🇳🇿NEW ZEALAND NORTH

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

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

🇫🇷FRANCE

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

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

🇵🇹PORTUGAL

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

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

Arr: 12:00

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

Arr: 12:00

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

Arr: 12:00

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

🇦🇺AUSTRALIA

Uluru, AustraliaAn action-packed two weeks in Australia, which offers buzzing cities, famous sights and exquisite beaches. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Australia itinerary:

Luxury Great Ocean Road, Australia
1 ✈To Melbourne (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨Crown Towers (Book >) All hotels >
Book your transfer from the airport.
3 One of the best things to do in cultural, characterful Melbourne is to stroll around the city centre and riverfront, which may be all you feel like doing after that long flight. St. Paul’s Cathedral, the City Circle Tram and the National Gallery of Victoria are all well worth seeing. You will need a visa to travel to Australia. More info here.
4 🚗Melbourne to Port Fairy drive (Hire car >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Drift House (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’ll be driving along the famous Great Ocean Road with its scenic views, shipwrecks, rainforests, sandy beaches and cute coastal villages. Allow time to stop off and enjoy! Melbourne can experience a huge range of weather in one day – come prepared.
5 🚗Port Fairy to Adelaide drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Mayfair Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Historic Port Fairy is a wonderful place to wake up in. You can either spend a little more time on the Great Ocean Road or take a short diversion to see the Grampians National Park. There are many places to see along the way on the Great Ocean Road so be sure to take your time.
6 🚄Adelaide to Alice Springs train (Book >) Dep: 12:15 🏨Train All hotels >
Stroll around Victoria Square and Hahndorf before boarding the train. If you have a spare day then consider adding a trip to Kangaroo Island.
7 🚄Adelaide to Alice Springs train
🚗Alice Springs to Uluru drive (Hire car >)
Dep: 14:00 Arr: 13:45

Arr: 19:30

🏨Longitude 131 (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in time to transfer to Uluru where you can enjoy a spectacular sunset if travelling December-February. You can see a map of the sunset and sunrise areas here.
8 ✈Mutitjulu(Ayers Rock) to Cairns flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Reef Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Wake up in time to catch sunrise and stroll around (not up!) Uluru before catching your flight. You’ll arrive in Cairns in time for an evening stroll along the waterfront. You can see a map of the sunset and sunrise areas here.
9-10 Two full days to go snorkelling above the Great Barrier Reef, visit Fitzroy Island and ride the SkyRail Rainforest Cableway. The sun is incredibly strong here, fortunately sun cream is cheap in Australia.
11 ✈Cairns to Sydney flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Langham (Book >) All hotels >
Relax at a café or pub in The Rocks, stroll along Darling Harbour and admire the view from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. The Queen Victoria building is a good place to find lunch.
12 Take a ferry to Manly or hop in a taxi to Bondi. If you’ve already had enough of the city then embark on a day trip to the Blue Mountains. Book your Opera House tickets here.
13 ✈Sydney to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Afternoon (next day) Connect this Australia itinerary with the Fiji & Samoa, New Zealand North or New Zealand South itinerary
You have another day in which to enjoy the Sydney sights. Book your airport transfer here.
Mid-range Sydney, Australia
1 ✈To Melbourne (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨Treasury on Collins (Book >) All hotels >
Book your transfer from the airport.
3 One of the best things to do in cultural, characterful Melbourne is to stroll around the city centre and riverfront, which may be all you feel like doing after that long flight. St. Paul’s Cathedral, the City Circle Tram and the National Gallery of Victoria are all well worth seeing. You will need a visa to travel to Australia. More info here.
4 🚗Melbourne to Port Fairy drive (Hire car >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 17:00 🏨Comfort Inn (Book >) All hotels >
Today you’ll be driving along the famous Great Ocean Road with its scenic views, shipwrecks, rainforests, sandy beaches and cute coastal villages. Allow time to stop off and enjoy! Melbourne can experience a huge range of weather in one day – come prepared.
5 🚗Port Fairy to Adelaide drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Adina Adelaide Treasury (Book >) All hotels >
Historic Port Fairy is a wonderful place to wake up in. You can either spend a little more time on the Great Ocean Road or take a short diversion to see the Grampians National Park. There are many places to see along the way on the Great Ocean Road so be sure to take your time.
6 🚄Adelaide to Alice Springs train (Book >) Dep: 12:15 🏨Train All hotels >
Stroll around Victoria Square and Hahndorf before boarding the train. If you have a spare day then consider adding a trip to Kangaroo Island.
7 🚄Adelaide to Alice Springs train
🚗Alice Springs to Uluru drive (Hire car >)
Dep: 14:00 Arr: 13:45

Arr: 19:30

🏨Longitude 131 (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in time to drive to Uluru where you can enjoy a spectacular sunset if travelling December-February. You can see a map of the sunset and sunrise areas here.
8 ✈Mutitjulu(Ayers Rock) to Cairns flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Jack & Newell Holiday Apartments (Book >) All hotels >
Wake up in time to catch sunrise and stroll around (not up!) Uluru before catching your flight. You’ll arrive in Cairns in time for an evening stroll along the waterfront. You can see a map of the sunset and sunrise areas here.
9-10 Two full days to go snorkelling above the Great Barrier Reef, visit Fitzroy Island and ride the SkyRail Rainforest Cableway. The sun is incredibly strong here, fortunately sun cream is cheap in Australia.
11 ✈Cairns to Sydney flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour
(Book >)
All hotels >
Relax at a café or pub in The Rocks, stroll along Darling Harbour and admire the view from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. The Queen Victoria building is a good place to find lunch.
12 Take a ferry to Manly or hop in a taxi to Bondi. If you’ve already had enough of the city then embark on a day trip to the Blue Mountains. Book your Opera House tickets here.
13 ✈Sydney to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Afternoon (next day) Connect this Australia itinerary with the Fiji & Samoa, New Zealand North or New Zealand South itinerary
You have another day in which to enjoy the Sydney sights. Book your airport transfer here.
Budget Byron Bay, Australia
1 ✈To Melbourne (Book >) Dep: Afternoon 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Evening 🏨Hub Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Take the Skybus from the airport.
3 One of the best things to do in cultural, characterful Melbourne is to stroll around the city centre and riverfront, which may be all you feel like doing after that long flight. St. Paul’s Cathedral, the City Circle Tram and the National Gallery of Victoria are all well worth seeing. You will need a visa to travel to Australia. More info here.
4 🚌Melbourne to Port Campbell bus (Book tour >) Dep: 07:40 Arr: Evening 🏨Tour hostel
Join a backpackers tour along the famous Great Ocean Road with its scenic views, shipwrecks, rainforests, sandy beaches and cute coastal villages. Your tour price includes meals, accommodation and national park entry fees.
5 🚌Port Campbell to Melbourne bus Dep: Morning Arr: 19:00 🏨Hub Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Your tour continues along the Great Ocean Road then heads inland to take in the impressive Grampians National Park The weather can change rapidly in Melbourne – come prepared.
6 ✈Melbourne to Mutitjulu (Ayers Rock) flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Outback Pioneer Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
You’ll arrive in time to enjoy sunset at Uluru. You can see a map of the sunset and sunrise areas here.
7 ✈Mutitjulu(Ayers Rock) to Cairns flight (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Tropic Days (Book >) All hotels >
Wake up in time to catch sunrise and stroll around (not up!) Uluru before catching your flight. You’ll arrive in Cairns in time for an evening stroll along the waterfront. The sun is incredibly strong here, fortunately sun cream is cheap in Australia.
8 Go snorkelling above the Great Barrier Reef and ride the SkyRail Rainforest Cableway. Do not touch the reef when snorkelling.
9 ✈Cairns to Brisbane flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Breeze Lodge
(Book >)
All hotels >
Brisvegas is fun to explore by bicycle, as well as from a river cruise. See the galleries and museums of the Cultural Centre or visit the Lone Pine koala sanctuary. A Go Card can save you money if taking public transport in the city.
10 🚌Brisbane to Byron Bay bus (Book >) Dep: 09:20 Arr: 12:45 🏨Byron Bay YHA
(Book >)
All hotels >
Beautiful Byron Bay has the perfect beach on which to relax, or how about signing up to a surf school? Swim between the red and yellow flags.
11 🚌Byron Bay to Sydney bus (Book >) Dep: 18:20 🏨Bus
Another day to enjoy the bay. I recommend taking a kayaking trip to see the dolphins or – if you’re lucky – a humpback whale. Grab some food for tonight’s journey. There is usually a festival or event happening in Byron. Check out this calendar.
12 🚌Byron Bay to Sydney bus Arr: 07:10 🏨Bounce Sydney
(Book >)
All hotels >
Relax at a café or pub in The Rocks, stroll along Darling Harbour and admire the view from Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. The Queen Victoria building is a good place to find lunch.
13 Take a ferry to Manly or hop in a taxi to Bondi. If you’ve already had enough of the city then embark on a day trip to the Blue Mountains. Take a free walking tour to get to know the city.
14 ✈Sydney to home (Book >) Dep: Evening Arr: Afternoon (next day) Connect this Australia itinerary with the Fiji & Samoa, New Zealand North or New Zealand South itinerary
You have another day in which to enjoy the Sydney sights. Take the Airport Link to the airport.

🇿🇦SOUTH AFRICA

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

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

Arr: 16:00

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

Dep: 13:30

Arr: Afternoon

Arr: 16:30

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

🇺🇸USA (CALIFORNIA & NEVADA)

Yosemite, CaliforniaNothing quite beats the majesty of the national parks you’ll see on this trip, which is also a real pleaser for city slickers with Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco on the itinerary. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your USA (California & Nevada) itinerary:

Luxury Grand Canyon, USA
1 ✈To Los Angeles (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨Kimpton La Peer (Book >) All hotels >
There’s more than enough energy in this city to help you beat jetlag. Meet the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica Pier, sit on the beach then head to the hotel via Venice Beach. Arrange a transfer from the airport.
2 At Universal Studios Hollywood enjoy a 60-min studio tour. Go back to the other side of Hollywood Hills and star spot along Hollywood Boulevard. Drop down to Sunset Boulevard then on to Sunset Strip. A little more walking and you’re on glitzy Rodeo Drive. If you’re eligible you can apply for your ESTA visa waiver here.
3 🚗Los Angeles to Las Vegas drive (Hire car >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 14:30 🏨Four Seasons (Book >) All hotels >
As soon as you arrive in Vegas hit the Strip, making sure to not miss the spectacular Venetian and Caesars Palace. Treasure Island’s TI: Sirens show is free to watch with performances from 17:30. We recommend leaving Los Angeles after 10:00 to miss rush hour.
4 Take a day trip to the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. If you haven’t already done so then see the fountains outside the Bellagio. Because the Strip is four miles long you may want to take a taxi to/from Downtown Las Vegas.
5 🚗Las Vegas to Death Valley drive Dep: 09:30 Arr: 12:00 🏨The Inn (Book >) All hotels >
You may want to hide from the sun for a few more hours. When you’re ready to get going then drive on to Rainbow Canyon, Badwater Basin and Artists Drive. Hike Golden Canyon when the day starts to cool down. Death Valley was named by a group of pioneers who got lost here in 1849-50. All but one of them made it out.
6 🚗Death Valley to Sequoia National Park drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Wuksachi Village & Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Drive around the Sierra Nevada Mountains and in to Sequoia National Park. Walk through the Giant Forest and be entirely dwarfed by the immense General Sherman tree. Fill up on fuel before entering the national park.
7 🚗Sequoia National Park to Yosemite drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨The Majestic Yosemite Hotel
(Book >)
All hotels >
En route to Yosemite stop off at King’s Canyon to see the sequoia trees in Redwood Canyon. Watch out for undertaking in the USA, which is perfectly legal here.
8 A full day to explore Yosemite Valley, including the Mist Trail, Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Vernal Falls, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point. Book your accommodation a long way ahead.
9 🚗Yosemite to Lake Tahoe drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨The Landing Resort & Spa
(Book >)
All hotels >
The drive today is stupendous. You’ll start off in Yosemite, see magnificent forests and massive mountains, ending up on the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to stop along the way (actual journey is min 4.5hrs).
10 🚗Lake Tahoe to Napa Valley drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Rancho Caymus Inn
(Book >)
All hotels >
Arrive in plenty of time to sample the wine in Napa’s numerous vineyards.
11 🚗Napa Valley to San Francisco drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 10:30 🏨Fairmont Heritage Place (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve dropped the car off head down to Fisherman’s Wharf and explore PIER 39 and the Maritime National Park, looking out for sea lions as you go. San Francisco can get cold even during the summer.
12 Shop in Union Square, enjoy lunch in Chinatown then embark on a tour to Alcatraz, combined with a boat trip beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Tours for Alcatraz can book up weeks ahead and so try to reserve in advance.
13 ✈San Francisco to home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon (next day) Connect this USA (California and Nevada) itinerary with the Eastern USA itinerary
You’ll have most of today to get to any places you didn’t manage to see on days 11 and 12.
Mid-range Las Vegas, Nevada
1 ✈To Los Angeles (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨The Orlando Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
There’s more than enough energy in this city to help you beat jetlag. Meet the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica Pier, sit on the beach then head to the hotel via Venice Beach. Arrange a transfer from the airport.
2 At Universal Studios Hollywood enjoy a 60-min studio tour. Go back to the other side of Hollywood Hills and star spot along Hollywood Boulevard. Drop down to Sunset Boulevard then on to Sunset Strip. A little more walking and you’re on glitzy Rodeo Drive. If you’re eligible you can apply for your ESTA visa waiver here.
3 🚗Los Angeles to Las Vegas drive (Hire car >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 14:30 🏨Signature at MGM Grand (Book >) All hotels >
As soon as you arrive in Vegas hit the Strip, making sure to not miss the spectacular Venetian and Caesars Palace. Treasure Island’s TI: Sirens show is free to watch with performances from 17:30. We recommend leaving Los Angeles after 10:00 to miss rush hour.
4 Take a day trip to the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. If you haven’t already done so then see the fountains outside the Bellagio. Because the Strip is four miles long you may want to take a taxi to/from Downtown Las Vegas.
5 🚗Las Vegas to Death Valley drive Dep: 09:30 Arr: 12:00 🏨Stovepipe Wells Village (Book >) All hotels >
You may want to hide from the sun for a few more hours. When you’re ready to get going then drive on to Rainbow Canyon, Badwater Basin and Artists Drive. Hike Golden Canyon when the day starts to cool down. Death Valley was named by a group of pioneers who got lost here in 1849-50. All but one of them made it out.
6 🚗Death Valley to Sequoia National Park drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Comfort Inn Three Rivers (Book >) All hotels >
Drive around the Sierra Nevada Mountains and in to Sequoia National Park. Walk through the Giant Forest and be entirely dwarfed by the immense General Sherman tree. Fill up on fuel before entering the national park.
7 🚗Sequoia National Park to Yosemite drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨Big Tree Lodge
(Book >)
All hotels >
En route to Yosemite stop off at King’s Canyon to see the sequoia trees in Redwood Canyon. Watch out for undertaking in the USA, which is perfectly legal here.
8 A full day to explore Yosemite Valley, including the Mist Trail, Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Vernal Falls, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point. Book your accommodation a long way ahead.
9 🚗Yosemite to Lake Tahoe drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Grand Residences by Marriott
(Book >)
All hotels >
The drive today is stupendous. You’ll start off in Yosemite, see magnificent forests and massive mountains, ending up on the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to stop along the way (actual journey is min 4.5hrs).
10 🚗Lake Tahoe to Napa Valley drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Mount View Hotel & Spa (Book >) All hotels >
Arrive in plenty of time to sample the wine in Napa’s numerous vineyards.
11 🚗Napa Valley to San Francisco drive Dep: 09:00 Arr: 10:30 🏨The Orchard Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Once you’ve dropped the car off head down to Fisherman’s Wharf and explore PIER 39 and the Maritime National Park, looking out for sea lions as you go. San Francisco can get cold even during the summer.
12 Shop in Union Square, enjoy lunch in Chinatown then embark on a tour to Alcatraz, combined with a boat trip beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Tours for Alcatraz can book up weeks ahead and so try to reserve in advance.
13 ✈San Francisco to home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon (next day) Connect this USA (California and Nevada) itinerary with the Eastern USA itinerary
You’ll have most of today to get to any places you didn’t manage to see on days 11 and 12.
Budget San Francisco, USA
1 ✈To Los Angeles (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon 🏨USA Hostels Hollywood(Book >) All hotels >
There’s more than enough energy in this city to help you beat jetlag. Meet the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica Pier, sit on the beach then head to the hotel via Venice Beach. Don’t forget to pack your camping gear!
2 At Universal Studios Hollywood enjoy a 60-min studio tour. Go back to the other side of Hollywood Hills and star spot along Hollywood Boulevard. Drop down to Sunset Boulevard then on to Sunset Strip. A little more walking and you’re on glitzy Rodeo Drive. Because it’s so cheap to drive in the USA (and because of the lack of public transport) we’ve used car hire as a means of travel, however, this tour is a good alternative.
3 🚗Los Angeles to Las Vegas drive (Hire car >) Dep: 10:00 Arr: 14:30 🏨Bally’s (Book >) All hotels >
As soon as you arrive in Vegas hit the Strip, making sure to not miss the spectacular Venetian and Caesars Palace. Treasure Island’s TI: Sirens show is free to watch with performances from 17:30. We recommend leaving Los Angeles after 10:00 to miss rush hour.
4 Take a day trip to the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. If you haven’t already done so then see the fountains outside the Bellagio. Because the Strip is four miles long you may want to take a taxi to/from Downtown Las Vegas.
5 🚗Las Vegas to Death Valley drive Dep: 09:30 Arr: 12:00 🏨Cynthia’s (Book >) All hotels >
You may want to hide from the sun for a few more hours. When you’re ready to get going then drive on to Rainbow Canyon, Badwater Basin and Artists Drive. Hike Golden Canyon when the day starts to cool down. Death Valley was named by a group of pioneers who got lost here in 1849-50. All but one of them made it out.
6 🚗Death Valley to Sequoia National Park drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Upper Peppermint campground (Details >) All hotels >
Drive around the Sierra Nevada Mountains and in to Sequoia National Park. Walk through the Giant Forest and be entirely dwarfed by the immense General Sherman tree.  It isn’t possible to reserve the campground, but other options are available nearby if full.
7 🚗Sequoia National Park to Yosemite drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 19:00 🏨North Pines campground
(Book >)
All hotels >
En route to Yosemite stop off at King’s Canyon to see the sequoia trees in Redwood Canyon. Watch out for undertaking in the USA, which is perfectly legal here.
8 A full day to explore Yosemite Valley, including the Mist Trail, Bridalveil Falls, El Capitan, Vernal Falls, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point. Book your accommodation a long way ahead.
9 🚗Yosemite to Lake Tahoe drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Mellow Mountain Hostel
(Book >)
All hotels >
The drive today is stupendous. You’ll start off in Yosemite, see magnificent forests and massive mountains, ending up on the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to stop along the way (actual journey is min 4.5hrs).
11 🚗Lake Tahoe to San Francisco drive Dep: 08:00 Arr: 16:30 🏨Fairmont Heritage Place (Book >) All hotels >
Stop off in Napa Valley on the way to San Francisco (the timings above allow for roughly 4 hours in the valley). San Francisco can get cold even during the summer.
12-13 Explore PIER 39 and the Maritime National Park, looking out for sea lions as you go. Shop in Union Square, enjoy lunch in Chinatown then embark on a tour to Alcatraz, combined with a boat trip beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Tours for Alcatraz can book up weeks ahead and so try to reserve in advance.
13 ✈San Francisco to home (Book >) Dep: Afternoon Arr: Afternoon (next day) Connect this USA (California and Nevada) itinerary with the Eastern USA itinerary
You’ll have most of today to get to any places you didn’t manage to see on days 11 and 12.

🇨🇱NORTHERN CHILE

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

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

Dep: 11:10

Arr: 10:00

Arr: 14:10

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

Dep: 11:55

Arr: 11:30

Arr: 13:45

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

Dep: 11:10

Arr: 10:00

Arr: 14:10

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

Dep: 11:55

Arr: 11:30

Arr: 13:45

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

🇦🇷NORTHERN ARGENTINA

Iguassu Falls, ArgentinaTwo weeks of incredible sights, natural wonders, vineyards, beautiful cities, mountains, lakes and more. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Northern Argentina itinerary:

Luxury Buenos Aires, Argentina
1 ✈To Buenos Aires (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Alvear Palace (Book >) All hotels >
Have a relaxing first day recuperating from jet lag. We suggest you find a cool café in Palermo and enjoy a delicious medialuna.
3 Visit Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, grab lunch at Mercado del Progreso and admire the city architecture on a walking tour. Extend your trip with a couple of days in Montevideo, a short ferry ride away.
4 ✈Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hotel Costa del Sol (Book >) All hotels >
Get up and close to the individual falls in Parque National Iguazu. Entrance to the park is $600,00 pesos.
5 The Brazilian side of the falls offers the best panoramic views – once over the border take a bus or taxi to the park entrance and explore the trails. You must get off the bus to get your Brazilian stamp and entry card. Buses are frequent and so you won’t wait long for the next.
6 ✈Puerto Iguazu to Mendoza flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Cavas Wine Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Welcome to wine country! It’s easy to get about by bicycle. Visit this site for some great vineyard visiting tips.
7-8 Another couple of days to indulge in some wine tasting (or relax in your hotels own vineyards) Mendoza is famous for its spas – perfect after all that cycling.
9 ✈Mendoza to Bariloche flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Charming Luxury Lodge & Private Spa(Book >) All hotels >
Spend the rest of the day soaking up the stunning scenery or indulging in one of the many chocolate shops. The hills here are very steep so bring good shoes.
10-11 Hike, bike, take to the lakes or add on a couple of days and do as much of the above as you have the energy for. Buy hiking maps at Cultura Book Shop or the cabin at the corner of Villegas & Moreno Streets.
12 ✈Bariloche to Buenos Aires flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Alvear Palace (Book >) All hotels >
More time to enjoy this superb city, the heart of which can all be explored on foot. If you want to extend your trip then the Perito Moreno glacier is a 12-hr bus journey from Bariloche.
13 Into steak? Then you’ll love eating at one of the many parrillas.
14 ✈Buenos Aires to home Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Northern Argentina itinerary with the Southern Argentina, Brazil, Northern Chile or Southern Chile itinerary
Extend your trip with a visit to Peninsula Valdez.
Mid-range Near Bariloche, Argentina
1 ✈To Buenos Aires (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Carles Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Have a relaxing first day recuperating from jet lag. We suggest you find a cool café in Palermo and enjoy a delicious medialuna.
3 Visit Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, grab lunch at Mercado del Progreso and admire the city architecture on a walking tour. Extend your trip with a couple of days in Montevideo, a short ferry ride away.
4 ✈Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Grand Crucero (Book >) All hotels >
Get up and close to the individual falls in Parque National Iguazu. Entrance to the park is $600 pesos.
5 The Brazilian side of the falls offers the best panoramic views – once over the border take a bus or taxi to the park entrance and explore the trails. You must get off the bus to get your Brazilian stamp and entry card. Buses are frequent and so you won’t wait long for the next.
6 ✈Puerto Iguazu to Mendoza flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Cavas Wine Lodge (Book >) All hotels >
Welcome to wine country! It’s easy to get about by bicycle. Visit this site for some great vineyard visiting tips.
7-8 Another couple of days to indulge in some wine tasting (or relax in your hotels own vineyards) Mendoza is famous for its spas – perfect after all that cycling.
9 ✈Mendoza to Bariloche flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Peninsula Petit Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the rest of the day soaking up the stunning scenery or indulging in one of the many chocolate shops. The hills here are very steep so bring good shoes.
10-11 Hike, bike, take to the lakes or add on a couple of days and do as much of the above as you have the energy for. Buy hiking maps at Cultura Book Shop or the cabin at the corner of Villegas & Moreno Streets.
12 ✈Bariloche to Buenos Aires flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Carles Hotel (Book >) All hotels >
More time to enjoy this superb city, the heart of which can all be explored on foot. If you want to extend your trip then the Perito Moreno glacier is a 12-hr bus journey from Bariloche.
13 Into steak? Then you’ll love eating at one of the many parrillas.
14 ✈Buenos Aires to home Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Northern Argentina itinerary with the Southern Argentina, Brazil, Northern Chile or Southern Chile itinerary
Extend your trip with a visit to Peninsula Valdez.
Budget Whale
1 ✈To Buenos Aires (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Elefante Rosa Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
Have a relaxing first day recuperating from jet lag. We suggest you find a cool café in Palermo and enjoy a delicious medialuna.
3 Visit Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, grab lunch at Mercado del Progreso and admire the city architecture on a walking tour. Extend your trip with a couple of days in Montevideo, a short ferry ride away.
4 ✈Buenos Aires to Puerto Iguazu flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Hostel Bambu (Book >) All hotels >
Get up and close to the individual falls in Parque National Iguazu. Entrance to the park is $600,00 pesos.
5 The Brazilian side of the falls offers the best panoramic views – once over the border take a bus or taxi to the park entrance and explore the trails. You must get off the bus to get your Brazilian stamp and entry card. Buses are frequent and so you won’t wait long for the next.
6 ✈Puerto Iguazu to Mendoza flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Chill Inn(Book >) All hotels >
Welcome to wine country! It’s easy to get about by bicycle. Visit this site for some great vineyard visiting tips.
7-8 Another couple of days to indulge in some wine tasting (or relax in your hotels own vineyards) Mendoza is famous for its spas – perfect after all that cycling.
9 ✈Mendoza to Bariloche flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Hostel 41 Below (Book >) All hotels >
Spend the rest of the day soaking up the stunning scenery or indulging in one of the many chocolate shops. The hills here are very steep so bring good shoes.
10-11 Hike, bike, take to the lakes or add on a couple of days and do as much of the above as you have the energy for. Buy hiking maps at Cultura Book Shop or the cabin at the corner of Villegas & Moreno Streets.
12 ✈Bariloche to Buenos Aires flight (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning 🏨Elefante Rosa Hostel (Book >) All hotels >
More time to enjoy this superb city, the heart of which can all be explored on foot. If you want to extend your trip then the Perito Moreno glacier is a 12-hr bus journey from Bariloche.
13 Extend your trip with a visit to Peninsula Valdez.
14 ✈Buenos Aires to home Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) Connect this Northern Argentina itinerary with the Southern Argentina, Brazil, Northern Chile or Southern Chile itinerary
Bus line 394 goes from the city centre to the airport.