🇦🇷SOUTHERN ARGENTINA

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

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

 

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

 

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

🇳🇵NEPAL

Poon Hill, NepalYou’ll need to be somewhat fit to tackle the magnificent treks in Nepal, but the reward for all that effort is a front-row view of the world’s highest mountains. Back where the oxygen is less thin are fascinating cities and incredible wildlife-spotting opportunities Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Nepal itinerary:

Luxury Chitwan National Park, Nepal
1 ✈To Kathmandu (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel The Dwarika’s (Book >) All hotels >
Relax in your beautiful hotel and go for a stroll around the old city.
3 Explore the Thamel District, visit the Pashupatinath Temple, famous Boudhanath Stupa, beautiful Taleju Temple, the Patan Museum and, if time, climb up to up to the ancient Swayambhu temple for breathtaking views. Mid-afternoon head over to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur. Visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival.
4 ✈Kathmandu to Pokhara flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Pavilions Himalayas (Book >) All hotels >
You have a little more time this morning to see any sights you missed out on yesterday before the breathtaking flight to Pokhara. Once you’ve arrived, dropped off your bags and got your trekking permit, head to the lake for a serene paddle over the water. You will need to get a trekking permit (details here) – head straight to the Nepal Tourism Board office when you arrive in Pokhara or ask your hotel for help.
5 🚕Pokhara to Nayapul taxi
🚶Nayapul to Ulleri hike
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 09:00
Arr: 08:45
Arr: 16:00
🏨Super View Guest House
From Nayapul walk to the Birethani checkpoint and get your permit checked. Then onwards and upwards, through valleys and past rivers. Along the way you’ll pass tea houses where you can stop off for food and drink. It isn’t necessary to book guest houses in advance – if those I’ve recommended aren’t available then be assured that standards don’t vary much.
6 🚶Ulleri to Ghorepani hike Dep: 07:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Super View Lodge
3,767 stairs to Ghorepani, stopping at beautiful Ulleri village. About halfway through the walk you’ll start getting glimpses of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Once in Ghorepani leave your bags at the teahouse and take a couple of hours to rest, before ascending Poon Hill (about 45 mins away). From the top is one of the best views you’re ever likely to see. These trekking times allow for a slow pace and many rest stops!
7 🚶Ghorepani to Tadapani hike Dep: 08:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨Fishtail Lodge
Awake at 04:00 and trek back up Poon Hill for a spectacular sunrise. Return for breakfast then enjoy today’s walk through forests, over rivers, up to the highest point on the trek (about 10,000 ft) and yes, more steps. Tadapani has amazing views – including of the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhre – which you can admire over a recuperating drink. Plastic water bottles can’t be bought on the trek – buy a filter water bottle. You’ll also need to bring your own sleeping bag, liner and towel.
8 🚶Tadapani to Birethanti hike
🚕Birethanti to Pokhara taxi
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:30
Arr: 17:00
🏨The Pavilions Himalayas (Book >) All hotels >
A relatively easy walk, descending to Birethanti and stopping off at Ghandrung village. Back in Pokhara treat yourself to a well-earned massage. Do you need a guide for your trek? I don’t think so, at least not for this one which is a pretty obvious route.
9 🚗Pokhara to Bandipur drive (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 13:30 🏨Depche Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Meet your guide and enjoy the drive to Bandipur. This well-preserved medieval town boasts old temples and shrines, as well as superb views of the Himalaya from Tudikhel hill. Be wary of the signs of altitude sickness.
10 🚗Bandipur to Andrauli drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 11:00 🏨Barahi Jungle Lodge(Book >) All hotels >
Drive on to Chitwan National Park where you will spend today and tomorrow seeking out tigers, rhinos and wild elephants. Take a power bank with you on treks and safaris.
11 More time to see wildlife, including deer, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boars and many species of birds. Do not ride elephants! They are often mistreated.
12 🚗Andrauli to Kathmandu drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Hotel The Dwarika’s (Book >) All hotels >
Back in Kathmandu you’ll have plenty of time to see any sights you missed on days 2-4. In need of souvenirs? Pick them up at Mangal Bazaar. You can’t take Nepalese rupees out of the country; exchange before you leave.
13 Today you’re going on a flight to see Mount Everest. The flight starts early and has you back on the ground in an hour, during which time you’ll see the world’s highest peak from your guaranteed window seat. If you want to extend your trip then consider travelling to Lukla on day 13 for a ground view of Everest.
14 ✈Kathmandu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Nepal itinerary with the China or India (Rajasthan) itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Kathmandu, Nepal
1 ✈To Kathmandu (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Tibet International (Book >) All hotels >
Relax in your beautiful hotel and go for a stroll around the old city.
3 Explore the Thamel District, visit the Pashupatinath Temple, famous Boudhanath Stupa, beautiful Taleju Temple, the Patan Museum and, if time, climb up to up to the ancient Swayambhu temple for breathtaking views. Mid-afternoon head over to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur. Visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival.
4 ✈Kathmandu to Pokhara flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
You have a little more time this morning to see any sights you missed out on yesterday before the breathtaking flight to Pokhara. Once you’ve arrived, dropped off your bags and got your trekking permit, head to the lake for a serene paddle over the water. You will need to get a trekking permit (details here) – head straight to the Nepal Tourism Board office when you arrive in Pokhara or ask your hotel for help.
5 🚕Pokhara to Nayapul taxi
🚶Nayapul to Ulleri hike
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 09:00
Arr: 08:45
Arr: 16:00
🏨Super View Guest House
From Nayapul walk to the Birethani checkpoint and get your permit checked. Then onwards and upwards, through valleys and past rivers. Along the way you’ll pass tea houses where you can stop off for food and drink. It isn’t necessary to book guest houses in advance – if those I’ve recommended aren’t available then be assured that standards don’t vary much.
6 🚶Ulleri to Ghorepani hike Dep: 07:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Super View Lodge
3,767 stairs to Ghorepani, stopping at beautiful Ulleri village. About halfway through the walk you’ll start getting glimpses of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Once in Ghorepani leave your bags at the teahouse and take a couple of hours to rest, before ascending Poon Hill (about 45 mins away). From the top is one of the best views you’re ever likely to see. These trekking times allow for a slow pace and many rest stops!
7 🚶Ghorepani to Tadapani hike Dep: 08:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨Fishtail Lodge
Awake at 04:00 and trek back up Poon Hill for a spectacular sunrise. Return for breakfast then enjoy today’s walk through forests, over rivers, up to the highest point on the trek (about 10,000 ft) and yes, more steps. Tadapani has amazing views – including of the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhre – which you can admire over a recuperating drink. Plastic water bottles can’t be bought on the trek – buy a filter water bottle. You’ll also need to bring your own sleeping bag, liner and towel.
8 🚶Tadapani to Naya Pul hike
🚌Naya Pul to Pokhara bus
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 15:15
Arr: 14:45
Arr: 17:15
🏨Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
A relatively easy walk, descending to Naya Pul and stopping off at Ghandrung village. At the end of the trek you’ll need to wait for a passing bus back to Pokhara. Back in the city treat yourself to a well-earned massage. Do you need a guide for your trek? I don’t think so, at least not for this one which is a pretty obvious route.
9 🚌Pokhara to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar to Bandipur bus
Dep: 10:30
Dep: 13:30
Arr: 13:00
Arr: 14:30
🏨Gaun Ghar (Book >) All hotels >
The well-preserved medieval town of Bandipur boasts old temples and shrines, as well as superb views of the Himalaya from Tudikhel hill. Ask your hotel about transport from Dumre and to book your bus ticket to Sauraha.
10 🚌Bandipur to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar  to Sauraha bus
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 13:30
🏨Green Park Chitwan (Book >) All hotels >
Drive on to Chitwan National Park where you will spend today and tomorrow seeking out tigers, rhinos and wild elephants. Ask your Chitwan hotel to collect you from the bus stop.
11 More time to see wildlife, including deer, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boars and many species of birds. Do not ride elephants! They are often mistreated.
12 🚌Sauraha to Kathmandu bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Tibet International (Book >) All hotels >
Back in Kathmandu you’ll have plenty of time to see any sights you missed on days 2-4. In need of souvenirs? Pick them up at Mangal Bazaar. You can’t take Nepalese rupees out of the country; exchange before you leave.
13 Today you’re going on a flight to see Mount Everest. The flight starts early and has you back on the ground in an hour, during which time you’ll see the world’s highest peak from your guaranteed window seat. If you want to extend your trip then consider travelling to Lukla on day 13 for a ground view of Everest.
14 ✈Kathmandu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Nepal itinerary with the China or India (Rajasthan) itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Budget Mount Everest
1 ✈To Kathmandu (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨WanderThirst Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Relax in your beautiful hotel and go for a stroll around the old city.
3 Explore the Thamel District, visit the Pashupatinath Temple, famous Boudhanath Stupa, beautiful Taleju Temple, the Patan Museum and, if time, climb up to up to the ancient Swayambhu temple for breathtaking views. Mid-afternoon head over to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bhaktapur. Visitors from most countries can obtain a visa on arrival.
4 🚌Kathmandu to Pokhara bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 15:00 🏨The Mountain House (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve arrived in Pokhara, dropped off your bags and got your trekking permit, head to the lake for a serene paddle over the water. You will need to get a trekking permit (details here) – head straight to the Nepal Tourism Board office when you arrive in Pokhara or ask your hostel for help.
5 🚌Pokhara to Nayapul bus
🚶Nayapul to Ulleri hike
Dep: 07:00
Dep: 09:00
Arr: 09:00
Arr: 16:00
🏨Super View Guest House
From Nayapul walk to the Birethani checkpoint and get your permit checked. Then onwards and upwards, through valleys and past rivers. Along the way you’ll pass tea houses where you can stop off for food and drink. It isn’t necessary to book guest houses in advance – if those I’ve recommended aren’t available then be assured that standards don’t vary much.
6 🚶Ulleri to Ghorepani hike Dep: 07:00 Arr: 15:00 🏨Super View Lodge
3,767 stairs to Ghorepani, stopping at beautiful Ulleri village. About halfway through the walk you’ll start getting glimpses of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Once in Ghorepani leave your bags at the teahouse and take a couple of hours to rest, before ascending Poon Hill (about 45 mins away). From the top is one of the best views you’re ever likely to see. These trekking times allow for a slow pace and many rest stops!
7 🚶Ghorepani to Tadapani hike Dep: 08:30 Arr: 17:30 🏨Fishtail Lodge
Awake at 04:00 and trek back up Poon Hill for a spectacular sunrise. Return for breakfast then enjoy today’s walk through forests, over rivers, up to the highest point on the trek (about 10,000 ft) and yes, more steps. Tadapani has amazing views – including of the fishtail peak of Machhapuchhre – which you can admire over a recuperating drink. Plastic water bottles can’t be bought on the trek – buy a filter water bottle. You’ll also need to bring your own sleeping bag, liner and towel.
8 🚶Tadapani to Naya Pul hike
🚌Syauli Bazaar to Naya Pul bus
Dep: 08:00
Dep: 15:15
Arr: 14:45
Arr: 17:15
🏨The Mountain House (Book >) All hotels >
A relatively easy walk, descending to Naya Pul and stopping off at Ghandrung village. At the end of the trek you’ll need to wait for a passing bus back to Pokhara. Back in Pokhara treat yourself to a well-earned massage. Do you need a guide for your trek? I don’t think so, at least not for this one which is a pretty obvious route.
9 🚌Pokhara to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar to Bandipur bus
Dep: 10:30
Dep: 13:30
Arr: 13:00
Arr: 14:30
🏨Hotel The North Face (Book >) All hotels >
Meet your guide and enjoy the drive to Bandipur. This well-preserved medieval town boasts old temples and shrines, as well as superb views of the Himalaya from Tudikhel hill. Ask your hotel about transport from Dumre and to book your bus ticket to Sauraha.
10 🚌Bandipur to Dumre Bazaar bus
🚌Dumre Bazaar  to Sauraha bus
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 10:30
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 13:30
🏨Hotel Rhino Land (Book >) All hotels >
Drive on to Chitwan National Park where you will spend today and tomorrow seeking out tigers, rhinos and wild elephants. Ask your hostel to collect you from the bus stop.
11 More time to see wildlife, including deer, monkeys, crocodiles, wild boars and many species of birds. Do not ride elephants! They are often mistreated.
12 🚌Sauraha to Kathmandu bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨WanderThirst Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Back in Kathmandu you’ll have plenty of time to see any sights you missed on days 2-4. In need of souvenirs? Pick them up at Mangal Bazaar. You can’t take Nepalese rupees out of the country; exchange before you leave.
13 Today you’re going on a flight to see Mount Everest. The flight starts early and has you back on the ground in an hour, during which time you’ll see the world’s highest peak from your guaranteed window seat. If you want to extend your trip then consider travelling to Lukla on day 13 for a ground view of Everest.
14 ✈Kathmandu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Nepal itinerary with the China or India (Rajasthan) itinerary
Ask your hostel for help flagging a meter taxi to the airport.

🇭🇺HUNGARY, 🇷🇴ROMANIA & 🇧🇬BULGARIA

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

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

🇸🇪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.

🇨🇭SWITZERLAND

Lauterbrunnen Valley, SwitzerlandIf you like mountains, picturesque valleys, cute Alpine scenes, beautiful lakes and excellent public transport, you’re going to love Switzerland. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Switzerland itinerary:

Luxury Lucerne, Switzerland
1 To Zurich (✈ Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Widder Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in to your hotel in the lovely Lindenhof district, go for an evening stroll along Niederdorfstrasse. Buy a Swiss Travel Pass in advance as this will include the train journey from the airport.
2 Visit historic Grossmünster church and then the Swiss National Museum. Indulge in some shopping along Bahnhofstrasse and then go to the fascinating horology museum Uhrenmuseum Beyer. In the evening go for a drink at the famous Cabaret Voltaire. Public bicycles are free to use in Zurich – put down a small deposit at the Swiss National Museum and remember to bring ID.
3 🚄Zurich to Lucerne train (Book >) Dep: 10:04 Arr: 10:49 🏨Hotel des Balances (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the Old Town then take a trip up Mount Pilatus which, between May and October, can be visited as part of the Golden Round Trip. Back in town a walk across the famous Chapel Bridge is a must, as are the city defences of Musegg Wall. Consider downloading the SBB rail app, for quick and easy reference to the rail system timetable.
4 🚄Lucerne to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald train (Book >)
Dep: 12:06
Dep: 14:05
Arr: 13:55
Arr: 14:38
🏨Hotel Belvedere Grindelwald (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, then enjoy the beautiful train ride to Grindelwald. Here you can take the gondola up to First and enjoy hikes long or short in tremendous mountain scenery (my favourites include to Grosse Scheidegg or Bachalpsee). Pack layers – it can be warm in the valleys but cold up the mountains.
5 Today you’ll embark on one of the most incredible journeys on this planet; two steep train journeys to the mountain-top Jungfraujoch. Later in the afternoon visit the dramatic Gletscherschlucht. Go for a short walk to Mönchsjoch Hut when you reach Jungfraujoch
6 🚄Grindelwald to Zweilütschinen train
🚄Zweilütschinen to Lauterbrunnen (Book >) train
🚡Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp cablecar
🚄Grütschalp to Mürren train (Book >)
Dep: 09:49
Dep: 10:16
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 10:44
Arr: 10:09
Arr: 10:25
Arr: 10:42
Arr: 10:58
🏨Hotel Eiger (Book >) All hotels >
A true test of the perfectly punctual Swiss transport system, this is a journey which you’ll be glued to the window throughout. When you arrive you can enjoy the peaceful alpine village of Mürren before heading on up the remarkable Schilthorn. The Schilthorn restaurant may not have the most refined cuisine, but it does revolve and is the best place to see the views.
7 🚄Mürren to Grütschalp train
🚡Grütschalp to Lauterbrunnen cablecar (Book >)
🚄Lauterbrunnen  to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Spiez train
🚄Spiez to Visp train
🚄Visp to Zermatt train (Book >)
Dep: 09:58
Dep: 10:13
Dep: 10:32
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 11:36
Dep: 12:08
Arr: 10:11
Arr: 10:17
Arr: 10:53
Arr: 11:21
Arr: 12:02
Arr: 13:14
🏨Hotel The Omnia (Book >) All hotels >
Another day of picturesque journeys and another day where you end up in glorious mountain scenery. Zermatt is where you come for views of the famous Matterhorn, best seen from Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Miss a connection? Not a problem. Trains in Switzerland are frequent.
8 🚄Zermatt to Visp train
🚄Visp to Montreux train (Book >)
Dep: 14:13
Dep: 15:35
Arr: 15:22
Arr: 16:46
🏨Hotel Victoria (Book >) All hotels >
Ride on the Gornergrat Bahn for your last mountain journey and hike, then depart for Montreux where you can stroll along the lake to Chillon Castle. You are now in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
9 🚄Montreux to Geneva train (Book >) Dep: 11:47 Arr: 12:48 🏨Hotel D’Angleterre (Book >) All hotels >
Time for more promenade strolling before departing to Geneva. In Geneva you can walk down to the waterfront to look at the huge fountain, go to St. Pierre Cathedral and climb the towers, see the muddy and clear rivers meet at La Pointe de la Jonction and visit the United Nations building. Get a free Geneva Transport Card from your hotel.
10 Geneva to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Switzerland itinerary with the France, Italy, Germany or Austria & Munich itinerary
Enjoy any sights you missed yesterday before heading to the airport.
Mid-range Matterhorn, Switzerland
1 To Zurich (✈ Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Plattenhof (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in to your hotel in the lovely Lindenhof district, go for an evening stroll along Niederdorfstrasse. Buy a Swiss Travel Pass in advance as this will include the train journey from the airport.
2 Visit historic Grossmünster church and then the Swiss National Museum. Indulge in some shopping along Bahnhofstrasse and then go to the fascinating horology museum Uhrenmuseum Beyer. In the evening go for a drink at the famous Cabaret Voltaire. Public bicycles are free to use in Zurich – put down a small deposit at the Swiss National Museum and remember to bring ID.
3 🚄Zurich to Lucerne train (Book >) Dep: 10:04 Arr: 10:49 🏨Keyforge City Apartments Waldstätter 8 (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the Old Town then take a trip up Mount Pilatus which, between May and October, can be visited as part of the Golden Round Trip. Back in town a walk across the famous Chapel Bridge is a must, as are the city defences of Musegg Wall. Consider downloading the SBB rail app, for quick and easy reference to the rail system timetable.
4 🚄Lucerne to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald train (Book >)
Dep: 12:06
Dep: 14:05
Arr: 13:55
Arr: 14:38
🏨Hotel Alpina (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, then enjoy the beautiful train ride to Grindelwald. Here you can take the gondola up to First and enjoy hikes long or short in tremendous mountain scenery (my favourites include to Grosse Scheidegg or Bachalpsee). Pack layers – it can be warm in the valleys but cold up the mountains.
5 Today you’ll embark on one of the most incredible journeys on this planet; two steep train journeys to the mountain-top Jungfraujoch. Later in the afternoon visit the dramatic Gletscherschlucht. Go for a short walk to Mönchsjoch Hut when you reach Jungfraujoch
6 🚄Grindelwald to Zweilütschinen train
🚄Zweilütschinen to Lauterbrunnen train (Book >)
🚡Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp cablecar
🚄Grütschalp to Mürren train (Book >)
Dep: 09:49
Dep: 10:16
Dep: 10:38
Dep: 10:44
Arr: 10:09
Arr: 10:25
Arr: 10:42
Arr: 10:58
🏨Eiger Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
A true test of the perfectly punctual Swiss transport system, this is a journey which you’ll be glued to the window throughout. When you arrive you can enjoy the peaceful alpine village of Mürren before heading on up the remarkable Schilthorn. The Schilthorn restaurant may not have the most refined cuisine, but it does revolve and is the best place to see the views.
7 🚄Mürren to Grütschalp train
🚡Grütschalp to Lauterbrunnen cablecar (Book >)
🚄Lauterbrunnen  to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Spiez train
🚄Spiez to Visp train
🚄Visp to Zermatt train (Book >)
Dep: 09:58
Dep: 10:13
Dep: 10:32
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 11:36
Dep: 12:08
Arr: 10:11
Arr: 10:17
Arr: 10:53
Arr: 11:21
Arr: 12:02
Arr: 13:14
🏨Hotel Bella Vista (Book >) All hotels >
Another day of picturesque journeys and another day where you end up in glorious mountain scenery. Zermatt is where you come for views of the famous Matterhorn, best seen from Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. Miss a connection? Not a problem. Trains in Switzerland are frequent.
8 🚄Zermatt to Visp train
🚄Visp to Montreux train (Book >)
Dep: 14:13
Dep: 15:35
Arr: 15:22
Arr: 16:46
🏨Golf Hotel René Capt (Book >) All hotels >
Ride on the Gornergrat Bahn for your last mountain journey and hike, then depart for Montreux where you can stroll along the lake to Chillon Castle. You are now in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
9 🚄Montreux to Geneva train (Book >) Dep: 11:47 Arr: 12:48 🏨Starling Residence Genève (Book >) All hotels >
Time for more promenade strolling before departing to Geneva. In Geneva you can walk down to the waterfront to look at the huge fountain, go to St. Pierre Cathedral and climb the towers, see the muddy and clear rivers meet at La Pointe de la Jonction and visit the United Nations building. Get a free Geneva Transport Card from your hotel.
10 Geneva to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Switzerland itinerary with the France, Italy, Germany or Austria & Munich itinerary
Enjoy any sights you missed yesterday before heading to the airport.
Budget Chillon Castle, Switzerland
1 To Zurich (✈ Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Youthhostel Zurich (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve checked in to your hotel in the lovely Lindenhof district, go for an evening stroll along Niederdorfstrasse. Using buses for some of your journeys means you can get a Swiss Travel Pass for 4 days of train travel and then a single additional train ticket to Geneva on day 9.
2 Visit historic Grossmünster church and then the Swiss National Museum. Indulge in some shopping along Bahnhofstrasse and then go to the fascinating horology museum Uhrenmuseum Beyer. In the evening go for a drink at the famous Cabaret Voltaire. Public bicycles are free to use in Zurich – put down a small deposit at the Swiss National Museum and remember to bring ID.
3 🚌Zurich to Lucerne bus (Book >) Dep: 09:40 Arr: 10:40 🏨Barabas Luzern (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the Old Town then take a trip up Mount Pilatus which, between May and October, can be visited as part of the Golden Round Trip. Back in town a walk across the famous Chapel Bridge is a must, as are the city defences of Musegg Wall. Äss-Bar is a new concept in Switzerland and is a chain of stores that collects bread and pastries just at the end of their sell-buy dates and sells on at low prices.
4 🚄Lucerne to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Grindelwald train (Book >)
Dep: 12:06
Dep: 14:05
Arr: 13:55
Arr: 14:38
🏨Youthhostel Grindelwald (Book >) All hotels >
Visit the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, then enjoy the beautiful train ride to Grindelwald. Here you can take the gondola up to First and enjoy hikes long or short in tremendous mountain scenery (my favourites include to Grosse Scheidegg or Bachalpsee). Pack layers – it can be warm in the valleys but cold up the mountains.
5 Today you’ll embark on one of the most incredible journeys on this planet; two steep train journeys to the mountain-top Jungfraujoch. Later in the take the 122 bus to the dramatic Gletscherschlucht. Go for a short walk to Mönchsjoch Hut when you reach Jungfraujoch
6 🚄Grindelwald to Zweilütschinen train
🚄Zweilütschinen to Lauterbrunnen train (Book >)
Dep: 09:49
Dep: 10:16
Arr: 10:09
Arr: 10:25
🏨Valley Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
After a beautiful journey hike to Trümmelbach Falls. If you can afford the fare, take the cable car to the lovely village of Mürren and on to the remarkable Schilthorn. Your hostel has a kitchen – save money by buying food in the Coop supermarket in town.
7 🚄Lauterbrunnen  to Interlaken Ost train
🚄Interlaken Ost to Spiez train
🚄Spiez to Visp train
🚄Visp to Zermatt train (Book >)
Dep: 10:32
Dep: 11:00
Dep: 11:36
Dep: 12:08
Arr: 10:53
Arr: 11:21
Arr: 12:02
Arr: 13:14
🏨Youthhostel Zermatt (Book >) All hotels >
Another day of picturesque journeys and another day where you end up in glorious mountain scenery. Zermatt is where you come for views of the famous Matterhorn, best seen from Matterhorn Glacier Paradise. If you’re staying a few nights with Swiss Youth Hostels then consider membership which can save you money.
8 🚄Zermatt to Visp train
🚄Visp to Montreux train (Book >)
Dep: 14:13
Dep: 15:35
Arr: 15:22
Arr: 16:46
🏨Youthhostel Montreux (Book >) All hotels >
Ride on the Gornergrat Bahn for your last mountain journey and hike, then depart for Montreux where you can stroll along the lake to Chillon Castle. You are now in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
9 🚄Montreux to Geneva train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:47 Arr: 12:48 🏨City Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Time for more promenade strolling before departing to Geneva. In Geneva you can walk down to the waterfront to look at the huge fountain, go to St. Pierre Cathedral and climb the towers, see the muddy and clear rivers meet at La Pointe de la Jonction and visit the United Nations building. Get a free Geneva Transport Card from your hotel.
10 Geneva to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Afternoon
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Switzerland itinerary with the France, Italy, Germany or Austria & Munich itinerary
Enjoy any sights you missed yesterday before heading to the airport.

🇵🇪PERU

Winay Wayna, PeruYes, Machu Picchu is incredible. Yes, Lake Titicaca is breathtaking. Yes, you absolutely should visit Peru. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Peru itinerary:

Luxury Lake Titicaca, Peru
1 ✈To Lima (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Swissôtel Lima (Book >) All hotels >
Book your transfer from Lima airport here.
2 ✈Lima to Cusco flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Garden of San Blas (Book >) All hotels >
Much to see in Lima, but don’t worry – if you don’t get to it all today you have more time at the end of your trip. You’ll be in the historic centre so stroll through Plaza de Armas, checking out the Palacio de Gobierno, San Francisco Monastery, the cathedral and nearby Santo Domingo convent and Desamparados Station. Transfer to the airport for your evening flight. Most visitors to Peru don’t need a tourist visa.
3-4 Enjoy a couple of days seeing the sights in and around Cusco, starting with the beautiful Plaza de Armas. San Pedro Market is a great place to meet locals and buy souvenirs, as is the artisan district of San Blas. On the second day walk (slowly!) up to the impressive Sacsayhuaman ruins and get acquainted with the Incan empire at the Inca Museum. Altitude sickness is a real risk here – take it slow and recognise the symptoms.
5 🚄Cusco to Aguas Calientes train (Book >) Dep: 08:25 Arr: 12:11 🏨Hotel Sumaq Machu Picchu (Book >) All hotels >
The train journey to Aguas Calientes is spectacular – you’ll travel along the Sacred Valley, besides the mighty Urubamba river. Arrive in time for a first visit to the famous Machu Picchu. Being so high up and close to the equator, a high SPF sunscreen is a must.
6 🚄Aguas Calientes Ollantaytambo train
🚐Ollantaytambo  to Cusco bus (Book >)
Dep: 15:20 Arr: 19:05 🏨Garden of San Blas (Book >) All hotels >
More time today to see Machu Picchu, making sure you walk beyond the site to the Sun Gate and, in the other direction, to the Inca Bridge. Try to get a seat on the left-hand side of the train from Cusco (and on the right back to Cusco).
7 🚄Cusco to Puno train (Book >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 23:30 🏨On train (Book >)
Your luxury Peru Rail train (which only departs on Thursdays) will whisk you to ruins and high passes on the way to Puno. The train package includes meals and drinks.
8 🚄Puno to Sarachocha train Dep: 06:00 Arr: 19:30 🏨On train (Book >)
Today you’ll visit Lake Titicaca, including the amazing man-made floating reed islands. The islanders make lovely crafts – perfect souvenirs.
9 🚄Sarachocha to KM93 train
🚕KM93 to Colca Canyon transfer
Dep: 06:45
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:30
Arr:
🏨Hotel Belmond Las Casitas (Book >) All hotels >
On the way south you’ll stop off at the prehistoric Sumbay Caves. Your hotel can help arrange a transfer to Colca Canyon where you can take a trip to see the condor soaring over this impressive landscape. Didn’t see any condor? Try again tomorrow at 7am from the Cruz Del Condor lookout.
10 🚕Colca Canyon to Arequipa (Book >) taxi
✈Arequipa to Lima flight (Book >)
Dep: 09:00
Dep: 19:00
Arr: 12:30
Arr: 21:30
🏨Swissôtel Lima (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy an afternoon in the lovely city of Arequipa. The Plaza de Armas is perhaps the most impressive you’ll see. Along one flank of the square is the huge cathedral. Smaller, but intricately decorated, the Iglesia de la Compania is also worth a visit, as is the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. If you’ve time visit the Museo Santuarios Andinos to visit the preserved remains of the Ice Lady. “Queso Helado” translates as “Frozen cheese” – but it tastes much better than it sounds and is well worth a try.
11-12 ✈Lima to Home (Book >) Dep:
Evening
Arr: Afternoon
(next day)
Connect this Peru itinerary with the Northern Chile, Bolivia or Ecuador & Galapagos itinerary
Time today to see those sights in Lima that you missed on day 2 (consider adding an extra day)
Mid-range Colca Canyon, Peru
1 ✈To Lima (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Tierra Viva Miraflores Mendiburu (Book >) All hotels >
Book your transfer from Lima airport here.
2 ✈Lima to Cusco flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Garden of San Blas (Book >) All hotels >
Much to see in Lima, but don’t worry – if you don’t get to it all today you have more time at the end of your trip. You’ll be in the historic centre so stroll through Plaza de Armas, checking out the Palacio de Gobierno, San Francisco Monastery, the cathedral and nearby Santo Domingo convent and Desamparados Station. Transfer to the airport for your evening flight. Most visitors to Peru don’t need a tourist visa.
3-4 Enjoy a couple of days seeing the sights in and around Cusco, starting with the beautiful Plaza de Armas. San Pedro Market is a great place to meet locals and buy souvenirs, as is the artisan district of San Blas. On the second day walk (slowly!) up to the impressive Sacsayhuaman ruins and get acquainted with the Incan empire at the Inca Museum. Altitude sickness is a real risk here – take it slow and recognise the symptoms.
5 🚐Cusco to KM 82 bus Dep: 05:30 Arr: 08:30 🏨Camping
Book your Inca Trail hike a long time in advance (I recommend Inca Trail Reservations). An early start to commence your walk on which, before long, you’ll be passing breathtaking views of incredible Incan ruins. Being so high up and close to the equator, a high SPF sunscreen is a must.
6-7 Day two of the hike begins with the arduous climb up to Dead Woman’s Pass. The campsite on the other side is both remote and spectacular. Day three starts with another short climb, but then passes ruins and has incredible views across to mountains and forested valleys. The highlight of today is the Wiñay Wayna ruin. Altitude sickness is a real risk here (day two of the Inca Trail is particularly challenging) – take it slow and recognise the symptoms.
8 🚄Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo train
🚐Ollantaytambo to Cusco bus
Dep: 15:20 Arr: 19:05 🏨Garden of San Blas (Book >) All hotels >
Awake before sunrise and finish the Inca Trail hike at the Sun Gate. Summon a but more energy to continue on to the Inca Bridge and then enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu. The train journey to Ollantaytambo is a highlight and will be included in your tour. Try to get a seat on the right-hand side of the train from Cusco for the best views.
9 🚄Cusco to Puno train (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 17:50 🏨Hotel Tierra Vivo Puno Plaza (Book >) All hotels >
Your luxury Peru Rail train (which only departs on three times a week) will whisk you through captivating landscapes on the way to Puno. The train price includes meals and drinks.
10 Today visit Lake Titicaca, including the amazing man-made floating reed islands (arrange your tour in advance). The islanders make lovely crafts – perfect souvenirs.
11 🚌Puno to Chivay bus (Book >) Dep: 06:30 Arr: 12:15 🏨Casa Andina Standard Colca (Book >) All hotels >
Today’s journey stops at the lakes of Lagunillas, the national reserve of Aguada Blanca and the 4,900 metre-high Andes Viewpoint. Chivay is in Colca Canyon and when you arrive you can go and look for condor or relax in the La Calera hot springs Didn’t see any condor? Try again tomorrow at 7am from the Cruz Del Condor lookout.
12 🚌Chivay to Arequipa bus (Book >) Dep: 13:15 Arr: 16:30 🏨Hotel Katari At Plaza De Armas (Book >) All hotels >
More time to spot condor, go horse riding or enjoy a hike in Colca Canyon before driving on to Arequipa. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
13 🚌Arequipa to Nazca bus (Book >) Dep: 15:30 Arr: 23:30 🏨Casa Hacienda Nasca Oasis (Book >) All hotels >
Arequipa’s Plaza de Armas is perhaps the most impressive you’ll see. Along one flank of the square is the huge cathedral. Smaller, but intricately decorated, the Iglesia de la Compania is also worth a visit, as is the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. If you’ve time visit the Museo Santuarios Andinos to visit the preserved remains of the Ice Lady. “Queso Helado” translates as “Frozen cheese” – but it tastes much better than it sounds and is well worth a try.
14 🚌Nazca to Lima bus (Book >) Dep: 15:40 Arr: 22:21 🏨Tierra Viva Miraflores Mendiburu (Book >) All hotels >
There’s one main reason you’re here: to see the mysterious Nazca Lines. Reserve your flight here. The flights can cause upset stomachs – take motion sickness tablets if you need.
15-16 ✈Lima to Home (Book >) Dep:
Evening
Arr: Afternoon
(next day)
Connect this Peru itinerary with the Northern Chile, Bolivia or Ecuador & Galapagos itinerary
Time today to see those sights in Lima that you missed on day 2 (consider adding an extra day)
Budget Lima, Peru
1 ✈To Lima (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Orchid Hostels (Book >) All hotels >
Book your transfer from Lima airport here.
2 ✈Lima to Cusco flight (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Evening 🏨Cusco Packers Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Much to see in Lima, but don’t worry – if you don’t get to it all today you have more time at the end of your trip. You’ll be in the historic centre so stroll through Plaza de Armas, checking out the Palacio de Gobierno, San Francisco Monastery, the cathedral and nearby Santo Domingo convent and Desamparados Station. Transfer to the airport for your evening flight. Most visitors to Peru don’t need a tourist visa.
3-4 Enjoy a couple of days seeing the sights in and around Cusco, starting with the beautiful Plaza de Armas. San Pedro Market is a great place to meet locals and buy souvenirs, as is the artisan district of San Blas. On the second day walk (slowly!) up to the impressive Sacsayhuaman ruins and get acquainted with the Incan empire at the Inca Museum. Altitude sickness is a real risk here – take it slow and recognise the symptoms.
5 🚐Cusco to KM 82 bus Dep: 05:30 Arr: 08:30 🏨Camping
Book your Inca Trail hike a long time in advance (I recommend Inca Trail Reservations). An early start to commence your walk on which, before long, you’ll be passing breathtaking views of incredible Incan ruins. Being so high up and close to the equator, a high SPF sunscreen is a must.
6-7 Day two of the hike begins with the arduous climb up to Dead Woman’s Pass. The campsite on the other side is both remote and spectacular. Day three starts with another short climb, but then passes ruins and has incredible views across to mountains and forested valleys. The highlight of today is the Wiñay Wayna ruin. Altitude sickness is a real risk here (day two of the Inca Trail is particularly challenging) – take it slow and recognise the symptoms.
8 🚄Aguas Calientes to Ollantaytambo train
🚐Ollantaytambo to Cusco bus
Dep: 15:20 Arr: 19:05 🏨Cusco Packers Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Awake before sunrise and finish the Inca Trail hike at the Sun Gate. Summon a but more energy to continue on to the Inca Bridge and then enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu. The train journey to Ollantaytambo is a highlight and will be included in your tour. Try to get a seat on the right-hand side of the train from Cusco for the best views.
9 🚌Cusco to Puno bus (Book >) Dep: 08:30 Arr: 15:30 🏨Cozy Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy the captivating landscapes on the way to Puno. Take a look at these useful Peru bus travel tips.
10 Today visit Lake Titicaca, including the amazing man-made floating reed islands (arrange your tour in advance). The islanders make lovely crafts – perfect souvenirs.
11 🚌Puno to Chivay bus (Book >) Dep: 06:30 Arr: 12:15 🏨Colca River (Book >) All hotels >
Today’s journey stops at the lakes of Lagunillas, the national reserve of Aguada Blanca and the 4,900 metre-high Andes Viewpoint. Chivay is in Colca Canyon and when you arrive you can go and look for condor or relax in the La Calera hot springs Didn’t see any condor? Try again tomorrow at 7am from the Cruz Del Condor lookout.
12 🚌Chivay to Arequipa bus (Book >) Dep: 13:15 Arr: 16:30 🏨Wild Rover Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
More time to spot condor, go horse riding or enjoy a hike in Colca Canyon before driving on to Arequipa. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
13 🚌Arequipa to Nazca bus (Book >) Dep: 15:30 Arr: 23:30 🏨Nasca Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Arequipa’s Plaza de Armas is perhaps the most impressive you’ll see. Along one flank of the square is the huge cathedral. Smaller, but intricately decorated, the Iglesia de la Compania is also worth a visit, as is the Monasterio de Santa Catalina. If you’ve time visit the Museo Santuarios Andinos to visit the preserved remains of the Ice Lady. “Queso Helado” translates as “Frozen cheese” – but it tastes much better than it sounds and is well worth a try.
14 🚌Nazca to Lima bus (Book >) Dep: 15:40 Arr: 22:21 🏨Pariwana Hostel Lima(Book >) All hotels >
There’s one main reason you’re here: to see the mysterious Nazca Lines. Reserve your flight here. The flights can cause upset stomachs – take motion sickness tablets if you need.
15-16 ✈Lima to Home (Book >) Dep:
Evening
Arr: Afternoon
(next day)
Connect this Peru itinerary with the Northern Chile, Bolivia or Ecuador & Galapagos itinerary
Time today to see those sights in Lima that you missed on day 2 (your hostel is located in a different area to day 1).

🇨🇦WESTERN CANADA

Lake Louise, CanadaIn a country as big as this driving distances can be huge, luckily in Western Canada there is plenty to see and so you’ll only be on the road (or rails) for a few hours before you arrive at yet another breathtaking destination. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Western Canada itinerary:

Luxury Whistler, Canada
1 ✈To Vancouver (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Rosewood Hotel Georgia (Book >) All hotels >
The only thing to do today is enjoy your first meal in Canada and stay awake as long as you can to beat jetlag. Arrange a transfer from the airport.
2 For one of the best views of the city head up Vancouver Lookout, for perhaps the best view catch the cable car up Grouse Mountain. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden makes for a very serene visit, as does the 55-acre VanDusen Botanical Garden. Take a taxi over to the spectacular Capilano Suspension Bridge, or to Lynn Canyon for almost the same experience but for free. Gastown, Main Street, or Alexandra Road are good places in which to find somewhere to eat.
3 🚗Vancouver to Whistler drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 11:00 🏨Four Seasons (Book >) All hotels >
Not far from Vancouver is the mountain resort of Whistler. The Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas run all year except October to early November and are great for views and for starting your mountain adventure, be it on snow or track. Like snowsports? visit Whistler between December and March. Into hiking or biking? June to August is the time to come.
4 🚗Whistler to Clearwater drive Dep: 13:30 Arr: 19:00 🏨Alpine Meadows Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Make the most of the clear mountains air before the drive to Clearwater. You may want to plan in frequent stops to take in the view along the road.
5 🚗Clearwater to Jasper drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨Alpine Village Jasper (Book >) All hotels >
Wells Gray Provincial Park, adjacent to Clearwater, is a wonderful place to hike or canoe. If, like me, you’re a fan of white water rafting then this is a great place to do it. Fill up on fuel before leaving town – distances between gas stations can be large.
6 Enjoy the famously picturesque cruise on Maligne Lake, which can also be experienced by kayak. The Jasper SkyTram is an easy way to get those unforgettable mountain-top views. After a long and active day, relax in Miette Hot Springs. You’ll need to pay a national park entry fee if you stop off and hike/bike/etc, but if you’re just driving through then you don’t need to pay.
7 🚗Jasper to Banff drive Dep: 08:00
Dep: 12:00
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 14:30
🏨Hotel Fairmont Banff Springs
(Book >)
All hotels >
Another wonderful drive (one of the top drives in the world by Condé Nast Traveller) and another fantastic destination. On the way stop off at the magnificent Athabasca Glacier for a tour of the ice sheet and skywalk. Banff is another place where you come in winter for the snowsports or in summer for every other activity. Again, there are some lovely hot springs in which to luxuriate. Had enough of driving? Banff has a good local bus system which can take you to many trailheads and sights.
8 A full day to choose to explore the trails, the ski runs, the rivers or the lakes. Add another day here if you can’t get enough of the outdoor lifestyle. You can also travel to and from Banff on a Rocky Mountaineer package.
9 🚗Banff to Lake Louise drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 09:40 🏨Post Hotel & Spa
(Book >)
All hotels >
Plenty of choice for hikes in Lake Louise, whatever your ability. I recommend, if you can, heading up as high as you can for spectacular panoramic views. You may want to set off earlier and arrive before 9 if you want to avoid coach trippers at Lake Louise.
10 🚗Lake Louise to Field drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 09:30 🏨Cathedral Mountain Lodge
(Book >)
All hotels >
Just down the road from Lake Louise, Field is in Yoho National Park and the Kicking Horse valley (which you’d have already visited if you went rafting from Banff. Points of interest include Emerald Lake, Wapta Falls, Takakkaw Falls and Lake O’Hara Although unlikely to happen, it’s good to know what to do if you encounter a bear. Read the advice here.
11 🚗Field to Kamloops drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:30 🏨Campbell Hills Guest Ranch (Book >) All hotels >
Kamloops is a great stopping off point on your way back west. Here you can enjoy horseriding, mountain biking or, at certain times of year a ride on the fantastic Kamloops Heritage Railway. Accommodation tonight is in a working ranch. Check the weather the night before – you may need more time if it starts snowing. HERE
12 Today you can ride horses, take a kayak out onto the lake, drive ATVs or hike in and around the ranch. Your stay at the ranch includes all meals.
13 🚗Kamloops to Victoria drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨Abigail’s Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Continue the drive out the mountains, around Vancouver, across the ferry and on to Vancouver Island. Have a relaxed afternoon enjoying the sights of Victoria, including the famous Butchart Gardens. Buy the car ferry ticket from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (and back) in advance here.
14 Drive the two hours over to Port Renfrew and enjoy the incredible scenery in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Or head out to sea from Victoria on a whale watching trip. If you want to extend your trip then a visit to the Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort is an experience you won’t forget.
15 🚗Victoria to Vancouver drive
✈Vancouver to home (Book >)
Dep: 08:30
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 11:30
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Western Canada itinerary with the USA (California & Nevada)
Check the ferry times before driving back to Vancouver.
Mid-range Vancouver Island, Canada
1 ✈To Vancouver (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨O Canada House (Book >) All hotels >
The only thing to do today is enjoy your first meal in Canada and stay awake as long as you can to beat jetlag. Arrange a transfer from the airport.
2 For one of the best views of the city head up Vancouver Lookout, for perhaps the best view catch the cable car up Grouse Mountain. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden makes for a very serene visit, as does the 55-acre VanDusen Botanical Garden. Take a taxi over to the spectacular Capilano Suspension Bridge, or to Lynn Canyon for almost the same experience but for free. Gastown, Main Street, or Alexandra Road are good places in which to find somewhere to eat.
3 🚗Vancouver to Whistler drive (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 11:00 🏨First Tracks Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Not far from Vancouver is the mountain resort of Whistler. The Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas run all year except October to early November and are great for views and for starting your mountain adventure, be it on snow or track. Like snowsports? visit Whistler between December and March. Into hiking or biking? June to August is the time to come.
4 🚗Whistler to Clearwater drive Dep: 13:30 Arr: 19:00 🏨Alpine Meadows Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Make the most of the clear mountains air before the drive to Clearwater. You may want to plan in frequent stops to take in the view along the road.
5 🚗Clearwater to Jasper drive Dep: 15:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨Alpine Village Jasper (Book >) All hotels >
Wells Gray Provincial Park, adjacent to Clearwater, is a wonderful place to hike or canoe. If, like me, you’re a fan of white water rafting then this is a great place to do it. Fill up on fuel before leaving town – distances between gas stations can be large.
6 Enjoy the famously picturesque cruise on Maligne Lake, which can also be experienced by kayak. The Jasper SkyTram is an easy way to get those unforgettable mountain-top views. After a long and active day, relax in Miette Hot Springs. You’ll need to pay a national park entry fee if you stop off and hike/bike/etc, but if you’re just driving through then you don’t need to pay.
7 🚗Jasper to Banff drive Dep: 08:00
Dep: 12:00
Arr: 09:30
Arr: 14:30
🏨The Rimrock Resort
(Book >)
All hotels >
Another wonderful drive (one of the top drives in the world by Condé Nast Traveller) and another fantastic destination. On the way stop off at the magnificent Athabasca Glacier for a tour of the ice sheet and skywalk. Banff is another place where you come in winter for the snowsports or in summer for every other activity. Again, there are some lovely hot springs in which to luxuriate. Had enough of driving? Banff has a good local bus system which can take you to many trailheads and sights.
8 A full day to choose to explore the trails, the ski runs, the rivers or the lakes. Add another day here if you can’t get enough of the outdoor lifestyle. You can also travel to and from Banff on a Rocky Mountaineer package.
9 🚗Banff to Lake Louise drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 09:40 🏨Baker Creek Mountain Resort
(Book >)
All hotels >
Plenty of choice for hikes in Lake Louise, whatever your ability. I recommend, if you can, heading up as high as you can for spectacular panoramic views. You may want to set off earlier and arrive before 9 if you want to avoid coach trippers at Lake Louise.
10 🚗Lake Louise to Field drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 09:30 🏨Emerald Lake Lodge
(Book >)
All hotels >
Just down the road from Lake Louise, Field is in Yoho National Park and the Kicking Horse valley (which you’d have already visited if you went rafting from Banff. Points of interest include Emerald Lake, Wapta Falls, Takakkaw Falls and Lake O’Hara Although unlikely to happen, it’s good to know what to do if you encounter a bear. Read the advice here.
11 🚗Field to Kamloops drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 14:00 🏨Wingate By Wyndham Kamloops (Book >) All hotels >
Kamloops is a great stopping off point on your way back west. Here you can enjoy horseriding, mountain biking or, at certain times of year a ride on the fantastic Kamloops Heritage Railway. Check the weather the night before – you may need more time if it starts snowing.
12 🚗Kamloops to Victoria drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨The Oswego Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Continue the drive out the mountains, around Vancouver, across the ferry and on to Vancouver Island. Have a relaxed afternoon enjoying the sights of Victoria, including the famous Butchart Gardens. Buy the car ferry ticket from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (and back) in advance here.
13 Drive the two hours over to Port Renfrew and enjoy the incredible scenery in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Or head out to sea from Victoria on a whale watching trip. If you go on a whale watching trip then you may want to take motion sickness tablets as the sea can be rough.
14 🚗Victoria to Vancouver drive
✈Vancouver to home (Book >)
Dep: 08:30
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 11:30
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Western Canada itinerary with the USA (California & Nevada)
Check the ferry times before driving back to Vancouver.
Budget Vancouver, Canada
1 ✈To Vancouver (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨YWCA Vancouver (Book >) All hotels >
The only thing to do today is enjoy your first meal in Canada and stay awake as long as you can to beat jetlag. Take the Canada Line from the airport to Yaletown-Roundhouse station.
2 For one of the best views of the city head up Vancouver Lookout, for perhaps the best view catch the cable car up Grouse Mountain. The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden makes for a very serene visit, as does the 55-acre VanDusen Botanical Garden. Take a taxi over to the spectacular Capilano Suspension Bridge, or to Lynn Canyon for almost the same experience but for free. Gastown, Main Street, or Alexandra Road are good places in which to find somewhere to eat.
3 🚌Vancouver to Whistler bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 11:00 🏨Fireside Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Not far from Vancouver is the mountain resort of Whistler. The Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas run all year except October to early November and are great for views and for starting your mountain adventure, be it on snow or track. Like snowsports? visit Whistler between December and March. Into hiking or biking? June to August is the time to come.
4 🚌Whistler to Vancouver bus (Book >)
🚄Vancouver to Jasper train (Book >)
Dep: 12:00
Dep: 15:00
Arr: 14:00 🏨Train
A couple more hours this morning to enjoy Whistler before departing for Vancouver and your train to Jasper. You are in for a treat; the views on your train journey are spectacular! This bus departure time is only available Fri-Sun, if travelling on other days then take the 10:00.
5 🚄Vancouver to Jasper train (Book >) Arr: 11:00 🏨HI Athabasca Falls (Book >) All hotels >
Wells Gray Provincial Park, adjacent to Clearwater, is a wonderful place to hike or canoe. If, like me, you’re a fan of white water rafting then this is a great place to do it. Jasper is one hour ahead of Vancouver.
6 Enjoy the famously picturesque cruise on Maligne Lake, which can also be experienced by kayak. The Jasper SkyTram is an easy way to get those unforgettable mountain-top views. After a long and active day, relax in Miette Hot Springs. You’ll need to pay a national park entry fee if you stop off and hike/bike/etc, but if you’re just passing through then you don’t need to pay.
7 🚌Jasper to Lake Louise bus (Book >) Dep: 07:00 Arr: 10:45 🏨HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre
(Book >)
All hotels >
Journey along the famous Icefield Parkway. There is plenty of choice for hikes in Lake Louise, whatever your ability. I recommend, if you can, heading up as high as you can for spectacular panoramic views. You can also travel to Lake Louise via the Athabasca Glacier on a tour (which is much more expensive!)
8 Another day for hiking in the Lake Louise area. Consider a Hostelling International membership if you plan to stay in their hostels (it also gets you a discount on the bus from Jasper).
9 🚌Lake Louise to Banff bus (Info >) Dep: 09:35 Arr: 10:20 🏨HI Banff Alpine Centre
(Book >)
All hotels >
Take the bus to the transport hub in Banff, which is another place where you come in winter for the snowsports or in summer for every other activity. Again, there are some lovely hot springs in which to luxuriate. Although unlikely to happen, it’s good to know what to do if you encounter a bear. Read the advice here. HERE
10 A full day to choose to explore the trails, the ski runs, the rivers or the lakes. Add another day here if you can’t get enough of the outdoor lifestyle. You can also travel to and from Banff on a Rocky Mountaineer package.
11 🚌Banff to Kamloops bus (Book >) Dep: 10:05 Arr: 16:15 🏨Pacific Inn & Suites (Book >) All hotels >
Kamloops is a great stopping off point on your way back west. At certain times of year a ride on the fantastic Kamloops Heritage Railway. Consider adding another day here if you enjoy horse riding – Kamloops has excellent ranches.
12 🚌Kamloops to Vancouver bus (Book >)
🚌Vancouver to Victoria bus (Book >)
Dep: 08:15
Dep: 13:30
Arr: 12:45
Arr: 17:20
🏨HI Victoria(Book >) All hotels >
Continue the drive out the mountains, around Vancouver, across the ferry and on to Vancouver Island. Enjoy the sights of Victoria, including the famous Butchart Gardens. Buy the car ferry ticket from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (and back) in advance here.
13 Get up early for the 06:45 bus to Port Renfrew and visit Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (returning at 17:45). Or head out to sea from Victoria on a whale watching trip. If you go on a whale watching trip then you may want to take motion sickness tablets as the sea can be rough.
14 🚌Victoria to Vancouver Airport bus (Book >)
✈Vancouver to home (Book >)
Dep: 07:45
Dep: Afternoon
Arr: 11:25
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Western Canada itinerary with the USA (California & Nevada)
Check the ferry times before driving back to Vancouver.

🇳🇿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.

🇩🇪GERMANY

Neuschwanstein castle, GermanyThis is the sort of journey where you will sometimes feel as though you’re in a fairytale, with cute towns, waterfall-strewn mountains and beautiful castles everywhere. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Germany itinerary:

Luxury Cologne, Germany
1 To Berlin (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel am Steinplatz (Book >) All hotels >
Home of the German national parliament, the Reichstag building and its glass dome is a great way to start your visit to this country. Just next to this is the iconic Brandenburg Gate, thought-provoking Holocaust memorial and leafy Tiergarten. A free walking tour is an excellent way in which to get to know Berlin (don’t forget to tip!)
2 A full day in which to finish seeing the sights of Berlin, starting with the buzzing Gendarmenmarkt. Nearby is the Nazi book burning memorial at Bebelplatz and, just along from there, Museum Island. Alexanderplatz is a short walk from there – here you can take a ride to the top of the Television Tower. A 30 min walk or 15 min taxi ride away is the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße. A public transport day pass is a good value way of getting about if you don’t wish to walk. The WelcomeCard may also save you money if you plan to visit several sights.
3 🚄Berlin to Hamburg train (Book >) Dep: 09:40 Arr: 11:24 🏨Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten (Book >) All hotels >
Oncde you arrive into Hamburg head straight for Miniatur Wanderland and be awed by the world’s largest miniature railway. Pick up a bargain in bustling Flohschanze market or visit the institutions along Museum Mile, including the Kunsthalle and Deichtorhallen. The Speicherstadt area is fun to wonder around in the evening Planning to visit all of the Museum Mile museums? The Kunstmeile Card is great value for money.
4 🚄Hamburg to Cologne train (Book >) Dep: 08:49 Arr: 13:16 🏨Excelsior Hotel Ernst (Book >) All hotels >
In the mood for more museums? Museum Ludwig is one of the best in Cologne. If you’re feeling energetic then scale the 500 steps up the tower of magnificent Cologne Cathedral. The Belgian District is a great place to find dinner. Missed the view on the way in? The Hohenzollern Bridge is an excellent place from which to look over Cologne.
5 🚄Cologne Koblenz train
🚄Koblenz to Boppard train
(Book >)
⛴️Boppard to Mainz ferry (Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:30
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:16
Arr: 12:44
Arr: 20:30
🏨Hyatt Regency (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around Cologne’s Old Town in the morning then take the train to Boppard from where you will embark on a wonderful cruise down the Rhine to Mainz. You can start your cruise from Cologne, but this would add an extra day to your trip.
6 🚄Mainz to Mannheim train
🚄Mannheim to Baden-Baden train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:46
Arr: 12:07
Arr: 13:25
🏨Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Mainz’s Marktplatz is the place to go for history lovers, lovely cafes and views of the cathedral. Baden-Baden is famous for its spas, so spend the rest of today indulging in its healing waters. Buying an InterRail pass could be a good way to reduce the price of train travel.
7 Hire a car and spend the day exploring the Black Forest, starting out along the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse road to Triberg Friedrichsbad is the most famous spa in town – but be prepared to get naked.
8 🚄Baden-Baden to Augsburg train
🚄Augsburg to Füssen train
(Book >)
Dep: 07:48
Dep: 11:03
Arr: 10:39
Arr: 12:55
🏨Hotel Sonne (Book >) All hotels >
Once you arrive in Füssen ditch your bags then walk or take a taxi to the spectacular Neuschwanstein castle. Book your tickets to the castle in advance.
9 🚄Füssen to Kaufbeuren train
🚄Kaufbeuren to Munich train (Book >)
Dep: 09:05
Dep: 10:08
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 11:06
🏨The Charles Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Marienplatz is the heart of Munich – be here at 11am, midday or 5pm to see the Glockenspiel clock and carousel of dancing figures. Nearby is St Peter’s Church from where you can get great views of the city from the tower. Gran some lunch at Viktualienmarkt then visit the ornate Baroque interior of Asam Church. Walk to the historic Hofbräuhaus and sample some local nectar, then take a look inside Frauenkirche. Let a guide take you to the sights and tell you some fascinating tales of the city on a free walking tour.
10 Visit some must-see Munich museums, including GlyptothekMuseum Brandhorst, the popular Deutsches Museum, the fascinating and emotive NS-Dokumentationszentrum and the huge collection of art in Pinakothek. In need of some air? The Englischer Garten is a lovely park and features the Eisbachwelle – a wave on a swift river that attracts surfers. Many of Munich’s museums are free or just €1 on Sundays.
11 🚄Munich to Freilassing train
🚄Freilassing to Berchtesgaden train (Book >)
Dep: 09:55
Dep: 11:40
Arr: 11:33
Arr: 12:28
🏨Kempinski (Book >) All hotels >
Berchtesgaden is a scenic town in the mountains, from where you can hike, take bus #839, 841 or 843 to nearby Lake Königssee, or get to the top of the Eagle’s Nest. As a visitor to Berchtesgaden you pay visitor tax, but this also gets you a free ‘Kurkarte’ touist card which can be used on most local buses.
12 🚄Berchtesgaden to Freilassing train
🚄Freilassing to Munich train (Book >)
Dep: 15:32
Dep: 16:24
Arr: 16:20
Arr: 18:06
🏨The Charles Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
More time today to see the Berchtesgaden sights you missed out on yesterday. Try a delicious local Knödel (dumpling).
13 Munich to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Evening
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Germany itinerary with the France, Bruges & Ghent, Austria & Munich or Poland & Slovakia itinerary
Cheapest return trains go via Frankfurt and Brussels.
Mid-range Munich, Germany
1 To Berlin (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Boutique Hotel i31 (Book >) All hotels >
Home of the German national parliament, the Reichstag building and its glass dome is a great way to start your visit to this country. Just next to this is the iconic Brandenburg Gate, thought-provoking Holocaust memorial and leafy Tiergarten. A free walking tour is an excellent way in which to get to know Berlin (don’t forget to tip!)
2 A full day in which to finish seeing the sights of Berlin, starting with the buzzing Gendarmenmarkt. Nearby is the Nazi book burning memorial at Bebelplatz and, just along from there, Museum Island. Alexanderplatz is a short walk from there – here you can take a ride to the top of the Television Tower. A 30 min walk or 15 min taxi ride away is the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße. A public transport day pass is a good value way of getting about if you don’t wish to walk. The WelcomeCard may also save you money if you plan to visit several sights.
3 🚄Berlin to Hamburg train (Book >) Dep: 09:40 Arr: 11:24 🏨Hotel Volksschule (Book >) All hotels >
Oncde you arrive into Hamburg head straight for Miniatur Wanderland and be awed by the world’s largest miniature railway. Pick up a bargain in bustling Flohschanze market or visit the institutions along Museum Mile, including the Kunsthalle and Deichtorhallen. The Speicherstadt area is fun to wonder around in the evening Planning to visit all of the Museum Mile museums? The Kunstmeile Card is great value for money.
4 🚄Hamburg to Cologne train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:49 Arr: 13:16 🏨Stern am Rathaus (Book >) All hotels >
In the mood for more museums? Museum Ludwig is one of the best in Cologne. If you’re feeling energetic then scale the 500 steps up the tower of magnificent Cologne Cathedral. The Belgian District is a great place to find dinner. Missed the view on the way in? The Hohenzollern Bridge is an excellent place from which to look over Cologne.
5 🚄Cologne Koblenz train
🚄Koblenz to Boppard train
(Book >)
⛴️Boppard to Mainz ferry (Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:30
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:16
Arr: 12:44
Arr: 20:30
🏨Hotel Hammer (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around Cologne’s Old Town in the morning then take the train to Boppard from where you will embark on a wonderful cruise down the Rhine to Mainz. You can start your cruise from Cologne, but this would add an extra day to your trip.
6 🚄Mainz to Mannheim train
🚄Mannheim to Baden-Baden train
(Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:46
Arr: 12:07
Arr: 13:25
🏨Hotel Rebstock (Book >) All hotels >
Mainz’s Marktplatz is the place to go for history lovers, lovely cafes and views of the cathedral. Baden-Baden is famous for its spas, so spend the rest of today indulging in its healing waters. Buying an InterRail pass could be a good way to reduce the price of train travel.
7 Hire a car and spend the day exploring the Black Forest, starting out along the Schwarzwald Hochstrasse road to Triberg Friedrichsbad is the most famous spa in town – but be prepared to get naked.
8 🚄Baden-Baden to Augsburg train
🚄Augsburg to Füssen train
(Book >)
Dep: 07:48
Dep: 11:03
Arr: 10:39
Arr: 12:55
🏨Hotel Sonne (Book >) All hotels >
Once you arrive in Füssen ditch your bags then walk or take a taxi to the spectacular Neuschwanstein castle. Book your tickets to the castle in advance.
9 🚄Füssen to Kaufbeuren train
🚄Kaufbeuren to Munich train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:05
Dep: 10:08
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 11:06
🏨Aloft (Book >) All hotels >
Marienplatz is the heart of Munich – be here at 11am, midday or 5pm to see the Glockenspiel clock and carousel of dancing figures. Nearby is St Peter’s Church from where you can get great views of the city from the tower. Gran some lunch at Viktualienmarkt then visit the ornate Baroque interior of Asam Church. Walk to the historic Hofbräuhaus and sample some local nectar, then take a look inside Frauenkirche. Let a guide take you to the sights and tell you some fascinating tales of the city on a free walking tour.
10 Visit some must-see Munich museums, including GlyptothekMuseum Brandhorst, the popular Deutsches Museum, the fascinating and emotive NS-Dokumentationszentrum and the huge collection of art in Pinakothek. In need of some air? The Englischer Garten is a lovely park and features the Eisbachwelle – a wave on a swift river that attracts surfers. Many of Munich’s museums are free or just €1 on Sundays.
11 🚄Munich to Freilassing train
🚄Freilassing to Berchtesgaden train (Book >)
Dep: 09:55
Dep: 11:40
Arr: 11:33
Arr: 12:28
🏨Alpinhotel Berchtesgaden (Book >) All hotels >
Berchtesgaden is a scenic town in the mountains, from where you can hike, take bus #839, 841 or 843 to nearby Lake Königssee, or get to the top of the Eagle’s Nest. As a visitor to Berchtesgaden you pay visitor tax, but this also gets you a free ‘Kurkarte’ touist card which can be used on most local buses.
12 🚄Berchtesgaden to Freilassing train
🚄Freilassing to Munich train
(Book >)
Dep: 15:32
Dep: 16:24
Arr: 16:20
Arr: 18:06
🏨Aloft (Book >) All hotels >
More time today to see the Berchtesgaden sights you missed out on yesterday. Try a delicious local Knödel (dumpling).
13 Munich to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Evening
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Germany itinerary with the France, Bruges & Ghent, Austria & Munich or Poland & Slovakia itinerary
Cheapest return trains go via Frankfurt and Brussels.
Budget Berchtesgaden, Germany
1 To Berlin (✈ Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Grand Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Home of the German national parliament, the Reichstag building and its glass dome is a great way to start your visit to this country. Just next to this is the iconic Brandenburg Gate, thought-provoking Holocaust memorial and leafy Tiergarten. A free walking tour is an excellent way in which to get to know Berlin (don’t forget to tip!)
2 A full day in which to finish seeing the sights of Berlin, starting with the buzzing Gendarmenmarkt. Nearby is the Nazi book burning memorial at Bebelplatz and, just along from there, Museum Island. Alexanderplatz is a short walk from there – here you can take a ride to the top of the Television Tower. A 30 min walk or 15 min taxi ride away is the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße. A public transport day pass is a good value way of getting about if you don’t wish to walk. The WelcomeCard may also save you money if you plan to visit several sights.
3 🚌Berlin to Hamburg bus (Book >) Dep: 08:00 Arr: 11:45 🏨Pyjama Park Schanzenviertel (Book >) All hotels >
Oncde you arrive into Hamburg head straight for Miniatur Wanderland and be awed by the world’s largest miniature railway. Pick up a bargain in bustling Flohschanze market or visit the institutions along Museum Mile, including the Kunsthalle and Deichtorhallen. The Speicherstadt area is fun to wonder around in the evening Planning to visit all of the Museum Mile museums? The Kunstmeile Card is great value for money.
4 🚄Hamburg to Cologne train
(Book >)
Dep: 08:49 Arr: 13:16 🏨Köln – Riehl City Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
In the mood for more museums? Museum Ludwig is one of the best in Cologne. If you’re feeling energetic then scale the 500 steps up the tower of magnificent Cologne Cathedral. The Belgian District is a great place to find dinner. Missed the view on the way in? The Hohenzollern Bridge is an excellent place from which to look over Cologne.
5 🚄Cologne to Koblenz train
🚄Koblenz to Boppard train
(Book >)
⛴️Boppard to Mainz ferry (Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:30
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:16
Arr: 12:44
Arr: 20:30
🏨Hotel Garni am Hechenberg (Book >) All hotels >
Wander around Cologne’s Old Town in the morning then take the bus to Mainz You can start your cruise from Cologne, but this would add an extra day to your trip.
6 🚄Mainz to Mannheim train
🚄Mannheim to Baden-Baden train (Book >)
Dep: 11:17
Dep: 12:46
Arr: 12:07
Arr: 13:25
🏨Guesthouse Nathalie Leser (Book >) All hotels >
Mainz’s Marktplatz is the place to go for history lovers, lovely cafes and views of the cathedral. Baden-Baden is famous for its spas, so spend the rest of today indulging in its healing waters. Buying an InterRail pass could be a good way to reduce the price of train travel.
7 🚄Baden-Baden to Triberg train (Book >) Dep: 13:56 Arr: 15:02 🏨Hotel Adler(Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy more time in Baden-Baden before travelling to Triberg where you can hike up to a spectacular waterfall and see the world’s largest cuckoo clock. Friedrichsbad is the most famous spa in town – but be prepared to get naked.
8 🚄Triberg to Ulm train
🚄Ulm to Augsberg train
🚄Augsburg to Füssen train
(Book >)
Dep: 06:40
Dep: 10:12
Dep: 11:03
Arr: 09:41
Arr: 10:53
Arr: 12:55
🏨Old Kings Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Once you arrive in Füssen ditch your bags then walk or take a taxi to the spectacular Neuschwanstein castle. Book your tickets to the castle in advance.
9 🚄Füssen to Kaufbeuren train
🚄Kaufbeuren to Munich train
(Book >)
Dep: 09:05
Dep: 10:08
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 11:06
🏨Wombats City Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Marienplatz is the heart of Munich – be here at 11am, midday or 5pm to see the Glockenspiel clock and carousel of dancing figures. Nearby is St Peter’s Church from where you can get great views of the city from the tower. Gran some lunch at Viktualienmarkt then visit the ornate Baroque interior of Asam Church. Walk to the historic Hofbräuhaus and sample some local nectar, then take a look inside Frauenkirche. Let a guide take you to the sights and tell you some fascinating tales of the city on a free walking tour.
10 Visit some must-see Munich museums, including GlyptothekMuseum Brandhorst, the popular Deutsches Museum, the fascinating and emotive NS-Dokumentationszentrum and the huge collection of art in Pinakothek. In need of some air? The Englischer Garten is a lovely park and features the Eisbachwelle – a wave on a swift river that attracts surfers. Many of Munich’s museums are free or just €1 on Sundays.
11 🚌Munich to Berchtesgaden bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 10:20 🏨Hotel Rottl-sepp (Book >) All hotels >
Berchtesgaden is a scenic town in the mountains, from where you can hike, take bus #839, 841 or 843 to nearby Lake Königssee, or get to the top of the Eagle’s Nest. As a visitor to Berchtesgaden you pay visitor tax, but this also gets you a free ‘Kurkarte’ touist card which can be used on most local buses.
12 🚌Berchtesgaden to Munich bus
(Book >)
Dep: 17:25 Arr: 20:25 🏨Wombats City Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
More time today to see the Berchtesgaden sights you missed out on yesterday. Try a delicious local Knödel (dumpling).
13 Munich to Home (✈Book >)
(🚄 Book >)
Dep: Evening
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Connect this Germany itinerary with the France, Bruges & Ghent, Austria & Munich or Poland & Slovakia itinerary
Cheapest return trains go via Frankfurt and Brussels.

🇨🇳CHINA

Shanghai, ChinaA massive country with a huge population and millennia of history – there’s a whole lot to see in fascinating and friendly China. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your China itinerary:

Luxury Great Wall Of China at Badaling
1 ✈To Beijing (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Four Seasons (Book >) All hotels >
For the rest of today relax and recover from your flight.
3 Spend a few hours in the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City. Afterwards take in the immense Tiananmen Square which is nearby, as is the 600 year-old Temple of Heaven. You must book your Imperial Palace and Forbidden City tickets in advance on the official website (which is in Chinese – Google Translate will help).
4 🚄Beijing Huangtudian to Badaling train Dep: 12:40 Arr: 13:53 🏨Commune By The Great Wall (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi to the beautiful Summer Palace in the morning, then onwards to Badaling from where you can take the cable car up to the Great Wall and hike one of the most stunning sections. Buy and top up a Beijing Metro card for the journey to/from the Great Wall – these tickets can’t be bought in advance.
5 🚄Badaling to Beijing Huangtudian train
🚄Beijing South to Shanghai train(Book >)
Dep: 11:21
Dep: 13:35
Arr: 12:24
Arr: 19:17
🏨Fairmont Peace (Book >) All hotels >
More time, if you want, to visit the Great Wall before returning to Beijing for the bullet train to Shanghai. Train tickets bought online are only available up to 60 days before departure.
6 Start your day on top of the huge World Financial Center and experience the 100 storey-high Sky Walk. Take a boat tour along the main canal of Zhujiajiao then do some shopping on Nanjing Road. Head to the Ming Dynasty Yuyuan Garden in the late afternoon then on to the Bund for a night time stroll. Learn a few basic Mandarin Chinese words – even attempting the local language is appreciated.
7 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train (Book >) Dep: 18:46 🏨Sleeper train
See the Jade Buddha Temple and Shanghai Museum before catching your sleeper train to Xi’an. You’ll need your tickets and ID to board the train.
8 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train Arr: 09:20 🏨W Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
See the Terracotta Warriors and attached museum, then enjoy a bicycle ride along the city walls and visit to the Banpo Museum – all with your personal guide. Ask your guide for restaurant recommendations – the ones around the Terracotta Warriors museum are poor quality.
9 🚄Xi’an to Chengdu train (Book >)
🚄Chengdu to Emei Shan train (Book >)
Dep: 08:07
Dep: 12:10
Arr: 11:57
Arr: 14:09
🏨Golden Summit Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi from Emeishan station to Baogou Temple and from there a bus to Leidong Ping. Here you can ride the cable car up to the Golden Summit and your hotel for the night. Take motion sickness tables for the bus, which is the only form of transport allowed on the national park roads.
10 🚄Emei Shan to Chengdu train (Book >) Dep: 16:54 Arr: 18:15 🏨The Ritz Carlton (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the Golden Summit and hikes nearby, then return to Leidong Ping via cable car and Baogou on the bus. If you have the energy see Chengdu’s Jinli Ancient Street at night. Be very careful with the monkeys around the Golden Summit – they are very aggressive.
11 Take Metro line 4 to Kuanzhaixiangzi then meet the locals in the People’s Park. Admire the impressive Wenshu Temple and, if you have time, go to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. At dusk see the synchronised water show at Tianfu Square. The Chengdu Metro is a good way of getting around the city, although your bags may need to go through an x-ray machine before you enter.
12 🚄Chengdu to Chongqing train (Book >) Dep: 15:52 Arr: 17:25 🏨Niccolo (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning then take the fast train to Chongqing. After dinner your cruise along the Yangtze will depart at 21:00 (call to book). Take mosquito repellant for the cruise.
13-14 Your ship will carry you past mountains and farmland and through spectacular gorges. Highlights include the ornate Shibaozhai Pagoda, serene Shennv Stream and the vast Three Gorges dam. Remember to take cash for tipping porters.
15 ✈Yichang to Guilin flight (Book >)
🚕Guilin to Yangshuo taxi
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Banyan Tree(Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into Yanghsuo mid-afternoon and delight at the incredible scenery around town. Ask the taxi driver to take the highway and pay them the additional toll fee.
16 Explore the area by boat, bike, foot or all of the above. Don’t buy too many souvenirs in Yangshuo as they’re often overpriced (this page has a good guide).
17 🚄Yangshuo to Guangzhou train (Book >)
🚄Guangzhou to Hong Kong train (Book >)
Dep: 09:51
Dep: 12:13
Arr: 11:55
Arr: 13:29
🏨The Upper House (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags at the hotel and start ticking off the sights in Hong Kong, starting with a trip across the water with Star Ferries. Walk along the Wan Chai Heritage Trail. When the sun goes down join the throngs at Temple Street Night Market. Buy an Octopus Card for easy access to the Hong Kong transport system.
18 Start your day with a historic tram ride up to Victoria Peak. Journey out to the massive Tian Tian Buddha. Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Tonight take in the spectacular Symphony of Lights. If you want to get up to Victoria Peak quickly then hop in a taxi rather than catch the tram.
19-20 ✈Hong Kong to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this China itinerary with the Vietnam or Thailand itinerary
Enjoy a relaxing day, first visiting Man Mo Temple then in serene Hong Kong Park. The Metro is the best way to get to the airport.
Mid-range Yangshuo, China
1 ✈To Beijing (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel East (Book >) All hotels >
For the rest of today relax and recover from your flight.
3 Spend a few hours in the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City. Afterwards take in the immense Tiananmen Square which is nearby, as is the 600 year-old Temple of Heaven. You must book your Imperial Palace and Forbidden City tickets in advance on the official website (which is in Chinese – Google Translate will help).
4 🚄Beijing Huangtudian to Badaling train Dep: 12:40 Arr: 13:53 🏨Delight Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi to the beautiful Summer Palace in the morning, then onwards to Badaling from where you can take the cable car up to the Great Wall and hike one of the most stunning sections. Buy and top up a Beijing Metro card for the journey to/from the Great Wall – these tickets can’t be bought in advance.
5 🚄Badaling to Beijing Huangtudian train
🚄Beijing South to Shanghai train(Book >)
Dep: 11:21
Dep: 13:35
Arr: 12:24
Arr: 19:17
🏨Le Méridien Minhang (Book >) All hotels >
More time, if you want, to visit the Great Wall before returning to Beijing for the bullet train to Shanghai. Train tickets bought online are only available up to 60 days before departure.
6 Start your day on top of the huge World Financial Center and experience the 100 storey-high Sky Walk. Take a boat tour along the main canal of Zhujiajiao then do some shopping on Nanjing Road. Head to the Ming Dynasty Yuyuan Garden in the late afternoon then on to the Bund for a night time stroll. Learn a few basic Mandarin Chinese words – even attempting the local language is appreciated.
7 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train (Book >) Dep: 18:46 🏨Sleeper train
See the Jade Buddha Temple and Shanghai Museum before catching your sleeper train to Xi’an. You’ll need your tickets and ID to board the train.
8 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train Arr: 09:20 🏨Hotel Tang Dynasty West Market (Book >) All hotels >
See the Terracotta Warriors and attached museum, then enjoy a bicycle ride along the city walls and visit to the Banpo Museum – all with your personal guide. Ask your guide for restaurant recommendations – the ones around the Terracotta Warriors museum are poor quality.
9 🚄Xi’an to Chengdu train (Book >)
🚄Chengdu to Emei Shan train (Book >)
Dep: 08:07
Dep: 12:10
Arr: 11:57
Arr: 14:09
🏨Baoguo Temple (Book >) All hotels >
Take bus 5A to Baogou Temple. You’ll then have the rest of the day to hike in the Emei Shan national park. Tonight you’ll stay in a working monastery which, whilst perhaps not the most comfortable experience, will certainly be memorable. Take motion sickness tables for the bus to Leidong Ping, which is the only form of transport allowed on the national park roads.
10 🚄Emei Shan to Chengdu train (Book >) Dep: 19:25 Arr: 20:46 🏨Shimao Yuluxe (Book >) All hotels >
Take a bus to Leidong Ping then ride the cable car up to the Golden Summit Return to Baoguo to collect your bags and head to the station. If you have the energy see Chengdu’s Jinli Ancient Street at night. Be very careful with the monkeys around the Golden Summit – they are very aggressive.
11 Take Metro line 4 to Kuanzhaixiangzi then meet the locals in the People’s Park. Admire the impressive Wenshu Temple and, if you have time, go to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. At dusk see the synchronised water show at Tianfu Square. The Chengdu Metro is a good way of getting around the city, although your bags may need to go through an x-ray machine before you enter.
12 🚄Chengdu to Chongqing train (Book >) Dep: 15:52 Arr: 17:25 🏨Kempinski (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning then take the fast train to Chongqing. After dinner your cruise along the Yangtze will depart at 21:00 (call to book). Take mosquito repellant for the cruise.
13-14 Your ship will carry you past mountains and farmland and through spectacular gorges. Highlights include the ornate Shibaozhai Pagoda, serene Shennv Stream and the vast Three Gorges dam. Remember to take cash for tipping porters.
15 ✈Yichang to Guilin flight (Book >)
🚕Guilin to Yangshuo taxi
Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Yangshuo Mountain Nest (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into Yanghsuo mid-afternoon and delight at the incredible scenery around town. Ask the taxi driver to take the highway and pay them the additional toll fee.
16 Explore the area by boat, bike, foot or all of the above. Don’t buy too many souvenirs in Yangshuo as they’re often overpriced (this page has a good guide).
17 🚄Yangshuo to Guangzhou train (Book >)
🚄Guangzhou to Hong Kong train (Book >)
Dep: 09:51
Dep: 12:13
Arr: 11:55
Arr: 13:29
🏨The T (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags at the hotel and start ticking off the sights in Hong Kong, starting with a trip across the water with Star Ferries. Walk along the Wan Chai Heritage Trail. When the sun goes down join the throngs at Temple Street Night Market. Buy an Octopus Card for easy access to the Hong Kong transport system.
18 Start your day with a historic tram ride up to Victoria Peak. Journey out to the massive Tian Tian Buddha. Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Tonight take in the spectacular Symphony of Lights. If you want to get up to Victoria Peak quickly then hop in a taxi rather than catch the tram.
19-20 ✈Hong Kong to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this China itinerary with the Vietnam or Thailand itinerary
Enjoy a relaxing day, first visiting Man Mo Temple then in serene Hong Kong Park. The Metro is the best way to get to the airport.
Budget Hong Kong
1 ✈To Beijing (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Afternoon 🏨Beijing Downtown Travelotel (Book >) All hotels >
For the rest of today relax and recover from your flight.
3 Spend a few hours in the Imperial Palace and Forbidden City. Afterwards take in the immense Tiananmen Square which is nearby, as is the 600 year-old Temple of Heaven. You must book your Imperial Palace and Forbidden City tickets in advance on the official website (which is in Chinese – Google Translate will help).
4 🚄Beijing Huangtudian to Badaling train Dep: 12:40 Arr: 13:53 🏨Great Wall Cao’S Courtyard Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Take either metro line 4 to Beigongmen station or 10 to Bagou station and visit the beautiful Summer Palace in the morning, then onwards to Badaling from where you can take the cable car up to the Great Wall and hike one of the most stunning sections. Buy and top up a Beijing Metro card for the journey to/from the Great Wall – these tickets can’t be bought in advance.
5 🚄Badaling to Beijing Huangtudian train
🚄Beijing South to Shanghai train(Book >)
Dep: 11:21
Dep: 13:35
Arr: 12:24
Arr: 19:17
🏨The Phoenix (Book >) All hotels >
More time, if you want, to visit the Great Wall before returning to Beijing for the bullet train to Shanghai. Train tickets bought online are only available up to 60 days before departure.
6 Start your day on top of the huge World Financial Center and experience the 100 storey-high Sky Walk. Take a boat tour along the main canal of Zhujiajiao then do some shopping on Nanjing Road. Head to the Ming Dynasty Yuyuan Garden in the late afternoon then on to the Bund for a night time stroll. Learn a few basic Mandarin Chinese words – even attempting the local language is appreciated.
7 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train  (Book >) Dep: 18:46 🏨Sleeper train
See the Jade Buddha Temple and Shanghai Museum before catching your sleeper train to Xi’an. You’ll need your tickets and ID to board the train.
8 🚄Shanghai to Xi’an train Arr: 09:20 🏨Hantang Inn (Book >) All hotels >
See the Terracotta Warriors and attached museum, then enjoy a bicycle ride along the city walls and visit to the Banpo Museum – all with your personal guide. Ask your guide for restaurant recommendations – the ones around the Terracotta Warriors museum are poor quality.
9 🚄Xi’an to Chengdu train (Book >)
🚄Chengdu to Emei Shan train (Book >)
Dep: 08:07
Dep: 12:10
Arr: 11:57
Arr: 14:09
🏨Baoguo Temple (Book >) All hotels >
Take bus 5A to Baogou Temple. You’ll then have the rest of the day to hike in the Emei Shan national park. Tonight you’ll stay in a working monastery which, whilst perhaps not the most comfortable experience, will certainly be memorable. Take motion sickness tables for the bus to Leidong Ping, which is the only form of transport allowed on the national park roads.
10 🚄Emei Shan to Chengdu train (Book >) Dep: 19:25 Arr: 20:46 🏨Xishu Garden Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Take a bus to Leidong Ping then ride the cable car up to the Golden Summit Return to Baoguo to collect your bags and head to the station. If you have the energy see Chengdu’s Jinli Ancient Street at night. Be very careful with the monkeys around the Golden Summit – they are very aggressive.
11 Take Metro line 4 to Kuanzhaixiangzi then meet the locals in the People’s Park. Admire the impressive Wenshu Temple and, if you have time, go to the Chengdu Panda Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. At dusk see the synchronised water show at Tianfu Square. The Chengdu Metro is a good way of getting around the city, although your bags may need to go through an x-ray machine before you enter.
12 🚄Chengdu to Chongqing train (Book >) Dep: 15:52 Arr: 17:25 🏨Only Cafe And Backpacker (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a relaxing morning then take the fast train to Chongqing. After dinner your cruise (book here) along the Yangtze will depart at 21:00. Take mosquito repellant for the cruise.
13-14 Your ship will carry you past mountains and farmland and through spectacular gorges. Highlights include the ornate Shibaozhai Pagoda, serene Shennv Stream and the vast Three Gorges dam. Remember to take cash for tipping porters.
15 ✈Yichang to Guilin flight  (Book >)
🚌Guilin to Yangshuo bus
Dep: Morning
Dep: 13:30/15:30
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: 14:50/16:50
🏨The Stone Bridge Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive into Yanghsuo mid-afternoon and delight at the incredible scenery around town. Buy shuttle bus tickets from the ticket offices near the airport bus stops.
16 Explore the area by boat, bike, foot or all of the above. Don’t buy too many souvenirs in Yangshuo as they’re often overpriced (this page has a good guide).
17 🚄Yangshuo to Guangzhou train (Book >)
🚄Guangzhou to Hong Kong train (Book >)
Dep: 09:51
Dep: 12:13
Arr: 11:55
Arr: 13:29
🏨Wontonmeen (Book >) All hotels >
Drop your bags at the hotel and start ticking off the sights in Hong Kong, starting with a trip across the water with Star Ferries. Walk along the Wan Chai Heritage Trail. When the sun goes down join the throngs at Temple Street Night Market. Buy an Octopus Card for easy access to the Hong Kong transport system.
18 Start your day with a historic tram ride up to Victoria Peak. Journey out to the massive Tian Tian Buddha. Stroll along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. Tonight take in the spectacular Symphony of Lights. Many Hong Kong museums are free to enter on Wednesdays.
19-20 ✈Hong Kong to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this China itinerary with the Vietnam or Thailand itinerary
Enjoy a relaxing day, first visiting Man Mo Temple then in serene Hong Kong Park. The Metro is the best way to get to the airport.