🇷🇺🇲🇳🇨🇳 TRANS-MONGOLIAN

Trans-Mongolian itineraryThis is one of those journeys-of-a-lifetime, where you get to experience the fascinating history of Moscow, the vast expanses of Siberia, the beauty of Lake Baikal, the Mongolian wilderness and the wonders of Beijing. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Trans-Mongolian itinerary:

Luxury Moscow, Russia (Trans-Mongolian itinerary)
1 To Moscow
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr:
Afternoon
🏨Four Seasons Moscow (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around Red Square and down Ilinka and the Kitai Gorod lanes where you’ll see ancient churches. Continue on to Lubyanka Square, where you’ll see the KGB base, and down to the Russian parliament I recommend the agency Svezhy Veter for booking your Trans-Mongolian itinerary train tickets – they can help with visas too
2 Start with a visit to Lenin’s tomb then stroll along Tverskaya to Pushkin Square. Admire the Tsarist-era interiors of Yeliseyevsky Supermarket and the upscale GUM. Experience the regal metro and take the red line to Sportivnaya where you’ll find the Novodevichy Monastery and be able to see the resting places of famous Russians in the cemetery. Go back two stops on the red line to Park Kultury and pay a visit to Gorky Park Try to get familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet before you visit Russia – it may not be as hard as you think and can help when reading street signs
3-4 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg (Info & Book >) Dep: 23:55 (Wed) 🏨Train
On your last day in Moscow visit the Tretyakov galleries and the magnificent Kremlin. Day 4 is your first full day on the train, which you can spend gazing out at the vast landscapes of Russia Make it clear to your agency that you want a private 1st class cabin
5 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg Arr: 03:44 (Fri) 🏨Hyatt Regency Ekaterinburg (Book >) All hotels >
A horrible time to arrive, and so I recommend getting two nights in your hotel. When you’re ready to emerge from your room it’s a 30-min walk in one direction to Ganina Yama and a 25-min walk in the other direction to the Church On The Blood Try to learn a few common Russian phrases
6-8 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Dep: 12:15 (Sat) 🏨Train
Onwards along the edge of Siberia. Relax, read a book and watch as you glide by endless silver birch forests and rustic rural villages. You’ll pass through Omsk at 02:31, Novosibirsk at 12:53 (worth getting off the train for a few minutes, but don’t linger long (take your passport in case the train leaves without you!) and Krasnoyarsk at 02:06 The train runs on Moscow time, which can get a little disorienting the further east you go
9 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Arr: 21:15 (Tue) 🏨Hotel Sayen (Book >) All hotels >
Another day to enjoy the serene life aboard the Trans-Mongolian The Trans-Siberian Handbook offers a great guide to the kilometre posts you see alongside the track
10-11 Set off on a two-day tour to Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal. It takes about 5 hours to get there but the journey is truly worth it Bring clothes for all climates – it can be hot during the day and very cold at night
12 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Dep: 08:08 (Fri) 🏨Train
Back on the train and more time to gaze at the endless vistas. The tracks go along the edge of Lake Baikal, a real highlight of this trip There are hot water samovars in each carriage, very handy if you bring tea or coffee
13 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Arr: 06:50 (Sat) 🏨Accom. not included, contact tour company
Begin your 8-day tour of Mongolia (Book here >). Your guide will collect you from the train station and take you to the stunning natural scenery of Terelj National Park. Horse riding tours and tours to other parts of Mongolia are also available. Many roads in Mongolia are gravel and very bumpy. This can get uncomfortable so remember to bring travel sickness pills
14-20 Over the next several days you will visit a mini-Gobi desert, 8 Lakes base camp, an overnight horse riding trip by Shireet Lake and the Buureg Valley (staying in a nomadic family’s ger), see the Tsutgalan volcanic waterfall in the Orkhon Valley, relax in Tsenher hot spring and visit fascinating Kharkorin. You’ll return to Ulan Bator at around 16:00 on day 20 (I recommend the Kempinski Khan Palace for the night of day 20) Being vegan, or even vegetarian, isn’t easy in Mongolia – read this blog for tips
21 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Dep: 06:50 (Sun) 🏨Train
The final leg of this Trans-Mongolian itinerary. From the window you’ll see the edge of the Gobi desert and, when you cross the border to China, you can watch as the wheels are changed for the different gauge of tracks Don’t miss the opportunity of going to the very back of the train (to the ‘caboose’) and watching the rails unravelling beneath you
22 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Arr: 14:35 (Mon) 🏨Four Seasons (Book >) All hotels >
After the serenity of the train, the busyness of Beijing may come as a shock. There’s a lot to see here so you may want to extend your trip by a day or two Beijing can’t easily be seen on foot – buy a smart card (aka Yikatong card) for the metro
23 Beijing to Home
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening Connect this Trans-Mongolian itinerary with the China or Japan itinerary.
A little more time this morning to see the sights of Beijing before transferring to the airport
Mid-range Karakorum, Mongolia (Trans-Mongolian itinerary)
1 To Moscow
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr:
Afternoon
🏨PR Myasnitsky BoutiqueHotel (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around Red Square and down Ilinka and the Kitai Gorod lanes where you’ll see ancient churches. Continue on to Lubyanka Square, where you’ll see the KGB base, and down to the Russian parliament I recommend the agency Svezhy Veter for booking your Trans-Mongolian itinerary train tickets – they can help with visas too
2 Start with a visit to Lenin’s tomb then stroll along Tverskaya to Pushkin Square. Admire the Tsarist-era interiors of Yeliseyevsky Supermarket and the upscale GUM. Experience the regal metro and take the red line to Sportivnaya where you’ll find the Novodevichy Monastery and be able to see the resting places of famous Russians in the cemetery. Go back two stops on the red line to Park Kultury and pay a visit to Gorky Park Try to get familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet before you visit Russia – it may not be as hard as you think and can help when reading street signs
3-4 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg (Info & Book >) Dep: 23:55 (Wed) 🏨Train
On your last day in Moscow visit the Tretyakov galleries and the magnificent Kremlin. Day 4 is your first full day on the train, which you can spend gazing out at the vast landscapes of Russia I recommend asking for a private 1st class cabin for the longer stretches on the train – you’ll really appreciate having your own space
5 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg Arr: 03:44 (Fri) 🏨Renomme Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
A horrible time to arrive, and so I recommend getting two nights in your hotel. When you’re ready to emerge from your room it’s a 30-min walk in one direction to Ganina Yama and a 25-min walk in the other direction to the Church On The Blood Try to learn a few common Russian phrases
6-8 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Dep: 12:15 (Sat) 🏨Train
Onwards along the edge of Siberia. Relax, read a book and watch as you glide by endless silver birch forests and rustic rural villages. You’ll pass through Omsk at 02:31, Novosibirsk at 12:53 (worth getting off the train for a few minutes, but don’t linger long (take your passport in case the train leaves without you!) and Krasnoyarsk at 02:06 The train runs on Moscow time, which can get a little disorienting the further east you go
9 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Arr: 21:15 (Tue) 🏨Hotel Sayen (Book >) All hotels >
Another day to enjoy the serene life aboard the Trans-Mongolian The Trans-Siberian Handbook offers a great guide to the kilometre posts you see alongside the track
10-11 Set off on a two-day tour to Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal. It takes about 5 hours to get there but the journey is truly worth it Bring clothes for all climates – it can be hot during the day and very cold at night
12 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Dep: 08:08 (Fri) 🏨Train
Back on the train and more time to gaze at the endless vistas. The tracks go along the edge of Lake Baikal, a real highlight of this trip There are hot water samovars in each carriage, very handy if you bring tea or coffee
13 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Arr: 06:50 (Sat) 🏨Accom. not included, contact tour company
Begin your 8-day tour of Mongolia (Book here >). Your guide will collect you from the train station and take you to the stunning natural scenery of Terelj National Park. Horse riding tours and tours to other parts of Mongolia are also available. Many roads in Mongolia are gravel and very bumpy. This can get uncomfortable so remember to bring travel sickness pills
14-20 Over the next several days you will visit a mini-Gobi desert, 8 Lakes base camp, an overnight horse riding trip by Shireet Lake and the Buureg Valley (staying in a nomadic family’s ger), see the Tsutgalan volcanic waterfall in the Orkhon Valley, relax in Tsenher hot spring and visit fascinating Kharkorin. You’ll return to Ulan Bator at around 16:00 on day 20 (I recommend the Kempinski Khan Palace for the night of day 20) Being vegan, or even vegetarian, isn’t easy in Mongolia – read this blog for tips
21 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Dep: 06:50 (Sun) 🏨Train
The final leg of this Trans-Mongolian itinerary. From the window you’ll see the edge of the Gobi desert and, when you cross the border to China, you can watch as the wheels are changed for the different gauge of tracks Don’t miss the opportunity of going to the very back of the train (to the ‘caboose’) and watching the rails unravelling beneath you
22 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Arr: 14:35 (Mon) 🏨Hunan Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
After the serenity of the train, the busyness of Beijing may come as a shock. There’s a lot to see here so you may want to extend your trip by a day or two Beijing can’t easily be seen on foot – buy a smart card (aka Yikatong card) for the metro
23-24 Beijing to Home
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Trans-Mongolian itinerary with the China or Japan itinerary.
A little more time this morning to see the sights of Beijing before transferring to the airport
Budget Beijing, China (Trans-Mongolian itinerary)
1 To Moscow
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr:
Afternoon
🏨ART Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Wander around Red Square and down Ilinka and the Kitai Gorod lanes where you’ll see ancient churches. Continue on to Lubyanka Square, where you’ll see the KGB base, and down to the Russian parliament I recommend the agency Svezhy Veter for booking your Trans-Mongolian itinerary train tickets – they can help with visas too
2 Start with a visit to Lenin’s tomb then stroll along Tverskaya to Pushkin Square. Admire the Tsarist-era interiors of Yeliseyevsky Supermarket and the upscale GUM. Experience the regal metro and take the red line to Sportivnaya where you’ll find the Novodevichy Monastery and be able to see the resting places of famous Russians in the cemetery. Go back two stops on the red line to Park Kultury and pay a visit to Gorky Park Try to get familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet before you visit Russia – it may not be as hard as you think and can help when reading street signs
3-4 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg (Info & Book >) Dep: 23:55 (Wed) 🏨Train
On your last day in Moscow visit the Tretyakov galleries and the magnificent Kremlin. Day 4 is your first full day on the train, which you can spend gazing out at the vast landscapes of Russia When booking train tickets ask for 4-berth cabins
5 🚄Moscow to Yekaterinburg Arr: 03:44 (Fri) 🏨RedLine hostel (Book >) All hostels >
A horrible time to arrive, and so I recommend getting two nights in your hotel. When you’re ready to emerge from your room it’s a 30-min walk in one direction to Ganina Yama and a 25-min walk in the other direction to the Church On The Blood Try to learn a few common Russian phrases
6-8 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Dep: 12:15 (Sat) 🏨Train
Onwards along the edge of Siberia. Relax, read a book and watch as you glide by endless silver birch forests and rustic rural villages. You’ll pass through Omsk at 02:31, Novosibirsk at 12:53 (worth getting off the train for a few minutes, but don’t linger long (take your passport in case the train leaves without you!) and Krasnoyarsk at 02:06 The train runs on Moscow time, which can get a little disorienting the further east you go
9 🚄Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk Arr: 21:15 (Tue) 🏨Rolling Stones Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Another day to enjoy the serene life aboard the Trans-Mongolian The Trans-Siberian Handbook offers a great guide to the kilometre posts you see alongside the track
10 🚐Irkutsk to Olkhon Island (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 14:45 🏨Sunny Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Take a transfer to Olkhon Island – the perfect place to enjoy stupendous views of Lake Baikal. This afternoon pay a visit to the Khuzhir Museum (usually free) There are no ATMs on the island, so take out cash in Irkutsk before you depart
11 Contact your hostel for help with arranging tours on the island, but don’t miss out on experiencing the Buryat culture, including the Shaman Rocks Bring clothes for all climates – it can be hot during the day and very cold at night
12 🚐Olkhon Island to Irkutsk Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Rolling Stones Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Back to Irkutsk where you should have time to squeeze in a visit to the Prince Vladimir Temple You’ll need tram stop Detskaya St (ул. Детская) for the temple
13 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Dep: 08:08 (Sat) 🏨Train
Back on the train and more time to gaze at the endless vistas. The tracks go along the edge of Lake Baikal, a real highlight of this trip There are hot water samovars in each carriage, very handy if you bring tea or coffee
14 🚄Irkutsk to Ulan Bator Arr: 06:50 (Sun) 🏨Accom. included in tour
Begin your 7-day tour of Mongolia (Book here >). Your guide will collect you from the train station and take you to Genghis Khan’s ancient capital Kharkorin. Many roads in Mongolia are gravel and very bumpy. This can get uncomfortable so remember to bring travel sickness pills
15-20 Over the next several days you will visit the Tsenkher hot springs, Tuvkhun monastery, Orkhon Waterfall, Naiman Nuur lakes, Shireet Lake and the Elsen Tasarkhai sand dunes, occasionally staying in traditional gers. You’ll return to Ulan Bator at around 16:00 on day 20 (I recommend the Khuvsgul Lake Hostel for the night of day 20) Being vegan, or even vegetarian, isn’t easy in Mongolia – read this blog for tips
21 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Dep: 06:50 (Sun) 🏨Train
The final leg of this Trans-Mongolian itinerary. From the window you’ll see the edge of the Gobi desert and, when you cross the border to China, you can watch as the wheels are changed for the different gauge of tracks Don’t miss the opportunity of going to the very back of the train (to the ‘caboose’) and watching the rails unravelling beneath you
22 🚄Ulan Bator to Beijing Arr: 14:35 (Mon) 🏨Kellys Courtyard (Book >) All hostels >
After the serenity of the train, the busyness of Beijing may come as a shock. There’s a lot to see here so you may want to extend your trip by a day or two Beijing can’t easily be seen on foot – buy a smart card (aka Yikatong card) for the metro
23 Beijing to Home
(✈ Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening Connect this Trans-Mongolian itinerary with the China or Japan itinerary.
A little more time this morning to see the sights of Beijing before transferring to the airport

🇱🇦 LAOS

Laos itineraryLandlocked, but moving to the aquatic rhythm of mighty rivers such as the Mekong, Laos is a country full of dramatic scenery and adventure. The itineraries below differ due to budget, and range from 14 to 17 days in length. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Laos itinerary:

Luxury Vang Vieng
1 ✈To Pakse (Book >)
🚕Pakse to Champasak taxi
Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨The River Resort (Book >) All hotels >
If you’re travelling from Cambodia then you can fly from Siem Reap, departing and arriving in the afternoon
3 Take a day trip to the Bolaven Plateau, which can be arranged by your hotel. Relax in the evening with a stroll around the resort grounds and relaxing by the infinity pools Anyone not from Japan or the ASEAN countries will need a visa for Laos
4 Journey to the beautiful 4000 Islands area (which can also be arranged by your hotel) Save the environment by using a good filter water bottle
5 🚕Champasak to Pakse taxi
✈Pakse to Luang Prabang flight (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Hotel Sofitel (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in Luang Prabang in time for sunset by the Mekong river. Dress conservatively when visiting temples
6-8 So much to see over the next couple of days! Start with the early morning alms-giving (which starts at 05:30 in summer and 06:30 in winter) on Sisavangvong Road. Visit the Royal Palace and the Golden Buddha Phra Bang within. The top of Mount Phousi is a wonderful place from which to watch sunset. Wat Mai palace, Wat Visoun and Xieng Thong are also worth some of your time. Pick up some souvenirs from the morning market (06:30-10:00). Take a tuk tuk to Kuang Si Falls. This blog post offers guidance on how to behave respectfully at the alms-giving.
9 ⛴️Luang Prabang to Pakbeng ferry (Book >) Dep: 07:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Luang Say Lodge
Embark on your tour up the mighty Mekong. Today you’ll visit Pak Ou cave and a hill tribe village. Pack plenty of sunscreen – the sun is especially strong on the river
10 ⛴️Pakbeng to Huay Xai ferry Dep: 08:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Nakaraj Princess (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll make more stops today including, after lunch, a visit to a traditional Laotian village of Ban Gon Dturn, before arriving in Huay Xai on the border with Thailand. The border closes at 18:00 and cruise staff on both sides of the border can help with travel to Chiang Rai.
11 🚕Huay Xai to Luang Nam Tha taxi Dep: 10:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨The Boat Landing (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived in Luang Nam Tha take a look at the Golden Stupa and enjoy dinner at the bustling night market. Be aware of pick pockets in busy market areas.
12 Book a one-day trek in the verdant, magnificent Nam Ha National Protected Area, where you’ll taste some local food as well as visit a Khmu village. Trekking here is mildly challenging – bring insect repellant.
13 ✈Luang Nam Tha to Vientiane flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Crowne Plaza (Book >) All hotels >
Relax in a traditional herbal sauna before flying to the capital. Luang Nam Tha is close to the Chinese border, should you wish to add to your Laos itinerary.
14-15 ✈Vientiane to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Laos itinerary with the Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo or Cambodia itinerary
Spend the morning chilling in the roof garden infinity pool before heading to the airport.
Mid-range Luang Prabang
1 ✈To Pakse (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Athena Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
If you’re travelling from Cambodia then you can fly from Siem Reap, departing and arriving in the afternoon.
3 Your hotel can help arrange a taxi to tour around the Bolevan Plateau – a superb day trip from Pakse. Anyone not from Japan or the ASEAN countries will need a visa for Laos
4 Today you’ll go on a day trip to the 4000 Islands (book here), departing Pakse at 08:00 and returning at 14:00. Spend the rest of your day visiting pretty Wat Luang. Save the environment by using a good filter water bottle
5 ✈Pakse to Luang Prabang flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Mekong Riverview (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in Luang Prabang in time for sunset by the Mekong river. Dress conservatively when visiting temples
6-8 So much to see over the next couple of days! Start with the early morning alms-giving (which starts at 05:30 in summer and 06:30 in winter) on Sisavangvong Road. Visit the Royal Palace and the Golden Buddha Phra Bang within. The top of Mount Phousi is a wonderful place from which to watch sunset. Wat Mai palace, Wat Visoun and Xieng Thong are also worth some of your time. Pick up some souvenirs from the morning market (06:30-10:00). Take a tuk tuk to Kuang Si Falls This blog post offers guidance on how to behave respectfully at the alms-giving
9 🚐Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw minibus Dep: 09:30 Arr: 14:00 🏨Mandala Ou Resort (Book >) All hotels >
There are many hikes around Nong Khiaw, including to the nearby Phatok Caves. If you prefer to get on the water then go on a kayaking trip along the Nam Ou, or maybe hire a bike and visit the Khmu and Hmong villages in the area. Ask your hotel for help with booking a minivan to Nong Khiaw
10 🚌Nong Khiaw to Oudomsay bus Dep: 11:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Namkat Yorla Pa (Book >) All hotels >
A couple more hours to enjoy the countryside around Nong Khiaw before taking the bus to Oudomsay. When you arrive you can walk up to the stupa and admire the views from the top, or hire a motorbike and visit Nam Kad Waterfall. Oudomsay is also known as Muang Xay and Udom Xai (many places in Laos have multiple names)
11 The tourism office offers a 1-day tour to Ban Chom Ong village and the Chom Ong cave – the largest in Laos and a breathtaking sight to behold. Remember to bring insect repellant and sunscreen
12 ✈Oudomsay to Vientiane flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Crowne Plaza (Book >) All hotels >
In Vientiane you may have time to visit the That Luang stupa. In the evening head to the Mekong riverfront for a memorable sunset. From Oudomsay you can also travel by bus to China or Thailand via Luang Nam Tha, should you wish to add to your Laos itinerary.
13-14 ✈Vientiane to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Laos itinerary with the Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo or Cambodia itinerary
Spend the morning chilling in the roof garden infinity pool before heading to the airport.
Budget Luang Nam Tha
1 ✈To Pakse (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Chato Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
If you’re travelling from Cambodia then you can take a bus from Siem Reap at 08:00, arriving into Pakse by 18:00
3 Your hostel can help arrange a tour around the Bolevan Plateau – a superb day trip from Pakse Anyone not from Japan or the ASEAN countries will need a visa for Laos
4 🚌Pakse to Vientiane bus (Book >) Dep: 20:30 🏨Bus
Today you’ll go on a day trip to the 4000 Islands (book here), departing Pakse at 08:00 and returning at 14:00. Spend the rest of your day visiting pretty Wat Luang before your night bus to Vientiane It’s also possible (and considerably faster, but more expensive) to fly to Vientiane
5 🚌Pakse to Vientiane bus
🚐Vientiane to Vang Vieng minibus (Book >)
Dep: 10:00 Arr: 06:30
Arr: 14:00
🏨Jasmine Vang Vieng Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
While Vang Vieng is known to be a party town, it’s also an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding countryside. After you’ve arrived hire a bicycle and visit the Blue Lagoon Save the environment by using a good filter water bottle
6 Beat the crowds and go on a tubing trip earlier in the day. If you like to be more active then kayaking is also available This Wikitravel page offers some advice on unscrupulous practises in Vang Vieng.
7 🚌Vang Vieng to Luang Prabang bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Mad Monkey  (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in time for sunset from the top of Mount Phousi Dress conservatively when visiting temples
8-9 So much to see over the next couple of days! Start with the early morning alms-giving (which starts at 05:30 in summer and 06:30 in winter) on Sisavangvong Road. Visit the Royal Palace and the Golden Buddha Phra Bang within. Wat Mai palace, Wat Visoun and Xieng Thong are also worth some of your time. Pick up some souvenirs from the morning market (06:30-10:00). Take a tuk tuk to Kuang Si Falls This blog post offers guidance on how to behave respectfully at the alms-giving
10 🚐Luang Prabang to Nong Khiaw minibus Dep: 09:30 Arr: 14:00 🏨Pho Sai River View (Book >) All hotels >
There are many hikes around Nong Khiaw, including to the nearby Phatok Caves. If you prefer to get on the water then go on a kayaking trip along the Nam Ou, or maybe hire a bike and visit the Khmu and Hmong villages in the area. Ask your hostel for help with booking a minivan to Nong Khiaw
11 🚌Nong Khiaw to Oudomsay Dep: 11:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Amphon Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
A couple more hours to enjoy the countryside around Nong Khiaw before taking the bus to Oudomsay. When you arrive you can walk up to the stupa and admire the views from the top, or hire a motorbike and visit Nam Kad Waterfall Oudomsay is also known as Muang Xay and Udom Xai (many places in Laos have multiple names)
12 The tourism office offers a 1-day tour to Ban Chom Ong village and the Chom Ong cave – the largest in Laos and a breathtaking sight to behold Remember to bring insect repellant and sunscreen
13 🚐Oudomsay to Luang Nam Tha minibus (Info >) Dep: 11:30 Arr: 14:30 🏨Zuela Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived in Luang Nam Tha take a look at the Golden Stupa and enjoy dinner at the bustling night market Be aware of pick pockets in busy market areas
14 Book a one-day trek in the verdant, magnificent Nam Ha National Protected Area, where you’ll taste some local food as well as visit a Khmu village Trekking here is mildly challenging – bring good walking boots
15 🚌Luang Nam Tha to Huay Xai bus (Info >)
🚌Huay Xai to Chiang Rai bus (Info >)
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 16:00
Arr: 13:00
Arr: 19:00
🏨Na-Rak-O Resort (Book >) All hostels >
Once you’ve arrived in Chiang Rai (Thailand) you’ll have time in the evening to visit the night bazaar. Luang Nam Tha is close to the Chinese border, should you wish to add to your Laos itinerary.
16-17 ✈Chiang Rai to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Laos itinerary with the Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia & Borneo or Cambodia itinerary
Take a trip to Wat Rong Khun and the Black House before heading to the airport.

🇧🇪 BELGIUM

Bruges Markt Square - Belgium itineraryA week visiting Belgium’s best cities? I have all you need to know below. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Belgium itinerary:

Luxury Bruges
1 To Brussels
( Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Hotel Amigo (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy an evening stroll around the Grand Place before bed. Book a transfer to your hotel.
2 🚄Brussels to Antwerp train (Book >) Dep: 13:52 Arr: 14:27 🏨Maison Nationale City Flats & Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the morning visiting Mannekin Pis and, on a much grander scale, Saint-Michel Cathedral and Place Royale. You may want to add a little more time in Brussels to see the excellent Belgian Comic Strip Center. In Antwerp you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to walk to the magnificent Zurenborg district, resplendent with Art Nouveau architecture. This Brussels-Antwerp train is on a high speed Thalys. Plenty of other, slower trains depart throughout the day. If you travelled by Eurostar your ticket is valid to any Belgian city within 24 hours of arriving into the country
3 A full day in which to marvel at Antwerp’s medieval buildings and ornate cathedral in the city centre. Nearby you’ll find the MAS Museum – packed with artifacts and with a free viewing platform on the top floor. Antwerp is famous for its Brown Cafes – so-named because of the walls stained from previous years of smokers.
4 🚄Antwerp to Bruges train (Book >) Dep: 10:06 Arr: 11:35 🏨Hotel de Orangerie (Book >) All hotels >
Take a stroll around the Markt square and then climb the steps to the top of the belfry. The Basilica of the Holy Blood makes for a peaceful and interesting visit, as do the Church of Our Lady and nearby Sint-Salvatorskathedraal. The Markt square hosts a food and flower market every Wednesday.
5 See the city on foot a free walking tour (remember to tip at the end!), then by water on a cruise along the canal. Old Saint John’s Hospital – a building dating to the 12th century – makes for a fascinating visit. The Old Chocolate House makes superb hot chocolate!
6 🚄Bruges to Ghent train (Book >) Dep: 14:44 Arr: 15:07 🏨Pillows Hotel Grand Reylof (Book >) All hotels >
In Bruges you’ll have time to walk to the windmills via Jeruzalemkirk and see any sights you may not yet have had time to visit, before setting off for Ghent. Taxi to the hotel should cost around €27 (at the time of writing this Belgium itinerary).
7 A Ghent boat tour will take you past key sites and is a good way of spotting places to revisit (including quirky Baudelostraat warehouse). Try a raspberry-flavoured cuberdon sweet from a street stall
8 🚄Ghent to Brussels train
Brussels to Home (🚄 Book >)
(✈ Book >)
Dep (SNCB): 16:25
Dep: Evening
Arr: 16:55
Arr: Evening
Connect this Belgium itinerary with the France or Germany itinerary >
If you’re travelling with Eurostar your ticket will be valid from Ghent.
Mid-range Bruges at night
1 To Brussels
( Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Art de Séjour Bed & Breakfast (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy an evening stroll around the Grand Place before bed. Book a transfer to your hotel.
2 🚄Brussels to Antwerp train (Book >) Dep: 13:52 Arr: 14:27 🏨Hotel Indigo (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the morning visiting Mannekin Pis and, on a much grander scale, Saint-Michel Cathedral and Place Royale. You may want to add a little more time in Brussels to see the excellent Belgian Comic Strip Center. In Antwerp you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to walk to the magnificent Zurenborg district, resplendent with Art Nouveau architecture. This Brussels-Antwerp train is on a high speed Thalys. Plenty of other, slower trains depart throughout the day. If you travelled by Eurostar your ticket is valid to any Belgian city within 24 hours of arriving into the country
3 A full day in which to marvel at Antwerp’s medieval buildings and ornate cathedral in the city centre. Nearby you’ll find the MAS Museum – packed with artifacts and with a free viewing platform on the top floor. Antwerp is famous for its Brown Cafes – so-named because of the walls stained from previous years of smokers.
4 🚄Antwerp to Bruges train (Book >) Dep: 10:06 Arr: 11:35 🏨Hotel Navarra (Book >) All hotels >
Take a stroll around the Markt square and then climb the steps to the top of the belfry. The Basilica of the Holy Blood makes for a peaceful and interesting visit, as do the Church of Our Lady and nearby Sint-Salvatorskathedraal. The Markt square hosts a food and flower market every Wednesday.
5 See the city on foot a free walking tour (remember to tip at the end!), then by water on a cruise along the canal. Old Saint John’s Hospital – a building dating to the 12th century – makes for a fascinating visit. The Old Chocolate House makes superb hot chocolate!
6 🚄Bruges to Ghent train (Book >) Dep: 14:44 Arr: 15:07 🏨Pillows Hotel Grand Reylof (Book >) All hotels >
In Bruges you’ll have time to walk to the windmills via Jeruzalemkirk and see any sights you may not yet have had time to visit, before setting off for Ghent. Taxi to the hotel should cost around €27 (at the time of writing this Belgium itinerary).
7 A Ghent boat tour will take you past key sites and is a good way of spotting places to revisit (including quirky Baudelostraat warehouse). Try a raspberry-flavoured cuberdon sweet from a street stall
8 🚄Ghent to Brussels train
Brussels to Home (🚄 Book >)
(✈ Book >)
Dep (SNCB): 16:25
Dep: Evening
Arr: 16:55
Arr: Evening
Connect this Belgium itinerary with the France or Germany itinerary >
If you’re travelling with Eurostar your ticket will be valid from Ghent.
Budget Antwerp
1 To Brussels
( Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨2go4 Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy an evening stroll around the Grand Place before bed. Your hostel is next to Grand Place and easily accessible on public transport.
2 🚄Brussels to Antwerp train (Book >) Dep: 13:52 Arr: 14:27 🏨Abhostel (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the morning visiting Mannekin Pis and, on a much grander scale, Saint-Michel Cathedral and Place Royale. You may want to add a little more time in Brussels to see the excellent Belgian Comic Strip Center. In Antwerp you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to walk to the magnificent Zurenborg district, resplendent with Art Nouveau architecture. This Brussels-Antwerp train is on a high speed Thalys. Plenty of other, slower trains depart throughout the day. If you travelled by Eurostar your ticket is valid to any Belgian city within 24 hours of arriving into the country
3 A full day in which to marvel at Antwerp’s medieval buildings and ornate cathedral in the city centre. Nearby you’ll find the MAS Museum – packed with artifacts and with a free viewing platform on the top floor. Antwerp is famous for its Brown Cafes – so-named because of the walls stained from previous years of smokers.
4 🚄Antwerp to Bruges train (Book >) Dep: 10:06 Arr: 11:35 🏨Snuffel Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Take a stroll around the Markt square and then climb the steps to the top of the belfry. The Basilica of the Holy Blood makes for a peaceful and interesting visit, as do the Church of Our Lady and nearby Sint-Salvatorskathedraal. The Markt square hosts a food and flower market every Wednesday.
5 See the city on foot a free walking tour (remember to tip at the end!), then by water on a cruise along the canal. Old Saint John’s Hospital – a building dating to the 12th century – makes for a fascinating visit. The Old Chocolate House makes superb hot chocolate!
6 🚄Bruges to Ghent train (Book >) Dep: 14:44 Arr: 15:07 🏨Hostel Uppelink (Book >) All hotels >
In Bruges you’ll have time to walk to the windmills via Jeruzalemkirk and see any sights you may not yet have had time to visit, before setting off for Ghent. In Ghent take tram 1 from Perron 2, alight at Burgstraat
7 A Ghent boat tour will take you past key sites and is a good way of spotting places to revisit (including quirky Baudelostraat warehouse). Try a raspberry-flavoured cuberdon sweet from a street stall
8 🚄Ghent to Brussels train
Brussels to Home (🚄 Book >)
(✈ Book >)
Dep (SNCB): 16:25
Dep: Evening
Arr: 16:55
Arr: Evening
Connect this Belgium itinerary with the France or Germany itinerary >
If you’re travelling with Eurostar your ticket will be valid from Ghent.

🇮🇪🇬🇧 IRELAND

Cashel, Ireland - Ireland itineraryMagnificent countryside, dramatic scenery, countless historic sights and lively cities reward every visitor to the island of Ireland (or Éire in Irish) This itinerary takes in the best bits of the country of Ireland, as well as Northern Ireland.  Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Ireland itinerary:

Luxury Dublin, Ireland
1 To Dublin
(✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning
Morning
Arr: Morning
Afternoon
🏨The Merrion Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
When you arrive you should have time to pay a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle. If you’re planning to visit several sights then invest in a Dublin Pass.
2-3 Fans of Guinness will no doubt already know of the Guinness Storehouse, but any visitor will enjoy looking around this impressive brewery. More of a whiskey connoisseur? Then the Old Jameson Distillery is for you. Non-alcohol sights include O’Connell street, Ha’penny Bridge, Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College Library and the Flea Market. In the evenings the pubs of Temple Bar is where to be. Get a Leap Card, which will save you money on public transport in several Irish cities including Dublin.
4 🚗Dublin to Killarney (Hire car >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨The Killarney Park (Book >) All hotels >
Driving to Killarney you’ll join the Ring of Kerry drive and enjoy stunning countryside scenery. On the way to Killarney you’ll pass the Rock of Cashel – worth a stop for this historic site. You should also divert to Blarney Castle and kiss the famous stone. Country roads in Ireland can be narrow – I recommend hiring a smaller car.
5 Spend a day in Killarney National Park and be sure to visit Muckross Abbey, Ross Castle and Torc Waterfall. The town of Killarney is itself bursting with charm. A Heritage Card can save you money if you plan to visit several Irish heritage sites.
6 🚗Killarney to Portmagee
🚗Portmagee to Dingle
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 13:00
Arr: 09:45
Arr: 15:00
🏨Dingle Benners Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
On your way to Dingle stop off at Portmagee and take a ferry tour to Skellig Michael. Start your visit to the Dingle Peninsula with a drive across Conor Pass Come prepared for rain. Lots and lots of rain.
7 🚗Dingle to Doolin Dep: 15:00 Arr: 18:15 🏨Hotel Doolin (Book >) All hotels >
Continue your visit to the Dingle Peninsula with a drive to picturesque Annascaul, dramatic Slea Head, the panoramic views from Mount Brandon and the villages of The Gaeltacht – you may need more time. You’ll find plenty of lively pubs in Doolin, famous for its music scene. You’re likely to hear a lot of Irish spoken in the Gaeltacht areas – learn a few words and make a good impression.
8 🚗Doolin to Galway Dep: 13:00 Arr: 14:30 🏨Glenlo Abbey Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Doolin is the gateway to the Cliffs of Moher, where you’ll spend the first part of today. Unesco-listed Galway offers medieval walls, the fascinating Galway City Museum, cosy pubs, cute streets and the seaside Salthill Promenade. Seeing the Cliffs of Moher on a boat tour is highly recommended.
9 🚗Galway to Belfast Dep: 09:30 Arr: 14:30 🏨The Merchant Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
A little more time to enjoy Galway before driving to Belfast, where you can enjoy sights such as Titanic Belfast and Crumlin Road Gaol. Remember to bring both GBP for Northern Ireland and Euros for Ireland.
10 Take the car north to Dunluce Castle. Next to this is the geologically impressive Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The coast around Giant’s Causeway is great for hiking, if you have time in your Ireland itinerary.
11 🚗Belfast to Dublin Dep: 10:00 Arr: 13:30 🏨The Merrion Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
You can either return home from Belfast, or drive back to Dublin via the prehistoric monument of Newgrange. Be aware that road signs switch from MPH to KPH, travelling from N Ireland to Ireland.
12 Dublin to Home
(✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Ireland itinerary with the Bruges & Ghent or France itinerary.
The ferry port and airport are far apart – choose your car rental location accordingly.
Mid-range Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
1 To Dublin
(✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning
Morning
Arr: Morning
Afternoon
🏨Clayton Charlemont (Book >) All hotels >
When you arrive you should have time to pay a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle. If you’re planning to visit several sights then invest in a Dublin Pass.
2-3 Fans of Guinness will no doubt already know of the Guinness Storehouse, but any visitor will enjoy looking around this impressive brewery. More of a whiskey connoisseur? Then the Old Jameson Distillery is for you. Non-alcohol sights include O’Connell street, Ha’penny Bridge, Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College Library and the Flea Market. In the evenings the pubs of Temple Bar is where to be. Get a Leap Card, which will save you money on public transport in several Irish cities including Dublin.
4 🚗Dublin to Killarney (Hire car >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Driving to Killarney you’ll join the Ring of Kerry drive and enjoy stunning countryside scenery. On the way to Killarney you’ll pass the Rock of Cashel – worth a stop for this historic site. You should also divert to Blarney Castle and kiss the famous stone. Country roads in Ireland can be narrow – I recommend hiring a smaller car.
5 Spend a day in Killarney National Park and be sure to visit Muckross Abbey, Ross Castle and Torc Waterfall. The town of Killarney is itself bursting with charm. A Heritage Card can save you money if you plan to visit several Irish heritage sites.
6 🚗Killarney to Portmagee
🚗Portmagee to Dingle
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 13:00
Arr: 09:45
Arr: 15:00
🏨Dingle Benners Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
On your way to Dingle stop off at Portmagee and take a ferry tour to Skellig Michael. Start your visit to the Dingle Peninsula with a drive across Conor Pass Come prepared for rain. Lots and lots of rain.
7 🚗Dingle to Doolin Dep: 15:00 Arr: 18:15 🏨Hotel Doolin (Book >) All hotels >
Continue your visit to the Dingle Peninsula with a drive to picturesque Annascaul, dramatic Slea Head, the panoramic views from Mount Brandon and the villages of The Gaeltacht – you may need more time. You’ll find plenty of lively pubs in Doolin, famous for its music scene. You’re likely to hear a lot of Irish spoken in the Gaeltacht areas – learn a few words and make a good impression.
8 🚗Doolin to Galway Dep: 13:00 Arr: 14:30 🏨The Twelve Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Doolin is the gateway to the Cliffs of Moher, where you’ll spend the first part of today. Unesco-listed Galway offers medieval walls, the fascinating Galway City Museum, cosy pubs, cute streets and the seaside Salthill Promenade. Seeing the Cliffs of Moher on a boat tour is highly recommended.
9 🚗Galway to Belfast Dep: 09:30 Arr: 14:30 🏨Hampton by Hilton (Book >) All hotels >
A little more time to enjoy Galway before driving to Belfast, where you can enjoy sights such as Titanic Belfast and Crumlin Road Gaol. Remember to bring both GBP for Northern Ireland and Euros for Ireland
10 Take the car north to Dunluce Castle. Next to this is the geologically impressive Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The coast around Giant’s Causeway is great for hiking, if you have time in your Ireland itinerary.
11 🚗Belfast to Dublin Dep: 10:00 Arr: 13:30 🏨Clayton Charlemont (Book >) All hotels >
You can either return home from Belfast, or drive back to Dublin via the prehistoric monument of Newgrange. Be aware that road signs switch from MPH to KPH, travelling from N Ireland to Ireland.
12 Dublin to Home
(✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Ireland itinerary with the Bruges & Ghent or France itinerary.
The ferry port and airport are far apart – choose your car rental location accordingly.
Budget Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
1 To Dublin
(✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning
Morning
Arr: Morning
Afternoon
🏨Jacobs Inn (Book >) All hostels >
When you arrive you should have time to pay a visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Dublin Castle. If you’re planning to visit several sights then invest in a Dublin Pass.
2 Fans of Guinness will no doubt already know of the Guinness Storehouse, but any visitor will enjoy looking around this impressive brewery. More of a whiskey connoisseur? Then the Old Jameson Distillery is for you. Non-alcohol sights include O’Connell street, Ha’penny Bridge, Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College Library and the Flea Market. In the evenings the pubs of Temple Bar is where to be. Get a Leap Card, which will save you money on public transport in several Irish cities including Dublin.
3 🚌Dublin to Cashel
🚌Cashel to Cork
🚌Cork (South Terrace) to Blarney
🚌Blarney to Cork (City Hall)
🚌Cork to Killarney
(Book >)
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 12:05
Dep: 13:55
Dep: 16:28
Dep: 17:30
Arr: 10:25
Arr: 13:45
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 17:12
Arr: 19:05
🏨Black Sheep Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Driving to Killarney you’ll join the Ring of Kerry drive and enjoy stunning countryside scenery. On the way to Killarney you’ll pass the Rock of Cashel – worth a stop for this historic site. You can also divert to Blarney Castle and kiss the famous stone. Missed a bus? They are pretty frequent, so don’t worry.
4 Spend a day in Killarney National Park on a tour or by hiring a bike and be sure to visit Muckross Abbey, Ross Castle and Torc Waterfall. The town of Killarney is itself bursting with charm. A Heritage Card can save you money if you plan to visit several Irish heritage sites.
5 🚄Killarney to Tralee (Book >)
🚌Tralee to Dingle (Book >)
Dep: 10:20
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 10:58
Arr: 12:02
🏨Hideout Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Once you arrive in Dingle head straight out on a hike to Annascaul, taking the bus back. Come prepared for rain. Lots and lots of rain.
6 🚌Dingle to Tralee (Book >)
🚌Tralee to Limerick (Book >)
🚌Limerick to Ennis (Book >)
🚌Ennis to Doolin (Book >)
Dep: 09:30
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 13:25
Dep: 14:30
Arr: 10:33
Arr: 13:05
Arr: 14:25
Arr: 15:35
🏨Aille River Holiday Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
You may want extra time to explore the Dingle Peninsula, but if not then head on to Doolin – famous for its music scene – where you’ll find plenty of lively pubs. You’re likely to hear a lot of Irish spoken in the Gaeltacht areas – learn a few words and make a good impression.
7 🚌Doolin to Galway (Book >) Dep: 13:33 Arr: 15:30 🏨Galway City Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Doolin is the gateway to the Cliffs of Moher, where you’ll spend the first part of today (check bus times here). Unesco-listed Galway offers medieval walls, the fascinating Galway City Museum, cosy pubs, cute streets and the seaside Salthill Promenade. Seeing the Cliffs of Moher on a boat tour is highly recommended.
8 🚌Galway to Dublin (Book >) Dep: 10:15 Arr: 12:40 🏨Jacobs Inn (Book >) All hostels >
You probably didn’t get to see all of Dublin’s sights on day 2 of this Ireland itinerary, so here’s your chance to make up for what you missed. Remember to bring both GBP for Northern Ireland and Euros for Ireland.
9 🚌Dublin to Belfast (Book >) Dep: 08:15 Arr: 10:35 🏨Botanical Backpackers (Book >) All hostels >
Once you arrive into Belfast visit sights Belfast such as Titanic Belfast and Crumlin Road Gaol. Save money by taking a free walking tour (but don’t forget to tip).
10 Take the 09:30 tour to the Giant’s Causeway, on which you’ll also visit Carrickfergus Castle, the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Dark Hedges. A Heritage Card can save you money if you plan to visit several Irish heritage sites.
11 🚌Belfast to Dublin (Book >)
Dublin to Home
(✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: 09:45
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 11:40
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Ireland itinerary with the Bruges & Ghent or France itinerary.
The ferry port and airport are far apart – choose your bus route accordingly.

🇱🇰 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 hostels >
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 hostels >
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
🏨Bed Station 210 (Book >) All hostels >
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 hostels >
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 hostels >
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.

🇮🇳 SOUTHERN INDIA

Hampi, India - Southern India itineraryFrom 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 a filter water bottle 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 to use the links featured in this Southern India itinerary 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 Southern India itinerary with the Sri Lanka, 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 a filter water bottle and 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 to use the links featured in this Southern India itinerary 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 Southern India itinerary with the Sri Lanka, 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 🏨Bastian Homestay (Book >) All hostels >
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 hostels >
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 a filter water bottle and some insect repellant.
4 🚄Alleppey to Coimbatore train (Book >) Dep: 10:15 Arr: 15:27 🏨Treebo Trend Jansi Residency (Book >) All hostels >
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
🏨Prabhu’s Place
(Book >)
All hostels >
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 links featured in this Southern India itinerary 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 🏨The hotel (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 🏨The Mansion
(Book >)
All hostels >
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 🏨Apartment (Book >) All hostels >
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
🏨The White Balcao (Book >) All hostels >
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 Arpora Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:00 🏨Woke Morjim (Book >) All hostels >
Glide towards the coast and start unwinding in the tropical surroundings of Goa. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
13-14 Enjoy a couple of days unwinding on the beach before heading home. Be very wary of strong rip currents when in the sea
15-16 🚕Arpora to airport
✈Goa to home (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Evening
Arr: 1hr later
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Southern India itinerary with the Sri Lanka, Rajasthan – India or Nepal itinerary
Direct flights are possible, but only at certain times of year.

🇬🇷 GREECE

Lindos, Rhodes, Greece - Greece itineraryThere’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 – plan your Greece itinerary accordingly.
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 – plan your Greece itinerary accordingly.
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 🏨Crossroads (Book >) All hostels >
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 hostels >
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 hostels >
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 🏨City Circus Athens (Book >) All hostels >
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 hostels >
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 – plan your Greece itinerary accordingly.
12 ⛴️Symi to Santorini
🚌Port to Fira (Info >)
Dep: 00:30 Arr: 00:15
Arr: 01:00
🏨Villa Manos (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Akrotiri, and the picturesque town of Oia from where you can take a stunningly beautiful hike to Fira. The bus meets every large Blue Star ferry arrival and stops outside the villa.
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.

🇭🇺🇷🇴🇧🇬 HUNGARY, ROMANIA & BULGARIA

Bran Castle, Romania - Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itineraryThree countries, 11 unforgettable, action-packed days. Beautiful cities, medieval towns, ancient castles, huge forests and wild mountains – this itinerary has it all. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary:

Luxury Budapest, Hungary
1 ✈To Budapest (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Aria Hotel Budapest (Book >) All hotels >
Upon arrival into Budapest, visit the immense St Stephen’s Basilica. If you’re not up for much walking, buy a public transport pass at the airport.
2 Walk over the chain bridge and marvel at the views from Fisherman’s Bastion, including over the impressive Hungarian Parliament Building, then continue on to Buda Castle (under which is The Hospital in the Rock) and Heroes’ Square. Try to catch a performance at the beautiful Hungarian State Opera House. There are many interesting free walking tours in Budapest (don’t forget to tip!)
3 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train (Book >) Dep: 23:10 🏨Train
Begin your day with a tour around Vajdahunyad Castle then go for a soak in the healing waters of the famous Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train Arr: 11:06 🏨DoubleTree by Hilton (Book >) All hotels >
Sighișoara’s well-preserved old town walls encircle the 12th century citadel in which you’ll find the clock tower (good views form the top), the Monastery Church, the bust of Vlad Tepes and the Covered Staircase which leads to the Church on the Hill. If you have a little more time then hike or bike into the Transylvanian countryside and up to the Breite plateau. This is the town in which Vlad Tepes (aka Vlad the Impaler/Dracula) was born – his birth home is now a restaurant (Casa Vlad Dracul).
5 🚄Sighișoara to Braşov train (Book >) Dep: 11:08 Arr: 13:46 🏨Hotel Kronwell (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve dropped your bags at the hotel walk to the medieval Catherine’s Gate and then along the city wall. Squeeze down String Street (Strada Sforii) – at 4ft wide reputedly the narrowest in Europe. Visit Saint Nicholas Basilica and admire the ornate interior. Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and larger train stations.
6 Take a taxi to Bran Castle – one of several deemed to be the home of Dracula, but certainly the most photogenic. Consider adding a day to explore other castles in the area including Corvin Castle, where Vlad Tepes was allegedly held prisoner for several years. Learn a few basic Romanian words and phrases.
7 🚄Braşov to Bucharest train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:20 Arr: 14:05 🏨Hotel Epoque (Book >) All hotels >
The immense Palace of Parliament – one of the world’s largest buildings – is a good place to start in Bucharest. Stroll around Cișmigiu Gardens and the cobbled streets of Old Town (don’t miss Stavropoleos Church). Although cheaper, Romania’s R-trains are slower – spend just a little more to make the most of your time here.
8 🚄Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo train (Book >) Dep: 12:40 Arr: 20:41 🏨Agusta Spa Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
In Bucharest go to Revolution Square (Piața Revoluției) – an important place in Romania’s history. This site has useful Bucharest public transport info.
9 🚌Veliko Tarnovo to Sofia bus
(Book >)
Dep: 16:15 Arr: 19:15 🏨Sense Hotel Sofia (Book >) All hotels >
Bursting with history, the Bulgarian mountain city of Veliko Tarnovo has a wonderful old town which is best explored on foot. The Tsaravets fortress is a must-see. Bus travel is faster than train travel in Bulgaria.
10 Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National History Museum, the Sveti Georgi Rotunda are all must-sees. If you’ve some spare time then the National Palace Of Culture often has great events and fascinating exhibitions. Pick up souvenirs at Bitaka Flea Market. Learning some basic Bulgarian Cyrillic can help you get around, especially if you stay in the country for more than a few days.
11 Sofia to Home (✈Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary with the Slovenia & Croatia, Western Turkey or Austria & Munich itinerary
Not ready to go home? Extend your Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary with a visit to Bulgaria’s beautiful Black Sea beaches.
Mid-range Brasov, Romania
1 ✈To Budapest (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Bo33 Family & Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Upon arrival into Budapest, visit the immense St Stephen’s Basilica. If you’re not up for much walking, buy a public transport pass at the airport.
2 Walk over the chain bridge and marvel at the views from Fisherman’s Bastion, including over the impressive Hungarian Parliament Building, then continue on to Buda Castle (under which is The Hospital in the Rock) and Heroes’ Square. Try to catch a performance at the beautiful Hungarian State Opera House. There are many interesting free walking tours in Budapest (don’t forget to tip!)
3 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train (Book >) Dep: 23:10 🏨Train
Begin your day with a tour around Vajdahunyad Castle then go for a soak in the healing waters of the famous Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train Arr: 11:06 🏨Casa Savri (Book >) All hotels >
Sighișoara’s well-preserved old town walls encircle the 12th century citadel in which you’ll find the clock tower (good views form the top), the Monastery Church, the bust of Vlad Tepes and the Covered Staircase which leads to the Church on the Hill. If you have a little more time then hike or bike into the Transylvanian countryside and up to the Breite plateau. This is the town in which Vlad Tepes (aka Vlad the Impaler/Dracula) was born – his birth home is now a restaurant (Casa Vlad Dracul).
5 🚄Sighișoara to Braşov train (Book >) Dep: 11:08 Arr: 13:46 🏨Casa Veche (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve dropped your bags at the hotel walk to the medieval Catherine’s Gate and then along the city wall. Squeeze down String Street (Strada Sforii) – at 4ft wide reputedly the narrowest in Europe. Visit Saint Nicholas Basilica and admire the ornate interior. Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and larger train stations.
6 Take a 35-minute bus journey from terminal #2 to Bran Castle – one of several deemed to be the home of Dracula, but certainly the most photogenic. Consider adding a day to explore other castles in the area including Corvin Castle, where Vlad Tepes was allegedly held prisoner for several years. Learn a few basic Romanian words and phrases.
7 🚄Braşov to Bucharest train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:20 Arr: 14:05 🏨Hotel Christina (Book >) All hotels >
The immense Palace of Parliament – one of the world’s largest buildings – is a good place to start in Bucharest. Stroll around Cișmigiu Gardens and the cobbled streets of Old Town (don’t miss Stavropoleos Church). Although cheaper, Romania’s R-trains are slower – spend just a little more to make the most of your time here.
8 🚄Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo train (Book >) Dep: 12:40 Arr: 20:41 🏨Gurko (Book >) All hotels >
In Bucharest go to Revolution Square (Piața Revoluției) – an important place in Romania’s history. This site has useful Bucharest public transport info.
9 🚌Veliko Tarnovo to Sofia bus
(Book >)
Dep: 16:15 Arr: 19:15 🏨InterContinental Sofia (Book >) All hotels >
Bursting with history, the Bulgarian mountain city of Veliko Tarnovo has a wonderful old town which is best explored on foot. The Tsaravets fortress is a must-see. Bus travel is faster than train travel in Bulgaria.
10 Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National History Museum, the Sveti Georgi Rotunda are all must-sees. If you’ve some spare time then the National Palace Of Culture often has great events and fascinating exhibitions. Pick up souvenirs at Bitaka Flea Market. Learning some basic Bulgarian Cyrillic can help you get around, especially if you stay in the country for more than a few days.
11 Sofia to Home (✈Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary with the Slovenia & Croatia, Western Turkey or Austria & Munich itinerary
Not ready to go home? Extend your Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary with a visit to  Bulgaria’s beautiful Black Sea beaches.
Budget Sofia, Bulgaria
1 ✈To Budapest (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨AVAIL Hostel (Boo k >) All hostels >
Upon arrival into Budapest, visit the immense St Stephen’s Basilica. If you’re not up for much walking, buy a public transport pass at the airport.
2 Walk over the chain bridge and marvel at the views from Fisherman’s Bastion, including over the impressive Hungarian Parliament Building, then continue on to Buda Castle (under which is The Hospital in the Rock) and Heroes’ Square. Try to catch a performance at the beautiful Hungarian State Opera House. There are many interesting free walking tours in Budapest (don’t forget to tip!)
3 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train (Book >) Dep: 23:10 🏨Train
Begin your day with a tour around Vajdahunyad Castle then go for a soak in the healing waters of the famous Széchenyi Thermal Baths. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Budapest to Sighișoara train Arr: 11:06 🏨Burg Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
Sighișoara’s well-preserved old town walls encircle the 12th century citadel in which you’ll find the clock tower (good views form the top), the Monastery Church, the bust of Vlad Tepes and the Covered Staircase which leads to the Church on the Hill. If you have a little more time then hike or bike into the Transylvanian countryside and up to the Breite plateau. This is the town in which Vlad Tepes (aka Vlad the Impaler/Dracula) was born – his birth home is now a restaurant (Casa Vlad Dracul).
5 🚄Sighișoara to Braşov train (Book >) Dep: 11:08 Arr: 13:46 🏨Hostel Boemia (Book >) All hostels >
Once you’ve dropped your bags at the hotel walk to the medieval Catherine’s Gate and then along the city wall. Squeeze down String Street (Strada Sforii) – at 4ft wide reputedly the narrowest in Europe. Visit Saint Nicholas Basilica and admire the ornate interior. Beware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas and larger train stations.
6 Take a 35-minute bus journey from terminal #2 to Bran Castle – one of several deemed to be the home of Dracula, but certainly the most photogenic. Consider adding a day to explore other castles in the area including Corvin Castle, where Vlad Tepes was allegedly held prisoner for several years. Learn a few basic Romanian words and phrases.
7 🚄Braşov to Bucharest train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:20 Arr: 14:05 🏨Mil Pasos Penthouse Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
The immense Palace of Parliament – one of the world’s largest buildings – is a good place to start in Bucharest. Stroll around Cișmigiu Gardens and the cobbled streets of Old Town (don’t miss Stavropoleos Church). Although cheaper, Romania’s R-trains are slower – spend just a little more to make the most of your time here.
8 🚄Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo train (Book >) Dep: 12:40 Arr: 20:41 🏨Rooster Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
In Bucharest go to Revolution Square (Piața Revoluției) – an important place in Romania’s history. This site has useful Bucharest public transport info.
9 🚌Veliko Tarnovo to Sofia bus
(Book >)
Dep: 16:15 Arr: 19:15 🏨Hostel Mostel (Book >) All hostels >
Bursting with history, the Bulgarian mountain city of Veliko Tarnovo has a wonderful old town which is best explored on foot. The Tsaravets fortress is a must-see. Bus travel is faster than train travel in Bulgaria.
10 Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, the National History Museum, the Sveti Georgi Rotunda are all must-sees. If you’ve some spare time then the National Palace Of Culture often has great events and fascinating exhibitions. Pick up souvenirs at Bitaka Flea Market. Learning some basic Bulgarian Cyrillic can help you get around, especially if you stay in the country for more than a few days.
11 Sofia to Home (✈Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary with the Slovenia & Croatia, Western Turkey or Austria & Munich itinerary
Not ready to go home? Extend your Hungary, Romania & Bulgaria itinerary with a visit to Bulgaria’s beautiful Black Sea beaches.

🇸🇪 SWEDEN

Stockholm, Sweden - Sweden itineraryFrom the vast, open landscapes of Lapland, to the sunny beaches of Gotland, this Sweden itinerary offers many amazing sights for visitors. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Sweden itinerary:

Luxury Treehotel, Sweden
1 ✈To Luleå (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Treehotel (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi for the 1 hr 15 mins drive to your hotel from the airport. The fastest flight times involve leaving in the afternoon and arriving into Luleå in the evening.
2 Go hiking in Lapland, get some white water rafting thrills, glide along calm waters in a canoe, go on a moose safari and, at the end of the day, relax in the tree sauna. You may want to add on some extra days… Book activities well in advance.
3 🚄Boden to Orebro train (Book >) Dep: 17:49 🏨Train
You’ll have most of today to enjoy more of this beautiful part of Sweden. Arrange a transfer to the train station (which should take about 35 mins) then relax in a comfy couchette for the overnight journey to Orebro. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Boden to Orebro train Arr: 07:31 🏨Clarion Hotel Örebro (Book >) All hotels >
A day on which to soak in the sights of ancient Örebro, the most impressive which is the immense Örebro castle. The city park is one of the most beautiful in Sweden and the Wadköping open-air museum is also well worth a visit. Tap water is good and tasty in Sweden – remember to bring a refillable bottle.
5 🚄Örebro to Gothenburg train (Book >) Dep: 09:12 Arr: 12:10 🏨Upper House (Book >) All hotels >
Head up Gothenburg’s 17th century Skansen Kronan, then take a look at the picturesque wooden houses in nearby Haga. Buy a travel card for Gothenburg, which will save you hassle and money – it also includes ferry journeys.
6 Slottsskogen is a free-to-enter park and mini-zoo in the city centre. If you’re in need of some culture, the Gothenburg Museum of Art comes highly recommended. Like fish? Then a visit to the Fish Market Feskekörka is a must, or go to the trendy shopping district of Magasinsgatan instead. The well-preserved Älvsborg Fortress is a fun excursion. Got some spare time? The four-day cycle ride from Helsingborg to Båstad comes highly recommended.
7 🚄Gothenburg to Mariestad train (Book >)
⛴️Mariestad to Vassbacken cruise (Book >)
Dep: 08:25
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:08
Arr: 22:15
🏨M/S Wilhelm Tham All hotels >
Transfer to Mariestad where you’ll join the M/S Wilhelm Tham and cruise along the Göta Canal over Lake Vänern to the locks at Sjötorp and Hajstorp. Apart from the two honeymoon suites, most cabins on the historic M/S Wilhelm Tham  have bunk beds.
8 ⛴️Vassbacken to Ljung cruise Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:46
Arr: 12:07
Arr: 13:25
🏨M/S Wilhelm Tham All hotels >
Continuing along the Göta Canal you’ll reach the highest point at the obelisk, pass through the Tåtorp locks and along beautiful Lake Viken. Next comes Forsvik Lock and the historic Forsviks Bruk village. Lake Vättern is Sweden’s second largest in Sweden, beyond which is the lock staircase at Borenshul, beautiful Borensburg village and the berth at Ljung. You can also hire your own boat to cruise along the Göta Canal.
9 ⛴️Borensberg to Norsholm cruise
(Book >)
🚄Norsholm to Stockholm (Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:46
Arr: 12:07
Arr: 13:25
🏨Grand Hôtel Stockholm (Book >) All hotels >
Into the longest lock staircase on the canal at Berg, then Lake Roxen and ending at Norsholm Lock. In Stockholm take in the magnificent sight of an almost fully intact 17th century war ship at the Vasa Museum. Nearby is the equally…impressive ABBA Museum. The Downtown Camper hotel has great views from its rooftop bar.
9-10 Visit the royal family’s palace, head out to the open-air museum of Skansen, wander around the streets of Gamla Stan, look at the amazing photography at Fotografiska Museet, learn about the Nobel Price at the Nobelmuseet. Stockholm is quickly becoming a cash-free city and so you may not want to bring too much.
11 Stockholm to Home
(✈Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening Connect this Sweden itinerary with the Germany or Estonia itinerary
Want to extend your Sweden Itinerary? Take a look at the Gotland journey at the end of the Mid-range itinerary.
Mid-range Örebro castle, Sweden
1 ✈To Kiruna (Book >)
🚄Kiruna to Abisko Östra train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 14:49
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 15:54
🏨Hotel Abisko Mountain Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Arriving late Oct to mid-March? You’ll get here after sunset and in time to hopefully see the Northern Lights. To make this journey in one day you’ll need to catch a very early flight.
2 There are a number of excellent hiking trails in Abisko National Park, you can also visit the Sámi village of Rávttas. If you’re here outside of warmer months then skiing, dog sledding, Arctic reindeer sledding and chasing the Northern Lights are all popular things to do. If you’re really into hiking then Abisko is the start of the famous 400km King’s Trail, or Kungsleden.
3 🚄Abisko Östra – Gävle C train
(Book >)
Dep: 16:44 🏨Train
You’ll have most of today to enjoy more of this beautiful part of Sweden. Relax in a comfy couchette for the overnight journey to Gävle C. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Abisko Östra to Gävle C train
🚄Gävle C to Orebro train (Book >)
Dep: 08:24 Arr: 07:35
Arr: 10:55
🏨Clarion Hotel Örebro (Book >) All hotels >
A day on which to soak in the sights of ancient Örebro, the most impressive which is the immense Örebro castle. The city park is one of the most beautiful in Sweden and the Wadköping open-air museum is also well worth a visit. Tap water is good and tasty in Sweden – remember to bring a refillable bottle.
5 🚄Örebro to  Motala train (Book >)
🚄Motala to Hallsberg train
🚄Hallsberg to Gothenburg train (Book >)
Dep: 08:11
Dep: 09:12
Dep: 17:43
Arr: 09:26
Arr: 17:06
Arr: 20:05
🏨Hotel Pigalle (Book >) All hotels >
Divert your journey to Gothenburg with a stop at Motala and a boat trip along the Göta Canal, departing at 10:30 and returning at 15:30 (May to Sep only). Buy a travel card for Gothenburg, which will save you hassle and money – it also includes ferry journeys.
6 Head up Gothenburg’s 17th century Skansen Kronan, then take a look at the picturesque wooden houses in nearby Haga. Like fish? Then a visit to the Fish Market Feskekörka is a must, or go to the trendy shopping district of Magasinsgatan instead. The well-preserved Älvsborg Fortress is a fun excursion. Got some spare time? The four-day cycle ride from Helsingborg to Båstad comes highly recommended.
7 🚄Gothenburg to Stockholm train (Book >) Dep: 16:19 Arr: 19:43 🏨Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Gothenburg’s Slottsskogen is a free-to-enter park and mini-zoo in the city centre. If you’re in need of some culture, the Gothenburg Museum of Art comes highly recommended. Stockholm’s Downtown Camper hotel has great views from its rooftop bar.
8-9 Take in the magnificent sight of an almost fully intact 17th century war ship at the Vasa Museum. Nearby is the equally…impressive ABBA Museum. Visit the royal family’s palace, head out to the open-air museum of Skansen, wander around the streets of Gamla Stan, look at the amazing photography at Fotografiska Museet, learn about the Nobel Price at the Nobelmuseet. Stockholm is quickly becoming a cash-free city and so you may not want to bring too much.
10 🚌Stockholm to Nynäshamn bus
⛴️Nynäshamn to Visby ferry (Book >)
Dep: 11:30
Dep: 13:15
Arr: 12:30
Arr: 16:30
🏨Clarion Hotel Visby (Book >) All hotels >
Gaze out to sea as you glide over the Baltic Sea to the island of Gotland The ferry journey is usually smooth, but you may wish to take motion sickness tablets just in case.
11-12 Over the next couple of days be sure to take in Visby’s Burmeister House, walk along the city wall and the views from Klinten. Visby is full of church ruins – see if you can get to all 15 within the city walls. The Gotlands Museum makes for a fascinating visit. Hire a bicycle and explore the coast in either direction from Visby. Stockholm is quickly becoming a cash-free city and so you may not want to bring too much.
13 Visby to Home (✈Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon Connect this Sweden itinerary with the Germany or Estonia itinerary
If you’re doing this Sweden itinerary in the summer take Flygbussarna coach to the airport, at other times of year you can take bus route 61 or a short taxi ride.
Budget Abisko National Park, Sweden
1 ✈To Kiruna (Book >)
🚄Kiruna to Abisko Östra train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 14:49
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 15:59
🏨Abisko Turiststation (Book >) All hotels >
Arriving late Oct to mid-March? You’ll get here after sunset and in time to hopefully see the Northern Lights. To make this journey in one day you’ll need to catch a very early flight.
2 There are a number of excellent hiking trails in Abisko National Park, you can also visit a Sámi camp, take the chair lift to Nuolja and go in search of the Northern Lights, If you’re really into hiking then Abisko is the start of the famous 400km King’s Trail, or Kungsleden.
3 🚄Abisko Östra – Gävle C train
(Book >)
Dep: 16:38 🏨Train
You’ll have most of today to enjoy more of this beautiful part of Sweden. Settle into your seat for the overnight journey to Gävle C. Buying an Interrail pass (Eurail pass if you don’t live in Europe) can save you money.
4 🚄Abisko Östra to Gävle C train
🚄Gävle C to Orebro train (Book >)
🚄Örebro to Gothenburg train (Book >)
Dep: 08:24
Dep: 17:19
Arr: 07:35
Arr: 10:55
Arr: 19:55
🏨Linnéplatsens Hotel & Hostel (Book >) All hostels >
A day in which to soak in the sights of ancient Örebro, the most impressive which is the immense Örebro castle. The city park is one of the most beautiful in Sweden and the Wadköping open-air museum is also well worth a visit. Örebro station has a left luggage facility.
5-6 Head up Gothenburg’s 17th century Skansen Kronan, then take a look at the picturesque wooden houses in nearby Haga. Like fish? Then a visit to the Fish Market Feskekörka is a must, or go to the trendy shopping district of Magasinsgatan instead. The well-preserved Älvsborg Fortress is a fun excursion. Buy a travel card for Gothenburg, which will save you hassle and money – it also includes ferry journeys.
7 🚄Gothenburg to Hallsberg train
🚄Hallsberg to Motala train  (Book >)
🚄Motala to Linköping train
🚄Linköping to Stockholm train (Book >)
Dep: 06:04
Dep: 08:46
Dep: 16:05
Dep: 17:00
Arr: 08:25
Arr: 09:26
Arr: 16:44
Arr: 18:41
🏨Red Boat Mälaren (Book >) All hostels >
Divert your journey to Stockholm with a stop at Motala and a boat trip along the Göta Canal, departing at 10:30 and returning at 15:30 (May to Sep only). Stockholm’s Downtown Camper hotel has great views from its rooftop bar.
8-9 Take in the magnificent sight of an almost fully intact 17th century war ship at the Vasa Museum. Nearby is the equally…impressive ABBA Museum. Visit the royal family’s palace, head out to the open-air museum of Skansen, wander around the streets of Gamla Stan, look at the amazing photography at Fotografiska Museet, learn about the Nobel Price at the Nobelmuseet. Stockholm is quickly becoming a cash-free city and so you may not want to bring too much.
10 🚌Stockholm to Nynäshamn bus
⛴️Nynäshamn to Visby ferry (Book >)
Dep: 11:30
Dep: 13:15
Arr: 12:30
Arr: 16:30
🏨Visby home rental (Book >) All hotels >
Gaze out to sea as you glide over the Baltic Sea to the island of Gotland The ferry journey is usually smooth, but you may wish to take motion sickness tablets just in case.
11-12 Over the next couple of days be sure to take in Visby’s Burmeister House, walk along the city wall and the views from Klinten. Visby is full of church ruins – see if you can get to all 15 within the city walls. The Gotlands Museum makes for a fascinating visit. Hire a bicycle and explore the coast in either direction from Visby. Stockholm is quickly becoming a cash-free city and so you may not want to bring too much.
13 Visby to Home (✈Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon Connect this Sweden itinerary with the Germany or Estonia itinerary
If you’re doing this Sweden itinerary in the summer take Flygbussarna coach to the airport, at other times of year you can take bus route 61 or a short taxi ride.

🇳🇦 NAMIBIA

Swakopmund, NamibiaSparsely populated, but crammed with incredible sights, Namibia offers intrepid travellers huge rewards for challenging travel. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget.

Here’s your Namibia itinerary:

Luxury Fish River Canyon, Namibia
1 ✈Windhoek (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Hilton Windhoek (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into Windhoek with time to visit the Namibia Craft Centre.
3 🚗Windhoek to Fish River Canyon drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 16:00 🏨Canyon Roadhouse (Book >) All hotels >
This is your longest drive, but you’ll end it at one of the most spectacular, under-rated places in Africa. Driver the 25 minutes to the canyon viewpoint for sunset. You will need to hire a 4×4 vehicle as parts of this journey are on rough tracks.
4 🚗Fish River Canyon to Sossusvlei drive Dep: 12:30 Arr: 18:45 🏨Le Mirage Resort & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Take a morning hike with a hotel guide into Gondwana Canyon Park before the drive to Sesriem. Marvel at the desert sunset in Sossusvlei. Tap water is safe here – bring a re-usable bottle and make sure you keep topped up.
5 Wake up early for a magical hot air balloon ride at sunrise. Then go on a drive to Dune 45, Dead Vlei and Sesriem Canyon. Visiting from South Africa? The Namibian Dollar is kept at parity with the South African Rand.
6 🚗Sossusvlei to Walvis Bay drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Bay View Resort Namibia (Book >) All hotels >
In Walvis Bay book on to the 13:00 tour to Sandwich Harbour, on which you’ll see flamingoes, the Kuiseb River Delta and the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon. Be prepared for expensive fuel prices and remember to fill up before setting out into remote areas.
7 Today you’ll go on an unforgettable flight over the Skeleton Coast from nearby Swakopmund. Vegetarians may struggle here, but the excellent Happy Cow site lists good vegan restaurants.
8 🚗Walvis Bay to Damaraland drive Dep: 08:30 Arr: 14:30 🏨Damaraland Camp (Book >) All hotels >
One of Namibia’s least populated areas, Damaraland offers wild scenery, rock art and wildlife. It gets cold here when the sun goes down – pack layers.
9 Take a guided walk through the amazing scenery of Damaraland, go on guided drives during the day or at night, or visit the local Nama-Damara, Herero and Ovambo communities. I once wrecked a camera here due to the constant dust. Be sure to protect your technology!
10 🚗Damaraland to Etosha drive Dep: 12:00 Arr: 19:30 🏨Emanya@etosha  (Book >) All hotels >
Time in the morning to take part in any activities you missed out on during days 8 and 9. In afternoon drive through Etosha National Park to your luxurious hotel. Any drive through Etosha will involve wildlife spotting, so give yourself plenty of time to take pics.
11 More time today to meet the wildlife of Etosha National Park on a full-day tour. Accommodation is limited, book as far in advance as you can.
12 🚗Etosha to Windhoek drive Dep: 13:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Hotel Hilton Windhoek (Book >) All hotels >
Take one last self-guided game drive, then return to Windhoek and drop off your car. Windhoek has a number of excellent beer houses, due to it once being a German colony.
13-14 ✈Windhoek to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Namibia itinerary with the South Africa itinerary
Botswana is just across the border if you wish to continue your adventure.
Mid-range Swakopmund, Namibia
1 ✈Windhoek (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Hilton Windhoek (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into Windhoek with time to visit the Namibia Craft Centre.
3 🚗Windhoek to Fish River Canyon drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 16:00 🏨Canyon Roadhouse (Book >) All hotels >
This is your longest drive, but you’ll end it at one of the most spectacular, under-rated places in Africa. Drive the 25 minutes to the canyon viewpoint for sunset. You will need to hire a 4×4 vehicle as parts of this journey are on rough tracks.
4 🚗Fish River Canyon to Sossusvlei drive Dep: 12:30 Arr: 18:45 🏨Desert Camp (Book >) All hotels >
Take a morning hike with a hotel guide into Gondwana Canyon Park before the drive to Sesriem. Marvel at the desert sunset in Sossusvlei. Tap water is safe here – bring a re-usable bottle and make sure you keep topped up.
5 Wake up early and head up Dune 45 for sunrise, then visit Dead Vlei and Sesriem Canyon. Visiting from South Africa? The Namibian Dollar is kept at parity with the South African Rand.
6 🚗Sossusvlei to Walvis Bay drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Bay View Resort Namibia (Book >) All hotels >
In Walvis Bay book on to the 13:00 tour to Sandwich Harbour, on which you’ll see flamingoes, the Kuiseb River Delta and the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon. Be prepared for expensive fuel prices and remember to fill up before setting out into remote areas.
7 Today take an unforgettable flight over the Skeleton Coast from nearby Swakopmund. Vegetarians may struggle here, but the excellent Happy Cow site lists good vegan restaurants.
8 🚗Walvis Bay to Damaraland drive Dep: 08:30 Arr: 15:00 🏨Grootberg Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
One of Namibia’s least populated areas, Damaraland offers wild scenery, rock art and wildlife. It gets cold here when the sun goes down – pack layers.
9 Take a guided walk through the amazing scenery of Damaraland, go on guided drives during the day or at night, or visit the local Nama-Damara, Herero and Ovambo communities. I once wrecked a camera here due to the constant dust. Be sure to protect your technology!
10 🚗Damaraland to Etosha drive Dep: 11:30 Arr: 19:30 🏨Emanya@etosha  (Book >) All hotels >
Time in the morning to take part in any activities you missed out on during days 8 and 9. In afternoon drive through Etosha National Park to your luxurious hotel. Any drive through Etosha will involve wildlife spotting, so give yourself plenty of time to take pics.
11 More time today to meet the wildlife of Etosha National Park on a full-day tour. Accommodation is limited, book as far in advance as you can.
12 🚗Etosha to Windhoek drive Dep: 13:00 Arr: 18:00 🏨Hotel Hilton Windhoek (Book >) All hotels >
Take one last game drive, then return to Windhoek and drop off your car. Windhoek has a number of excellent beer houses, due to it once being a German colony.
13-14 ✈Windhoek to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Morning (next day) What did you think of this Namibia itinerary? Leave your feedback below
Botswana is just across the border if you wish to continue your adventure.
Budget Etosha, Namibia
1 ✈Windhoek (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨ParadiseGarden Backpackers Lodge (Book >) All hostels >
Arrive into Windhoek with time to visit the Namibia Craft Centre.
3 🚌Windhoek to Walvis Bay bus (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 15:10 🏨Loubser’s B&B Self Catering (Book >) All hostels >
Once you arrive into Walvis Bay take a walk to the lagoon or head to Owambo Beach. Please note that buses do not depart daily.
4 Go dune boarding, enjoy a nature drive, or go kayaking to Pelican Point. Save money by bringing your own tent and sleeping bag.
5 🚗Walvis Bay to Sesriem drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 14:00 ⛺Sesriem Campsite (Book >) All hotels >
Drive to Sossussvlei, visit Dead Vlei and Sesriem Canyon then marvel at the desert sunset. You will need to hire a 4×4 vehicle as parts of this journey are on rough tracks.
6 🚗Sesriem to Hobas drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 15:00 ⛺Hobas Camp (Book >) All hotels >
Wake early and head up Dune 45 for sunrise. Your longest drive of the trip will take you to the spectacular Fish River Canyon Be prepared for expensive fuel prices and remember to fill up before setting out into remote areas.
7 🚗Hobas to Windhoek drive
🚌Windhoek to Tsumeb bus (Book >)
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 18:00
Arr: 15:30
Arr: 23:40
🏨Tsumeb Backpackers (Book >) All hostels >
Another early start to see another incredible sunrise, then drive to Windhoek to drop off the car before catching the bus to Tsumeb, next to Etosha National Park Vegetarians may struggle here, but the excellent Happy Cow site lists good vegan restaurants.
8-10 Contact Tsumeb Bckpackers in advance and ask them to arrange a guided tour to Damaraland and Etosha National Park. Accommodation is limited, book as far in advance as you can.
11 🚌Tsumeb to Windhoek bus (Book >) Dep: 23:59 🏨ParadiseGarden Backpackers Lodge (Book >) All hostels >
Another early start to see another incredible sunrise, then drive to Windhoek to drop off the car before catching the bus to Tsumeb, next to Etosha National Park Vegetarians may struggle here, but the excellent Happy Cow site lists good vegan restaurants.
12-13 🚌Tsumeb to Windhoek bus
✈Windhoek to Home (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: 05:40
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Namibia itinerary with the South Africa itinerary
Botswana is just across the border if you wish to continue your adventure.