• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Iceland Self Drive Tour

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Posted by:

Kirsty Saunders

 

This Iceland self drive tour takes you on a voyage from the West Side of Iceland through the Golden Circle area followed by a few days on the South Coast. Get familiar with Iceland’s history at the Settlement Center in Borgarnes village, visit waterfalls and hot spring areas as well as three National Parks and fishing villages.

Summary

Iceland Self Drive Tour

This 7 day self drive tour will take you through some incredible landscapes and natural wonders. Visit Deildartunguhver hot spring, Hraunfossar waterfalls, The Snæfellsnes peninsula, The Golden Circle with Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir, Reynisfjara Black Beach, Seljalandfoss and Skogafoss waterfall, Sólheimajökull Glacier and  Reykjanes peninsula.

Other places of interest on enroute include Reykjavík, The Settlement Center, Shark Museum and the Skógar folk museum. There are numerous activities to consider such as Horse Riding, a Glacier hike, Snowmobiling, Lava tube caving and Whale Watching. If you visit between September and April see the amazing Northern Lights as they illuminate the sky.

Day 1: Arrival – Reykjavik

Day 2: Reykjavík & Borgarfjörður valley

Day 3: Snæfellsnes peninsula

Day 4: National Park Þingvellir, Geysir & Gullfoss waterfall

Day 5:  Waterfalls, Glacier & Reynisfjara black sand beach

Day 6: Lava landscape & hot springs of Reykjanes peninsula

Day 7: Reykjanes peninsula – Departure

Description

Description

This 7 day self drive tour will take you through some incredible landscapes and natural wonders. Visit Deildartunguhver hot spring, Hraunfossar waterfalls, The Snæfellsnes peninsula, The Golden Circle with Þingvellir National Park, Gullfoss waterfall and Geysir, Reynisfjara Black Beach, Seljalandfoss and Skogafoss waterfall, Sólheimajökull Glacier and  Reykjanes peninsula.

Other places of interest on enroute include Reykjavík, The Settlement Center, Shark Museum and the Skógar folk museum. There are numerous activities to consider such as Horse Riding, a Glacier hike, Snowmobiling, Lava tube caving and Whale Watching. If you visit between September and April see the amazing Northern Lights as they illuminate the sky.

 

Day 1: Arrival

Upon arrival at Keflavík International Airport, you will pick up your pre-booked rental car. If you arrive in the morning or afternoon, you might want to stop by at the Blue Lagoon on your way into the city of Reykjavík. If arriving late, you can stay for the first night closer to the airport.

 

Day 2: Reykjavík & Borgarfjörður valley

Take a walk around the most northerly located capital of the world Reykjavík. A must see are the Reykjavik city hall at lake Tjörnin, the old harbour area, Harpa concert hall and the city centre with its colourful buildings.

Head on to Borgarnes and perhaps visit the Settlement Centre before you drive upcountry. Deildartunguhver hot spring is the most active hot spring in Iceland, and the picturesque waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss are not far away. Guided tours of the lava cave Víðgelmir or the man made ice cave Inside the Langjökull Glacier are available all year round.

2 nights –  Borgarfjörður valley 

Photo credit: Gonorth

 

Day 3: Snæfellsnes peninsula

Make time to stop at Bjarnarhöfn farm for tasting the famous “Hákarl”, the Greenland shark. Passing by the peculiar shaped mountain Kirkjufell you´ll reach the National Park around the glacier covered volcano Snæfellsjökull.

Enjoy a walk to the black pebble beach Djúpalónssandur, the stunning rock formations of Hellnar cove and the Cliffs at Arnarstapi fishing hamlet. The lava cave “Vatnshellir” offers guided tours daily.

On the sand beaches of Búðir and Ytri-Tunga, seals can be spotted whilst resting on the rocky coast. Visit the basalt columns in Gerðuberg, or hike to the crater of Eldborg, the “fire castle”, to round up the visit to the peninsula.

1 night – Snæfellsnes peninsula

The seals at Hvitanes, in the Isafjardardjup region

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4: National Park Þingvellir, Geysir & Gullfoss waterfall

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Park Þingvellir while walking through the Almannagjá rift, passing the first parliament site, the Althing, to the waterfall Öxaráfoss.

Your journey takes you to the geysers, where the hot spring Strokkur erupts every five minutes or so. At the majestic waterfall Gullfoss a footpath leads to the edge of the falls where you can feel the spray on your face.

Treat yourself with tomato ice cream at the greenhouses at Friðheimar, or relax in the Secret Lagoon geothermal pool.

2 nights – Hella

Photo credit: Gonorth 

 

 

Day 5:  Waterfalls, Glacier & Reynisfjara black sand beach

Today perhaps start with an unforgettable walk behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall or take the stairs to the brim of waterfall Skógafoss. Also The local folk- and transport museum Skógasafn is well worth a visit. The exhibits include an original turf farm, the first vehicles to drive onto a glacier, and an uncountable collection of items depicting daily working life of days gone by.

You can join a Glacier hike or Snowmobile tour at the Sólheimajökull Glacier, before heading on to the bird cliffs of Dyrhólaey. See the rock arch and the grand view from the lighthouse over the endless seeming coastline. Also the fascinating black beach at Reynisfjara with its basalt columns is only a short drive away.

1 night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 6: Lava landscape & hot springs of Reykjanes peninsula

Today allow time for activities such as visiting the lava cave Raufarholshellir, a horse riding tour, the exhibition of the geothermal power station Hellisheiðarvirkjun or the ghost museum in Stokkseyir.

 

Day 7: Departure

Head back to the airport today for your onward flight. You will need to return your rental car before departure. For later departures you may have time to explore more of the Reykjanes peninsula before you go.

The village Hveragerði was built around natural hotsprings, heating the greenhouses where mainly flowers are grown today. Enjoy a detour to the picturesque fishing villages of Eyrarbakki and Stokkseyri before heading on to Reykjanes peninsula with its raw lava landscape. Make your way to the fumaroles and mud hot springs at Krisuvik and Kleifarvatn Lake. The milky blue geothermal water of the Blue Lagoon are known for the therapeutic benefits, and unique relaxation.

You will now be at the end of the 7 day Iceland self-drive tour, so your accommodation for the night will be located close to the airport.

1 night

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Japan in 14 Days

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Posted by:

Kirsty Saunders

 

Japan in 14 days. This trip will introduce you to all the highlights Japan has to offer starting from Tokyo and finishing in Osaka. Travel by rail using the Japan Rail Pass, and experience Japan’s famous Bullet train. Stay in Japan’s major cities and experience a traditional Ryokan stay along the way.

A country with fascinating history, an intriguing culture, stunning scenery and delicious cuisine, Japan is a country that offers a diverse mix of attractions. There truly is something for everyone here! The following itinerary will certainly give you a taste of what Japan has to offer.

Summary

Japan in 14 Days 

This 14-day trip will introduce you to all the highlights Japan has to offer starting from Tokyo and finishing in Osaka. Travel by rail using the Japan Rail Pass, and experience Japan’s famous Bullet train. Stay in Japan’s major cities and experience a traditional Ryokan stay along the way.

Day 1: Arrive Tokyo

Day 4: Hakone

Day 5: Takayama

Day 6: Kanazawa

Day 8: Kyoto

Day 11: Hyroshima

Day 13: Osaka

Day 14: Depart Osaka

Description

Description

 

Day 1: Tokyo

Arrive in Tokyo. Japan’s bustling capital mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers and anime shops to cherry trees and temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding forests and The Imperial Palace sits amid sprawling public gardens. The city is famed for its vibrant food scene, and its Shibuya and Harajuku districts are the heart of its trendy teen fashion scene.

Tokyo 3 nights

 

Days 2&3: Tokyo

For the next two days explore Tokyo at your leisure. At over 12 million people in the official metropolitan area alone, Tokyo is the core of the most populated urban areas in the world, (Greater Tokyo has a population of 35 million people). This huge, wealthy and fascinating metropolis brings high-tech visions of the future along side with glimpses of old Japan. There is something here for everyone.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialists

 

Day 4: Hakone

Check out of your accommodation and make your way to Odawara Station, using your JR Pass. From here, use your Hakone Free Pass to explore the area at your leisure before making your way to your accommodation. Stay for a night in a traditional ryokan with hot spring baths. Here Futon mattresses will be prepared on the tatami mat floor and a Japanese ‘kaiseki’ cuisine will be served.

Hakone is located in the mountainous far west of Kanagawa Prefecture, on the eastern side of Hakone Pass about 1hr 15 mins from Tokyo. Most of the town is within the borders of the volcanically active Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, and centred around Lake Ashi.  Hakone is famous for hot springs, outdoor activities, and natural beauty with the view of nearby Mt. Fuji.  Besides being the home of Japan’s oldest and most famous spa, the town has an interesting history, beautiful surroundings and a cool climate all year round. This makes it one of the most popular destinations among Japanese and international tourists looking for a break from Tokyo.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialists

Hakone 1 night

 

Day 5: Takayama

This morning make your way to Takayama using your JR Pass (approx. 5 hours in total). On arrival you will be free to explore for the rest of the day.

Hida-Takayama known locally as just Takayama – is a city near the Northern Japan Alps of Gifu prefecture in the Chubu region. Takayama has retained a traditional atmosphere like few other Japanese towns, especially in its beautifully preserved old town. The city is famous for its well-preserved quarter with Edo-style streets, only rivalled by those of Kanazawa. It gained importance as a source of high-quality timber and highly skilled carpenters in feudal times. The Takayama Festival, held in spring and autumn, is considered one of Japan’s best festivals.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Takayama 1 night

 

 

 

Day 6: Kanazawa

Today you will make your way to Kanazawa on the Japanese rail system. Another option would be to take the bus from Takayama to Kanazawa, stopping at Shirawago village on the way*. The area is a UNESCO world heritage site, famous for its distinctive thatched farmhouses.

Kanazawa 2 nights

 

Day 7: Kanazawa

Today you will be free to explore Kanazawa.

Kanazawa sits on the Sea of Japan’s coast, bordered by the Northern Alps, Hakusan National Park and Noto Peninsula National Park. During the Edo Period, Kanazawa served as the seat of the Maeda Clan, the second most powerful feudal clan after the Tokugawa. Kanazawa then grew to become a town of great cultural achievements, rivalling Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo). Kanazawa is part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Crafts and Folk Art.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8: Kyoto

This morning you will make your way to Kyoto using your JR Pass. You could opt to take the Thunderbird Limited Express directly to Kyoto (approx. 2 hours). Upon arrival, please make your way to your accommodation where you can check in at your earliest convenience. The rest of the day is then free at your leisure.

Kyoto 3 nights

 

Days 9&10: Kyoto

Explore Kyoto for the next 2 days. This city is in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.

Kyoto is considered to be the centre of Japan’s cultural life. Here cherished traditional art forms are maintained, making it a rich experience for the visitor. With more than 1,600 Buddhist temples and 270 Shinto shrines, the city is one of the world’s greatest cultural treasures and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite functioning as a modern city today, in many ways it stands in contrast to the metropolis of Tokyo.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialists

 

Day 11: Hiroshima

This morning the bulk of your luggage will be transported to your accommodation in Osaka. You will make your way to Hiroshima by rail, with an overnight bag. This journey will take approx. 2 hours by bullet train. The rest of the day is then free at your leisure.

Hiroshima 2 nights

 

 Day 12: Hiroshima

Today you are free to explore Hiroshima and the island of Miyajima (or shrine island). Hear you can visit one of the crown jewels of the country: Itsukushima floating shrine. (Please note that the floating shrine is undergoing renovation until June 2021.)

The principal city of the Chugoku Region and home to over a million inhabitants, Hiroshima is an industrial city of wide boulevards and criss-crossing rivers, located along the coast of the Seto Inland Sea. Although many only know it for that horrific split-second on August 6, 1945 when it became the site of the world’s first atomic bomb attack, it is now a modern, cosmopolitan city with great restaurants and nightlife.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialists

 

Day 13: Osaka

Today travel to Osaka, by rail where you will be free to explore for the rest of the day. With a population of 2.5 million, Osaka is Japan’s third largest and second most important city. It has been the economic powerhouse of the Kansai region for many centuries. It is the central metropolis of the Kansai region and the largest of the Osaka-Kobe–Kyoto trio. The historic cities of Kyoto, Kobe, Himeji and Nara are nearby and easily accessible by train.

photo courtesy of JTB Japan Specialists

Osaka 1 night

 

Day 14: Osaka 

Depart Osaka for the onward journey.

 

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Spend some time in Nairobi, Kenya

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Vicki Tester

 

Most people that travel to Kenya arrive early in the morning and shoot off on safari or perhaps take a night to recover from their flight before heading out. But it is well worth stopping a few days to explore what this city has to offer.

Nairobi National Park

Even if your visit to Kenya is limited to Nairobi you can still enjoy the country’s spectacular wildlife with a visit to this swath of wilderness just 15 minutes outside the city centre.

The 117 km square of protected space is home to lions, leopard, rhinos, cheetahs, zebras, hippos, gazelle, and a healthy collection of other species including over 400 different types of birds. The park can be easily navigated with a tour where you can explore the savannah and forests too.

At the Athi River hippo pool on the south western edge of the park you can stretch your legs and take a walk accompanied by an armed ranger who will not only protect you from feisty critters but can tell you a bit about what you’re seeing.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Animal Orphanage

Located at the entrance to Nairobi National Park, the orphanage is home to those animals that have been abandoned, confiscated from illegal traffickers or injured and unable to survive in the wild. It is a great place to learn about the different species.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Langata Giraffe Centre
The Langata Giraffe Centre, run by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, is a sanctuary for the rare Rothschilds giraffe. Here you can observe, hand-feed or even kiss the giraffes from a raised circular wooden structure, and it is quite an experience. It’s a good place to get the close-up photographs.

For those of an adventurous nature, you could even stay at the Giraffe Manor for the night and have these wonderful animals as very close neighbours.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kenya’s National Museum and Snake Park

If you want to see the stuffed remains of the Man-eaters of Tsavo, or learn about this diverse and fascinating country’s history and geography, then the Museum is a must. You will easily loose half a day here.

In the grounds of the National Museum, there’s a recreated Kikuyu homestead and a Snake Park, where you can see black mambas, snakes of all types, some sad-looking crocodiles and giant dudus (creepy crawlies).

All in all, Nairobi should not be rushed – there is much to see and do here.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Zambezi Queen and Chobe Princess Collection

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Vicki Tester

 

If you’re thinking of planning an African adventure then why not add in a few days on a luxury houseboat, where you can experience the park and the animals from a different vantage point. Here you will be able to observe hippos, crocodiles and a mind-boggling array of water birds in their natural environment, from the safety of the boat in a more relaxing way of viewing.

The Zambezi Queen offers luxury accommodation with 14 luxury suites, 10 standard suites and 4 spacious master suites. All have outside decking so you can enjoy the uninterrupted views of the Chobe River and landscape which is in Northern Botswana, alongside the Caprivi Strip and Chobe National Park.

Picture courtesy of Zambezi Queen Collection.

Picture courtesy of Zambezi Queen Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Zambezi Queen Collection.

Picture courtesy of Zambezi Queen Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or you can choose the smaller luxury houseboat, Chobe princess with much fewer cabin suites and an upstairs deck for viewing and relaxing. The Chobe Princess fleet has recently refurbished, so if your thinking of booking during the month of October 2019 you could take advantage of their last-minute special offer with discounted rates.

Picture courtesy of Zambezi Queen Collection.

Picture courtesy of Zambezi Queen Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Zambezi Queen Collection.

Picture courtesy of Zambezi Queen Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would rather travel between November 2019 and March 2020 you could get a free night added to your 3 – 4 night itinerary on any of the Zambezi Collection.

For more information in planning your bespoke, tailor made holiday to Africa, please contact us.

Thinking about what to do for your next holiday then take a look at Triple Creek Ranch…

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Triple Creek Ranch is a truly gorgeous mountain hideaway and perfect for a special occasion – a luxury all-inclusive resort nestled in the Bitterroot Mountain Range of the Montana Rockies, close to border with Idaho. This year round resort, a member or the prestigious Relais & Chateaux collection, has an exceptional level of service, incorporating luxury private log cabin accommodation, fine dining and world class wines.

Picture courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

Surrounded by incomparable scenery and wildlife, the ranch offers a wide range of activities from which to choose. In spring, the meadows are alive with wild flowers, in summer the sun-filled days are perfect for horseback riding, fishing, hiking, float trips and rafting. Autumn brings stunning fall colours – bright blue skies and crisp cool evenings. In winter, enjoy cross-country or Alpine skiing – just 30 minutes from the resort is the Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Resort – with an average yearly snowfall of 300 inches of powdery snow this is skiing without the long lift lines and crowds. Snowmobiling, snowshoeing or horseback riding through unspoiled snow-covered wilderness are also on offer. Then spend your evenings relaxing in front of a cozy fire.

 

Situated midway beteen Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, a stay at this fabulous ranch fits perfectly into a holiday to this stunning region.

 

Please contact us for more information.

Picture courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

Picture courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

Picture courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

Picture courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

Picture courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

Picture courtesy of Triple Creek Ranch

 

The Best of Madagascar….

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Madagascar is the Earth’s fourth largest island, geographically isolated for some 80 million years. It is known to Westerners today as one of the most species-rich places on the planet, it is also one of the world’s most humanly impoverished countries. Madagascar holidays are best spent exploring the island, visiting the attractions, shopping and trying the many activities available here such as snorkelling, fishing, kayaking, bird watching and so much more…..

Some of the must do’s are………………

 

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whale Watching
Every year between July and September, Baie d’Antongil, just south of Maroantsetra, is the site of the migration of hundreds of humpback whales. The whales make their way from the Antarctic northward to the warmer waters around Baie d’Antongil, where they spend the winter months breeding and birthing before the long journey back to Antarctica.

Underwater Beauty
Diving in Madagascar is a real treat; the warm Indian Ocean is attractive to both people and marine life. In these turquoise waters diver can see up to 30m ahead. And what a sight awaits you! A dazzling variety of pristine coral reef, as well its many colourful inhabitants like tropical fish and the rare turtles are a definate highlight. The best times are between December and April. For snorkelling, Nosy Tanikely is great and for diving Tulear, Nosy Be and Sainte Marie are ideal! Either way snorkelling or diving in Madagascar is something that shold not be missed.

Exploring on Foot
Hiking is one of the best ways to explore any area, and in Madagascar it’s probably one of the best ways to experience the magic of this often overlooked holiday destination. The Andringitra Mountains, located in the South East of Madagascar, are a breathtaking feast for the eyes. When hiking you can expect to see many natural wonders. The Andringitra National Park boasts an impressive assortment of wildlife. Over 100 species of birds, 54 species of mammals including lemurs and bats, as well as many reptile species call this area home. The higher lying areas of the park are blanketed by tropical rainforest. The lower lying areas are home to some local settlements. Hiking is the only way to reach the more remote areas of the Andringitra national park. Few hikers attempt to summit the impressive 2600m peak, but the surrounding area is so beautiful its well worth a try!

 

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

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Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glimpsing the flying beauty

Madagascar’s uniqueness is legendary and this is well reflected in its birds. Of the 280 species known from the island, an incredible 100 plus are entirely endemic to Madagascar and a further 20 or so are shared only with neighbouring South West Indian Ocean islands. Some of the best spots to observe the water birds are along the remote areas of the western and south western coast such as Lake Tsimanampetsotsa. For anyone who loves bird watching then this is an amazing getaway and a truly fantastic destination.

So if Madagascar sounds like that place for you or you would like to build your own bespoke, tailor made holiday with any of the above included, please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Holidays Closer to Home

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Vicki Tester

 

Did you know we also offer holidays closer to home?

Whether it is a short break to a classic European city or a week in the Mediterranean sunshine we can help you create your perfect holiday.

We work with a variety of well established companies giving us the ability to offer our clients a wide choice of destinations including the Channel Islands, Croatia, Greece, Iceland and Spain, to name but a few. If a journey on the Orient Express or a cruise along the Norwegian Fjords on an expedition ship is more your cup of tea we can help you plan all of these amazing trips.

Our expert staff can create the perfect holiday tailored to your own personal requirements, arranging travel by any combination of air, rail, car or ferry. So, if you are considering a holiday nearer to home this year please do get in touch so we can start planning your next trip.

Contact us here

Picture courtesy of Sue Riggs

Picture courtesy of Sue Riggs

Picture courtesy of Sue Riggs

Picture courtesy of Sue Riggs

 

Road Trip West

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Travel Road Trip West – from Amarillo to Las Vegas in this itinerary.

Summary

Raod Trip West

From the Big Texan Inn in Amarillo (home of the free 72oz steak) to Cadillac Ranch, this US road trips is full of surprises.

Day 1: Arrive Amarillo
Day 3: Santa Fe
Day 7: Canyon de Chelly
Day 8: Monument Valley
Day 9: Holbrook
Day 10 Sedona
Day 12: Grand Canyon South
Day 14: Las Vegas
Day 15: Depart Las Vegas

Description

Description

Perhaps not on the top of the list for US Road trips, especially for first timers, but for those hooked on the US, its sometimes grizzly past and the legacy that has been left for us to enjoy, this road trip touches on many stories from the more recent past of this relatively young nation.

Day 1: Arrive Amarillo
Your journey begins in Amarillo, in the centre of the Texas Panhandle where we would suggest a 2 night stay, giving you time to relax after your flights. Amarillo offers an interesting blend of Old and New West and is the perfect place to gently immerse and acclimatize yourself to the American way of life and culture. Stroll along Historic Route 66 (6th avenue) with its unique lovingly preserved restaurants shops and historic buildings. Drive to the wonderful Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the States. Explore trails once used by Apaches, Comanches, buffalo hunters, the US cavalry and even early Spanish explorers. Dine at the world famous Big Texan steak ranch – eat your 72oz steak and all the trimmings in an hour and the meal is free!
Amarillo 2 nights

Day 3: Santa Fe
Today begin your drive west along the I40, following the direction of the Historic Route 66. Some of the original stretches of road are still driveable and, with the aid of a good guide book or map, it is worth taking detours to visit some of the small towns along the route to see some of the iconic historic buildings. There is a palpable feeling of what it must have been like for the migrants in the 30s who headed west to escape the ravages of the Dust Bowl. The flat Texan Plains gradually give way to rolling Rocky Mountain foothills as you cross into the “Land of Enchantment”, New Mexico. Follow the Santa Fe Trail through striking mountain scenery to the lovely city of Santa Fe. Make sure you stop off at the Pecos National Monument for your first taste of the Spanish Colonial history which defined much of this wonderful State. We would suggest at least 2 full days in Santa Fe to explore this gorgeous city and its environs; drive up to Taos, a designated World Heritage Site, and explore the Enchanted Circle – this winding circular route takes you through some of the most beautiful areas of North New Mexico. Visit the extraordinary Bandelier National Monument and the scenic Jemez Mountains
Santa Fe 3 nights

Day 6: Albuquerque
Take the scenic Turquoise Trail through several historic little mining towns; towns such as quirky Madrid with its quaint historic little shops, cafes, galleries and bars. Drive up to the top of Sandia Peak for stunning and far reaching views of sprawling Albuquerque and its surroundings. Wander around Albuquerque’s historic old town – consider timing your trip to coincide with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta –for 9 days each October the crisp desert skies are painted with a kaleidoscope of colour as hundreds of balloons take to the skies for the biggest gathering of its kind in the world.
Albuquerque 1 night

Day 7: Canyon de Chelly
Continue west, dipping in and out of I40 and Route 66. Visit Acoma Pueblo, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the US. Don’t miss El Morro National Monument; here you will find Inscription Rock where Conquistadors, native Americans, pioneers and others carved their names and messages in the massive rock face. A self guided trail weaves around the base of the rock and tells the stories of the carvers. More trails lead you to the remains of ancestral pueblo dwellings and stunning views for miles around. Continue to the gorgeous Canyon de Chelly, making sure you arrive before the suns sets when the lighting is stunning.
Canyon De Chelly 1 night

Day 8: Monument Valley
Consider a guided tour into Canyon de Chelly, before taking the scenic drive to Monument Valley. A guided tour here is essential, or consider an overnight stay deep into the heart of the park, staying in a traditional Navajo Hogan.
Monument Valley 1 night

Day 9: Holbrook
Back south onto Route 66, exploring the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks before arriving into the Navajo town of Holbrook for an overnight stay. For a unique experience stay in the famous Wigwam Motel, replete with vintage cars in the parking lot.
Holbrook 1 night

Day 10 Sedona
Continue west through Winslow (where you really can stand on the corner…) and on to the gorgeous town of Sedona for a 2 night stay. Surrounded by stunning scenery, a jeep tour up into the red rocks is a must and will take you to places where a hire car could not venture.
Sedona 2 nights

Day 12: Grand Canyon South
Drive to the Seventh Natural Wonder of the World, the Grand Canyon for a 2 night stay. Make sure you catch the rim at dusk and again as the sun rises – or take an unforgettable early morning helicopter or fixed wing flight over the rim
Grand Canyon South Rim 2 nights

Day 14: Las Vegas
Drive to Las Vegas where you will round off your fabulous road trip.
Las Vegas 1 night

Day 15: Depart Las Vegas
Enjoy most of the day in Las Vegas before checking in for your evening overnight flight back to the UK.

Photograph Courtesy: New Mexico Toursim & Sedona Chamber of Commerce

Raod trip west - Bell Rock & Courthouse Web      Raod trip west - Big Texan web      Road trip west - BosquedelApache2[1] web

 

Road Trip west - CanyonDeChelly comp      Road trip west      Road trip west - UniqueNM8 web

 

Road trip west - Valles Sunrise Web      Road trip west - Winslow

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Mention Winslow Arizona and most people will start to hum the tune made famous by The Eagles.  You just have to get your picture ‘standing on the corner’ and of course, buy the T-shirt.

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‘Tucking into our moderate 18ozers we watched as one brave soul took up the challenge [of the 72 oz steak]… we left with 10 minutes to go and he was failing miserably – barely half his steak touched he was suffering the additional humiliation of an attentive audience taking photos of every mouthful of his ordeal. The current record is 8 minutes and 52 seconds’

Melbourne to Adelaide

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An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested bespoke itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Summary

Melbourne to Adelaide

An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Day 1: Melbourne

Day 4: Apollo Bay

Day 5: Port Fairy

Day 6: The Grampians

Day 8: Victor Harbour

Day 10: Kangaroo Island

Day 12: Adelaide

Day 14: Depart Adelaide

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Description

Description

An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Day 1 – Melbourne

Arrive into Melbourne today for a three night stay. A free tram service circles around the edge of the Central Business District, enabling easy access to many attractions. Take in a sporting event at the Telstra Dome – a sliding roof here means there are no stoppages for rain. For an interesting dinner, try The Tram Car Restaurant, which tours the suburb of St Kilda with an excellent meal (remembering to hold onto your wine glass as the tram passes over the points)! Take a tour out to Pin Oak Court, the home of Neighbours’ Ramsey Street, or enjoy an adventurous city tour by Harley Davidson motorbike. Visit the Eureka Tower, which has a viewing platform 88 floors up, as well as The Edge – a cubed glass room which projects out from the building allowing you the view straight down.

Three nights Melbourne

Day 4 – Apollo Bay

Collect a hire car today and drive to Torquay, recognised as the surfing capital of Australia, and also, the start of the Great Ocean Road. From Torquay, travel first to Lorne, and then onto Apollo Bay, through what is considered by many to be the most picturesque section of the Great Ocean Road, with the highway carved into sheer cliffs that drop away into the ocean, offering breathtaking views of the waves crashing onto the rocks below.  For keen walkers, there are some excellent guided and self-guided walks along the coastal path here, taking 3 to 4 days.

One night Apollo Bay

Day 5 – Port Fairy

Continue your journey along the Great Ocean   Road, where you will see the amazing rock formations of the iconic Twelve Apostles – huge stone pillars rising up out of the surf, carved by millions of years of erosion of the limestone cliffs. Sunrise and sunset offer particularly impressive views of the twelve apostles. Take a helicopter flight for a different perspective of this unusual formation. Drive on to the charming fishing village of Port Fairy for an overnight stop, perhaps taking in a round of golf in the afternoon.

One night Port Fairy

Day 6 – Grampians National Park

Journey inland, a scenic drive through the Grampians National Park. The Grampians provides a diverse array of wildlife, scenery and walking tracks. Highlights include Mount Victoria Lookout, McKenzie Falls and Reids Lookout. Stay in the picturesque town of Halls Gap, set in the heart of the Grampians National Park. Spend two nights here, giving you a full day to explore the National Park.

Two nights The Grampians

Day 8 – Victor Harbour

A long drive west today, as you head across into South Australia and to the town of Victor Harbour on the Fleurieu Peninsula. With its historic horse-drawn tram across the causeway to Granite Island, and its population of Little Penguins, this region is also known for its wineries and lovely scenery.

Two nights Victor Harbour

Day 10 – Kangaroo Island

Take the ferry across to Kangaroo Island today. Kangaroo Island remains one of the most unspoilt natural wonders of our world.  One third of the island is protected as conservation or National Park, and half the Island has never been cleared of native vegetation.  Walk amongst huge weather-sculpted granite boulders at Remarkable Rocks, and roll down the snowy white dunes of Little Sahara.  Stretch out on your own little spot on the Islands 480 km’s of coastline. Kangaroo Island is best known for its wildlife, and here you’ll find seals basking on the quiet beaches, koala’s munching on gum trees right beside the road, echidnas wandering in search of insects and kangaroos, goannas, wallabies, penguins and birds at just about every turn.  Spending two nights on the island will give you time not only to see, but also to enjoy this wonderland.

Two nights Kangaroo Island

Day 12 – Adelaide

Return to the mainland today, and drive up to Adelaide. Two nights is a must in this city – where great shopping and internationally recognised hotels stand alongside historic buildings, great sporting venues and cultural attractions.

Two nights Adelaide

Day 14 – Depart Adelaide

Head to the airport today for the onward or homeward flight.

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Little Gems

Little Gems

Taking a flight over the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road is a fantastic way to see this rugged coastline from a different perspective, and with the opportunity to take excellent photographs.

Client Feedback

Client Feedback

Kangaroo Island was a fantastic experience – we were thrilled with the amount of wildlife we saw there!

Country: Japan

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Vicki Tester

 

Japan is a true mix of the ancient timeless past alongside the very modern. With a history that goes back beyond our own, this island nation has much to offer in the way of temples, castles, amazing scenery and a unique way of life. With direct flights, a visit to a different culture and customs is very much on the agenda.

Once there you have a choice of activities that should suit most people. It has excellent skiing, trekking (popular are pilgrimage routes), amazing wildlife and diving (particularly around Okinawa). Climbing Mount Fuji is a popular pastime for foreigners and Japanese alike. Because of this, aim to make your climb before the start of the school holidays in the early summer or the first week in September.

Being here to witness the fabulous cherry blossom is also a popular time to visit. The Japanese publish a calendar showing where and when the blossom should be out so its easy to check that you will be in the right place at the right time.

It is also a self drive destination with the best places to do this being Okinawa (deep south) and Hokkaido Island (high north). Ensure you have a car with English sat nav as all signs are in Japanese BUT the good news is that they drive on the left. The other popular form of travel is on the bullet trains – an experience not to be missed.

 

 

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