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The Azores’ largest island, São Miguel is a nature-lover’s paradise, dotted with public gardens that overflow with tropical fruits, colourful flora and rare plants. The Art Deco Hotel Terra Nostra Garden is a recently renovated property, perfectly positioned next to the beautiful Terra Nostra botanical park (owned by the hotel), and many bedrooms – along with the restaurant and indoor pool – enjoy fabulous views over the lush gardens. Travel in June and enjoy the profusion of hydrangeas as they start to bloom across the island. A seven-night stay costs from £1,052 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), B&B and transfers.
Foodies may not immediately think of the Azores for gastronomy, but over recent years these unspoilt, mid-Atlantic isles have started to receive the recognition they deserve for their unfussy, delicious cuisine. In 2011, the islands launched 10 Fest, a celebration of Azorean food that showcases 10 chefs and 10 extraordinary dinners. Now in its fifth year, the festival starts on 23 June. Departing 25 June, a seven-night Azores 10 Fest itinerary costs from £992 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), B&B, transfers, tickets to 10 Fest (offering a six-course tasting menu including wines), plus a cozido lunch (a traditional dish cooked underground in a volcanic spring).
David Attenborough has made TV about the Galapagos since 1957, culminating in a 3D series about the archipelago in 2013. But who could forget the poignant meeting with Lonesome George in 2012, 10 days before the giant tortoise died? You can see these and the many unique species on the archipelago yourself with Sunvil Latin America, aboard the custom-built 20-passenger yacht, MV Origin. A 10-night trip costs from £6,462 pp (two sharing) including seven nights’ full board on the boat, two nights in Quito and one night in Guayaquil (B&B). Also includes internal transport, guided tours and flights (London).
The Atlantic Road in Norway zig zags five miles over eight low bridges and islets between the pretty fishing village of Bud and the scenic town of Kristiansund, and is considered to be one of the best road trips in the world. The dramatic scenery along this five-mile stretch is second to none – fishing communities nestle next to dramatic fjords on a craggy archipelago of tiny islands. Even the road itself is an engineering feat, and numerous car adverts have been shot here. A seven-night, three-centre Northern Fjords fly-drive that takes in this iconic route costs from £1,167 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), B&B and car hire.
4,000 years of Sicily at the British Museum – uncover this seductive isle from £1,142 pp with Sunvil
On 21 April, the British Museum will open Culture & Conquest, the first exhibition in the UK to explore over 4,000 years of history on the island of Sicily. Perfectly placed at the heart of the Mediterranean, this beguiling island has a turbulent past and offers contrasting cultural and culinary influences around every corner. Couple that with natural wonders like Mount Etna and a mild year-round climate, and Sicily boasts a heady mix that few countries can offer. A seven-night, three-centre Sicily and Aeolian Islands itinerary costs from £1,142 pp (two sharing), including flights (Gatwick), B&B and all transfers.
Save 43% (was £630pp) on a holiday to the centrally-located George Studios in Paleochora on Crete’s scenic southwest coast. The charming main street is a minute’s walk, and the sandy beach is a five-minute stroll. The price of £359 pp (two sharing) includes seven nights’ self-catering, return flights (Gatwick) and transfers. 14 nights is from £459 pp. Departs 24 May.
Save 40% – full price was £876 pp – on the recently upgraded Marmari Beach House, just steps from the beach and a five-minute walk from the picture postcard bay of Loggos, Paxos. The price is from £529 pp (two sharing) including 14 nights’ self-catering, return flights (Gatwick) and transfers. Departs 23 May.
Save 45% (£296pp) on a holiday to the fully refurbished, modern Sotiris Apartments, set in a quiet location in Lemnos' capital of Myrina and convenient for both beach (three minutes’ walk) and town (10 minutes). The price of £359 pp (two sharing) includes seven nights’ self-catering, return flights (Gatwick) and transfers. 14 nights is from £449 pp (save £331 pp). Departs 26 May.
Save £552pp with our new Costa Rica Blend itinerary – a trip combining wildlife, scenery and beaches. Explore volcanic peaks, jungle waterfalls, plunging gorges and cloud forests, look for turtles on Tortuguero, go bird watching, walking, horse riding and zip-lining, swim in hot springs and then relax on the beach. The cost, from £2,309 pp (two sharing), includes 11 nights’ B&B, three nights’ full board flights (Gatwick) and local transport.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world. It revolves around the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and is set in Greece’s intriguing capital, where east meets west, and ancient history, modernity, bustle and culture collide. Three nights’ B&B at the four star, boutique Hera Hotel - a short walk from the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum and the atmospheric 19th century Plaka district - cost from £513 pp (two sharing), including return flights (Gatwick) and transfers.
Enjoy affordable luxury this Easter at the luxurious Westin Resort Costa Navarino in the scenic Peloponnese. Boasting impressive sustainability credentials and a prime spot by the sea, activities range from climbing, golfing and scuba diving to cycling and cooking workshops (subject to season; check with Sunvil first). The facilities, including swimming pools, a wide choice of restaurants, two kids’ play areas and aqua park, are second to none. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience this premier resort when it's quieter. Departing 29 March, a family room is from £579 pp (four sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights' B&B and transfers.
Enjoy up to £100pp per week savings on the beachfront Thassos Dolphins Studios in pretty Kinira on Greek island Thassos’s verdant east coast. Book before 31 March and receive an additional £50 pp per week early booking discount. The price is from £451 pp (two sharing) including seven nights’ self-catering, return flights (Gatwick) and transfers. 14 nights from £484 pp. Departs 13 and 20 May.
If romance is being somewhere away from everything, surrounded by nature, then Pacuare Lodge, deep in the Costa Rican jungle is as romantic as it gets. Arrive by raft and enjoy a private bungalow with your own terrace-view of the lush jungle. Take a suite and you have your own plunge pool too – but at night, every bungalow is candlelit, for perfect romantic ambience. Costa Rica in Style is a 14-night holiday including some of the most exclusive and remote hotels in Costa Rica & two nights at the Pacuare Lodge. The cost is from £3,099 pp and includes flights (London), excursions and transport. Call Sunvil Latin America on 020 8758 4774.
With private Jacuzzis, an award-winning spa and two impressive restaurants, Hotel Convento do Espinheiro in Evora is the perfect retreat for pampering your partner. This former monastery even boasts its own historic chapel, as well as an elegant candlelit restaurant set amidst the cloisters’ stone archways and a 16th century wine cellar. Departing 12 February, four nights’ B&B cost from £628 pp (two sharing) including flights (Gatwick), car hire, and complimentary three-course dinner, half-hour massage and wine-tasting. Please click here for further details of our short break luxury holiday.
Early booking savings of up to 23% on one and two-week stays at the serene four-star Esperides Hotel on the pretty island of Meganissi. Departing in May, one week costs from £632 pp (two sharing) including HB in a sea view room, flights (Gatwick) and transfers (full price was £747 pp). Two weeks cost from £764 pp (full price was £994 pp) on the same basis. Book by 29 February.
The UFO is a must for Sci Fi fans. Suspended high above the forest floor in a secluded spot in Swedish Lapland, it’s accessed via a retractable metal staircase and hatch. Forget alien abductions though and instead fall asleep under the stars or the otherworldly Aurora Borealis (this UFO has a skylight). You’ll also enjoy hearty meals in the cosy 1950s guesthouse and a true get-away-from-it-all break. The three-night Tree House Experience costs from £1,779 pp (two sharing) including flights (Heathrow), transfers, half-board, a winter survival skills course, Northern Lights photography tour and snowmobile excursion.
The hotly-anticipated third series of ‘The Bridge’ is set to air on BBC Four this winter. The longest road and rail bridge in Europe links together two edgy cities – Malmo and Copenhagen – offering a chance to discover Swedish and Danish culture in one heady Scandi hit, with the train between the two taking a mere 15 minutes. Dip into design shops and world-class restaurants in Copenhagen and mix it with Malmo’s revitalised waterfront, medieval centre and laid-back vibe. Four nights’ B&B at the Hotel Master Johan in Malmo cost from £582 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow) and first class rail transfers.
Leave England’s soggy December far behind and head to postcard-perfect Northern Norway, where primary-coloured villages glow beneath snow-sprinkled mountains, glittering fjords stretch out to the horizon and there are thrilling winter activities galore. This five-night trip includes a coastal wildlife safari, mountain hike and incredible Arctic bathing experience – insulated flotation suit is naturally, included. Departing 23 December, Northern Norway at its Most Spectacular costs from £1,616 pp (two sharing) including flights (Gatwick), transfers, mixed-board accommodation and activities.
This fascinating tour allows guests to indulge their winter wonderland fantasies as well as gain an insight into Sami culture. Activities include an exhilarating husky sled excursion, an evening snowmobile expedition in search of the Northern Lights led by a Sami guide and a visit to a Sami family, where participants will learn about the unique culture and lifestyle of Lapland’s indigenous people. The three-night Sami encounters and winter activities tour costs from £1,623 pp (two sharing) including flights (Heathrow), transfers, three nights’ full board and excursions. Call 020 8758 4722.
Two nights in Gothenburg (at the Hotel Elite Park Avenue) followed by one night at Villa Sjotorp, in the peaceful coastal setting of Ljungskile in the unspoiled Bohuslän region. The price of this trip is from £771 pp (two sharing) including three nights’ B&B, eight-course dinner at Villa Sjotorp, airport transfers, two days’ car hire and flights (London).