x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Travel Deals: play, soak or sport in the water

Active, relaxing or simply luxurious, we look at water-centric trips across four continents.

Rafting in eastern Madagascar is part of this
Rafting in eastern Madagascar is part of this "full-on camping expedition" that includes trekking through rainforest.

Madagascar

Trekking and rafting across Madagascar is the aim of this 14-day tour. It begins with a 50km trek through rainforest in Perinet Nature Reserve in untouristed eastern Madagascar, sleeping each night in clearings. After reaching the rarely-rafted Sahatandra River three days later, participants will be taught all the skills they'll need for riding grade II, III and IV rapids down to the ocean. After a transfer to the laidback coastal town of Mahambo, those who need a break can relax by the beach while the enthusiastic can learn to surf and to try their hand at sea kayaking. Described as a "full-on camping expedition", the cost is £1,795 (Dh10,571), including taxes but excluding flights.

Visit www.pioneerexpeditions.com or call 00 44 845 0047 801.

 

Australia

An ideal way to experience the tropical Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland is on a classic square-rigged sailboat. Barefoot Cruises runs three- and six-night cruises on board the Coral Trekker, a 23m traditional sailing ship built in Norway in 1939. Take part in the adventure by learning how to rig the sails (with instruction from the crew) or just sit back and relax. A deliberately unhurried itinerary includes stops to snorkel the reefs and hike the islands. The ship takes up to 14 guests but is unable to cater to anyone under four years old. A berth for a six-night cruise starts at AU$1,619 (Dh6,168) including taxes and all meals and activities.

Visit www.barefootcruises.com.au or call 00 617 4946 1777.

 

Indonesia

Bali and its lesser-known but distinctly different neighbour, Lombok, are part of this guided tour designed to give an insight into life off the tourist trail. The itinerary begins and ends at Sanur on Bali and includes snorkelling, Balinese shadow puppet shows, floating palaces and temples, hot springs, swimming in secluded pools fed by waterfalls and time relaxing on the Gili Islands off Lombok's north coast. Tours are run by CEOs - chief experience officers - and the price includes accommodation in simple guesthouses, transport and most activities but does not include most dinners. A 13-day tour costs from US$1,147 (Dh4,213) and includes a maximum of 15 people.

Visit www.gadventures.com or call 001 416 260 0999.

 

Switzerland

Enjoy a winter break at Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa at a discount rate for the rest of this year. This elegant and luxurious hotel is located in the centre of Interlaken and has uninterrupted views of the Jungfrau. The in-house spa, the Espa Oasis, combines Asian and Western treatments in a 5,500sq m wellness centre. This package offers four nights for the price of three and includes flights from Dubai to Zurich, airport transfers to Interlaken in a private car, breakfast, and taxes other than airport charges. Prices start from Dh12,704 per person based on twin share.

Visit www.emiratesholidays.com or call 04 203 3088.

travel@thenational.ae