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Introducing New Tours in 2015

Nov 15, 2014

We are delighted to introduce a number of new and re-introduced tours in 2015, each of them incorporating the ingredients which make for enjoyable holidays - daily walks to connect with the natural environment, a stimulating cultural and historical element, very good food and wine, and itineraries designed to get away from the obvious and well-trodden and add a spice of adventure.

Our new winter sunshine tour to Panama and the Dutch Antilles next February showcases two UNESCO World Heritage sites – Willemstad, Curaçao’s capital, with brightly painted 17C Dutch architecture in a Caribbean island setting; and Casco Viejo, the old quarter of Panama City, with restored 17C Spanish colonial architecture. In between, we discover that there is very much more to Panama than the (admittedly amazing) Canal - walking in cloud forest, snorkelling over coral reefs, visiting coffee and chocolate estates and observing anteaters, toucans, parrots and monkeys – whilst based in some exceptional hotels and lodges.  

We return to Ethiopia, a destination on every adventurous traveller’s wish list now that new lodges have opened in remote areas – enabling us to take day walks from an eco-lodge in the stunning scenery of the Simien Mountains National Park and explore eastern Tigray, with its 7C rock-cut churches, from an Italian owned lodge. Other highlights include a private boat trip on Lake Tana (source of the Blue Nile), observing endemic birds & mammals, and guided visits to the imperial capital, Gondar, and the extraordinary 12C churches of Lalibela.

Diplomatic initiatives have put Iran back on the agenda and our 17 day, in-depth journey tries to do justice to this vast, fascinating land, with guided visits to the great Silk Route cities of Shiraz and Isfahan; explorations of the wind towers and Zoroastrian fire temples of mediaeval Yazd; a tour of legendary Persepolis (founded in 515 BC and sacked by Alexander the Great; and walks to find wildflowers in the Zagros mountains and see the fortresses of the fabled Valley of the Assassins.

Mention Corfu and most people think fondly of Gerald Durrell’s ‘My Family and other Animals’ - much of the north east of the island is still recognisable from his descriptions of a landscape of olive groves, fig and orange trees and aromatic maquis, brilliant with wildflowers in the spring, and our new walking tour is designed to make the most of this. We also investigate the historical connections with the Venetians, the French, and Empress ‘Sisi’, and travel by boat to the archaeological site of Butrint in Albania.

The Galapagos islands are the ultimate destination for everyone with an interest in natural history and our new tour next summer offers a comprehensive 15 day visit to the widest range of islands, travelling under sail in a 105 ft brigantine and encountering wildlife in close up (from the iconic blue-footed boobies to sea lions) on daily walks ashore, boat trips, snorkelling and swimming.

Finally, in early autumn, we visit Sarajevo, a city at the cross-roads between East and West, on a new cultural tour that also includes a walk to one of the most traditional highland villages in Europe and a trip to the world famous mediaeval bridge in Mostar.