Latest travel deals in Australia, Europe, India, Peru. Taste for Travel recommends small-group tours on a regular basis, except for Australia which usually comprises individual destinations we think are cool.
AUSTRALIA: Tower Lodge is the much-awarded five-star boutique hotel about two-and-a-half hours drive north of Sydney in the winery region of the Hunter Valley. It’s still running a madly-discounted autumn deal: $A395 per night, including dinner for two at equally as awarded Roberts Restaurant, which is a short stroll down the road. Stay 2 nights and get the third free. Monday to Thursday and some terms and conditions apply. The picture above was taken on the grounds of the lodge and has a glimpse of the vineyards through the gap in the lace curtain. Perfect spot for a picnic. Tower Lodge is run by my friends Matt and Karlie Cowley and it’s one of my favourite spots in Australia. Their Tower Estate winery is just next door to the lodge. www.towerlodge.com.au
ITALY: Two great value coach tours exclusive to Tempo Holidays. The 12-day Essence of Italy explores Rome, Florence and Venice before soaking up the sun and scenery around Lake Como and Cinque Terre from just $A2818 per person, twin share valid for sale and travel until October 13. Highlights include a walking tour of Rome’s architectural masterpieces, Michelangelo’s Square in Florence, a trip to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, free time to enjoy Lake Como and a visit to the spectacular cliff-top villages of Manarola, Riomaggiore and Monterosso. The tour includes 11 nights in 4-star accommodation with daily breakfast, 2 lunches, 5 dinners, coach transport with expert driver/guide and sightseeing.
Take in some of Italy’s most spectacular landscapes on the 7-day Italian Lakes & Cinque Terre Experience from $A1305 per person, twin share valid for sale and travel until October 13. From Venice, explore Lake Como, the Cinque Terre and some of the Ligurian Coast’s glamorous seaside resorts, cruise along the coast to ultra-chic Portofino, enjoy wine tasting in Chianti and stay in the hilltop town of San Gimignano before finishing in Rome. The tour includes 6 nights in 4-star accommodation with daily breakfast, coach transport with expert driver/guide, wine tasting in a local cellar, sightseeing and transfer to Rome Termini Train Station on day 7. www.tempoholidays.com
PERU: Discover Peru’s wonders including Machu Picchu, Cuzco, Arequipa, Colca Canyon and Lake Titicaca on a 13-day escorted small group journey from Cox & Kings. Travelling in a group of just 16 people on average, the Peru Train to Machu Picchu starts in Lima and includes a visit to the oldest private colonial mansion in Lima, an Andean Explorer scenic train journey from the Altiplano to Cuzco, and the Indian market at Urubamba. You’ll also visit the extraordinary Temple of the Sun at Koricancha and stay overnight at Machu Picchu. The tour includes 4 star accommodation with daily breakfast, seven lunches, one dinner, the services of an expert local tour manager, private arrival and departure transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary, land transport and domestic flights from $A4043 per person twin share, valid for sale until February 14, 2014. www.coxandkings.com.au.
GERMANY: Save $A135 on a romantic Christmas getaway exploring the towns and cities of the Rhine Valley and its fairytale castles when booked and paid in full by May 31. Back-Roads Touring’s 8-day Bavaria & the Romantic Road departs Frankfurt and includes a brewery tour and pretzel tasting in Heidelberg, Christmas markets in Rothenburg and Nuremberg and the famous Neuschwanstein Castle from $A2560 per person twin share. Other highlights include Heidelberg Castle, a journey along the Romantic Road passing by medieval towns and picturesque villages, Oberammergau – famous for its Passion Play, the Benedictine monastery Ettal Abbey and a tour of Munich including the BMW Museum. The small group tour operates between December 2013 and March 2014 and includes seven nights’ accommodation with European breakfast daily, three dinners, one lunch with beer tasting, driver/guide and mini-coach transport. email@example.com
INDIA: Save 15% on a small group journey exploring India’s most famous sights with Cox & Kings when booked by 31 May. The 8-day Indian Experience journeys through the Golden Triangle region and includes Delhi and the legendary Taj Mahal, Agra and a three-night stay in a former royal hunting lodge near Jaipur from $A1764 per person twin share. The discount applies to October 12 and December 21, 2013. Both departure dates are guaranteed. Travelling in a small group of just 16 people on average, the itinerary starts in Delhi and includes a tour of Old Delhi including the Red Fort and Jama Masjid mosque, New Delhi’s India Gate and the former vice regal residence, and a visit to the Taj Mahal at sunrise. You’ll also visit the deserted sandstone city of Fatehpur Sikri and the Amber Fort and City Palace in Jaipur. The tour includes 4 and 5 star accommodation with daily breakfast, three dinners, the services of an expert local tour manager, private arrival and departure transfers, sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in the itinerary and comfortable air-conditioned land transport. firstname.lastname@example.org.
SWITZERLAND: Travel across the spectacular alpine region of Switzerland in winter by rail and save over $150 when booking by May 31. Back-Roads Touring’s 7-day Switzerland: The Top of Europe includes a journey to Jungfrau aboard Europe’s highest railway, and Mount Rigi travelling via Europe’s first mountain railway passing by snow-capped mountains and glaciers from $A3007 per person twin share – a saving of $A158. The small group tour starts in Zurich and also features visits to Christmas markets, train travel to Lucerne to visit a local chocolatier, a scenic boat ride to Vitznau, a cable car ride back to Lucerne, train travel to the charming village of Grindelwald and the capital Bern and an excursion to Emmental to sample its famous cheese. The highlight of any tour to Switzerland is the railway journey to Jungfrau – at 3454 metres it’s known as the Top of Europe where guests will also visit the Ice Palace and experience spectacular views over the Aletsch Glacier and as far as France and Germany. The tour operates between December 2013 and March 2014 and includes six nights’ accommodation with daily breakfast, guide, first class rail travel and mini coach transport and four dinners. email@example.com