x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Travel deals: From summit to sea on all-new tour offerings

A selection of new trips around the world, from a luxury tour of Bali and Lombok to cultural trips to Anatolia and India.

Morocco's tourism sector accounts for 10 per cent of the country's economy and employs 450,000 people. Above, tourists trek to the summit of Jebel Mgoun, Morocco. Courtesy of www.exodus.co.uk
Morocco's tourism sector accounts for 10 per cent of the country's economy and employs 450,000 people. Above, tourists trek to the summit of Jebel Mgoun, Morocco. Courtesy of www.exodus.co.uk

Onwards and upwards

Morrocco's second-highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, Jebel Mgoun, is the 4,068m-high challenge facing walkers on this new eight-day adventure with the travel company Exodus. The small-group trip rendezvous overnight in Marrakech before beginning the walk in earnest in the remote Bougamez Valley to the north-east. Walking for three-and-a-half to seven hours per day, you'll ascend and descend Mgoun itself from the Tarkedit Plateau on day four, camping on the way. Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and down the Draa Valley and the Sahara beyond are compensation for exertions.

On days five and six, descending through high-altitude pastures, passing adobe villages to accommodation overnight. On day seven, back in Marrakech, there's time to try the more well-known pursuit of haggling in the Djemaa el fna; the trip departs the following day. The walk costs £439 (Dh2,630) per person, land only, including most meals, camping for four nights, hotels for two nights and one night at a gîte, departing in early and late August. To book, go to www.exodus.co.uk.

 

Penguins ahoy

Some 460km off the coast of Argentina, the Falkland Islands, or Malvinas, are the destination for voyagers aboard the Sea Spirit on this new Quark Expeditions' trip. Departing on November 6, for a nine-day sail through the Beagle Channel, looping around the archipelago, the first-class ship carries a maximum of 112 guests in 55 cabins, all with sea views. Stanley, the capital, Saunders and Carcass Islands are on the itinerary.

The islands are a great draw for nature lovers, boasting five species of penguin, dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and elephant seals, as well as 65 species of birds, including peregrine falcons. The expedition is accompanied by a photographer and ornithologist to help you make the most of what you see.

The voyage costs from US$3,990 (Dh14,655) per person, full-board, based on two people sharing a cabin. The price includes transfers and one night's accommodation in Ushuaia, but not international flights. For further information, visit www.quarkexpeditions.com, or call 001 416 645 8243.

 

Go beach-hopping

Tour operator Black Tomato is offering a luxury tailor-made tour of some of Indonesia's most idyllic sights, taking in the most fashionable spots in Bali and Lombok, staying in five-star accommodation. The new trip starts in Seminyak on Bali's west coast, staying for a few days in your own private villa at the Amala Hotel where a butler will be at your beck and call. Try your hand at surfing or flop on a beach towel.

Next up on the gruelling itinerary is time spent at the Hanging Gardens Hotel in the highlands of Ubud. Take a cooking lesson with one of the head chefs or, for a more adrenalin-pumped occasion, a session of white-water rafting.

From Bali, you'll head to the beaches of Medana in Lombok and an Indian Ocean pavilion at the Oberoi. After time for yet more resting of limbs on sand, there's the opportunity to scale Mount Rinjani, a 3,658m-high volcano with a guide. A 14-day stay costs from £1,199 (Dh7,202) land only, including bed and breakfast accommodation, transfers and a guided volcano trek. Book through Black Tomato at www.blacktomato.co.uk or call 00 44 207 426 9888.

 

Think on your feet

Culture galore rather than torturous physical effort is promised in two new small-group trips being offered by Wild Frontiers. The first, "Under the Anatolian Sky", is an 11-day trek through this interesting region in northern Turkey, and gives walkers the chance to explore the cave dwellings of Cappadocia, the ancient Hittite site of Corum, the late 13th-century great mosque in the mountain town of Divrigi and Roman mosaics at Gaziantep. The trip costs £1,995 (Dh11,983) per person, land only, full-board, staying in hotel accommodation, and departs on September 15.

The second 10-day guided tour, "Classical India Twist", takes place in the Indian state of Rajasthan departing on October 14. The emphasis is on exploring rural village life, but there is still time to admire the Taj Mahal in Agra, where the trip begins, and the beauty of Jaipur, staying in heritage properties at Ramathra and Bundi during the course of the walk. The trip costs £1,695 (Dh10,181) per person, land only, full board, staying at luxury hotel accommodation. Book at www.wildfrontiers.com, or call, 00 44 207 736 3968.