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Holidays Get into the Christmas Spirit Christmas markets and unforgettable family trips to Lapland

Aurora Borealis an amazing natural phenomena The perfect year to go in search of the Northern Lights

Gambia the smiling face of Africa Winter sunshine with a difference


Welcome

Welcome to the first edition of Holidays Magazine. New for November we bring you the latest holidays news, inside knowledge on the best destinations and the best holidays.

lights light up the arctic skies above the arctic circle and what better place to witness this than from the comfort of a Hurtigruten ship?

Christmas is rapidly approaching and what better way to banish those dark evening blues than to embrace the spirit of Christmas with a trip to some of Europe’s best Christmas Markets or how about a magical visit to Lapland to see Santa’s elves at work?

The promise of warmth & sunshine is always welcome during dark winter days. Why not try a new destination such as Sri Lanka or Gambia for balmy temperatures, unspoilt landscapes & rich culture?

A voyage on Norway’s Hurtigruten offers the opportunity to view first hand one of nature’s most unique phenomenon. In perfect weather conditions, the Aurora Borealis or Northern

5 Great Reasons to book with your local independent travel agent:

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So read on and enjoy

Kind regards The Holidays Magazine Team

2. Unbeatable Value We have access to the best rates for cruises, hotels, flights, tours and transfers – we can save you hundreds or even thousands of pounds off your next holiday.

1. Holiday Specialists

3. Deal ++

Travel is our area of expertise, it’s what we love to do! We’ll find you your dream holiday, whether it’s a sunshine escape or a once-in-alifetime adventure.

We’re determined to cram your holiday with even more value – from FREE upgrades, airport parking, room upgrades and excursions to FREE nights.

4. We Love Our Customers We’d love you to chat to us about where you want to travel to next, so give us a call and we’ll be delighted to help.

5. Your £££ Is Safe With Us Your money is secure when you book with us.


Features 2-3 Welcome and Holiday News

Every issue we look at the latest holiday news worldwide – keep your eyes peeled.

4-5 Hurtigruten Northern Lights The perfect year to go in search of the Northern Lights.

6 Magical Lapland Our own Christmas Elf visits Santa’s Post Office.

7 Christmas markets

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Twinkling lights, the scent of fir trees & tempting cinnamon treats - discover the delights of Europe’s Christmas Markets.

8 Festive UK break Great entertainment and spa facilities within easy reach of home.

9 Winter Skiing

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Amazing ski offers from Club Med.

10 European Wonders Luxury river cruising on some of Europe’s most romantic rivers.

11 Classic Croatia

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This unspoilt Adriatic Coast is stunning and well worth exploring.

12-13 Long Haul wonders Venture further a field for some well earned winter sunshine.

14-15 Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors & Pandas

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China, home to amazing sights & some of world’s great wonders - truly the trip of a lifetime.

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Holiday News NASA scientists predict a solar peak that will boost the chances of witnessing the Northern Lights this December. Governed by an 11 year solar cycle, activity is expected to reach its peak, affording travellers above the Arctic Circle the best opportunity for strong sightings of the Aurora borealis.

according to research conducted by ABTA. The study of over 2000 British adults found senior travellers are most likely to book a package, closely followed by families with young children. Consumers stated that convenience, value and time saving benefits were the main factors.

Spain and Sri Lanka have emerged as the best-value destinations for 2013, with Australia and South Korea coming bottom of a list of the world’s leading holiday hotspots. Nine years after the tsunami, Sri Lanka’s eastern coastline a 250-mile chain of white beaches is being reconstructed and gradually re-emerging as the new frontier for tropical travel

Take a grand tour! Escorted trips are the best. According to Caroline Hendry of The Mail, an escorted tour gives the best of both worlds. You see lots of fascinating new places in one holiday and if you have a special interest, such as trains, photography, gardens or gastronomy, then it is the perfect way to share your enthusiasm with like-minded people. In her article, Hendry goes on to give her top picks for an adventurous escorted tour, citing our very own Wendy Wu China tour as one of the best.

It seems that, for many British travellers, the package holiday is still in rude health. Almost one in two UK adults who booked an overseas break in the last year did so via a traditional package deal through a recognised operator

Terms & Conditions: All prices are correct on the date of print. Prices are ‘from’, per person, based on two people sharing the stated accommodation on the marked* departure date, and are subject to availability. Hotel ratings are based on local standards, subject to availability and may change at any time without prior notice. Inclusive transfers may be on a shared basis. Flights are based on UK departures which vary depending upon departure date, in economy class and are subject to change. Regional departures may be available for a supplement. Excursions are as stated, subject to availability and may change at any time without prior notice. Free upgrades are as stated, subject to availability, based on two sharing the accommodation and may be withdrawn at any time. Itineraries may operate in reverse. Deposit only at time of booking on selected dates. Operator terms and conditions apply.

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Experience the Northern Lights

Fantastic Northern Lights to reach their peak in the next 12 months, says NASA space scientists. In a recent survey by the Passenger Shipping Association, the Northern Lights was voted the natural phenomenon that passengers would most like to view from a cruise ship. Northern Norway is directly under the zone of maximum activity and is hence an ideal place to experience this great natural light show at its best. An Arctic Highlights voyage with Hurtigruten spends its entirety within the Arctic Circle which provides you with the best opportunity to experience the northern Lights and to take part in some fantastic optional winter excursions!

But what exactly are the Northern Lights? According to space scientists, the Sun’s current cycle of activity will peak this autumn, so the opportunities for seeing the northern lights in late 2013 and early 2014 should be the best for over a decade. Aurora or Northern Lights are a phenomenon of the Earth’s upper atmosphere, sparked by streams of atomic particles from the Sun. Funneled downwards by the Earth’s magnetic field, the solar particles cascade onto the atmosphere in a ring around the poles, making it glow with dancing veils of light.

Snow Hotel Excursion A short drive through Kirkenes brings you to the Gabba Reindeer Park where the Snow Hotel is situated. A guided tour of the beautifully decorated snow suites is followed by a drink in Norway’s largest ice bar and a visit to the reindeer park. This is a really fantastic way to experience and explore something very unique on your holiday, providing you with those special memories that stay with you forever.

Optimum Viewing Conditions Cloud and light pollution can limit viewing of nature’s own firework display going on in the Arctic sky. Whilst you can’t do anything about the weather, a Hurtigruten ship offers the perfect location as the majority of the time we’re away from artificial light

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Ts & Cs: Prices are ‘from’, per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing an Inclusive transfers may be on a shared basis. Flights are based on UK departures which vary upon departure date, are in economy class and are subject to change. FREE Snow Hotel Excursion is only available only and is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Northern lights sightings are not guaranteed. *Ms Nordlys ship may vary depending on voyage departure. Deposit only at time of booking on selected dates.


Deal

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Departs 13 Feb; 4, 18*, 23* Mar 2014

5 nights from * £1,099pp 2 nights Radisson Blu hotel in TromsØ

Snow Hotel + FREE excursion

airport + Regional departures

Winter is perhaps the most special time to explore the wild and untamed Norwegian scenery. The landscape is covered in virgin snow and the air is fresh, pure and crisp. Clusters of cosy houses glow on the shores like embers and the stunning backdrop of snow-clad mountains reflects the polar twilight. MS Nordlys’ art, décor and colours are all inspired by the Northern Lights phenomenon. With her light and delicate interior, Norwegian artists have created a unique and distinct environment on board. Passengers are encouraged to relax in the ship’s elegant maritime atmosphere, panorama lounges and comfortable reclining chairs. Enjoy the stunning scenery.

Itinerary: Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6

Fly direct UK > TromsØ (Norway). Transfer to hotel. 1 night Radisson Blu hotel Embark M/S Nordlys (TromsØ, Norway) Northern Lights experience. Kirkenes (Norway) Snow Hotel excursion* - Reindeer park, Snow Hotel tour and ice bar experience Northern Lights experience Disembark M/S Nordlys (TromsØ, Norway). Transfer to hotel. 1 night Radisson Blu hotel Transfer to airport. Fly direct TromsØ (Norway) > UK

Cabin type

Inside Outside

What’s included:

What’s on board:

- Regional airport departures - 2 nights Radisson Blu Hotel in TromsØ on a bed and breakfast basis - 3 nights half board on board M/S Nordlys - FREE Snow Hotel excursion* - Direct return flights from the UK - All overseas transfers

- Lounge - Library - Cafe - Restaurant - Bar

Prices from pp £1,099pp*

£1,199pp

*Book by 31st December 2013 & receive FREE Snow Hotel excursion 5


Magical Lapland Departs throughout Nov & Dec

0 Save £12 ly on per fami nd any Lapla Holiday*

Reindeer Sleigh Ride

Meeting with Gift from Father + Private + Father Christmas Christmas

Imagine a land of Reindeers & Husky dogs, of magical snow, log fires & elves in their workshop, all overseen by Mrs Claus. Our very own Christmas Elf travelled to Lapland with his family, here is his report. The Christmas fun started as soon as we boarded our flight with a Christmas film, themed activity books & even christmas carols. It was an absolute joy to watch the childrens’ faces & excitement when they saw the snow for the first time.

Reindeer Sleigh Ride & much more

The next morning, wrapped up in snow suits and boots, we met for the morning’s activities: a husky dog ride, a Reindeer sleigh ride, driving a snowmobile and sliding down hills in a toboggan! Warm berry juice around open fires kept up our energy levels. After lunch we went on a couple of optional excursions: a visit to the husky farm, with adorable new puppies and a magical moonlit sleigh ride on a frozen lake, wrapped up in blankets and pulled by a team of yelping huskies. Carol singing around a log fire after dinner marked the end to the perfect day.

Santa’s Post Office

With the morning to ourselves, we enjoyed a relaxed breakfast and strolled round souvenir shops in the village, built a snowman and rode the hotel’s toboggans. Santa’s post office was the highlight of our afternoon. Lit up by fairy lights, elves running around, Mrs Claus going to and fro and even Santa’s Reindeer where there! The children were beside themselves: an elf sleeping in his bedroom; elves hard at work in the workshop and the chance to decorate cookies in the Elf bakery. Back at our hotel we enjoyed a traditional Christmas dinner and a visit from Santa with a sack full of presents for everyone! Our final day and a couple of hours to ourselves to play in the snow before our transfer back to the airport and home. An unforgettable trip for every member of the family!

Santas Tinsel Trail - Call your local travel agent for up-to date prices

Itinerary: Day 1 Fly Uk > Kittila. Check-in & welcome drink Day 2 Tinsel Trail & mini Lapland games, tandem skiing & Lasso throwing, Tobogganing, Reindeer sleigh, husky dog sled, snowmobile ride Day 3 Tinsel trail to find Santa’s magic Workshop, visit Santa’s post office, cookie decorating in the Elf bakery, guided tour of Elf’s bakery, Christmas gala feast, evening disco Day 4 Check out. Fly Kittila > UK Ts & Cs Book by 31 November 2013 to receive £30 off per person. £120 per family offer based on family of 4 travelling.

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Brussels Christmas Markets

2 nights 4* Brussels hotel Departs 02 Dec 2013

Ref: 3mbbv

Enjoy the grandeur of the Grand Place in Brussels where the Christmas Market offers a fine selection of festive gifts. Includes local coach departure and onward travel to Brussels for 2 nights in a 4* hotel, 1 day in Brussels & a visit to Bruges before returning home.

Itinerary: Depart UK by coach > Belgium (France) transfer to hotel for 2 night stay - Brussels Christmas market - Bruges medieval city - Bruges > UK Type

Prices from pp

Silver service

£199pp

Single room supplement

£52pp

2 nights from £199pp

4* Dusseldorf & Cologne 3 nights 4* Germany hotel Departs 10 Dec 2013

Ref: 4mgd

Explore the festive stalls and go shopping in the elegant boutiques of the great Rhineland cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf. Includes local coach departure and onward travel to Dusseldorf for 3 nights in a 4* hotel. Enjoy 1 day in Düsseldorf and 1 day in Cologne before returning home.

Itinerary: Depart UK by coach > Dusseldorf (Germany) - Dusseldorf; christmas markets - Cologne; Christmas markets & Cathedral - Depart Cologne by coach > UK Type

Prices from pp

Silver service

£269pp

Single room supplement

£69pp

3 nights from £269pp

Romantic Paris 3 nights, 2* Paris hotel

Departs 30 Dec 2013

Ref: 4yff

Explore the charm of the French capital at this most special time of year, when many of the squares and boulevards play host to quaint Christmas Market stalls. Includes local coach departure and onward travel to Paris for 3 nights in a 2* hotel. Enjoy 2 full days in Paris exploring Christmas markets with an optional sightseeing tour and a Seine River Cruise before returning home. Includes breakfast.

Itinerary:

Depart UK by coach > Paris (France) - Central Paris; Guided Sightseeing Tour (optional) - Central Paris; River Seine Cruise (optional) - Transfer to Calais > UK Type

Prices from pp

Executive coach

£219pp

Single room supplement

£69pp

3 nights from £219pp

T&C Please refer back to terms and conditions on page 3

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Turkey and Tinsel Break, Suffolk

Deal

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Departs 02 Dec 2013

4 nights from £175pp

+ Traditional Christmas dinner

Half Board Break

+ Festive Entertainment

A Warner festive break is like no other. On top of the fantastic locations, great food and lovely rooms you expect on any Warner break all year round, there are so many special Christmas activities that set them apart. You can enjoy the whole Festive Season in one go. Stunning sea views, lively entertainment and comfy chalets, this is what Corton’s all about. If you’re looking for that extra touch of luxury by the sea, stay in one of the modern Clifftop Lodge Rooms - unique to the UK and exclusively designed for Warner. Check out the brand new games lawn, or relax and enjoy a hot drink in the Clyffetop Conservatory. Corton is a coastal village not to be missed this winter.

Itinerary:

What’s included:

Day 1

Arrive at Corton Coastal Village, Suffolk to a warm welcome from the Christmas team. Enjoy a 3 course dinner followed by live entertainment. Day 2-4 Take advantage of the fantastic facilities: indoor heated pool, archery and crazy golf or enjoy a stroll in local Lowestoft. After your 3 course evening meal let the entertainment team get you into the Festive spirit with their wonderful shows. Day 5 What better way to finish your stay than with a farewell from the Entertainment team.

Type

Beach Garden Chalet

Prices from pp £175pp

T&C Prices is per person per break based on 2 adults sharing a Beach Garden Chalet at Corton Coastal Village, Suffolk on 2 December 2013 for 4 nights. Prices are subject to promotional availability and may change at any time. All persons in booking must be 21 years of age or over. Warner Leisure Hotels brochure terms and conditions apply.

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4 nights at Corton Coastal Village, Suffolk Full English or Continental breakfast 3 course evening meal Traditional Christmas dinner Dick Whittington pantomime Christmas Carol sing-a-long concert No kids!


French Alps Spectacular 7 nights from £1,009pp Departs 30 Mar 2014

Client : CLUB MED LOGO CLUB MED QUADRI Date : 18/02/05 Responsable : ELIE HASBANI

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7 nights from £1,009pp

5 full days Ski/snowboard tuition

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6 day lift pass

+

Full board, drinks and snacks

This fine resort sits on the slopes basking in the sun of the Southern Alps. A great starting point for fabulous downhill runs, Les Deux Alpes welcomes winter sports fans to revel in an exceptional ski domain overlooked by the Meije Glacier, a symbol of this Alpine region. Type

Prices from pp

Club Room

£1,009pp

Deluxe Room

£1,225pp

Book early & only pay a deposit today

Itinerary:

Fly UK > Grenoble- St-Geoirs (France) - Coach transfer to hotel for 7 nights - Skiing lessons for 5 days - 1 day Skiing without lessons - Transfer to airport- Fly Grenoble- St-Geoirs (France) > UK

Italian Winter Sport 7 nights from £1,125pp Departs 09 Feb 2013

Client : CLUB MED LOGO CLUB MED QUADRI Date : 18/02/05 Responsable : ELIE HASBANI

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7 nights from £1,125pp

5 full days Ski/snowboard tuition

+ 6 day lift pass

board, drinks + Full and snacks

In the shadow of the towering Alps, Cervinia draws its inspiration from the past glories of the mountaineers who scaled the legendary Mount Cervino, and forms part of a magnificent panorama. Type

Prices from pp

Club room Deluxe room Suite

£1,125pp £1,359pp £1,665pp

Itinerary:

Fly UK > Turin (Italy) - Coach transfer to hotel for 7 nights - Skiing lessons for 5 days - 1 day Skiing without lessons Transfer to airport - Fly Turin (Italy) > UK

Book early & only pay a deposit today T&C Please refer back to terms and conditions on page 3

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Romantic Rhine

7 nights from £1,975pp Departs 20 Jun 2014

7 nights cruising on the Rhine includes a Captain’s Reception with the services of a Cruise Director, excursions, LHR flights with BA and private home pick up service. Legendary river cruises. Inspired design.

Itinerary:

Fly UK > Amsterdam - Embark cruise ship for 7 nights - Amsterdam Cologne - Koblenz - Rhine Gorge - Rüdesheim - Excursions to Mainz & Heidelberg - Strasbourg (Germany) - Breisach - (Germany) - Basel (Switzerland) - Zurich - Disembark - Fly Zurich > UK Type

Prices from pp

Standard Cabin

£1,975pp

7 nights from £1,975pp

Offer ends 19 Nov 2013

Capitals of Central Europe

11 nights from £2,135pp Departs 31 Mar 2014

7 nights cruising through the wonderful capitals of Europe with 2 nights in Budapest and 2 nights in Prague. Includes excursions, LHR flights with BA and private home pick up service.

Itinerary:

Legendary river cruises. Inspired design.

SM

Fly UK > Budapest (Hungary) - Transfer to hotel for 2 nights - Embark cruise ship for 7 nights - Bratislava (Slovakia) - Vienna - Melk–Krems - Grein - Melk–Krems (Austria) - Greim–Linz (Austria) - Linz (Austria) - Passau (Austria) - Prague (Czech Republic) - Disembark. Transfer to hotel for 2 nights - Fly Prague > UK Type

Prices from pp

Standard Cabin

£2,135pp Offer ends 19 Nov 2013

11 nights from £2,135pp

Perfect Paris 10 nights from £2,130pp

Departs 24 Mar 2014 7 nights cruising on the RhÔne with 1 night in Monte Carlo and 2 nights in Paris. All on board meals with waiter service, includes excursions, LHR flights with BA and private home pick up service.

Itinerary:

Legendary river cruises. Inspired design.

Fly UK > Monte Carlo (Monaco) - Transfer to Côte d’Azur (France) - Embark cruise ship for 7 nights - Arles - Camargue Region - Avignon Viviers -Tournon/Tain l’Hermitage - Vienne - Lyon - Mâcon - Tournus Chalon-sur-Saône - Beaune–Dijon - Paris - Disembark. Transfer to hotel for 2 nights - Fly Paris > UK Type

Prices from pp

Standard Cabin

£2,130pp Offer ends 19 Nov 2013 T&C Please refer back to terms and conditions on page 3

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10 nights from £2,130pp

SM

SM


Classic Croatia

Deal

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Departs 6 May* 2014 , 30 Sep 2014 , 7 Oct 2014

9 nights from * £1,295pp

+

FREE VIP home departure service

FREE Check-in & porterage service

+

FREE City tours & excursions

Fast growing in popularity as a holiday destination, now is the perfect time to discover the Mediterranean paradise of Croatia. Its coastline is one of the most attractive in the world, ruggedly beautiful beaches overlooking more than 1,000 gem-like islands set in the waters of the Adriatic, which change from ultramarine to azure as they approach the shore. This outstanding highlights tour takes in the grand capital city, Zagreb, the stunning Plitvice Lakes and the royal resort town of Sibenik, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and includes a visit to the majestic, walled city of Dubrovnik, city tours & most meals.

Itinerary:

What’s included:

Day 1 Fly UK > Venice. Transfer to Opatija Opatija Day 2 Day 3 Zagreb Day 4 Zagreb Plitvice Lakes, Zadar Day 5 Zadar, Sibenik, Split Day 6 Split Day 7 Solin - Babin Kuk Day 8 Dubrovnik Day 9 Babin Kuk Day 10 Dubrovnik, Fly Dubrovnik > London

Type

Standard double

- 9 nights in 4*hotels - 16 Meals: 9 breakfasts and 7 dinners (breakfast on days 2-10 and dinner on days 1, 3 and 5-9) - Direct return flights from the UK - All overseas transfers - City tours & excursions

Prices from pp £1,295pp

Onlyearly pay a&deposit Book only paytoday! a deposit

T&C Please refer back to terms and conditions on page 3

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5* Sri Lanka Save up to £123pp

Departs 29, 30 Apr* & 6, 7, 28. May 2014

Enjoy the quiet surroundings of the recently refurbished Jetwing sea hotel, where inspiration comes direct from the sea. Revitalise with wondrous ocean views from the restaurants, rooms and even the edge of the two infinity pools.

Itinerary:

Fly from the UK > Bangkok - Arrive Colombo. Transfer to Jetwing Sea Hotel - spend 7 nights in Sri Lanka - Transfer to airport. Fly Colombo > UK Type

Prices from pp

7 nights from £799pp

Standard double £799pp bed and breakfast included Book early & pay a deposit today

5* Mauritius

Save up to £200pp Departs 16 Jan*, 10 Mar 2014

Brand new to the east coast of Mauritius, The Long Beach hotel sits amongst powdery white sands and a tropical lagoon and is the perfect combination of luxurious contemporary design and attractive, traditional Mauritian details.

Itinerary:

Fly from the UK > Mauritius - Transfer to hotel - spend 7 nights in Mauritius - Transfer to airport. Fly Mauritius > UK Type

Prices from pp

Standard double Bed and breakfast included

£1,699pp

7 nights from £1,699pp

4* Thailand Christmas break

Save up to £175pp Departs 22 Dec 2013

Cape Panwa hotel boasts one of the most perfect locations in Phuket, cascading down a hillside above a long secluded stretch of pure white sands. Enjoy great value for money here in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere, a long standing favourite of Kuoni guests.

Itinerary:

Fly from the UK > Bangkok - Arrive Bangkok - Fly > Phuket. Transfer to hotel (Phuket) - spend 7 nights in Thailand - Transfer to airport (Bangkok). Fly Bangkok > UK Type

Prices from pp

Standard double Full board included

£1,879pp

T&C Please refer back to terms and conditions on page 3

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10 nights from £1,879pp


4* Gambia

Deal

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Departs 22, 29 Nov, 6, 27 Dec 2013

7 nights from £697pp

+ Return Transfers

FREE room upgrade with standard double

+ Direct flights

The Gambia is the perfect, safe introduction to Africa, as well as the many attractions of the country and its people, it’s hard to find another winter sun destination that enables you to leave the cold of Britain on a winter’s morning and be at your hotel in 30°c sunshine by the afternoon. There are many more reasons to visit The Gambia: travel to rural villages to watch palmwine tappers; drive through the African bush to hear the monkeys chattering and watch flocks of colourful birds fly overhead. The Ocean Bay sits within beautiful gardens in a beachfront setting. This popular hotel offers a good range of facilities, and is a great choice for families or couples looking to simply relax and enjoy the Gambian sunshine.

Itinerary:

What’s included:

Day 1 Day 2-7

- 7 nights 4* Ocean Bay Hotel - Return direct flights LGW – Banjul with Monarch - Includes 20kg luggage and resort transfers - FREE room upgrade from standard to Deluxe - BB - Daytime activities - Wi-Fi in public areas - Hacienda Restaurant - Ocean Clipper Restaurant - Regional departures available from Manchester and Birmingham

Day 8

Type

Fly direct LGW > Banjul (The Gambia) Relax at Ocean Bay hotel in The Gambia 6 nights. The Ocean Bay Hotel Surround yourself with tropical beauty and lavish yourself with personalized service as warm as a gentle Ocean breeze during your stay at the Ocean Bay Hotel & Resort. Swim, sail, play tennis or relax and sip a tropical drink on the soft sands of the wave-washed beach or in the cooling large-sized freshwater pool. Check out. Fly Direct Banjul (The Gambia) > LGW

Prices from pp

Standard double Deluxe double

£697pp

FREE UPGRADE

All- inclusive light supplement £30pp per night Only pay a deposit today! T&C Free upgrade to Deluxe double with any standard double booked. Full T&C’s on page 3

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The Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors & Pandas

China is home to amazing sights and wonders of the world. To explore the Forbidden City, walk on the Great Wall, sail the Yangtze River, see giant pandas or stand face-to-face with the Terracotta Warriors is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream. Yet, these fascinating experiences could be just the start of an amazing journey across one of the world’s largest countries. Expect lands of contrast, unique and compelling landscapes, incredible history, heritage and culture – all quite unlike anything you might have imagined.

A land of diversity

Off the beaten track

With over 5,000 years of history, China has much to intrigue the inquisitive traveller – the natural and cultural heritage is second to none. Experience incredible contrasts where Ancient China meets the modern world. Home of the endangered giant panda, China has over forty UNESCO listed World Heritage Sites, dramatic natural wonders, colourful religious ceremonies and varied cuisine. Witness how the way of life changes as you travel between the regions of China and beyond, and discover what makes Asia the most captivating continent on the planet.

With so much to discover, dig deeper into the regional cultures, cuisines, landscapes and heritage of China. With natural beauty that has to be seen to be believed, China is home to the alpine forests and clear blue lakes of the Nine Villages Valley, the famous ‘Avatar Mountains’ of Zhangjiajie. For those with an inquisitive palate, China boasts a fantastic array of food with many regional specialities. Journey through beautiful Yunnan Province and lose yourself in the Stone Forest of Kunming, meander through the cobbled streets of Dali and Lijiang, witness the dramatic Tiger Leaping Gorge and breathtaking Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Highlights of China For the classic sights, the Golden Triangle of Beijing, Shanghai and Xian are hard to beat. Walk the Great Wall of China, photograph historic sites from the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing, stand in awe before the Terracotta Warriors and visit the ancient city walls of Xian. Shanghai provides fascinating contrasts, with its futuristic skyline and lively social scene it is the epitome of a modern and dynamic Asian city; whilst nature lovers can explore the beautiful landscape of craggy limestone peaks along the Li River in Guilin or visit Chengdu’s famous giant pandas.

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Wildlife Arguably the world’s best-loved endangered species, the panda is a symbol of conservation efforts worldwide. A short trip takes visitors to one of the Sichuan’s leading panda conservation centres, and offers the opportunity to get involved in some of the work involved in caring for these endearing creatures. Based in the regional capital of Chengdu, their are several other fascinating locations in the area, including the Giant Buddha of Leshan.


Deal

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Departs 10, 24, 31 May* & 2 July 2014

9 nights from * £2,190pp

+

FREE Panda Conservation experience

FREE Chinese Acrobat Show

+

FREE Tang Dynasty dancing show

This special Group Tour takes visitors to discover some of the most impressive historical, cultural and natural sights of China, including the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Terracotta Warriors of Xian. Visit the Panda Conservation Centre in Chengdu for the unique chance to spend a short time supporting the Panda Conservation Centre’s work in protecting these endangered creatures. You could help to feed the pandas fresh bamboo and natural foods, or lend a hand with washing the pandas with cool water (during main summer months only). £20 donation to the World Wildlife Fund with every booking.

Itinerary: Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10

Type Standard

What’s included:

Fly UK > Beijing (China) overnight Arrive Beijing. Transfer to hotel for a 1 night stay Tiananmen Square, Chairman Mao’s Mausoleum, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven Great Wall of China, Tour the exquisite Summer Palace, Chinese Acrobat show Fly to Xian, Ancient City Walls. Tang Dynasty dancing Terracotta Warriors, Later fly to Chengdu Grand Buddha of Leshan Panda Conservation Centre. Later, stroll along the ancient Jinli Street Fly Chengdu > UK. Overnight Arrive UK

- FREE Panda Conservation experience - 9 days exploring China’s unique culture and tasting some of their finest local foods. - FREE Chinese Acrobat Show - All meals - Accommodation throughout - Touring with guides and entrance fees - Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders - Return flights from the UK - All overseas transfers

Prices from pp £2,190pp

Single room option from £260pp T&C Please refer back to terms and conditions on page 3

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Holidays 5 Great Reasons to book with your local independent travel agent: 1. Holidays Specialists

4. We Love Our Customers

2. Unbeatable value

3. Deal ++

5. Your £££ Is Safe With Us

For these and other great offers contact us, your local independent travel agent

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Holidays Magazine November 2013