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Discover Somewhere Different

Off the beaten track…

We have nothing against the beaten track; if a path is well-worn, that’s normally because it’s well worth walking along. That being said, our experts love exploring new destinations and we’re always excited to help you discover somewhere different! So, if you’re looking to take the road less travelled in 2020, here are a few of our recommendations.

Shimla, India

India is one of those destinations that seems to draw people back time and time again. Most people start with the Golden Triangle, visiting the ancient temples and palaces of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, perhaps going in search of tigers in Ranthambore. The southern states of Goa and Kerala are also favourite holiday spots, popular for their beautiful beaches and unique cuisine. So, if you’ve already explored these well-known Indian destinations and still want to see more of this beautiful country, where next? We suggest taking a trip further north to discover the charms of Shimla. Formerly the ‘Summer Capital’ of British India, this picturesque resort is surrounded on all sides by steeply falling wooded hillsides and when the skies are clearest, you can even glimpse the peaks of the Himalayas in the distance. Come to wander the winding alleys of the bazaar in search of beautiful local arts and crafts, with everything from intricately carved wooden trinkets and tools to delicately embroidered shawls and handkerchiefs. If you can brave the snow, come in January to enjoy the novelty of skating on the largest natural ice rink in South Asia! Joanne visited Shimla in 2019 with Carrier and would love to share her top tips with you.

Iceland

Iceland has exploded in popularity as a destination over the past few years, possibly in part due to its incredible Insta-worthy landscapes. Spectacular images of thundering waterfalls, towering geysers and snow-drenched scenes complete with unbearably cute Icelandic ponies would be enough to infect even the most reluctant adventurer with itchy feet! Add to this trendy cities like capital Reykjavik, the chance to see wildlife such as orcas in the wild, fascinating architecture, ancient Norse culture and the possibility of encountering the mesmerising Northern Lights, and we’re surprised anyone can keep away at all. Perhaps one factor that might cause you to hesitate is that Iceland is not a cheap country, with reports of eye-watering pint prices circulating almost as widely as the Instagram pictures. This is one of the reasons that we recommend a cruise as a great option, allowing you to explore numerous spots in Iceland with your food and drinks already taken care of. Philip is sailing on Fred. Olsen’s “Introduction to Iceland” itinerary later this year so make sure to keep an eye out for his review.

Uzbekistan

The gem of Central Asia, Uzbekistan boasts a rich and varied history that is visible in the country’s magnificent mosques, mausoleums, madrasas and more. A key stop along the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean, Uzbekistan was a vibrant melting pot of cultures for over two millennia. The spectacular architecture of Samarkand and Bukhara cannot fail to impress, with spellbinding structures covered with awesome mosaic tiling in every hue of blue stretching up into the sky. Uzbekistan’s capital city, Tashkent, is a must for anyone interested in delving deeper into the country’s fascinating history, as it is home to numerous museums celebrating and exploring the country’s culture and legacy. Iain visited Uzbekistan just last year and is determined to return again as there was so much to see and do. If you’re interested in exploring Central Asia, Iain can help you create your perfect itinerary.

Russia

From Moscow’s Red Square to the frozen wastes of Siberia and the vast expanses of the Steppe, Russia’s extraordinary size and diversity make it an endlessly fascinating destination, where there is always something new to discover. The home of ballet, the tsars, communism and more, Russia’s history, though dark at times, is uniquely engrossing and there is no better way to understand Mother Russia than to see her for yourself. The land of Pushkin, Chekov, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, there is undoubtedly poetry in every atom of this country’s makeup, from the simple beauty of the Russian countryside to the exceptional grandeur of St Petersburg’s Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. While we may all wish to travel around this extraordinary country, Russia is not always the easiest destination to infiltrate or navigate. Once again, a cruise is a fantastic way to circumvent these difficulties. Many Northern Europe itineraries include a double overnight in St Petersburg, where you can visit the legendary Hermitage museum of art and culture. If this interests you, take a look at our EXCLUSIVE Silversea Cruise Offer, which includes a saving of over £600pp, $250 on board credit and FREE Business Class Flights – must book by 31 January.

To find out more about any of these destination get in touch with our personal travel experts on 0191 285 9321 or send an email to holidays@travelb.co.uk.

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