June 11, 2010
As the World Cup kicks off at last, we’re aware England’s inevitable football victory will come at the expense of seven unfortunate teams. If you’d like to get to know those vanquished nations a little better, we suggest the following holidays to the homelands of England’s definite, and probable*, opponents this summer in South Africa. COME ON ENGLAND!!!
*as predicted by Travel PR’s foremost football experts
There are many ways to visit the US, but few as extraordinary as this trip from Ski Safari* (01273 224 060, www.skisafari.com). Drive from ski resort to ski resort, meeting locals, trying out different terrains and experiencing beaches and deserts en route. Leaving San Francisco, ski at Heavenly – the jewel in the Lake Tahoe crown – then move to Mammoth, bizarrely overlooking the desert. Drive on through Death Valley and finish in Las Vegas. Book now for prices from £1,399 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), 4×4 car hire and 14 nights’ accommodation.
Cultural specialist The Traveller (020 7269 2770, www.the-traveller.co.uk) offers long weekends in Algiers with time to see the Kasbah, French-style waterfront, Ottoman palace, botanical gardens and Cathedral of Notre Dame d’Afrique – plus a trip along the Mediterranean to see the Roman remains at Tipaza. Prices from £1,495 pp include flights (Heathrow), taxes and transfers, guides and excursions, and three nights’ full-board in a three-star hotel. Alternatively, a seven-day tour guided by expert John Wilkes and visiting Djemila, Constantine and Timgad, departs 3 October and costs £1,875 pp.
What do we know about group opponents Slovenia? Not a lot, in most cases. Luckily, Explore* (0844 499 0901, www.explore.co.uk) has an eight-day walking group tour to this ‘greenest corner of Europe’ covering all the must-see sites: the Julian Alps’ lakes and valleys, capital Ljubljana’s Baroque architecture, the Venetian harbour town of Piran, Skocjan ‘thousand caves’ and dramatic Predjama Castle. There’s also a cable car ride up Mount Vogel and a scenic train journey to the Adriatic Coast. Prices from £877 pp include flights (Gatwick), all transport, seven nights’ B&B (hotels) and guiding.
Despite an ongoing Ashes feud and now football to fret over, a trip Down Under remains high on the wish list for most UK travellers. The southern coast’s particularly splendid and can easily be explored on two-week self-drive holiday from Sydney to Adelaide, where highlights include Canberra, Melbourne, Philip Island (check out the fairy penguins) and the Great Ocean Road. Go Touring (0161 491 7688, www.gotouring.uk.com) has prices from £975 pp (two sharing) including car hire, 13 nights’ accommodation and a full itinerary. International flights extra (booking service available).
Hungry holidaymakers should consider a foodie foray across the Channel. With Travelzest’s VFB Holidays (01452 716 842, www.vfbholidays.co.uk), take your pick from hotels handpicked for their cuisine throughout France, often with a third or fourth night free. Four nights for the price of three at the tranquil Hostellerie du Château de Floure – a Relais du Silence hotel with a fantastic restaurant located in a sleepy hamlet close to Carcassonne – costs £426 pp (two sharing) until 15 June. That includes return Channel crossings and four nights’ half board.
Soon to be placed firmly on the sporting map with the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, Brazil offers much more than Copacabana beach and Caipirinhas if you book with Sunvil Traveller* (020 8758 4774, www.sunvil.co.uk). For the alternative Brazil, head to Rio’s Bohemian Quarter, a favourite for artisans, check out Brasilia’s modern architecture and enter the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park for surreal rock formations and fast-flowing rivers. Then dance to the beat of African drums in Salvador and finish in Natal, where exhilarating buggy rides on rolling sand dunes are on offer.
Kirker Holidays* (020 7593 2283, www.kirkerholidays.com) has five nights for the price of four at the five-star deluxe Kempinski Estepona, one of Spain’s most luxurious resorts, complete with a wonderful beachside location on the Andalucian coast. As well as stylish rooms and beautifully-manciured gardens, this paradise has three pools, an excellent spa and tennis/watersports facilities. Prices from £898 pp (two sharing) – a saving of £140 pp – include flights (regional departures), car hire and B&B. Offer valid on departures until 27 June.
*This company is an AITO member. AITO is the Association of Independent Tour Operators: 140 independent and specialist travel companies providing an unrivalled collection of holiday ideas that cover every corner of the world. Consumers booking with AITO can be assured of 100% financial security, high-quality holidays and excellent personal service. Visit www.aito.com for further information.