🇮🇳SOUTHERN INDIA

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

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

Dep: 22:05

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

Dep: 22:05

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

Dep: 22:05

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

🇫🇷FRANCE

Paris, FranceFew countries offer as much to see as France. These itineraries capture the highlights, from must-see Paris, to ancient Carcassonne, to the vineyards of Bordeaux, to Côte d’Azur beaches to the snowy French Alps. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your France itinerary:

Luxury Carcassonne, France
1 To Paris (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Maison Souquet (Book >) All hotels >
You’re in one of the most beautiful capitals on Earth, so get started straight away on the sights. Despite the devastating fire, Notre Dame cathedral remains an impressive place to see. Just down river is the famous Louvre museum. Wander back through La Marais neighbourhood to the historic Place De La Bastille. Tonight see a show at the Opéra Garnier. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 Take in the views from Sacré-Coeur in the lovely Montmartre area, hop on the Metro to Père Lachaise cemetery then return to the centre for a visit to Musée d’Orsay. Venture into the Paris Catacombs then end your day atop the Eiffel Tower. Consider buying a Paris Pass.
3 🚄Paris to Versailles train (Book >)
🚄Versailles to Chartres train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 16:40
Arr: Morning
Arr: 17:27
🏨Grand Monarque (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a little more time in Paris then a few hours in Versailles to see the spectacular palace. You’ll arrive into Chartres with plenty of time for an evening visit to the cathedral. Versailles Chantiers train station is about 18 minutes by foot to the Palace.
4 🚄Chartres to Bordeaux train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:05 Arr: 11:56 🏨Yndo Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into beautiful Bordeaux in time for lunch then depart on a full afternoon tour of the nearby vineyards. The Place de la Bourse is the perfect place to round off an evening. Hold off on buying wnie until you’ve toured the vineyards, where good deals and even better advice can be had.
5 🚄Bordeaux to Toulouse train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:30 Arr: 12:43 🏨La Cour des Consuls Hôtel & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning go to Places des Quinconces to see Chateau Trompette, then on to the Cours du Chapeau Rouge to admire the Grand Théatre. In Toulouse stroll along the cloisters of Couvent des Jacobins, stop for a drink in the courtyard of the Bemberg Foundation and take a tour of Basilica of Saint Sernin. The Pont Neuf is a memorable sight at night. Wait until you find yourself alone in the Couvent des Jacobins – the serenity here is wonderful.
6 🚄Toulouse to Carcassonne train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:25 🏨Hôtel de la Cité (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived into Carcassonne and dropped off your bags, head straight for the citadel ramparts and Château Comtal. Walk across the Via Domitia for excellent views of the citadel.
7 🚄Carcassonne to Montpellier train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:39 Arr: 11:11 🏨Domaine de Verchant (Book >) All hotels >
Start in Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie and the awe-inspiring Cathedrale St Pierre. Take tram #3 to the beach or just hang out in the characterful Old Town. In the evening walk along the Promenade du Peyrou to the Château d’eau. Pickpockets are a problem in many French cities (especially Paris) – remain vigilant.
8 🚄Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence train (Book >) Dep: 10:14 Arr: 12:40 🏨Le Mas d’Entremont (Book >) All hotels >
Today and tomorrow you get to relax in the sublime surroundings of Aix-en-Provence. Peek inside the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence and be inspired by the art in Atelier Cézanne. In the evenings stroll along Le Cours Mirabeau. “Bonjour”, “s’il vous plait”, “merci” – three basic words you should have in your vocabulary.
9 People watch in Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and shop at the Le Grand Marché market (open Tue, Thu, Sat). If the weather’s good then take in the views at Le Terrain des Peintres. Take a look at these useful tips on how to spot a good bakery in France.
10 🚄Aix-en-Provence to Nice train
🚄Nice to Monte-Carlo train (Book >)
Dep: 08:01
Dep: 11:37
Arr: 11:10
Arr: 12:03
🏨Hotel Hermitage (Book >) All hotels >
In Monte Carlo hang out on Larvotto Beach the visit the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Monaco has many steep hills – save your energy by catching the handy buses.
11 Use Monte-Carlo as your base for visiting the beaches and villages of the Côte d’Azur. Take bus 112 to visit the cliff top village of Eve.
12 🚄Monte-Carlo to Avignon train
🚄Avignon to Lyon train (Book >)
Dep: 09:33
Dep: 14:28
Arr: 13:28
Arr: 15:29
🏨Hôtel Carlton (Book >) All hotels >
In Lyon the Roman Theatre of Fourviére is the oldest in France, after you’ve seen that wander around the Presqu’ile District which contains architectural gems such as the opera house and city hall. Don’t miss taking the tram up to Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica. Les Halles De Lyon is a great place to pick up some delicious food.
13 🚄Lyon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine train
🚄Bellegarde to St-Gervais-les-Bains train
🚌St-Gervais to Chamonix bus
(Book >)
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 12:09
Dep: 14:06
Arr: 11:58
Arr: 13:56
Arr: 14:38
🏨Hôtel Mont-Blanc (Book >) All hotels >
After 4 hours of travel you’ll be up in the magnificent French Alps. Chamonix is a bustling, charming town from which to explore the area. This site has some excellent hiking suggestions.
14 A full day on which to enjoy some hikes, bicycle rides, rafting etc. in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The Office de la Moyenne et Haute Montagne near the tourist office is a good place to get hiking advice.
15 🚌Chamonix to Geneva bus
(Book >)
✈Geneva to Home (Book >)
Dep: 11:15
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 13:05
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this France itinerary with the Southern France & Andorra, Italy, Bruges & Ghent or Germany itinerary
Buses leave at any time from 05:45 if you need to get an earlier flight.
Mid-range Code d'Azur, France
1 To Paris (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Design Secret de Paris (Book >) All hotels >
You’re in one of the most beautiful capitals on Earth, so get started straight away on the sights. Despite the devastating fire, Notre Dame cathedral remains an impressive place to see. Just down river is the famous Louvre museum. Wander back through La Marais neighbourhood to the historic Place De La Bastille. Tonight see a show at the Opéra Garnier. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 Take in the views from Sacré-Coeur in the lovely Montmartre area, hop on the Metro to Père Lachaise cemetery then return to the centre for a visit to Musée d’Orsay. Venture into the Paris Catacombs then end your day atop the Eiffel Tower. Consider buying a Paris Pass.
3 🚄Paris to Versailles train (Book >)
🚄Versailles to Chartres train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 16:40
Arr: Morning
Arr: 17:27
🏨Grand Monarque (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a little more time in Paris then a few hours in Versailles to see the spectacular palace. You’ll arrive into Chartres with plenty of time for an evening visit to the cathedral. Versailles Chantiers train station is about 18 minutes by foot to the Palace.
4 🚄Chartres to Bordeaux train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:05 Arr: 11:56 🏨L’ Hôtel Particulier (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into beautiful Bordeaux in time for lunch then depart on a full afternoon tour of the nearby vineyards. The Place de la Bourse is the perfect place to round off an evening. Hold off on buying wnie until you’ve toured the vineyards, where good deals and even better advice can be had.
5 🚄Bordeaux to Toulouse train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:30 Arr: 12:43 🏨Mercure Toulouse Sud (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning go to Places des Quinconces to see Chateau Trompette, then on to the Cours du Chapeau Rouge to admire the Grand Théatre. In Toulouse stroll along the cloisters of Couvent des Jacobins, stop for a drink in the courtyard of the Bemberg Foundation and take a tour of Basilica of Saint Sernin. The Pont Neuf is a memorable sight at night. Wait until you find yourself alone in the Couvent des Jacobins – the serenity here is wonderful.
6 🚄Toulouse to Carcassonne train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:25 🏨Hôtel Pont Levis (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived into Carcassonne and dropped off your bags, head straight for the citadel ramparts and Château Comtal. Walk across the Via Domitia for excellent views of the citadel.
7 🚄Carcassonne to Montpellier train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:39 Arr: 11:11 🏨Hôtel Eurociel Centre Comédie (Book >) All hotels >
Start in Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie and the awe-inspiring Cathedrale St Pierre. Take tram #3 to the beach or just hang out in the characterful Old Town. In the evening walk along the Promenade du Peyrou to the Château d’eau. Pickpockets are a problem in many French cities (especially Paris) – remain vigilant.
8 🚄Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence train (Book >) Dep: 10:14 Arr: 12:40 🏨Renaissance Aix-en-Provence (Book >) All hotels >
Today and tomorrow you get to relax in the sublime surroundings of Aix-en-Provence. Peek inside the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence and be inspired by the art in Atelier Cézanne. In the evenings stroll along Le Cours Mirabeau. “Bonjour”, “s’il vous plait”, “merci” – three basic words you should have in your vocabulary.
9 People watch in Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and shop at the Le Grand Marché market (open Tue, Thu, Sat). If the weather’s good then take in the views at Le Terrain des Peintres. Take a look at these useful tips on how to spot a good bakery in France.
10 🚄Aix-en-Provence to Nice train
🚄Nice to Monte-Carlo train (Book >)
Dep: 08:01
Dep: 11:37
Arr: 11:10
Arr: 12:03
🏨Hotel Colombus (Book >) All hotels >
In Monte Carlo hang out on Larvotto Beach the visit the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Monaco has many steep hills – save your energy by catching the handy buses.
11 Use Monte-Carlo as your base for visiting the beaches and villages of the Côte d’Azur. Take bus 112 to visit the cliff top village of Eve.
12 🚄Monte-Carlo to Avignon train
🚄Avignon to Lyon train (Book >)
Dep: 09:33
Dep: 14:28
Arr: 13:28
Arr: 15:29
🏨Parksaône (Book >) All hotels >
In Lyon the Roman Theatre of Fourviére is the oldest in France, after you’ve seen that wander around the Presqu’ile District which contains architectural gems such as the opera house and city hall. Don’t miss taking the tram up to Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica. Les Halles De Lyon is a great place to pick up some delicious food.
13 🚄Lyon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine train
🚄Bellegarde to St-Gervais-les-Bains train
🚌St-Gervais to Chamonix bus
(Book >)
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 12:09
Dep: 14:06
Arr: 11:58
Arr: 13:56
Arr: 14:38
🏨Auberge Du Manoire (Book >) All hotels >
After 4 hours of travel you’ll be up in the magnificent French Alps. Chamonix is a bustling, charming town from which to explore the area. This site has some excellent hiking suggestions.
14 A full day on which to enjoy some hikes, bicycle rides, rafting etc. in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The Office de la Moyenne et Haute Montagne near the tourist office is a good place to get hiking advice.
15 🚌Chamonix to Geneva bus
(Book >)
✈Geneva to Home (Book >)
Dep: 11:15
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 13:05
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this France itinerary with the Southern France & Andorra, Italy, Bruges & Ghent or Germany itinerary
Buses leave at any time from 05:45 if you need to get an earlier flight.
Budget Chamonix, France
1 To Paris (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨MIJE Fourcy (Book >) All hotels >
You’re in one of the most beautiful capitals on Earth, so get started straight away on the sights. Despite the devastating fire, Notre Dame cathedral remains an impressive place to see. Just down river is the famous Louvre museum. Wander back through La Marais neighbourhood to the historic Place De La Bastille. Tonight see a show at the Opéra Garnier. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 Take in the views from Sacré-Coeur in the lovely Montmartre area, hop on the Metro to Père Lachaise cemetery then return to the centre for a visit to Musée d’Orsay. Venture into the Paris Catacombs then end your day atop the Eiffel Tower. Consider buying a Paris Pass.
3 🚄Paris to Versailles train (Book >)
🚄Versailles to Chartres train (Book >)
Dep: Morning
Dep: 16:40
Arr: Morning
Arr: 17:27
🏨Première Classe Chartres Barjouville (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a little more time in Paris then a few hours in Versailles to see the spectacular palace. You’ll arrive into Chartres with plenty of time for an evening visit to the cathedral. Versailles Chantiers train station is about 18 minutes by foot to the Palace.
4 🚄Chartres to Bordeaux train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:05 Arr: 11:56 🏨Hostel 20 (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into beautiful Bordeaux in time for lunch then depart on a full afternoon tour of the nearby vineyards. The Place de la Bourse is the perfect place to round off an evening. Hold off on buying wnie until you’ve toured the vineyards, where good deals and even better advice can be had.
5 🚄Bordeaux to Toulouse train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:30 Arr: 12:43 🏨La Petite Auberge de Saint-Sernin (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning go to Places des Quinconces to see Chateau Trompette, then on to the Cours du Chapeau Rouge to admire the Grand Théatre. In Toulouse stroll along the cloisters of Couvent des Jacobins, stop for a drink in the courtyard of the Bemberg Foundation and take a tour of Basilica of Saint Sernin. The Pont Neuf is a memorable sight at night. Wait until you find yourself alone in the Couvent des Jacobins – the serenity here is wonderful.
6 🚄Toulouse to Carcassonne train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:15 Arr: 11:25 🏨Millett Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived into Carcassonne and dropped off your bags, head straight for the citadel ramparts and Château Comtal. Walk across the Via Domitia for excellent views of the citadel.
7 🚄Carcassonne to Montpellier train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:39 Arr: 11:11 🏨Coeur Urbain Bedrooms (Book >) All hotels >
Start in Montpellier’s Place de la Comédie and the awe-inspiring Cathedrale St Pierre. Take tram #3 to the beach or just hang out in the characterful Old Town. In the evening walk along the Promenade du Peyrou to the Château d’eau. Pickpockets are a problem in many French cities (especially Paris) – remain vigilant.
8 🚄Montpellier to Aix-en-Provence train (Book >) Dep: 10:14 Arr: 12:40 🏨Goclands (Book >) All hotels >
Today and tomorrow you get to relax in the sublime surroundings of Aix-en-Provence. Peek inside the Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence and be inspired by the art in Atelier Cézanne. In the evenings stroll along Le Cours Mirabeau. “Bonjour”, “s’il vous plait”, “merci” – three basic words you should have in your vocabulary.
9 People watch in Place de l’Hôtel de Ville and shop at the Le Grand Marché market (open Tue, Thu, Sat). If the weather’s good then take in the views at Le Terrain des Peintres. Take a look at these useful tips on how to spot a good bakery in France.
10 🚄Aix-en-Provence to Nice train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:01 Arr: 11:10 🏨Meyerbeer Beach (Book >) All hotels >
Stroll along the beach and then visit the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo. Monaco has many steep hills – save your energy by catching the handy buses.
11 Use Nice as your base for visiting the beaches and villages of the Côte d’Azur. Take bus 112 to visit Monte Carlo and the cliff top village of Eze.
12 🚌Nice to Lyon bus (Book >) Dep: 11:30 Arr: 19:35 🏨Le Flâneur Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
In Lyon wander around the Presqu’ile District which contains architectural gems such as the opera house and city hall. Les Halles De Lyon is a great place to pick up some delicious food.
13 🚄Lyon to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine train
🚄Bellegarde to St-Gervais-les-Bains train
🚌St-Gervais to Chamonix bus (Book >)
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 12:09
Dep: 14:06
Arr: 11:58
Arr: 13:56
Arr: 14:38
🏨Chamonix Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
In Lyon get up early and take the tram up to Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica for stupendous views. After 4 hours of travel you’ll be up in the magnificent French Alps. Chamonix is a bustling, charming town from which to explore the area. This site has some excellent hiking suggestions.
14 A full day on which to enjoy some hikes, bicycle rides, rafting etc. in the shadow of Mont Blanc. The Office de la Moyenne et Haute Montagne near the tourist office is a good place to get hiking advice.
15 🚌Chamonix to Geneva bus
(Book >)
✈Geneva to Home (Book >)
Dep: 11:15
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 13:05
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this France itinerary with the Southern France & Andorra, Italy, Bruges & Ghent or Germany itinerary
Buses leave at any time from 05:45 if you need to get an earlier flight.

🇵🇹PORTUGAL

Sintra, PortugalPortugal remains excellent value for money and, with this 8-day trip, you’re sure to come away with some wonderful memories. Read about how this Portugal itinerary was put together in The Plan Workshop. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Portugal itinerary:

Luxury Lisbon, Portugal
1 ✈To Lisbon (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Avenida Palace (Book >) All hotels >
What to do in Lisbon? Wander around the pretty streets, eat pasteis de nata (I think Manteigaria is the best), taking in Belem and the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos sculpture on the waterfront. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 🚄Lisbon to Sintra train (Book >) Dep: 10:58 Arr: 11:45 🏨Sintra Marmoris Palace (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tram up to Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon then catch a train to Sintra and visit the spectacular palaces including Pena and the Palace Of Sintra. If you’ve time then walk up to the Castle of the Moors. You may want to stay overnight and visit the beaches of Praia da Ursa and Praia da Adraga. Bairro Alto in Lisbon is the place to hear Fado music. Tasca do Chico is a great place to go if you don’t want to eat.
3 🚄Sintra to Lisbon Sete Rios train (Book >)
🚄Lisbon Sete Rios to Évora train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:56
Dep: 11:45
Arr: 11:32
Arr: 13:35
🏨Convento do Espinheiro (Book >) All hotels >
See any sights you missed in Sintra then depart for Évora. Once a Roman trading town, Évora still retains traces of this civilisation, including at the Diana Temple. The Bone Chapel makes for a spooky visit and the aqueduct is also well worth seeing. Get lost in the Old Quarter – it’s the best way to get to know the city and you only need to head uphill to find yourself back at the Diana Temple.
4 🚄Evora to Lisbon Entrecampos train
(Book >)
🚌Lisbon Campo Grande to Obidos bus
(Book >)
Dep: 09:06
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 10:27

Arr: 12:00

🏨Real D’Óbidos (Book >) All hotels >
Walk around Obidos’s town walls making sure not to miss the gorgeous Porta da Vila. Soak up the atmosphere on the town’s cobbled streets. The Rapida Verde bus for Obidos is on Rua Actor Antonio Silva.
5 🚄Obidos to Coimbra train
(More info >)
Dep: 11:03 Arr: 13:12 🏨Sapientia Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
Easily explored on foot, Coimbra’s highlights include the university, Biblioteca Joanina, the old cathedral and the charming medieval downtown. Don’t miss the monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Velha and Santa Cruz. Tickets between Obidos and Coimbra cannot be booked in advance.
6 🚄Coimbra to Porto train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:31 Arr: 10:46 🏨InterContinental Palacio das Cardosas (Book >) All hotels >
Browse the books in Porto’s Livraria Lello, take in the view from Dom Luis I Bridge, visit the Palácio da Bolsa and scale the Torre dos Clérigos before visiting a port wine cellar in Gaia. Porto is famous for its azulejo tiles – keep an eye out for them when exploring the city (especially in the train station’s portico).
7 Today take a cruise down the Douro River which will take in the Carrapatelo and Crestuma-Lever dams and the charming Douro Valley town of Régua from where you’ll return to Porto. From Porto you can also embark on multi-day cruises down the Douro all the way to Spain.
8 ✈Porto to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Portugal itinerary with the Andalucia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Douro Valley, Portugal
1 ✈To Lisbon (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Britania (Book >) All hotels >
What to do in Lisbon? Wander around the pretty streets, eat pasteis de nata (I think Manteigaria is the best), taking in Belem and the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos sculpture on the waterfront. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 🚄Lisbon to Sintra train (Book >) Dep: 10:58 Arr: 11:45 🏨Sintra Bliss House (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tram up to Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon then catch a train to Sintra and visit the spectacular palaces including Pena and the Palace Of Sintra. If you’ve time then walk up to the Castle of the Moors. You may want to stay overnight and visit the beaches of Praia da Ursa and Praia da Adraga. Bairro Alto in Lisbon is the place to hear Fado music. Tasca do Chico is a great place to go if you don’t want to eat.
3 🚄Sintra Sete Rios train (Book >)
🚄Lisbon Sete Rios to Évora train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:56
Dep: 11:45
Arr: 11:32
Arr: 13:35
🏨Évora Olive Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
See any sights you missed in Sintra then depart for Évora. Once a Roman trading town, Évora still retains traces of this civilisation, including at the Diana Temple. The Bone Chapel makes for a spooky visit and the aqueduct is also well worth seeing. Get lost in the Old Quarter – it’s the best way to get to know the city and you only need to head uphill to find yourself back at the Diana Temple.
4 🚄Evora to Lisbon Entrecampos train
(Book >)
🚌Lisbon Campo Grande to Obidos bus
(Book >)
Dep: 09:06
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 10:27

Arr: 12:00

🏨Real D’Óbidos (Book >) All hotels >
Walk around Obidos’s town walls making sure not to miss the gorgeous Porta da Vila. Soak up the atmosphere on the town’s cobbled streets. The Rapida Verde bus for Obidos is on Rua Actor Antonio Silva.
5 🚄Obidos to Coimbra train
(More info >)
Dep: 11:03 Arr: 13:12 🏨Sapientia Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
Easily explored on foot, Coimbra’s highlights include the university, Biblioteca Joanina, the old cathedral and the charming medieval downtown. Don’t miss the monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Velha and Santa Cruz. Tickets between Obidos and Coimbra cannot be booked in advance.
6 🚄Coimbra to Porto train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:31 Arr: 10:46 🏨Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Browse the books in Porto’s Livraria Lello, take in the view from Dom Luis I Bridge, visit the Palácio da Bolsa and scale the Torre dos Clérigos before visiting a port wine cellar in Gaia. Porto is famous for its azulejo tiles – keep an eye out for them when exploring the city (especially in the train station’s portico).
7 Today take a cruise down the Douro River which will take in the Carrapatelo and Crestuma-Lever dams and the charming Douro Valley town of Régua from where you’ll return to Porto. From Porto you can also embark on multi-day cruises down the Douro all the way to Spain.
8 ✈Porto to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Portugal itinerary with the Andalucia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
Book a transfer to the airport.
Budget Porto, Portugal
1 ✈To Lisbon (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Lisboa Central Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
What to do in Lisbon? Wander around the pretty streets, eat pasteis de nata (I think Manteigaria is the best), taking in Belem and the impressive Padrão dos Descobrimentos sculpture on the waterfront. The Metro is the quickest and cheapest way of getting to the centre from the airport.
2 🚄Lisbon to Sintra train (Book >) Dep: 10:58 Arr: 11:45 🏨Hostel Nice Way (Book >) All hotels >
Take a tram up to Castelo de Sao Jorge in Lisbon then catch a train to Sintra and visit the spectacular palaces including Pena and the Palace Of Sintra. If you’ve time then walk up to the Castle of the Moors. You may want to stay overnight and visit the beaches of Praia da Ursa and Praia da Adraga. Lisbon’s Bairro Alto is the place to hear Fado music. Tasca do Chico is a great place to go if you don’t want to eat.
3 🚄Sintra Sete Rios train (Book >)
🚄Lisbon Sete Rios to Évora train
(Book >)
Dep: 10:56
Dep: 11:45
Arr: 11:32
Arr: 13:35
🏨Hostel Raymundo (Book >) All hotels >
See any sights you missed in Lisbon then depart for Évora. Once a Roman trading town, Évora still retains traces of this civilisation, including at the Diana Temple. The Bone Chapel makes for a spooky visit and the aqueduct is also well worth seeing. Get lost in the Old Quarter – it’s the best way to get to know the city and you only need to head uphill to find yourself back at the Diana Temple.
4 🚄Evora to Lisbon Entrecampos train
(Book >)
🚌Lisbon Campo Grande to Obidos bus
(Book >)
Dep: 09:06
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 10:27

Arr: 12:00

🏨Hostels Argonauta (Book >) All hotels >
Walk around Obidos’s town walls making sure not to miss the gorgeous Porta da Vila. Soak up the atmosphere on the town’s cobbled streets. The Rapida Verde bus for Obidos is on Rua Actor Antonio Silva.
5 🚄Obidos to Coimbra train
(More info >)
Dep: 11:03 Arr: 13:12 🏨The Luggage Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Easily explored on foot, Coimbra’s highlights include the university, Biblioteca Joanina, the old cathedral and the charming medieval downtown. Don’t miss the monasteries of Santa Clara-a-Velha and Santa Cruz. Tickets between Obidos and Coimbra cannot be booked in advance.
6 🚄Coimbra to Porto train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:31 Arr: 10:46 🏨Porto Spot Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Browse the books in Porto’s Livraria Lello, take in the view from Dom Luis I Bridge, visit the Palácio da Bolsa and scale the Torre dos Clérigos before visiting a port wine cellar in Gaia. Porto is famous for its azulejo tiles – keep an eye out for them when exploring the city (especially in the train station’s portico).
7 Today take a cruise down the Douro River which will take in the Carrapatelo and Crestuma-Lever dams and the charming Douro Valley town of Régua from where you’ll return to Porto. Café Majestic is a bit of a tourist trap, instead wander the side streets and stop in whichever takes your fancy.
8 ✈Porto to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Portugal itinerary with the Andalucia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
Purple Metro Line E runs to the airport.

🇲🇦MOROCCO

Meknes, MoroccoMorocco is one of those countries that frequently found itself at the crossroads of history. This is evident in the many ancient and exotic towns and cities. It’s also a great place from which to dip your toes into the Sahara. It also oozes with culture, amazing food and culture. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Morocco itinerary:

Luxury Marrakech, Morocco
1 ✈To Casablanca (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Le Doge(Book >) All hotels >
You’ll get to your hotel late in the evening, time to relax after your journey. Many countries have visa-free access to Morocco.
2 Begin with a visit to Hassan II Mosque, the second-largest in the world. Stroll along La Corniche then try not to get lost in the Old Medina. Close to the New Medina is the grand King’s Palace (which you can only admire from the outside!) Dress conservatively, especially if you’re a woman and especially when visiting religious buildings.
3 🚗Casablanca to Rabat drive (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 10:00 🏨Villa Mandarine (Book >) All hotels >
Meet with your personal driver who will guide you for the rest of your visit. In Rabat the must-see sights include the medieval city-within-a-city Chellah, the incomplete but intricately beautiful Hassan Tower, the verdant Andalusian gardens, the Old Medina and the amazing views from Kasbah des Oudaias. Haggling is expected. If you’re willing to dedicate time, you may be able to get up to 50% off asking price but try to go in with a price in mind.
4 🚗Rabat to Meknes drive Dep: 11:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨ChÂteau Roslane Boutique & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Take a couple more hours in Rabat to see anything you couldn’t get to yesterday. Your driver will then take you to the old imperial city of Meknes where you’ll arrive in time for lunch. Wander around Heri es-Souani and the Borj Belkari Tower, taking in the city walls and monumental gates of the old city. Many shops in the souks and medinas will only accept cash.
5 🚗Meknes to Fes drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 10:00 🏨Riad Fes Maya Suite & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the library in Fes’s Al Quaraouiyine  which, having been built in 859 AD, was considered the oldest university in the world before its conversion to a mosque. Take a look at the oldest tannery in the world at Chouara. Founded in AD 1351-56, the Medersa Bou Inania is an architectural work of art. Pick up some spices in Al-Attarine Madrasa then head up to the Merenid Tombs for sunset. Take something to cover your nose at the tannery – it’s a very smelly place.
6 🚗Fes to Merzouga drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Riad Azawad (Book >) All hotels >
Today your driver will take you to the desert village of Merzouga. Here you can visit the gargantuan dunes of Erg Chebbi which are best explored on a camel safari. Don’t use an ATV to see the dunes – they ruin the tranquility for yourself and others.
7 🚗Merzouga to Tinerhir drive Dep: 08:30 Arr: 11:30 🏨Riad Timadrouine (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the afternoon hiking in the dramatic Todra Gorge and visit the beautiful Todra Oasis. Lost? Just follow the donkey droppings!
8 🚗Tinerhir to Ouarzazate drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Le Temple Des Arts (Book >) All hotels >
Ouarzazate is a spectacular desert town and has featured in many movies. It’s best explored on foot and the main square is a buzzing place to be at sunset. Taourirt Kasbah is best viewed from the outside – no need to pay the entry fee.
9 🚗Ouarzazate to Ait Ben Haddou drive
🚗Ait Ben Haddou to Marrakech drive
Dep: 08:30

Dep: 15:00

Arr: 09:00

Arr: 19:00

🏨Riad Kheirredine (Book >) All hotels >
Your drive to Marrakech will be broken up with a small diversion to the mud brick town of Ait Ben Haddou. Climb up to the Granary for the best views. You’ll then continue on through the High Atlas and arrive in Marrakech in time for dinner. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
10-11 The souks adjacent to Djemaa El-Fna square are an excellent place to get lost and pick up some souvenirs. Admire the magnificent minaret of Koutoubia Mosque and admire the wonderful art and architecture in Ben Youssef Madrassa. Relax in a hammam and escape the bustle in the Majorelle Gardens. Djemaa El-Fna square is the place to be at sunset. It can get cold here at night, particularly in winter – remember to pack layers.
12 🚗Marrakech to Essaouira drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:00 🏨L’Heure Bleue Palais (Book >) All hotels >
Essaouira is a relaxed seaside city which has impressive ramparts along which you can walk. The strong winds here mean that you can often see kitesurfers and windsurfers. The Medina is free from most traffic but watch out for mopeds.
13 ✈Essaouira to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening Connect this Morocco itinerary with the Andalucia itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport. Full-service flights depart from Marrakech and so you may want to return there today.
Mid-range Ouarzazate, Morocco
1 ✈To Casablanca (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Hotel Odyssee Center (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll get to your hotel late in the evening, time to relax after your journey. Many countries have visa-free access to Morocco.
2 Begin with a visit to Hassan II Mosque, the second-largest in the world. Stroll along La Corniche then try not to get lost in the Old Medina. Close to the New Medina is the grand King’s Palace (which you can only admire from the outside!) Dress conservatively, especially if you’re a woman and especially when visiting religious buildings.
3 🚌Casablanca to Rabat bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 10:15 🏨Riad Kalaa (Book >) All hotels >
In Rabat the must-see sights include the medieval city-within-a-city Chellah, the incomplete but intricately beautiful Hassan Tower, the verdant Andalusian gardens, the Old Medina and the amazing views from Kasbah des Oudaias. Haggling is expected. If you’re willing to dedicate time, you may be able to get up to 50% off asking price but try to go in with a price in mind.
4 🚄Rabat to Meknes train (Book >) Dep: 11:37 Arr: 13:50 🏨Riad Lahboul (Book >) All hotels >
Take a couple more hours in Rabat to see anything you couldn’t get to yesterday, then take the train to the old imperial city of Meknes. Wander around Heri es-Souani and the Borj Belkari Tower, taking in the city walls and monumental gates of the old city. Many shops in the souks and medinas will only accept cash.
5 🚄Meknes to Fes train (Book >) Dep: 09:54 Arr: 10:35 🏨Riad El Yacout (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the library in Fes’s Al Quaraouiyine which, having been built in 859 AD, was considered the oldest university in the world before its conversion to a mosque. Pick up some spices in Al-Attarine Madrasa then head up to the Merenid Tombs for sunset. Take something to cover your nose at the tannery – it’s a very smelly place.
6 🚌Fes to Marrakech bus (Book >) Dep: 22:45 🏨On bus All hotels >
Take a look at the oldest tannery in the world at Chouara. Founded in AD 1351-56, the Medersa Bou Inania is an architectural work of art. Take earplugs and eye shades for the overnight bus.
7 🚌Fes to Marrakech bus Arr: 06:00 🏨Riad le Clos des Arts (Book >) All hotels >
The souks adjacent to Djemaa El-Fna square are an excellent place to get lost and pick up some souvenirs. Take a couple of hours to relax in a hammam. It can get cold here at night, particularly in winter – remember to pack layers.
8 🚌Marrakech to  Zagora bus
🐫Zagora to desert (Book >)
Dep: 07:30 Arr: Late afternoon 🏨Desert camp (Book >) All hotels >
Your private tour will go via Ouarzazate – a spectacular desert town which has featured in many movies and is best explored on foot. The tour then goes to Zagora where you’ll ride a camel to your desert camp. Taourirt Kasbah is best viewed from the outside – no need to pay the entry fee.
9 🐫Desert to Zagora
🚌Zagora to Marrakech bus (Book >)
Dep: Sunrise Arr: Late afternoon 🏨Riad le Clos des Arts (Book >) All hotels >
The return to Marrakech will be broken up with another visit to Ouazarzate. You’ll then continue on through the High Atlas and arrive in Marrakech in time for dinner. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
10 Admire the magnificent minaret of Koutoubia Mosque and then take in the wonderful art and architecture in Ben Youssef Madrassa. Relax in a hammam and escape the bustle in the Majorelle Gardens. Djemaa El-Fna square is the place to be at sunset. The Maison de la Photographie has amazing views from its rooftop café.
11 🚌Marrakech to Essaouira bus (Book >) Dep: 12:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Villa Quieta (Book >) All hotels >
Essaouira is a relaxed seaside city which has impressive ramparts along which you can walk. The strong winds here mean that you can often see kitesurfers and windsurfers. The Medina is free from most traffic but watch out for mopeds.
12 ✈Essaouira to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening Connect this Morocco itinerary with the Andalucia itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Budget Essaouira, Morocco
1 ✈To Casablanca (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨L’Hostel A Casablanca (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll get to your hostel late in the evening, time to relax after your journey. Many countries have visa-free access to Morocco.
2 Begin with a visit to Hassan II Mosque, the second-largest in the world. Stroll along La Corniche then try not to get lost in the Old Medina. Close to the New Medina is the grand King’s Palace (which you can only admire from the outside!) Dress conservatively, especially if you’re a woman and especially when visiting religious buildings.
3 🚌Casablanca to Rabat bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 10:15 🏨Medina Surfing Association (Book >) All hotels >
In Rabat the must-see sights include the medieval city-within-a-city Chellah, the incomplete but intricately beautiful Hassan Tower, the verdant Andalusian gardens, the Old Medina and the amazing views from Kasbah des Oudaias. Haggling is expected. If you’re willing to dedicate time, you may be able to get up to 50% off asking price but try to go in with a price in mind.
4 🚄Rabat to Meknes train (Book >) Dep: 11:37 Arr: 13:50 🏨Ryad Dar Al Meknassia(Book >) All hotels >
Take a couple more hours in Rabat to see anything you couldn’t get to yesterday, then take the train to the old imperial city of Meknes. Wander around Heri es-Souani and the Borj Belkari Tower, taking in the city walls and monumental gates of the old city. Many shops in the souks and medinas will only accept cash.
5 🚄Meknes to Fes train (Book >) Dep: 09:54 Arr: 10:35 🏨Hostel Dar Jannat (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the library in Fes’s Al Quaraouiyine which, having been built in 859 AD, was considered the oldest university in the world before its conversion to a mosque. Pick up some spices in Al-Attarine Madrasa then head up to the Merenid Tombs for sunset. Take something to cover your nose at the tannery – it’s a very smelly place.
6 🚌Fes to Marrakech bus (Book >) Dep: 22:45 🏨On bus All hotels >
Take a look at the oldest tannery in the world at Chouara. Founded in AD 1351-56, the Medersa Bou Inania is an architectural work of art. Take earplugs and eye shades for the overnight bus.
7 🚌Fes to Marrakech bus Arr: 06:00 🏨Rooftop Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
The souks adjacent to Djemaa El-Fna square are an excellent place to get lost and pick up some souvenirs. Take a couple of hours to relax in a hammam. It can get cold here at night, particularly in winter – remember to pack layers.
8 🚌Marrakech to Zagora bus
🐫Zagora to desert (Book >)
Dep: 07:30 Arr: Late afternoon 🏨Desert camp (Book >) All hotels >
Your private tour will go via Ouarzazate – a spectacular desert town which has featured in many movies and is best explored on foot. The tour then goes to Zagora where you’ll ride a camel to your desert camp. Taourirt Kasbah is best viewed from the outside – no need to pay the entry fee.
9 🐫Desert to Zagora
🚌Zagora to Marrakech bus (Book >)
Dep: Sunrise Arr: Late afternoon 🏨Rooftop Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
The return to Marrakech will be broken up with another visit to Ouazarzate. You’ll then continue on through the High Atlas and arrive in Marrakech in time for dinner. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
10 Admire the magnificent minaret of Koutoubia Mosque and then take in the wonderful art and architecture in Ben Youssef Madrassa. Relax in a hammam and escape the bustle in the Majorelle Gardens. Djemaa El-Fna square is the place to be at sunset. The Maison de la Photographie has amazing views from its rooftop café.
11 🚌Marrakech to Essaouira bus (Book >) Dep: 12:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Riad Aylal (Book >) All hotels >
Essaouira is a relaxed seaside city which has impressive ramparts along which you can walk. The strong winds here mean that you can often see kitesurfers and windsurfers. The Medina is free from most traffic but watch out for mopeds.
12 ✈Essaouira to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening Connect this Morocco itinerary with the Andalucia itinerary
Lima Bus line 2 runs to the airport every 2 hours. You may find it cheaper to return to Marrakech for the flight home.

🇮🇹ITALY

Venice, ItalyWith thousands of years of history, this trip to Italy is like visiting a museum for 16 days. It also oozes with culture, amazing food and culture. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s Italy itinerary:

Luxury Florence, Italy
1 ✈To Venice (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Moresco (Book >) All hotels >
Get lost – it’s a fun way to explore the city – then climb the Campanile to fully appreciate the labyrinthine streets and canals. We recommend being at the top when the bells ring! The Orient Express is an unforgettable overnight alternative to flying.
2-3 Wander around the Doge’s Palace, making sure you cross the Bridge of Sighs, then gaze at the ornate craftsmanship inside Saint Mark’s Basilica. Admire the masterpieces in San Sebastiano church and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, take a peaceful ride in a gondola, visit colourful Burano Island, the glass museum on Murano Island and the ancient Torcello Cathedral, stroll across the Rialto Bridge. Lost? Look up – on many buildings you will see signs pointing to St Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge and the train station.
4 🚄Venice to Verona train (Book >) Dep: 11:32 Arr: 12:30 🏨Altana Relais Verona Boutique Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
Use the morning to get to any sights in Venice that you may have missed, then in the afternoon visit Juliet’s balcony in Verona, as well as the Piazza delle Erbe, Castelvecchio and Torre dei Lamberti. In the evening take your seat at the famous arena. Be aware that you may need to bring along warm clothing to the open-air Verona Arena.
5 🚄Verona to Bologna train  (Book >) Dep: 08:52 Arr: 09:42 🏨Grand Hotel Majestic (Book >) All hotels >
Soak up the atmosphere of Piazza Maggiore then, unless you have a fear of heights, scale the steps inside Asinelli tower and look down on Garisenda (or just admire them from below). Enter the immense San Petronio basilica before visiting the Archiginnasio. The Archaelogical Museum and National Gallery are both worth spending time in. Bologna is the birthplace of bolognese (aka tagliatelle al ragù) and some of the best can be found along the laneways of Quadrilatero, off of Piazza Maggiore.
6 🚄Bologna to Florence train (Book >) Dep: 14:55 Arr: 15:30 🏨Ville sull’Arno (Book >) All hotels >
Walk up Monte della Guardia, visit Santuario di Madonna di San Luca, St. Stephen Basilica, Torre Prendiparte and the Oratory of Battuti before heading for the station. In Florence walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo and have your breath taken by the view then spend the rest of the day in the Duomo cathedral. Look up. Bologna contains almost 40 kms of beautifully decorated porticoes.
7-8 A full day of sightseeing: start with the famous Uffizi Palace and Gallery then meet the original David at Galleria dell’Accademia. Enjoy an evening stroll across Ponte Vecchioio. Take a morning or afternoon trip to Pisa to see the leaning tower and Duomo. Florence is best seen on foot so wear comfortable shoes as you’re going to be doing a lot of walking.
9 🚄Florence to Siena train (Book >) Dep: 15:34 Arr: 17:14 🏨Relais degli Angeli (Book >) All hotels >
Explore several hundred years of history at the Palazzo Vecchio, seek out the tombs of famous Florentines in Santa Croce. In the evening join in the buzz at Siena’s Piazza del Campo. You may want to visit Palazzo Vecchio on day 7 and enjoy a beautiful view of sunset from the rooftop.
10 🚌Siena to Rome bus (Book >) Dep: 14:35 Arr: 17:20 🏨The Inn At The Roman Forum (Book >) All hotels >
If you haven’t yet had enough of medieval towers then climb up the Torre del Mangia. Admire the exquisite flooring in the Cathedral and the frescoes and baptismal font in the Baptistery. See the collections at Santa Maria Della Scala then catch your bus to Rome where you can stroll around the Forum, just outside your hotel. Catch a taxi in Rome from a taxi stand – you won’t have to wait long. This site provides a handy guide to fares.
11-12 Start early on day 11 with a visit to the Colosseum and buy skip the line tickets to beat the crowds. Head across to the Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps and then the Pantheon. If time, go to the Galleria Borghese. On day 12 take a taxi to the Vatican museums and then enter the amazing St. Peter’s Basilica. End the day at Castel Sant’Angelo. Dress conservatively as you will be visiting a lot of the religious buildings.
13 🚄Rome to Naples Centrale train (Book >)
🚄Naples Garibaldi to Sorrento train
Dep: 12:15

Dep: 13:43

Arr: 13:27

Arr: 14:33

🏨Hotel La Minervetta (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll have all morning to see any sights that you may have missed. In the afternoon, after arriving in Sorrento, hire a car and cruise along the spectacular Amalfi Coast. When you arrive into Naples look for signs to Circumvesuviana – this will lead you to Naples Garibaldi station from where you can buy tickets to Sorrento (you can’t purchase them online).
14 Take the ferry across to Capri where you can embark on a Blue Grotto tour. Ride the funicolare up to the Piazzetta in Capri Town. Here you can walk to Tiberius’s Villa Jovis and the stupendous views from Villa San Michele. We recommend getting to Capri as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
15 🚄Sorrento to Naples Garibaldi train Dep: 09:07 Arr: 10:13 🏨Grand Hotel Vesuvio  (Book >) All hotels >
Once in Naples visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale and the crypt at Cappella Sansevero. In the afternoon go on a half day tour of Pompeii. Book a seat in advance for the magnificent Teatro di San Carlo. Experience the best pizza in the world at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele.
16 ✈Naples to home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening Connect this Italy itinerary with the France, Slovenia & Croatia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
You’ll have plenty of time before your flight to visit Palazzo Reale, Napoli Sotterranea and, at a push, the Catacombs of San Gennaro.
Mid-range Rome, Italy
1 ✈To Venice (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Ca’ Bonvicini (Book >) All hotels >
Get lost – it’s a fun way to explore the city – then climb the Campanile to fully appreciate the labyrinthine streets and canals. We recommend being at the top when the bells ring! Gondola ride a bit too expensive? Take a short traghetto ride across the Grand Canal instead.
2-3 Wander around the Doge’s Palace, making sure you cross the Bridge of Sighs, then gaze at the ornate craftsmanship inside Saint Mark’s Basilica. Admire the masterpieces in San Sebastiano church and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, take a peaceful ride in a gondola, visit colourful Burano Island, the glass museum on Murano Island and the ancient Torcello Cathedral, stroll across the Rialto Bridge. Vaporetto no.1 offers amazing views of Venice from a distance as well as along the Grand Canal. Lost? Look up – on many buildings you will see signs pointing to St Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge and the train station.
4 🚄Venice to Verona train (Book >) Dep: 11:32 Arr: 12:30 🏨Relais Empire (Book >) All hotels >
Use the morning to get to any sights in Venice that you may have missed, then in the afternoon visit Juliet’s balcony in Verona, as well as the Piazza delle Erbe, Castelvecchio and Torre dei Lamberti. In the evening take your seat at the famous arena. Be aware that you may need to bring along warm clothing to the open-air Verona Arena.
5 🚄Verona to Bologna train (Book >) Dep: 08:52 Arr: 09:42 🏨Aemilia Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Soak up the atmosphere of Piazza Maggiore then, unless you have a fear of heights, scale the steps inside Asinelli tower and look down on Garisenda (or just admire them from below). Enter the immense San Petronio basilica before visiting the Archiginnasio. The Archaelogical Museum and National Gallery are both worth spending time in. Bologna is the birthplace of bolognese (aka tagliatelle al ragù) and some of the best can be found along the laneways of Quadrilatero, off of Piazza Maggiore.
6 🚄Bologna to Florence train (Book >) Dep: 14:55 Arr: 15:30 🏨c-hotels Joy (Book >) All hotels >
Walk up Monte della Guardia, visit Santuario di Madonna di San Luca, St. Stephen Basilica, Torre Prendiparte and the Oratory of Battuti before heading for the station. In Florence walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo and have your breath taken by the view then spend the rest of the day in the Duomo cathedral. Look up. Bologna contains almost 40 kms of beautifully decorated porticoes.
7-8 A full day of sightseeing: start with the famous Uffizi Palace and Gallery then meet the original David at Galleria dell’Accademia. Enjoy an evening stroll across Ponte Vecchioio. Take a morning or afternoon trip to Pisa to see the leaning tower and Duomo. Florence is best seen on foot so wear comfortable shoes as you’re going to be doing a lot of walking.
9 🚄Florence to Siena train (Book >) Dep: 15:34 Arr: 17:14 🏨I Tetti di Siena (Book >) All hotels >
Explore several hundred years of history at the Palazzo Vecchio, seek out the tombs of famous Florentines in Santa Croce. In the evening join in the buzz at Siena’s Piazza del Campo. You may want to visit Palazzo Vecchio on day 7 and enjoy a beautiful view of sunset from the rooftop.
10 🚌Siena to Rome bus (Book >) Dep: 14:35 Arr: 17:20 🏨Palm Gallery Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
If you haven’t yet had enough of medieval towers then climb up the Torre del Mangia. Admire the exquisite flooring in the Cathedral and the frescoes and baptismal font in the Baptistery. See the collections at Santa Maria Della Scala then catch your bus to Rome where you can make a quick visit Galleria Borghese and surrounding gardens. Catch a taxi in Rome from a taxi stand – you won’t have to wait long. This site provides a handy guide to fares.
11-12 Start early on day 11 with a visit to the Colosseum and buy skip the line tickets to beat the crowds. Afterwards admire the grand Forum. Head across to the Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps and then the Pantheon. On day 12 take a taxi to the Vatican museums and then enter the amazing St. Peter’s Basilica. End the day at Castel Sant’Angelo. Dress conservatively as you will be visiting a lot of the religious buildings.
13 🚄Rome to Naples Centrale train (Book >)
🚄Naples Garibaldi to Sorrento train
Dep: 12:15

Dep: 13:43

Arr: 13:27

Arr: 14:33

🏨Palazzo Marziale (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll have all morning to see any sights that you may have missed. In the afternoon, after arriving in Sorrento, hire a car and cruise along the spectacular Amalfi Coast. When you arrive into Naples look for signs to Circumvesuviana – this will lead you to Naples Garibaldi station from where you can buy tickets to Sorrento (you can’t purchase them online).
14 Take the ferry across to Capri where you can embark on a Blue Grotto tour. Ride the funicolare up to the Piazzetta in Capri Town. Here you can walk to Tiberius’s Villa Jovis and the stupendous views from Villa San Michele. We recommend getting to Capri as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
15 🚄Sorrento to Naples Garibaldi train Dep: 09:07 Arr: 10:13 🏨Week-End A Napoli (Book >) All hotels >
Once in Naples visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale and the crypt at Cappella Sansevero. In the afternoon go on a half day tour of Pompeii. Book a seat in advance for the magnificent Teatro di San Carlo. Experience the best pizza in the world at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele.
16 ✈Naples to home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening Connect this Italy itinerary with the France, Slovenia & Croatia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
You’ll have plenty of time before your flight to visit Palazzo Reale, Napoli Sotterranea and, at a push, the Catacombs of San Gennaro.
Budget Amalfi Coast, Italy
1 ✈To Venice (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Anda Venice (Book >) All hotels >
Your hostel is in Mestre and buses run from just outside to Venice every 10 mins. Get lost – it’s a fun way to explore the city – then climb the Campanile to fully appreciate the labyrinthine streets and canals. We recommend being at the top when the bells ring! Gondola ride a bit too expensive? Take a short traghetto ride across the Grand Canal instead.
2-3 Wander around the Doge’s Palace, making sure you cross the Bridge of Sighs, then gaze at the ornate craftsmanship inside Saint Mark’s Basilica. Admire the masterpieces in San Sebastiano church and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection,  visit colourful Burano Island, the glass museum on Murano Island and the ancient Torcello Cathedral, stroll across the Rialto Bridge. Vaporetto no.1 offers amazing views of Venice from a distance as well as along the Grand Canal. Lost? Look up – on many buildings you will see signs pointing to St Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge and the train station.
4 🚄Venice to Verona train (Book >) Dep: 11:32 Arr: 12:30 🏨The Hostello (Book >) All hotels >
Use the morning to get to any sights in Venice that you may have missed, then in the afternoon visit Juliet’s balcony in Verona, as well as the Piazza delle Erbe, Castelvecchio and Torre dei Lamberti. In the evening take your seat at the famous arena – the cheapest tickets are on the stone steps but on a first-come-first-served basis. Be aware that you may need to bring along warm clothing to the open-air Verona Arena. Take something to sit on too – the stone steps aren’t comfortable!
5 🚄Verona to Bologna train (Book >) Dep: 08:52 Arr: 09:42 🏨Il Nosadillo (Book >) All hotels >
Soak up the atmosphere of Piazza Maggiore then, unless you have a fear of heights, scale the steps inside Asinelli tower and look down on Garisenda (or just admire them from below). Enter the immense San Petronio basilica before visiting the Archiginnasio. The Archaelogical Museum and National Gallery are both worth spending time in (you may want to buy a Bologna Welcome card). Bologna is the birthplace of bolognese (aka tagliatelle al ragù) and some of the best can be found along the laneways of Quadrilatero, off of Piazza Maggiore.
6 🚄Bologna to Florence train (Book >) Dep: 14:55 Arr: 15:30 🏨Hostel Gallo d’Oro (Book >) All hotels >
Walk up Monte della Guardia, visit Santuario di Madonna di San Luca, St. Stephen Basilica, Torre Prendiparte and the Oratory of Battuti before heading for the station. In Florence walk up to Piazzale Michelangelo and have your breath taken by the view then spend the rest of the day in the Duomo cathedral. Look up. Bologna contains almost 40 kms of beautifully decorated porticoes.
7-8 A full day of sightseeing: start with the famous Uffizi Palace and Gallery then meet the original David at Galleria dell’Accademia. Enjoy an evening stroll across Ponte Vecchioio. Take a morning or afternoon trip to Pisa to see the leaning tower and Duomo. Florence is best seen on foot so wear comfortable shoes as you’re going to be doing a lot of walking.
9 🚄Florence to Siena train (Book >) Dep: 15:34 Arr: 17:14 🏨Hostel Guidoriccio (Book >) All hotels >
Explore several hundred years of history at the Palazzo Vecchio, seek out the tombs of famous Florentines in Santa Croce. In the evening join in the buzz at Siena’s Piazza del Campo. You may want to visit Palazzo Vecchio on day 7 and enjoy a beautiful view of sunset from the rooftop.
10 🚌Siena to Rome bus (Book >) Dep: 14:35 Arr: 17:20 🏨Meininger Roma Termini (Book >) All hotels >
If you haven’t yet had enough of medieval towers then climb up the Torre del Mangia. Admire the exquisite flooring in the Cathedral and the frescoes and baptismal font in the Baptistery. See the collections at Santa Maria Della Scala then catch your bus to Rome where you can stroll around the Forum, just outside your hotel. The Rome Metro is cheap and easy to use. You may want to get a Roma Pass which could save you money on entry tickets and travel.
11-12 Start early on day 11 with a visit to the Colosseum and buy skip the line tickets to beat the crowds. Head across to the Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps and then the Pantheon. If time, go to the Galleria Borghese. On day 12 take the Metro to Cipro station and visit the Vatican museums and then enter the amazing St. Peter’s Basilica. End the day at Castel Sant’Angelo. Dress conservatively as you will be visiting a lot of the religious buildings.
13 🚄Rome to Naples Centrale train (Book >)
🚄Naples Garibaldi to Sorrento train
Dep: 12:15

Dep: 13:43

Arr: 13:27

Arr: 14:33

🏨Ulisse Deluxe Hostel  (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll have all morning to see any sights that you may have missed. In the afternoon, after arriving in Sorrento, take a bus along the spectacular Amalfi Coast. When you arrive into Naples look for signs to Circumvesuviana – this will lead you to Naples Garibaldi station from where you can buy tickets to Sorrento (you can’t purchase them online).
14 Take the ferry across to Capri where you can embark on a Blue Grotto tour. Walk up to the Piazzetta in Capri Town. Here you can continue on to Tiberius’s Villa Jovis and the stupendous views from Villa San Michele. We recommend getting to Capri as early as possible to avoid the crowds.
15 🚄Sorrento to Naples Garibaldi train Dep: 09:07 Arr: 10:13 🏨Naples Experience Hostel  (Book >) All hotels >
Take the train to Pompei Scavi to visit the ruined city. In Naples visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale and the crypt at Cappella Sansevero. In the late afternoon go on a guided tour of Teatro di San Carlo. Experience the best pizza in the world at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele.
16 ✈Naples to home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening Connect this Italy itinerary with the France, Slovenia & Croatia or Southern France & Andorra itinerary
You’ll have plenty of time before your flight to visit Palazzo Reale, Napoli Sotterranea and, at a push, the Catacombs of San Gennaro.

🇿🇦SOUTH AFRICA

Cape Town, South AfricaA two-week holiday that takes in the best of this stunningly beautiful country. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your South Africa itinerary:

Luxury Addo, South Africa
1 ✈To Port Elizabeth (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨In flight!
Fuel stations in South Africa are not self-service. Remember to tip the attendant.
2 ✈To Port Elizabeth
🚗Port Elizabeth to Knysna drive (Hire car >)
Dep: 15:30 Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 18:30
🏨Amanzi Island Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Collect your car and drive straight to Knysna. Speed limits are strictly adhered to in South Africa.
3 Kayak in the bay, go whale watching, relax on nearby Plettenberg’s beaches, drive back along the road to Tsitsikamma or simply use your first full day chill out in this beautiful town. Although June to November is the best time to see whales, they can be spotted year-round.
4 🚗Knysna to Hermanus drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨Auberge Provence (Book >) All hotels >
You have all day to make this 4.5 hour drive, so use it to make a stop at the old-fashioned seaside resort of Mossel Bay before arriving into Hermanus to get down to some serious whale watching. It’s possible to spot whales by standing on the shoreline in Hermanus.
5 🚗Hermanus to Stellenbosch drive Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Boschendal Cottages (Book >) All hotels >
Studded with pretty vineyard estates, Stellenbosch is the perfect place to sample the best that South Africa has to offer. You will need to buy a glass to taste the wines in most cellars.
6 🚗Stellenbosch to Cape Town drive Dep: 14:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Cape Grace Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a morning amongst the beautiful Stellenbosch scenery before returning the car in Cape Town. You will arrive in the city in time to get the aerial cableway up Table Mountain. It is safe to see sunset from Table Mountain.
7 Start your day with a journey to Robben Island to learn about the conditions suffered by its inmates. Back in town go on a free walking tour of the city and make sure you visit the V&A Waterfront and pretty Bo-Kaap Cape Town boasts many excellent restaurants – be sure to book ahead.
8-9 🚄Cape Town to Pretoria train (Book >) Dep: 14:30 🏨Train (Book >)
You have the morning of day 8 to see any Cape Town sights you may have missed before boarding the train to Pretoria. You will need to dress smartly on the train.
10 🚄Cape Town to Pretoria train
🚗Pretoria to Kruger drive (Hire car >)
Dep: 11:00 Arr: 10:00

Arr: 16:00

🏨Kapama River Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Long drive into the depths of Kruger National Park, spotting wildlife along the way. Malaria is present in Kruger – make sure you have adequate protection.
11-12 Over the next couple of days you’ll enjoy game drives to see the Big Five alongside the other fascinating creatures who call this place home. Don’t forget to bring binoculars.
13-14 🚗Kruger to Johannesburg drive
✈Johannesburg to home (Book >)
Dep: 10:00Dep: Evening Arr: 15:00Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this South Africa itinerary with the Ethiopia or Tanzania itinerary
Leave plenty of time for your drive back to the airport.
Mid-range Garden Route, South Africa
1 ✈To Port Elizabeth (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨In flight!
Fuel stations in South Africa are not self-service. Remember to tip the attendant.
2 ✈To Port Elizabeth flight
🚗Port Elizabeth to Knysna drive (Hire car >)
Dep: 15:30 Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 18:30
🏨Amanzi Island Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Collect your car and drive straight to Knysna. Speed limits are strictly adhered to in South Africa.
3 Kayak in the bay, go whale watching, relax on nearby Plettenberg’s beaches, drive back along the road to Tsitsikamma or simply use your first full day chill out in this beautiful town. Although June to November is the best time to see whales, they can be spotted year-round.
4 🚗Knysna to Hermanus drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨138 Marine Beachfront Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
You have all day to make this 4.5 hour drive, so use it to make a stop at the old-fashioned seaside resort of Mossel Bay before arriving into Hermanus to get down to some serious whale watching. It’s possible to spot whales by standing on the shoreline in Hermanus.
5 🚗Hermanus to Stellenbosch drive Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Wild Mushroom Luxury Country House (Book >) All hotels >
Studded with pretty vineyard estates, Stellenbosch is the perfect place to sample the best that South Africa has to offer. You will need to buy a glass to taste the wines in most cellars.
6 🚗Stellenbosch to Cape Town drive Dep: 14:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Cape Heritage Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a morning amongst the beautiful Stellenbosch scenery before returning the car in Cape Town. You will arrive in the city in time to get the aerial cableway up Table Mountain. It is safe to see sunset from Table Mountain.
7 Start your day with a journey to Robben Island to learn about the conditions suffered by its inmates. Back in town go on a free walking tour of the city and make sure you visit the V&A Waterfront and pretty Bo-Kaap Cape Town boasts many excellent restaurants – be sure to book ahead.
8 ✈Cape Town to Nelspruit flight (Book >)
🚗Nelspruit to Grietjie drive (Hire car >)
Dep: Morning

Dep: 13:30

Arr: Afternoon

Arr: 16:30

🏨Casart Game Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Drive the Panorama Route to Grietjie Nature Reserve on the edge of Kruger. Look out for potholes when driving here.
9-11 Over the next few days you’ll enjoy game drives to see the Big Five alongside the other fascinating creatures who call this place home. Don’t forget to bring binoculars.
12 🚗Grietjie to Johannesburg drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Cotswold Gardens (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy as museum or two when you arrive into Jo’burg. The fastest route is a toll road.
13 ✈Johannesburg to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this South Africa itinerary with the Ethiopia or Tanzania itinerary
More time to see Jo’burgs museums and galleries.
Budget Stellenbosch, South Africa
1 ✈To Port Elizabeth (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨In flight!
Port Elizabeth airport is close to downtown and so taxis will be cheap.
2 ✈To Port Elizabeth Arr: Afternoon 🏨Riverfront Backpackers (Book >) All hotels >
Walk the Donkin Heritage Trail and relax on the city’s stunning beaches. Public buses are a good way to get about the city. Schedules can be found here.
3 🚌Port Elizabeth to Knysna bus (Book >) Dep: 06:45 Arr: 12:45 🏨Jembjo’s Knysna Lodge & Backpackers  (Book >) All hotels >
An early start but it’s worth it for having the afternoon in beautiful Knysna. Knysna has a mild climate throughout the year.
4 🚌Knysna to Hermanus bus (Book >) Dep: 12:45 Arr: 19:30 🏨Zoete Inval Travellers Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
After a relaxing morning in Knysna enjoy the stunning drive to Hermanus. It’s possible to spot whales by standing on the shoreline in Hermanus.
5 🚌Hermanus to Stellenbosch bus (Book >) Dep: 19:30 Arr: 20:15 🏨Stumble Inn Backpackers Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Get up close to the whales with a walk along the cliffs or a cruise. Although June to November is the best time to see whales, they can be spotted year-round.
6 🚌Stellenbosch to Cape Town bus (Book >) Dep: 20:15 Arr: 21:30 🏨Big Blue Backpackers (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a day amongst the beautiful Stellenbosch scenery taking the bus to Cape Town. You will need to buy a glass to taste the wines in most Stellenbosch cellars.
7 Start your day with a journey to Robben Island to learn about the conditions suffered by its inmates. Back in town go on a free walking tour of the city and make sure you visit the V&A Waterfront and pretty Bo-Kaap Cape Town boasts many excellent restaurants – be sure to book ahead.
8 ✈Cape Town to Johannesburg flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Outlook Lodge O.R. Tambo (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy more Cape Town sights including the aerial cableway up Table Mountain. It’s safe to take the cableway up Table Mountain at any time of day.
9 🚌Johannesburg to Masodini bus (Book >) Dep: 06:45 Arr: 13:00 🏨Masodini Game Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Take the transfer bus from Jo’burg airport to Masodini where you can commence your safari. The Kruger area is malarial so please take precautions.
10-11 Over the next couple of days you’ll enjoy game drives to see the Big Five alongside the other fascinating creatures who call this place home. Don’t forget to bring binoculars.
12 🚌Masodini to Johannesburg bus (Book >) Dep: 10:45 Arr: 17:00 🏨CurioCity Backpackers (Book >) All hotels >
Your hostel offers tours, as well as activities such as yoga on the roof. You’re staying in a lively and safe part of the city.
13 ✈Johannesburg to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this South Africa itinerary with the Ethiopia or Tanzania itinerary
Time to see some of Jo’burgs museums and galleries.

🇮🇳INDIA (RAJASTHAN)

Taj Mahal, IndiaA two-week holiday which takes in the incredible sights of Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Rajasthan – India itinerary:

Luxury Jaipur, Rajasthan
1 ✈To Delhi (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨The Leela Palace (Book >) All hotels >
Hit the ground running and immerse yourself in Khari Baoli spice market and labyrinthine Janpath Market. Escape the bustle in the Red Fort. The Delhi Metro Airport Express Line is a fast and easy way of getting into the city.
3 🚄New Delhi to Agra Cantt train (Book >) Dep: 08:10 Arr: 09:50 🏨Crystal Sarovar Premiere (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll need a full day to enjoy the grandeur of the magnificent Taj Mahal (see here for ticket info). You will need to register with IRCTC before buying a ticket on their site.
4 🚄Agra Cantt to Jaipur train (Book >) Dep: 07:15 Arr: 12:50 🏨Jai Mahal Palace (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Amer Fort. Back in town admire the pink Wind Palace We highly recommend buying train tickets as far in advance as possible.
5 🚕Jaipur to Pushkar drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:45 🏨The Westin
(Book >)
All hotels >
Join the crowds in Brahma Temple and walk around Pushkar Lake. When the heat of the day eases walk up to Savitri Temple and admire the view. Arrange the private car and driver to Pushkar with your Jaipur hotel.
6 🚕Pushkar to Jodhpur drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Vivanta by Taj Hari Mahal (Book >) All hotels >
A little time in the morning to see more Pushkar sights (such as Rangji temple). In Jodhpur stroll around intricate Jaswant Thada then join the throngs in the Old City markets and peer into the Step Well. Tip your driver up to 400 rupees/day.
7 Dedicate a few hours to see the immense Mehrangarh Fort. If you’ve spare time then a cookery class can be huge fun. The Mehrangarh Fort audio tour really brings the place to life.
8 🚄Jodhpur JN to Jaisalmer train (Book >) Dep: 05:20 Arr: 11:45 🏨Marriott Resort & Spa
(Book >)
All hotels >
You’re now on the edge of the Thar desert. Arrange your desert trip then explore Jaisalmer Fort (the highlight of which is the Jain temples) and Patwon-Ki-Haveli If someone tells you that your hotel is closed and to follow you to another, don’t believe them.
9-10 Two days in the Thar desert. Before long the noise of the city will be replaced with blissful silence. Your camel will carry you past Bada Bagh into the dunes where your guides will treat you like royalty. Bring something comfortable and padded to sit on…hours on camel back can be uncomfortable!
11 🚕Jaisalmer to Udaipur drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 20:00 🏨Taj Lake Palace (Book >) All hotels >
Long drive, broken up with a visit to Ranakpur’s impressive Jain temple. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
12 Enjoy a relaxing day around Udaipur’s Lake Pichola. Stroll to Gangaur Ghat then wander around Bagore Ki Haveli. Take a late afternoon boat ride to Jag Mandir. Ambrai Ghat is perhaps the best spot for sunset. When visiting temples you should always dress modestly.
13 🚄Udaipur to New Delhi train (Book >) Dep: 18:15 🏨Train (Book >)
The City Palace Complex is bursting with heritage and stunning architecture, as well as the occasional beautiful lake view. Jagdish Temple is well worth a visit. First Class (AC1) should provide you with plenty of comfort for your night train journey.
14 🚄Udaipur to New Delhi train
✈New Delhi to home (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: 06:35

Arr: Evening

Connect this Rajasthan – India itinerary with the Nepal itinerary
Refresh and relax at the airport day use hotel before your flight.
Mid-range Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
1 ✈To Delhi (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Park Plaza (Book >) All hotels >
Hit the ground running and immerse yourself in Khari Baoli spice market and labyrinthine Janpath Market. Escape the bustle in the Red Fort. The Delhi Metro Airport Express Line is a fast and easy way of getting into the city.
3 🚄New Delhi to Agra Cantt train (Book >) Dep: 08:10 Arr: 09:50 🏨Four Points by Sheraton (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll need a full day to enjoy the grandeur of the magnificent Taj Mahal (see here for ticket info). Your hotel has been picked for the wonderful view of the Taj Mahal. You will need to register with IRCTC before buying a ticket on their site.
4 🚄Agra Cantt to Jaipur train (Book >) Dep: 07:15 Arr: 12:50 🏨Shahpura House (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Amer Fort. Back in town admire the pink Wind Palace We highly recommend buying train tickets as far in advance as possible.
5 🚕Jaipur to Pushkar drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:45 🏨Hotel Brahma Horizon (Book >) All hotels >
Join the crowds in Brahma Temple and walk around Pushkar Lake. When the heat of the day eases walk up to Savitri Temple and admire the view. Arrange the private car and driver to Pushkar with your Jaipur hotel.
6 🚕Pushkar to Jodhpur driver Dep: 10:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Vivanta by Taj Hari Mahal (Book >) All hotels >
A little time in the morning to see more Pushkar sights (such as Rangji temple). In Jodhpur stroll around intricate Jaswant Thada then join the throngs in the Old City markets and peer into the Step Well. Tip your driver up to 400 rupees/day.
7 Dedicate a few hours to see the immense Mehrangarh Fort. If you’ve spare time then a cookery class can be huge fun. The Mehrangarh Fort audio tour really brings the place to life.
8 🚄Jodhpur JN to Jaisalmer train (Book >) Dep: 05:20 Arr: 11:45 🏨Lalgarh Fort and Palace (Book >) All hotels >
You’re now on the edge of the Thar desert. Arrange your desert trip then explore Jaisalmer Fort (the highlight of which is the Jain temples) and Patwon-Ki-Haveli If someone tells you that your hotel is closed and to follow you to another, don’t believe them.
9-10 Two days in the Thar desert. Before long the noise of the city will be replaced with blissful silence. Your camel will carry you past Bada Bagh into the dunes where your guides will treat you like royalty. Bring something comfortable and padded to sit on…hours on camel back can be uncomfortable!
11 🚕Jaisalmer to Udaipur drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 20:00 🏨Madri Haveli (Book >) All hotels >
Long drive, broken up with a visit to Ranakpur’s impressive Jain temple. Learn a few local words before you travel to India
12 Enjoy a relaxing day around Udaipur’s Lake Pichola. Stroll to Gangaur Ghat then wander around Bagore Ki Haveli. Take a late afternoon boat ride to Jag Mandir. Ambrai Ghat is perhaps the best spot for sunset. When visiting temples you should always dress modestly.
13 🚄Udaipur to New Delhi train (Book >) Dep: 18:15 🏨Train (Book >)
The City Palace Complex is bursting with heritage and stunning architecture, as well as the occasional beautiful lake view. Jagdish Temple is well worth a visit. Second Class (AC2) should provide you with plenty of comfort for your night train journey.
14 🚄Udaipur to New Delhi train
✈New Delhi to home (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: 06:35

Arr: Evening

Connect this Rajasthan – India itinerary with the Nepal itinerary
Refresh and relax at the airport day use hotel before your flight.
Budget Udaipur, Rajasthan
1 ✈To Delhi (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Check In Room Sangatrashan
(Book >)
All hotels >
Hit the ground running and immerse yourself in Khari Baoli spice market and labyrinthine Janpath Market. Escape the bustle in the Red Fort. The Delhi Metro Airport Express Line is a fast and easy way of getting into the city.
3 🚄New Delhi to Agra Cantt train (Book >) Dep: 08:10 Arr: 09:50 🏨Agra – Regal Vista (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll need a full day to enjoy the grandeur of the magnificent Taj Mahal (see here for ticket info). You will need to register with IRCTC before buying a ticket on their site.
4 🚄Agra Cantt to Jaipur train (Book >) Dep: 07:15 Arr: 12:50 🏨Pearl Palace (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Amer Fort. Back in town admire the pink Wind Palace We highly recommend buying train tickets as far in advance as possible.
5 🚌Jaipur to Pushkar bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 11:00 🏨The Countryside Resort
(Book >)
All hotels >
Join the crowds in Brahma Temple and walk around Pushkar Lake. When the heat of the day eases walk up to Savitri Temple and admire the view. Take travel sickness pills if needed – bus journeys in India can be uncomfortable.
6 🚌Pushkar to Jodhpur bus (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Hotel Govind (Book >) All hotels >
A little time in the morning to see more Pushkar sights (such as Rangji temple). In Jodhpur stroll around intricate Jaswant Thada then join the throngs in the Old City markets and peer into the Step Well. Plan your visits in India carefully to avoid burnout.
7 Dedicate a few hours to see the immense Mehrangarh Fort. If you’ve spare time then a cookery class can be huge fun. The Mehrangarh Fort audio tour really brings the place to life.
8 🚄Jodhpur JN to Jaisalmer train (Book >) Dep: 05:20 Arr: 11:45 🏨Royal Haveli
(Book >)
All hotels >
You’re now on the edge of the Thar desert. Arrange your desert trip then explore Jaisalmer Fort (the highlight of which is the Jain temples) and Patwon-Ki-Haveli If someone tells you that your hotel is closed and to follow you to another, don’t believe them.
9-10 Two days in the Thar desert. Before long the noise of the city will be replaced with blissful silence. Your camel will carry you past Bada Bagh into the dunes where your guides will treat you like royalty. Bring something comfortable and padded to sit on…hours on camel back can be uncomfortable!
11 🚌Jaisalmer to Udaipur bus (Book >) Dep: 17:30 🏨Aashiya Haveli (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing day in Jaisalmer before the overnight bus journey Learn a few local words before you travel to India
12 🚌Jaisalmer to Udaipur bus Arr: 06:00 🏨Aashiya Haveli (Book >) All hotels >
Stroll to Gangaur Ghat then wander around Bagore Ki Haveli. Take a late afternoon boat ride to Jag Mandir. Ambrai Ghat is perhaps the best spot for sunset. When visiting temples you should always dress modestly.
13 🚄Udaipur to New Delhi train (Book >) Dep: 18:15 🏨Train (Book >)
The City Palace Complex is bursting with heritage and stunning architecture, as well as the occasional beautiful lake view. Jagdish Temple is well worth a visit. Second Class (AC2) should provide you with plenty of comfort for your night train journey.
14 🚄Udaipur to New Delhi train
✈New Delhi to home (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: 06:35

Arr: Evening

Connect this Rajasthan – India itinerary with the Nepal itinerary
Refresh and relax at the airport day use hotel before your flight.

🇻🇳VIETNAM

Halong Bay, VietnamAn action-packed two week Vietnam holiday that combines all the best that this magnificent country has to offer? Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Vietnam itinerary:

Luxury Hoi An, Vietnam
1 ✈To Ho Chi Minh City (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨The Reverie (Book >) All hotels >
Must-sees include the War Remnants Museum, bustling Binh Tay Market, Cao Dai Temple, Jade Emperor Pagoda and the Reunification Palace.
3 🚄Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang train (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 16:23 🏨Vinpearl Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy the view from the window as you glide past tall hills and lush fields on train SE6. Seat 61 recommends buying tickets at least a few days in advance.
4 Buzzing Nha Trang is that perfect combination of excellent nightlife, sublime beaches and top notch snorkelling and diving. Take a taxi to the 8th Century Cham Towers on the edge of town.
5 Nha Trang to Da Nang flight (Book >)
🚕Da Nang to Hoi An taxi
Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨La Siesta(Book >) All hotels >
Hoi An packs in a lot to see and do. Hop on a bicycle and explore the countryside, take a cooking class, wander through the old town and visit the Quan Kong Temple, March Gallery, Cau Chua Pagoda and Xu Dang Trong Arts Centre. The views from An Hoi island across the water to town are best viewed from a café or bar at night – spectacular.
6 Not only does Hoi An have temples, pagodas, galleries, cooking schools etc., it also has a stunning beach. Perfect for relaxing after all that sightseeing. The beach is a short cycle ride from town.
7 🚕Hoi An to Da Nang taxi
🚄Da Nang to Hue (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 12:45

Arr: 12:15

Arr: 15:26

🏨La Residence Hotel & Spa
(Book >)
All hotels >
Hue is an ancient capital of Vietnam, with evidence of this heritage all around. The Citadel is in the middle of town and comprises four separate cities within. Entrance fee information can be found here.
8 Take a tour along the Perfume River to Hon Chen temple and Minh Mang mausoleum. Don’t miss Truong Tien bridge, built by Gustav Eiffel. When crossing a road in Vietnam walk slowly in a straight line and without stopping – the motorbikes will simply flow around you.
9 ✈Hue to Hanoi flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel La Siesta (Book >) All hotels >
Pack in visits to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Perfume Pagoda and Temple of Literature. See Hoan Kiem Lake  at sunset Book many months in advance if visiting during January or February.
10 🚕Hanoi to Ha Long City transfer
⛴Ha Long City to Ha Long Bay boat(Book >)
Dep: 08:00 🏨Swan Cruises (Book >) All hotels and cruises >
It won’t be long until you’re floating along the serene waters of Halong Bay towards Cap La Island. Your cruise includes excursions such as kayaking
11 Visit Thay cave and Vung Vieng village. You may want to bring your own drinks on board.
12 ⛴Ha Long Bay to Ha Long City boat
🚕Ha Long City to Hanoi transfer
Arr: 16:30 🏨Hotel La Siesta (Book >) All hotels >
Cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay to Thien Canh Son Cave. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent.
13 Take a day tour to meet the hill tribe people in Hoa Binh and Giang Mo villages. It’s possible to journey on to Laos from Hanoi if you wish to extend your trip.
14 ✈Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh flight
✈Ho Chi Minh to home (Book >)
Dep: Night Arr: Morning Connect this Vietnam itinerary with the China, Cambodia or Thailand itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Nha Trang, Vietnam
1 ✈To Ho Chi Minh City (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel L’Odeon (Book >) All hotels >
Must-sees include the War Remnants Museum, bustling Binh Tay Market, Cao Dai Temple, Jade Emperor Pagoda and the Reunification Palace.
3 🚄Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang train (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 16:23 🏨Novotel (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy the view from the window as you glide past tall hills and lush fields on train SE6. Seat 61 recommends buying tickets at least a few days in advance.
4 🚄Nha Trang to Da Nang train (Book >) Dep: 23:51 🏨Train (Book >)
Buzzing Nha Trang is that perfect combination of excellent nightlife, sublime beaches and top notch snorkelling and diving. Take a taxi to the 8th Century Cham Towers on the edge of town.
5 🚄Nha Trang to Da Nang train
🚕Da Nang to Hoi An taxi
Dep: 10:00 Arr: 09:48
Arr: 10:45
🏨Lantana Rivderside (Book >) All hotels >
Hoi An packs in a lot to see and do. Hop on a bicycle and explore the countryside, take a cooking class, wander through the old town and visit the Quan Kong Temple, March Gallery, Cau Chua Pagoda and Xu Dang Trong Arts Centre. The views from An Hoi island across the water to town are best viewed from a café or bar at night – spectacular.
6 Not only does Hoi An have temples, pagodas, galleries, cooking schools etc., it also has a stunning beach. Perfect for relaxing after all that sightseeing. The beach is a short cycle ride from town.
7 🚕Hoi An to Da Nang taxi
🚄Da Nang to Hue train (Book >)
Dep: 11:30

Dep: 12:45

Arr: 12:15

Arr: 15:26

🏨The Scarlett
(Book >)
All hotels >
Hue is an ancient capital of Vietnam, with evidence of this heritage all around. The Citadel is in the middle of town and comprises four separate cities within. Entrance fee information can be found here.
8 🚄Hue to Hanoi train (Book >) Dep: 16:26 🏨Train
(Book >)
Take a tour along the Perfume River to Hon Chen temple and Minh Mang mausoleum. Don’t miss Truong Tien bridge, built by Gustav Eiffel. When crossing a road in Vietnam walk slowly in a straight line and without stopping – the motorbikes will simply flow around you.
9 🚄Hue to Hanoi train Arr: 05:30 🏨Trendy Hotel & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Pack in visits to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Perfume Pagoda and Temple of Literature. See Hoan Kiem Lake at sunset Book many months in advance if visiting during January or February.
10 🚕Hanoi to Ha Long City transfer
⛴Ha Long City to Ha Long Bay boat (Book >)
Dep: 08:00 🏨Swan Cruises (Book >) All hotels and cruises >
It won’t be long until you’re floating along the serene waters of Halong Bay towards Cap La Island. Your cruise includes excursions such as kayaking
11 Visit Thay cave and Vung Vieng village. You may want to bring your own drinks on board.
12 ⛴Ha Long Bay to Ha Long City boat
🚕Ha Long City to Hanoi transfer
Arr: 16:30 🏨Trendy Hotel & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay to Thien Canh Son Cave. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent.
13 Take a day tour to meet the hill tribe people in Hoa Binh and Giang Mo villages. It’s possible to journey on to Laos from Hanoi if you wish to extend your trip.
14 ✈Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh flight
✈Ho Chi Minh to home (Book >)
Dep: Night Arr: Morning Connect this Vietnam itinerary with the China, Cambodia or Thailand itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Budget Hue, Vietnam
1 ✈To Ho Chi Minh City (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨New Saigon Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Must-sees include the War Remnants Museum, bustling Binh Tay Market, Cao Dai Temple, Jade Emperor Pagoda and the Reunification Palace.
3 🚄Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang train (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 16:23 🏨Mojzo Dorm (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy the view from the window as you glide past tall hills and lush fields on train SE6. Seat 61 recommends buying tickets at least a few days in advance.
4 🚄Nha Trang to Da Nang train (Book >) Dep: 23:51 🏨Train (Book >)
Buzzing Nha Trang is that perfect combination of excellent nightlife, sublime beaches and top notch snorkelling and diving. Take a taxi to the 8th Century Cham Towers on the edge of town.
5 🚄Nha Trang to Da Nang train
🚌Da Nang to Hoi An shuttle
Dep: 10:00 Arr: 09:48

Arr: 11:00

🏨SacLo Homestay and Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Hoi An packs in a lot to see and do. Hop on a bicycle and explore the countryside, take a cooking class, wander through the old town and visit the Quan Kong Temple, March Gallery, Cau Chua Pagoda and Xu Dang Trong Arts Centre. Contact your hostel to arrange a shuttle from the train station.
6 Not only does Hoi An have temples, pagodas, galleries, cooking schools etc., it also has a stunning beach. Perfect for relaxing after all that sightseeing. The beach is a short cycle ride from town.
7 🚌Hoi An to Da Nang shuttle
🚄Da Nang to Hue train (Book >)
Dep: 11:15

Dep: 12:45

Arr: 12:15

Arr: 15:26

🏨Happy Homestay
(Book >)
All hotels >
Hue is an ancient capital of Vietnam, with evidence of this heritage all around. The Citadel is in the middle of town and comprises four separate cities within. Entrance fee information can be found here.
8 🚄Hue to Hanoi train (Book >) Dep: 16:26 🏨Train
(Book >)
All hotels >
Take a tour along the Perfume River to Hon Chen temple and Minh Mang mausoleum. Don’t miss Truong Tien bridge, built by Gustav Eiffel. When crossing a road in Vietnam walk slowly in a straight line and without stopping – the motorbikes will simply flow around you.
9 🚄Hue to Hanoi train Arr: 05:30 🏨Old Quarter View Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Pack in visits to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long, Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, Perfume Pagoda and Temple of Literature. See Hoan Kiem Lake at sunset Book many months in advance if visiting during January or February.
10 🚌Hanoi to Ha Long City shuttle
⛴Ha Long City to Ha Long Bay boat(Book >)
Dep: 08:00 🏨Bhaya Cruises (Book >) All hotels and cruises >
It won’t be long until you’re floating along the serene waters of Halong Bay towards Cap La Island. It is definitely worth spending a little more to get a good quality Halong Bay cruise.
11 Visit Thay cave and Vung Vieng village. You may want to bring your own drinks on board.
12 ⛴Ha Long Bay to Ha Long City boat
🚌Ha Long City to Hanoi shuttle
Arr: 16:30 🏨Old Quarter View Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Cruise through Bai Tu Long Bay to Thien Canh Son Cave. Don’t forget to bring insect repellent.
13 Take a day tour to meet the hill tribe people in Hoa Binh and Giang Mo villages. It’s possible to journey on to Laos from Hanoi if you wish to extend your trip.
14 ✈Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh flight
✈Ho Chi Minh to home (Book >)
Dep: Night Arr: Morning Connect this Vietnam itinerary with the China, Cambodia or Thailand itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.

🇨🇱NORTHERN CHILE

Valparaiso, ChileBeaches, vineyards, mountains and fascinating cities – what more could you ask for? Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Northern Chile itinerary:

Luxury Vineyard, Chile
1 ✈To Santiago (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨The Aubrey (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the city’s many museums (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano is our favourite), all the while marvelling at the dramatic Andes in the background.
3 If it’s a clear day head up the Sky Costanera tower, otherwise wander around the Plaza de Armas or visit Villa Grimaldi (free, but donations appreciated) where you can learn about life under Pinochet. You’ll need to buy a (wonderfully-named) Bip! card to travel on the easy-to-use metro.
4 🚗Santiago to Cajon del Maipo drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 10:30 🏨Cascada de las Animas (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the day hiking, biking, rafting…or simply relaxing in the Andes. Bring cash – there are no ATMs in the valley.
5-6 🚗Cajon del Maipo to Santa Cruz drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Posada Colchagua (Book >) All hotels >
Santa Cruz has the perfect setting; rolling grasslands, endless vineyards and Andean foothills. The town itself is picture perfect. Visit the museum, sample some wine and enjoy! Take a vineyard tour from town so that you don’t need to worry about designated drivers.
7-8 🚗Santa Cruz to Valparaiso drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:00 🏨Hotel Boutique Acontraluz
(Book >)
All hotels >
Two days to explore the colourful, enigmatic city of Valparaiso. Take the Peral elevator up to bustling Cerro Alegre, stroll along Ruben Dario walk, admire the view on Cerro Concepcion and visit Neruda’s modernist La Sebastiana home. Enjoy exquisite fish dishes in Caleta Portales.
9 🚗Valparaiso to Zapallar drive Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Casa Zapallar (Book >) All hotels >
A beautiful Pacific beach awaits you in Zapallar – the perfect picturesque pit stop on your way north. Book many months in advance if visiting during January or February.
10 🚗Zapallar to La Serena drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Enjoy Coquimbo (Book >) All hotels >
Unforgettable drive along the coast to historic La Serena. The Plaza de Armas features buildings such as the cathedral and Museo Histórico Regional. Write to ctio@noao.edu to apply for a permit to El Tololo observatory.
11 Enjoy a final visit to the beach and visit one of the nearby famous observatories. You may wish to extend your trip by heading north to San Pedro de Atacama – a 12hr drive away.
12 🚗Zapallar to Santiago drive Dep: 11:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨The Aubrey(Book >) All hotels >
See the sights that you weren’t able to visit on days 2-3 of this Northern Chile itinerary. Most museums close on Mondays.
13 ✈Santiago to home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Southern Chile itinerary with the Northern Chile, Argentina, Bolivia or Peru itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Near La Serena, Chile
1 ✈To Santiago (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Plaza San Francisco (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the city’s many museums (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano is our favourite), all the while marvelling at the dramatic Andes in the background.
3 If it’s a clear day head up the Sky Costanera tower, otherwise wander around the Plaza de Armas or visit Villa Grimaldi (free, but donations appreciated) where you can learn about life under Pinochet. You’ll need to buy a (wonderfully-named) Bip! card to travel on the easy-to-use metro.
4 🚌Santiago (Bellavista) to Cajon del Maipo bus (Times >) Dep: 09:18 Arr: 11:18 🏨Lodge Andino El Ingenio (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the day hiking, biking, rafting…or simply relaxing in the Andes. Bring cash – the bus doesn’t accept Bip! and there are no ATMs in the valley.
5-6 🚌Cajon del Maipo to Santiago (Bellavista)
Santiago (Terminal Sur) to Santa Cruz bus (Book >)
Dep: 08:00

Dep: 11:10

Arr: 10:00

Arr: 14:10

🏨Hotel Boutique Vendimia (Book >) All hotels >
Santa Cruz has the perfect setting; rolling grasslands, endless vineyards and Andean foothills. The town itself is picture perfect. Visit the museum, sample some wine and enjoy! Take a vineyard tour from town so that you don’t need to worry about designated drivers.
7-8 🚌Santa Cruz to Santiago bus (Book >)
🚌Santiago to Valparaiso bus (Book >)
Dep: 08:10

Dep: 11:55

Arr: 11:30

Arr: 13:45

🏨Hotel Fauna
(Book >)
All hotels >
Two days to explore the colourful, enigmatic city of Valparaiso. Take the Peral elevator up to bustling Cerro Alegre, stroll along Ruben Dario walk, admire the view on Cerro Concepcion and visit Neruda’s modernist La Sebastiana home. Enjoy exquisite fish dishes in Caleta Portales.
9 🚗Valparaiso  to Zapallar drive (Hire car >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Casa Zapallar (Book >) All hotels >
A beautiful Pacific beach awaits you in Zapallar – the perfect picturesque pit stop on your way north. Book many months in advance if visiting during January or February.
10 🚗Zapallar to La Serena drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Primera Hacienda Hotel Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
Unforgettable drive along the coast to historic La Serena. The Plaza de Armas features buildings such as the cathedral and Museo Histórico Regional. Write to ctio@noao.edu to apply for a permit to El Tololo observatory.
11 Enjoy a final visit to the beach and visit one of the nearby famous observatories. You may wish to extend your trip by heading north to San Pedro de Atacama – a 12hr drive away.
12 🚗Zapallar to Santiago drive Dep: 11:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Hotel Plaza San Francisco(Book >) All hotels >
See the sights that you weren’t able to visit on days 2-3. Most museums close on Mondays.
13 ✈Santiago to home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Southern Chile itinerary with the Northern Chile, Argentina, Bolivia or Peru itinerary
Take the bus to the airport.
Budget View of the moon froman Atacama observatory
1 ✈To Santiago (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hostal Don Santiago (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the city’s many museums (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano is our favourite), all the while marvelling at the dramatic Andes in the background.
3 If it’s a clear day head up the Sky Costanera tower, otherwise wander around the Plaza de Armas or visit Villa Grimaldi (free, but donations appreciated) where you can learn about life under Pinochet. You’ll need to buy a (wonderfully-named) Bip! card to travel on the easy-to-use metro.
4 🚌Santiago (Bellavista) to Cajon del Maipo (Times >) Dep: 09:18 Arr: 11:18 🏨Hostal Los Peñones
(Book >)
All hotels >
Spend the day hiking, biking, rafting…or simply relaxing in the Andes. Bring cash – the bus doesn’t accept Bip! and there are no ATMs in the valley.
5-6 🚌Cajon del Maipo to Santiago (Bellavista)
Santiago (Terminal Sur) to Santa Cruz bus (Book >)
Dep: 08:00

Dep: 11:10

Arr: 10:00

Arr: 14:10

🏨Casa Suiza (Book >) All hotels >
Santa Cruz has the perfect setting; rolling grasslands, endless vineyards and Andean foothills. The town itself is picture perfect. Visit the museum, sample some wine and enjoy! Take a vineyard tour from town so that you don’t need to worry about designated drivers.
7-8 🚌Santa Cruz to Santiago bus (Book >)
🚌Santiago to Valparaiso bus (Book >)
Dep: 08:10

Dep: 11:55

Arr: 11:30

Arr: 13:45

🏨Nómada Eco Hostel
(Book >)
All hotels >
Two days to explore the colourful, enigmatic city of Valparaiso. Take the Peral elevator up to bustling Cerro Alegre, stroll along Ruben Dario walk, admire the view on Cerro Concepcion and visit Neruda’s modernist La Sebastiana home. Enjoy exquisite fish dishes in Caleta Portales.
9 🚗Valparaiso to Maitencillo drive (Hire car >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:10 🏨Hostal Maitencillo Norte (Book >) All hotels >
A beautiful Pacific beach awaits you in nearby Zapallar – the perfect picturesque pit stop on your way north. Book many months in advance if visiting during January or February.
10 🚗Maitencillo to La Serena drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:20 🏨Hostal El Árbol Beach
(Book >)
All hotels >
Unforgettable drive along the coast to historic La Serena. The Plaza de Armas features buildings such as the cathedral and Museo Histórico Regional. Write to ctio@noao.edu to apply for a permit to El Tololo observatory.
11 Enjoy a final visit to the beach and visit one of the nearby famous observatories. You may wish to extend your trip by heading north to San Pedro de Atacama – a 12hr drive away.
12 🚗Zapallar to Santiago drive Dep: 11:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Hostal Don Santiago (Book >) All hotels >
See the sights that you weren’t able to visit on days 2-3. Most museums close on Mondays.
13 ✈Santiago to home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Southern Chile itinerary with the Northern Chile, Argentina, Bolivia or Peru itinerary
Take the bus to the airport.

🇪🇸ANDALUCIA

9 days, 4 unique and fascinating cities. This trip gives you the best of Andalucia and includes palaces, hiking, mosques, cathedrals and lots of tapas! Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Andalucia itinerary:

Luxury Cordoba, Andalucia
1 ✈To Seville (Book >) Dep: 07:10 Arr: 11:00 🏨Boutique Hotel Casa del Poeta (Book >) All hotels >
Familiarise yourself with the old town. See Seville Cathedral and head up the Giralda tower to orientate. Taxis cost €21.90 during the day, €24.41 after 22:00 and on weekends and holidays.
2 Free walking tour (remember to tip at the end!). Alcazar. Book Alcazar tickets online to save long queue times.
3 Plaza de España. Metropol Parasol. Casa De Pilatos. Order one or two tapas per person at a time.
4 🚄Seville to Cordoba train (Book >) Dep: 08:50 Arr: 09:33 🏨Balcon de Cordoba (Book >) All hotels >
Take a stroll over Cordoba’s Roman bridge. Alcazar. Explore the Old Town. Great view of the Mezquita from pretty Calleja de las Flores street.
5 🚄Cordoba to Granada train (Book >) Dep: 11:27 Arr: 13:30 🏨Eurostars Washington Irving (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Mezquita in Cordoba Entry to the Mezquita is free between 08:30 and 09:20.
6 Trekking in Sierra Nevada foothills from Beas Granada (bus schedule here). See Granada Cathedral. Bring food and drink with you on the hike – no shops along the route!
7 Hire a guide and be shown around the Alhambra. Walk to the Mirador de San Nicolas for superb views of the Alhambra. Buy Alhambra tickets a long time in advance. If none are available then buy a Granada Card to gain entry.
8 🚌Granada to Malaga bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:45 🏨Gran Hotel Miramar (Book >) All hotels >
Pay a visit to the Picasso Museum. Explore the old town, Malaga Cathedral and waterfront. Enjoy delicious churros at Casa Aranda.
9 ✈Malaga to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Andalucia itinerary with the Southern France and Andorra itinerary
Visit the Alcazaba and, if you have time/energy, the Gibralfaro castle.
Mid-range Granada, Andalucia
1 ✈To Seville (Book >) Dep: 07:10 Arr: 11:00 🏨Becquer Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Familiarise yourself with the old town. See Seville Cathedral and head up the Giralda tower to orientate. The airport bus costs €4 to the city centre (tickets at the bus stop).
2 Free walking tour (remember to tip at the end!). Alcazar. Book Alcazar tickets online to save long queue times.
3 Plaza de España. Metropol Parasol. Casa De Pilatos. Order one or two tapas per person at a time.
4 🚄Seville to Cordoba train (Book >) Dep: 08:50 Arr: 09:33 🏨Eurostars Conquistador (Book >) All hotels >
Take a stroll over Cordoba’s Roman bridge. Alcazar. Explore the Old Town. Great view of the Mezquita from pretty Calleja de las Flores street
5 🚄Cordoba to Granada train (Book >) Dep: 11:27 Arr: 13:30 🏨NH Collection Granada Victoria (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Mezquita in Cordoba Entry to the Mezquita is free between 08:30 and 09:20
6 Trekking in Sierra Nevada foothills from Beas Granada (bus schedule here). See Granada Cathedral. Bring food and drink with you on the hike – no shops along the route!
7 The Alhambra. Walk to the Mirador de San Nicolas for superb views of the Alhambra. Buy Alhambra tickets a long time in advance. If none are available then buy a Granada Card to gain entry.
8 🚌Granada to Malaga bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:45 🏨Picasso Suites Málaga (Book >) All hotels >
Pay a visit to the Picasso Museum. Explore the old town, Malaga Cathedral and waterfront. Enjoy delicious churros at Casa Aranda
9 ✈Malaga to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Andalucia itinerary with the Southern France and Andorra itinerary
Visit the Alcazaba and, if you have time/energy, the Gibralfaro castle.
Budget Malaga, Spain
1 ✈To Seville (Book >) Dep: 07:10 Arr: 11:00 🏨Apartamento en Centro (Book >) All hotels >
Familiarise yourself with the old town. See Seville Cathedral and head up the Giralda tower to orientate. The airport bus costs €4 to the city centre (tickets at the bus stop).
2 Free walking tour (remember to tip at the end!). Alcazar. Book Alcazar tickets online to save long queue times.
3 Plaza de España. Metropol Parasol. Casa De Pilatos. Order one or two tapas per person at a time.
4 🚄Seville to Cordoba train (Book >) Dep: 08:50 Arr: 09:33 🏨Hostal Azahar (Book >) All hotels >
Take a stroll over Cordoba’s Roman bridge. Alcazar. Explore the Old Town. Great view of the Mezquita from pretty Calleja de las Flores street.
5 🚄Cordoba to Granada train (Book >) Dep: 11:27 Arr: 13:30 🏨Hotel Parraga Siete (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Mezquita in Cordoba Entry to the Mezquita is free between 08:30 and 09:20.
6 Trekking in Sierra Nevada foothills from Beas Granada (bus schedule here). See Granada Cathedral. Bring food and drink with you on the hike – no shops along the route!
7 The Alhambra. Walk to the Mirador de San Nicolas for superb views of the Alhambra. Buy Alhambra tickets a long time in advance. If none are available then buy a Granada Card to gain entry.
8 🚌Granada to Malaga bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:45 🏨La Casita Malagueta (Book >) All hotels >
Pay a visit to the Picasso Museum. Explore the old town, Malaga Cathedral and waterfront. Enjoy delicious churros at Casa Aranda.
9 ✈Malaga to home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon Connect this Andalucia itinerary with the Southern France and Andorra itinerary
Visit the Alcazaba and, if you have time/energy, the Gibralfaro castle.