• Polar Bear - Hudson Bay Canada  - credit Sue Holden

Gastronomic Tour of Nova Scotia

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With over 500 festivals celebrating its rich diverse culture, dramatic beautiful scenery, outdoor adventure, a fascinating maritime history, warm hospitality and a superb gastronomic reputation, Nova Scotia is the perfect fly drive destination.

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Gastronomic Tour of Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, one of the four Atlantic Canada provinces, is perfectly located to make full use of the abundance of marine life around it. Add to this numerous restaurants and cafe’s, with excellent menu’s and wine lists and a simple self drive tour turns into a gastronomic experience.

Day 1: Halifax
Day 3: Lunenburg
Day 6: Antigonish
Day 6: Mabou
Day 7: Cabot Trail
Day 8: Baddeck

Day 9: Louisbourg
Day 11: Charlos Cove
Day 12: Depart Halifax
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Day 1: Halifax
Fly in to Halifax and the start of your gastronomic tour of this fascinating region. While sampling your first meals, why not get involved in the lively music scene of Halifax which is truly diverse. Two days of exploring the city – not forgetting to visit the oldest Farmers Market in Canada.
Halifax 2 nights

Day 3: Lunenburg
Pick up your vehicle and set off along the Lighthouse Route along the South Shore stopping to visit some along the way. Have lunch at pretty Peggy’s Cove before continuing to Lunenburg for a two night stay. Lunenberg is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and here, enjoy the fruits of the sea and land. Nova Scotia is famous for its fresh quality food. Why not join the Cooking School based here to hone your skills and watch masters at work!
Lunenburg 2 nights

Day 6: Antigonish
Head due East to your next destination Antigonish, perhaps stopping at the University town of Wolfville with its excellent cafes and restaurants. If time allows, consider visiting one of the many vineyards in this area. You will be amazed at the rise/fall of the sea in the Bay of Fundy up to 46 feet – one of the biggest in the world.
Antigonish 1 night

Day 6: Mabou
Cross the Causeway to Cape Breton island – the further end of Nova Scotia province and follow the Ceilidh Trail for an overnight stay at Mabou. In early October this area comes alive with the sound of music as the Celtic Colours Festival takes over the whole area. Some of the freshest and tastiest fruits of the sea can be found in little pubs and restaurants in this region.
Mabou 1 night

Day 7: Cabot Trail
As you continue north east, the Ceilidh Trail joins the Cabot Trail – you are on your way to one of the most spectacular drives in Canada
Cabot Trail 1 night

Day 8: Baddeck
Complete the Cabot Trail to Baddeck and take time to relax and explore the cultural life that is centred on the Bras d’Or Lakes of Cape Breton Island.

Baddeck 1 night

Day 9: Louisbourg

Continue on to the National Historic Site of Louisbourg and stay in the pretty seaside town.  Use the full day to drive to Louisbourg and explore the historic town that helped shape the history of the region – with a little more time, include this as a three night stop.

Louisbourg 2 nights

Day 11: Charlos Cove
Return to the mainland, now joining the Marine Drive, for your final night stay at Charlos Cove. Time for a final gourmet meal and splendid accommodation before you think about packing for the last time and heading home.
Charlos Cove 1 night

Day 12: Depart Halifax
Back to Halifax for your return journey home or to continue your adventure …

All photographs by kind permission of Nova Scotia Tourism

NS Musicians in Mabou      NS Peggy's Cove      NS Skyline Trail

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Little Gems

Cape Breton Island, linked to the mainland of Nova Scotia by the Canso Causeway is a must.  Plan your visit to coincide with the Fall colours and the Celtic Colours music festival.  Plan carefully though as some of the visitor attractions close at or about Canadian Thanksgiving!
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Client Feedback

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Malaysia

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Malaysia – the very word conjures images of Far Eastern magic, of a delightful mix of culture with stunning beaches, world-class diving and snorkeling, and exotic bird and wildlife.

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Malaysia

Malaysia – the very word conjures images of Far Eastern magic, of a delightful mix of culture with stunning beaches, world-class diving and snorkeling, and exotic bird and wildlife.

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur
Day 3: Cameron Highlands
Day 6: Taman Negara National Park
Day 9: East coast beach
Day 15: Depart Kuala Lumpur
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Unmistakably Malaysia

Malaysia – the very word conjures images of Far Eastern magic, of a delightful mix of culture with stunning beaches, world-class diving and snorkelling, and exotic bird and wildlife and using Malaysian Airlines daily direct service, this tropical paradise is closer than you think.

This itinerary concentrates on Peninsular Malaysia – a two week self drive holiday taking you on a journey through the colonial past, with a mixture of city, highlands, rain forest and beach.

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur
Arrive in Kuala Lumpur today – the swift and efficient rail link whisks you into the city centre avoiding the crowded roads. Two nights in the city – and time to explore the cultural mix that makes up this extraordinary city. Take a city tour and visit the royal palace, bird and orchid gardens, and the old station, built in colonial times with a roof carefully designed to withstand at least a metre of snow!!
Kuala Lumpur 2 nights

Day 3: Cameron Highlands
Return to the airport to collect your hire car, and drive north, skirting the city, and into the Cameron Highlands for a three night stay. Re-visit the colonial past in the delightfully cool climate of this hill station, and discover homes that would not be out of place in leafy Surrey, complete with cream teas. Visit tea plantations, and learn of the process’s involved in producing some of the world’s best tea.
Cameron Highlands 3 nights

Day 6: Taman Negara National Park
Driving west today using the new highway, to the river port of Kuala Tembeling. Take the river boat deep into the jungle for a three night stay at Taman Negara National Park. Explore the river and rainforest habitats here, swimming in deserted rock pools, and perhaps walking the treetop canopy walk.
Taman Negara 3 nights

Day 9: East coast beach
Return to civilisation, with a boat trip back to Kuala Tembeling, retrieve your hire car, and head east for a final 5 nights on the beach. The east coast has some of the best beaches in Malaysia – and is relatively undiscovered. If you are a diver, plan to spend some time exploring the underwater wonderland of the off-shore islands – or simply relax in tranquil surroundings enjoying the very best of Malaysian cuisine at your hide-away hotel. You’ll have your car to hand should you decide to explore further.
Beach stay 5 nights

Day 15: Depart Kuala Lumpur
Say farewell to the east coast today, and return across the peninsular to Kuala Lumpur. Skirt the city and head to the airport, dropping your car on arrival.

Cameron Highlands

Credit Jackie Appleton

 

Diving Tenggol Island

Credit YTL Hotels

Tanjong Jara Beach

Credit YTL Hotels

 

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Little Gems

Every once in a while, we come across a property or group of properties that truly exceed all our expectations, and the YTL group of properties are exactly that. With several properties in Malaysia, and an expanding portfolio in other parts of the world, these hotels deliver in every way, from comfortable rooms, to exquisite locations, exceptional staff and superb dining – we are confident that you won’t be disappointed here.

Tanjong Jara is located near the little town of Dungun on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. A small but delightful property, with an excellent spa, superb restaurant, beach front location and delightful staff. Rooms are spread across the property in three categories, and all are spacious, tastefully decorated with every amenity you possibly need. The property is open all year, but as the monsoon season hits from December through to the end of March, you may prefer to avoid this period.
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Client Feedback

‘What a delight – the seven nights spent here at the end of our Australian holiday was simply not enough and if we return, it will be for a holiday split between Tanjong Jara and Pangkor Laut’
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The Province of Quebec

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So often overlooked, but in our opinion, a Canadian province that offers charm, sophistication and a huge welcome, to say nothing of gourmet meals, wildlife and an array of interesting places to stay.  Quebec offers some excellent skiing in the winter time and other winter activities as well.  Both Montreal and Quebec City are great choices for a shorter city break

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The Province of Quebec

Day 1: Montreal
Day 3: St Alexis des Monts
Day 6: Lac St Jean
Day 8: Chicoutimi
Day 9: Tadoussac
Day 10: Le Malbaie
Day 12: Quebec City
Day 14: Depart Quebec

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This vast area is home to over 7 million inhabitants, mainly clustered along the banksand floodplains of the mighty St Lawrence – the Eastern Townships and Gaspé Peninsular to the south, the Laurentians, Lac St Jean and the Saguenay Fjord to the north. This itinerary offers a taste of the Province to the self-drive traveller and as with all our itineraries can be adapted to suit you.

Day 1: Montreal
Fly to Montreal for a two night stay in this vibrant and cosmopolitan city.
Two nights Montreal

Day 3: St Alexis des Monts
Drive to St Alexis des Monts for a stay on the shores of Lac Sacacomie.
Three nights St Alexis des Monts

Day 6: Lac St Jean
Drive north east where your destination is Lac St Jean. We suggest a two-night stay at Val Jalbert, a historic village once home to a thriving paper and pulp business, now lovingly restored. A cycle trail skirts the lake itself – the zoo at St Felicien is worth a visit. Discover the history & way of life of the Montagnais Ameridians through an exhibition & films at Pointe-Bleue. Visit the small Perron Cheddar Cheese factory in St Prime.
Two nights Lac St Jean

Day 8: Chicoutimi
Today, head into the Saguenay Fjord, and to the small town of Chicoutimi. A short distance away the Site de la Nouvelle-France was used as the film set for the movie ‘Black Robe’ and has now been transformed into a visitor attraction. Visit Quebec City as it was in the 1600’s and the house of its founder Samuel de Champlain. The Parc du Saguenay sits on the shore of the Riviere Saguenay, stretching from the banks of the estuary to Sainte Rose du Nord.
One night Chicoutimi

Day 9: Tadoussac
Down to the mouth of the fjord today, to Tadoussac where whale watching is the order of the day. Visit the Mammals Interpretation Centre where you can learn more on the fascinating way of life of the whales & play at being a Marine Biologist!
One night Tadoussac

Day 10: Le Malbaie
Follow a route west to the little town of La Malbaie for a two night stay. Charlevoix is famous for its local artisan food producers – follow the Flavour Trail and sample many of the local delights. Visit the Parc des Hautes Gorges, hire a bike and cycle through the Parc.
Two nights La Malbaie

Day 12: Quebec City
Return to Quebec City – stunning with its walled old city and historic significance, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the area of Petit Champlain, or take a ferry across the St Lawrence for stunning views of the city. Visit the Citadel and walk on the Dufferin Boardwalk for stunning views of the mighty St. Lawrence River or take a ride up to the top of the Observation tower.
Two nights Quebec City

Day 14: Depart Quebec

Cap Jaseaux

Credit Jackie Appleton

Lac St Jean

Credit Quebec Tourism

Quebec city credit C Parent yqb tourism

Credit C Parent

Sacacomie

Credit Hotel Sacacomie

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The Province of Quebec

Nothing can be more beautiful than to awake to the sight of a pristine lake surrounded by wooded hills.  This is the view that awaits with a stay at one of our all time favourite properties – Hotel Sacacomie

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Client Feedback

We had a fantastic time in Canada. We saw and experienced so much that I hardly know where to start. The hotels were top class (!) Highlights were the wildlife (bears, beavers and whales in the wild, plus the ones at the Biodome in Montreal), Quebec, the botanical gardens at Montreal (absolutely superb!). All the arrangements worked perfectly.

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Region: Eastern Canada

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Eastern Canada – Ontario, Quebec, Niagara Falls

Contrary to popular belief, Eastern Canada refers to the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and is home to the cosmopolitan and vibrant cities of Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec. But move away from the cities to discover a world of stunning lakes, rolling hills and much, much more. No visit to Ontario would be complete without a trip to Niagara Falls, but don’t forget the Muskoko Lakes and Algonquin Park – a perfect mix of city and countryside. Combine with Quebec Province, or visit Quebec on its own – that wonderful French-Canadian drawl immediately warms the heart and draws the visitor in to the totally individual nature of the Quebecois. Consider Quebec also for a Fall Foliage holiday – an excellent alternative to New England.

To see some ideas for a visit to this extraordinary region, click on the links

Eastern Canada - Quebec city credit C Parent yqb tourism0295

Credit Quebec Tourism


Eastern Canada - Quebec Saguenay Fjord credit c aprent&yqb tourism0401

Credit Quebec Tourism

                    

Credit Ontario Tourism

Credit Ontario Tourism

 

Eastern Canada Itinerary

Gaspésie Peninsula

Ontario in Summer

Ontario In Winter

The Province Of Quebec

Two Centre City Break: Montreal and Quebec City

Winter In Quebec

Canada Rail Adventures

 

 

New York State

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We have all heard of New York City, but travel into the state of New York and you’ll be surprised what there is to see.

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New York State

What picture pops into your mind when someone says New York? Is it skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty, glamorous shops and a thousand film and TV scenes? Well of course, but that is only a small part of the picture. There is the whole State of New York waiting for you to explore – over 800 miles going north all the way to the border with Canada.

Day 1: New York City
Day 5: Albany
Day 6: Adirondacks
Day 8: Finger Lakes
Day 9: Niagara Falls
Day 10: Here you have options
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What picture pops into your mind when someone says New York? Is it skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty, glamorous shops and a thousand film and TV scenes? Well of course, but that is only a small part of the picture. There is the whole State of New York waiting for you to explore – over 800 miles going north all the way to the border with Canada.

It has a history that goes well beyond the bloody European conflicts, which were defining for the birth of the nation that we now call the USA. Add to that stunning scenery and a host of activities and you have good reason to stay longer than just a shopping trip. This is a year round destination with activities changing with the seasons.

The following suggested itinerary is to tempt you to stay longer and go further within this fascinating State that is New York.

Day 1: New York City
Spend time exploring New York City. There is plenty to do from shopping on 5th Avenue, enjoying a show on Broadway, taking in the view from the Empire State Building to visiting the excellent museums that cover all interests. Add in a cruise to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, music of all kinds in different part of the city or time in Central Park to relax and your days will fly by.

Day 5: Albany
Set off early, pick up your hire car and head north along the Hudson River. The first thing that will hit you is the view from the rugged hills in the Lower Hudson Valley – up to 1,000 feet above the river in places. The next thing you will notice is how green most of New York State is; with 60% of the state still forested and most of the rest given over to all types of farming that supply the cities. Take a tour through the Catskill Mountains to see the pristine lakes and forested mountains to get you back to nature.

The Hudson Valley is one of the USA’s most historic routes with wars against the Indians, French (when it was a British colony) and the British more than once. West Point Military Academy is located along this route. Your destination tonight is Albany about 150 miles – or more with detours.

 Day 6: Adirondacks

Today head further north, perhaps along the Prospect Mountain Memorial Highway for stunning views of the Green Mountains in Vermont, the White Mountains in New Hampshire while being in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. This is an area of wildness and peace tempting you to explore the trails through pristine woods and lakes or perhaps visit the museums that celebrate the nature surrounding you. Your destination is Lake Placid, home to two Olympics, and worth a 2 night stay. With over a full day to explore, you are spoilt for choice as to how you do. With over 200 miles of trails you only need to decide which direction to go. Perhaps take one of the ski gondolas to the top of a mountain and work your way back down. Alternatively take the Adirondack Scenic Railroad for views without the strain. But for those that like activity, then you can ride, fly fish, bike or mountain climb the day away.

Day 8: Finger Lakes
The route heads west and into the Finger Lakes region, rightly famous for its wines and excellent restaurants. Many of the vineyards encourage you to taste their wares and perhaps have a meal in their café/restaurant which features local produce to go with the local wine. Letchworth State Park is known as the Grand Canyon of the East and has waterfalls and scenery that you will want to savour. Many of the roads take you along the lakeside making this a pleasant drive with tempting places to stop and taste the food and wine of the region.

Day 9: Niagara Falls
Today sees you heading to one of the oldest spectacles of the States – the Niagara Falls. The road to the Falls is along the Seaway Trail Scenic Byway along lake Ontario. With 6 million cubic feet of water going over the Falls every minute, you cannot fail to be impressed with the sights and sounds.

There are a number of ways to view Niagara Falls, but one that should not be missed is a trip on the Maid if the Mist to the foot of the Falls. Alternatively, you could take Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour or a helicopter flight for a different perspective. The Falls are illuminated at night to give you yet another way of viewing this world famous spectacle.

Around Niagara are attractions such as quaint Lewiston or the more bustling downtown Niagara Falls. The historic Old Fort Niagara is well worth a visit. Legend has it that the commander of the Fort in 1812 was dining at the British fort on the opposite bank when a message was received stating that war had broken out. Both commanders agreed that this should not spoil a good meal and put off hostilities until the next day.

Day 10
Here you have options. You could cross in to Canada and continue up to Toronto or head back down to New York City. If you choose the latter, we would suggest a day in Corning, taking in Watkins Glen State Park along the way.

Corning is known for its Victorian streets and the homes of former lumber barons. Do not miss the Corning Museum of Glass to learn all about glass from stained glass to modern types and styles and end up trying your hand at blowing your own creation.

For a completely different end to your tour through the State, you could cruise on the Erie Canal and the Hudson River back to New York City – more on this elsewhere or phone us for full details.

Empire State Build      

      

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Little Gems

Stay in a lighthouse on the Hudson River, or visit Letchworth Park – the Grand Canyon of the East.
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Client Feedback

‘New York State surprised me with its diversity and experiences.  We can’t wait to return and explore further’

Thank you for once again helping us to a holiday of a lifetime. We have always had excellent service from you and this time was no exception. 

We love the way you help us shape what we want to do, and find us wonderful places to stay that meet our preferences, as well as taking out all the hassle and bother,  allowing us to focus completely on enjoying and experiencing.’

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