New holidays for 2016/2017
We’re excited about our new holidays for this coming season, and we hope you will be too.
For the very first time, we are offering a walking holiday on Dominica, pictured above. Criss-crossed with hiking trails which explore its volcanic landscapes and lush rainforest, the island was the obvious choice for our first holiday in the Caribbean. Our second new walking holiday for autumn and winter also features plenty of volcanoes and tropical forest, this time on the other side of the Atlantic, on La Palma in the Canary Islands. Our new snow holidays, meanwhile, offer three different experiences: cross-country skiing on a panoramic plateau; a journey by coastal steamer between Norway's Arctic islands; and the chance to see the Northern Lights from the captivating island of Senja.
Explore the Caribbean’s ‘nature island’
is not your typical Caribbean island. It’s the Caribbean as it used to be, perhaps the only island that Christopher Columbus would recognise these days. The beach-lovers go elsewhere, leaving Dominica for walkers and nature-lovers. You’ll not be disappointed on either front: hiking trails criss-cross the lush rainforest, passing bubbling crater lakes and enchanting waterfalls, and giving you the opportunity to encounter the rich fauna and colourful birds which add to Dominica’s exoticism.
Follow La Palma’s volcanic trails
It’s hard to avoid superlatives when describing La Palma
. This heart-shaped island is the steepest on the planet, the most water-rich of all the Canary Islands, and home to one of the world’s largest volcanic craters. All this makes for dramatic scenery and equally remarkable walking. Explore its otherworldly lava fields, walk through swathes of evergreen forest, and descend into the astonishing Caldera de Taburiente surrounded by a ring of rocky 1,000-metre-high peaks.
Go cross-country skiing in highland Norway
Just a stone’s throw away from the untamed wilderness that is Norway’s Rondane National Park, the Spidsbergseter Hotel
nestles on a plateau, commanding far-reaching views. With plenty of character, a locally renowned restaurant, an indoor pool and the world’s only aquavit bar, it promises a very enjoyable holiday. But the main reason for coming here is the cross-country skiing. The domain, which is literally on the doorstep, has been well thought out, and as such caters very well for beginners, improvers and intermediates.
Seek out the Northern Lights
Comprising pine forests, precipitous cliffs and jagged mountain peaks, the richly diverse island of Senja
on the northern Norwegian coast is a veritable ‘Norway in miniature’. Staying in beautiful accommodation with large picture windows overlooking the harbour of Hamn i Senja, by day you can explore on snowshoes, try ocean body rafting or join a boat safari in search of white-tailed sea eagles, dolphins and whales. Come nightfall, seek out the Northern Lights either out in the open air or from a cosy restored lighthouse.
Get a taste of Norway’s Arctic islands
The islands of Austvågøya, Senja and Tromsøya reveal different aspects of Arctic Norway
. Austvågøya is dominated by the highest mountain in the Lofoten archipelago, small but varied Senja encapsulates the essence of Norway, while Tromsøya is the setting of Tromsø, a captivating city on the same latitude as Alaska and Siberia. There are opportunities for snowshoeing, whale-watching, sightseeing and keeping watch for the Northern Lights. What’s more, the journeys between the islands are equally thrilling, as you travel on the world-famous Hurtigruten coastal steamer.
Walking holidays for summer and early autumn
If you are looking to get away before autumn, we introduced several new walking holidays for summer 2016. Embark on an epic journey from the Eiger to the Matterhorn
in the Swiss Alps; marvel at the extraordinary beauty of Germany’s Black Forest
; delve into Homeric legend on the Ionian islands of Cephalonia and Ithaca
; hike from one fairy-tale village to the next in Alsace
near the Franco-German border; discover the mountains of ‘unknown Umbria’
in central Italy; or immerse yourself in German folklore in the Harz uplands
For cyclists, we have two new holidays this year: The Quiet Side of Tuscany
and Rügen – an Island Revealed
. The first features everything you would expect of Tuscany – medieval villages, olive groves and reminders of the ancient Etruscans – but without the crowds or the hills, making for a very leisurely holiday. On the German island of Rügen, meanwhile, the best advice is to expect the unexpected – you’ll come across towering chalk cliffs, nostalgic fishing villages, a submarine, an old-fashioned ferry and various seaside eccentricities as you pedal along its perimeter.
Last, but by no means least, are our Journeys in Slow
Motion, a collection of holidays by car, train and/or boat. Featuring the same type of accommodation of character for which we are renowned, they are holidays on which you can explore at your own pace, in your own way. You could travel by train between French cities
; discover historic towns and alluring islands on a journey by car through Croatia
; combine culture and spellbinding scenery on a rail journey across the Alps
; indulge in exceptional food and wine in Piedmont
in Italy; and much more besides.