous Italianate village, from £475 pp. Call AITO* member Ffestiniog Travel on 01766 512400 (www.ffestiniogtravel.com).
Fly down the French Alps on a snow bodyboard – Airboarding in La Plagne from £24 pp
Zoom down the slopes head-first on a supervised airboard, an inflated ‘bodyboard’ which allows you to carve down the mountain on a cushion of air. Open every Thursday evening until 28 April at the top of Le Fornelet after the pistes close, this exhilarating experience is unique in France. A one-hour airboard experience costs €27 / £24 pp. Age 16+. One week’s self-catering in La Plagne costs from €72 pp / £64 pp, based on four sharing a studio apartment. Return flights (London-Geneva) cost from £49 pp with easyJet. Call La Plagne on 33 (0)4 79 09 79 79 (www.la-plagne.com).
Follow in the footsteps of Hans Christian Andersen – Denmark from £1,295 pp with Sunvil
Celebrate Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday (2 April) and delve into the places behind his famous fairy tales on this nine-night trip. Visit The Little Mermaid sculpture at Langelinie Pier, explore colourful Nyhavn where Andersen lived and wrote ‘The Princess and the Pea’, stroll around the King’s Garden to find the famous statue of the Danish writer, and more. Guests can also explore Stockholm’s museums and archipelago and the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Departing 31 March, the price is from £1,295 pp (two sharing), including flights (London), nine nights’ B&B hotel accommodation, 48-hour Stockholm and Oslo passes and transfers. Call AITO member Sunvil on 020 8758 4722 (www.sunvil.co.uk).
Springtime escape: two nights at Seaham Hall, County Durham, from £323 pp
Beast from the East, your time is up! Celebrate spring with a two-night break at five-star Seaham Hall, an opportunity to explore (by bike or on foot) the beautiful Durham Heritage Coastline, to spend all the time you need in the hotel’s state-of-the-art spa, and to dine very finely. The Easter Serenity offer costs from £323 pp (two sharing a luxurious suite) including two nights’ B&B, an Easter egg (on Easter Sunday), a three-course dinner each evening, and complimentary tickets to the nearby Beamish Museum. Valid 30 March – 15 April. Call Seaham Hall on 0191 516 1400 (www.seaham-hall.co.uk).
Mark Bibby Jackson
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