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Author: Daisy Bird

The Raffles Hotel Le Royal

The Raffles Hotel Le Royal, 92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh Sangkat Wat Phnom Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh 12302, Cambodia
Raffles Hotel Le Royal website

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Pursat Province, Cambodia

Pursat Province, Cambodia

Krong Battambang, Cambodia

Krong Battambang, Cambodia

Phum Baitang Resort

Phum Baitang Resort, Neelka Way, Krong Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia
Phum Baitang Hotel and Resort website

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia

Kampong Khleang

Kampong Khleang, Cambodia

The Royal Sands Resort Koh Rong

The Royal Sands Resort Koh Rong, Preah Monivong Blvd (93), Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Royal Sands Resort Koh Rong website

The Royal Sands Resort Koh Rong

Sok San Beach, Koh Rong Koh Rong Island Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia

Phnom Penh International Airport

Phnom Penh International Airport, 12000 មហាវិថី​ សហព័ន្ធរុស្ស៊ី, រាជធានី​ភ្នំពេញ, Cambodia

Classic Cambodia Tour, Southeast Asia

Classic Cambodia. Experience the best of Cambodia on this 10-day itinerary tour that takes you from Siem Reap, gateway to Angkor, to Battambang, Sihanoukville and the lively capital, Phnom Penh.

Best time to visit: Most travellers visit Cambodia from November to March, where there are more blue skies and little rain.

Day 1: Arrive in Phnom Penh

Arrive at Phnom Penh Airport, fast track and express visa services upon arrival and you will be welcomed by your local English speaking guide.

Transfer to Raffles Hotel Le Royal, where you will be staying in a State Garden View room for 2 nights.

Stay in the State Garden View room at The Raffles Hotel Le Royal

Photo courtesy of Raffles Hotel Le Royal

A luxury hotel fit for Royalty. Raffles Hotel Le Royal has, for nearly a century, been the premier hotel in Phnom Penh, blessed with history and style, atmosphere and aesthetics. First established in 1929, it welcomes as it has always done a diverse international clientele of entrepreneurs, writers, journalists, royalty and intrepid travellers of all stripes.

Day 2: Exploring Phnom Penh

The Silver Pagoda, sacred temple in Cambodia
The Silver Pagoda sacred temple

This morning you will visit the Royal Palace, that serving as residence to the King, a venue for court ceremony and as a symbol of the Kingdom.

Silver Pagoda is also located within the Royal Palace compound, the name is because the floor is made up of 5,000 silver tiles. The King meets here with monks for Royal ceremonies and it houses a collection of priceless Buddhist and historical objects including the ‘Emerald Buddha’ unlike other pagodas, no monks live here.

Please note that during the visit of the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, visitors are required to wear proper attire, covering shoulders and knees as this temple is still considered as a sacred site.

The Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

Then, visit the National Museum, which houses Khmer art especially sculptures from different periods of Cambodian history. There are over 5000 objects on display.

This afternoon visit Toul Sleng Genocide Museum. In 1975, Toul Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pot’s security forces and turned into a prison known as Security Prison 21 (S-21) and soon it became the largest centre of detention and torture in the country. The museum serves as a testament to the crimes of the Khmer Rouge.

Day 3: Travel from Phnom Penh to Battambang

Views from Battanbang

You will take a transfer overland to Battambang which is about a 6-hour drive.

Along the way, you will stop in Kampong Chhnang Province to visit the pottery village.

Upon arrival in Pursat, stop for a bamboo train through Cambodian villages and rice fields. Then continue direct to Battambang.

When you arrive in Battambang you will have dinner at your hotel, The Maison Wat Kor where you will be staying in the Frangipane room.

Maison Wat Kor, Frangipane room

Roofed red huts peer out of the lush green Cambodian jungle
Photo courtesy of Maison Wat Kor

Located in the heart of a Khmer Village with beautifully preserved traditional wooden homes on stilts, adjacent to Battambang, this boutique hotel is set amid an authentic atmosphere in the Cambodian countryside.

Eco-friendly, Maisons Wat Kor features 10 guestrooms within 3 wooden houses, a restaurant-bar and saltwater swimming pool, replete with Khmer cooking classes and classic Khmer massage services.

Day 4: Discovering Battambang

Cambodian monk walks the corridors of a sacred temple

This morning, you will be visiting a local village called One Village One Product where many families specialise and trade in individual products including dried banana and rice paper. (Take some time to have some samples.)

Also this morning, visit Wat Kandeng to see the monks having lunch (11:00am is the latest time monks eat lunch.)

This afternoon, it is off to Wat Kor a charming cultural village that is close to Battambang located in some of the most beautiful countryside in Cambodia. The heritage here comes from numerous old wooden houses with some being constructed in the early 20th century. They offer an insight into the Khmer’s simplicity in housing design and to discover the traditional Cambodian way of living.

Then it is onto visiting Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) a non-profit Cambodian association working with vulnerable children, young adults and their families through arts schools, social support and educational programmes. Please note that this will be closed during public holidays and at weekends.

Phnom Sampov is the next stop, an important religious site known throughout the whole of Cambodia. Phnom Sampov is a striking limestone mountain located on the road to Pailin. On top of the hill is a Wat and many stupas with various shrines and grottos.

The views from the top are simply breathtaking and there are a variety of food and drink stalls at the base of the mountain. At nightfall here, thousands of bats make their way out of caves in the hill hillside to feed before returning at dawn. This natural phenomenon really is a must see for visitors.

Day 5: Travel from Battambang to Siem Reap

After breakfast, take an overland transfer to Siem Reap. On route, you will stop and visit Banteay Chhmar which was constructed during the reign of Jayavarman VII in the 12th and 13th century.

After lunch you will continue onto Pouk Silk Farm at Pouk district, a picturesque village. All facets of Silk production from propagation of various mulberry trees, silk work reproduction, silk extraction from cocoons, cleaning, combing, dyeing and all the intricacies of Ikat weaving are explained and viewed. There is a display centre with items for sale.

After this, you will be driven direct to your hotel in Siem Reap, Phum Baitang Resort where you will be staying in a Terrace village room.

Phum Baitang Resort, Terrace Villa room

Phum Baitang Resort, Siem Reap

Phum Baitang, which means ‘Green Village’ in Khmer is one of Siem Reap’s most luxurious and elegant hideaways, with just 45 spacious stilted villas that are wrapped in luminous greenery and finished with high-quality interiors.

Day 6: Visiting Angkor Wat Temple

Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia
Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia

This morning you will visit the largest temple in the world, Angkor Wat. Please note that during the visit of Angkor Wat, visitors are required to wear proper attire, covering shoulders and knees as this temple is still considered as a sacred site.

This afternoon, you will visit Ta Prohm a temple that has been left largely in its natural state since it was rediscovered by French explorers.

A unique way of seeing the area is by Gondola, travel along the water from west gate to south gate and enjoy sunset at Prasat Chrung of Angkor Thom.

Day 7: Seeing more of Siem Reap

This morning you will take a boat trip to the floating village at Kampong Khleang located on the northern lake-edge. In high season these stilted houses rise to 10 metres in the air.

This afternoon you will be driven to Banteay Srei, a tiny and enchanting temple. It is built of red sandstone and is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Sunset at Pre Rup temple.

Please note that during the visit of Banteay Srei temple, visitors are required to wear proper attire, covering shoulders and knees as this temple is still considered as a sacred site.

Day 8: Travel from Siem Reap to Sihanoukville

Koh Rong Sanloem island

Morning at your leisure and you will then take your transfer to Siem Reap Airport for domestic flight to Sihanoukville.

When arriving in Sihanoukville you will be welcomed by a local English speaking guide and transfer with you to Sihanoukville where you will go by boat to The Royal Sands Resort Koh Rong.

The Royal Sands Resort Koh Rong, Ocean View Villa room

Royal Sands Resort
Photo courtesy of The Royal Sands Hotel

The Royal Sands Resort is Luxury in Paradise, as is a stay in its magnificent Ocean Villa room. Experience the beauty and calm of an island in the most elegant of fashions… spanning a private 400-meter beach on the tropical island of Koh Rong, Cambodia.

The Royal Sands is a new 5-star resort offering an intimate glimpse of island life as it was meant to be. Relax on the white sandy beaches, swim in the crystal-clear ocean waters, admire the exotic wildlife, gaze at the mesmerising sunsets, enjoy the freshest foods.

The afternoon is for you to spend at your leisure.

Day 9: Relaxation in Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville

Spend today recouping and relaxing after an activity-filled trip. Make the most of the white sand beaches and panoramic vistas across the ocean.

Dine in style at the hotel’s Ocean Restaurant, a chic yet relaxed dining area with foods to indulge your senses. Pamper yourself with a spa treatment or get your sweat on in their state of the art gym facilities.

Or, spend the day drinking cocktails and unwind at the Chill Beach Bar. The resort’s communal bar and restaurant located directly on the beach.

Day 10: Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh Departure

Depart with your guide from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh International Airport for your departure flight home.

If you would like to find out more about the best places to stay in Cambodia and for prices, get in touch with a friendly Camel Collection rep today.

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Manchester

Manchester, UK

Bath

Bath, UK

London

London, UK

Oxford

Oxford, UK

Edinburgh

Edinburgh, UK

Best UK Cities to Visit in 2021

Few countries have such amazing and distinct cities as the UK. Each with their own personality and charm. When it comes to booking a city break, it can be hard to know where to begin, let alone where to stay.

We’ve put together a list of the best UK cities to visit in 2021, whether it’s a quick city break or longer, once local lockdowns have been lifted.

From Grade I listed hotels to countryside manor houses, we’ve added our suggestions of where to stay. We’ve combined the top UK cities from Condé Nast Traveller’s Reader’s Choice Awards with our own top cities to visit in 2021.

Manchester

streetview of Manchetser with yellow tram in shot

The very first modern, British industrial city, notable for its unrelenting charm and spirit. Home of The Smiths, Oasis and The Stone Roses.

Find a range of dramatic, brooding architecture in this electrifying, bustling city. From its impressive, Victorian Neo-Gothic town hall, to its Art Deco and Edwardian baroque buildings which line the city streets.

The city is filled with an enormous selection of shops, from boutiques, to high street names The Manchester Arndale is the UK’s largest city centre shopping and there’s more artisanal coffee shops, music bars and nightlife.

Where to stay

The Stock Exchange Hotel

Experience the finer things in this grand stone building that (unsurprisingly) once housed the Manchester Stock Exchange. This plush hotel stands in the beating heart of the city centre, not far from the main tram stop.

Dakota Hotel Manchester

Looking for a unique, boutique stay in the city? Look no further, the Dakota is for you. With its cosy, intimate feel, with dark, moody interiors that are as inviting as they are cool. Visit for their grill and restaurant (and for photos), stay for the first-class hospitality.

Bath

Number 8 in The Readers’ Choice Awards 2020

Certainly, one of the most picturesque cities on this list, and the only one hold UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Bath continues to enchant travellers from all over the world, ever since its Roman beginnings, and has been known as a place for relaxation and wellness for centuries.

Beautiful aerial views over the city of Bath with red hot air balloons in shot
Photo courtesy of Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa

While the city’s spas are still a tantalising draw for tourists, the place is overflowing with places to drink, dine and soak up the scenery alongside the River Avon, against the backdrop of the surrounding Somerset hills.

Where to stay

The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa

Only a brief jaunt from the city centre and overlooking the elegant Victoria Park is the magnificent Royal Crescent Hotel. The Royal Crescent is one of Bath’s most iconic landmarks, built in the 1760s. Take in the perfectly manicured lawns overlooking the park, which form a sweeping vista of the surrounding Grade I Listed terrace houses.

Lucknam Park Hotel

Green lawns at the entrance of Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa

For a quintessential, classic British countryside affair, the Lucknam Park Hotel is for you. When you’re not exploring the 500-acre estate by foot or on horseback (if the mood so takes you), or taking in the heritage of this grand country manor, you can relax and unwind in their state of the art spa facilities.

London

Number 3 in The Readers’ Choice Awards 2019

It’s unsurprising that the UK’s capital features on this list, which is consistently voted as one of the best cities in the world. London being the most popular tourist destination in the world (hosting 17.4 million tourists in the last year).

More than 300 languages are spoken in this multicultural melting pot of a city. Some of the best restaurants in the world can be found here, like Lyle’s set in the heart of trendy Shoreditch, or The Clove Club, showcasing the best of seasonal British cuisine.

And between touring historic sights, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London or taking a trip to the Westend or London Zoo, there’s something for everything. There’s plenty of free activities and events on offer throughout the year, and something to suit everyone.

Where to stay

The Shard, Shangri La

Housed in one of London’s most iconic, contemporary landmarks, a night at The Shangri-La Hotel is distinct and memorable. Opulent, oriental-styled suites with floor-to-ceiling windows and views across the London skyline welcome you.

The Lanesborough

The exterior entrance of the Lanesborough Hotel with a red london bus driving past

This immaculate and lavish Regency-style hotel is exactly what you would expect of a Knightsbridge residence, just off Hyde Park corner. Elegant, 19th-century interiors, filled with white marble and sumptuous furnishings make for a warm welcome.

When you’re not enjoying the Library bar, the Michelin-starred Céleste restaurant, or their award-winning afternoon tea service, head to The Lanesborough Club and Spa for some relaxation and respite.

Oxford

Aerial view of Oxford city, the university of Oxford and the cathedral spires

Number 2 in The Readers’ Choice Awards 2019

Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, is as enchanting as it is culturally significant. Home to the one of the oldest universities in the world, established around the 11th century.

The city is brimming with medieval university colleges, Norman ruins and historic landmarks like the Bridge of Sighs, dotted amongst grand, palatial libraries. A trip to the Covered Market bazaar is a must, especially in the lead up to Christmas.

Where to stay

Old Bank Hotel

This five-star hotel consistently features on Best Hotel lists, and was ranked fourth in Condé Nast Traveller’s ‘Top Hotels in the UK’ in their 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards. The heritage site dates back to the 13th Century, with its 42 suites and rooms overlooking the dreamy spires, historic architecture and university colleges.

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

If you’re looking for more of a country-manor stay, look no further than Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle perched on top of the hill, with blue skies above

Voted Number One best city in the UK 2020

Edinburgh, the greenest city in the UK and the capital of Scotland. There’s so much to do and admire in this staggeringly beautiful city, which was voted Top UK Heritage Attraction in the British Travel Awards. And between Edinburgh Castle, its museums, breathtaking architecture, medieval Old Town to the neoclassical buildings in its Georgian New Town.

Shops, cafes, bars and restaurants line the historic city streets. Famed for its literary and scientific heroes, notable residents include Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, J. K. Rowling and Charles Darwin, who studied medicine at The University of Edinburgh.

Where to stay

Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian

Spend your city break in Edinburgh’s historic grand railway hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, formerly The Caledonian. Affectionately referred to as ‘The Caley’ by locals, this five-star hotel makes for a memorable stay.

The Witchery by the Castle

The Witchery by the Castle Hotel's Rich red velvet interior with a four poster bed and side table with flowers

This boutique, Gothic hotel is a crowning jewel in Edinburgh’s old town crown. If you’re looking for an exceptionally unique stay, The Witchery is it. Stay in suites like The Turret, (with views overlooking the Old town), the Inner Sanctum, The Library. With four-poster beds, antiques, lavish regal interiors with hidden Gothic chapel bathrooms and rich furnishings throughout.

Get in touch with Camel Collection and make the most of our exclusive discounts, upgrades or complimentary packages on all of the above hotel stays.

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The Alyeska Hotel

Alyeska Resort & Hotel Alyeska
1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood, AK 99587, USA
Alyeska Resort Website

Chugach Express Dog Sled Tours

Chugach Express Dog Sled Tours
118 Lindblad Ave, Girdwood, AK 99587, USA

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre (AWCC)

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre
Mile 79, Seward Hwy, Girdwood, AK 99587, USA
AWCC

Hotel Alyeska

Alyeska Resort & Hotel Alyeska
1000 Arlberg Ave, Girdwood, AK 99587, USA

Tutka Bay Lodge

Tutka Bay Lodge
Homer, AK 99603, USA
Tutka Bay Lodge

Tutka Bay

Tutka Bay, Alaska 99603, USA

Kachemak Bay State Park

Kachemak Bay State Park
Homer, AK 99603, USA

Anchorage International Airport

Anchorage International Airport
5000 W International Airport Rd, Anchorage, AK 99502, USA

Ultimate Alaskan Adventure into the Wilderness, USA

Experience the wildest region of the United States, with ancient mountain ranges, pristine lakes and rivers full of leaping Salmon, while staying at remote lodges.

Try your hand at dog mushing, go fishing for massive halibut, land on remote glaciers, and watch bears eating berries in open fields. The highlights are the services of knowledgeable local guides and pilots who will show you around this truly remarkable US state, also known as ‘The Last Frontier’.

Here’s an itinerary we’ve put together for the perfect Alaskan adventure…

Day 1: Checking into The Alyeska Hotel

Hotel Alyeska, dramatic grey building with a lake in the front and Alaskan mountains in the background.

Upon arrival at the Anchorage International Airport, meet your driver for your private transfer to Girdwood (Approximately 1 hour).

We recommend staying for four nights at The Alyeska Hotel. Nestled in a lush, green valley surrounded by mountain peaks, hanging glaciers, and water views, The Hotel Alyeska offers guests sumptuous accommodation and convenient access to the Alaskan wilderness.

A recent multi-million dollar renovation included improvements to all 304 guest rooms, which now feature all the creature comforts you’d expect from a luxury hotel. Amenities include a gym, full spa, boutique, and four restaurants, including the four-diamond Seven Glaciers.

Alyeska Hotel and Resort in the Summer in Alaska

The Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway brings you to a viewing deck which provides breath-taking panoramic views of mountains, glaciers, streams, and an array of wildlife, plus access to myriad hiking trails.

A not-to-be-missed experience is a ride on the aerial tram to the summit of Mount Alyeska. The summit offers unrivalled views of the Chugach Mountains, Turnagain Arm and Glacier Valley.

The tram travels from the Hotel Alyeska to the upper tram terminal 2300 feet above the valley floor.

Day 2: Glacier Dog Sledding Tour & Nature Trail

Morning

This quintessentially Alaskan past time is hard to beat… and a great way to spend a crisp Alaskan morning. Experience the pure joy of Alaskan Huskies while mushing on an alpine snowfield. Take this exciting opportunity to learn about the dedicated dog sled teams of Alaskan Huskies over the course of a two-hour shared excursion.

Learn how the dogs are bred, see how they are trained to pull the sled, and learn how they keep up their everlasting endurance. Relax and enjoy the view as you ride on the sled around the glacier enjoying the scenic peaks and valleys surrounding you.

The dogs possess an inherent drive to run, and even if you pull on the brakes, it’s hard to hold them back!

Afternoon

In the afternoon, delight in a private nature hike in the nearby town of Girdwood (This should last for about three hours).

On this moderate and informative five-mile (8 kilometres) roundtrip hike along the Winner Creek Trail, you’ll experience North America’s northernmost temperate coastal rainforest, while exploring part of the Iditarod National Historic Trail. With graded boardwalks, including one over the Winner Creek Gorge, as well as plenty of rugged, rooty sections of trail, this trip is great for families and an exhilarating adventure for everyone.

With a naturalist guide to lead the way, you’ll learn about the native flora and fauna, nibble on edible leaves and flowers, explore traditional and contemporary herb lore, identify bird song and animal behaviours, and enjoy stories about Native and Alaskan history. (You may even spot a moose.)

During blueberry season, the trail is blooming with scrumptious delights. Make sure to dress in layers and don’t forget to bring your camera.

Day 3: National Parks, Nature and Alaskan Wildlife

Wild Alaskan brown bear with its tongue out.

Today you will meet your driver for your private scenic transfer to Seward (Approx. 3 hours). The 127-mile Seward Highway is itself a sightseeing highlight, revealing wildflowers and waterfalls, muddy waters and hanging glaciers, as it follows the stunning coastline of the Turnagain Arm.

Admission to Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre

Stop to visit the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre (AWCC), a 140-acre preserve surrounded by mountains and hanging glaciers.

Dedicated to safeguarding Alaska’s wildlife through public education, the AWCC takes in injured and orphaned animals all year-round and provides spacious enclosures and quality care to animals that cannot be released back into the wild.

Residents include bears, bison, moose, caribou, elk, an eagle, owls, musk oxen, Sitka black-tailed deer, and a variety of game birds.

Visitors can walk or drive through the area in their vehicles; both experiences offer unparalleled opportunities to view and photograph Alaskan wildlife up close, and behaving as though in the wild.

Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise

6 hours departing at 11:30

Upon arrival at the Kenai Fjords Tour office, you will board a vessel (125-person capacity) for this six-hour cruise up into the Park, some 580,000 acres of pristine beauty on the rugged outer Kenai Peninsula coastline.

The Harding Icefield covers over 300 square miles, with 40+ outlet glaciers and snow and ice accumulations thousands of feet thick. Thousands of seabirds, including puffins, kittiwakes, and murres, seasonally inhabit the cliffs and rocky shores.

The park’s wildlife also includes mountain goats, moose, bears, wolverines, marmots, and other land mammals, and seeing them in their natural habitat is spectacular. You may also spot Steller sea lions, harbour seals, Dall porpoises, and sea otters, plus humpback, killer, and minke whales. At the end of the day, you’ll be returned to Seward.

Board the Kenai Fjords Tours shuttle for your shared transfer to the Seward Railway Station.

Alaska Railroad’s Coastal Classic, Seward to Girdwood, GoldStar Service (Approx. 3 hours departing at 18:00).

On this journey from Seward to Girdwood (considered by many to be the most scenic route in the state) you will travel by rail aboard the world-famous Alaska Railroad dome train.

The double-deck railcar features a glass-covered observation deck that is the first of its kind in the world, and your GoldStar service guarantees you upper-level dome car seating, priority check-in and boarding, outdoor viewing, exclusive lower-level dining, and complimentary non-alcoholic beverages, two alcoholic beverages, and dinner.

reflection on Kenai Lake, Alaska
Kenai Lake, Alaska

As you depart Seward, enjoy views of 16-mile-long Kenai Lake, whose turquoise colour is a result of sunlight striking suspended glacial silt in the water. Later, the track enters some of Alaska’s most pristine wilderness area.

Be sure to have your camera ready as you pass Spencer Glacier, Bartlett Glacier, and through Grandview Pass. The last leg of the route follows the Turnagain Arm, where beluga whales can often be seen following salmon on the incoming tide, and Dall sheep frequent rocky mountainsides.

Upon arrival at Girdwood Railway Station, board the Hotel Alyeska shuttle service for shared transfer back to the hotel.

Day 4: Hotel relaxation

After a busy day exploring the Alaskan wildlife, take a day to relax and, recoup and reset at the hotel.

Make the most of Hotel Alyeska and its amenities, which include a saltwater pool, whirlpool, fitness centre and spa.

 

Day 5: Transfer to Tutka Bay Lodge

Meet your driver at the hotel for your transfer to the Anchorage International Airport.

Scheduled commercial flight from Anchorage International Airport to Homer Airport (approximately 40 minutes). Upon arrival at the Homer Airport, you will board the Tutka Bay Lodge shuttle for your shared transfer to Mako’s Water Taxi.

Scheduled water taxi from Homer to Tutka Bay Lodge (approximately 30 minutes), the place you’ll be calling home for the next three nights.

Tutka Bay Lodge

Esteemed as one of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, this 4-star property is situated on Tutka Bay and nestled at the head of the rugged seven-mile fjord in Kachemak Bay. About 25 minutes by boat from Homer, the lodge sits on eleven acres surrounded by tide pools, natural estuaries, and twenty acres of old-growth Sitka spruce, which provides a unique trail system right from the large oceanside deck.

The property has a distinctly Alaskan maritime feel with the quiet cove offering a serene space in which to observe the resident marine life. The family-owned and operated lodge offers a remote, genuine, and transformative stay within Alaska’s coastal wilderness by pairing their regional expertise with guests’ envisioned objectives. Guests can launch from the deck for adventures within the region and neighbouring communities by kayak, boat, plane, or helicopter, or simply drink in the views of Broken Knife peak and Grace Ridge, a perfect junction of mountain and sea.

Lodging comprises of the main cabin, six private guest cabins, a large viewing deck, cooking school, a boathouse, a sauna, and hot tub, all interconnected by a boardwalk. All guest cabins are adorned with ocean treasures, have large living rooms, bedrooms, private bathrooms, and boast views of Tutka Bay and the Kachemak Bay State Park.

Note: All meals (breakfast, lunch, appetizers, dinner, and snacks), house wine (during lunch & dinner), and premium wine, beer, and soda (during appetizer hour) are included during your stay.

Day 6: See the Tutka Bay brown bears

Naknek Lake Katmai National Park

This morning you explore the most populated wild habitat of Alaskan brown bears. The day starts with an early rise at Tutka Bay Lodge and a water taxi to meet your pilot and guide.

At the hanger, you’ll be provided with waders for the day and then take off for a one-hour scenic flight. The destination flight takes you over glaciers, volcanoes, and the rugged coastlines of Katmai National Park and Lake Clark National Park to land on a remote beach.

Walk alongside bears in their natural habitat and depending on the time of year, you can see bears grazing on sedge grass, digging up clams, playing together, courting, resting, and fishing.

Day 7: Design your own adevnture

Alaska has a lot to offer by way of activities and adventure. Spend this day trying out something different, making new memories and trialling those unforgettable experiences!

Optional activities (payable locally) for the day include:

Guided Sea Kayaking

There is no better way to experience the Kenai Coast. Paddling areas may include the Herring Islands, as well as Kachemak Bay State Park. Sea kayaking provides close view of intertidal species and marine life, fast access to trails and beaches, and distinctive perspectives of surrounding terrain.

Kayak or Pack Raft Grewingk Glacier Lake

Boat across the bay to the glacier lake trail and stop by Gull Island along the way. The short, moderately strenuous hike opens up to a stunning view of the Grewingk Glacier.

See a dozen shades of blue as you paddle next to giant chunks of ice calved from a thousand-year-old glacier. The inflatable kayaks or pack rafts are easy for beginners to manage and your expert naturalists will share secrets of this ancient place.

Coastal Safari by boat

View stunning vistas, fascinating geologic formations, birds, and wildlife. This is a fantastic opportunity to photograph everyone’s favourite wild neighbours, endearing sea otters and bald eagles.

You may also see porpoise, whales (humpback, minke or orca), sea lions, seals, and sea birds such as puffins, harlequins, and oystercatchers. Visit the picturesque communities of Halibut Cove and Gull Islands, where boardwalks with art galleries hug the shoreline and the cove buzzes with summer visitors.

Stroll through Seldovia Village

Visit this quaint town where early Russian invaders established a sea otter hunting station in the late 1700s. Stroll the boardwalk, photograph 120-year-old St. Nicholas Russian Church, visit local shops, and hike the scenic Otterbahn Trail to Outside Beach.

Other activities at Tutka Bay Lodge:

  • Kachemak Bay State Park Walking and Hiking
  • Award-winning sea to table cuisine inspired by Chef Kirsten Dixon.
  • Explore the intertidal zone at low tide for sea stars, anemones, chitons, and mussels.
  • Forage for wild edibles and learn to create an Alaskan dish with the chefs.
  • Soak in the hot tub, or try a muscle relaxing, body warming session in the wood-fired banya.
  • Therapeutic massage, yoga, and stretch classes.

Day 8: Depart for Anchorage

Turnagain Arm, Cook Inlet, Anchorage, Alaska USA
Turnagain Arm, Cook Inlet, Anchorage, Alaska

Scheduled water taxi from Tutka Bay Lodge to Homer (30 minutes).

Upon arrival in Homer, you will board the Tutka Bay Lodge shuttle for your shared transfer to the Homer Airport. Here you can take a scheduled commercial flight from Homer Airport to Anchorage International Airport (40-minutes).

Note: we recommend allowing a minimum of three hours of layover in Anchorage for any connecting flights.

Want to head off to Alaska for your own adventure? Get in touch with a Camel Collection rep today and let us help you make the most of your trip.

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Little Tilde, The 6 Forgotten Giants

Little Tilde, The 6 Forgotten Giants

The Little Mermaid sculpture

Langelinie, 2100 København Ø, Denmark

Kronborg Castle

Kronborg 2 C, 3000 Helsingør, Denmark

Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens amusement park, Vesterbrogade 3, 1630 København V, Denmark
Tivoli website

Christianborg Palace

Christianborg Palace, Prins Jørgens Gård 1, 1218 København, Denmark

Unique Things To Do in Copenhagen, Denmark

There are many good reasons to visit the Danish capital of Copenhagen. This lively harbour city has a lot to offer by way of hidden gems and charming spots. So, whether it’s your first time to the Danish capital, or your fifteenth, there’s always more to explore.

We’ve handpicked a few of our favourite off-the-beaten-track tourist attractions.

Walk with the Six Forgotten Giants

Free

Lurking in the forests and woods surrounding Copenhagen’s suburbs, you may stumble across a few unexpected locals. The Six forgotten Giants are a series of enormous wooden sculptures by Thomas Dambo. Together they form what the artist describes as ‘an open air sculpture treasure hunt.’

Large wooden sculpture of a giant in the forest near Copenhagen
‘Little Tilde’ giant wooden sculpture by Thomas Dambo.

These towering sculptures, made from recycled scrap wood, are designed to get people out into the open, fresh air. The giants span across several municipalities of Copenhagen, including Rødovre, Hvidovre, Vallensbæk, Ishøj, Albertslund and Høje Taastrup.

It’s a great opportunity to escape the city and appreciate the picturesque meadows, tranquil lakes and surroundings that make up the western side of the city, often overlooked by weekend visitors. Get to know each of the giants (including ‘Sleeping Louis’ ‘Little Tilde’ and ‘Oscar under the bridge’) personally as you stroll around the Danish countryside.

See the Little Mermaid, and her unusual sister

Free

You’ve probably seen the bronze statue of the Little Mermaid looking wistfully out to sea along the Langelinie harbour and promenade. From Danish author Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale of the same name.

The Little Mermaid bronze sculpture looking out towards the sea, Copenhagen
‘The Little Mermaid’ bronze sculpture

It’s become the de facto symbol of Copenhagen since it was created and erected by sculptor Edvard Eriksen in 1913. In its time, the Little Mermaid has become a popular target for vandals, losing its head twice (after three decapitation attempts) an arm, and has survived explosive blast which knocked the mermaid of her porch and into the sea in 2003.

Just a few hundred metres away from the statue, you can find The Little Mermaid’s younger sister. The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid sits in an almost identical pose in bronze and granite, with two tails, a deformed head, and several other limbs replaced with misshapen parts and geometric shapes.

The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid sculpture at sea
‘The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid’ by Bjørn Nørgaard. Photo copyright: Wonderful Copenhagen

Part of a group of sculptures by the Danish professor Bjørn Nørgaard, called The Genetically Modified Paradise. The sculpture is designed to provoke discussion about genetic modification in the modern world.

Visit Kronborg Castle, Hamlet’s Elsinore

95 DKK (€12.50) for adults and 85 DKK (€11) for students. Children under 18 are admitted for free.

Kronborg castle

Kronborg Castle, immortalised as the home of Shakespeare’s Hamlet is an exceptional sight to behold. A fort turned royal home, the castle has been around since 1420. In that time, it’s been burned to the ground and rebuilt, and remains an enduring feature of Danish pride and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

This 16th Century castle is not to be missed – not just for its historical and literary past. But for its dramatic, sweeping location. The castle is set on the strategically significant site commanding the Sund, the stretch of water between Denmark and Sweden.

Kronborg castle near Copenhagen

Only a 45-minute drive from Copenhagen, in the town of Helsingør, Denmark. The castle is well worth a visit, if only to walk through the grounds and admire the renaissance spires, towers and copper domed roofs.

Go to Tivoli Gardens amusement park (but wait until dusk)

135 to 145 DKK (€19) 60 (€9) DKK for children

Tivoli Gardens theme park at night with reflections showing the bright lights in the water.
Tivoli Gardens Theme Park

Known as “Denmark’s playground,” Tivoli Gardens is 19th Century theme park and gardens are admittedly, not all that secret. It’s one of Denmark’s top tourist attractions, and for good reason.

It’s one of the oldest amusement parks in the world, opening in 1843 with applaud, with classic Victorian rides, merry go rounds, ferris wheels and carousels. The park, visited by Hans Christian Anderson and Walt Disney in its time, inspired the creation of Disney World theme parks.

Rollercoaster rides and bright fairy lights in Tivoli Gardens at night.
The Chinese Tower in Tivoli Gardens.

The park is the home to ballet and dance performances, concerts, live bands and pantomime. But at night, the park takes on another life. Watch magical Tivoli become illuminated with brightly coloured fairy lights, trees and lamps which light up the ornate exotic architecture, water features and manicured lawns.

Heavy snow throughout the winter months means the park is only open throughout the spring and summer, starting at the beginning of April and lasting until the end of September. It also opens for around three weeks during Halloween.

The Royal Library secret garden

Free

green lawns and water features that make up the Royal Library Gardens in Copenhagen

Looking for a relaxing haven during an otherwise busy city break? Copenhagen has got you covered on that front too. Hidden inside Christianborg Palace, the home of the Danish parliament, you can find Bibliotekshaven (quite literally, Library Garden).

And while you may think the heart of the Danish parliament is the antithesis of somewhere secret and peaceful, The Royal Library Garden is another story.

foliage and flowers in the Royal Library gardens, with the copper roof of the building peering over the trees
The Royal Library Gardens

Enter through the gates of Parliament Square to find immaculately kept lawns, flora and fauna with a water feature at its centre.

Stroll through the gardens and admire the bronze statue of Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, or the equally interesting eight-metre-high copper sculpture which releases cascades of water by the hour is placed at the middle of the pool.

Planning a trip to Copenhagen but looking for tips on where to stay? Get in touch with a Camel Collection representative today and we can give you the insider scoop.

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Foxhill Manor

Farncombe Estate, Broadway WR12 7LJ, UK

Ellenborough Park

Southam Ln, Cheltenham GL52 3NJ, UK

The Fish Hotel

The Fish Hotel, Farncombe Estate, Broadway WR12 7LH, UK

Hotel Thyme

Hotel Thyme, Nr, Lechlade GL7 3NX, UK

5 Dog-Friendly Retreats in the Cotswolds, UK

Now is the perfect time to cosy up with your friends and family and treat yourself to a relaxing break in the Cotswolds.

With nearly 800 square miles of rolling hills and meadows to explore across five counties (Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire), the Cotswolds is just about heaven on earth for humans and canines alike.

Escape to the countryside and stay in one of these idyllic Cotswolds retreats with your four-legged friend.

Foxhill Manor

Photo courtesy of Foxhill Manor

This country home estate is a veritable home away from home. Foxhill Manor’s philosophy is centred around delivering all the ingredients of a boutique hotel stay, in a stone-manor setting more fitting to a Jane Austen novel. The estate itself boasts 400 acres of stunning Cotswolds countryside, perfect for keeping your pup entertained for hours.

Photo courtesy of Foxhill Manor

While the manor, grounds and the rooms are exquisitely regal, you won’t find stuffy dress codes or unpronounceable dishes here. The atmosphere at Foxhill Manor is fun, relaxed and down-to-earth. A trip to Foxhill Manor is, as they say, “like staying with very tasteful, very accommodating friends, who have no house rules.”

Foxhill Manor guests also have access to Dormy House’s spa and facilities.

Dog-friendly details

  • Allows up to two dogs per stay
  • £30 per night for each dog

Find out more about bringing your dog to Foxhill Manor

Benefits of booking with Camel Collection and Virtuoso

  • Complimentary upgrade on check-in, when available
  • Glass of Champagne or gift on arrival

Ellenborough Park

Photo courtesy of Ellenborough Park

Found at the foot of Cleeve Hill in the Cotswolds, Ellenborough Park is your quintessential family-friendly retreat. This impressive 15th Century English country estate with a luxury spa and 90 acres to boot.

Each of the bedrooms at Ellenborough park is finished to exceptionally high standards. Expect heated marble floors in the bathrooms and sumptuous furnishings in the bedrooms.

Ellenborough Park has 13 dog-friendly rooms on offer, located in both The Mews and Ellenborough Gate (all with the amenities you’d expect from a five-star hotel). Dogs are a welcome fixture throughout the hotel grounds and can also come along for pub lunches at their newly renovated restaurant The Horse Box.

Dog-friendly details

A housekeeping charge of £25 per day is added to the bill per dog

Photo courtesy of Ellenborough Park

Benefits of booking with Camel Collection and Virtuoso

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • $100 USD Equivalent Food & Beverage credit, to be used during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
  • Early check-in and late check-out (subject to availability)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

Find out more about bringing your dog to Ellenborough Park

The Fish Hotel

This luxury tree-topped sustainable hotel forms part of the Farncombe Estate in Broadway, Cotswolds, sister property to Foxhill Manor and Dormy House.

Photo courtesy of The Fish

This very dog and family-friendly retreat is set within an expansive 400-acre private estate. There are 67 bedrooms in total (30 Standard rooms, 28 Superior rooms, four Junior Suites, 5 hilly huts and 3 treehouses).

Dog-friendly details

For travellers of the four-legged variety, the hotel allows up to two medium-sized, well-behaved pooches in their dog-friendly rooms. All of which have wooden floors and easy access to the car park and surrounding countryside. They even have a dog agility course within the grounds and offer canine afternoon tea.

  • £30 per dog per stay
  • Each dog-friendly room offers a dog bed, bowls, dog treats and a towel

Benefits of booking with Camel Collection and Virtuoso

  • Complimentary upgrade on check-in, if available
  • Glass of Champagne or gift on arrival

Find out more about dog-friendly stays at The Fish

Hotel Thyme

Photo courtesy of Hotel Thyme

Sat on the 150-acre Southrop manor estate and farm lies an enclosed collection of restored historic buildings and 17th Century farm cottages, forming the peaceful hotel-hamlet that is Hotel Thyme. The estate itself goes all the way back to the Domesday Book of 1086, but don’t be mistaken, Thyme is equipped with all the modern luxuries you could want for.

The low-level stone, family-run estate is arranged around a large courtyard with a cookery school and an organic, sustainable homewares shop.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Thyme

A plethora of countryside walks awaits you and your dog in the surrounding Leach Valley, not to mention the ample grounds of the estate itself.

Benefits of booking with Camel Collection

  • Complimentary upgrade on check-in, if available
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Glass of prosecco with tea and cake
  • 10% off Bertioli by Thyme products

If you would like to know more about any of the exclusive deals and offers listed above, get in touch with a Camel Collection representative today.

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Vigie Beach

Vigie Beach, St Lucia

Anse Cochon Beach

Anse Cochon Beach, Saint Lucia

Gros Islet

Gros Islet, St Lucia

Sugar Beach

Val Des Pitons Forbidden Beach La Baie de Silence, St Lucia

Pigeon Island, St Lucia

Pigeon Island, St Lucia

Reduit Beach

Reduit Beach, St Lucia

Grand Anse Beach

Grand Anse Beach, St Lucia

Best beaches in Saint Lucia, Caribbean

St Lucia is the perfect destination for beach lovers. This Eastern Caribbean island nation is filled with natural wonders, from UNESCO-listed landscapes to 18th Century history. From the dramatic twin-peaks of the Piton Mountains on its west coast, to the expansive coral reefs that sit beneath the crystal clear ocean.

Best Time to Travel: December to June, during the dry season.

St Lucia is a beach lover’s paradise

This tiny island packs a lot in by way of activity and life, but if you’re simply looking to spend your days reclining on the beach, St Lucia is for you. From gold and white seashell sands to black volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts and fishing villages. There’s a beach to suit every personality. And the other great thing about St Lucia is that (unlike some of its neighbouring islands), all beaches are public, by law. (Yes, even those in front of the glitzy resort fronts.)

The beaches on the west of the island are on the side of the Caribbean, with bright white sands and calm waters. Making them ideal for activities, relaxation and watersports. On the Eastern side of the island, which faces the Atlantic Ocean, it’s a different story. The water is choppier here, with winds are stronger, but they are quieter and less populated for this reason.

Here’s a roundup of our favourite beaches in St Lucia.

Vigie Beach

White sands and blue ocean at Vigie beach, St Lucia
Vigie Beach

Best for: low-key atmosphere and charm

Not far from St Lucia’s capital of Castries is Vigie beach. There’s a reason why this beach is as popular with the locals as it is. Largely undeveloped and unspoilt, Vigie Beach has a wilder, unmanaged appearance and is filled with quintessential Caribbean charm.

The little bay is lined with palm trees, which overlook the golden sand and crystal-clear waters.

Anse Cochon Beach

Best for: snorkelling

Another black volcanic sand beach with tranquil waters, Anse Cochon is situated on the southwestern side of the island. This beach, although generally popular is less crowded than its other St Lucian sisters.

Perhaps because it’s mainly accessible by boat and provides a quiet, secluded atmosphere. Tranquil waters and offshore coral reefs provide ample snorkelling opportunities.

Gros Islet Beach

Best for: things to do and nightlife

Once a quiet fishing village, Gros Islet has since become one of the liveliest destinations on the island. This warm and welcoming town is the perfect introduction to bustling Creole culture.

Every Friday night, the Gros Islet locals hold a street party, serving up local dishes like green figs and saltfish, the island’s national dish, lambi (a type of conch shellfish) and thick, red bean meat soup bouyon.

Sugar Beach

Best for: Instagrammable scenery

On the west coast of the island, just south of Soufriere, you can find Sugar Beach, also know as Jalousie Plantation Beach, framed by the Piton mountains either side. Experience ultimate relaxation in the Valley of the Pitons, with acres of rainforest as your backdrop.

The Piton mountains

This narrow, sandy stretch of beach is probably not the ideal spot for a day of sun lounging (there are better ones on this list) but to explore, meet the locals and discover more about island life, you can’t beat it.

Note, access to the beach is through the Sugar Beach Viceroy Resort.

Pigeon Point Beach

Pigeon Point Island Beach

Best for: history

Pigeon Island is a place of great historical significance in St Lucia. A site of conflict and battle between the French and British, and desirable for its clear views across the bay towards French island of Martinique. Many forts and military fortresses line the area. Fort Rodney is well worth a visit for any history or naval buffs. But there are plenty of ruins dotted around the island.

Pigeon Point beach itself, while not large, is a brilliant place to spend a day reading a good book or snorkelling in the sea. The surrounding beauty is breathtaking, it’s hard not to be blown away by its dramatic scenery.

Reduit Beach

Best for: water sports and activity

On the north-west coast of the island Reduit beach on Rodney Bay is a dream for those who like their beaches bustling with activity.

Reduit beach is popular for its lively marina and sweeping views across the bay, overlooking Pigeon Island. There are plenty of water sports and activities, like jet-skiing, flyboarding and banana boat rides, on offer along this very recreational beach. Great for families with young children and teenagers.

Nearby you can find shops, stalls and restaurants.

Grande Anse Beach

Best for: Rugged beauty and nature

For untouched, unspoilt natural beauty, Grande Anse is the beach for you. Leatherback turtles lay their eggs along this stretch of the island, which is soon to become a national park. One of the only Atlantic-facing beaches on this list, the sea is more turbulent and than on the western, Caribbean side.

Because of its wild, off-the-beaten-track credentials, Grande Anse is a little harder to reach than the more tourist-heavy beaches on the island. Get a bus from Castries to Chassin and walk the rest of the way.

Looking for places to stay in St Lucia? Get in touch with Camel Collection today and we can send you some suggestions.

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St John's, Antigua and Barbuda

St John's, Antigua and Barbuda

Stingray City Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda

Stingray City Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda

Fig Tree Drive

Fig Tree Drive, Swetes, Antigua and Barbuda

Barbuda

Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda

Nelson's Dockyard National Park, Antigua and Barbuda

Nelson's Dockyard National Park, Antigua and Barbuda

Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Saint John's, Antigua and Barbuda

Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Saint John's, Antigua and Barbuda
Galley Bay Resort & Spa

Ultimate Relaxation in Antigua, Caribbean

It’s easy to see why this West Indies oasis is so popular. 

From rum punch and vibrant colours, to charming local hospitality and the impossibly bright blue aquamarine ocean that draws tourists season after season. Welcome to the land of 365 beaches, one to be explored for every day of the year.

First and foremost, Antigua is the destination for those craving ultimate relaxation, and who want to embrace the slower pace of island life. It’s a veritable feast for beach lovers, but if you can tear yourself away for a few hours, there’s also plenty to discover in this tropical oasis.

The other good thing is that British and American tourists do not require a visa for Antigua, as long as you have an onward flight booked.

Best Time to visit: December to May. Hurricane season continues from June to October, but September is the worst, so is best avoided.

Get to know St Johns, Antigua’s technicolour capital

Colourful port at St John's, Antigua

St John’s is the bright, candy-coloured capital of Antigua. Built by British traders 150 years after Christopher Columbus discovered the island.

At John’s feels like a theme park or wonderland. The colours, the music, the brightly painted plantation shutters and iron roofs. Old shop fronts, with their bright yellow, pink and orange shutters line the quayside, and have been redeveloped into cafes, bars and restaurants.

The south-east corner of the island offers Half Moon Bay, a National Park five minutes’ drive from Freetown village. The more peaceful beaches are hidden away in the less developed, hilly south-west of the island where you find the secluded Darkwood Beach and Fryes Bay.

John the Divine, the Cathedral Church of the Diocese of North Eastern Caribbean and Aruba, perched on a hilltop in St. John’s, Antigua and Barbuda.

You can spend a whole afternoon touring the ramparts and the harbour’s historic military fortifications.

Snorkel with wild Stingrays in Stingray City

For marine animal lovers, Stingray City Snorkel Adventure will be the highlight of the holiday. Here you can really get up close with the local Antiguan wildlife. Swim and feed some of these unique and gentle marine animals, who despite being wild, are pretty accustomed to human contact.

Couple pose with stingray on the sandbank
Stingray City. Photo by Jcparsaligan CC BY-SA

The tour takes you out to a stingray-populated sandbank in the middle of the Caribbean ocean (and only reachable by boat). As soon as you arrive you will have the chance to interact with them, stop for selfies and feed them squid. Certainly an experience not to be missed.

Take a rainforest canopy tour

While most people think of palm trees, silky white sand beaches and turquoise ocean as far as the eye can see when they think of Antigua. Not many are aware of its tropical rainforest.

There are plenty of dive operators around the island, with boats going from all the main ports. Here you can see angelfish, parrot fish, barracuda, nurse sharks, turtles and dolphins. But a trip to the rainforest reveals a different side of the island. Learn about the plants, flora and fauna that keep the rainforest thriving after the damage of the island’s rainforests many years ago during the sugar plantation boon.

Travel up the scenic Fig Tree Drive and begin at the Fig Tree Studio Art Gallery, a terrific pitstop which showcases arts and crafts from local, Caribbean artists. Here, you can also take guided rainforest walks and even zipline tours.

The most untouched (or least touched) landscape on Antigua is to be found at Wallings, just off Fig Tree guide.

Hop over to Barbuda for the afternoon

White sand beach in Antigua with aquamarine blue seas.

Only a 20-minute flight away, or an hour and a half boat ride away. Barbuda is Antigua’s younger sister island. Unlike its sister, however, it is virtually untouched by tourism. Only 15 miles long and 8 miles wide, the island is rocky and very flat, covered in rugged unmarked roads and tracks.

Go here to experience authentic island life, discover beautiful, unspoilt beaches with pink and white sand. Get to meet the locals, stroll around the island and experience its unspoilt natural beauty.

Trip back in time to Admiral Nelson’s stomping ground

Be sure to visit Nelson’s dockyard, too. A UNESCO World Heritage site, once home to British warships (and Horatio Nelson himself). The only Georgian naval dockyard in the world, this is an excellent spot to dive into the fascinating history of Antigua.

This fascinating historic monument with its ruined forts is well worth a visit and was declared a national park in the mid 1980s.

Enjoy a spa day at Galley Bay

Photo courtesy of Galley Bay Resort

Ideal for newly-weds and couples, Galley Bay is an adult-only resort located in St Johns, set on one of the numerous stunning Antiguan beaches, Galley Bay. This secret hideaway dates back to 1964 and offers luxury Caribbean hospitality and cuisine. Much of the architecture was carried out by the French old master Gauguin.

Photo courtesy of Galley Bay Resort

Deluxe spa treatments include therapeutic massage, body wraps, facials and beauty essentials. The perfect way to take five after a day discovering lively St John’s.

Note: The Galley Bay Resort Spa and Hotel is reopening on October 14th 2020.

Always wanted to try Antigua, but want some tips on where to stay? Get in touch with Camel Collection today and we can help.

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Perissa, Greece

Perissa Black Sand Beach, Perissa, Greece

Church Agios Spyridonas (St. Spiridon)

Church Agios Spyridonas (St. Spiridon)

Ammoudi Bay Fish Tavern

Ammoudi Bay Fish Tavern
Ammoudi Bay Fish Tavern

Prophet Elias Chapel

Prophet Elias, Thera, Greece

Santo Wines

Santo Wines, Pyrgos Kallistis, Greece
Santo Wines website

Best Things to Do in Santorini, Greece

When it comes to Greek Islands, Santorini has earned its reputation as one of the most stunningly stylish destinations around.

There are plenty of reasons to make Santorini your next top holiday destination. This volcanic island is quintessentially Greek in spirit and aesthetics.

Make sure you don’t forget your camera though, Santorini is probably one of the most photogenic places in the world. Around every single alleyway there are distinct whitewashed walls and far-reaching panoramic views to choose for your backdrop.

Best time to visit: May to October

About Santorini

Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, about halfway between mainland Greece and Crete. The island is formed around an underwater volcanic crater, known as a caldera. The island was shaped by an enormous volcanic eruption centuries ago, which is responsible for Santorini’s rugged, half-moon-shaped profile when viewed from above.

The group of islands consists of the main island of Santorini, Therasia and Aspronisi at the periphery, and the Kameni islands at the center.

The white, distinctive cubiform houses of the island’s two main towns, Fira and Oia, cover the cliff edges and adorn the mountainous landscape. Each place offering spectacular panoramas across the Mediterranean, with smaller islands to the west and dramatic beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles.

We’ve handpicked recommendations for the Best Things To Do in Santorini.

Relax on Perissa, the “Black Beach”

On the south coast of the island is Perissa beach. Famed for its striking black, volcanic sand shores. If you’re travelling during peak season in July and August, it’s likely the beach will be

This is where you’ll find the best beach bars and amenities dotted along the four-kilometre stretch from Perivolos. Tavernas and bars line the beach, with plenty of dining options to boot. There are also opportunities to rent jet skis and banana boats.

The beach is full of coves and hidden nooks, perfect for finding quiet spots to snorkel in.

If you’re looking for an ultra-family-friendly beach, head to Kamari, also known as the “Red Beach” for its reddish sand. Kamari is full of amenities for kids.

Take a photo outside that iconic blue-domed church at sunrise

If you’ve ever seen shots of Santorini before, chances are they were taken in front of the blue-domed church in Oia, to the northwest of Santorini. The stunning blue church of Santorini is an iconic feature of the island, famous for their Cycladic architecture and popping white-blue colour contrast.

Many people are surprised to discover that Santorini actually has numerous cobalt blue-domed churches to admire and appreciate. But the main postcard-filling churches are of Agios Spiridonas (Saint Spyridon) and Anasteseos (the Church of the Resurrection) are perhaps the most famous. Both are built at the edge of the cliffs alongside each other, with the azure from the Aegean providing the most majestic of vistas.

Do note, because this staggering site is the perfect photoshoot pitstop, it gets busy during peak season. To avoid having to queue for your turn, make the journey early in the morning. (You’ll thank us for the added filter of the golden light at sunrise).

Sample sumptuous seafood at the Ammoudi Bay Fish Tavern

On the north west coast of the island is Ammoudi, the charming port of Oia town in Santorini, a tiny settlement with just a few traditional buildings built around the natural bay. Often described as the most picturesque port on the island. The combination of rich red volcanic cliffs and dazzling blue water provides quite the vista.

Go to the Ammoudi Bay Fish Tavern on the waterfront for arguably the best seafood in Santorini. Try the traditional Greek octopus, freshly caught in the morning and baked in the Santorini sun in the afternoon.

Take the Caldera Trail Guided Hike at sunset

This three-hour hike takes you from Oia to Fera, across the varied island terrain, skirting along the rim of the caldera. This walk takes you through the villages of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia, with stunning views in every direction and plenty of photo opportunities.

Pass by beautiful churches and chapels on your way through, stopping off at the Prophet Elias chapels for a picnic and refreshments. No hiking experience needed, just be prepared to be blown away by the views.

There are several tour operators that can take you along this stretch if the island, but we recommend Trekking Hellas Cyclades, a licenced Greek travel agency that offers tours, activities, cruises and shore excursions in Santorini, organised by selected local tour operators.

Sample volcanic wine on a walking tour with Santo Wines

This local co-operative of wine makers and growers are tasked with preserving the island’s delicacies. The assyrtiko grape variety reigns here, which you can enjoy in white, organic, sparkling or rare vintage varieties.

Santo Wines produces the highest quality Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) Santorini wines as well as products, like the local fava beans, capers and the Santorini tomato.

The co-operative is committed to continuing local traditional grape cultivations and vines and promoting sustainable agriculture development. We recommend having the winery tour before the wine tasting. Just so you can appreciate the great lengths the co-operative go to uphold traditional winemaking techniques.

Sip delicious local wines and culinary delights on their vast terrace overlooking the caldera, with 365-degree balcony views.

Dreaming of Santorini but want some recommendations on where to stay? Get in touch with Camel Collection today and we can give you a hand.

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Oslo

Oslo, Norway

Preikestolen

Pulpit Rock
Preikestolen

Flåm

Flåm, Norway

Fløibanen

Fløibanen, Vetrlidsallmenningen 23A, 5014 Bergen, Norway
Floibanen ticket prices

Fjord Adventure from Oslo to Bergen, Norway

This trip takes you through the Western Norway coastline, seeing some of the greatest and most striking fjords the country has to offer.

Best time to visit: May to September

Ride the Oslo-Bergen Railway

The best place to start your trip? Norway’s distinctive capital, Oslo. There’s a lot to explore in the streets and sites previously roamed by Vikings. But it also makes for a great introduction to life and culture in Norway, before a week’s worth of exploring its landscape.

Experience Norway by rail with a trip on the Bergensbanen. The Bergen line, or Bergen railway is 371-kilometre’s long and connects Bergen to Hønefoss, just outside Oslo. There really is no better way to witness miles of breathtaking Norwegian landscapes, as the train weaves through lakes, rivers, waterfalls and rugged mountainous countryside.

This 300-mile train journey is often referred to as ‘Norway in a Nutshell’ as it offers a wide cross section of Norway’s natural surroundings. It’s not often you can witness bright ice-blue lakes, waterfalls, rolling green hills and snow-capped mountains on the same train journey. It’s a great way to travel with young children, who can dip in and out of the aesthetic appreciation and catch up on some sleep after a long journey.

Hike to Pulpit Rock, Preikestolen

Even if you’ve never been to Norway before, it’s likely you’ve seen photos of Pulpit rock. The flat, table-top platform sits at more than 604 metres above land, overlooking the Lysefjorden below. Only 25 by 25 metres across, the plateau can become busy during the summer.

Find this staggering naturally-formed viewing platform in Strand in Rogaland county, Norway. Experience Preikestolen from the Lyse fjord, on a guided sightseeing boat or car ferry. Hiking enthusiasts can enjoy a long trek up the mountain, stopping off to take in the captivating scenes, or for a quick cool-off in one of the many mountain streams along the way.

On a clear day, there’s no better viewpoint to experience panoramas of the western Norwegian countryside and landscape. The spot has been named one of the world’s most spectacular viewing points by Lonely Planet. It’s popular with proposing couples for this reason and is arguably one of the most famous tourist attractions in Ryfylke.

Make sure you check the weather before you head off and don’t leave too late in the day (to avoid a return hike in the dark). When it’s snowing or weather conditions are extreme, the trail can become hairy, so be prepared for a change of plan.

Enjoy a brief stroll in Flåm

The train will take you to Flåm, the picturesque hamlet tucked up within the mountains where you can get a ferry through the grand Songefjord to the city of Bergen.

The Sognefjord (nicknamed the ‘King of the Fjords’) is the largest and deepest (reaching a maximum depth of 1,308 metres) of them all. It’s one of the longest in the world, stretching for 127 miles. The best views of the entire ferry from Flåm to Bergen can be experienced in the first two-hours of the trip, where imposing mountains cinch the fjord in at parts, and tower over the fjord.

Ascend the Bergen Funicular for sweeping views

Stop off at the bustling seaside city of Bergen, a lively historic harbour town surrounded by not one or two, but seven mountains on all sides. Brightly coloured waterfront store fronts and houses characterise the port, where you can find designer shops sat alongside traditional, port-side restaurants.

The fish market is a real highlight, but not for the fainthearted seafood lover. Here you can try whale burgers, monkfish, smoked whale meat, sea urchins and live king crabs. (For land-based earthly delights, we recommend the reindeer sausage.)

After sampling the best the city has to offer, we’d recommend the Fløibanen funicular, one of Bergen’s better-known attractions. With the five to eight-minute journey to the top station offering far-reaching views over Bergen.

It’s more tourist-heavy than other parts, but you can understand why. The views overlooking the fjord are unparalleled. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to expend some energy, purchase a one-way ticket and you can hike the rest of the journey down, taking in the views.

If you aren’t travelling with kids and you can wait until the evening, do so! Most of the locally docked cruise ships have left town by this point, the funicular is less crowded, and you can enjoy the city views at sunset on your descent.

If you’re travelling in May, know that this is Bergen’s festival season, so queues may be a little longer than normal. One of the best things about Bergen is that it serves as a gateway to some of Norway’s most famous and spectacular fjords.

Fancy a trip to Norway but not sure where to begin? Get in touch with Camel Collection today for tips and recommendations.

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