🇧🇧🇱🇨🇩🇲🇬🇵EASTERN CARIBBEAN

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

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

🇨🇷COSTA RICA

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

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

🇨🇭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.

🇨🇦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.

🇩🇪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.

🇹🇷WESTERN TURKEY

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

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

Dep: 12:30

Arr: Morning

Arr: 14:20

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

Dep: 12:30

Arr: Morning

Arr: 14:20

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

🇲🇾MALAYSIA & BORNEO

Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaPristine jungle, perfect beaches, breathtaking wildlife, ancient temples…Malaysia is amazing value for money. We’ve also added a trip to unmissable Borneo at the end, should you have the time to fully explore this country. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Malaysia & Borneo itinerary:

Luxury Tanah Rata, Malaysia
1 ✈To Kuala Lumpur (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨The Majestic (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive early evening so take some time to relax after the long flight.
3 Admire the view from the Petronas Towers, immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of Chinatown, take a taxi to the fascinating Batu Caves, see the ornate Sultan Abdul Samad Building and pick up some souvenirs at Central Market. It may be useful to know a few local words and phrases, especially in rural areas.
4 🚐Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Tembeling transfer
⛴️Kuala Tembeling to Kuala Tahan boat (Book >)
Dep: 07:30
Dep: 11:30
Arr: 11:15
Arr: 13:30
🏨Mutiara Taman Negara (Book >) All hotels >
Go on a guided trek into the jungle. Remember to bring insect repellent.
5 Take a longer guided hike in the jungle, making sure you incorporate the world’s longest canopy walk. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
6 🚌Kuala Tahan to Tanah Rata bus (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨Cameron Highlands Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Sip fresh tea whilst overlooking the plantations from where your leaves were grown. Temperatures drop to an average of 15C at night.
7 🚌Tanah Rata to Sungai Nibong bus (Book >)
🚕Sungai Nibong to
Georgetown taxi
Dep: 14:30

Dep: 19:40

Arr: 19:36

Arr: 20:03

🏨The Edison (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a serene walk through the forest before departing for Penang. Taxis on Penang rarely have working metres (or so they claim) so be sure to check the price before leaving.
8-9 Climb up to Kek Lok Si temple, go on an audio-guided tour of the Tropical Spice Garden. Take a walking tour of Georgetown and don’t miss Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Chew Jetty or the Sun Yat Sen museum. Spend a few hours at a cookery class. Ask your hotel to help arrange taxis – it may be best to stick with one operator for your whole stay.
10 ⛴️Georgetown to Langkawi ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:30 Arr: 11:35 🏨The Datai (Book >) All hotels >
Time to get acquainted with Langkawi’s famous beaches. The ferry crossing can be rough – take motion sickness tablets if needed.
11-13 Spend your days relaxing by or in the sea. Your hotel’s beach offers one of the best snorkelling spots on the island. If you feel like a short trip then the 7 Wells waterfall is well worth a visit. If you’re visiting in monsoon season then Pulau Payar Marine Park offers the best snorkelling visibility.
14 ✈Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur flight
✈Kuala Lumpur to Kuching flight (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Cove 55 (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy some morning beach time. Airport to hotel taxi ride should take 45 mins.
15-16 Explore the Sarawak River on a boat tour, see orangutans in their natural habitat, hike up Mount Santubong with a guide…there’s plenty to occupy your time here. Umbrellas are perfect for dealing with the short bursts of rain here – much better than sweaty waterproofs.
17 ✈Kuching to Kota Kinabalu flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Relax at your resort and plan out the next couple of days Planning to climb Mt Kinabalu? Read these tips first.
18-19 So many things to do here! Explore the sea – above or below water, take a guided jungle hike, go white water rafting or on a more sedate river safari, visit the orangutans at Sepilok, hike in Kinabalu Park…you may need more time. Laksa, claypot rice, beef noodle and Bak Kut The are just some of the delicious dishes to try here.
20-21 ✈Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur flight (Book >)
✈Kuala Lumpur to Home
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Malaysia & Borneo itinerary with the Thailand or Indonesia itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Langkawi, Malaysia
1 ✈To Kuala Lumpur (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨Hotel Mov (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive early evening so take some time to relax after the long flight.
3 Admire the view from the Petronas Towers, immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of Chinatown, take a taxi to the fascinating Batu Caves, see the ornate Sultan Abdul Samad Building and pick up some souvenirs at Central Market. It may be useful to know a few local words and phrases, especially in rural areas.
4 🚐Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Tembeling transfer
⛴️Kuala Tembeling to Kuala Tahan boat(Book >)
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 14:00
Arr: 12:00
Arr: 17:00
🏨Tebing Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a sundowner on the banks of the river. Remember to bring insect repellent.
5 Take a long hike in the jungle, making sure you incorporate the world’s longest canopy walk. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
6 🚌Kuala Tahan to Tanah Rata bus (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨Cameron Highlands Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Sip fresh tea whilst overlooking the plantations from where your leaves were grown. Temperatures drop to an average of 15C at night.
7 🚌Tanah Rata to Sungai Nibong bus (Book >)
🚕Sungai Nibong to
Georgetown taxi
Dep: 14:30

Dep: 19:40

Arr: 19:36

Arr: 20:03

🏨Areca Penang (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a serene walk through the forest before departing for Penang. Taxis on Penang rarely have working metres (or so they claim) so be sure to check the price before leaving.
8-9 Climb up to Kek Lok Si temple, go on an audio-guided tour of the Tropical Spice Garden. Take a walking tour of Georgetown and don’t miss Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Chew Jetty or the Sun Yat Sen museum. Spend a few hours at a cookery class. Ask your hotel to help arrange taxis – it may be best to stick with one operator for your whole stay.
10 ⛴️Georgetown to Langkawi ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:30 Arr: 11:35 🏨Berjaya Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Time to get acquainted with Langkawi’s famous beaches. The ferry crossing can be rough – take motion sickness tablets if needed.
11-13 Spend your days relaxing by or in the sea. If you feel like a short trip then the 7 Wells waterfall is well worth a visit, or Pulau Payar Marine Park offers great snorkelling. Taxis on the island are quite expensive and there is no public transport.
14 ✈Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur flight
✈Kuala Lumpur to Kuching flight (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Imperial Riverbank (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy some morning beach time. The Kuching hotel is a cheap 25-min taxi ride away from the airport.
15-16 Explore the Sarawak River on a boat tour, see orangutans in their natural habitat, wander around the bustling markets…there’s plenty to occupy your time here. Umbrellas are perfect for dealing with the short bursts of rain here – much better than sweaty waterproofs.
17 ✈Kuching to Kota Kinabalu flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Eden54 (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the city and bag a bargain at the handicraft market. Planning to climb Mt Kinabalu? Read these tips first.
18-19 So many things to do here! Explore the sea – above or below water, take a guided jungle hike, go white water rafting or on a more sedate river safari, visit the orangutans at Sepilok, hike in Kinabalu Park…you may need more time. Laksa, claypot rice, beef noodle and Bak Kut The are just some of the delicious dishes to try here.
20-21 ✈Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur flight (Book >)
✈Kuala Lumpur to Home
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Malaysia & Borneo itinerary with the Thailand or Indonesia itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Budget Orangutan, Borneo
1 ✈To Kuala Lumpur (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨Revopackers (Book >) All hotels >
The shuttle bus is one of the cheapest ways to get into town, book in advance here.
3 Admire the view from the Petronas Towers, immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of Chinatown, take a taxi to the fascinating Batu Caves, see the ornate Sultan Abdul Samad Building and pick up some souvenirs at Central Market. It may be useful to know a few local words and phrases, especially in rural areas.
4 🚐Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Tembeling transfer
⛴️Kuala Tembeling to Kuala Tahan boat (Book >)
Dep: 08:30
Dep: 12:00
Arr: 14:00
Arr: 17:00
🏨WildLodge(Book >) All hotels >
Go on a guided trek into the jungle. Remember to bring insect repellent.
5 Take a longer guided hike in the jungle, making sure you incorporate the world’s longest canopy walk. Save the environment by using a filter water bottle.
6 🚌Kuala Tahan to Tanah Rata bus (Book >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 15:30 🏨Sleepbox Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Sip fresh tea whilst overlooking the plantations from where your leaves were grown. Temperatures drop to an average of 15C at night.
7 🚌Tanah Rata to Sungai Nibong bus (Book >)
🚌Sungai Nibong to
Georgetown bus
Dep: 14:30

Dep: 19:45

Arr: 19:36

Arr: 20:15

🏨Ryokan Muntri Boutique (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy a serene walk through the forest before departing for Penang. Buses to Georgetown depart from Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah street.
8-9 Climb up to Kek Lok Si temple, go on an audio-guided tour of the Tropical Spice Garden. Take a walking tour of Georgetown and don’t miss Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Chew Jetty or the Sun Yat Sen museum. Spend a few hours at a cookery class. Penang has a good network of cheap buses. See here for the route network.
10 ⛴️Georgetown to Langkawi ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:30 Arr: 11:35 🏨Bed Attitude (Book >) All hotels >
Time to get acquainted with Langkawi’s famous beaches. The ferry crossing can be rough – take motion sickness tablets if needed.
11-13 Spend your days relaxing by or in the sea. Your hotel’s beach offers one of the best snorkelling spots on the island. If you feel like a short trip then the 7 Wells waterfall is well worth a visit. If you’re visiting in monsoon season then Pulau Payar Marine Park offers the best snorkelling visibility.
14 ✈Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur flight
✈Kuala Lumpur to Kuching flight (Book >)
Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Borneo Seahare Guesthouse (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy some morning beach time. Take bus 3A, 6, 8G or 9 to the city centre.
15-16 Explore the Sarawak River on a boat tour, see orangutans in their natural habitat, hike up Mount Santubong with a guide…there’s plenty to occupy your time here. Umbrellas are perfect for dealing with the short bursts of rain here – much better than sweaty waterproofs.
17 ✈Kuching to Kota Kinabalu flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨SKYPOD Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Explore the city and bag a bargain at the handicraft market. Planning to climb Mt Kinabalu? Read these tips first.
18-19 So many things to do here! Explore the sea – above or below water, take a guided jungle hike, go white water rafting or on a more sedate river safari, visit the orangutans at Sepilok, hike in Kinabalu Park…you may need more time. Laksa, claypot rice, beef noodle and Bak Kut The are just some of the delicious dishes to try here.
20-21 ✈Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur flight (Book >)
✈Kuala Lumpur to Home
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Malaysia & Borneo itinerary with the Thailand or Indonesia itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.

🇪🇨ECUADOR & GALAPAGOS

Reef sharks, Galapagos, EcuadorAn amazing, varied journey through this small country that packs a punch. And, of course, any Ecuador itinerary just has to include the Galapagos. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Ecuador & Galapagos itinerary:

Luxury Quito, Ecuador
1 ✈To Guayaquil (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Wyndham (Book >) All hotels >
Book your airport transfer
2 Stroll along the beautiful riverfront promenade “Malecon 2000”, admire the old buildings of Las Peñas Guayaquil is hot and humid – stay hydrated!
3 🚄Guayaquil to Alausí train (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨El Molino hotel
Embark on your all-inclusive train journey, starting on a restored steam locomotive. You’ll pass fruit plantations and then board a bus into the Andes. Hotels are included in the price of your Tren Ecuador ticket.
4 🚄Alausí to Riobamba train Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Andaluza hotel
New day, new train! You’ll ride the rails along the famous Devil’s Nose then return to Alausí for a colourful market. Another steam train pulls you to Colta and onwards through verdant fields where you may catch a glimpse of the immense Chimborazo volcano. Wear layers – temperatures can vary greatly, especially when travelling through different altitudes.
5 🚄Riobamba to Latacunga train Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Cienega hotel
Meet the inhabitants of La Moya then experience the beautiful Paramo ecosystem before travelling by train past Cotopaxi volcano. Being so high up and close to the equator, a high SPF sunscreen is a must.
6 🚄Latacunga to Quito train Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Swissotel (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’ll take a relaxed walk in Cotopaxi National Park before boarding the train to a traditional hacienda. Take a good camera to make the most of the wildlife in the Park.
7-8 Take in the many sights of Quito’s Old Town. Ride on the cable car up Pichincha volcano. Enjoy a day trip to the nearby market in Otavalo. Check that your Quito taxi is officially licensed before shutting the door.
9 ✈Quito to Galapagos flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Angermeyer Waterfront Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Everywhere you go on these islands you’re reminded of how special they are. You’ll see seals, iguana and so much more. Make sure you take eco-friendly sunscreen to help protect reefs and wildlife.
10-13 Embark on a cruise around the islands. Book here > Smaller boats are better for disembarking on islands faster and seeing more wildlife.
14-15 ✈Galapagos to Mainland flight  (Book >)
Ecuador to Home
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Ecuador and Galapagos itinerary with the Peru itinerary
You may wish to book an extra night in Quito or Guayaquil.
Mid-range Napo River, Ecuador
1 ✈To Quito (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotsel Casa Montero (Book >) All hotels >
Book your airport transfer.
2-3 Take in the many sights of Quito’s Old Town. Ride on the cable car up Pichincha volcano. Enjoy a day trip to the nearby market in Otavalo. Check that your Quito taxi is officially licensed before shutting the door.
4 🚌Quito to Tena bus🚌Tena to Misahuallí bus Dep: 10:30Dep: 14:30 Arr: 14:00Arr: 15:15 🏨Misahuallí Amazon Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Relax and meet the monkeys inhabiting Misahuallí’s square. Sit on the right-hand side of the bus to Tena for the best views.
5 Catch a taxi from the square to the Jatun Sacha reserve. Borrow their harnesses and climb the tower (if you don’t mind heights) and stroll through the pristine forest. Jatun Sacha is run by volunteers and costs $6 to enter. Additional donations are always welcome.
6 🚌Misahuallí to Tena bus
🚌Tena to Banos bus
Dep: 09:30Dep: 10:30 Arr: 10:15Arr: 14:30 🏨La Casa Verde (Book >) All hotels >
Take a hike into the hills, go white water rafting, bungee jump off a bridge, relax in the thermal waters…you may need an extra day! You’ll need to buy a $1 swimming cap before entering into the public spa – vendors are just outside.
7 🚌Banos to Riobamba bus
🚌Riobamba to Alausi bus
Dep: 08:00Dep: 10:45 Arr: 10:00Arr: 12:55 🏨Noris Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Marvel at the amazing engineering along the Devil’s Nose railway (departs Alausi at 14:30). Bus times can be unreliable in Ecuador, you may want to take an earlier bus from Banos.
8 🚌Alausi to Riobamba bus
🚌Riobamba to Guayaquil bus
Dep:
09:50
Dep: 12:00
Arr: 11:50Arr: 17:25 🏨Holiday Inn Guayaquil Airport (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi to the Guayaquil Malecon 2000. Get the hotel to book your taxi and arrange a time for it to take you back.
9 ✈Guayaquil to Galapagos flight (Book >) Dep: 10:20 Arr: 11:17 🏨Capitan Max B&B (Book >) All hotels >
Once you arrive at Puerto Ayora you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore nearby beaches and visit the tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station. You’ll need to pay just under $10 for transport from the airport.
10 Book a tour to Pinzon Island and snorkel with amazing aquatic wildlife. Booking all your ferries and tours with one agency can save money.
11 🛥️Puerto Ayora to Puerto Villamil ferry Dep: 07:00 Arr: 09:30 🏨Casita de la Playa (Book >) All hotels >
Hire a bike and explore nearby beaches and tortoise sanctuaries. Get to the top of the Cerro Azul volcano if you’re feeling fit. Take seasickness tables for the ferry and don’t sit on the rear seats – it gets wet! 
12 Tour to Los Tuneles and see awesome landscapes and snorkel with even more awesome animals. Wear an eco-friendly sunscreen to protect reef and animals.
13 🛥️Puerto Villamil to Santa Cruz ferry Dep: 14:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Capitan Max B&B (Book >) All hotels >
More time today to visit the many, varied sights around Puerto Villamil before returning to Puerto Ayora. You may want to take your own snorkelling kit as there are some good spots near the towns to explore.
14 🛥️Santa Cruz to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno ferry Dep: 07:00 Arr: 09:00 🏨Katarma Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Walk along the boardwalks of San Cristobal island, snorkel in the beaches near town, meet the hundreds of seals that flop up to town at night. Go to the main town pier at night and watch the seals play and rays glide.
15 Boat tour to Kicker Rock where you have a good chance of snorkelling with sharks. Makes sure your tour offers at least two opportunities to snorkel at Kicker Rock.
16-17 ✈Galapagos to Quito flight (Book >)✈Quito to Home Dep: MorningDep: Evening Arr: AfternoonArr: Morning (next day) Connect this Ecuador and Galapagos itinerary with the Peru itinerary
Taxis to the airport cost under $2.
Budget Banos, Ecuador
1 ✈To Quito (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Masaya Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Buses depart every 15 mins to Rio Coca terminal and cost $2.
2-3 Take in the many sights of Quito’s Old Town. Ride on the cable car up Pichincha volcano. Enjoy a day trip to the nearby market in Otavalo. Check that your Quito taxi is officially licensed before shutting the door.
4 🚌Quito to Tena bus
🚌Tena to Misahuallí bus
Dep: 10:30
Dep: 14:30
Arr: 14:00
Arr: 15:15
🏨Hostal El Paisano (Book >) All hotels >
Relax and meet the monkeys inhabiting Misahuallí’s square. Sit on the right-hand side of the bus to Tena for the best views.
5 Catch a taxi from the square to the Jatun Sacha reserve. Borrow their harnesses and climb the tower (if you don’t mind heights) and stroll through the pristine forest. Jatun Sacha is run by volunteers and costs $6 to enter. Additional donations are always welcome.
6 🚌Misahuallí to Tena bus
🚌Tena to Banos bus
Dep: 09:30
Dep: 10:30
Arr:
10:15
Arr: 14:30
🏨Balcon Del Cielo (Book >) All hotels >
Take a hike into the hills, go white water rafting, bungee jump off a bridge, relax in the thermal waters…you may need an extra day! You’ll need to buy a $1 swimming cap before entering into the public spa – vendors are just outside.
7 🚌Banos to Riobamba bus
🚌Riobamba to Alausi bus
Dep:
08:00
Dep: 10:45
Arr: 10:00
Arr: 12:55
🏨Community Hostal (Book >) All hotels >
Marvel at the amazing engineering along the Devil’s Nose railway (departs Alausi at 14:30). Bus times can be unreliable in Ecuador, you may want to take an earlier bus from Banos.
8 🚌Alausi to Riobamba bus
🚌Riobamba to Guayaquil bus
Dep:
09:50
Dep: 12:00
Arr:
11:50
Arr: 17:25
🏨DreamKapture Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Take a taxi to the Guayaquil Malecon 2000. Ask the hostel to book your taxis.
9 ✈Guayaquil to Galapagos flight (Book >) Dep: 10:20 Arr: 11:17 🏨La Mirada Del Solitario George
(Book >)
All hotels >
Once you arrive at Puerto Ayora you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore nearby beaches and visit the tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station. You’ll need to pay just under $10 for transport from the airport.
10 Book a tour to Pinzon Island and snorkel with amazing aquatic wildlife. Booking all your ferries and tours with one agency can save money.
11 🛥️Puerto Ayora to Puerto Villamil ferry Dep: 07:00 Arr: 09:30 🏨Hostal Villamil (Book >) All hotels >
Hire a bike and explore nearby beaches and tortoise sanctuaries. Get to the top of the Cerro Azul volcano if you’re feeling fit. Take seasickness tables for the ferry and don’t sit on the rear seats – it gets wet!
12 Tour to Los Tuneles and see awesome landscapes and snorkel with even more awesome animals. Wear an eco-friendly sunscreen to protect reef and animals.
13 🛥️Puerto Villamil to Santa Cruz ferry Dep: 14:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Capitan Max B&B
(Book >)
All hotels >
More time today to visit the many, varied sights around Puerto Villamil. You may want to take your own snorkelling kit as there are some good spots near the towns to explore.
14 🛥️Santa Cruz to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno ferry Dep: 07:00 Arr: 09:00 🏨Casa De Jeimy
(Book >)
All hotels >
Walk along the boardwalks of San Cristobal island, snorkel in the beaches near town, meet the hundreds of seals that flop up to town at night. Go to the main town pier at night and watch the seals play and rays glide.
15 Boat tour to Kicker Rock where you have a good chance of snorkelling with sharks. Makes sure your tour offers at least two opportunities to snorkel at Kicker Rock.
16-17 ✈Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to Quito flight (Book >)
✈Quito to Home
Dep: Morning
Arr: Evening
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Morning (next day)
Connect this Ecuador and Galapagos itinerary with the Peru itinerary
Taxis to the airport cost under $2.

🇧🇷BRAZIL

Rio de Janeiro, BrazilThe best bits of Brazil with every detail you need. There’s jungle, lively cities, beautiful beaches and the spectacular Iguassu Falls. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Brazil itinerary:

Luxury Amazon, Brazil
1 ✈To Salvador (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Aram Yami Hotel  (Book >) All hotels >
Book your airport transfer
2 Take the Elevador Lacerda to Ladeira da Praça and explore the Old Town. The Mercado Modelo arts and crafts market closes early on Sundays.
3 ✈Salvador to Manaus flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Villa Amazônia (Book >) All hotels >
Find a praia (beach) which suits you and relax before heading to the airport. Praia do Porto da Barra is safe for swimming.
4-5 ⛴️Manaus to Amazon ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:30 🏨Jungle lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Book a 3-day tour into the depths of the Amazon. Because of the PH levels in the Rio Negro there are far fewer mosquitoes along this river.
6 ⛴️Amazon to Manaus ferry Arr: 17:00 🏨Villa Amazônia (Book >) All hotels >
Final day in the jungle. The lodge is 3hrs by road then 45 mins by boat. Book a taxi to the airport with your hostel.
7 ✈Manaus to Rio flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Belmond Copacabana Palace  (Book >) All hotels >
Marvel at the jungle city of Manaus. Be sure to visit the grand opera house. A taxi from the airport should cost about R$55.
8-9 Take the cog train up to the Christ the Redeemer statue, ride the cable cars up Sugarloaf Mountain, enjoy the nightlife in Lapa, explore the colonial buildings in nearby neighbourhoods and, of course, experience the beach in front of your hotel. Sit on the right-hand side of the Corcovado Mountain cog train for the best views.
10-11 🚌Rio to Angra dos Reis bus
⛴️Angra dos Reis to Ilha Grande ferry (Book >)
Dep: 06:15

Dep: 10:00

Arr: 09:15

Arr: 10:50

🏨Sagu Mini Resort (Book >) All hotels >
Vila do Abraão beach is often crowded and so grab some water and head off on one of the many hiking trails to somewhere more secluded. Vehicles are prohibited on the island.
12-13 ⛴️Ilha Grande to Angra dos Reis ferry
🚌Angra dos Reis to Paraty bus (Book >)
Dep: 10:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Casa Turqesa (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy the beaches along the nearby Ponta do Juatinga peninsula. Take a break from the sun and visit the town’s churches (Santa Rita has a fascinating Museum of Sacred Art).
14 🚌Paraty to Sao Paulo bus (Book >) Dep: 13:40 Arr: 19:20 🏨Hotel Fasano (Book >) All hotels >
More time this morning to enjoy this colonial town or the beautiful beaches nearby. Take Metro L1 from Sao Paulo Tiete bus station to Metro Paraiso, change to L2 for Trianon-Masp.
15 ✈Sao Paulo to Foz do Iguazu flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Belmond Hotel das Cataratas (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Sao Paulo’s Paulista Avenua and, if time, the MASP art museum. A taxi from the airport should cost about R$55.
16 Take a bus or taxi to the park entrance and explore the trails. The Cascadas Trail will take you to the falls. Add an extra day if you wish to see the falls from the Argentinian side.
17 ✈Foz do Iguazu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Brazil itinerary with the Argentina, Northern Chile or Southern Chile itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Mid-range Ilha Grande, Brazil
1 ✈To Salvador (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Mar Brasil Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Book your airport transfer
2 Take the Elevador Lacerda to Ladeira da Praça and explore the Old Town. The Mercado Modelo arts and crafts market closes early on Sundays.
3 ✈Salvador to Manaus flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Hotel Intercity (Book >) All hotels >
Find a praia (beach) which suits you and relax before heading to the airport. Praia do Porto da Barra is safe for swimming.
4-5 ⛴️Manaus to Amazon ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:30 🏨Jungle lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Book a 3-day tour into the depths of the Amazon. Because of the PH levels in the Rio Negro there are far fewer mosquitoes along this river.
6 ⛴️Amazon to Manaus ferry Arr: 17:00 🏨Hotel Intercity (Book >) All hotels >
Final day in the jungle. The lodge is 3hrs by road then 45 mins by boat. Book a taxi to the airport with your hostel.
7 ✈Manaus to Rio flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Ipanema Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Marvel at the jungle city of Manaus. Be sure to visit the grand opera house. A taxi from the airport should cost about R$55.
8-9 Take the cog train up to the Christ the Redeemer statue, ride the cable cars up Sugarloaf Mountain, enjoy the nightlife in Lapa, explore the colonial buildings in your neighbourhood and, of course, hit the beaches. Sit on the right-hand side of the Corcovado Mountain cog train for the best views.
10-11 🚌Rio to Angra dos Reis bus
⛴️Angra dos Reis to Ilha Grande ferry (Book >)
Dep: 06:15

Dep: 10:00

Arr: 09:15

Arr: 10:50

🏨Pousada Portal do Sol
(Book >)
All hotels >
Vila do Abraão beach is often crowded and so grab some water and head off on one of the many hiking trails to somewhere more secluded. Vehicles are prohibited on the island.
12-13 ⛴️Ilha Grande to Angra dos Reis ferry
🚌Angra dos Reis to Paraty bus (Book >)
Dep: 10:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Pousada do Ouro (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy the beaches along the nearby Ponta do Juatinga peninsula. Take a break from the sun and visit the town’s churches (Santa Rita has a fascinating Museum of Sacred Art).
14 🚌Paraty to Sao Paulo bus (Book >) Dep: 13:40 Arr: 19:20 🏨Royal Jardins (Book >) All hotels >
More time this morning to enjoy this colonial town or the beautiful beaches nearby. Take Metro L1 from Sao Paulo Tiete bus station to Metro Paraiso, change to L2 for Trianon-Masp.
15 ✈Sao Paulo to Foz do Iguazu flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Che Lagarto Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Sao Paulo’s Paulista Avenua and, if time, the MASP art museum. A taxi from the airport should cost about R$55.
16 Take a bus or taxi to the park entrance and explore the trails. The Cascadas Trail will take you to the falls. Add an extra day if you wish to see the falls from the Argentinian side.
17 ✈Foz do Iguazu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Brazil itinerary with the Argentina, Northern Chile or Southern Chile itinerary
Book your transfer to the airport.
Budget Paraty, Brazil
1 ✈To Salvador (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening 🏨Bahiacafe (Book >) All hotels >
Book your airport transfer
2 Take the Elevador Lacerda to Ladeira da Praça and explore the Old Town. The Mercado Modelo arts and crafts market closes early on Sundays.
3 ✈Salvador to Manaus flight  (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Local Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Find a praia (beach) which suits you and relax before heading to the airport. Praia do Porto da Barra is safe for swimming.
4-5 ⛴️Manaus to Amazon ferry (Book >) Dep: 08:30 🏨Jungle lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Book a 3-day tour into the depths of the Amazon. Because of the PH levels in the Rio Negro there are far fewer mosquitoes along this river.
6 ⛴️Amazon to Manaus ferry Arr: 17:00 🏨Local Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Final day in the jungle. The lodge is 3hrs by road then 45 mins by boat. Book a taxi to the airport with your hostel.
7 ✈Manaus to Rio flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Evening 🏨Villa 25 (Book >) All hotels >
Marvel at the jungle city of Manaus. Be sure to visit the grand opera house. A taxi from the airport should cost about R$55.
8-9 Take the cog train up to the Christ the Redeemer statue, ride the cable cars up Sugarloaf Mountain, enjoy the nightlife in Lapa, explore the colonial buildings in your neighbourhood and, of course, hit the beaches. Sit on the right-hand side of the Corcovado Mountain cog train for the best views.
10-11 🚌Rio to Angra dos Reis bus
⛴️Angra dos Reis to Ilha Grande ferry (Book >)
Dep: 06:15

Dep: 10:00

Arr: 09:15

Arr: 10:50

🏨Biergarten Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Vila do Abraão beach is often crowded and so grab some water and head off on one of the many hiking trails to somewhere more secluded. Vehicles are prohibited on the island.
12-13 ⛴️Ilha Grande to Angra dos Reis ferry
🚌Angra dos Reis to Paraty bus (Book >)
Dep: 10:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Pousada Casa do Rio (Book >) All hotels >
Enjoy the beaches along the nearby Ponta do Juatinga peninsula. Take a break from the sun and visit the town’s churches (Santa Rita has a fascinating Museum of Sacred Art).
14 🚌Paraty to Sao Paulo bus (Book >) Dep: 13:40 Arr: 19:20 🏨Sao Paulo Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
More time this morning to enjoy this colonial town or the beautiful beaches nearby. Take Metro L1 from Sao Paulo Tiete bus station to Metro Paraiso, change to L2 for Trianon-Masp.
15 ✈Sao Paulo to Foz do Iguazu flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Che Lagarto Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Visit Sao Paulo’s Paulista Avenua and, if time, the MASP art museum. Take bus 120 into the city.
16 Take a bus or taxi to the park entrance and explore the trails. The Cascadas Trail will take you to the falls. Add an extra day if you wish to see the falls from the Argentinian side.
17 ✈Foz do Iguazu to Home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Evening Connect this Brazil itinerary with the Argentina, Northern Chile or Southern Chile itinerary
Bus to the airport takes about 30 mins.

🇪🇹ETHIOPIA

Simien Mountains, EthiopiaA journey packed with incredible sights. A real adventure which will be hugely rewarding. Because of the limited choice of accommodation there is only one version of this itinerary. Here’s your Ethiopia itinerary:

1 ✈To Addis Ababa (Book >)
✈Addis to Lalibela flight (Book >)
Dep: 20:15 🏨 In flight!
2 Dep: 08:10 Arr: 06:50
Arr: 09:10
🏨Harbe Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Flights to Lalibela depart on Monday and Friday only, plan your Ethiopia itinerary accordingly.
3 Your hotel is close to all the sights, including the 11 rock-hewn churches in town. Any additional time should be spent visiting Yemrehanna Kristos and/or one of the nearby monasteries. At an altitude of 2,600m be prepared for cold and breathlessness.
4 ✈Lalibela to Axum flight (Book >) Dep: 10:45 Arr: 11:25 🏨Sabean International Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Must-sees include the Ruins of Aksum and the Northern Stelae Field. Guides can be arranged at the tourist info.
5 🚌Axum to Shire bus Dep: Any time before 6pm Arr: Any time 🏨Gebar Shire Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
There’s not much to see in Shire so spend more time soaking up Axum’s sights. Minibuses depart for Shire through the day until 6pm.
6 🚌Shire to Debark bus Dep: 05:30-06:00 Arr: c.10hrs later 🏨Limalimo Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
After a long journey enjoy the luxuries of the lodge and the incredible view. This is a rough road, take travel sickness pills if you need!
7 Every visitor to the Simien Mountains park has to pay for a park scout, make the most of them and embark on a full-day hike. Extend your trip a few days by embarking on a 4-5 day hike.
8 🚌Debark to Gondar bus Dep: Any time Arr: Any time 🏨Mayleko Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Fit another trek in before journeying to Gondar Limalimo Lodge can arange a shuttle to Gondar.
9 Spend the day exploring the Royal Enclosure (Fasil Ghebbi). Don’t-miss sights include Fasiladas’ Palace, Palace of Iyasu I and Debre Berhan Selassie Church. When ordering wat (curry) be sure to ask for the more tasty kai wat – alicha wat can be very bland!
10 🚌Gondar to Bahar Dar bus Dep: Every hr on the hr in the AM Arr: 3-4hrs later 🏨Delano Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Take a relaxing cruise on the lake to one of the island monasteries. Boats on Lake Tana have fixed rates – be wary of hustlers.
11 ✈Bahar Dar to Addis Ababa flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Caravan Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Before leaving Bahar Dar visit the nearby Blue Nile Falls and enjoy a self-guided walk, starting at the Portuguese Bridge (you’ll need to pay a boatman to cross back over the river). You can pay a guide for the falls walk, but the route is fairly easy to follow by yourself.
12 ✈Addis Ababa to home Dep: 14:25 Arr: 16:20 Connect this Ethiopia itinerary with the Kenya or Tanzania itinerary
Visit the Lucy replica in the National Museum and the excellent Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum.