December 20, 2019
New to holidaycottages.co.uk’s collection of Devon properties for 2020 is The Hobbit Hole (sleeps four plus two dogs), a quirky yet comfortable bolthole near Bideford, styled to mimic themes from the much-loved fantasy film series. Due to be completed in April, expect rounded walls, a circular front door and exposed internal brickwork, plus an open-plan lounge/kitchen/diner, wood-burner, charcoal BBQ, a private hot tub offering views across glorious open countryside and a setting close to sandy beaches and rural/coastal walks that would impress even Bilbo Baggins. A three-night stay costs from £119 pp (£476 total). £20 supplement per dog. holidaycottages.co.uk (01237 459 888 / www.holidaycottages.co.uk).
‘Snooc’ around in the snow this winter on a thrilling ride after the slopes close. This part-sled part-ski invention is easily adapted for skiers and non-skiers alike, easy to get started on, simple to control and super fun. Use the short lightweight skis to hike up the mountain then after a simple manoeuvre, take an exciting ride down on a dedicated 600 m run after last tracks (under ESF supervision). It can also be used on the ski runs and for ski touring. WARNING: ‘Snooc’-ing is addictive! Min. height 1.4m, min. age nine. From £16. Return flights to Geneva from £52 pp with easyJet. One week’s self-catering in Plagne Centre from £66 pp (four sharing a studio apartment). La Plagne (+33 (0)4 79 09 79 79 / www.la-plagne.com).
Joining Kirker’s new collection of European wine tours for 2020 is Wines of Sicily, a ten-night holiday exploring the delights of an island that produces twice as much wine as New Zealand. Led by wine expert Tim Clarke, enjoy visits to the Mamertino and Fina regions, sample ‘biodynamic’ wines in Cos and ‘Old World meets New World’ wines in Planeta, taste ‘Vigna Whitaker’ on the islet of Mozia, and more. The price is from £3,997 pp (two sharing), including flights (Gatwick), ten nights’ accommodation with breakfast (Taormina, Syracuse, Agrigento, Marsala & Palermo), six lunches, four dinners, wine tastings & excursions, and Kirker Tour Lecturer. Departs 12 October. *Kirker (020 7593 2283 / www.kirkerholidays.com).
Activities Abroad has introduced Tenerife as a new destination for 2020, with an action-packed itinerary that includes stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking to the Los Gigantes cliffs, a cable car ride up Mount Teide and a zip-lining and rope-climbing experience. Meet the island’s marine life while snorkelling and on a whale & dolphin-watching boat trip, and eat like a local at a typical ‘guachinche’ restaurant. The cost is from £1,275 per adult aged 13+/ £1,045 per child aged 7-12 (based on two adults and one child sharing), including flights (London), transfers, seven nights’ B&B, five lunches, two dinners and guided activities. Departs 11 April – 24 October 2020. *Activities Abroad (01670 789 991 / www.activitiesabroad.com).
Walk up lush scenic hills, through wooded valleys and along ‘kalderimi’ – old cobbled donkey paths that historically linked Greek villages – on an inland adventure, discovering ancient stone settlements and taking in breath-taking scenery as you walk. On Foot has worked with the creators of the trail to put its own spin on the route; you’ll stay in traditional family-run guesthouses each evening and get a real insight into local life in the Peloponnese. The trip costs from £720 pp (two sharing), including six nights’ B&B accommodation, four picnic lunches, luggage transfers, full Walker’s Pack with route directions and local telephone support. Flights extra. *On Foot Holidays (01722 322 652 / www.onfootholidays.co.uk).
Set to open on 15 April 2020, HOSHINOYA Okinawa in Yomitan, Central Okinawa island, Japan, will be the eighth HOSHINOYA property. Located in the East China Sea between Japan and Taiwan, Okinawa Prefecture consists of over 150 desert islands with residents enjoying the longest life expectancy in the world. Expect superb service, a reef pool with ocean views and tantalising Ryukyu Sicilian cuisine. The hotel is an hour’s drive from Naha Airport which is a 2½ hour flight from Tokyo. Prices from ¥109,000 (from £762 per room/£381 pp (two sharing; room only). Hoshino Resorts / HOSHINOYA Okinawa (https://hoshinoya.com/okinawa/en/).
Set on an exclusive clifftop overlooking Fistral Bay in Newquay, Cornwall, The Headland Hotel will launch its stunning new Aqua Club in spring 2020. The Aqua Club will feature five pools: a 25-metre training pool, hydrotherapy pool and children’s pool inside, plus an outdoor heated infinity pool and a vitality pool complete with a water feature. A sun terrace will offer unrivalled ocean views and new café and restaurant, The Deck, will provide a space to recharge after swimming, with a menu of light bites and evening dining. An overnight stay at The Headland costs from £190 per room total/ £95 pp (two sharing), including full Cornish breakfast. Pride of Britain Hotels (0800 089 3929 / www.prideofbritainhotels.com).
Reduce your carbon footprint and travel to Sivota by train – the journey is part of the holiday! Travel across countries, stopping for a night in Milan, before continuing to Bari and taking the ferry to Igoumenitsa. Explore Sivota’s spectacular gorges, impressive mountains and hidden coves, staying at Saz Villa. Spread across three floors, the stylish villa boasts stunning views and an inviting private pool. This new trip costs from £1,940 pp (two sharing), including nine nights’ accommodation (one night each in Milan and onboard the ferry, plus seven nights’ self-catering), all rail journeys, ferry transfer, car hire in Sivota and return flight leg (Gatwick). *GIC The Villa Collection (020 8232 9780 / gicthevillacollection.com).
Discover the little-seen Spanish region of Extremadura on a 12-day no-flight tour. Spot whales and dolphins in the Bay of Biscay, explore sun-drenched steppes and cork oak woods, take in Madrid’s cultural highlights, and spot bird species, such as Spanish Imperial Eagle and Great Bustards. This eco-friendly tour aims to use as little plastic as possible and guests are served delicious locally-sourced food. Extremadura – By Sea & Rail! costs from £2,295 pp (two sharing), including return ferry (Plymouth-Santander), train and minibus transfers, nine nights’ full-board accommodation, excursions & expert naturalist guides. Two overnights on ferry. Departs 10 May. *Naturetrek (01962 733051 / www.naturetrek.co.uk).
Jules Verne has added a collection of 13 new Limited Edition itineraries to its worldwide escorted tours for 2020, including an incredible 18-day expedition to Papua New Guinea. Wild, raw and captivating, it’s the world’s second largest island, its third largest rainforest and an overall assault on the senses: expect unparalleled natural beauty, exotic wildlife and cultural tradition. A Million Journeys costs from £9,895 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), VIP return transfers, free stop-over in Singapore, private charter flights between Mount Hagen, Lake Murray & Karawari, 14 nights’ accommodation, most meals, plus expert local guides & naturalists. Departs 26 May & 22 Sept. Jules Verne (020 3553 3722 / www.vjv.com).
Travel to the subtropical islands of São Tomé and Príncipe, where lush landscapes, unexplored rainforests and palm-fringed beaches await. Visit cocoa and coffee plantations, hone your cookery skills, then embark on a culinary tour – sampling delicious local produce, washed down with the national drink, ‘palm wine’. The final meal promises to be memorable; a mouth-watering tasting menu of the chef’s signature dishes. This new trip, A taste of São Tomé and Príncipe costs from £4,540 pp (two sharing), including return flights (London via Lisbon and Accra), 12 nights’ accommodation (two nights B&B in Lisbon and nine nights half-board on São Tomé and Príncipe), some meals and excursions detailed. *Sunvil (020 8758 4722 / sunvil.co.uk).
From ocean-front views, to contemporary interiors, Villa Saloma (sleeps eight) makes for the ideal first property for luxury villa holiday specialist, CV Villas, on the lesser-visited Greek island of Meganissi. On the northeast coast, with the villages of Vathy and Katomeri just 2 km away, the property is perfectly positioned for an uninterrupted panorama of turquoise seas and forested peaks, and direct access to a rocky beach below. With four en suite bedrooms as part of the single-storey design, the villa benefits from a large infinity pool, generous terraces, and all rooms offering ocean views. A seven-night stay is priced from £411 pp (£3,289 total), including maid service. Flights extra. CV Villas (0207 261 5401 / www.cvvillas.com).
There’s now another way to truly appreciate the beautifully diverse Liwonde National Park and the majestic creatures that call it home; no, not by four wheels, not on two legs, and not by boat. Take to the sky in a helicopter – seeing Liwonde from a new angle entirely and learning from the onboard expert African Parks team. This unique experience can be booked 36 hours before take-off and costs circa. £150 pp (payable locally). A Malawi Highlights safari costs from £2,200 pp (two sharing), including seven nights’ full-board accommodation (three at Kuthengo Camp and four at Pumulani), domestic transfers and safari activities. International flights extra. Robin Pope Safaris (www.robinpopesafaris.net).
*AITO is The Specialist Travel Association: more than 120 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 high-quality holidays, excellent personal service and full financial protection. Visit www.aito.com for further information.