• Credit Jackie Appleton

Alaska’s Great Interior

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Drive Alaska’s interior on this trip, or combine with more. This 2 week circular self drive tour from Anchorage is just one idea for exploring Alaska’s vast interior.

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Alaska’s Great Interior

This 2 week circular self drive tour from Anchorage is just one idea for exploring Alaska’s vast interior. The route covers some of the most amazing natural wonders of Alaska. Should you prefer not to drive, part of this trip may be taken by rail.

Day 1: Anchorage
Day 4: Knik River
Day 6: Talkeetna
Day 7: Denali
Day 9: Fairbanks
Day 11: Valdez
Day 13: Anchorage
Day 14: Depart Anchorage
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Description

This 2 week circular self drive tour from Anchorage is just one idea for exploring Alaska’s vast interior. The route covers some of the most amazing natural wonders of Alaska. Should you prefer not to drive, part of this trip may be taken by rail.

Day 1: Anchorage
Fly to Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city. Explore the city on foot, or rent bikes and cycle along the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail; with views of Cook Inlet and six mountain ranges the odd moose is often spotted along the way. Find out about Alaska’s indigenous people at the wonderful Alaska Native Heritage Centre.
Anchorage 3 nights

Day 4: Knik River
Pick up your hire car and drive the short distance into the wild and beautiful Mat-Su Valley. Spend at least 2 nights in the spectacular wilderness setting of Knik River Lodge. Glacier treks, dog sledding, air boat and helicopter tours of the magnificent Knik Glacier are on offer here.
2 nights Knik River Lodge

Day 6: Talkeetna
Continue up the Park Highway. For unsurpassed views of Mt Mkinley, an overnight stop at Talkeetna is highly recommended. From here take a spectacular Flight seeing tour.
1 night Talkeetna

Day 7: Denali
Spend a couple of days in Denali; if possible, get out to the Back Country lodges for a true wilderness experience. Or stay near the entrance and take a full day guided tour into the park. Sweeping landscapes and incredible wildlife including bears, wolves, caribou and moose are often spotted.
Denali 2 nights

Day 9: Fairbanks
Continue on to Fairbanks, the gateway to the Arctic. Visit the wonderful University of Alaska Museum of the North to take a gold mining tour, visit Chena Hot Springs. If time allows include a trip into the Arctic Circle
Fairbanks 2 nights

Day 11: Valdez
Drive the scenic Richardson Highway from Fairbanks to Valdez. Take a cruise into Prince William Sound by ship or sea Kayak. (For a great adventure, add on 2 days in Wrangell-St Elias National Park. Visit the historical mining towns of McCarthy & Kennicott)
Valdez 2 nights

Day 13: Anchorage
Relaxing cruise on the Alaska Marine Highway from Valdez to Whittier. Drive back to Anchorage for your final night.
Anchorage 1 night

Day 14: Depart Anchorage

Prince William Sound

Credit Helen Wibley

Knik River Lodge Chalets

Credit Knik River Lodge

Knik River Lodge Helicoptor Tours

Credit Knik River Lodge

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Little Gems

***Knik River Lodge – just a short distance from Anchorage gives a lovely sample of Alaskan hospitality and a great opportunity for your first taste of wild and remote Alaska***
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Newfoundland

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This itinerary takes you off the beaten track to explore this beautiful province/island: fishing villages, rich geological history, unique landscapes, hidden lodges, diverse wildlife and a warm welcome await.

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Newfoundland

One of the four Atlantic Canada provinces and much closer then you might think and reminiscent of New Zealand in many ways, but considerably closer.

Day 1: St John’s
Day 3: Avalon Peninsula
Day 5: Trinity
Day 6: Terra Nova
Day 7: Twillingate
Day 8: Gros Morne National Park (south Side)
Day 10: L’Anse Aux Meadows
Day 12: Gros Morne National Park (north side)
Day 14: Depart Newfoundland
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Description

Awaken your senses to a boundless beauty, with breathtaking views and dramatic exposures as you drive to the harbours and fishing villages that are definitely off the beaten track. Newfoundland is an island the size of the UK with a mere half million inhabitants where titanic icebergs float by tiny villages and Inuit culture thrives.

Day 1: St John’s
St John’s is the small vibrant capital city of Newfoundland. Take a harbour cruise to view Icebergs and Humpback whales and drive to see Cape Spear, the Cabot Tower, Quidi Vidi Village, the Titanic Museum and Signal Hill.
St Johns 2 nights

Day 3: Avalon Peninsula
Drive south to the Avalon Peninsula. From here tour Witless Bay where the largest Puffin colony in North America nests. Also visit Cape St Mary to see the colony of Northern Gannets.
Avalon Peninsula 2 nights

Day 5: Trinity
Drive north to Trinity – the cultural capital of Newfoundland. Follow the fascinating Discovery Trail and recognise various film sets along the way.
Trinity 1 night

Day 6: Terra Nova
Drive to Terra Nova. Terra Nova National Park has sheltered bays, rugged ocean coastline and rolling forested hills. Keep an eye out for Ospreys, Eagles, Lynx and Moose.
Terra Nova 1 night

Day 7: Twillingate
Drive on to Twillingate. Visit the Long Point Lighthouse, one of the best places in Newfoundland to see humpback whales and icebergs. Take a cruise of Iceberg Alley – majestic icebergs, breathtaking scenery and a mixture of wildlife.
Twillingate 1 night

Day 8: Gros Morne National Park (south Side)
Take time to explore the south side of this magnificent park. Suggestions include visiting the impressive Discovery Centre, perhaps take a boat cruise on Trout River Pond – an excellent way to see the spectacular Tablelands.
Gros Morne south side 2 nights

Day 10: L’Anse Aux Meadows
Drive the Viking Trail up the Northern Peninsula and visit both L’Anse aux Meadows – the only authenticated Viking settlement site in North America and Norstead Viking Village – a fascinating re-enactment of how Vikings lived over 1000 years ago.
L’Anse Aux Meadows 2 nights

Day 12: Gros Morne National Park (north side)
Drive north into the Gros Morne National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Visitor Interpretation Centre, walk along the boardwalk to Western Brook Pond and take a boat cruise.
Gros Morne north side 2 nights

Day 14: Depart Newfoundland
Fly from Deer Lake Airport back to St. John’s and then home to London

If time permits, spend a couple of nights in the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage on Quirpon Island – fantastic views, sunsets and sunrises to die for, whilst whales and dolphins frolic and bask beneath the rocky headlands…

NFL coast

Credit Jackie Appleton

NFL!

Credit Jackie Appleton

quirpon

Credit NFL Tourism

NL Gros Morne (1)

Credit NFL Tourism

 

 

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Little Gems

Don’t miss the Tablelands, one of only two places on the planet where the earth’s mantle is exposed.  Little grows here other than a few harebells clinging to tiny crevices where soil has lodged.
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Client Feedback

‘What an experience, in so many ways the people seem to be stuck in a different age, but what lovely, friendly people, they were the high point of our wonderful adventure. Enormous amount of Icebergs (which dragged down temperature) about, very interesting, and gave some good photo’s.  A very beautiful country, enjoyed all stopovers on route. So, must say, that the tour and arrangements stood up to the usual quality we have come to expect from Experience, thoroughly pleased.

Only problem now is: we have to decide is which direction we want you to send us next.
Many thanks Jackie’.

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Japan Itinerary

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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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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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