Antarctica on a budget (ish)

M/V Ushuaia in Paradise Bay

Can you visit Antarctica on a budget? No. Well, not unless your budget is much less than $5,000/£4,000. But it is possible to see this incredible continent without being hugely wealthy, as I recently did. Here’s how.

Jump to:
Getting to Ushuaia
Your low-cost ship
Booking your cabin
When to go
Equipment
Spending time in Ushuaia

Getting to Ushuaia

Approaching Ushuaia

The lowest-priced ships sail from Ushuaia in Argentina. To get to Ushuaia you can either travel overland (take a look at my Northern and Southern Argentina itineraries for inspiration) or, if you don’t have weeks to spare, the low cost airline JetSmart have just started flying there from Buenos Aires on either a Monday or Friday.

You can take a low-cost flight from the UK to Buenos Aires with Norwegian. You’ll need to change airports, though, and so I highly recommend spending a few nights in the wonderful Argentine capital.

Your low-cost ship

M/V Ushuaia at port in Ushuaia

The M/V Ushuaia isn’t a luxurious cruise ship. It was built in 1970 by the US Navy as a spy ship which operated around Cuba. Antarpply purchased the ship and converted it so that it can take 84 passengers. You can find out more about this ship on my YouTube video, but few other ships (if any) take passengers to Antarctica for less money.

Booking your cabin

Standard Twin cabin, M/V Ushuaia

You have two choices for booking Antarctica on a budget:

  1. Book as early as possible – I’d recommend at least 11 months in advance
  2. A month or two before you wish to depart, contact Freestyle Adventure Travel in Ushuaia and ask to join their WhatsApp group. This agency will broadcast the latest Antarctica deals to the group and cabins go on a first-come-first-served basis so be vigilant and be quick! Although M/V Ushuaia cabins are often cheapest (and rare), other bargains can be had with this excellent, friendly agency.

When to go

Gentoo penguins, Antarctica

The cheapest time to go to Antarctica is November. However, the notoriously rough Drake Passage is still particularly choppy at that time and storms may shorten your time in Antarctica. Penguin chicks will also not yet have made an appearance. When you do make it across, though, you will find few other people, thousands of adult penguins and intact snow. Perfect.

Equipment

Toastier than a piece of toast in a toaster

Booking your cabin with Freestyle Adventure Travel means that you don’t need to invest in expensive clothing as they will provide most of what you need. Don’t forget to bring your own thermals though.

The ship also provides motion sickness tablets and so you can save money on these too. Although it has a bar, you can bring your own alcohol on board (in moderation). All meals are included.

As well as having fewer passengers (and therefore the ability to spend more time off the ship), the advantage of voyaging on this smaller ship is that you have access to the bridge, where they keep binoculars for spotting wildlife. No need to bring your own!

Spending time in Ushuaia

Tierra Del Fuego

If you’ve booked your low-cost flights in advance (which I recommend for visiting Antarctica on a budget) but find yourself with days to spare before or after your cruise departs, then Ushuaia is a good place to hang around.

There are plenty of apartments to rent, as well as some good hotels, and you can embark on hikes straight from town (Martial Glacier and Laguna Esmeralda are favourites). You can also take shuttle buses (prices are the same amongst all the companies – book at the tourist office or at hostels/hotels) to Tierra Del Fuego National Park, where you’ll find a plethora of hikes.

Please note that I don’t earn any commission from these links, apart from those linking to airlines or accommodation.

January Sale Tips

It’s Sale Season! The British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and many other airlines’ sales have begun – a great time to grab a bargain flight. I’ve put together some sale season tips on how to make the most of them, as well as other transport, hotels and more.

Jump to:
Flights
Other transport

Hotels and more

Today’s best deals:

Taj Mahal, India

LAS VEGAS
£255
Return
More >

DELHI
£306
Return
More >

Flights

Virgin Atlantic flight departing Seattle with view of Mt Rainier
  1. In need of inspiration? Take a look at this amazing map which shows you the very best prices for any given month
  2. For full service flights, book early but remain flexible on dates – each flight will have a limited number of sale seats
  3. The usual money-saving tips when buying flights (e.g. choosing split tickets – where each leg may be with a different airline – on sites such as Skyscanner) still apply
  4. Low cost airline seats for next summer have already been released. Check prices for these airlines on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and buy early
  5. Sign up to Jack’s Flight Club if you don’t have a particular destination in mind and want a real bargain
  6. The best prices will always be on the routes where most airlines compete (e.g. London to New York)

Other transport

Waiting for a bullet train to Tokyo, Japan
  1. Eurostar always have a January sale, when you can pick up some real bargains
  2. SNCF sometimes hold a sale for summer tickets in early February
  3. The last National Express January sale saw them offer 3 million seats for £5 or less
  4. Keep an eye on Trip.com for train sales in the UK, Japan, China, Germany and South Korea

Hotels and more

Amanzi Island Lodge, Knysna, South Africa

  1. Many hotel chains and travel agencies will be having their biggest sales of the year in the coming weeks. Sale prices can be compared using sites such as Trivago
  2. If you’re looking for package holidays, then be sure to check out the Travelsupermarket January sale
  3. Trip.com will likely offer discounts on tours and tickets in their January sale. If coupons are involved then anything over 10% off is likely to be limited in number and so book early
  4. Entrepreneurial home rental owners will join in with the January sale hype and discount prices on sites such as Homeaway

🇱🇰SRI LANKA

Sigiriya, Sri LankaAncient sites, tough but rewarding treks and gorgeous beaches await intrepid travellers in Sri Lanka. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Sri Lanka itinerary:

Luxury Galle, Sri Lanka
1 ✈To Colombo (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Jetwing Beach  (Book >) All hotels >
Ease into Sri Lanka by starting your journey in Negombo, close to the airport yet beside beautiful, serene beaches. Book your private transfer from the airport here.
3 🚗Negombo to Habarana drive (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Cinnamon Lodge Habarana (Book >) All hotels >
Meet your driver and guide, who will drive you to Habarana. This will be your base for a couple of days. Start your exploration of the area with a tour of the royal ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Check here to see if you need a visa for Sri Lanka and to apply.
4-5 Climb Sigiriya (or Lion Rock) and learn about its legendary and historical past. You’ll also have plenty of time for a safari in Minneriya National Park where you will spot elephants, monkeys deer and more. Sigiriya can be an extremely popular place – arrive early to avoid crowds.
6 🚗Habarana to Kandy drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨The Secret Kandy (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Dambulla cave temples – a fascinating World Heritage Site – on the drive to Kandy. You may also want to ask your drive to stop at one of the fragrant spice gardens in Matale (the drive time has allowed for both stops). Travel times here can be a little slower than expected – I’ve built in extra time to reflect this.
7 🚗Kandy to Ella drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨Ella Master Point Luxury Suite (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a tour of Kandy, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, the venerated Buddhist temple Sri Dalada Maligawa (or Temple of the Tooth), Kandy Lake and the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue. Cover legs and shoulders when entering temples.
8 🚗Ella to Galle drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Aditya Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
An 02:00 wake up (yep, 2AM) to start the 3 hour climb around 5,500 steps up Adam’s Peak, arriving in time for a breathtaking dawn. Admire the spectacular views from the top, see the somewhat unimpressive footprint of either Adam, Shiva or Buddha. Rest your aching legs on the drive to Galle. The climb takes between 2-4 hours up and 1-2 hours down. The latest dawn (at around 06:29) is in late Jan/early Feb, the earliest (05:57) in Oct.
9-13 You’ve earned this: endless tropical beaches and serene beachside restaurants. Take a few days to recuperate before heading home, but be sure to set aside some time to visit the old Dutch town in the Fort. Before you bid them farewell on day 8, don’t forget to tip your driver/guide (I recommend about Rs1000/day).
14 🚕Galle to Colombo Airport transfer (Book >)
✈Colombo to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:00
Arr: Evening
Connect this itinerary with the Southern India, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Indirect flights leave in the morning, in which case stay in Colombo overnight.
Mid-range Dambulla Cave, Sri Lanka
1 ✈To Colombo (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Cinnamon Red (Book >) All hotels >
Dive in to the bustling streets of Colombo, focusing on the colonial buildings in the Fort area Check here to see if you need a visa for Sri Lanka and to apply.
3 🚄Colombo to Habarana train (Book >) Dep: 15:05 Arr: 18:42 🏨Priya Home Stay (Book >) All hotels >
Take the train to Habarana. This will be your base for a couple of days. Book your train tickets as far in advance as possible. For the Colombo to Galle journey on day 8, buy your ticket in Colombo Fort station.
4-5 Start your exploration of the area with a tour of the royal ancient city of Polonnaruwa (you can either take a taxi or train here). Climb Sigiriya (or Lion Rock) and learn about its legendary and historical past. If you’ve time go on a safari in Minneriya National Park where you will spot elephants, monkeys deer and more. Sigiriya can be an extremely popular place – take a taxi to get there early and avoid the crowds.
6 🚌Habarana to Dambulla bus
🚌Dambula to Kandy bus
Dep: 08:11
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 08:52
Arr: 13:00
🏨Private Apt With Scenic View (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Dambulla cave temples – a fascinating World Heritage Site – on the way to Kandy. When you arrive into Kandy, drop off your bags then visit the New Ranweli Spice Garden. Take bus 48-16 from Habanara towards Colombo. From Dambulla buses leave for Kandy every 30 mins or so.
7 🚕Kandy to Dalhousie taxi (Book >) Dep: 16:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Slightly Chilled Yellow House (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a tour of Kandy, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, the venerated Buddhist temple Sri Dalada Maligawa (or Temple of the Tooth), Kandy Lake and the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue. Cover legs and shoulders when entering temples.
8 🛺Dalhousie to Hatton tuk-tuk
🚄Hatton to Colombo train (Book >)
🚄Colombo to Galle train
Dep: 09:15
Dep: 10:39
Dep: 15:50
Arr: 10:15
Arr: 15:27
Arr: 17:34
🏨Aditya Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
An 02:00 wake up (yep, 2AM) to start the 3 hour climb around 5,500 steps up Adam’s Peak, arriving in time for a breathtaking dawn. Admire the spectacular views from the top, see the somewhat unimpressive footprint of either Adam, Shiva or Buddha. Rest your aching legs on the journey to Galle. The climb takes between 2-4 hours up and 1-2 hours down. The latest dawn (at around 06:29) is in late Jan/early Feb, the earliest (05:57) in Oct.
9-13 You’ve earned this: endless tropical beaches and serene beachside restaurants. Take a few days to recuperate before heading home, but be sure to set aside some time to visit the old Dutch town in the Fort. Before you bid them farewell on day 8, don’t forget to tip your driver/guide (I recommend about Rs1000/day).
14 🚕Galle to Colombo Airport transfer (Book >)
✈Colombo to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:00
Arr: Evening
Connect this itinerary with the Southern India, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Indirect flights leave in the morning, in which case stay in Colombo overnight.
Budget Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka
1 ✈To Colombo (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Miracle City Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Dive in to the bustling streets of Colombo, focusing on the colonial buildings in the Fort area Check here to see if you need a visa for Sri Lanka and to apply.
3 🚄Colombo to Habarana train (Book >) Dep: 15:05 Arr: 18:42 🏨Green Garden Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Take the train to Habarana. This will be your base for a couple of days. Book your train tickets as far in advance as possible. For the Colombo to Galle journey on day 8, buy your ticket in Colombo Fort station.
4-5 Start your exploration of the area with a tour of the royal ancient city of Polonnaruwa (you can either take a taxi or train here). Climb Sigiriya (or Lion Rock) and learn about its legendary and historical past. If you’ve time go on a safari in Minneriya National Park where you will spot elephants, monkeys deer and more. Sigiriya can be an extremely popular place – take a taxi to get there early and avoid the crowds.
6 🚌Habarana to Dambulla bus
🚌Dambula to Kandy bus
Dep: 08:11
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 08:52
Arr: 13:00
🏨No 26D (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Dambulla cave temples – a fascinating World Heritage Site – on the way to Kandy. Enjoy a tour of Kandy, visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens, the venerated Buddhist temple Sri Dalada Maligawa (or Temple of the Tooth), Kandy Lake and the Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha statue. Take bus 48-16 from Habanara towards Colombo. From Dambulla buses leave for Kandy every 30 mins or so.
7 🚄Kandy to Hatton train (Book >)
🚌Hatton to Dalhousie bus
Dep: 12:31
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 16:30
🏨Mountain Villa Adams Peak (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the New Ranweli Spice Garden before setting off for Dalhousie and an early night. Cover legs and shoulders when entering temples.
8 🛺Dalhousie to Hatton tuk-tuk
🚄Hatton to Colombo train (Book >)
🚄Colombo to Galle train
Dep: 09:15
Dep: 10:39
Dep: 15:50
Arr: 10:15
Arr: 15:27
Arr: 17:34
🏨Luna Beach Home & Cabanas (Book >) All hotels >
An 02:00 wake up (yep, 2AM) to start the 3 hour climb around 5,500 steps up Adam’s Peak, arriving in time for a breathtaking dawn. Admire the spectacular views from the top, see the somewhat unimpressive footprint of either Adam, Shiva or Buddha. Rest your aching legs on the journey to Galle. The climb takes between 2-4 hours up and 1-2 hours down. The latest dawn (at around 06:29) is in late Jan/early Feb, the earliest (05:57) in Oct.
9-13 You’ve earned this: endless tropical beaches and serene beachside restaurants. Take a few days to recuperate before heading home, but be sure to set aside some time to visit the old Dutch town in the Fort. Before you bid them farewell on day 8, don’t forget to tip your driver/guide (I recommend about Rs1000/day).
14 🚕Galle to Colombo Airport transfer (Book >)
✈Colombo to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:00
Arr: Evening
Connect this itinerary with the Southern India, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Indirect flights leave in the morning, in which case stay in Colombo overnight.

🇦🇺AUSTRALIA (WA &NT)

Monkey Mia, AustraliaBig and with a sparse population, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are full of spectacular natural sights both above and below the water. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Australia (WA &NT) itinerary:

Luxury Perth, Australia
1 ✈To Perth (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Como The Treasury (Book >) All hotels >
You will need a visa to travel to Australia. More info here.
3 Take a walk through Kings Park and Botanic Garden to admire the views of the city, Swan River and Darling Range. Cruise to Fremantle, or learn about the Australian gold rush at the Perth Mint. It’s easy enough to get around by foot in Perth, but if you’re planning to use public transport then consider investing in a Smartrider card.
4 🚗Perth to Nambung drive (Hire car >)
🚗Nambung to Kalbarri drive
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 11:30
Arr: 18:30
🏨Gecko Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
The first long day of driving, broken up with a visit to the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park. You can relax when you get to beautiful Kalbarri and enjoy sunset from the beach. Plan your fuel stops carefully – it can be a long way between stations – and take plenty of water.
5 🚗Kalbarri to Shark Bay drive Dep: 11:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨Shark Bay Seafront Apartments (Book >) All hotels >
A little more time to enjoy Kalbarri before setting off to Shark Bay. When you arrive into Denham, Shark Bay, you can enjoy a cruise, a 4WD tour or a vast range of other activities. Book accommodation well in advance as it can be hard to come by during holidays.
6 🚗Shark Bay to Carnarvon drive Dep: 14:30 Arr: 18:30 🏨Tropical Farm Stay (Book >) All hotels >
Head over to Monkey Mia to meet the dolphins before your drive to Carnarvon. The dolphins get fed three times between 07:45 and 12:00.
7 🚗Carnarvon to Exmouth drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 12:00 🏨Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort (Book >) All hotels >
If you don’t feel like rushing off then pay a visit to Carnarvon’s Space & Technology Museum. Exmouth is the gateway to Ningaloo Marine Park and so you’ll want to find yourself a tour on which you can swim with whale sharks, meet humpback whales, go snorkelling and any of a vast range of aquatic activities. The sun is incredibly strong here, fortunately sun cream is cheap in Australia.
8 A full day in which to enjoy Ningaloo. Whale Shark season is from March to June
9 🚗Exmouth to Port Hedland drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 17:30 🏨The Esplanade (Book >) All hotels >
A long drive with few highlights today – make the most of the open road! For an even longer journey drive to Port Hedland inland via Karijini National Park. Be especially vigilant for wildlife if driving at dawn, dusk or night.
10 🚗Port Hedland to Broome drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨Mantra Frangipani Broome (Book >) All hotels >
Drive on to Broome, stopping off at Eighty Mile Beach if you need a break. Broome’s Cable Beach is a fantastic place from which to watch sunset or embark on a camel tour. This is a good point at which to return to Perth and either fly home or fly on to Darwin.
11 ✈Broome to Kununurra flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Freshwater East Kimberley Apartments (Book >) All hotels >
Spend more time on the beach before getting your flight to Kununurra. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
12 Go on a flight over the Bungle Bungle Range, or if you’re feeling more active embark on a guided day tour. After something more serene? Relax on a cruise of the Ord River. Kununurra may be remote but there are three ATMs as well as dining options.
13 ✈Kununurra to Darwin flight (Book>) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Apartment (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the morning taking in more of the Kimberley scenery before heading to Darwin. Darwin is a cosmopolitan city and boasts excellent Asian cuisine.
14 Visit the historical landmarks along Darwin Wharf Precinct, look around the old Fannie Bay Gaol and The Old Court House and Police Station. In the evening see a performance at Browns Mart Theatre. It’s easy enough to walk between the sights in Darwin if you’re able.
15 🚗Darwin to Katherine drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Cicada Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Drive to Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge) and take in the natural marvels here. Hire a 4wd vehicle to see as much of Kakadu National Park as possible.
16 🚗Katherine to Jabiru drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Head into Kakadu Naitonal Park and swim in the pool at Maguk Gorge, visit the Aboriginal rock art galleries at Ubirr, check out Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls. End your day with a cruise along Yellow Water. Check road conditions in advance as flooding can occur.
17 🚗Kakadu to Darwin drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Apartment (Book >) All hotels >
Take in any sights you missed yesterday before driving back to Darwin. If you want to extend your trip then consider taking The Ghan to Alice Springs and Adelaide.
18 ✈Darwin to home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon Connect this West/North Australia itinerary with the Australia, Fiji & Samoa, New Zealand North or New Zealand South itinerary
Book your airport transfer here.
Mid-range Bungle Bungles, Australia
1 ✈To Perth (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Alex Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
You will need a visa to travel to Australia. More info here.
3 Take a walk through Kings Park and Botanic Garden to admire the views of the city, Swan River and Darling Range. Cruise to Fremantle, or learn about the Australian gold rush at the Perth Mint. It’s easy enough to get around by foot in Perth, but if you’re planning to use public transport then consider investing in a Smartrider card.
4 🚗Perth to Nambung drive (Hire car >)
🚗Nambung to Kalbarri drive
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 11:30
Arr: 18:30
🏨Kalbarri Sunsea Villas – Villa 5 (Book >) All hotels >
The first long day of driving, broken up with a visit to the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park. You can relax when you get to beautiful Kalbarri and enjoy sunset from the beach. Plan your fuel stops carefully – it can be a long way between stations – and take plenty of water.
5 🚗Kalbarri to Shark Bay drive Dep: 11:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨Shark Bay Seafront Apartments (Book >) All hotels >
A little more time to enjoy Kalbarri before setting off to Shark Bay. When you arrive into Denham, Shark Bay, you can enjoy a cruise, a 4WD tour or a vast range of other activities. Book accommodation well in advance as it can be hard to come by during holidays.
6 🚗Shark Bay to Carnarvon drive Dep: 14:30 Arr: 18:30 🏨Carnarvon Motel WA (Book >) All hotels >
Head over to Monkey Mia to meet the dolphins before your drive to Carnarvon. The dolphins get fed three times between 07:45 and 12:00.
7 🚗Carnarvon to Exmouth drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 12:00 🏨Mantarays Ningaloo Beach Resort (Book >) All hotels >
If you don’t feel like rushing off then pay a visit to Carnarvon’s Space & Technology Museum. Exmouth is the gateway to Ningaloo Marine Park and so you’ll want to find yourself a tour on which you can swim with whale sharks, meet humpback whales, go snorkelling and any of a vast range of aquatic activities. The sun is incredibly strong here, fortunately sun cream is cheap in Australia.
8 A full day in which to enjoy Ningaloo. Whale Shark season is from March to June
9 🚗Exmouth to Port Hedland drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 17:30 🏨The Esplanade (Book >) All hotels >
A long drive with few highlights today – make the most of the open road! For an even longer journey drive to Port Hedland inland via Karijini National Park. Be especially vigilant for wildlife if driving at dawn, dusk or night.
10 🚗Port Hedland to Broome drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨The Billi (Book >) All hotels >
Drive on to Broome, stopping off at Eighty Mile Beach if you need a break. Broome’s Cable Beach is a fantastic place from which to watch sunset or embark on a camel tour. This is a good point at which to return to Perth and either fly home or fly on to Darwin.
11 ✈Broome to Kununurra flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Kimberley Grande Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Spend more time on the beach before getting your flight to Kununurra. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
12 Go on a flight over the Bungle Bungle Range, or if you’re feeling more active embark on a guided day tour. After something more serene? Relax on a cruise of the Ord River. Kununurra may be remote but there are three ATMs as well as dining options.
13 ✈Kununurra to Darwin flight (Book>) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Argus Apartments Darwin (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the morning taking in more of the Kimberley scenery before heading to Darwin. Darwin is a cosmopolitan city and boasts excellent Asian cuisine.
14 Visit the historical landmarks along Darwin Wharf Precinct, look around the old Fannie Bay Gaol and The Old Court House and Police Station. In the evening see a performance at Browns Mart Theatre. It’s easy enough to walk between the sights in Darwin if you’re able.
15 🚗Darwin to Katherine drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Beagle Motor Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Drive to Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge) and take in the natural marvels here. Hire a 4wd vehicle to see as much of Kakadu National Park as possible.
16 🚗Katherine to Jabiru drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Head into Kakadu Naitonal Park and swim in the pool at Maguk Gorge, visit the Aboriginal rock art galleries at Ubirr, check out Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls. End your day with a cruise along Yellow Water. Check road conditions in advance as flooding can occur.
17 🚗Kakadu to Darwin drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Argus Apartments Darwin (Book >) All hotels >
Take in any sights you missed yesterday before driving back to Darwin. If you want to extend your trip then consider taking The Ghan to Alice Springs and Adelaide.
18 ✈Darwin to home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon Connect this West/North Australia itinerary with the Australia, Fiji & Samoa, New Zealand North or New Zealand South itinerary
Book your airport transfer here.
Budget Jim Jim Falls, Australia
1 ✈To Perth (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Spinner’s Backpackers (Book >) All hotels >
You will need a visa to travel to Australia. More info here.
3 Take a walk through Kings Park and Botanic Garden to admire the views of the city, Swan River and Darling Range. Cruise to Fremantle, or learn about the Australian gold rush at the Perth Mint. It’s easy enough to get around by foot in Perth, but if you’re planning to use public transport then consider investing in a Smartrider card.
4 🚌Perth to Kalbarri bus (Book >) Dep: 08:30 Arr: 16:55 🏨Kalbarri YHA (Book >) All hotels >
The first long day of bus travel. You can relax when you get to beautiful Kalbarri and enjoy sunset from the beach. Consider buying YHA membership which will save you money if you plan to often stay in their hostels.
5 🚌Kalbarri to Binnu General Store shuttle (Reserve >)
🚌Binnu to Overlander Roadhouse bus (Book >)
🚌Overlander Roadhouse to Monkey Mia shuttle (Book >)
Dep: 04:25
Dep: 05:25
Dep: 07:30
Arr:05:25
Arr: 07:30
Arr: 09:30
🏨RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort (Book >) All hotels >
When you arrive into Monkey Mia, you can enjoy a cruise, a 4WD tour or a vast range of other activities. Integrity Coach Lines times vary by day – shuttles will meet the at the appropriate time (you’ll save money if you book the Kalbarri shuttle with the YHA there).
6 Head over to Monkey Mia to meet the dolphins and enjoy more time in and around Shark Bay. The dolphins get fed three times between 07:45 and 12:00.
7 🚌Monkey Mia to Overlander Roadhouse shuttle (Book >)
🚌Overlander Roadhouse to Exmouth (Book >)
Dep: 06:00
Dep: 08:00
Arr: 08:00
Arr: 15:00
🏨RAC Exmouth Cape Holiday Park (Book >) All hotels >
Wake early for the journey to Exmouth, gateway to Ningaloo Marine Park. Whale Shark season is from March to June.
8 Go a tour on which you can swim with whale sharks, meet humpback whales, go snorkelling and any of a vast range of aquatic activities. Exmouth has a small population but is fairly spread out and so may take time to walk around.
9 🚌Exmouth to Broome bus (Book >) Dep: 15:30 🏨Bus
A long drive with few highlights today – make the most of the open road! For an even longer journey take the weekly bus via Karijini National Park. Book accommodation well in advance as it can be hard to come by during holidays.
10 🚌Port Hedland to Broome drive Arr: 08:15 🏨Beaches of Broome (Book >) All hotels >
Broome’s Cable Beach is a fantastic place from which to watch sunset or embark on a camel tour. This is a good point at which to return to Perth and either fly home or fly on to Darwin.
11 ✈Broome to Kununurra flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Kununurra Backpackers (Book >) All hotels >
Spend more time on the beach before getting your flight to Kununurra. If you wish to continue overland then Greyhound offer a 14-hour bus to Kununurra and on to Darwin.
12 Go on a flight over the Bungle Bungle Range, or if you’re feeling more active embark on a guided day tour. After something more serene? Relax on a cruise of the Ord River. Kununurra may be remote but there are three ATMs as well as dining options.
13 ✈Kununurra to Darwin flight (Book>) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the morning taking in more of the Kimberley scenery before heading to Darwin. Darwin is a cosmopolitan city and boasts excellent Asian cuisine.
14 Visit the historical landmarks along Darwin Wharf Precinct, look around the old Fannie Bay Gaol and The Old Court House and Police Station. In the evening see a performance at Browns Mart Theatre. It’s easy enough to walk between the sights in Darwin if you’re able.
15 🚗Darwin to Katherine drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Pine Tree Motel (Book >) All hotels >
Drive to Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge) and take in the natural marvels here. Hire a 4wd vehicle to see as much of Kakadu National Park as possible.
16 🚗Katherine to Jabiru drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Kakadu Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Head into Kakadu Naitonal Park and swim in the pool at Maguk Gorge, visit the Aboriginal rock art galleries at Ubirr, check out Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls. End your day with a cruise along Yellow Water. Save more money by bringing camping equipment.
17 🚗Kakadu to Darwin drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Take in any sights you missed yesterday before driving back to Darwin. If you want to extend your trip then consider taking a bus to Alice Springs.
18 ✈Darwin to home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon Connect this West/North Australia itinerary with the Australia, Fiji & Samoa, New Zealand North or New Zealand South itinerary
Book your bus to the airport here.

🇮🇳SOUTHERN INDIA

Hampi, IndiaFrom the sublime backwaters of Kerala, to wildlife wonderlands, to ancient cities and perfect beaches – this two-week journey will give you memories to last a lifetime. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Southern India itinerary:

Luxury Kerala, India
1 ✈To Kochi (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Old Harbour  (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxed day in the serene surroundings of Kochi. See the Chinese fishing nets in action, visit the opulent Mattancherry Palace and St. Francis church – the oldest European-built church in India and where Vasco da Gama was first buried. Kochi is a pretty conservative place and so you will probably be more comfortable by dressing accordingly.
3 🚕Kochi to Alleppey taxi Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Houseboat (Book >) All hotels >
Book a taxi through your hotel and join your houseboat for a midday departure. Sail through the serene Kerala backwaters, stopping off at villages along the way. Be sure to take some insect repellant with you.
4 🚕Alleppey to Mettupalayam drive (Book >) Dep: 12:30 Arr: 19:00 🏨Kurumba Village Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning on the water before meeting your driver and heading to the foothills of Nilgiri hills. I highly recommend buying train tickets as far in advance as possible.
5 🚄Mettupalayam to Ooty train (Book >) Dep: 07:10 Arr: 12:00 🏨Treebo Trip Rosefield Heritage
(Book >)
All hotels >
The Ooty Toy Train has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – it’s well worth the early start and 35-min taxi journey. Admire the magnificent engineering as the train traverses dense rainforests and steep mountains. The colonial hill station of Ooty has a lovely lake, nearby tea plantations and some wonderful botanical gardens. You will need to register with IRCTC before buying a ticket on their site.
6 🚕Ooty to Nagarhole National Park drive (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Evolve Back Kuruba Safari Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Drive through more plantations and spectacular views – asking your driver to stop whenever you wish – on your way to Nagarhole National Park. Settle in to your hotel then join the 15:30 jeep safari into the park. Visit TripSavvy for a guide on how much to tip your driver.
7 Sloths, leopards, tigers, wild Dogs, sambar, antelopes, deer and boars can all be spotted in this remarkable park. Start early and get the 06:30 road and river safari. Birds are mainly seen in the morning, elephants in the afternoon and tigers rarely.
8 🚕Nagarhole National Park to Mysore taxi Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:00 🏨Radisson Blu Plaza
(Book >)
All hotels >
Your hotel can help arrange your taxi to Mysore. Mysore Palace is the must-see attraction here. If you’ve time to spare after that then the almost 800 year-old Somnathpur temple is well worth a visit, as is the lofty Sri Chamundeswari Temple, or the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens if you really want to see a tiger. Remember to dress modestly when visiting temples.
9 🚄Mysore to Bangalore train (Book >)
🚄Bangalore to Hampi train (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 22:05

Arr: 14:00 🏨Train
Visit those places you were unable to see yesterday before journeying to Bangalore. Once you’ve dropped your bags at the railway station visit the immense ISKCON temple, as well as the old temples in the Basavanagudi area before heading for your night train to Hampi. Give yourself plenty of time to travel around Bangalore as the traffic congestion can be terrible.
10 🚄Bangalore to Hampi train Arr: 07:10 🏨WelcomHeritage Shivavilas Palace (Book >) All hotels >
The amazing 14th century ruins at Hampi stretch over 25 kilometers and so you’ll definitely need most of the day (and preferably a guide) to see them. There are no ATMs in Hampi and so, if you need cash, make sure you take it out in Hospet.
11 🚄Hampi to Goa (Madgaon) train (Book >) Dep: 06:20 Arr: 14:00 🏨Hotel Taj Exotica Goa (Book >) All hotels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Air-conditioned first class (AC1 or 1A) is the most comfortable way to travel by public train in India.
12-13 Bored of the beach? Arrange tours with your hotel, including to the Basilica of Bom Jesus, and Se Cathedral in Old Goa, Singbal’s Book House in nearby Panaji and the Dudhsagar Falls. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
14-15 ✈Goa to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this itinerary with the Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Direct flights are possible, but only at certain times of year.
Mid-range Hampi, India
1 ✈To Kochi (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Old Harbour (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxed day in the serene surroundings of Kochi. See the Chinese fishing nets in action, visit the opulent Mattancherry Palace and St. Francis church – the oldest European-built church in India and where Vasco da Gama was first buried. Kochi is a pretty conservative place and so you will probably be more comfortable by dressing accordingly.
3 🚄Kochi to Alleppey train (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 10:40 🏨Houseboat (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tuk-tuk to the station and arrive into Alleppey in time to board your houseboat for a midday departure. Sail through the serene Kerala backwaters, stopping off at villages along the way. Be sure to take some insect repellant with you.
4 🚌Alleppey to Coimbatore bus (Book >) Dep: 15:20 Arr: 21:00 🏨Treebo Trend Jansi Residency (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning on the water before heading to bustling Coimbatore. I highly recommend buying train tickets as far in advance as possible.
5 🚄Coimbatore to Mettupalayam train
🚄Mettupalayam to Ooty train (Book >)
Dep: 05:15
Dep: 07:10
Arr: 06:15
Arr: 12:00
🏨Treebo Trip Rosefield Heritage
(Book >)
All hotels >
The Ooty Toy Train has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – it’s well worth the early start and 35-min taxi journey. Admire the magnificent engineering as the train traverses dense rainforests and steep mountains. The colonial hill station of Ooty has a lovely lake, nearby tea plantations and some wonderful botanical gardens. You will need to register with IRCTC before buying a ticket on their site.
6 🚌Ooty to Bandipur bus (Info >) Dep: 08:24 Arr: 10:30 🏨Dhole’s Den Bandipur (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags off at your hotel and arrange your safari in the village. If you want to save money then join the 15:30 bus safari into the park. Bus times from Ooty  may change. Your bus will depart from Udhagamandalam Central Bus Stand (close to the station and so, on Day 5, you may want to check times)
7 Sloths, leopards, tigers, wild Dogs, sambar, antelopes, deer and boars can all be spotted in this remarkable park. Start early and get the 06:30 safari. Birds are mainly seen in the morning, elephants in the afternoon and tigers rarely.
8 🚌Bandipur to Mysore bus (Info >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Lok Sagar Mysore Palace
(Book >)
All hotels >
Mysore Palace is the must-see attraction in this city. If you’ve time to spare after that then the almost 800 year-old Somnathpur temple is well worth a visit, as is the lofty Sri Chamundeswari Temple, or the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens if you really want to see a tiger. Your bus will be the one from Ooty and so exact times may not be available.
9 🚄Mysore to Bangalore train (Book >)
🚄Bangalore to Hampi train (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 22:05

Arr: 14:00 🏨Train
Visit those places you were unable to see yesterday before journeying to Bangalore. Once you’ve dropped your bags at the railway station visit the immense ISKCON temple, as well as the old temples in the Basavanagudi area before heading for your night train to Hampi. Give yourself plenty of time to travel around Bangalore as the traffic congestion can be terrible.
10 🚄Bangalore to Hampi train Arr: 07:10 🏨Capital O 41723 Shree International(Book >) All hotels >
The amazing 14th century ruins at Hampi stretch over 25 kilometers and so you’ll definitely need most of the day (and preferably a guide) to see them. There are no ATMs in Hampi and so, if you need cash, make sure you take it out in Hospet.
11 🚄Hampi to Goa (Madgaon) train (Book >) Dep: 06:20 Arr: 14:00 🏨FabExpress Vagator Cottage (Book >) All hotels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Air-conditioned first class (AC1 or 1A) is the most comfortable way to travel by public train in India.
12-13 Bored of the beach? Arrange tours with your hotel, including to the Basilica of Bom Jesus, and Se Cathedral in Old Goa, Singbal’s Book House in nearby Panaji and the Dudhsagar Falls. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
14-15 ✈Goa to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this itinerary with the Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Direct flights are possible, but only at certain times of year.
Budget Goa, India
1 ✈To Kochi (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Kevins Placid Homestay (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxed day in the serene surroundings of Kochi. See the Chinese fishing nets in action, visit the opulent Mattancherry Palace and St. Francis church – the oldest European-built church in India and where Vasco da Gama was first buried. Kochi is a pretty conservative place and so you will probably be more comfortable by dressing accordingly.
3 🚄Kochi to Alleppey train (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 10:40 🏨Houseboat (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tuk-tuk to the station and arrive into Alleppey in time to board your houseboat for an 11:30 departure. Sail through the serene Kerala backwaters, stopping off at villages along the way. Don’t forget to take insect repellant.
4 🚄Alleppey to Coimbatore train(Book >) Dep: 10:15 Arr: 15:27 🏨Treebo Trend Jansi Residency (Book >) All hotels >
Glide to the end of your houseboat journey then board the train to Coimbatore. Your hotel is near the Karpagam Cinema – going to see a Bollywood film can be great fun. This train only departs on Fridays. See here for other train times.
5 🚄Coimbatore to Mettupalayam train
🚄Mettupalayam to Ooty train (Book >)
Dep: 05:15
Dep: 07:10
Arr: 06:15
Arr: 12:00
🏨Treebo Trip Rosefield Heritage
(Book >)
All hotels >
The Ooty Toy Train has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – it’s well worth the early start and 35-min taxi journey. Admire the magnificent engineering as the train traverses dense rainforests and steep mountains. The colonial hill station of Ooty has a lovely lake, nearby tea plantations and some wonderful botanical gardens. If you use IRCTC you’ll need to register before buying a ticket on their site. I highly recommend buying train tickets in advance.
6 🚌Ooty to Bandipur bus (Info >) Dep: 08:24 Arr: 10:30 🏨OYO 38131 Bandipur Khans Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags off at your hotel and arrange your safari in the village. If you want to save money then join the 15:30 bus safari into the park. Bus times from Ooty may change. Your bus will depart from Udhagamandalam Central Bus Stand (close to the station and so, on Day 5, you may want to check times)
7 Sloths, leopards, tigers, wild Dogs, sambar, antelopes, deer and boars can all be spotted in this remarkable park. Start early and get the 06:30 safari. Birds are mainly seen in the morning, elephants in the afternoon and tigers rarely.
8 🚌Bandipur to Mysore bus (Info >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Treebo Trend Akshaya Mahal Inn
(Book >)
All hotels >
Mysore Palace is the must-see attraction in this city. If you’ve time to spare after that then the almost 800 year-old Somnathpur temple is well worth a visit, as is the lofty Sri Chamundeswari Temple, or the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens if you really want to see a tiger. Your bus will be the one from Ooty and so exact times may not be available.
9 🚄Mysore to Bangalore train (Book >)
🚄Bangalore to Hampi train (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 22:05

Arr: 14:00 🏨Train
Visit those places you were unable to see yesterday before journeying to Bangalore. Once you’ve dropped your bags at the railway station visit the immense ISKCON temple, as well as the old temples in the Basavanagudi area before heading for your night train to Hampi. Give yourself plenty of time to travel around Bangalore as the traffic congestion can be terrible.
10 🚄Bangalore to Hampi train Arr: 07:10 🏨Capital O 41723 Shree International(Book >) All hotels >
The amazing 14th century ruins at Hampi stretch over 25 kilometers and so you’ll definitely need most of the day (and preferably a guide) to see them. There are no ATMs in Hampi and so, if you need cash, make sure you take it out in Hospet.
11 🚄Hampi to Goa (Madgaon) train (Book >)
🚌Madgaon to Panjim bus
Dep: 06:20
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:00
Arr: 17:00
🏨Menezes House (Book >) All hotels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Spend a night amidst the wonderful old buildings of Panjim, including Singbal’s Book House. When you arrive in Madgaon take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the KTC Bus terminus from where there are frequent services to Panjim.
12 🚕Panjim to Anjuna Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:00 🏨FabExpress Vagator Cottage (Book >) All hotels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Spend a night amidst the wonderful old buildings of Panjim, including Singbal’s Book House. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
13-14 Spend a couple of days unwinding on the beach before heading home. Be very wary of strong rip currents when in the sea
15-16 ✈Goa to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this itinerary with the Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Direct flights are possible, but only at certain times of year.

🇬🇷GREECE

Lindos, Rhodes, GreeceThere’s so much ancient history here that there’s a risk you’ll get blasé about seeing another 3,000 year-old pot. But then you realise walk through an old agora, or stand before a famous acropolis, or follow in the footsteps of knights and you appreciate Greece all over again.  Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Greece itinerary:

Luxury Meteora, Greece
1 ✈Thessaloniki (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Excelsior(Book >) All hotels >
You should arrive in time to visit the 1,600 year-old Roman Rotunda Accommodation and transport can book up early in high season.
2 🚄Thessaloniki to Palaeofarsalos train
🚄Palaeofarsalos to Kalambaka train (Book >)
Dep: 15:15
Dep: 18:20
Arr: 16:59
Arr: 19:16
🏨Theatro Hotel Odysseon (Book >) All hotels >
Walk along Thessaloniki’s promenade to the Byzantine-era White Tower. The Church of the Holy Apostles, Arch of Galerius and Church of Saint Demetrius are also worth seeing. Make sure you always have some cash on you – many places don’t take card.
3 Go on a walking tour of the area, including to the famous monastery of Ypapanti and Great Meteoron or Varlaam. Make sure you’re covered up appropriately for entering the monasteries.
4 🚌Kalambaka to Delphi bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 13:30 🏨Nidimos Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
When the heat of the day has started to cool off, head for the Sanctuary of Apollo. There’s isn’t much info on site and so you’ll need to do your own research.
5 🚌Delphi to Athens bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Hotel Grande Bretagne (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around the Athens’s Agora (central market) and the beautiful neighbourhood of Plaka. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Devote today to seeing the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum. This website provides good advice on buying tickets for the Acropolis.
7 🚕Athens to Piraeus
⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes (Book >)
Dep: 17:00
Dep: 18:00
Arr: 17:30 🏨On ferry
The Museum of Cycladic Art, Monastiraki Neighbourhood and Temple of Poseidon are worth visiting if you have time. Book a Lux cabin for tonight’s journey for supreme comfort.
8 ⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes Arr: 08:40 🏨In camera Art Boutique Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
A full day in which to visit the ancient sights of Rhodes Old Town. Must-see places include the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Street of the Knights, the Süleyman Mosque and the Archaeological Museum in the Hospital of the Knights. The Archaeological Museum is worth spending a few hours in and you can save money by buying a combined ticket with the Palace of the Grand Masters.
9 Take a day trip to Lindos and explore the town’s pretty streets and fascinating acropolis. In the evening head up Rhodes Old Town’s Roloi Clock Tower. Bring a snorkel and swim in the clear waters off of St Paul’s Bay.
10 ⛴️Rhodes to Symi (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:15 🏨Iapetos Village (Book >) All hotels >
Soak up the atmosphere in a harbourside café then take the bus to Panormitis Monastery. Back in town walk up the many steps to the Kástro. I recommend sitting on the right-hand side of the bus for the journey to Panormitis.
11 ⛴️Symi to Santorini (Book >) Dep: 17:15 🏨On ferry
Want more beach? Saint Nicholas Beach is either a short boat ride or long walk from town. This ferry service departs only once a week.
12 ⛴️Symi to Santorini
🚕Port to hotel
Dep: 00:30 Arr: 00:15
Arr: 01:00
🏨Aenaon Villas (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Akrotiri, and the picturesque town of Oia from where you can take a stunningly beautiful hike to Fira. Don’t ride the donkeys in Santorini as they are often mistreated.
12 Soak in the views from your hotel or visit the beach – Ammoudi Bay is one of the best for a swim. Check what time cruise ships will be docking so as to avoid the crowds.
13 ⛴️Santorini to Mykonos ferry (Book >) Dep: 12:50 Arr: 15:35 🏨Myconian Kyma Design Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Staying in the Chora you can spend time here and there drifting through the pretty whitewashed streets. Head down to Little Venice for sunset. Sea crossings can be rough – take some motion sickness tablets if necessary.
14 The Mykonos Windmills  are just a 15-minute walk from your hotel. Paraportiani Church is also worth visit, as are Platys Gialos, Agios Sostis and Ornos beaches. The windmills are a great place from which to watch sunset.
15 ✈Mykonos to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Greece itinerary with the Western Turkey or Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Athens, Greece
1 ✈Thessaloniki (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Bristol Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
You should arrive in time to visit the 1,600 year-old Roman Rotunda Accommodation and transport can book up early in high season.
2 🚄Thessaloniki to Palaeofarsalos train
🚄Palaeofarsalos to Kalambaka train (Book >)
Dep: 15:15
Dep: 18:20
Arr: 16:59
Arr: 19:16
🏨Dellas Boutique Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Walk along Thessaloniki’s promenade to the Byzantine-era White Tower. The Church of the Holy Apostles, Arch of Galerius and Church of Saint Demetrius are also worth seeing. Make sure you always have some cash on you – many places don’t take card.
3 Go on a walking tour of the area, including to the famous monastery of Ypapanti and Great Meteoron or Varlaam. Make sure you’re covered up appropriately for entering the monasteries.
4 🚌Kalambaka to Delphi bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 13:30 🏨Nidimos Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
When the heat of the day has started to cool off, head for the Sanctuary of Apollo. There’s isn’t much info on site and so you’ll need to do your own research.
5 🚌Delphi to Athens bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Rastoni Athens Suites  (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around the Athens’s Agora (central market) and the beautiful neighbourhood of Plaka. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Devote today to seeing the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum. This website provides good advice on buying tickets for the Acropolis.
7 🚕Athens to Piraeus
⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes (Book >)
Dep: 17:00
Dep: 18:00
Arr: 17:30 🏨On ferry
The Museum of Cycladic Art, Monastiraki Neighbourhood and Temple of Poseidon are worth visiting if you have time. Book an AA2, AS2 or AB2 cabin for tonight’s journey for supreme comfort.
8 ⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes Arr: 08:40 🏨Petrino (Book >) All hotels >
A full day in which to visit the ancient sights of Rhodes Old Town. Must-see places include the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Street of the Knights, the Süleyman Mosque and the Archaeological Museum in the Hospital of the Knights. The Archaeological Museum is worth spending a few hours in and you can save money by buying a combined ticket with the Palace of the Grand Masters.
9 Take a day trip to Lindos and explore the town’s pretty streets and fascinating acropolis. In the evening head up Rhodes Old Town’s Roloi Clock Tower. Bring a snorkel and swim in the clear waters off of St Paul’s Bay.
10 ⛴️Rhodes to Symi (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:15 🏨Captain’s Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Soak up the atmosphere in a harbourside café then take the bus to Panormitis Monastery. Back in town walk up the many steps to the Kástro. I recommend sitting on the right-hand side of the bus for the journey to Panormitis.
11 ⛴️Symi to Santorini (Book >) Dep: 17:15 🏨On ferry
Want more beach? Saint Nicholas Beach is either a short boat ride or long walk from town. This ferry service departs only once a week.
12 ⛴️Symi to Santorini
🚕Port to hotel
Dep: 00:30 Arr: 00:15
Arr: 01:00
🏨Horizon Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Akrotiri, and the picturesque town of Oia from where you can take a stunningly beautiful hike to Fira. Don’t ride the donkeys in Santorini as they are often mistreated.
12 Soak in the views from your hotel or visit the beach – Ammoudi Bay is one of the best for a swim. Check what time cruise ships will be docking so as to avoid the crowds.
13 ⛴️Santorini to Mykonos ferry (Book >) Dep: 12:50 Arr: 15:35 🏨Mouselis Studios (Book >) All hotels >
Staying in the Chora you can spend time here and there drifting through the pretty whitewashed streets. Head down to Little Venice for sunset. Sea crossings can be rough – take some motion sickness tablets if necessary.
14 The Mykonos Windmills  are just a 15-minute walk from your hotel. Paraportiani Church is also worth visit, as are Platys Gialos, Agios Sostis and Ornos beaches. The windmills are a great place from which to watch sunset.
15 ✈Mykonos to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Greece itinerary with the Western Turkey or Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.
Budget Santorini, Greece
1 ✈Thessaloniki (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Jetpak Alternative (Book >) All hotels >
You should arrive in time to visit the 1,600 year-old Roman Rotunda Accommodation and transport can book up early in high season.
2 🚄Thessaloniki to Palaeofarsalos train
🚄Palaeofarsalos to Kalambaka train (Book >)
Dep: 15:15
Dep: 18:20
Arr: 16:59
Arr: 19:16
🏨Meteora Central Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Walk along Thessaloniki’s promenade to the Byzantine-era White Tower. The Church of the Holy Apostles, Arch of Galerius and Church of Saint Demetrius are also worth seeing. Make sure you always have some cash on you – many places don’t take card.
3 Go on a walking tour of the area, including to the famous monastery of Ypapanti and Great Meteoron or Varlaam. Make sure you’re covered up appropriately for entering the monasteries.
4 🚌Kalambaka to Delphi bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 13:30 🏨Sibylla Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
When the heat of the day has started to cool off, head for the Sanctuary of Apollo. There’s isn’t much info on site and so you’ll need to do your own research.
5 🚌Delphi to Athens bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Bedbox Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around the Athens’s Agora (central market) and the beautiful neighbourhood of Plaka. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Devote today to seeing the Acropolis and the National Archaeological Museum. This website provides good advice on buying tickets for the Acropolis.
7 🚕Athens to Piraeus
⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes (Book >)
Dep: 17:00
Dep: 18:00
Arr: 17:30 🏨On ferry
The Museum of Cycladic Art, Monastiraki Neighbourhood and Temple of Poseidon are worth visiting if you have time. Book a DOR (dormitory) cabin for tonight’s journey for supreme comfort.
8 ⛴️Piraeus to Rhodes Arr: 08:40 🏨Stay Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
A full day in which to visit the ancient sights of Rhodes Old Town. Must-see places include the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Street of the Knights, the Süleyman Mosque and the Archaeological Museum in the Hospital of the Knights. The Archaeological Museum is worth spending a few hours in and you can save money by buying a combined ticket with the Palace of the Grand Masters.
9 Take a day trip to Lindos and explore the town’s pretty streets and fascinating acropolis. In the evening head up Rhodes Old Town’s Roloi Clock Tower. Bring a snorkel and swim in the clear waters off of St Paul’s Bay.
10 ⛴️Rhodes to Symi (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:15 🏨Captain’s Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Soak up the atmosphere in a harbourside café then take the bus to Panormitis Monastery. Back in town walk up the many steps to the Kástro. I recommend sitting on the right-hand side of the bus for the journey to Panormitis.
11 ⛴️Symi to Santorini (Book >) Dep: 17:15 🏨On ferry
Want more beach? Saint Nicholas Beach is either a short boat ride or long walk from town. This ferry service departs only once a week.
12 ⛴️Symi to Santorini
🚕Port to hotel
Dep: 00:30 Arr: 00:15
Arr: 01:00
🏨Pension George (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Akrotiri, and the picturesque town of Oia from where you can take a stunningly beautiful hike to Fira. Don’t ride the donkeys in Santorini as they are often mistreated.
12 Soak in the views from your hotel or visit the beach – Ammoudi Bay is one of the best for a swim. Check what time cruise ships will be docking so as to avoid the crowds.
13 ⛴️Santorini to Mykonos ferry (Book >) Dep: 12:50 Arr: 15:35 🏨Morfoulas Studios (Book >) All hotels >
Staying in the Chora you can spend time here and there drifting through the pretty whitewashed streets. Head down to Little Venice for sunset. Sea crossings can be rough – take some motion sickness tablets if necessary.
14 The Mykonos Windmills  are just a 15-minute walk from your hotel. Paraportiani Church is also worth visit, as are Platys Gialos, Agios Sostis and Ornos beaches. The windmills are a great place from which to watch sunset.
15 ✈Mykonos to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Greece itinerary with the Western Turkey or Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.

🇦🇷SOUTHERN ARGENTINA

Bariloche, ArgentinaFrom the cultural buzz of Buenos Aires to the mountainous view from the Seven Lakes drive, from the whales of Peninsula Valdez to the magnificent hiking in El Chalten – this vast area of Argentina is one of the most photogenic places you’ll ever see. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Southern Argentina itinerary:

Luxury Buenos Aires, Argentina
1 ✈To Buenos Aires (Book >) Dep: Evening   🏨 In flight!  
2   Arr: Morning 🏨Alvear Palace (Book >) All hotels >
Have a relaxing first day recuperating from jet lag. I suggest you find a cool café in Palermo and enjoy a delicious medialuna.
3 Visit Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, grab lunch at Mercado del Progreso and admire the city architecture on a walking tour. Extend your trip with a couple of days in Uruguay, a short ferry ride away.
4 ✈Buenos Aires to Puerto Madryn flight (Book >)
🚌Puerto Madryn to Puerto Pirámides bus
Dep: Morning
Dep: 17:00
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 18:30
🏨Hotel Las Restingas (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi to the bus station in Puerto Madryn and catch the 17:00 bus to Peninsula Valdez You’ll need to pay an entry fee to the peninsula – someone will board the bus to collect the fee.
5 Whales. So many whales. You can see them on a boat trip from Puerto Pirámides, or even from the shoreline. If you want to see orca then you’ll need to take a tour to Punta Norte. Take motion sickness tables for the whale watching trip.
6 🚌Puerto Pirámides to San Antonio Oeste bus
🚌San Antonio Oeste to Puerto Madryn bus (Book >)
🚄San Antonio Oeste to Bariloche train (Book >)
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 17:35
Dep: 22:20
12:30
Arr: 21:10
🏨Train  
Return to Puerto Madryn and pay a visit to the wonderful Museo Oceanográfico. If you’ve a couple of hours to spare walk along the beach to Punta Cuevas, where Welsh pioneers first settled. Take the bus to San Antonio Oeste and wait to board the train (which only departs on Friday nights). Get your Tren Patagonico ticket as soon as possible – up to 2 months before departure – on the Plataforma 10 website. For sleeper cabins select ‘Camarote’. 
7 🚗Bariloche to Villa La Angostura drive (Hire car >) Dep: 14:00 Arr: 12:28
Arr: 15:50
🏨Luma Casa de Montaña (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning sit back and watch the vast landscapes of Patagonia roll by. Hire a car in Bariloche and enjoy the start of the spectacular Seven Lakes road to Villa La Angostura. Once you’ve arrived drive a little way on to the shores of Lago Correntoso. You may want to allow more time to drive the Seven Lakes road as there are many scenic spots to stop at.
8 There are many incredible hikes to enjoy here, my favourite was to Cajon Negro.  The ViewRanger app was really useful for hiking in Argentina.
9 🚗Villa La Angostura to San Martín de los Andes drive Dep: 16:00 Arr: 18:30 🏨Río Hermoso (Book >) All hotels >
For a more sedate hike drive down to Puerto Angostura and get a ferry to Bosque De Arrayanes Embarcadero for the glorious walk through the Los Arrayanes National Park back to the dock. The first ferry leaves at 11am and the journey takes about one hour.
10 San Martín also has a number of enjoyable hikes in the vicinity, including the unmissable walk to Mirador Bandurrias and La Islita. Take some cash because you’ll pay a small fee to pass through Mapuche territory.
11 🚗San Martín de los Andes to Bariloche drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Hotel Charming Luxury Lodge & Private Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Return to Bariloche and then drive on to Villa Llao Llao for a great walk along the lake before returning the car and taking a taxi to your hotel. Not a hiker? No problem. Your hotel is in a spectacular location so why not just enjoy the views from the luxury of your own spa room.
12 Board either bus 50 or 51 to Villa Catedral. Here you can enjoy a number of hikes or even a cable car ride. My favourite hike here is to Refugio Frey. Take a filter water bottle with you so that you can top up from streams along the way.
13 ✈Bariloche to El Calafate flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Xelena Hotel & Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Another few hours in which to enjoy your luxurious hotel before departing for El Calafate. Arrange tomorrow’s trip to the glacier in advance.
14 Take a day trip to the Perito Moreno glacier, where a boat will take you up close to the face of the glacier. There are also some excellent walkways from which to admire the glacier from various angles. It can be expensive to get cash out of ATMs in Argentina.
15 🚌El Calafate to El Chalten bus (Book >) Dep: 08:00 Arr: 11:00 🏨Destino Sur Hotel & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Welcome to one of the best places for hiking in the world. Start with a relatively easy walk to Lago Torre – about 4 hours round trip. When you arrive into El Chalten the bus will stop at the park visitor centre where you can figure out which walks you want to do.
16 Devote today to walking to Lago de los Tres. This is a truly spectacular route that ends with a steep incline (so be sure to have some spare energy!) When you arrive you’ll be surrounded by immense, photogenic mountains and lakes. The final climb on today’s hike can be very busy and you may be stuck behind slower walkers – be patient and give yourself plenty of time.
17 🚌El Chalten to El Calafate bus (Book >)
✈El Calafate to Buenos Aires flight (Book >)
Dep: 08:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 11:00
Arr: Afternoon
🏨Alvear Palace (Book >) All hotels >
If you happen to be in Buenos Aires on a Sunday then you can get some great souvenirs at the San Telmo Feria. Bus tickets are usually only available to buy up to 2 months before departure.
18-19 ✈Buenos Aires to home Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Southern Argentina itinerary with the Northern Argentina, Brazil, Northern Chile or Southern Chile itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Tren Patagonico, Bariloche, Argentina
1 ✈To Buenos Aires (Book >) Dep: Evening   🏨 In flight!  
2   Arr: Morning 🏨Carles (Book >) All hotels >
Have a relaxing first day recuperating from jet lag. We suggest you find a cool café in Palermo and enjoy a delicious medialuna.
3 Visit Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, grab lunch at Mercado del Progreso and admire the city architecture on a walking tour. Extend your trip with a couple of days in Uruguay, a short ferry ride away.
4 ✈Buenos Aires to Bariloche flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Bungalows Buena Vista (Book >) All hotels >
Once in Bariloche spend some time in the many chocolate shops, or maybe take a trip up to Cerro Otto, using bus 50 or 51. Take those same buses or a taxi on to Villa Llao Llao and your hotel. It can be expensive to get cash out of ATMs in Argentina.
5 Board either bus 50 or 51 to Villa Catedral. Here you can enjoy a number of hikes or even a cable car ride. My favourite hike here is to Refugio Frey. Not a hiker? No problem. Your hotel is in a spectacular location so why not just enjoy the views from the luxury of your own spa room.
6 🚗Bariloche to Villa La Angostura drive (Hire car >) Dep: 15:00 Arr: 16:30 🏨Hotel Alma Andina (Book >) All hotels >
On your last day here enjoy a great walk along the lake from Villa Llao Llao. Take the bus to Bariloche, hire a car and enjoy the start of the spectacular Seven Lakes’ road to Villa La Angostura. Once you’ve arrived drive a little way on to the shores of Lago Correntoso. You may want to allow more time to drive the Seven Lakes’ road as there are many scenic spots to stop at.
7 There are many incredible hikes to enjoy here, my favourite was to Cajon Negro.  The ViewRanger app was really useful for hiking in Argentina.
8 🚗Villa La Angostura to San Martín de los Andes drive Dep: 16:00 Arr: 18:30 🏨Monte Verde (Book >) All hotels >
For a more sedate hike drive down to Puerto Angostura and get a ferry to Bosque De Arrayanes Embarcadero for the glorious walk through the Los Arrayanes National Park back to the dock. The first ferry leaves at 11am and the journey takes about one hour.
9 San Martín also has a number of enjoyable hikes in the vicinity, including the unmissable walk to Mirador Bandurrias and La Islita. You’ll need to take some cash because you’ll pay a small fee to pass through Mapuche territory.
10 🚗San Martín de los Andes to Bariloche drive
🚄Bariloche to San Antonio Oeste train (Book >)
Dep: 12:00
Dep: 17:00
Arr: 15:00 🏨Train  
Return to Bariloche and then board the train for San Antonio Oeste. Once on board sit back and watch the vast landscapes of Patagonia roll by. Get your Tren Patagonico ticket as soon as possible – up to 2 months before departure – on the Plataforma 10 website. For sleeper cabins select ‘Camarote’. 
11 🚄Bariloche to San Antonio Oeste train
🚌San Antonio Oeste to Puerto Madryn bus (Book >)
🚌Puerto Madryn to Puerto Pirámides bus
Dep: 09:40
Dep: 17:00
Arr: 07:14
Arr: 13:05
Arr: 18:30
🏨Hotel Las Restingas (Book >) All hotels >
Transfer to the bus to Puerto Madryn where you can grab lunch whilst waiting for the bus to Peninsula Valdez. You’ll need to pay an entry fee to the peninsula – someone will board the bus to collect the fee. Tren Patagonico only departs on Sundays. The bus to Puerto Madryn departs a few blocks north of the train station – ask for directions.
12 Whales. So many whales. You can see them on a boat trip from Puerto Pirámides, or even from the shoreline. If you want to see orca then you’ll need to take a tour to Punta Norte. Take motion sickness tables for the whale watching trip.
13 🚌Puerto Pirámides to Puerto Madryn bus
🚌Puerto Madryn to Esquel bus (Book >)
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 20:15
Arr: 12:30 🏨Bus  
Pay a visit to the wonderful Museo Oceanográfico in Puerto Madryn. If you’ve a couple of hours to spare walk along the beach to Punta Cuevas, where Welsh pioneers first settled. Pack ear plugs and an eye mask for the overnight bus journeys.
14 🚌Puerto Madryn to Esquel bus
🚌Esquel to El Chalten bus (Book >)
Dep: 16:00 Arr: 06:30

 

🏨Bus  
With your almost 12 hours in Esquel take a ride on La Trochita – the old Patagonian Express. Walk to Laguna La Zeta or in Parque Nacional Los Alerces. Bus tickets are usually only available to buy up to 2 months before departure.
15 🚌Esquel to El Chalten bus   Arr: 10:00 🏨Latitud 49º (Book >) All hotels >
Welcome to one of the best places for hiking in the world. Start with a relatively easy walk to Lago Torre – about 4 hours round trip. When you arrive into El Chalten the bus will stop at the park visitor centre where you can figure out which walks you want to do.
16 Devote today to walking to Lago de los Tres. This is a truly spectacular route that ends with a steep incline (so be sure to have some spare energy!) When you arrive you’ll be surrounded by immense, photogenic mountains and lakes. The final climb on today’s hike can be very busy and you may be stuck behind slower walkers – be patient and give yourself plenty of time.
17 🚌El Chalten to El Calafate bus (Book >) Dep: 17:00 Arr: 20:00 🏨MadreTierra Patagonia (Book >) All hotels >
Several more hours during which you can hike to Chorrillo del Salto and/or to Los Condores. Take a filter water bottle with you so that you can top up from streams along the way.
18 Take a day trip to the Perito Moreno glacier, where a boat will take you up close to the face of the glacier. There are also some excellent walkways from which to admire the glacier from various angles. Arrange your trip to the glacier in advance.
19 ✈El Calafate to Buenos Aires flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Carles (Book >) All hotels >
Relax before the flight to Buenos Aires. Enjoy one last evening in the Argentine capital. If you happen to be in Buenos Aires on a Sunday then you can get some great souvenirs at the San Telmo Feria.
20-21 ✈Buenos Aires to home Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Southern Argentina itinerary with the Northern Argentina, Brazil, Northern Chile or Southern Chile itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Budget Whale
1 ✈To Buenos Aires (Book >) Dep: Evening   🏨 In flight!  
2   Arr: Morning 🏨Selina Palermo Soho (Book >) All hotels >
Have a relaxing first day recuperating from jet lag. We suggest you find a cool café in Palermo and enjoy a delicious medialuna.
3 Visit Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, grab lunch at Mercado del Progreso and admire the city architecture on a walking tour. Extend your trip with a couple of days in Uruguay, a short ferry ride away.
4 ✈Buenos Aires to Bariloche flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hospedaje Penthouse 1004 (Book >) All hotels >
Once in Bariloche spend some time in the many chocolate shops, or maybe take a trip up to Cerro Otto, using bus 50 or 51. It can be expensive to get cash out of ATMs in Argentina.
5 Board either bus 50 or 51 to Villa Catedral. Here you can enjoy a number of hikes or even a cable car ride. My favourite hike here is to Refugio Frey. After all that hiking enjoy the incredible views across lake and mountains from the hostel.
6 🚌Bariloche to Villa La Angostura bus(Book >) Dep: 14:30 Arr: 15:45 🏨Hostel La Angostura (Book >) All hotels >
On your last day in Bariloche take the bus to Villa Llao Llao for a great walk along the lake. Take the bus along the spectacular Seven Lakes road to Villa La Angostura. Once you’ve arrived walk a little way on to the shores of Lago Correntoso. Bus routes along the Seven Lakes road are weather dependent.
7 There are many incredible hikes to enjoy here, my favourite was to Cajon Negro.  The ViewRanger app was really useful for hiking in Argentina.
8 🚌Villa La Angostura to San Martín de los Andes bus (Book >) Dep: 14:45 Arr: 17:00 🏨Rukalhue Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
For a more sedate hike walk down to Puerto Angostura and get a ferry to Bosque De Arrayanes Embarcadero for the glorious walk through the Los Arrayanes National Park back to the dock. The first ferry leaves at 11am and the journey takes about one hour.
9 San Martín also has a number of enjoyable hikes in the vicinity, including the unmissable walk to Mirador Bandurrias and La Islita. You’ll need to take some cash because you’ll pay a small fee to pass through Mapuche territory.
10 🚌San Martín de los Andes to Bariloche bus (Book >)
🚄Bariloche to San Antonio Oeste train (Book >)
Dep: 09:45
Dep: 17:00
Arr: 13:15 🏨Train  
Return to Bariloche and then board the train for San Antonio Oeste. Once on board sit back and watch the vast landscapes of Patagonia roll by. Get your Tren Patagonico ticket as soon as possible – up to 2 months before departure – on the Plataforma 10 website. For sleeper cabins select ‘Camarote’. 
11 🚄Bariloche to San Antonio Oeste train
🚌San Antonio Oeste to Puerto Madryn bus (Book >)
🚌Puerto Madryn to Puerto Pirámides bus
Dep: 09:40
Dep: 17:00
Arr: 07:14
Arr: 13:05
Arr: 18:30
🏨Hospedaje La Posta (Book >) All hotels >
Transfer to the bus to Puerto Madryn where you can grab lunch whilst waiting for the bus to Peninsula Valdez. You’ll need to pay an entry fee to the peninsula – someone will board the bus to collect the fee. Tren Patagonico only departs on Sundays. The bus to Puerto Madryn departs a few blocks north of the train station – ask for directions.
12 Whales. So many whales. You can see them on a boat trip from Puerto Pirámides, or even from the shoreline. If you want to see orca then you’ll need to take a tour to Punta Norte. Take motion sickness tables for the whale watching trip.
13 🚌Puerto Pirámides to Puerto Madryn bus
🚌Puerto Madryn to Esquel bus (Book >)
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 20:15
Arr: 12:30 🏨Bus  
Pay a visit to the wonderful Museo Oceanográfico in Puerto Madryn. If you’ve a couple of hours to spare walk along the beach to Punta Cuevas, where Welsh pioneers first settled. Pack ear plugs and an eye mask for the overnight bus journeys.
14 🚌Puerto Madryn to Esquel bus
🚌Esquel to El Chalten bus (Book >)
Dep: 16:00 Arr: 06:30

 

🏨Bus  
With your almost 12 hours in Esquel take a ride on La Trochita – the old Patagonian Express. Walk to Laguna La Zeta or in Parque Nacional Los Alerces. Bus tickets are usually only available to buy up to 2 months before departure.
15 🚌Esquel to El Chalten bus   Arr: 10:00 🏨Hospedaje Mi Rincon (Book >) All hotels >
Welcome to one of the best places for hiking in the world. Start with a relatively easy walk to Lago Torre – about 4 hours round trip. When you arrive into El Chalten the bus will stop at the park visitor centre where you can figure out which walks you want to do.
16 Devote today to walking to Lago de los Tres. This is a truly spectacular route that ends with a steep incline (so be sure to have some spare energy!) When you arrive you’ll be surrounded by immense, photogenic mountains and lakes. The final climb on today’s hike can be very busy and you may be stuck behind slower walkers – be patient and give yourself plenty of time.
17 🚌El Chalten to El Calafate bus (Book >) Dep: 17:00 Arr: 20:00 🏨Folk Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Several more hours during which you can hike to Chorrillo del Salto and/or to Los Condores. Take a filter water bottle with you so that you can top up from streams along the way.
18 Take a day trip to the Perito Moreno glacier, where a boat will take you up close to the face of the glacier. There are also some excellent walkways from which to admire the glacier from various angles. Arrange your trip to the glacier in advance (your hostel can help).
19 ✈El Calafate to Buenos Aires flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Selina Palermo Soho (Book >) All hotels >
Relax before the flight to Buenos Aires. Enjoy one last evening in the Argentine capital. If you happen to be in Buenos Aires on a Sunday then you can get some great souvenirs at the San Telmo Feria.
20-21 ✈Buenos Aires to home Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Southern Argentina itinerary with the Northern Argentina, Brazil, Northern Chile or Southern Chile itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.

Island hopping

I’ve long wanted to try island hopping in the Caribbean. When I started researching my trip there I was happy to see that it is possible to get a ferry between St Lucia, Dominica and Guadeloupe. However, I also wanted to see Barbados and so managed to find a cheap flight from Ecuador, via Florida and then another flight between Barbados and St Lucia.

These islands all felt very different. Barbados was relatively flat and had a plethora of incredible beaches. St Lucia had more variety; a few amazing beaches, mountains and rainforest. Dominica wasn’t great for beaches but offered a magnificent, verdant interior, as well as whale watching opportunities. Guadeloupe had good and easy hikes in the mountains, a large choice of beaches and a distinct French flair.

I knew that it would be easy to create a Luxury version of the Eastern Caribbean itinerary, the Mid-Range version was also pretty simple to put together. The Budget version was, however, more of a challenge, but it is entirely possible to see this part of the world without spending a fortune (partly thanks to the low cost airlines which fly there from the US).

We stayed in a range of accommodation, my favourite being the luxurious hotel on the side of a hill overlooking St Lucia’s dramatic pitons. The lowlight? Dominica’s incredibly disorganised border at the ferry port. It was so bad I nearly dropped this island from the itinerary, but its an amazing place and so worth going through immigration pain.

🇧🇧🇱🇨🇩🇲🇬🇵EASTERN CARIBBEAN

Sugar Beach, St LuciaIn the Eastern Caribbean you’ll find picture-perfect beaches, but also adventure in the form of rainforest hikes, swimming beneath waterfalls, snorkelling over reefs and much more. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Eastern Caribbean itinerary:

Luxury Barbados
1 ✈To Barbados (Book >)
🚕Airport to Durants
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Afteroon
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 40 mins later
🏨The House by Elegant Hotels (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive at your hotel in time for dinner and a relaxing evening after your flight. Arrange your transfer in advance for a smooth arrival.
2-5 You’re staying by one of the best beaches in Barbados, a great place to swim as well as to snorkel out to reef filled with colourful fish. During your time here I recommend a visit to the manor house, steam train and rum distillery at St Nicholas Abbey. In nearby Holetown there’s good shopping, a lively nightlife and the Holetown Monument which commemorates the 1625 English landing. Hurricane season runs from June to November.
6 ✈Barbados to St Lucia flight (Book >)
🚕Airport to Soufriere transfer
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 1hr 30mins later
🏨Jade Mountain Resort (Book >) All hotels >
The transfer to your hotel takes an hour and a half, but once you arrive you’ll quickly realise you’ve come to somewhere special. Use an eco-friendly sunscreen and help protect the reefs.
7-10 Apart from spending time on those exquisite beaches and in the crystal-clear sea, pay a visit to the Sulphur Springs close to Soufriere, hike through the rainforest or embark on a sailing trip. All beaches in St Lucia are public – don’t let anyone try to kick you off!
11 ✈St Lucia to Dominica flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Jungle Bay Resort & Spa(Book >) All hotels >
You’ll need to make an early start for the one flight a day to Dominica. Once you arrive, collect your car and enjoy the drive over the mountains to your hotel. Water in Dominica can be unsafe to drink, buy a filter water bottle and avoid using plastic.
12-14 Dominica is more about adventure than beach, so take yourself on the 45-min hike to Middleham Falls where a cool pool beneath a high waterfall is your reward. Much easier to get to are the twin waterfalls at Trafalgar Falls. From Roseau you can arrange dolphin and whale watching tours. Swim in the bubbling waters of Champagne Bay, or snorkel at spectacular Scott’s Head. Insect repellant is recommended when heading into the rainforest.
15 ✈Dominica to Guadeloupe flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨La Toubana Hotel & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
One you’ve landed at Pointe-a-Pitre airport collect your car for the 30-min drive to your hotel. Guadeloupe is a French territory and therefore in the EU.
16-18 You’ll be staying on the island of Grande Terre, where most of the best beaches are located. If you want to get active then drive to Basse Terre – you’ll find a good guide and maps here. Learning some French words and phrases will be appreciated by the locals.
19-20 ✈Guadeloupe to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr:
Morning (next day)
Connect this Eastern Caribbean itinerary with the Cuba, Costa Rica or Eastern USA itinerary
Consider adding on a day or two in New York or Paris to break up the journey home.
Mid-range Dominica
1 ✈To Barbados (Book >)
🚕Airport to Speightstown
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Afteroon
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 1hr later
🏨Sugar Cane Club (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive at your hotel in time for dinner and a relaxing evening after your flight. Arrange your transfer in advance for a smooth arrival.
2-5 You’re hotel offers free transfers to one of the best beaches in Barbados, a great place to swim as well as to snorkel out to reef filled with colourful fish. During your time here I recommend a visit to the manor house, steam train and rum distillery at St Nicholas Abbey. In nearby Speightstown there are some great beachside restaurants. Hurricane season runs from June to November.
6 ✈Barbados to St Lucia flight (Book >)
🚕Airport to Soufriere transfer
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 1hr 30mins later
🏨Stonefield Estate Resort (Book >) All hotels >
The transfer to your hotel takes an hour and a half, but once you arrive you’ll quickly realise you’ve come to somewhere special. Use an eco-friendly sunscreen and help protect the reefs.
7-9 Apart from spending time on those exquisite beaches and in the crystal-clear sea, pay a visit to the Sulphur Springs close to Soufriere, hike through the rainforest or embark on a sailing trip. All beaches in St Lucia are public – don’t let anyone try to kick you off!
10 🚕Soufriere to Castries taxi Dep: 20:00 Arr: 21:30 🏨Harbour Vista Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy one last day at the beach before transferring to Castries, where you’ll stay the night before catching the early ferry tomorrow. Castries isn’t much fun at night and so I’d recommend arriving here later.
11 ⛴️St Lucia to Roseau ferry  (Book >)
🚌Roseau to Calibishie bus
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 12:30
Arr: 11:15
Arr: 14:30
🏨Wanderlust Caribbean (Book >) All hotels >
An early start for the ferry to Dominica. Once you arrive walk to River Bank road where you can catch a minibus to the other side of the island. Water in Dominica can be unsafe to drink, buy a filter water bottle and avoid using plastic.
12-14 Dominica is more about adventure than beach, so go on the 45-min hike to Middleham Falls where a cool pool beneath a high waterfall is your reward. Much easier to get to are the twin waterfalls at Trafalgar Falls. From Roseau you can arrange dolphin and whale watching tours. Swim in the bubbling waters of Champagne Bay, or snorkel at spectacular Scott’s Head. Your hotel can help to arrange tours of the island with Nigel – a guide I can highly recommend.
15 ⛴️Dominica to Pointe-a-Pitre ferry (Book >) Dep: 11:30 Arr: 13:45 🏨Le Rayon Vert (Book >) All hotels >
One you’ve arrived in Guadeloupe collect your car for the 1-hour drive to your hotel. Guadeloupe is a French territory and therefore in the EU.
16-18 You’ll be staying on the island of Basse Terre, where there are some great beaches as well as a plethora of inland activities – you’ll find a good guide and maps here. Learning some French words and phrases will be appreciated by the locals.
19-20 ✈Guadeloupe to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr:
Morning (next day)
Connect this Eastern Caribbean itinerary with the Cuba, Costa Rica or Eastern USA itinerary
Consider adding on a day or two in New York or Paris to break up the journey home.
Budget Guadeloupe
1 ✈To Barbados (Book >)
🚕Airport to St Lawrence taxi
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Afteroon
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 25 mins later
🏨Southern Surf Beach Apartments (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive at your hotel in time for dinner and a relaxing evening after your flight. You can find an official taxi stand in the airport, just outside the arrivals doors.
2-5 St Lawrence is a lively part of Barbados, with a good choice of rum shacks and beautiful beaches. During your time here I recommend a visit to the manor house, steam train and rum distillery at St Nicholas Abbey. In nearby Bridgetown there’s good shopping and a charming boardwalk. Hurricane season runs from June to November.
6 ✈Barbados to St Lucia flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Sérénité Vigie Saint Lucia (Book >) All hotels >
Your hotel is a short walk from the airport and is a great place from which to watch the sun go down. There are plenty of minibuses running from near your hotel to the airport in Barbados.
7 🚌Castries to Soufriere bus Dep: 10:00 Arr: 12:00 🏨Serenity Escape St Lucia (Book >) All hotels >
You can either take the bus directly to Soufriere, or stop off along the way at a rum distillery. Use an eco-friendly sunscreen and help protect the reefs.
8-9 Apart from spending time on those exquisite beaches and in the crystal-clear sea, pay a visit to the Sulphur Springs close to Soufriere, hike through the rainforest or embark on a sailing trip. All beaches in St Lucia are public – don’t let anyone try to kick you off!
10 🚌Soufriere to Castries bus Dep: 17:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨Harbour Vista Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy one last day at the beach before transferring to Castries, where you’ll stay the night before catching the early ferry tomorrow. There are only a limited number of decent restaurants in Castries.
11 ⛴️St Lucia to Roseau ferry (Book >)
🚌Roseau to Soufriere bus
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 12:30
Arr: 11:15
Arr: 14:30
🏨Soufriere Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
An early start for the ferry to Dominica. Once you arrive walk to River Bank road where you can catch a minibus to Soufriere (not the one in St Lucia!) Water in Dominica can be unsafe to drink, buy a filter water bottle and avoid using plastic.
12-14 Take a minibus to Roseau and then another to the twin waterfalls at Trafalgar Falls. From Roseau you can arrange dolphin and whale watching tours. Swim in the bubbling waters of Champagne Bay (close to your guesthouse), or snorkel at spectacular Scott’s Head. Insect repellant is recommended when heading into the rainforest.
15 ⛴️Dominica to Pointe-a-Pitre ferry (Book >) Dep: 11:30 Arr: 13:45 🏨Gîte bois Cannelle (Book >) All hotels >
One you’ve arrived in Guadeloupe collect your car for the 1-hour drive to your gîte. Guadeloupe is a French territory and therefore in the EU.
16-18 You’ll be staying on the island of Basse Terre, where there are some great beaches as well as a plethora of inland activities – you’ll find a good guide and maps here. Learning some French words and phrases will be appreciated by the locals.
19-20 ✈Guadeloupe to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr:
Morning (next day)
Connect this Eastern Caribbean itinerary with the Cuba, Costa Rica or Eastern USA itinerary
Consider adding on a day or two in New York or Paris to break up the journey home.

Living the high life

In 2008 we set out to travel from London to Nepal without taking any flights. We celebrated reaching that goal atop Poon Hill, 3200 metres high and with a view of several 7000+ metre-high mountains. What a stupendous country Nepal is.

Of course, if hiking isn’t really your thing then there are other ways to view those magnificent Himalaya; on a white water rafting expedition (which I can also highly recommend), from an aeroplane, from an infinity pool in your luxurious hotel… Then there’s the fascinating city of Kathmandu, friendly hill-top villages and the wonderful wildlife of Chitwan National Park.

The Nepal itinerary was one of those few where Luxury, Mid-range and Budget travellers all, at one point, stay in the same accommodation. When you’re on a remote trek there isn’t much choice but to stay in a teahouse and they’re all pretty basic. But they’re also an enjoyable part of the trekking experience and, after a day of hiking up steep hills, any bed is welcome!

I chose to include a trek in the Annapurna region rather than nearer to Everest. This is because I have direct experience of this trek and know that it’s one of the best you’ll ever do. Plus, if you’re short of time, you can still see Everest on a special flight. If you do have more time then I would absolutely recommend trekking up to Everest Base Camp – flying between Kathmandu and Pokhara is the best way to make up that time.