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Cape Town and Garden Route

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

This itinerary provides a perfect ‘first time visit’ to South Africa, combining the world class city of Cape Town with the winelands, garden route, coast and wildlife.

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Cape Town and Garden Route

 

This itinerary provides a perfect ‘first time visit’ to South Africa, combining a world class city with the winelands, garden route, coast and wildlife.

Day: 1 Cape Town

Day 4: Hermanus

Day 5: Franschhoek

Day 7: Robertson Valley

Day 9: Oudtshoorn

Day 11: Plettenberg Bay

Day 14: Jefferie’s Bay

Day 16: Safari

Day 19: Port Elizabeth

South Africa - Cape Town

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

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Description

 

South Africa is a magnificently diverse country with stunning scenery, incredible wildlife, a fascinating history, interesting people, enviable vinyards and a great food scene.  Couple with this the fact that as it’s located due south of the UK, there is minimal time difference and no jet lag, and South Africa makes for a fantastic holiday destination.

This itinerary provides a perfect ‘first time visit’ to South Africa, combining a world class city with the winelands, garden route, coast and wildlife.

Day 1: Cape Town

Arguably one of the world’s most beautiful settings with the advantage of Table Mountain as a backdrop – Cape Town has plenty to offer. Visit the Kirstenbosch Gardens, take a cable car to the summit of Table Mountain for panoramic views. Visit also Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for so many years – or drive the Cape Peninsula.

Three nights Cape Town

Day 4: Hermanus

Leave the city behind and head to the coast. Hermanus is famous as a destination for whale watching. The bay here provides a winter home to huge numbers of these majestic mammals and can often be seen from the shore, as well as from a cruise. Nearby Gansbaai is a key departure point for shark cage diving.

One night Hermanus

Day 5: Franschhoek

Head inland to the Winelands, through the scenic Franshhoek Pass – your destination is the lovely little town of Franschhoek – a gourmet’s paradise in idyllic surroundings. Rugged mountains surround this little oasis tucked away and waiting to be discovered. Take the wine tram to tour the vineyards surrounding the town.

Two nights Franschhoek

Day 7: Robertson Valley

Continuing east via the Franschhoek Pass to Worcester and into the Robertson Valley – here you find further vineyards, rugged craggy mountain scenery and pretty little towns.

One night Robertson Valley

Day 9: Oudtshoorn

The next stop takes you along the spectacular route 62, passing to the northern side of the mountain range, where the climate becomes arid and dry. Vineyards still nestle in fertile hollows – Calizdorf is particularly famous for its port wine. Take time to explore the Swartberg Pass, Prince Albert and the Cango Caves. This area is also famous for its Ostrich farming – thousands of these lanky and unwieldy flightless birds as far as the eye can see.

Two nights Oudtshoorn

Day 11: Plettenberg Bay

A choice of routes today, crossing the Outeniqua Mountains, and descending again to the coast. This – technically – is the Garden Route. Explore the Tsitsikamma National Park, Natures Valley, Storms River Mouth, and the coastal towns of Plettenberg Bay and Knysna.

Three nights Plettenberg Bay

Day 14: Jeffrey’s Bay

Continue east to the seaside town of Jeffrey’s Bay. Relax and unwind in this laidback surfer town, which is also home to a number of factory stores such as Quiksilver and Billabong.

Two nights Jeffery’s Bay

 Day 16: Safari

Today head to a private game reserve on the Eastern Cape, providing a chance to see some of the incredible wildlife that South Africa has to offer. Many of the reserves are home to all of the Big Five animals, plus plenty of others besides. There are options to suit most budgets and preferences.

Three nights Safari

Day 19: Port Elizabeth

Drive to Port Elizabeth for the onward or homeward journey.

There are plenty of possible extensions to add to this itinerary – consider Kwa Zulu Natal and the Drakensburg Mountains, Swaziland and the Indian Ocean coast, Kruger National Park, or perhaps take a trip up to Victoria Falls – the possibilities are almost endless.

 

Cape Peninsula

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Cape Town - Elephants

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Cape Town - Safari vehicle

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

White Lions pumba

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Cape Town - Winelands

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[wptabtitle] Little Gems[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Little Gems

 

Seeing the rare white lion at Pumba Private Game Reserve on the Eastern Cape provides a unique and exciting wildlife experience.

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[wptabtitle] Client Feedback[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Client Feedback

 

I suspect your general view is no news is good news from your travellers.  You are correct! But I just wanted to reassure you of that.  And to add that we are having the most wonderful time.

Your advice and preparation have been seamless, your choices often spectacular. This as I sit on the balcony of our penthouse suite overlooking Jeffrey’s bay.

Thank you.

We are compiling a sort of diary that you may be interested in seeing later.

 In the meantime forgive me if I go now.

Paradise awaits you see!

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The Grand Circle

Posted on:
Posted by:

Avatar

 

Canyons and National Parks make up this Grand Circle itinerary. For keen photographers, make sure you include a trip to Antelope Canyon from Lake Powell.

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The Grand Circle

For many, a visit to the Grand Canyon is a must – in our opinion, the wow factor of the Grand Canyon is even greater if you have first seen some of the smaller canyons that together feed the Colorado River.  It is the might of this river that has forged the spectacle of the Grand Canyon that we see today.

Day 1: Las Vegas
Day 3: Zion National Park
Day 5: Bryce Canyon National Park
Day 6: Capitol Reef National Park
Day 7: Moab
Day 9: Ouray
Day 10: Mesa Verde National Park
Day 12: Monument Valley
Day 13: Lake Powell
Day 15: Grand Canyon
Day 17: Las Vegas
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Description

This itinerary starts with the glitz of Las Vegas, continuing through several of the smaller canyons and National Parks that together make up the area known as the Grand Circle.  Quite apart from the immense scenery that this itinerary offers, for keen geographers and geologists, this area shows just how great an influence river systems have – the Grand Canyon is the result!

Day 1: Las Vegas
Direct flight from London to Las Vegas. Two nights here to relax after your flights, with the opportunity to experience the buzz of this crazy city.
Las Vegas 2 nights

Day 3: Zion National Park
Pick up your hire car and drive to Zion National Park – famed for its towering sandstone cliffs, narrow slot canyons, seeping springs, waterfalls, scenic vistas and emerald pools. The hiking here is simply spectacular – with trails to suit all levels of fitness.
Zion National Park 2 nights

Day 5: Bryce Canyon National Park
Short but spectacular drive to Bryce Canyon; famous for its unique geology, consisting of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheatres carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. Eerie hoodoos are on display here – hiking and horseback trails wind through the maze of canyons.
Bryce Canyon 1 night

Day 6: Capitol Reef National Park
Drive along scenic Highway 12 which winds spectacularly through this part of Utah. With a diverse range of beautiful landscapes, there are dozens of photo opportunities along the way including Kodachrome Basin, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and the Anasazi Indian State Park. Overnight at Capitol Reef National Park, taking time to explore the canyons, domes, petroglyphs and orchards of this lesser known Park.
Capitol Reef 1 night

Day 7: Moab
And on to Moab, considered by many to be the adventure capital of the West; mountain biking, hiking, horse-riding and river trips through the red rock canyons are on offer here. Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park, make this a wonderful destination.
Moab 2 nights

Day 9: Ouray
Into Colorado and an overnight stop in the quaint town of Ouray, in the heart of the Rockies – the mountains forming a beautiful and spectacular backdrop.
Ouray 1 night

Day 10: Mesa Verde National Park
Down through Silverton and Durango then on to the remarkable hidden gem that is Mesa Verde National Park. This world heritage site is an amazing place to explore: home to Ancestral Puebloans, many of the best preserved buildings were built high on the cliff walls, well protected from the elements.
Mesa Verde 2 nights
If time allows you may consider adding in a night at the magical Canyon de Chelly where the Navajo still farm and raise sheep on lands once populated by the Puebloans.

Day 12: Monument Valley
On to Monument Valley (stopping en route at the Four Corners National Monument where the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet). For a unique experience, join an overnight tour into the heart of the area, staying in a traditional Navajo Hogan dwelling. Your tour includes a sunset or sunrise jeep tour, a Navajo style dinner, entertainment around a camp fire with the opportunity to learn about the history and traditions of the Navajo people.

Monument Valley 1 night

Day 13: Lake Powell
Drive to Lake Powell, formed by the damming of the Colorado River at Glen Canyon – a place for relaxation and peace, as well as a centre for a multitude of adventure activities. Take a cruise into some of the Lake’s intriguing canyons, take a float trip down the Colorado River (to the start of the Grand Canyon), explore the weird and wonderful Antelope Canyon, a must for photographers…
Lake Powell 2 nights

Day 15: Grand Canyon
Drive to the Grand Canyon, making sure that you arrive in time to catch the view at sunset and sunrise when the light is at its best. Take a thrilling flight over the canyon by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft.
Grand Canyon 2 nights

Day 17: Vegas
Complete the circle with a drive along a section of historic Route 66 back to Vegas in preparation for your direct flights home.
Or why not consider adding a couple of nights in the lovely town of Sedona, a perfect place to relax at the end of your trip. Then down to Phoenix for your direct flights back to the UK.

      

Credit Salt Lake CVB

Credit Salt Lake CVB

 

Credit Helen Wibley

Credit Helen Wibley

 

 

Credit Peter Ellis

Credit Peter Ellis

 

Credit Peter Ellis

Credit Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

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Little Gems

Its difficult to pick the best part of this itinerary – it rather depends on your perspective.  For keen photographers, make sure you include a trip to Antelope Canyon from Lake Powell.

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[wptabtitle] What our clients say[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Client Feedback

Content coming soon

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Japan Itinerary

Posted on:
Posted by:

Amanda Skingle

 

Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with high-rise-filled cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. Tokyo is known for its neon skyscrapers and pop culture. In contrast, Kyoto offers Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, gardens and cherry blossoms. Sushi, the national dish, is served everywhere from casual pubs to gourmet restaurants.

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Summary

Day 1: Tokyo

Day 4: Mount Fuji & Hakone

Day 5: Kyoto

Day 8: Nara

Day 9: Hiroshima

Day 11: Nagasaki

Day 13: Kumamoto

Day 14: Osaka

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Description

Day 1: Tokyo

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. 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

Day 2: Tokyo Tour

You will visit TokyoTower, the Imperial Palace Plaza, Sensoji Temple and Nakamise shopping arcade. In the afternoon, you can enjoy a half day tour of Sumo with a visit to the Sumo Museum and watching a tournament.

Day 4: Mount Fuji & Hakone

Travel by coach to the foot of Mount Fuji via expressway. Then drive halfway up Japan’s highest mountain to enjoy a spectacular view from a height of 2,300 meters. Enjoy a Japanese style lunch, which is included. In the afternoon, proceed to Hakone for a cruise on Lake Ashi and Mount Komagatake Ropeway. This is a great place to stay at a traditional Ryokan and relax in a Japanese Hot Spring & Spa. Hakone 1 night

Day 5: Kyoto

Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a refined city on the island of Honsh with thousands of classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It’s also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district. Travel from Hakone to Kyoto on the iconic Bullet Train. Kyoto 3 nights

Day 6: Kyoto Tour

Enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Kyoto. In the morning you will visit Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion), Nijo Castle, which is noted for its gorgeous interiors and Kyoto Imperial Palace. There will be a stop for lunch at the Kyoto Handicraft Centre which is included. After lunch you will visit the Kiyomizu Temple, Sanjusangen-do Temple and Heian Shrine.

Day 8: Nara

Nara is the capital of Japan’s Nara Prefecture, in south-central Honshu. The city has significant temples and artwork dating to the 8th century, when it was Japan’s capital. Deer freely roam in Nara Park, site of Todai-ji Temple. At Todai-ji, Daibutsu, a 15m-high bronze Buddha, is displayed in a grand, wooden hall. The Shinto shrine Kasuga-taisha, founded in 768 C.E., has 3,000-plus lanterns. Nara 1 night

Day 9: Hiroshima

Hiroshima, a modern city on Japan’s Honshu Island, was largely destroyed by an atomic bomb during World War II. Today, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park commemorates the 1945 event; on-site is Genbaku Dome, the surviving portion of a structure that crumbled in the explosion. Other prominent sites include Shukkei-en, a formal Chinese-style garden, and Hiroshima castle, a fortress surrounded by a moat and a park. Hiroshima 2 nights

Day 10: Hiroshima and Miyajima

Today you have a full day sightseeing tour of Hiroshima and Miyajima. This will be by coach and involves a short ferry ride to Miyajima Island to see the picturesque Itsukushima Jinja Shrine. Return to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Memorial Park, Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome.

Day 11: Nagasaki

Nagasaki is a Japanese city on the northwest coast of the island of Kyushu. It’s set on a large natural harbor, with buildings on the terraces of surrounding hills. It is synonymous with a key moment during WWII, after suffering an Allied nuclear attack in August 1945. The event is memorialised at the city’s Atomic Bomb Museum and Peace Park. Nagasaki 2 nights

Day 13: Kumamoto

The capital of Kumamoto Prefecture, Kumamoto is a major city on Kyushu’s west coast with a population of 650,000. The city is most famous for its castle, which is one of Japan’s largest and most complete. Kumamoto 1 night

Day 14: Osaka

Osaka, a large port city and commercial centre on the Japanese island of Honshu, is known for its modern architecture, boisterous night life and hearty street food. The 16th-century shogunate Osaka Castle is its main historical landmark, surrounded by a moat and park with plum, peach and cherry trees. The Shinto Sumiyoshi-taisha Shrine is among Japan’s oldest. You’ll have a final overnight stay before you return home. Osaka 1 night

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

Picture credit JNTO

 

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

 

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[wptabtitle] Little Gems[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Little Gems

If you plan your trip during the months of March, April and May you will be able to see the beautiful cherry blossoms through out the country but a favourite place to see them is in the city of Kyoto.

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[wptabtitle] What Our Clients Say[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Client Feedback

Coming soon!

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