🇬🇷GREECE

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

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

🇧🇧🇱🇨🇩🇲🇬🇵EASTERN CARIBBEAN

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

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

🇮🇩INDONESIA

Borobudur, IndonesiaThis busy 18-day itinerary gives travellers an amazing journey through the islands of Java, Bali and Lombok. Got some spare days? Spend longer at the beach in Lombok and Bali. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Indonesia itinerary:

Luxury Mount Bromo, Indonesia
1 ✈To Yogyakarta (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll have most of the day to relax by the pool in your hotel, if you’re feeling refreshed in the afternoon then visit some local Batik makers, the Taman Sari water castle and the opulent Kraton Palace.
3 Arrange a driver for with your hotel, because it’s all about the temples today, starting with Prambanan and ending with incredible Borobudur. Visitors from most countries can get a visa on arrival or are exempt.
4 🚄Yogyakarta to Surabaya (Book >) Dep: 09:56 Arr: 15:27 🏨Hotel Majapahit (Book >) See all hotels >
Built in 1910, your hotel is a part of the history of this city. But make time to get out and see the out-of-place submarine monument. Seat 61 has excellent tips for buying Indonesian train tickets (I recommend paying a little more for first class AC).
5 🚄Surabaya to Probolinggo train (Book >)
🚕Probolinggo to Cemoro Lawang taxi
Dep: 15:27
Dep: 18:15
Arr: 18:14
Arr: 19:15
🏨Bromo Terrace (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a couple of hours in Surabaya’s fascinating House of Sampoerna before travelling to Cemoro Lawang. Keep small denominations of cash on you for food, taxis, drinks etc.
6 Awake before dawn to witness sunrise over the incredible Mount Bromo landscape. Then go on a guided hike over this barren terrain and get close to the volcano itself. You’ll need to pack for the cold – it’s freezing before sunrise!
7 🚕Bromo to Probolinggo taxi
🚄Probolinggo to Banyuwangi train
(Book >)
⛴️Banyuwangi (Ketapang) to Gilimanuk ferry (Book >)
🚕Gilimanuk to Pemuteran taxi
Dep: 10:00
Dep: 11:04
Dep: 16:00
Dep: 17:00
Arr: 11:00
Arr: 15:20
Arr: 16:45
Arr: 17:30
🏨Matahari Beach (Book >) All hotels >
Descend the Bromo area and take the train on to the end of Java. At Banyuwangi hop in a taxi to the docks at Ketapang. Be prepared for departure times to be unreliable.
8 See Bali Barat National Park, which is full of forests, mangroves and rare wild animals. The Tegal Bunder Trail is highly recommended, as is a visit to Menjangan Island if you want to see some amazing marine life. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
9 🚐Pemuteran to Gunung Batur drive (Book >) Dep: 12:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Volcano Terrace Bali (Book >) All hotels >
After a relaxing morning in your hotel, meet your guide who will drive you through northern Bali to the rim of Gunung Batur volcano. Dress conservatively when visiting temples.
10 🚐Gunung Batur to Ubud drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah (Book >) All hotels >
Another early start for another stunning sunrise, before driving on to the vibrant town of Ubud The Ubud Art Market is a great place to pick up souvenirs – bargain hard!
11-12 Meet the animals at the Ubud Monkey Forest, walk through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, visit the Goa Gajah temple complex, Pura Taman Saraswati temple and Puri Saren, take in the air along the Campuhan Ridge Walk. Bluebird taxis are the recommended way of making short trips. Download the app on Google Play or Apple.
13 🚐Ubud to Padangbai minibus
⛴️Padangbai to Lembar ferry
🚐Lembar to Mataram minibus (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 08:00
Arr: 10:35
Arr: 11:45
🏨Hotel Oberoi Lombok (Book >) All hotels >
This is a day on which to enjoy the journey. From the greenery and bustle of Bali, to crossing the Bali Sea, to driving along the verdant hills of Lombok. Arrive in time for sunset at the beach. You may want to get a taxi to Denpasar and fly to Lombok, which could be faster but much less enjoyable.
14-15 Snorkel with giant sea turtles, walk beside Mount Rinjani, take a horse and cart to Tanjung Village and enjoy the exquisite beach. Protect the reef and wildlife by using an eco-friendly sunscreen.
16 🚕Mataram to airport taxi (Book >)
✈Lombok to Denpasar flight (Book >)
Dep: 13:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 15:00
Arr: Evening
🏨The Samaya Seminyak Bali (Book >) All hotels >
Fly back to Bali and relax on the beach when you arrive. If red flags are flown on the beach do not swim – there are dangerous undercurrents here.
17-18 ✈Denpasar to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Indonesia itinerary with the Malaysia & Borneo or Australia itinerary
Soak up the sun before returning home.
Mid-range Ubud, Indonesia
1 ✈To Yogyakarta (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll have most of the day to relax by the pool in your hotel, if you’re feeling refreshed in the afternoon then visit some local Batik makers, the Taman Sari water castle and the opulent Kraton Palace.
3 Arrange a driver for with your hotel, because it’s all about the temples today, starting with Prambanan and ending with incredible Borobudur. Visitors from most countries can get a visa on arrival or are exempt.
4 🚄Yogyakarta to Surabaya train (Book >) Dep: 09:56 Arr: 15:27 🏨Hotel Majapahit (Book >) All hotels >
Built in 1910, your hotel is a part of the history of this city. Spend a couple of hours in Surabaya’s fascinating House of Sampoerna. Seat 61 has excellent tips for buying Indonesian train tickets (I recommend paying a little more for first class AC).
5 🚄Surabaya to Probolinggo train (Book >)
🚌Probolinggo bus station to Cemoro Lawang bus
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 10:56
Arr: 13:30
🏨Bromo Terrace (Book >) All hotels >
Go on a guided hike over the barren Mount Bromo terrain and get close to the volcano itself. You’ll need to take a bemo to Probolinggo bus station (Banyuangga).
7 🚌Bromo to Probolinggo bus station
🚄Probolinggo to Banyuwangi train
(Book >)
⛴️Banyuwangi (Ketapang) to Gilimanuk ferry (Book >)
🚕Gilimanuk to Pemuteran taxi
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 11:04
Dep: 16:00
Dep: 17:00
Arr: 10:30
Arr: 15:20
Arr: 16:45
Arr: 17:30
🏨Amertha Bali Villas (Book >) All hotels >
Rise early for sunset, then descend the Bromo area and take the train on to the end of Java. At Banyuwangi hop in a taxi to the docks at Ketapang. You’ll need to pack for the cold – it’s freezing before sunrise!.
8 See Bali Barat National Park, which is full of forests, mangroves and rare wild animals. The Tegal Bunder Trail is highly recommended, as is a visit to Menjangan Island if you want to see some amazing marine life. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
9 🚌Pemuteran to Gunung Batur bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨Volcano Terrace Bali (Book >) All hotels >
After a relaxing morning in your hotel, wait for a passing bemo to take you through northern Bali to the rim of Gunung Batur volcano. Dress conservatively when visiting temples.
10 🚌Gunung Batur to Ubud bus Dep: 09:30 Arr: 11:30 🏨The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah (Book >) All hotels >
Another early start for another stunning sunrise, before taking a bemo to the vibrant town of Ubud The Ubud Art Market is a great place to pick up souvenirs – bargain hard!
11-12 Meet the animals at the Ubud Monkey Forest, walk through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, visit the Goa Gajah temple complex, Pura Taman Saraswati temple and Puri Saren, take in the air along the Campuhan Ridge Walk. Bluebird taxis are the recommended way of making short trips. Download the app on Google Play or Apple.
13 🚐Ubud to Padangbai bus
⛴️Padangbai to Lembar ferry
🚐Lembar to Senggigi bus (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 11:00
Arr: 08:00
Arr: 10:35
Arr: 12:00
🏨Puri Mas Boutique(Book >) All hotels >
This is a day on which to enjoy the journey. From the greenery and bustle of Bali, to crossing the Bali Sea, to driving along the verdant hills of Lombok. Arrive in time for sunset at the beach. You may want to get a taxi to Denpasar and fly to Lombok, which could be faster but much less enjoyable.
14-15 Snorkel with giant sea turtles, walk beside Mount Rinjani, take a horse and cart to Tanjung Village and enjoy the exquisite beach. Protect the reef and wildlife by using an eco-friendly sunscreen.
16 🚐Sengiggi to airport transfer (Book >)
✈Lombok to Denpasar flight (Book >)
Dep: 10:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:30
Arr: Afternoon
🏨Villa Bali Asri Batubelig (Book >) All hotels >
Fly back to Bali and relax on the beach when you arrive. If red flags are flown on the beach do not swim – there are dangerous undercurrents here.
17-18 ✈Denpasar to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Indonesia itinerary with the Malaysia & Borneo or Australia itinerary
Soak up the sun before returning home.
Budget Lombok, Indonesia
1 ✈To Yogyakarta (Book >) Dep: Morning 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Snooze Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll have most of the day to relax in your hostel and, if you’re feeling refreshed in the afternoon, visit some local Batik makers, the Taman Sari water castle and the opulent Kraton Palace.
3 Arrange a driver for with your hotel, because it’s all about the temples today, starting with Prambanan and ending with incredible Borobudur. Visitors from most countries can get a visa on arrival or are exempt.
4 🚄Yogyakarta to Surabaya train (Book >) Dep: 09:56 Arr: 15:27 🏨Krowi Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Spend a couple of hours in Surabaya’s fascinating House of Sampoerna. Seat 61 has excellent tips for buying Indonesian train tickets (I recommend paying a little more for first class AC).
5 🚄Surabaya to Probolinggo train (Book >)
🚌Probolinggo bus station to Cemoro Lawang bus
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 10:56
Arr: 13:30
🏨Cafe Lava Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Go on a guided hike over the barren Mount Bromo terrain and get close to the volcano itself. You’ll need to take a bemo to Probolinggo bus station (Banyuangga).
7 🚌Bromo to Probolinggo bus station
🚄Probolinggo to Banyuwangi train
(Book >)
⛴️Banyuwangi (Ketapang) to Gilimanuk ferry (Book >)
🚌Gilimanuk to Pemuteran bus
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 11:04
Dep: 16:00
Dep: 17:30
Arr: 10:30
Arr: 15:20
Arr: 16:45
Arr: 18:30
🏨Bananaleaf (Book >) All hotels >
Rise early for sunset, then descend the Bromo area and take the train on to the end of Java. At Banyuwangi hop in a taxi to the docks at Ketapang. In Gilimanuk wait for a bemo going to Pemuteran. You’ll need to pack for the cold – it’s freezing before sunrise!.
8 See Bali Barat National Park, which is full of forests, mangroves and rare wild animals. The Tegal Bunder Trail is highly recommended, as is a visit to Menjangan Island if you want to see some amazing marine life. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
9 🚌Pemuteran to Gunung Batur bus (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨BlackLava Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Wait for a passing bemo to take you through northern Bali to the rim of Gunung Batur volcano. Dress conservatively when visiting temples.
10 🚌Gunung Batur to Ubud bus Dep: 09:30 Arr: 11:30 🏨Green Paddy Hostel Villa (Book >) All hotels >
Another early start for another stunning sunrise, before taking a bemo to the vibrant town of Ubud The Ubud Art Market is a great place to pick up souvenirs – bargain hard!
11-12 Meet the animals at the Ubud Monkey Forest, walk through the Tegallalang Rice Terraces, visit the Goa Gajah temple complex, Pura Taman Saraswati temple and Puri Saren, take in the air along the Campuhan Ridge Walk. Bluebird taxis are the recommended way of making short trips. Download the app on Google Play or Apple.
13 🚐Ubud to Padangbai bus (Book >)
⛴️Padangbai to Lembar ferry (Book >)
🚌Lembar to
Kuta Lombok bus
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 08:00
Arr: 10:35
Arr: 13:00
🏨Pipes Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
This is a day on which to enjoy the journey. From the greenery and bustle of Bali, to crossing the Bali Sea, to driving along the verdant hills of Lombok. You’ll need to wait for a bemo in Lembar port and negotiate the price to Kuta Lombok.
14-15 Snorkel with giant sea turtles, walk beside Mount Rinjani, go surfing and enjoy the exquisite nearby beaches. Protect the reef and wildlife by using an eco-friendly sunscreen.
16 🚐Kuta Lombok to airport transfer (Book >)
✈Lombok to Denpasar flight (Book >)
Dep: 10:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10:30
Arr: Afternoon
🏨Pudak Sari Unizou Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Fly back to Bali and relax on the beach when you arrive. If red flags are flown on the beach do not swim – there are dangerous undercurrents here.
17-18 ✈Denpasar to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Indonesia itinerary with the Malaysia & Borneo or Australia itinerary
Soak up the sun before returning home.

🇨🇷COSTA RICA

Arenal, Costa RicaBursting with wildlife, volcanoes and gorgeous beaches, Costa Rica’s size makes it easy to get around and full of incredible sights. As with many itineraries, so as to optimise the journey the Mid-range version borrows some of the better hotels from the Luxury version and makes savings elsewhere to bring the cost down. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Costa Rica itinerary:

Luxury Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica
1 ✈To San Jose (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Barceló San José (Book >) All hotels >
Settle in to your hotel and rest after your journey. Visitors from many countries do not require a visa for entry.
2 The Museo del Oro Precolombino contains many fascinating Pre-Colombian gold exhibits. Stop by the Catedral Metropolitana and admire the ornate interior. You’ll find plenty of things to buy in the Mercado Centrale. ‘Sodas’ are family-run restaurants that serve local food.
3 ✈San Jose to Tortuguero flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Manatus Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Once in Tortuguero National Park enjoy a boat tours along the waterways and then, in the evening, go on a guided tour through the hotel grounds. You’ll need to pay a fee before entering the park.
4 Visit Tortuguero Village for a taste of Afro-Caribbean culture, take to the water in a kayak. A canopy tour is a must for thrill seekers and a night-time turtle hatching tour is a must for everyone. Tap water is safe in Costa Rica, but if you’re really worried about stomach problems buy a filter water bottle and top up from taps.
5 ⛴️🚐Tortuguero to Arenal transfer  (Book >) Dep: 12:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Hotel Nayara Spa & Gardens (Book >) All hotels >
Use your last few hours in Tortuguero to see anything you may have missed out on days 3 and 4. From your beautiful hotel in La Fortuna you can often see the lava flows from Arenal volcano. Roads in Costa Rica can be unpaved – be prepared for bumpy rides
6 Go on hikes long or short in Volcano Arenal National Park. When you’ve exhausted yourself visit one of the many thermal spas in the area (I recommend Tabacon Hot Springs) Do you need a guide for hiking here? Not really – park rangers will close trails if they’re unsafe.
7 🚕⛴️🚕Arenal to Monteverde transfer (Book >) Dep: 08:30 Arr: 11:30 🏨Hotel Belmar (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the afternoon relaxing after the journey from La Fortuna. In the evening go on a guided night walk to meet the areas many nocturnal critters. It can rain even in dry season here – bring good waterproofs. It can also get cold at night.
8 Experience the tree tops via zipline or canopy walk, visit the cloud forest, ride on a very sedate aerial tramway, or see the wildlife from the ground on a guided walk. The Certificate of Sustainable Tourism ranks businesses from 1 to 5 based on their commitment to carbon neutrality.
9 🚐Monteverde to Playa Panama bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 13:30 🏨Hotel Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Playa Panama is one of the best beaches in the region and is perfect for swimming. Many businesses close down for the month of October.
10-12 See sea turtles at Playa Grande, visit nearby national parks, go sea kayaking, diving or snorkelling, have a surfing lesson or white water rafting experience…or just do nothing at all on the beach. Protect the environment and buy an eco-friendly sunscreen.
13-14 🚕Playa Panama to Liberia transfer (Book >)
✈Liberia to San Jose flight (Book >)
✈San Jose to Home (Book >)
Dep: 08:00
Dep: Morning
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 08:45
Morning
Arr: Afternoon (next day)
Connect this Costa Rica itinerary with the Ecuador & Galapagos or Cuba itinerary
Ensure you leave a few hours between the time your flight from Libera lands and your flight home departs.
Mid-range Monteverde, Costa Rica
1 ✈To San Jose (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Hotel Terrazas De Golf (Book >) All hotels >
Settle in to your hotel and rest after your journey. Visitors from many countries do not require a visa for entry.
2 The Museo del Oro Precolombino contains many fascinating Pre-Colombian gold exhibits. Stop by the Catedral Metropolitana and admire the ornate interior. You’ll find plenty of things to buy in the Mercado Centrale. ‘Sodas’ are family-run restaurants that serve local food.
3 ✈San Jose to Tortuguero flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Manatus Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Once in Tortuguero National Park enjoy a boat tours along the waterways and then, in the evening, go on a guided tour through the hotel grounds. You’ll need to pay a fee before entering the park.
4 Visit Tortuguero Village for a taste of Afro-Caribbean culture, take to the water in a kayak. A canopy tour is a must for thrill seekers and a night-time turtle hatching tour is a must for everyone. Tap water is safe in Costa Rica, but if you’re really worried about stomach problems buy a filter water bottle and top up from taps.
5 ⛴️🚐Tortuguero to Arenal transfer (Book >) Dep: 12:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Hotel El Silencio del Campo (Book >) All hotels >
Use your last few hours in Tortuguero to see anything you may have missed out on days 3 and 4. From your hotel you can often see the glow of lava from Arenal volcano. Roads in Costa Rica can be unpaved – be prepared for bumpy rides
6 Go on hikes long or short in Volcano Arenal National Park. When you’ve exhausted yourself visit one of the many thermal spas in the area (I recommend Tabacon Hot Springs) Do you need a guide for hiking here? Not really – park rangers will close trails if they’re unsafe.
7 🚕⛴️🚕Arenal to Monteverde transfer (Book >) Dep: 08:30 Arr: 11:30 🏨Casa Batsu (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the afternoon relaxing after the journey from La Fortuna. In the evening go on a guided night walk to meet the areas many nocturnal critters. It can rain even in dry season here – bring good waterproofs. It can also get cold at night.
8 Experience the tree tops via zipline or canopy walk, visit the cloud forest, ride on a very sedate aerial tramway, or see the wildlife from the ground on a guided walk. The Certificate of Sustainable Tourism ranks businesses from 1 to 5 based on their commitment to carbon neutrality.
9 🚐Monteverde to Playa Tamarindo bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Tamarindo Bay Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
As well as having a beautiful beach, Tamarindo is also a pretty town with excellent restaurants. Many businesses close down for the month of October.
10-12 See sea turtles at Playa Grande, visit nearby national parks, go sea kayaking, diving or snorkelling, have a surfing lesson or white water rafting experience…or just do nothing at all on the beach. Protect the environment and buy an eco-friendly sunscreen.
13-14 🚕Playa Tamarindo to Liberia transfer (Book >)
✈Liberia to San Jose flight (Book >)
✈San Jose to Home (Book >)
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Morning
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 09:00
Morning
Arr: Afternoon (next day)
Connect this Costa Rica itinerary with the Ecuador & Galapagos or Cuba itinerary
Ensure you leave a few hours between the time your flight from Libera lands and your flight home departs.
Budget Montezuma Beach, Costa Rica
1 ✈To San Jose (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Hostel Urbano (Book >) All hotels >
Settle in to your hotel and rest after your journey. Visitors from many countries do not require a visa for entry.
2 The Museo del Oro Precolombino contains many fascinating Pre-Colombian gold exhibits. Stop by the Catedral Metropolitana and admire the ornate interior. You’ll find plenty of things to buy in the Mercado Centrale. ‘Sodas’ are family-run restaurants that serve great value local food.
3 🚌San Jose to Cariari bus
🚌Cariari to La Pavona bus
⛴️La Pavona to Toruguero ferry
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 15:00
Dep: 16:30
Arr: 12:00
Arr: 16:15
Arr: 17:45
🏨Aracari Garden Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
This bus schedule assumes that you’ll miss the 11:30 Cariara to La Pavona departure (although that bus should wait), but if not then boats to Tortuguero will be waiting at earlier times. Once in Tortuguero National Park go on a guided night tour to see the wildlife. Tap water is safe in Costa Rica, but if you’re really worried about stomach problems buy a filter water bottle and top up from taps.
4 Visit Tortuguero Village for a taste of Afro-Caribbean culture, take to the water in a kayak. A canopy tour is a must for thrill seekers and a night-time turtle hatching tour is a must for everyone. You’ll need to pay a fee before entering the park.
5 ⛴️🚐Tortuguero to La Fortuna transfer (Book >) Dep: 12:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Howler Monkey Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Use your last few hours in Tortuguero to see anything you may have missed out on days 3 and 4. At night in La Fortuna you can often see the lava glow from Arenal volcano. Roads in Costa Rica can be unpaved – be prepared for bumpy rides (especially between
6 Go on hikes long or short in Volcano Arenal National Park. Exhausted? Treat yourself to one of the many thermal spas in the area (I recommend Tabacon Hot Springs) Do you need a guide for hiking here? Not really – park rangers will close trails if they’re unsafe.
7 🚌La Fortuna to Tilarán bus
🚌Tilarán to Santa Elena bus (Info >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 12:30
Arr: 11:00
Arr: 15:00
🏨OutBox Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing after the journey from La Fortuna. In the evening go on a guided night walk to meet the areas many nocturnal critters. For several dollars more you can shave 5 hrs off your journey with a shuttle-boat-shuttle combination.
8 Experience the tree tops via zipline or canopy walk, visit the cloud forest, ride on a very sedate aerial tramway, or see the wildlife from the ground on a guided walk. It can rain even in dry season here – bring good waterproofs. It can also get cold at night.
9 🚌Monteverde to Puntarenas bus (Info >)
⛴️Puntarenas to Paquera ferry (Info >)
🚌Paquera to Montezuma bus (Info >)
Dep: 06:00
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 12:10
Arr: 16:00
🏨Proyecto Montezuma Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Situated right on the beach and with plenty of hammocks, the hostel is the perfect place to chill out after that journey. It’s cheaper to bring snorkel equipment from home than to join a tour.
10-12 Visit the nearby waterfall, go sea kayaking, diving or snorkelling, have a surfing lesson…or just do nothing at all on the beach. Protect the environment and buy an eco-friendly sunscreen.
13 🚌Montezuma to Paquera bus (Info >)
⛴️Paquera to Puntarenas ferry  (Info >)
🚌Puntarenas to San Jose bus (Info >)
Dep: 12:00
Dep: 14:00
Dep: 16:00
Arr: 14:00
Arr: 15:15
Arr: 17:30
🏨Hostel Urbano (Book >) All hotels >
Make the most of your last morning on the beach before returning to the capital. Many businesses close down for the month of October.
14-15 ✈San Jose to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon (next day) Connect this Costa Rica itinerary with the Ecuador & Galapagos or Cuba itinerary
An exit tax is applied to many airline tickets (check the list here).

🇸🇪SWEDEN

Stockholm, SwedenFrom the vast, open landscapes of Lapland, to the sunny beaches of Gotland, Sweden offers many amazing sights for visitors. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Sweden itinerary:

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

🇫🇯FIJI & 🇼🇸SAMOA

FijiParadise? Oh yes. Here are those too-good-to-be-true beaches, but here also is a fascinating, welcoming culture and lush island interiors. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget (due to the cost of flights to Samoa the Budget version doesn’t include this option). Here’s your Fiji & Samoa itinerary:

Luxury Fiji
1 ✈To Nadi (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning 🏨Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island (Book >) All hotels >
After a verrrrry long journey take it easy in your luxurious hotel.
4 Another day on which to chill out by the pool or on the beach. Feeling energetic? Take an excursion to Viseisei Village. Visitors from most countries won’t need a visa, but will need to meet a few simple conditions.
5 🚗Nadi to Natadola Bay drive (Hire car >) Dep: 12:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Collect your car then take a short drive to idyllic Natadola Bay. Make sure your insurance covers you for driving on dirt roads
6-7 Located on Fiji’s Coral Coast, your resort is well-placed for diving and snorkelling, as well as kayaking or, of course, doing nothing on the beach. For something a bit different go rafting on the Upper Navua River. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
8 🚗Natadola Bay to Pacific Harbour drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:00 🏨Nanuku Resort & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Pacific Harbour has both gorgeous beaches and close proximity to the Pacific Harbour Arts Village and Suva, where you can wander around downtown and visit the Fiji Museum. Fiji is a very relaxed country where punctuality isn’t particularly important.
9 🚗Pacific Harbour to Nadi drive
✈Nadi to Apia flight (Book >)
Dep: 09:00
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 11:30
Arr: Afternoon
🏨Seabreeze Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Leave the car at the airport and take the two-hour flight to Samoa, where you’ll arrive in plenty of time for sunset at the beach. Fiji is GMT +12 and Samoa is GMT +13.
10-14 Over the next few days you can choose to relax on picture-perfect beaches, or hire a car to see Robert Louis Stephenson’s former home at Villa Vailima, the historic Bahai Temple, Upola’s northern coast. You could drive to Mulifanua and take the ferry to Savai’i for the day to enjoy the island’s waterfalls. Ask permission before taking photos in a village.
15 ✈Apia to Nadi flight (Book >)
🚁Nadi to Mamanuca Islands helicopter (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Evening
Arr: Evening
Arr: 10 mins later
🏨Likuliku Lagoon Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy another couple of hours in Samoa before the journey to your Fiji island resort. It’s also possible to get to the resort by catamaran, private speedboat or seaplane.
16-18 Time to truly relax on some of the best beaches in the world, set in the volcanic Mamanuca Islands. Buy an eco-friendly sunscreen to protect the delicate reefs.
19-20 🚁Mamanuca Islands to Nadi helicopter  (Book >)
✈Nadi to Home (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 10 mins later
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Fiji & Samoa itinerary with the New Zealand North, New Zealand South or Australia itinerary
Pay to enter the well-rated Fiji Airways Premier Lounge.
Mid-range Samoa
1 ✈To Nadi (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning 🏨Ramada Suites Wailoaloa Beach  (Book >) All hotels >
After a verrrrry long journey take it easy in your conveniently-located hotel.
4 Another day on which to chill out by the pool or on the beach. Feeling energetic? Take an excursion to Viseisei Village. Visitors from most countries won’t need a visa, but will need to meet a few simple conditions.
5 🚌Nadi to Korotogo bus (Info >) Dep: 13:00 Arr: 14:45 🏨Hotel Bedarra Beach Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Take the bus and then a taxi to the beautiful Coral Coast. Ask the driver to drop you off at Korotogo roundabout (after Sigatoka)
6-7 Go snorkelling, as well as kayaking or, of course, doing nothing on the beach. For something a bit different take a tour and go rafting on the Upper Navua River. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
8 🚌Korotogo to Suva bus (Info >) Dep: 10:45 Arr: 13:00 🏨Grand Pacific (Book >) All hotels >
Suva, the capital of Fiji, is a lovely place to wander around. Visit the Fiji Museum and the Municipal Market and Municipal Handicraft Centre. Fiji is a very relaxed country where punctuality isn’t particularly important.
9 🚌Suva to Nadi bus (Info >)
✈Nadi to Apia flight (Book >)
Dep: 06:45
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 11:05
Arr: Afternoon
🏨Aga Reef Resort And Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Take the early bus to get catch the two-hour flight to Samoa, where you’ll arrive in plenty of time for sunset at the beach. Taxi fares to your beach resort are listed here (the journey from the airport should be around 1.5 hrs).
10-14 Over the next few days you can choose to relax on picture-perfect beaches, or hire a car to see Robert Louis Stephenson’s former home at Villa Vailima, the historic Bahai Temple, Upola’s northern coast. You could drive to Mulifanua and take the ferry to Savai’i for the day to enjoy the island’s waterfalls. Fiji is GMT +12 and Samoa is GMT +13.
15 ✈Apia to Nadi flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Ramada Suites Wailoaloa Beach  (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy another couple of hours in Samoa before the journey back to Fiji. Contact your hotel and take advantage of their airport shuttle.
16 ⛴️Nadi to Tokoriki Island ferry (Book >) Dep: 15:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Sheraton Resort & Spa Tokoriki Island (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy another couple of hours in Samoa before the journey to your Fiji island resort. It’s also possible to get to the resort by catamaran, private speedboat or seaplane.
17-19 Time to truly relax on some of the best beaches in the world, set in the volcanic Mamanuca Islands. Buy an eco-friendly sunscreen to protect the delicate reefs.
20-21 ⛴️Tokoriki Island to Nadi ferry (Book >)
✈Nadi to Home (Book >)
Dep: 10:15
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 12:00
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Fiji & Samoa itinerary with the New Zealand North, New Zealand South or Australia itinerary
Pay to enter the well-rated Fiji Airways Premier Lounge.
Budget Fiji
1 ✈To Nadi (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning 🏨Travellers Beach Resort (Book >) All hotels >
After a verrrrry long journey take a short taxi ride to the hostel.
4 Another day on which to chill out by the pool or on the beach. Feeling energetic? Take an excursion to Viseisei Village. Visitors from most countries won’t need a visa, but will need to meet a few simple conditions.
5 🚌Nadi to Korolevu bus (Info >) Dep: 10:25 Arr: 13:15 🏨The Beachhouse  (Book >) All hotels >
Take the bus from Nadi to the beautiful Coral Coast. Pay for your bus journey with cash on board.
6-7 Go diving, snorkelling, kayaking, or just do nothing on the beach. For something a bit different go rafting on the Upper Navua River. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
8 🚌Korolevu to Suva bus
🚌Suva to Pacific Harbour bus (Info >)
Dep: 10:05
Dep: 16:30
Arr: 11:20
Arr: 17:50
🏨Uprising Beach Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Pacific Harbour has both gorgeous beaches and close proximity to Suva, where you can spend a few hours wandering around downtown and visit the Fiji Museum. Fancy an adventure? Goundar Shipping offers overnight passage to Savusavu on the island of Vanua Levu from Suva on Mon, Wed and Fri, returning Tue, Thu and Sun. Email goundarshipping@kidanet.net.fj for details.
9 🚌Pacific Harbour to Nadi bus (Info >) Dep: 16:05 Arr: 19:15 🏨Travellers Beach Resort (Book >) All hotels >
See any sights you missed out on yesterday before returning to Nadi. Learn a few basic Fijian words and phrases, (especially Bula – pronounced Boo-lah)
10 ⛴️Nadi to Waya Island ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:30 Arr: 11:00 🏨Octopus Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Check in for the ferry to the Yasawas Islands and arrive in plenty of time for an afternoon at the beach. You may want to take motion sickness tablets for the ferry journey.
11-16 Over the next few days you can choose to explore the island on a guided hike, go snorkelling or diving, visit a local village or just do nothing. Ask permission before taking photos in a village.
17 ⛴️Waya Island to Nadi ferry (Book >) Dep: 15:15 Arr: 17:45 🏨Travellers Beach Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a your last day on the beach before returning to Nadi. Take part in a traditional kava ceremony (although the taste of kava isn’t great!)
18-19 ✈Nadi to Home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Fiji & Samoa itinerary with the New Zealand North, New Zealand South or Australia itinerary
You can also fly low-cost to Australia.

🇳🇿NEW ZEALAND NORTH

Mount Taranaki, New ZealandPicture-perfect volcanoes, boiling geysers, pristine beaches, magical caves and much more awaits you in New Zealand’s awesome North Island. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your New Zealand North itinerary:

Luxury Rotorua, New Zealand
1 ✈To Auckland (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel DeBrett (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve left your luggage at the hotel, head to the docks and take the ferry to Waiheke Island for a vineyard visit, or Rangitoto island for some excellent hiking or sea kayaking. When you get back head up the Sky Tower. If you’re from a visa waiver country you don’t need to apply until you arrive in New Zealand
4 🚗Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 12:00 🏨Driving Creek Villas (Book >) All hotels >
Set off after rush hour and, once you arrive in Coromandel, continue on to Hot Water Beach where you can dig a pool in the sand and luxuriate in the hot water. Nearby is the picturesque Cathedral Cove. Back at the villa, leave the car and walk up the road to embark on the Driving Creek Railway. You must park in the direction of the traffic flow in New Zealand, otherwise you’ll get a fine.
5 🚗Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua drive
🚗Rotorua to Taupo drive
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 17:30
Arr: 12:00
Arr: 19:30
🏨Tauhara Sunrise Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Head south to steaming, sulphurous Rotorua. Here you can see geysers and hot mud pools, as well as start getting to know Māori culture. On the drive down to Taupo, stop off at Kerosene Creek where you can bathe in a naturally-heated stream. Get changed into swimming things in one of the Rotorua bathrooms – there aren’t any facilities at Kerosene Creek (which is free to enter).
6 🚗Taupo to Napier drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 12:15 🏨Mangapapa (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning visit dramatic Huka Falls, then journey to the wine-producing region of Hawke’s Bay. You’ll arrive in time to enjoy a tour of the vineyards. Give yourself plenty of time to get between destinations – you’ll want to stop frequently for beautiful views.
7 🚗Napier to Wellington drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:30 🏨Edgewater Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Te Papa is worth the drive to Wellington alone. Once you’ve enjoyed a couple of hours at this museum, you have plenty more to see, including a walk along the charming waterfront to Oriental Bay, a Weta Studios tour, a ride on the cable from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn. Cuba Street comes alive at night and is a good place to hunt down a restaurant. Fuel stations are few between towns and cities – fill up before setting off.
8 🚗Wellington to New Plymouth drive Dep: 14:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨Ahu Ahu Beach Villas (Book >) All hotels >
No doubt you ran out of time to see the sights yesterday, so there’s more time to see more of Wellington today before the long drive to the Ahu Ahu Beach Villas near New Plymouth. The Department of Conversation provides a wealth of info on hiking.
9 🚗New Plymouth to Tongariro drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨Chateau Tongariro (Book >) All hotels >
Get up early and head for the hiking trails around the breathtaking Mt Taranaki volcano. In the afternoon take Highway 3 to Midhirst, then the Highway 43 through the gorgeous scenery to Tongariro. The Tongariro Visitor Centre can store your luggage for a small fee.
10 Book your shuttle bus from Whakapapa Village to and from the Tongariro Crossing in advance. Considered one of the best hikes in the world, the Tongariro Crossing requires a full day and a decent level of fitness. Keep an eye on the weather before setting out and time your walk accordingly.
11 🚗Tongariro to Waitomo drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Waitomo Boutique Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
You are in for a real treat today. Black Water Rafting isn’t as scary as it sounds, in fact it involves a sedate float on tubes through caves adorned with constellations of glow worms. Invest in a dry bag or waterproof camera to try and capture images of the incredible glow worm caves.
12 🚗Waitomo to Piha drive
🚗Piha to Paihia drive
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:30
Arr: 18:00
🏨Chalet Romantica (Book >) All hotels >
Break up the long drive to Kerikeri with a stop at amazing Piha Beach, setting of the film The Piano and a favourite for surfers. You’re likely to encounter some Māori language. Learn a few basic words here.
13 Take to the water in the magnificent Bay of Islands on a kayak tour (where you also have the option of staying overnight, camping by the beach). Make sure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
14 🚗Paihia to Cape Reinga drive
🚗Cape Reinga to Waipoua Lodge drive
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:00
Arr: 18:00
🏨Waipoua Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua is at the northernmost tip of New Zealand and is where Maori spirits begin their final journey. It offers incredible views of the crashing sea from the lighthouse. On your way to/from here you may want to have a go at sandboarding at the Te Paki dunes. You can hire boards at the Te Paki dunes, but be sure to shop around for the best price and best condition equipment.
15 🚗Waipoua Lodge to Auckland drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 13:30 🏨Hotel DeBrett (Book >) All hotels >
Back to where your adventure began and plenty of time today to see anything you missed on days 2-3. The red city circuit bus offers a free hop on hop off service around Auckland city centre every 10 minutes.
16-17 ✈Auckland to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this New Zealand North itinerary with the New Zealand South, Australia or Fiji & Samoa itinerary
Book your shuttle to the airport.
Mid-range Auckland, New Zealand
1 ✈To Auckland (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning 🏨Haka Hotel Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve left your luggage at the hotel, head to the docks and take the ferry to Waiheke Island for a vineyard visit, or Rangitoto island for some excellent hiking or sea kayaking. When you get back head up the Sky Tower. If you’re from a visa waiver country you don’t need to apply until you arrive in New Zealand
4 🚗Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 12:00 🏨Andrea’s (Book >) All hotels >
Set off after rush hour and, once you arrive in Coromandel, continue on to Hot Water Beach where you can dig a pool in the sand and luxuriate in the hot water. Nearby is the picturesque Cathedral Cove. Drive on to Driving Creek for the Driving Creek Railway. You must park in the direction of the traffic flow in New Zealand, otherwise you’ll get a fine.
5 🚗Coromandel Peninsula to Rotorua drive
🚗Rotorua to Taupo drive
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 17:30
Arr: 12:00
Arr: 19:30
🏨The Reef Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Head south to steaming, sulphurous Rotorua. Here you can see geysers and hot mud pools, as well as start getting to know Māori culture. On the drive down to Taupo, stop off at Kerosene Creek where you can bathe in a naturally-heated stream. Get changed into swimming things in one of the Rotorua bathrooms – there aren’t any facilities at Kerosene Creek (which is free to enter).
6 🚗Taupo to Napier drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 12:15 🏨The Crown Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
In the morning visit dramatic Huka Falls, then journey to the wine-producing region of Hawke’s Bay. You’ll arrive in time to enjoy a tour of the vineyards. Give yourself plenty of time to get between destinations – you’ll want to stop frequently for beautiful views.
7 🚗Napier to Wellington drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:30 🏨U Residence Hotel Wellington (Book >) All hotels >
Te Papa is worth the drive to Wellington alone. Once you’ve enjoyed a couple of hours at this museum, you have plenty more to see, including a walk along the charming waterfront to Oriental Bay, a Weta Studios tour, a ride on the cable from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn. Cuba Street comes alive at night and is a good place to hunt down a restaurant. Fuel stations are few between towns and cities – fill up before setting off.
8 🚗Wellington to New Plymouth drive Dep: 14:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨One Burgess Hill  (Book >) All hotels >
No doubt you ran out of time to see the sights yesterday, so there’s more time to see more of Wellington today before the long drive to the Ahu Ahu Beach Villas near New Plymouth. The Department of Conversation provides a wealth of info on hiking.
9 🚗New Plymouth to Tongariro drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 18:30 🏨Chateau Tongariro (Book >) All hotels >
Get up early and head for the hiking trails around the breathtaking Mt Taranaki volcano. In the afternoon take Highway 3 to Midhirst, then the Highway 43 through the gorgeous scenery to Tongariro. The Tongariro Visitor Centre can store your luggage for a small fee.
10 Book your shuttle bus from Whakapapa Village to and from the Tongariro Crossing in advance. Considered one of the best hikes in the world, the Tongariro Crossing requires a full day and a decent level of fitness. Keep an eye on the weather before setting out and time your walk accordingly.
11 🚗Tongariro to Waitomo drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Waitomo Caves Guest Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
You are in for a real treat today. Black Water Rafting isn’t as scary as it sounds, in fact it involves a sedate float on tubes through caves adorned with constellations of glow worms. Invest in a dry bag or waterproof camera to try and capture images of the incredible glow worm caves.
12 🚗Waitomo to Piha drive
🚗Piha to Paihia drive
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:30
Arr: 18:00
🏨Abri Apartments (Book >) All hotels >
Break up the long drive to Kerikeri with a stop at amazing Piha Beach, setting of the film The Piano and a favourite for surfers. You’re likely to encounter some Māori language. Learn a few basic words here.
13 Take to the water in the magnificent Bay of Islands on a kayak tour (where you also have the option of staying overnight, camping by the beach). Make sure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
14 🚗Paihia to Cape Reinga drive
🚗Cape Reinga to Whangarei drive
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:00
Arr: 18:00
🏨Lupton Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua is at the northernmost tip of New Zealand and is where Maori spirits begin their final journey. It offers incredible views of the crashing sea from the lighthouse. On your way to/from here you may want to have a go at sandboarding at the Te Paki dunes. You can hire boards at the Te Paki dunes, but be sure to shop around for the best price and best condition equipment.
15 🚗Waipoua Lodge to Auckland drive Dep: 10:00 Arr: 13:30 🏨Haka Hotel Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Back to where your adventure began and plenty of time today to see anything you missed on days 2-3. The red city circuit bus offers a free hop on hop off service around Auckland city centre every 10 minutes.
16-17 ✈Auckland to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this New Zealand North itinerary with the New Zealand South, Australia or Fiji & Samoa itinerary
Book your shuttle to the airport.
Budget Waitomo caves, New Zealand
1 ✈To Auckland (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning 🏨Haka Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve left your luggage at the hotel, head to the docks and take the ferry to Waiheke Island for a vineyard visit, or Rangitoto island for some excellent hiking or sea kayaking. When you get back head up the Sky Tower. If you’re from a visa waiver country you don’t need to apply until you arrive in New Zealand
4 🚌Auckland to Thames bus
🚌Thames to Whitianga bus (Book >)
Dep: 07:50
Dep: 09:55
Arr: 09:40
Arr: 12:10
🏨Turtle Cove (Book >) All hotels >
Once you arrive in Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula, take the shuttle to Hot Water Beach where you can dig a pool in the sand and luxuriate in the hot water. Continue on to the picturesque Cathedral Cove. The shuttle service is a small company, so be sure to book in advance (it’s also cheaper when you travel with more people).
5 🚌Whitianga to Thames bus
🚌Thames to Tauranga bus (Book >)
Dep: 12:25
Dep: 14:20
Arr: 14:00
Arr: 16:10
🏨ArtHouse Accommodation(Book >) All hotels >
Journey to the lovely seaside town of Tauranga. There is a bus to Rotorua today at 17:10 if you don’t fancy an early start tomorrow.
6 🚌Tauranga to Rotorua bus (Book >)
🚌Rotorua to Taupo bus (Book >)
Dep: 07:10
Dep: 13:00
Arr: 08:35
Arr: 14:00
🏨Finlay Jacks Backpackers (Book >) All hotels >
Head south to steaming, sulphurous Rotorua. Here you can see geysers and hot mud pools, as well as start getting to know Māori culture. In the afternoon visit dramatic Huka Falls near Taupo. If you don’t want to pay to see the Te Puia hot springs and geysers, there are plenty to see around town for free.
7 🚌Taupo to Napier bus (Book >) Dep: 13:05 Arr: 15:10 🏨Toad Hall Backpackers (Book >) All hotels >
On arrival into Napier hire a bicycle and visit some Hawke’s Bay vineyards. Church Road and Mission Estate wineries are just 16km away.
8 🚌Napier to Wellington bus (Book >) Dep: 07:45 Arr: 13:30 🏨YHA Wellington City (Book >) All hotels >
Te Papa is worth the journey to Wellington alone. Once you’ve enjoyed a couple of hours at this museum, you have plenty more to see, including a walk along the charming waterfront to Oriental Bay, a Weta Studios tour, a ride on the cable from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn. Cuba Street comes alive at night and is a good place to hunt down a restaurant. If you’re in Wellington at the weekend then the food market off of Cuba Street offers great food on a budget.
9 🚌Wellington to National Park  bus (Book >)
🚐National Park to Whakapapa Village transfer  (Book >)
Dep: 07:45
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 13:19
Arr: 14:15
🏨Mangatepopo Hut (Book >)
Once you arrive into National Park leave the bulk of your luggage with your hostel for night 11, then take the shuttle to Whakapapa Village and begin the Tongrariro Crossing, starting with a walk to Mangatepopo. The Tongariro Visitor Centre can store your luggage for a small fee.
11 🚐Ketetahi to National Park transfer (Book >) Dep: 14:30 Arr: 15:00 🏨Plateau Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’ll continue on the famous Tongariro Crossing. Book your return shuttle in advance. Wear plenty of sunscreen – the sun is strong in NZ.
12 🚌National Park to Waitomo Township bus (Book >) Dep: 13:20 Arr: 15:50 🏨YHA Waitomo Juno Hall (Book >) All hotels >
You are in for a real treat today. Black Water Rafting isn’t as scary as it sounds, in fact it involves a sedate float on tubes through caves adorned with constellations of glow worms. The last tour leaves at 16:00. Consider becoming a YHA member to save 10% on each YHA stay.
13 🚌Waitomo to Auckland bus (Book >)
🚌Auckland to Paihia bus (Book >)
Dep: 11:47
Dep: 17:30
Arr: 14:45
Arr: 21:29
🏨Haka Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Leave your luggage at the bus station and take in another of Auckland’s sights. You’re likely to encounter some Māori language. Learn a few basic words here.
14 Take to the water in the magnificent Bay of Islands on a kayak tour (where you also have the option of staying overnight, camping by the beach). Make sure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
15 Book a day trip to Cape Reinga/Te Rerenga Wairua at the northernmost tip of New Zealand and where Maori spirits begin their final journey. On the way you’ll stop off at Ninety Mile Beach. You can hire boards at the Te Paki dunes, but be sure to shop around for the best price and best condition equipment.
16-17 🚌Paihia to Auckland bus (Book >)
✈Auckland to home (Book >)
Dep: 10:15
Dep: Evening
Arr: 14:40
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this New Zealand North itinerary with the New Zealand South, Australia or Fiji & Samoa itinerary
Book your shuttle to the airport.

🇰🇭CAMBODIA

Angkor Wat, CambodiaA lot of people visit Cambodia as part of a longer trip, but there’s so many phenomenal sights here that it justifies its own two-week holiday . Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Cambodia itinerary:

Luxury Mekong, Cambodia
1 ✈To Phnom Penh (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨La Rose Suites (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive in the evening, so take some time to relax after the long flight.
3 Ease in to life in Cambodia with a gentle day of sightseeing in the capital. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are peaceful and magnificent buildings worthy of a couple of hours of your time. Next door is the National Museum of Cambodia, full of ancient Angkorian artefacts. End the day with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Get your eVisa for Cambodia online here.
4 🚌Phnom Penh to Kratie bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 16:30 🏨Rajabori Villas (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive into Kratie in plenty of time to see the sun set over the Mekong on Koh Trong Island – the perfect start to a visit of this relaxing location. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
5 Kayak or cruise along the river to spot the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. In the afternoon admire the Kratie’s French-era architecture and tour the temples in and around town. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
6 🚌Kratie to Phnom Penh bus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Kep bus
(Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 18:30
🏨Knai Bang Chatt Resort (Book >) All hotels >
A looong day of travel, rewarded with ending at the spectacular beaches of gorgeous Kep. Try to book your bus in advance during busy periods.
7-8 Spend a couple of days (or more) on the beach. Take the 20-minute boat ride to tranquil Rabbit Island and, if you get bored of the sand, visit a pepper farm or the nearby Bokor Hill Station. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
9 🚌Kep to Phnom Penh bus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Siem Reap bus
(Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:15
Arr: 17:30
🏨Shinta Mani Angkor (Book >) All hotels >
Say goodbye to the beach and hello to another day of bus travel. But at the end of it you’ll be in bustling Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat. Buy your multi-day ticket after 5pm and it will only count from the next day. Miss the connection to Siem Reap? No problem, buses depart until 18:00.
10-11 The Angkor Archaeological Park covers 400 square kilometres, so hire a car and driver to explore the site. Must-sees include Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom, and Angkor Thom. Other places for your list are the Terrace of the Leper King, Baphuon, Srah Srang, Preah Ko (Sacred Bull), Baksei Chamkrong, Elephant Terrace, Pre Rup, East Mebon and Preah Khan. At the end of the day go to Phnom Bakheng for sunset. Ask your hotel to help arrange a car and driver.
12 ✈Siem Reap to Phnom Penh flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨La Rose Suites (Book >) All hotels >
More time to see more temples, or any that you may have missed out on during days 10-11. Continuing to Laos? Book your bus from Siem Reap to Don Det (4000 Islands) here (bus departs at 08:00).
13-14 ✈Phnom Penh to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening (next day) Connect this Cambodia itinerary with the Thailand or Vietnam itinerary
Take some culinary inspiration home with you on a food tour.
Mid-range Phnom Penh, Cambodia
1 ✈To Phnom Penh (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨IRoHa Garden (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive in the evening, so take some time to relax after the long flight.
3 Ease in to life in Cambodia with a gentle day of sightseeing in the capital. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are peaceful and magnificent buildings worthy of a couple of hours of your time. Next door is the National Museum of Cambodia, full of ancient Angkorian artefacts. End the day with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Get your eVisa for Cambodia online here.
4 🚌Phnom Penh to Kratie bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 16:30 🏨Rajabori Villas (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive into Kratie in plenty of time to see the sun set over the Mekong on Koh Trong Island – the perfect start to a visit of this relaxing location. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
5 Kayak or cruise along the river to spot the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. In the afternoon admire the Kratie’s French-era architecture and tour the temples in and around town. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
6 🚌Kratie to Phnom Penh bus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Kep bus
(Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 18:30
🏨Samanea Beach (Book >) All hotels >
A looong day of travel, rewarded with ending at the spectacular beaches of gorgeous Kep. Try to book your bus in advance during busy periods.
7-8 Spend a couple of days (or more) on the beach. Take the 20-minute boat ride to tranquil Rabbit Island and, if you get bored of the sand, visit a pepper farm or the nearby Bokor Hill Station. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
9 🚌Kep to Phnom Penh bus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Siem Reap bus
(Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:15
Arr: 17:30
🏨Golden Temple (Book >) All hotels >
Say goodbye to the beach and hello to another day of bus travel. But at the end of it you’ll be in bustling Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat. Buy your multi-day ticket after 5pm and it will only count from the next day. Miss the connection to Siem Reap? No problem, buses depart until 18:00.
10-11 The Angkor Archaeological Park covers 400 square kilometres, so hire a car and driver to explore the site. Must-sees include Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom, and Angkor Thom. Other places for your list are the Terrace of the Leper King, Baphuon, Srah Srang, Preah Ko (Sacred Bull), Baksei Chamkrong, Elephant Terrace, Pre Rup, East Mebon and Preah Khan. At the end of the day go to Phnom Bakheng for sunset. Ask your hotel to help arrange a car and driver.
12 ✈Siem Reap to Phnom Penh bus (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨IRoHa Garden (Book >) All hotels >
More time to see more temples, or any that you may have missed out on during days 10-11. Continuing to Laos? Book your bus from Siem Reap to Don Det (4000 Islands) here (bus departs at 08:00).
13-14 ✈Phnom Penh to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening (next day) Connect this Cambodia itinerary with the Thailand or Vietnam itinerary
Take some culinary inspiration home with you on a food tour.
Budget Kep, Cambodia
1 ✈To Phnom Penh (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨Envoy Hostel (Book >) See all hotels >
You’ll arrive in the evening, so take some time to relax after the long flight.
3 Ease in to life in Cambodia with a gentle day of sightseeing in the capital. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are peaceful and magnificent buildings worthy of a couple of hours of your time. Next door is the National Museum of Cambodia, full of ancient Angkorian artefacts. End the day with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Get your eVisa for Cambodia online here.
4 🚌Phnom Penh to Kratie bus (Book >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 16:30 🏨Hotel River Dolphin (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive into Kratie in plenty of time to see the sun set over the Mekong on Koh Trong Island – the perfect start to a visit of this relaxing location. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
5 Kayak or cruise along the river to spot the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins. In the afternoon admire the Kratie’s French-era architecture and tour the temples in and around town. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
6 🚌Kratie to Phnom Penh bus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Kep bus (Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 18:30
🏨Khmer Hands Bungalows (Book >) All hotels >
A looong day of travel, rewarded with ending at the spectacular beaches of gorgeous Kep. Try to book your bus in advance during busy periods.
7-8 Spend a couple of days (or more) on the beach. Take the 20-minute boat ride to tranquil Rabbit Island and, if you get bored of the sand, visit a pepper farm or the nearby Bokor Hill Station. Ensure your boatmen protect the dolphins by only using oars when near them.
9 🚌Kep to Phnom Penh bus (Book >)
🚌Phnom Penh to Siem Reap bus
(Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:15
Arr: 17:30
🏨Lub d(Book >) All hotels >
Say goodbye to the beach and hello to another day of bus travel. But at the end of it you’ll be in bustling Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor Wat. Buy your multi-day ticket after 5pm and it will only count from the next day. Miss the connection to Siem Reap? No problem, buses depart until 18:00.
10-11 Must-sees here include Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom, and Angkor Thom. Other places for your list are the Terrace of the Leper King, Baphuon, Srah Srang, Preah Ko (Sacred Bull), Baksei Chamkrong, Elephant Terrace, Pre Rup, East Mebon and Preah Khan. At the end of the day go to Phnom Bakheng for sunset. Hire a bicycle, take your time and enjoy sedate, peaceful journeys around the site. If you want to go further then a tuk-tuk can be good value (ask the hostel for advice).
12 ✈Siem Reap to Phnom Penh flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Envoy Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
More time to see more temples, or any that you may have missed out on during days 10-11. Continuing to Laos? Book your bus from Siem Reap to Don Det (4000 Islands) here (bus departs at 08:00).
13-14 ✈Phnom Penh to Home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening (next day) Connect this Cambodia itinerary with the Thailand or Vietnam itinerary
Take some culinary inspiration home with you on a food tour.

🇳🇿NEW ZEALAND SOUTH

Kepler Track, New ZealandNew Zealand’s South Island is one of the most naturally spectacular places on Earth. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s my New Zealand South blog post and here below is your New Zealand South itinerary:

Luxury Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand
1 ✈To Christchurch (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning 🏨The George (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing day in Christchurch recovering from your long journey. Stroll in the Botanic Gardens, see the Victoria Clock Tower, admire the ingenuity of the Cardboard Cathedral and see the Antarctic artefacts in the Canterbury Museum. If you’re from a visa waiver country you don’t need to apply until you arrive in New Zealand
4 🚗Christchurch to Kaikoura drive (Hire car >)
🚗Kaikoura to Nelson drive
Dep: 09:30

Dep: 15:30

Arr: 12:00

Arr: 18:45

🏨Parautane Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in Kaikoura in time to get the 12:45 whale watching boat tour. Sperm whales are resident year-round and so you’re all but guaranteed to get a sighting. Take motion sickness tablets if needed – you’ll be on the sea
5 🚗Nelson to Kaiteriteri drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 10:00 🏨Split Apple Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
A short drive to Kaiteriteri from where you can take a water taxi onto the perfect beaches of Abel Tasman. Spend the day hiking, or maybe hire a kayak for a few hours. There aren’t any shops in the national park so bring food and water.
6 🚗Kaiteriteri to Hokitika drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Rimu Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Just over 5 hours of driving, broken up with a visit to Punakaiki where you can admire the pancake rocks and blowholes. Give yourself plenty of time to get between destinations – you’ll want to stop frequently for beautiful views.
7 🚗Hokitika to Franz Josef drive Dep: 12:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Franz Josef Oasis (Book >) All hotels >
Start your day with a 30 min drive to Hokitika Gorge where you can walk 15 mins to a spectacular swing bridge. In Franz Josef you’ll arrive in time for the 14:15 glacier valley hike (or maybe splash out on a heli hike). Wear plenty of sunscreen – not only is there less ozone above NZ, the snow makes the sun extra strong.
8 🚗Franz Josef to Wanaka drive Dep: 14:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨Lime Tree Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the first part of your day hiking up to the Fox Glacier. Then, on the drive to Wanaka, stop off at the many photogenic spots along the road. The Department of Conversation provides a wealth of info on hiking.
9 A day off from driving to enjoy the glorious hiking around Lake Wanaka. Keep an eye on the weather.
10 🚗Wanaka to Te Anau drive Dep: 07:00 Arr: 10:15 🏨Various trail huts (Book >)
Wake early to get to the start of the Milford or Kepler tracks. Book your place in the trek huts as far in advance as possible.
11-12 Congratulations, you’re on some of the most incredible hikes in the world! You’ll see immense snowy mountains, peaceful lakes and beautiful forests. Read more info here for the Milford Track and here for the Kepler. You can’t buy food on the treks, so think carefully about what to bring (this site gives a good idea).
13 🚗Te Anau to Manipouri drive Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Acheron Cottages (Book >) All hotels >
See the immense Milford Sound on a fjord cruise (just under 2 hours from Te Anau, last departure is 3pm), then drive to nearby Manipori – just 20 mins from Te Anau. This is another opportunity to add a day to your trip if you want to take it easy post-trek.
14 🚗Manipouri to Invercargill drive Dep: 15:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨The Lodges (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’ll go on an 8-hour (starting at 07:15) exploration of remote Doubtful Sound. Your tour will take you by boat over Lake Manipouri, over Wilmott Pass and then kayak along the sound itself. Invest in a dry bag in which to keep your camera (they’re inexpensive).
15 ⛴️Invercargill to Stewart Island ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 10:45 🏨Stewart Island Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
From Oban on Stewart Island you have a choice of tours, including to Ulva Island. Be sure to get a ticket that includes the bus to Bluff.
16 ⛴️Stewart Island  to Invercargill ferry (Book >)
🚗Invercargill to Queenstown drive
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 13:00
🏨Queenstown Park Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
 Queenstown is the adventure sports capital of New Zealand. There is a veritable smorgasbord of activities here. Make sure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
17 A full day to indulge in any more of the activities here, including some amazing hikes. At night take your car out of town for some breathtaking star-gazing.
18 🚗Queenstown to Twizel drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:30 🏨Matuka Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in head to Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and walk beneath New Zealand’s highest mountain. Go to the National Park visitor’s centre for a great view from the picture window.
19-20 🚗Twizel to Chirstchurch drive
✈Christchurch to home (Book >)
Dep: 10:00
Dep: Evening
Arr: 13:45
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this New Zealand South itinerary with the New Zealand North, Australia or Fiji & Samoa itinerary
Give yourself plenty of time to return the car to Christchurch.
Mid-range Milford Sound, New Zealand
1 ✈To Christchurch (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning 🏨Colombo In The City (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing day in Christchurch recovering from your long journey. Stroll in the Botanic Gardens, see the Victoria Clock Tower, admire the ingenuity of the Cardboard Cathedral and see the Antarctic artefacts in the Canterbury Museum. If you’re from a visa waiver country you don’t need to apply until you arrive in New Zealand
4 🚗Christchurch to Kaikoura drive (Hire car >)
🚗Kaikoura to Nelson drive
Dep: 09:30

Dep: 15:30

Arr: 12:00

Arr: 18:45

🏨The Sails Nelson (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in Kaikoura in time to get the 12:45 whale watching boat tour. Sperm whales are resident year-round and so you’re all but guaranteed to get a sighting. Take motion sickness tablets if needed – you’ll be on the sea
5 🚗Nelson to Kaiteriteri drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 10:00 🏨Kimi Ora Eco Resort(Book >) All hotels >
A short drive to Kaiteriteri from where you can take a water taxi onto the perfect beaches of Abel Tasman. Spend the day hiking, or maybe hire a kayak for a few hours. There aren’t any shops in the national park so bring food and water.
6 🚗Kaiteriteri to Hokitika drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Stopforths Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Just over 5 hours of driving, broken up with a visit to Punakaiki where you can admire the pancake rocks and blowholes. Give yourself plenty of time to get between destinations – you’ll want to stop frequently for beautiful views.
7 🚗Hokitika to Franz Josef drive Dep: 12:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Franz Josef Oasis (Book >) All hotels >
Start your day with a 30 min drive to Hokitika Gorge where you can walk 15 mins to a spectacular swing bridge. In Franz Josef you’ll arrive in time for the 14:15 glacier valley hike (or maybe splash out on a heli hike). Wear plenty of sunscreen – not only is there less ozone above NZ, the snow makes the sun extra strong.
8 🚗Franz Josef to Wanaka drive Dep: 14:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨West Meadows Motel (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the first part of your day hiking up to the Fox Glacier. Then, on the drive to Wanaka, stop off at the many photogenic spots along the road. The Department of Conversation provides a wealth of info on hiking.
9 A day off from driving to enjoy the glorious hiking around Lake Wanaka. Keep an eye on the weather.
10 🚗Wanaka to Te Anau drive Dep: 07:00 Arr: 10:15 🏨Various trail huts (Book >)
Wake early to get to the start of the Milford or Kepler tracks. Book your place in the trek huts as far in advance as possible.
11-12 Congratulations, you’re on some of the most incredible hikes in the world! You’ll see immense snowy mountains, peaceful lakes and beautiful forests. Read more info here for the Milford Track and here for the Kepler. You can’t buy food on the treks, so think carefully about what to bring (this site gives a good idea).
13 🚗Te Anau to Manipouri drive Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Acheron Cottages (Book >) All hotels >
See the immense Milford Sound on a fjord cruise (just under 2 hours from Te Anau, last departure is 3pm), then drive to nearby Manipori – just 20 mins from Te Anau. This is another opportunity to add a day to your trip if you want to take it easy post-trek.
14 🚗Manipouri to Invercargill drive Dep: 15:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨Tower Lodge Motel (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’ll go on an 8-hour (starting at 07:15) exploration of remote Doubtful Sound. Your tour will take you by boat over Lake Manipouri, over Wilmott Pass and then kayak along the sound itself. Invest in a dry bag in which to keep your camera (they’re inexpensive).
15 ⛴️Invercargill to Stewart Island ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:45 Arr: 10:45 🏨Bay Motel (Book >) All hotels >
From Oban on Stewart Island you have a choice of tours, including to Ulva Island. Be sure to get a ticket that includes the bus to Bluff.
16 ⛴️Stewart Island to Invercargill ferry (Book >)
🚗Invercargill to Queenstown drive
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 13:00
🏨Queenstown Park Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
Queenstown is the adventure sports capital of New Zealand. There is a veritable smorgasbord of activities here. Make sure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
17 A full day to indulge in any more of the activities here, including some amazing hikes. At night take your car out of town for some breathtaking star-gazing.
18 🚗Queenstown to Aoraki/Mt Cook drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:15 🏨Aoraki Court (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in head out into Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and walk beneath New Zealand’s highest mountain. Go to the National Park visitor’s centre for a great view from the picture window.
19-20 🚗Aoraki/Mt Cook to Chirstchurch drive
✈Christchurch to home (Book >)
Dep: 09:15
Dep: Evening
Arr: 13:45
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this New Zealand South itinerary with the New Zealand North, Australia or Fiji & Samoa itinerary
Give yourself plenty of time to return the car to Christchurch.
Budget Mount Cook, New Zealand
1 ✈To Christchurch (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2-3 Arr: Morning 🏨Dorset House Backpackers (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing day in Christchurch recovering from your long journey. Stroll in the Botanic Gardens, see the Victoria Clock Tower, admire the ingenuity of the Cardboard Cathedral and see the Antarctic artefacts in the Canterbury Museum. If you’re from a visa waiver country you don’t need to apply until you arrive in New Zealand
4 🚌Christchurch to Kaikoura bus (Book >) Dep: 07:00 Arr: 09:50 🏨Albatross Backpackers Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in Kaikoura in time to get the 10:00 or 12:45 whale watching boat tour. Sperm whales are resident year-round and so you’re all but guaranteed to get a sighting. Later in the afternoon hire a kayak or walk along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway. Take motion sickness tablets if needed – you’ll be on the sea
5 🚌Kaikoura Blenheim bus (Book >)
🚌Blenheim to Nelson bus (Book >)
Dep: 10:30
Dep: 13:30
Arr: 12:25
Arr: 15:15
🏨Bridge Backpackers (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy the quaint city of Nelson or walk to dramatic Harwoods Hole. This blog post has good advice on Nelson cheap eats.
6 Take the 07:30 bus to Marahau and enjoy several hours of hiking or kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park. The bus returns at 16:10. There aren’t any shops in the national park so bring food and water.
7 🚌Nelson to Franz Josef bus (Book >) Dep: 07:15 Arr: 17:04 🏨Glow Worm Accommodation (Book >) All hotels >
Relax on the coach and watch the wild West Coast scenery fly by. Remember to pack some lunch and snacks – the coach may stop at expensive rest stops.
8 You have a full day in which to enjoy the hikes around Franz Josef Glacier. Wear plenty of sunscreen – not only is there less ozone above NZ, the snow makes the sun extra strong.
9 🚌Franz Josef to Wanaka bus (Book >) Dep: 08:00 Arr: 14:46 🏨YHA Wanaka (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a spectacular journey then take yourself out on one of the many hikes around Lake Wanaka. The Department of Conversation provides a wealth of info on hiking.
10 🚌Wanaka to Queenstown bus (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 11:50 🏨Adventure Queenstown (Book >) All hotels >
Work your way through the large list of adventure sports around Queenstown, including some amazing hikes. Make sure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
11 🚌Queenstown to Te Anau bus (Book >) Dep: 06:45 Arr: 09:10 🏨Various trail huts (Book >)
Wake early to get to the start of the Milford or Kepler tracks. There are also coaches at 07:05 and 07:20. Book your place in the trek huts as far in advance as possible.
12-13 Congratulations, you’re on some of the most incredible hikes in the world! You’ll see immense snowy mountains, peaceful lakes and beautiful forests. Read more info here for the Milford Track and here for the Kepler. You can’t buy food on the treks, so think carefully about what to bring (this site gives a good idea).
14 🚶/🚌To Milford Sound hike/bus (Book >)
🚌Milford Sound to Te Anau bus (Book >)
Dep: 10:00

Dep: 15:25

Arr: 13:10

Arr: 17:00

🏨YHA Te Anau (Book >) All hotels >
If you’re on the Milford Track you’ll walk in to Milford Sound, if you’re on the Kepler then you’ll need to take the coach from Te Anau. See the immense Milford Sound on a fjord cruise. This is another opportunity to add a day to your trip if you want to take it easy post-trek.
15 🚌Te Anau to Queenstown bus (Book >) Dep: 17:20 Arr: 19:35 🏨Adventure Queenstown (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’ll go on an 8-hour (starting at 07:15) exploration of remote Doubtful Sound. Your tour will take you by boat over Lake Manipouri, over Wilmott Pass and then kayak along the sound itself. Invest in a dry bag in which to keep your camera (they’re inexpensive).
16 A full day to indulge in more of the activities in Queenstown. The weather can effect which activities are running.
17 🚌Queenstown to Mt Cook bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 12:15 🏨YHA Mt Cook (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in head out into Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park and walk beneath New Zealand’s highest mountain. Go to the National Park visitor’s centre for a great view from the picture window.
18 🚌Mt Cook to Christchurch bus (Book >) Dep: 14:45 Arr: 19:20 🏨Dorset House Backpackers (Book >) All hotels >
Get in your last hike in New Zealand before journeying back to Christchurch. Make sure that your insurance covers you for the various adventures sports on offer here.
19-20 ✈Christchurch to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this New Zealand South itinerary with the New Zealand North, Australia or Fiji & Samoa itinerary
The bus to the airport takes 30 minutes.

🇹🇷WESTERN TURKEY

Istanbul, TurkeyA land of huge contrasts, from the minarets, markets and mosques of Istanbul, to the beaches of the Med, to the weird rock formations of Cappadocia. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s my Western Turkey blog post and here below is your Western Turkey itinerary:

Luxury Ephesus, Turkey
1 ✈Istanbul (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Four Seasons at Sultanahmet(Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive in time to hear the last couple of muezzin calls to prayer – an evocative soundtrack for your visit. Get your bearings from the top of Galata Tower. It’s recommended that you obtain an e-visa for Turkey before you arrive. Apply here.
2 An action-packed day starting with a visit to the immense Aya Sofya. Just next to the mosque is the fascinating Basilica Cistern, the scene of many movies. Nearby is the unmissable (be sure to take in the Blue Mosque on the way) Topkapi Palace where you’ll find peaceful courtyards, a rich treasury and incredible views across the Bosphorus. You will need to dress modestly in order to visit the mosques. Bear in mind that you will also have to take your shoes off before entering.
3 At 10:35 embark on a ferry tour from Eminönü docks up the beautiful Bosphorus to Anadolu Kavağı where you can walk up to the ruined Yoros Kalesi fortress and look out over the Black Sea. You’ll be back in the city at 16:40 – plenty of time to see the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. The sights mentioned here are within easy reach if you’re on foot. Istanbul also has a good metro system, the journey planner can be found here.
4 🚌Istanbul to Çanakkale bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 11:55 🏨Artur Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Hop on the Metro to Otogar İstasyonu for your bus to Çanakkale. Join a tour to Troy at 13:00 – marvel at the excavatations and reproduction Trojan horse, then return at 17:00. There’s another Trojan horse model in town if you fancy another snap. Try to visit Troy mid-week to avoid it at its busiest.
5 🚌Çanakkale to Izmir bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:32 🏨Swissotel Buyuk Efes Izmir (Book >) All hotels >
Izmir is over 5,000 years old and you’ll want to head straight for the buzz of Konak Square. Alternatively, catch a later bus and visit the Gallipoli battlefields from Çanakkale. In the evening explores the streets of Izmir’s Alsancak. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Spend the day on a tour visiting the breathtaking ruins at Ephesus and St Mary’s House. Avoid the dark and narrow alleys in Alsancak at night.
7 🚌Izmir to Fethiye bus (Book >) Dep: 10:01 Arr: 16:00 🏨Yacht Classic (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’re on your way to the gorgeous coastline of Lycia. Look out for signpost number 6 and head up hill for a superb view from Ojstrica.
8-9 Fethiye not only is surrounded by beautiful beaches but also boasts ancient sarcophaguses in town as well as cave tombs in the cliffs. You may also wish to go on a thoroughly enjoyable 12 Island boat cruise or take a dolmuş to the Blue Lagoon. Consider renting a car in Fethiye for easy travel to and from the beaches.
10 🚌Fethiye to Kas bus (Book >) Dep: 09:45 Arr: 11:55 🏨Lukka Exclusive (Book >) All hotels >
Join a diving or snorkelling or diving trip in Kas then, in the evening, soak up the atmosphere in the cute streets and main square. The old amphitheatre is safe to visit at night and looks amazing under spotlights.
11 🚌Kas to Antalya bus Dep: Every 1.15 hours Arr: About 4hrs later 🏨Hotel Barat Lara (Book >) All hotels >
In Antalya visit the many sights of Kaleiçi (the old quarter), including the famous fluted minaret, the fortified Roman port and the ruins of Kesik Minare. Ask your hotel to call Bati Antalya on (242)-836-36-77 to book your bus ticket.
12 ✈Antalya to Kayseri flight
(Book >)
🚕Kayseri to Ürgüp transfer (Book >)
Dep: Morning

Dep: 12:30

Arr: Morning

Arr: 14:20

🏨Kayakapi Premium Caves (Book >) All hotels >
Ürgüp is the perfect base from which to explore this part of Cappadocia. This is also considered one of the best places in which to enjoy a hot air balloon ride, especially at sunset. Book your transfer to Antalya airport here.
13 A full day in which to explore the trails along the surrounding valleys. This site will help you to plan them out. Be sure to take plenty of water with you on hikes, especially in summer, and aware that lone women have in the past been attacked.
14 🚕Ürgüp to Kayseri transfer
✈Kayseri to Istanbul flight (Book >)
✈Istanbul to Home
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: 08:50
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Evening
Connect this Western Turkey itinerary with the Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
Book a transfer to Kayseri airport.
Mid-range Fethiye, Turkey
1 ✈Istanbul (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨White House Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive in time to hear the last couple of muezzin calls to prayer – an evocative soundtrack for your visit. Get your bearings from the top of Galata Tower. It’s recommended that you obtain an e-visa for Turkey before you arrive. Apply here.
2 An action-packed day starting with a visit to the immense Aya Sofya. Just next to the mosque is the fascinating Basilica Cistern, the scene of many movies. Nearby is the unmissable (be sure to take in the Blue Mosque on the way) Topkapi Palace where you’ll find peaceful courtyards, a rich treasury and incredible views across the Bosphorus. You will need to dress modestly in order to visit the mosques. Bear in mind that you will also have to take your shoes off before entering.
3 At 10:35 embark on a ferry tour from Eminönü docks up the beautiful Bosphorus to Anadolu Kavağı where you can walk up to the ruined Yoros Kalesi fortress and look out over the Black Sea. You’ll be back in the city at 16:40 – plenty of time to see the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. The sights mentioned here are within easy reach if you’re on foot. Istanbul also has a good metro system, the journey planner can be found here.
4 🚌Istanbul to Çanakkale bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 11:55 🏨Artur Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Hop on the Metro to Otogar İstasyonu for your bus to Çanakkale. Join a tour to Troy at 13:00 – marvel at the excavatations and reproduction Trojan horse, then return at 17:00. There’s another Trojan horse model in town if you fancy another snap. Try to visit Troy mid-week to avoid it at its busiest.
5 🚌Çanakkale to Izmir bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:32 🏨Renaissance Izmir (Book >) All hotels >
Izmir is over 5,000 years old and you’ll want to head straight for the buzz of Konak Square. Alternatively, catch a later bus and visit the Gallipoli battlefields from Çanakkale. In the evening explores the streets of Izmir’s Alsancak. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Spend the day on a tour visiting the breathtaking ruins at Ephesus and St Mary’s House. Avoid the dark and narrow alleys in Alsancak at night.
7 🚌Izmir to Fethiye bus (Book >) Dep: 10:01 Arr: 16:00 🏨Jiva Beach Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’re on your way to the gorgeous coastline of Lycia. Look out for signpost number 6 and head up hill for a superb view from Ojstrica.
8-9 Fethiye not only is surrounded by beautiful beaches but also boasts ancient sarcophaguses in town as well as cave tombs in the cliffs. You may also wish to go on a thoroughly enjoyable 12 Island boat cruise or take a dolmuş to the Blue Lagoon. Consider renting a car in Fethiye for easy travel to and from the beaches.
10 🚌Fethiye to Kas bus (Book >) Dep: 09:45 Arr: 11:55 🏨Hotel Sonne (Book >) All hotels >
Join a diving or snorkelling or diving trip in Kas then, in the evening, soak up the atmosphere in the cute streets and main square. You may want to invest in your own snorkelling kit to visit Kucuk Cakil or Buyuk Cakil beach for free
11 🚌Kas to Antalya bus Dep: Every 1.15 hours Arr: About 4hrs later 🏨Dogan Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
In Antalya visit the many sights of Kaleiçi (the old quarter), including the famous fluted minaret, the fortified Roman port and the ruins of Kesik Minare. Ask your hotel to call Bati Antalya on (242)-836-36-77 to book your bus ticket.
12 ✈Antalya to Kayseri flight
(Book >)
🚕Kayseri to Ürgüp transfer (Book >)
Dep: Morning

Dep: 12:30

Arr: Morning

Arr: 14:20

🏨Perimasali Cave Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Ürgüp is the perfect base from which to explore this part of Cappadocia. This is also considered one of the best places in which to enjoy a hot air balloon ride, especially at sunset. Book your transfer to Antalya airport here.
13 A full day in which to explore the trails along the surrounding valleys. This site will help you to plan them out. Be sure to take plenty of water with you on hikes, especially in summer, and aware that lone women have in the past been attacked.
14 🚕Ürgüp to Kayseri transfer
✈Kayseri to Istanbul flight (Book >)
✈Istanbul to Home
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: 08:50
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Evening
Connect this Western Turkey itinerary with the Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
Book a transfer to Kayseri airport.
Budget Cappadocia, Turkey
1 ✈Istanbul (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Second Home Hostel(Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive in time to hear the last couple of muezzin calls to prayer – an evocative soundtrack for your visit. Get your bearings from the top of Galata Tower. It’s recommended that you obtain an e-visa for Turkey before you arrive. Apply here.
2 An action-packed day starting with a visit to the immense Aya Sofya. Just next to the mosque is the fascinating Basilica Cistern, the scene of many movies. Nearby is the unmissable (be sure to take in the Blue Mosque on the way) Topkapi Palace where you’ll find peaceful courtyards, a rich treasury and incredible views across the Bosphorus. You will need to dress modestly in order to visit the mosques. Bear in mind that you will also have to take your shoes off before entering.
3 At 10:35 embark on a ferry tour from Eminönü docks up the beautiful Bosphorus to Anadolu Kavağı where you can walk up to the ruined Yoros Kalesi fortress and look out over the Black Sea. You’ll be back in the city at 16:40 – plenty of time to see the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. The sights mentioned here are within easy reach if you’re on foot. Istanbul also has a good metro system, the journey planner can be found here.
4 🚌Istanbul to Çanakkale bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 11:55 🏨Güven Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Hop on the Metro to Otogar İstasyonu for your bus to Çanakkale. Dolmuses leave Çanakkale for Troy every hour on the hour, with the last one returning at 17:30. There’s another Trojan horse model in town if you fancy another snap. Try to visit Troy mid-week to avoid it at its busiest.
5 🚌Çanakkale to Izmir bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:32 🏨Piano Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Izmir is over 5,000 years old and you’ll want to head straight for the buzz of Konak Square. Alternatively, catch a later bus and visit the Gallipoli battlefields from Çanakkale. In the evening explores the streets of Izmir’s Alsancak. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Take a dolmus to Selcuk bus station and then another to the breathtaking ruins at Ephesus and St Mary’s House. Avoid the dark and narrow alleys in Alsancak at night.
7 🚌Izmir to Fethiye bus (Book >) Dep: 10:01 Arr: 16:00 🏨Sakura Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’re on your way to the gorgeous coastline of Lycia. Look out for signpost number 6 and head up hill for a superb view from Ojstrica.
8-9 Fethiye not only is surrounded by beautiful beaches but also boasts ancient sarcophaguses in town as well as cave tombs in the cliffs. You may also wish to go on a thoroughly enjoyable 12 Island boat cruise or take a dolmuş to the Blue Lagoon. Either dolmus or regular buses can take you to and from the beaches.
10 🚌Fethiye to Kas bus (Book >) Dep: 09:45 Arr: 11:55 🏨Meltem Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
Join a diving or snorkelling or diving trip in Kas then, in the evening, soak up the atmosphere in the cute streets and main square. You may want to invest in your own snorkelling kit to visit Kucuk Cakil or Buyuk Cakil beach for free.
11 🚌Kas to Antalya bus Dep: Every 1.15 hours Arr: About 4hrs later 🏨Role Street Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
In Antalya visit the many sights of Kaleiçi (the old quarter), including the famous fluted minaret, the fortified Roman port and the ruins of Kesik Minare. Ask your hotel to call Bati Antalya on (242)-836-36-77 to book your bus ticket.
12 🚌Antalya to Göreme bus
(Book >)
Dep: 22:00 🏨Night bus
Chill out on Konyaalti Beach or visit the Düdenb waterfalls before your night bus. Take ear plugs and a sleeping mask for the bus.
13 🚌Antalya to Göreme bus Arr: 07:15 🏨Sato Cave Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Göreme is the perfect base from which to explore this part of Cappadocia. This site will help you to plan out some hikes. Be sure to take plenty of water with you on hikes, especially in summer, and aware that lone women have in the past been attacked.
14 🚌Göreme to Kayseri bus (Book >)
✈Kayseri to Istanbul flight (Book >)
✈Istanbul to Home
Dep: 06:15
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: 07:30
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Evening
Connect this Western Turkey itinerary with the Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
If you don’t want to get up so early you can book a transfer to Kayseri airport.