Six off-the-beaten-path alternatives to the usual hotspots with TravelLocal
TravelLocal – the ‘buy local’ expert in tailor-made holidays – allows independent travellers to explore under-the-radar destinations all over the world, putting them in direct contact with tried-and-trusted travel companies to develop exciting bespoke itineraries. This year, why not break away from the crowds hopping the Greek islands, queuing for the Vatican and sweating it out in tents at music festivals, and discover some lesser-known alternatives?
Pioneering a new way to explore the world, TravelLocal not only enables travellers to directly access on-the-ground expertise from regional experts and ensures a much fairer deal for local suppliers, but also makes undiscovered gems more accessible to its UK customer-base via local know-how.
Here are TravelLocal’s six top unusual trips, taking travellers away from well-trodden paths. These trips are just a taster of TravelLocal’s offering, and can be tailored in any way to suit different interests and budgets:
Mountains: Instead of the Alps, try Armenia
Armenia’s landscapes are rich and astounding – ethereal, even, in places. On a two-week hike you’ll breathe in fresh mountain air, pass crystal-clear mountain lakes, visit tranquil monasteries and sleep beneath the stars. You can immerse yourself in healing mineral waters, ride the world’s longest ‘reverse air tram’, marvel at Mount Ararat (5165 m), try authentic dishes, and drink Armenian cognac and vodka flavoured with apricots, pears or mulberries.
Cost: From £1,790 pp* (two sharing) for a 13-day trip, including B&B accommodation, transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide.
Islands: Go further afield than Greece, hop around Indonesia
The Cyclades and the Sporades are wonderful, but if you want to wow with where you’ve been, and for people to wonder where on earth you’re talking about, Indonesia is an island-hopper’s paradise. You can eat your hat if anyone’s heard of – let alone been to – the beaches of the Molluca Archipelago or the Bandas Islands. And they’re beautiful. White sand shorelines, azure waters and swaying palm trees. All are places where you can also enjoy cooking lessons with locals and scuba diving sessions.
Cost: From £1,570 pp* (two sharing) for a 13-day trip, including B&B accommodation, transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide.
Animals: If the Maasai Mara feels mainstream, go ape for Rwanda
Instead of heading to Kenya, why not go gorilla trekking in Rwanda’s magnificent Volcanoes National Park and observe these rare mountain creatures going about their daily life, feeding, playing and raising their young ones? Meet the remarkable young gorilla conservationist Edwin Sabuhuro who saves the lives of gorillas by teaching poachers useful, non-violent skills, such as farming, through his Goats for Gorillas initiative.
Cost: From £2,830 pp* (two sharing) for a five-day trip, including B&B accommodation, transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide.
Beaches: Fancy a change from the Med? Make for Madagascar
Stay in a lagoon-side ecolodge on a pristine white beach, from where you can snorkel, water ski and go whale watching; visit the world’s only cemetery dedicated to pirates, including the notorious Captain Kidd; head to Nosy Be, Madagascar’s number one but relatively unknown beach destination; and, for a culture shot, spend time in the thriving capital city – Antananarivo.
Cost: From £2,960 pp* (two sharing) for a 14-day trip, including B&B accommodation, three dinners, transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide.
Food and wine: Over-familiar with French cuisine? Uncover Georgia’s foodie culture
Georgian cuisine is a delicious blend of European and Middle Eastern influences. Be sure to try Khachapuri – bread and melted cheese, and Khinkali – tasty dumplings. Wine plays a key role in Georgian culture and comes with an 8,000-year history: don’t miss the chance to sample a glass or two from the oldest wine-producing area in Europe. This tour takes you right to the country’s culinary heart, combining cooking lessons with the chance to explore rural villages and meet local families.
Cost: From £760 pp* (two sharing) for a seven-day trip, including B&B accommodation, three dinners, transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide.
Festivals: Unlike any other, the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan
Held on the shores of Kyrgyzstan’s Lake Issy-Kul (the world’s second largest alpine lake), the biennial World Nomad Games will next take place from 3 – 9 September. An extraordinary spectacle in an unearthly location, this chaotic event displays traditional nomad sports including wrestling, bone-throwing and kok-boru (‘headless goat polo’).
Cost: From £1,920 pp* (two sharing) for a 12-day trip, including B&B accommodation, three dinners, transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide.
* Prices are based on two sharing. TravelLocal trips include transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide. Travel to the destination is not included, giving more flexibility and allowing customers to book their flights via points schemes if preferred.
For more information, or to plan a tailor-made trip to suit your personal interests and to match your budget, call TravelLocal on +44 (0)117 325 7898 or visit www.travellocal.com.
Notes to Editors:
TravelLocal, founded by Tom Stapleton and Huw Owen in 2012, empowers travellers to create their own perfectly-tailored holidays by connecting them directly with carefully-selected, tried-and-tested local travel experts in destinations around the world. There’s also important added value and back-up from TravelLocal in the form of both financial protection via ABTA and careful vetting of these experts by its Bristol-based team.
TravelLocal currently showcases local travel companies from more than 40 countries around the world, across Africa, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Press: For further information or to experience one of TravelLocal’s tailor-made trips (with a suitable commission), please call Lizzie Cooper or Mischa Mack at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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