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Paphos has both a rich history and a surprisingly diverse contemporary culture. Mythical location for the birth of Aphrodite, the city has an archaeological UNESCO World Heritage Site, remarkable Roman mosaics and a castle with an impressively turbulent history to explore. The theme for 2017’s events is ‘An Open Air Factory’ which plays on the tradition of outdoor performances, but also seeks to emphasise tolerance and cultural inclusion, and features a packed schedule of musical, theatrical and artistic events. Sunvil offers a three-night short break from £746 pp (two sharing) at the two star Axiothea Hotel in March 2017. The price includes return flights from Gatwick, B&B and car hire. Four and seven night holidays are also available and Sunvil features a range of different hotel options.
Rio's new Pier area, part of the Olympic regeneration, attracts tourists and locals alike to enjoy museums, restaurants and frequent exhibitions. Also, connecting more than 25 historical landmarks, the Conde Waterfront Park is Rio’s newest attraction. This regeneration project crosses the city’s oldest neighbourhoods and includes Paço Imperial, the Old Cathedral, Candelária Church, the Olympic Pyre, Maua Square, Rio’s Art Museum and the Museum of Tomorrow within this 3km walk.Sunvil Latin America offers a 14-night Highlights of Brazil holiday with plenty of time to explore Rio, plus the delights of Iguaçu Falls, the Amazon and Salvador. The cost, from £3,939 pp (two sharing) includes 14 nights’ B&B, international flights (London), transfers, excursions and internal flights.
AITO* member, Sunvil Latin America (020 8758 4774; www.sunvil.co.uk) offers a saving of £275 pp on this Panama Condensed exploration of a fascinating country. Explore rainforest, spot wildlife of the cloud forest plus folklore, fairs and festivals on the Azuero Peninsula. The cost, from £1,849 pp, includes 10 nights’ B&B (two sharing), internal flights, transfers, plus flights (Heathrow). Travel to be completed by 30 Nov 2016.
Sunvil offers a saving of £250 pp on a seven-night stay at the newly-opened Azor Hotel, a member of Design Hotels, near Ponta Delgada. The hotel’s vibrant, modern design incorporates elements of local art and all rooms boast sea views. The price, from £753 (two sharing) includes flights (Gatwick), transfers and B&B accommodation. Departures on 8, 15 and 22 October 2016.
Visit Southern Sweden this autumn, twinning the pretty farmland of Skåne with Fairtrade city, Malmö, home to some seriously good cuisine. One of the joys of Sweden is allemansrätten, which allows anyone to roam the countryside and pick the wild harvest. In Malmö, go local and enjoy ‘A Slice of Swedish Hospitality’, an initiative for visitors to enjoy dining with a family. A four-night trip, with two nights’ B&B at Master Johan hotel in Malmö and two nights’ half board at Idala Gård, a family-owned farm, hotel and restaurant, is available from £848 pp (two sharing) including flights (Heathrow), train transfers from Copenhagen airport and two days’ car hire.
Taste the best of Sicily this September at La Foresteria, near Menfi in western Sicily. This luxury winery resort is both chic and authentic; it’s run by a family of winemakers with a five-hundred-year history of traditional farming. The beaches nearby boast 20 Blue Flags and guests of La Foresteria enjoy complimentary access to the beach club of Lido Fiori. A wine tasting experience under the guidance of a ‘wine personal trainer’ in the estate’s extensive cellar is the ideal way to cool down after a day in the sun. Seven nights’ B&B cost from £844 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick) and car hire.
Explore Ecuador’s rainforest from an exciting new angle on the highly anticipated 940-ft long canopy walkway, now open at Sacha Lodge. Situated on tranquil oxbow Lake Pilchicocha, part of the Napo River in the Amazon Basin, you will spend three nights (full board) here, two nights (B&B) at the homely Casa Aliso in Quito – the first city in the world to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site – and three nights (B&B) at the Hacienda Piman near Otavalo, close to the scenic Ibarra railway line. The eight-night Kaleidoscopic Ecuador costs from £2,751 pp (two sharing) including accommodation as detailed, return flights (London) and private transfers
In northern Norway you can catch the rays of the Midnight Sun almost a month longer than anywhere else. In the summer there’s an increased chance of seeing wildlife, such as Svalbard reindeer, sea birds and on longer cruises, polar bears, and this trip takes in nature reserves and national parks only inhabited by wildlife. The itinerary ends in Tromsø with time to explore the city and its archipelago. August departures start at £1,548 pp (two sharing) including return flights from Heathrow, transfers, seven nights B&B split between Svalbard and Tromsø and a range of excursions.
Uncover the fascinating geology of the beautiful Azorean isle of Sao Miguel on this volcanic-themed hiking holiday. Explore startling emerald-green crater lakes, bucolic villages and exotic vegetation from all five continents, with opportunities to swim in natural waterfalls. Stay in the charming four-star Terra Nostra Garden Hotel, situated next to the impressive botanical park. Departing August, the Walking Inside Volcanoes tour costs from £914 pp (two sharing) including return flights (Gatwick), seven nights’ B&B, transfers, and six half-day self-guided walks with trail descriptions and maps. Graded medium.
Sunvil Traveller is offering £1,300 off for a family to enjoy a 10 night Costa Rica Family Escapade. Waterfalls, volcanoes, hot-spring-swimming, bird watching, walking, horse riding and zip-lining followed by some R&R by the beach. The cost for a family of four is from £5,985 (two adults and two children under 12 sharing) and includes 10 nights’ B&B accommodation, local transport and flights (Heathrow). Departs July – Oct 2016.
Latin America is now even more accessible with the exciting introduction of direct flights from London to various cities throughout the sought after region! The following flights are now available. Argentina London Heathrow - Buenos Aires (British Airways) Brazil London Heathrow - Rio de Janeiro (British Airways) London Heathrow - Sao Paulo (British Airways) London Heathrow - Sao Paulo (LATAM Airlines) Chile London Heathrow - Santiago (British Airways) Colombia London Heathrow - Bogota (Avianca) Costa Rica London Gatwick - San Jose (British Airways) Mexico London Heathrow - Mexico city (British Airways) London Gatwick - Cancun (British Airways) London Heathrow - Mexico city (AeroMexico) Peru London Gatwick - Lima (British Airways)
Sunvil now offers the chance to walk amid the natural beauty of the Nestos river valley in Greece’s scenic north on a new guided excursion, departing from the verdant island of Thassos. The tour includes a visit to the old tobacco capital of Xanthi, with its Byzantine architecture and intriguing House of Shadows – a unique art gallery showcasing original shadow installations by a local artist. Participants can also sample local wines at the nearby cellars of Dialecto. Seven nights’ self-catering at the Thassos Dolphins Studio cost from £639 pp (two sharing) including flights (Gatwick) and transfers in August. The excursion costs €50 payable locally.
Explore the intriguing and little-known region of Southern Albania with Sunvil’s week-long Private Cultural Tour of Albania, including three fascinating UNESCO World Heritage sites. Visit medieval Gjirokaster, the riverside citadel of Berat and ancient Greco-Roman city, Butrint. Discover 12th century monasteries, ancient castles and Apollonia’s famous archaeological site, and relax on the golden sands of Himara beach. Departing July, seven nights’ B&B costs from £1,365 pp (two to three sharing) including flights (Gatwick), private guide/driver, entrance fees and most lunches. An add-on stay in Greece is possible.
The unspoiled Atlantic archipelago of the Azores is a fabulous destination for an adventurous family holiday this summer. Canoe amid sleeping volcanoes surrounding Lake Furnas, pedal along volcanic trails and experience natural rock climbing. An exhilarating whale and dolphin watching trip (the Azores is a prime spot for seeing cetaceans) is included, while a jeep tour to the twin lakes of Sete Cidades reveals dramatic landscapes of unique beauty. Departing in August, the new seven-night Sao Miguel family itinerary costs from £1,059 pp (four sharing) including B&B, return flights (Gatwick), car hire and excursions. Minimum age is six.
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.