Travel deals: Asia, Europe, Greece, India, UK

Santorini, Greece,

The continuing fall of the Australian dollar – last summer it was riding high against the euro and greenback and Australian travellers had a plethora of choices – is making travellers hunt for serious bargains. Here’s my latest travel deals recommendations:

SUnflowers at Aix-en-Provence market (2)BACK-ROADS TOURING has excellent discounts for some remaining UK and Europe tours this year: 10% off the Provence & French Riveria 13-day tour – from $A3501. I did this one last year and can’t recommend it highly enough. There were only 12 of us, the company really does take all the back roads and all accommodation is in small hotels which have a more intimate feel about them. One of the best parts about this tour is that driver Jeremy Rose gets everyone on the road smartly after breakfast, and you arrive at destinations to explore long before the massive tour buses come lumbering up the road to disgorge their crowds. Other discounts: 15% of a seven-day tour of Southern Italy (from $A2520); 15% off a six-day tour of the Scottish lakes and Southern Borders (from $A1866); 15% off a seven-day tour of Croatia & the Dalmatian Coast (from $A2291); 15% off an eight-day tour of Sicily (from $A2359); 15% off an eight-day Spanish Inspiration tour (from $A3264). www.backroadstouring.com.au

EARLYBIRD savings of up to 30% on selected 2014 cruises through the dazzling Greek Islands with Tempo Holidays. Discover a new port of call, hidden coves with crystal blue waters and fascinating ancient history every day on the 8-day Jewels of the Cyclades now from just $A1590 per person twin share when booked by January 31, 2014. You’ll be sailing on-board the 51-metre motorsailer Galileo which carries 49 passengers and offers the perfect mix of conventional cruising and private yachting. The cruise departs Athens and hops through Poros, Poliegos, Folegandros, Santorini, Antiparos, Paros, Mykonos, Syros and Kythnos, allowing for plenty of time to swim and wander through island ports.

The cruise includes cabin accommodation with private bathroom and air conditioning, buffet breakfast and one main meal daily, a welcome cocktail, Greek-themed night, barbecue, captain’s dinner, free coffee, tea and still mineral water all day, use of games, snorkelling and fishing equipment and multilingual cruise escort. Discounts of up to 30 per cent also apply to the Aegean Odyssey visiting the Aegean Islands and Turkey; the Adriatic Odyssey through Croatia, Albania and Montenegro; and the Treasures of South Italy & Malta cruises.  www.tempoholidays.com

The Taj MahalTRAVEL TO AMAZING India with a new package featuring a 7-night escorted small group tour and return flights. Fly from Melbourne or Sydney to Delhi with Air India, stay in beautiful 4-star hotels, enjoy a guided tour of the country’s most famous sights as well as seven breakfasts, entrance fees and return airport transfers from just $A1699 per person twin share. The offer applies to guaranteed departures on September 8 and 15; and October 6, 13 and 20 2013. The Amazing India small group tour visits the Golden Triangle which takes in imperial Delhi, the Taj Mahal in Agra and the Rajasthani capital Jaipur. Travelling via air-conditioned coach, the itinerary features a guided tour of Old and New Delhi, a drive past the Red Fort, a visit to the largest mosque in Asia Jama Masjid and the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar, a masterpiece of perfect proportions.  info@tempoholidays.com

BurmaTHE GOLDEN Land of Burma by Cox & Kings explores the highlights of this unspoiled, culturally rich land while staying in superior hotels now from $A3630 per person twin share for guaranteed departures on November 2, 2013, December 21, 2013 and March 15, 2014. Discover the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda and learn meditation methods from a monk in Rangoon, see the iconic U Bein Bridge in Mandalay, enjoy a sunset cruise on the Irrawaddy River with cocktails in Pagan, tour the floating villages, gardens and temples of Inle Lake and visit a local Intha family’s restaurant for lunch and a cooking demonstration. The 11-day itinerary includes accommodation with daily breakfast, services of a tour manager/local guides, entrance fees for sightseeing, arrival and departure transfers, comfortable land transport and domestic/regional flights. The tour features an average of just 16 people, providing a more intimate travel experience and flexibility to stop for impromptu photos, explore local eating options and get to know your fellow travellers. reservations@coxandkings.com.au

Why Not Visit London BusSAVE 10% on a 4-day package featuring London’s must-dos and central accommodation when booked by August 31, with Tempo Holidays. All Things British is packed with iconic English experiences including a Harrods open-top vintage bus tour with a cruise on the River Thames, a stop at Buckingham Palace for the Changing of the Guard and a ride on the London Eye with a glass of champagne now from $A707 per person twin share. It also includes three nights’ accommodation at the 4-star Grange Rochester with daily breakfast, afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel in Mayfair, arrival transfer from Heathrow airport and a transfer from your hotel to Brown’s Hotel. The Grange Rochester Hotel is situated in Westminster’s Vincent Square and offers an oasis of calm in the heart of central London. Many world famous attractions are within easy walking distance including Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament and some of London’s finest shops and theatres.  www.tempoholidays.com

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