Top trips: 50 great adventures
1. Active adventure in America
Take in five national parks in America on this trip. The 16-day adventure takes in Yosemite, Death Valley, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon, as well as the cities of San Francisco and Las Vegas. The icing on the cake is a three-night ranch stay. There’s guided hiking, cycling, riding and rafting, but children must be aged eight and above.
Details: 15 nights, with flights and some meals, is from £2,699 per adult and £2,365 per child, based on two adults and two children sharing (0344 5573859, virginholidays.co.uk). There is a maximum group size of 14 with departures in July and August
2. Burma with bikes
For the more intrepid, Families Worldwide has a trip to newly open-for-business Burma. It includes biking among the temples and a cookery lesson in Bagan, exploring the colourful and confusing markets in Heho, visiting the world’s largest marble buddha in Rangoon and a sunset cruise on the Irrawaddy River. There will also be plenty of opportunity to meet the locals.
Details: Eight nights is from £2,149 per adult and £1,849 per child (aged 11) B&B plus six lunches and one dinner, and includes flights and transfers (01962 737560, familiesworldwide.co.uk). It’s a March 26 departure for groups of no more than 16
3. Safari in Tanzania
The Family Adventure Company’s safari is aimed squarely at kids, exploring Tanzania’s oceanside Saadani National Park with its large herds of buffalo and giraffe. You can also see elephants feeding and wallowing, prides of lions with their cubs and turtles laying their eggs on the beaches. Animal tracking, canoeing, powerboat rides and snorkelling mean that you get the best of bush and beach in one. Families travel in a convoy of special Land Rovers which, in a show of automotive origami, convert at sundown into luxury safari suites with elevated bedrooms and proper bathrooms.
Details: Ten days is from £3,109 per adult and £2,798 per child (aged 5-15) B&B (plus other meals), and includes flights, transfers and all activities (0808 2507254, familyadventurecompany.co.uk). Departures are between March and December in groups of up to 16
4. China with kids
Tours of China can be a hard slog with kids, but Abercrombie and Kent’s “luxury small group” tour (Shanghai-Xian-Beijing) ensures there is enough to keep them entertained as well as educated — it includes a three-day Yangtze cruise with a dedicated “young explorers” guide. On land, there’s noodle and dumpling-making classes, panda spotting, the chance to make miniature terracotta warriors at a pottery factory and a visit to see giant pandas in their habitat.
Details: Twelve nights is from £4,965pp per adult and £4,545 per child (6-11) B&B (plus most other meals), and includes flights and transfers (01242 547704, abercrombiekent.co.uk). There are multiple departures in June and July, with groups of no more than 18
5. Toubkal with teens
Challenge the family by climbing the 4,167m Mount Toubkal in Morocco, getting an insight into the lives of the local Berber people as you pass through remote villages, as well as enjoying dramatic views towards both Marrakesh and the Anti-Atlas mountains. The climb — for children aged 13 and above — includes four nights of wild camping, but after you’ve done all the hard work you can enjoy downtime in Marrakesh.
Details: Seven nights is from £679pp including B&B, five lunches and five dinners, flights and transfers, staying two nights in a hotel, one in a shared gite and four nights’ camping (0845 3142166,exodus.co.uk). Departures are between April and October with two in the summer holidays, in groups of no more than 16
6. See Iran before the crowds
With Iran opening up to tourists, Travel The Unknown has unveiled a new Glories of Persia tour, which includes the ancient city of Persepolis, the rock-carvings at Tagh e Bostan, the poetic city of Shiraz, the Towers of Silence in mud-brick Yazd, as well as some splendid archaeological museums.
Details: A 16-day tour is from £2,795pp including some meals, flights and transfers. The trip leaves April 16, with a maximum group size of 12 (020 7183 6371, traveltheunknown.co.uk)
7. Secret Balkans
Get to grips with the history, politics, culture and scenery of Montenegro, Serbia, Albania and Croatia with Voyage Jules Verne’s Secret Balkans tour. It aims to get visitors off the well-beaten tracks to places such as Biogradska Gora National Park and overlooked towns such as Petrovac, Cetinje and Njegusi.
Details: Nine days are from £945pp, mostly B&B, including flights and transfers. Departures next year are from May to June and September to October, with a maximum group size of 25 (020 3553 3987, vjv.com)
8. Little-known Nicaragua
Journey Latin America has a new trip to increasingly fashionable Nicaragua, concentrating on the lesser-known areas of this varied country, travelling by road and boat to backwater rural villages,
once-wealthy Spanish colonial towns and exotic wildlife.
Details: Eighteen nights are from £2,968pp, B&B, including flights. Departures are throughout 2016 with a maximum group size of 16 (020 8600 1881, journeylatinamerica.co.uk)
9. Gorges in Morocco
Titan Travel has an escorted coach tour of Morocco, which includes several places not usually visited on such trips, such as the dunes at Erfoud on the edge of the Sahara, the magnificent mud-brick kasbahs around Dades, the Todgha Gorge, and a drive through the High Atlas, as well as Marrakesh.
Details: Nine nights are from £1,179, B&B plus some other meals, including flights and transfers. Departures next year are in February, March, September and October, with a maximum group size of 35 (0808 1591765, titantravel.co.uk)
10. Boat trip in Guinea-Bissau
Explore has reintroduced its Guinea-Bissau and the Sacred Bijagos Archipelago guided tour. It involves travelling by bus, boat and canoe across lagoons and mangroves to the tribal villages and islands of this west African country, where ancestral rituals are still practised. There’s plenty of fabulous scenery and wildlife en route, and the chances of meeting other tour groups is pretty much zero.
Details: Ten days are from £2,969pp, including flights, eco lodge, camping accommodation and most meals. Departures are in December 2015 and January and March 2016, with a maximum group size of 16 (01252 888 721, explore.co.uk)
11. Uncharted Colombia
Most tours to Colombia barely dip a toe beyond Cartegena and Bogota. Ace Cultural Tours has a new trip led by writer Richard McColl that also takes in the rich colonial heritage of colourful towns such as Villa de Leyva, Barichara and Mompox, famous for its jewellery.
Details: Fourteen days are from £3,980pp B&B (plus some other meals), including flights and transfers. The trip leaves June 16, with a maximum group size of 21 (01223 841055, aceculturaltours.co.uk)
12. Visit North Korea
A trip to North Korea is a journey into the unknown. Accompanied by an expert English-speaking guide and travelling in private vehicles, it calls at sites such as the Tomb of King Kongmin and Kim Il Sung Square. It promises a barbecue with the locals “for a glimpse into the everyday life of North Koreans” — possibly with a couple of state security department guys sitting in.
Details: Seven nights are from £1,730pp, including most meals, all tours and flights from Beijing to Pyongyang but not flights to Beijing. The next departure is April 19, with a maximum group size of 16 (0800 0744135, worldexpeditions.com)
13. See Sulawesi, Indonesia
Regent Holidays’ guided tour of little-visited Sulawesi, Indonesia, coincides with the total eclipse of the sun in March, with a totality estimated at a hefty 2 minutes 50 seconds. It also includes the capital of Sulawesi, Makassar, the unique geography and fauna of the Bantimurung-Bulusaraung National Park, the spectacular Toraja valley, as well as the eclipse-viewing from the island of Palu.
Details: Eight days’ full board is from £1,860pp, including internal flights but not flights to Jakarta. The trip leaves March 3, with a maximum group size of 16 (020 7666 1244, regent-holidays.co.uk)
14. Trek Iceland’s volcanoes
Discover Adventure is offering a guided trek to one of Iceland’s newer attractions — the lava formed after the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. It is a tough hike on rough and demanding terrain through a desolate environment shaped by wind, fire and ice. The views of glaciers, rugged valleys and wild scenery are worth every blister.
Details: Five days are from £1,199pp, including most meals, flights from London and transfers. Departures are in July and August, with a maximum group size of 30 (01722 718444, discoveradventure.com)
15. Cycling in Cuba
Tropical Sky’s Cuba cycle tour was wildly popular when it was launched last year and places are expected to fill up quickly. It starts with easy cycling through the tobacco fields of Pinar del Rio and the Vinales Valley before the steeper ascents en route to Cayo Jutias and Las Terrazas, with some easier pedalling to deserted beaches and, of course, time in Havana.
Details: Seven nights, staying at simple hotels, is from £1,389pp, B&B plus some other meals, and including flights, transfers and bike hire, with accommodation in a mix of simple hotels and mountain huts. The trip leaves on December 5, with a group size of 16 (01342 886941, tropicalsky.co.uk)
16. Hike and eat in Italy
Hedonistic Hiking combines guided walks in Italy with fine food and wines. Its Italian lakes trip takes in walks/hikes around three beautiful lakes — Orta, Maggiore and Como — and includes a quick delve into Switzerland, as well as a guided visit to Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan.
Details: Seven nights is from £2,895pp, full board with wines (apart from one free evening), including transfers and luggage transport between the very comfortable hotels, but not flights to Milan (01858 565148, hedonistichiking.com.au). The trip leaves on May 18, with a maximum group size of 16
17. Thai trek and cycle
A triathalon of sorts across Thailand from Intrepid Travel includes cycling in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, trekking to meet the hill tribes in the north of the country and kayaking on the River Kwai in the south. Accommodation is simple but comfortable and includes a homestay with the hill tribes.
Details: Twelve days are from £945pp, including seven breakfasts and lunches and four dinners but not flights to Bangkok. There are multiple departure dates in 2016 in groups of no more than 12 (0808 2745111, intrepidtravel.com)
18. Island-hop by bike in Scotland
The mostly flat terrain on Wilderness Scotland’s new “island explorer” guided cycle trip makes it ideal for bike-touring newbies. The trip hops across the Inner Hebridean islands of Islay and Jura and to the Isle of Arran, with all the beautiful views, scenic roads and wildlife you can hope for — plus stops at whisky distilleries. At one point take a boat for a high-speed trip to visit the massive Corryvreckan Whirlpool.
Details: Five nights is from £1,195pp B&B (plus five lunches and two dinners), luggage transfers, ferry transport and guiding, from Glasgow. Bike hire is extra Departures are between May and July, in small groups of up to eight (01479 420020, wildernessscotland.com)
19. Hike and glamp in Oz
Experience Australia with Jennifer Wilkinson’s Epicurious Travel, which runs small group tours that encompass good food, great scenery and insights into the landscape and its inhabitants. The signature tour is a guided trek along the Larapinta Trail, journeying from Alice Springs through the West MacDonnell Ranges. It is a six-day walk, staying in a private luxury camp, with bush shower and a safari-style dining tent that serves fine food and wines.
Details: Seven nights is from £2,840pp, B&B in Alice Springs, all-inclusive while on the trail, including flights and transfers (01494 678400, turquoiseholidays.co.uk). Departures are between May and August, for groups of no more than 12
20. Zimbabwe on foot
With tourism in Zimbabwe making a comeback, why not combine game viewing and hiking on the same trip? This 18-day tour, with hiking of up to five hours a day, takes in all the country’s highlights. It includes climbing Zimbabwe’s highest mountain, Nyangani, as well as Mount Ififi, time at Aberfoyle tea estate, guided game walks, and a walk to the hills where Cecil Rhodes is buried, as well as a three-night trip to the Victoria Falls.
Details: 17 nights in hotels and lodges costs from £3,999pp including flights, transfers, half-board accommodation plus six lunches, games drives and excursion fees (01707 331133,ramblersholidays.co.uk). Trips leave in April, May and September with a maximum of 20 people
21. Art tour of Georgia
Steppes Travel specialises in tours led by experts in their field, usually in archaeology and history. Its tour to Georgia, however, is overseen by the artist Amanda Cooper, who will help the group to use their sketch books as a Turner-like travelogue of Kakheti, Georgia’s wine region, and Kazbegi village, underneath Mount Kazbek.
Details: Twelve days’ full board is from £2,290pp, including flights and transfers. The trip leaves June 1, with a maximum group size of 15 (01285 601756, steppestravel.co.uk)
22. Military history in France
Two experts in clandestine warfare, Paddy Ashdown and Martyn Cox, lead a tour through the beautiful countryside of southern France that became a battleground between the Germans, the French Resistance and British secret agents. It will visit museums, safe houses, dropping zones and Vercors, site of a famous Germans v Maquis battle — Ashdown’s specialism.
Details: Eight days is from £2,495pp, covering all meals but not flights to Toulouse. The tour leaves June 8 and has a maximum size of 22 (01722 713820, historicaltrips.com)
23. Kenyan communities with Audley founder
The founder of Audley Travel, Craig Burkinshaw, is leading a two-part tour to Kenya. The first section supports Free the Children, staying at cottages and a tented camp, run by the charity, and meeting and helping local Kipsigis and Maasai communities that tourists rarely encounter. The second half of the trip is in a private reserve adjoining the Maasai Mara for more conventional night and day game drives and safari walks with expert guides.
Details: Ten days is from £4,320pp, fully inclusive, including flights, leaving on November 15, with a group of 14 (01993 838450,audleytravel.com)
24. Archaeology in Sicily
Westminster Classic Tours’ first Sicilian cultural tour, led by the archaeologist Eve MacDonald, explores the eastern coast of Sicily before setting sail on a private gulet for the volcanic Aeolian Islands of Vulcano, Panarea, Salina, Filicudi, Stromboli and Lipari. The journey takes in Etna, the Necropolis of Pantalica, and the Riace bronzes — two masterpieces of classical sculpture.
Details: Ten nights is from £2,995pp, including full-board with drinks but not flights to Catania. The trip leaves May 24 with a group size of 12 (020 8785 3191, westminsterclassictours.com)
25. Rugby with “Bentos”
Not had enough rugby of late? Still puzzled by some aspects of the sport? Well, watching and discussing rugby with John Bentley, the former England and Lions rugby union player, is bound to give a great insight into the sport as played at the highest level. He is hosting a short Times Travel trip to watch England play Italy at the Six Nations Championships in Rome, staying a short walk from the Colosseum and Forum.
Details: Two nights’ B&B is from £649pp, including match ticket and return flights from Gatwick, leaving February 13. The maximum group size is 20 (0330 331 3788, timestravel.co.uk)
26. Gaudí’s Barcelona with the Royal Academy
Take in the work of Antoni Gaudí, one of the world’s most celebrated architects, on this tour — one of several art and architecture trips with the Royal Academy. Learn how Gaudí and his contemporaries shaped the landscape of Barcelona, led by art historian Colin Bailey, in the Sagrada Familia as well as the National Museum of Catalan Art.
Details: Four nights’ B&B is from £1,275pp, including flights, entry fees to museums and galleries and the services of a guide. The trip is on November 14-18 this year, and November 12-17 in 2016, with no more than 26 people (020 7873 5000, coxandkings.co.uk)
Music and culture
27. Senegalese dance music
Dakar in Senegal is one of the premier music capitals of Africa, home to the high-energy, late-night mbalax music, as practised by Youssou N’Dour and with a booming (in all senses) hip-hop scene. The area is notoriously difficult for an outsider to navigate, so Songlines Travel has a trip where its local knowledge will get you into the key clubs and bars to experience the best the city can offer.
Details: Ten days’ B&B is from £2,125pp, including flights and transfers. The trip leaves November 20, with a maximum of 16 people (020 7501 6375, songlines.co.uk)
28. Drumming in Japan
For the unprepared, Japan can be a culturally confusing destination, but Inside Japan has a Hands on Japan city and rural tour led by a UK expatriate who speaks fluent Japanese. In Tokyo, there is a taiko drumming lesson; in Kyoto, a meeting with a trainee geisha; and in Takefu, making soba noodles. The trip includes various modes of transport, from basic canoe to fabulous bullet train.
Details: Fourteen nights is from £2,700pp, B&B plus six lunches and ten evening meals, including all activities, most transport, airport transfers but not flights (0117 370 9764, insidejapantours.com). The trip leaves May 15 with a maximum group size of 14
29. Be in New Orleans’ Mardi Gras
It is ridiculously expensive but it is the ultimate access for the famed madness of the New Orleans Mardi Gras — the chance to ride on the Krewe of Orpheus float in an elaborate costume and mask, and walk in the parade, something normally denied to tourists. There are also Mardi Gras balls, dinners, jazz brunches and jitterbugging, and police escorts to hard-to-get-to areas.
Details: Six nights is from £13,595pp, room only, but with a variety of meals and events, including BA Club World flights and the services of a historian/tour guide throughout the stay. The trip leaves February 4 for a maximum of 50 people (0800 3163012,
30. Art in New York
Philadelphia’s Barnes Foundation is one of the world’s premier private collections of post-impressionist paintings, including works by Cézanne, Van Gogh, Seurat and Picasso. A tour of its $150 million home is included in Kirker’s extended Metropolitan Opera and Galleries & Museums of New York tour, which includes three performances at the opera, a backstage tour, a visit to Renzo Piano’s Whitney Museum of American Art and a private visit to MOMA.
Details: Six nights is from £3,265pp, B&B plus two dinners, including flights and transfers. The trip leaves April 9 (020 7593 1899, kirkerholidays.com)
Food and drink
31. Cuisine of Vietnam
Carolyn Caldicott once ran the World Food Café in London, and her husband Chris was photographer-in-residence to the Royal Geographical Society; both are experts in global cuisine. They are leading a guided tour to unravel the flavours of pho and delve into the culture of Vietnam. It starts in Hanoi and travels south to Hoi An and Hue, ending up at Ho Chi Minh City.
Details: Thirteen days is from £4,530pp B&B (plus many other meals), as well as flights and transfers. The trip leaves on February 15 and has a maximum group size of 20 (020 3553 6463,theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk)
32. San Sebastian with MasterChef
A trip to one of the most glorious gastronomic destinations in the world is on offer from MasterChef Travel. It will tour San Sebastian’s markets and artisan producers, as well as offering a Basque speciality — the pintxos bar crawl — and hands-on cookery classes with Ash Mair, winner of MasterChef: The Professionals.
Details: Four nights is from £1,995pp half-board, with some lunches, and includes flights and transfers. Trips leave in October and November 2015 and February 2016, with a maximum group size of 12 (020 7873 5000, coxandkings.co.uk)
33. Vineyards of South Africa
Winter sun, wildlife and wine make a pretty perfect combo, and Arblaster & Clarke offers just that on a guided tour of the vineyards of South Africa’s Cape, with side orders of game viewing.
Details: Eight days is from £2,395pp B&B (plus some other meals) and includes flights. The trip leaves on February 26, with a maximum group size 24 (01730 263111, winetours.co.uk)
34. Batty in Zambia
You will have heard of east Africa’s great wildebeest migration, but many rate the bat migration into Zambia’s Kasanka National Park just as highly. Each November about ten million fruit bats congregate from across central Africa to feast on the forest’s fruits, blackening the twilight sky as they take off to begin their foraging. It is an incredible sight.
Details: Seven nights’ full-board is from £4,560pp, including flights and transfers, with trips leaving on November 18 and in 2016 in groups of no more than six people (020 3051 8098,theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk)
35. Butterflies in Mexico
Each autumn millions of monarch butterflies migrate from southeast Canada to the oyamel fir forests of central Mexico, filling the skies from from mid-November to mid-February. Kuoni has a trip to witness the phenomenon close up, which includes a horse ride along some steep trails with the monarchs fluttering around you. It is an extension to Kuoni’s Mexican explorer trip, which takes in all the important Aztec, Mayan and colonial sites, as well as Mexico City.
Details: Fourteen nights is from £3,024, including many meals and return flights, for groups of no more than 16 people (01306 747008,kuoni.co.uk). The two-night monarch experience is an extra £733pp for December-February departures
36. Cranes in Champagne, France
Combine wings and wine with a new tour from Naturetrek that is timed to coincide with the spectacular congregation of about 25,000 common cranes as they pause to feed and roost in the lakes and meadows of Champagne country. It will include forays to see other birds (woodpeckers, short-toed treecreepers, woodlarks, white-tailed eagles and firecrests) and a tour and tasting at the organic producer Champagne Drappier in Côte des Bar.
Details: Seven days is from £1,395pp, including most meals, Eurostar from London and transfers. The trip leaves in March with a maximum group size of 16 (01962 733051, naturetrek.co.uk)
37. Birds and monkeys in Guatemala
The elusive quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala, so revered it appears on the banknotes. The Travelling Naturalist has a tour led by the RSPB’s international education manager, Barrie Cooper, in search of the quetzal but also offering a drive up the slopes of Volcan Atitlan and three days spent in Tikal National Park on the lookout for wildlife such as orange-breasted falcons and howler and spider monkeys, amid Mayan pyramids.
Details: Fourteen days is from £4,595pp full-board, and includes flights, all ground transportation and guiding. The tour leaves on January 23 with a group of 12 or less (01305 267994,naturalist.co.uk)
38. Brown bears in the Tatras
Working with a local conservation group, Walks Worldwide has created a chance to track endangered brown bears on foot in the High Tatras mountains of Poland and Slovakia. Trekking with a park ranger, the group will go “off-piste”, walking where tourists are usually forbidden, on the trail of bears.
Details: Seven nights is from £1,159pp, including most meals, flights, ground transportation and guiding. The trip leaves in May with a maximum of eight people (01962 737565,walksworldwide.com)
39. Black rhinos in Namibia
Wildlife Worldwide’s new Namibia Desert and Coast trip explores the highly-adapted wildlife and desolate wilderness landscapes of the Namib Desert and the dramatic Skeleton Coast, staying in comfortable camps and lodges. Highlights include tracking the rare desert-adapted black rhino.
Details: Nine nights is from £5,595pp, including all flights, transfers and most meals. The trip leaves in November with a maximum group size of eight (01962 302086,wildlifeworldwide.com)
40. Steam train in Sri Lanka
The railways of Sri Lanka are somewhat undersung compared with India’s, yet are just as spectacular. Ffestiniog Travel has a guided tour of the island’s network that includes a spectacular ascent on board Sri Lanka’s only steam train, as well as escorted trips to visit Dambulla Cave Temple and a Jeep safari.
Details: Twelve days is from £3,620pp B&B, plus ten lunches, one dinner, and all flights and transfers. The trip leaves in February for a group of 25 maximum (01766 772030, ffestiniogtravel.com)
41. Trains in the Pyrenees
Diamond Rail Holidays has a new tour for 2016, travelling on a variety of the brightly coloured little trains of the Pyrenees through the scenery of France and Spain. Also included is an excursion to Figueres for the Dalí Museum.
Details: Seven nights’ half-board is from £729pp, including return Eurostar from London to Paris and TGV onwards. Departures are in May to June and September to October for groups of up to 49 people (0844 5443808, diamondrailholidays.co.uk)
42. World’s highest railway in Tibet
The Lhasa Express is a literally breathtaking experience — it is the highest railway in the world. A journey on it is part of Saga’s trip to China and Tibet, which begins in Beijing, moves on to Xi’an, Chengdu and then to Lhasa, Xining and Shanghai.
Details: Fifteen days is from £3,229pp, mostly full-board, including flights and transfers. Departures for groups of 20 are in May, September and October (0800 092 9083, travel.saga.co.uk)
43. Capability Brown in the UK
Martin Randall Travel has a tour of Lancelot “Capability” Brown’s best-surviving work at Petworth, Hampton Court and Blenheim, staying at Weston Park, a 17th-century house set in 1,000 acres of landscape. It is led by landscape expert Professor Charles Watkins.
Details: Five days from London is from £2,220pp, full-board. The trip leaves June 27 with a group of 22 (020 8742 3355,www.martinrandall.com)
44. RHS in Sweden
Something very different from the Royal Horticultural Society — a garden tour of Sweden, inspired by the botanist Carl Linnaeus, featuring lakes and gardens in the south and the wildflowers and seascapes of the Baltic island of Gotland. Beginning and ending in Stockholm, it is led by the RHS’s Neil Lancaster.
Details: Nine nights’ B&B is from £2,295pp, including flights and transfers (01334 657155, rhs.org.uk). The maximum group size is 28 for departures on June 7
45. Gardens of Ireland
Two of Ireland’s most respected gardeners, Helen Dillon and Jimi Blake, lead Ciceroni’s exploration of the island’s best gardens, including Mount Stewart, Mount Usher and Dargle Glen. The tour is based at the five-star Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin.
Details: Five nights is from £1,795 B&B (plus three lunches and dinners), including flights from London to Dublin. The trip leaves July 24 for 24 people (01869 811167, ciceroni.co.uk)
Classic tours with a twist
46. Australian highlights
If you’re going all the way down under, you want to tick off the major sites. Distant Journeys goes a step further and includes iconic train travel too, with a trip on the famous Ghan train in its 22-day Wonders of Australia tour, and the Indian Pacific rail journey from Adelaide to the Blue Mountains and Sydney on its 22-day Visions of Australia tour. Both include two nights in Singapore en route.
Details: 22 days is from £3,895pp on either tour, on a B&B basis, plus some other meals, and includes flights and transfers. Maximum group size is 45 (01695 577961, distantjourneys.co.uk). Both have multiple departure dates
47. Savour Transylvania
Not in a rush? Escorted specialists Journeys of Distinction has a programme called Slow Travel, which gives you time to savour the sights. Its tour of Transylvania and medieval Europe includes Istanbul, Budapest, Prague, Vienna, the Valley of the Roses in Bulgaria and a six-night train trip on the Golden Eagle Danube Express.
Details: 16 days is from £7,995pp full-board, including flights, transfers and train. The trip leaves June 12 with a group size of 25 (0161 4917616, jod.uk.com)
48. New Zealand the easy way
Most land-based escorted tours of New Zealand are identical, taking in Milford Sound, Auckland, Rotorua, various hobbit sites and Queenstown, but Grand Pacific Tours puts a twist on its itineraries. Its 48-seat coaches have been revamped with 20 fully reclining seats, a fridge stocked with drinks, and (in the unlikely event the lovely landscape palls) an entertainment system.
Details: A ten-day tour costs from £3,366pp, half-board, including flights and transfers (020 3642 8551, bridgeandwickers.co.uk). There are multiple departure dates and itineraries, with a maximum group of 20
49. Latin American highlights
See Peru’s ancient city of Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca on the border with Bolivia, as well as the spectacular Iguazu Falls, and the cities of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro on this 21-day Icons of South America tour from Scenic. The trip flies into Lima and out of Rio, and includes stays at luxury hotels.
Details: 20 days with most meals, all flights, and accommodation, costs from £6,995pp (0808 1594589, scenic.co.uk) with trips departing between April and November 2016. Groups are a maximum of 26 people
50. Experiences in China
A range of experiences by specialist Wendy Wu Tours means you can now stay overnight at the Great Wall of China, allowing you to wake up to the sunrise and take in a six-hour trek the next day. The China Trailblazer holiday also includes cycling round the city walls at Xi’an and tai chi as well as rafting on the Li River, a Yangtze River cruise and visits to Beijing and Shanghai.
Details: 20 days costs from £3,390pp, including flights, transfers and most meals, as well as visas, but not tips (0800 9888209,wendywutours.co.uk). Groups are a maximum of 18 people