Let’s talk about LAPLAND

Many people have the Northern Lights on their bucket lists, and Lapland is the ideal place to view them. No light pollution, clear skies and lots of open countryside to experience one of nature’s wonders. Lapland is not just for winter breaks, there’s lots of nature to explore during the summer as well.

More than just the Lights – Endless forests of pine, snow covered fells and peaceful lakeside villages, Swedish Lapland offers the ultimate wilderness getaway.

You can stay in guesthouses, log cabins or the Ice Hotel.

Northern Sweden is widely considered one of the last remaining wilderness’ on earth, and the further north you travel the more isolated the towns become. The Bothnian Coast, stretching to the border with Finland in the north is dominated by historic towns and villages. The town of Lulea is one such town and through history has been the centre for development and commerce in the region.

Surrounding Luleå an archipelago of 800 islands waits to be discovered. Renowned for its picturesque fishing communities, forest covered islets and wealth of birds, wildlife and flora the archipelago is a delight for any nature lover and, it waters play host to a wealth of excursions all year round – boat, canoe, hovercraft and snowmobile tours.

At 200km north of the Arctic Circle, sits the town of Kiruna. Although the town itself retains an industrial feel, the surrounding countryside is spectacular. Within a short drive, visitors are able to explore the Abisko National Park – home to a large Sámi population and the site of Sweden’s highest peak, Kebnekaise (2104m).

The ICEHOTEL is located 17km from Kiruna in Jukkasjärvi and a visit to this world-famous site should not be missed. First opened in 1990, the Jukkasjärvi ICEHOTEL was the first hotel entirely constructed of ice, and continues to be erected each year. It is a artistic installation that cannot fail but to impress and mesmerise visitors and guests. For 2016/17 the ICEHOTEL will launch a new concept. Whereas the hotel has in previous years melted out of existence as the winter has turned to spring, the ICEHOTEL will now offer the chance to experience sleeping at sub-zero temperatures year-round! There is no other place in the world where you can experience the Midnight Sun and winter on the same holiday.

Norwegian Lapland is more associated with a certain person especially in December! Lots of children visit, with parents to meet the great man and discuss their Christmas lists with him. Again, a short holiday to meet Father Christmas can involve lots of activities such as toboganning, sleigh rides, snowmobiles and more. Over New Year, activities more suited to adults and older children take over. Short breaks and day trips available for these trips.

For holidays to any of these locations, just call Olein on 01252 519669 or email olein@diamondtravel.gtmail.co.uk

Diamond Travel, agency ref S0466. We act as The Global Travel Group Ltd in connection with the sale of travel products. Unless specified as the operator, The Global Travel Group Ltd is the agent of ATOL Protected Tour Operators and other principals.

World Penguin Day

Today is World Penguin Day, who doesn’t love these cute creatures. However where can you go and see them in their natural habitat?
The first answer most people give is the obvious one – Antarctica. You can’t stay there but can visit as part of an expedition or discovery type cruise. Often starting in Ushuaia in Argentina and presenting so many opportunities for some fantastic photography – these cruischinstrap-penguin-e834b5062a_1920es are a great way to explore the continent and interact with penguins in both the Falkland Islands and Antarctica.

The Galapagos Islands are another place that are home to penguins. Another destination rich in natural wonders and unique species. You can get to the islands by boat or plane, often combined with a trip to Peru to see Machu Picchu or to experience the wildlife in the Amazon.

If your idea of a good holiday doesn’t involve so many boats – then you should consider seeing penguins in Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia or South Africa. From October to March, large colonies of penguins can be seen in Patagonia, which is a region shared by Argentina and Chile.

New Zealand is home to 3 species of penguin, including the world’s smallest – the korora or little blue penguin. All located on South Island – probably the location in the world where you can have the most adventures, from bungee jumping to heli-ski-ing. Queenstown alone gets 2 million visitors a year seeking thrills (resident population 300,000!)

In Australia, penguins can be found on Phillip Island. www.visitmelbournking-penguin-ea37b7082c_1920e.com says “The daily parade of little penguins draws thousands of visitors from around the globe every year. Line the observation boardwalks at Phillip Island Nature Park at dusk to see them race up Summerland Beach to their burrows. Bring warm clothing year-round, as the nights on the beach can be cool.” Not far from the cosmopolitan and lively city of Melbourne, this is an ideal side trip if you’re visiting here.

Finally South Africa, again like Australia, locations are close to a big city. Here it’s Cape Town, a very popular city with UK travellers (I’ve done lots of long weekend city breaks to here!) Boulders Beach is the place to go and it’s protected under the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, so safe and clean

For holidays to any of these locations, just call Olein on 01252 519669 or email olein@diamondtravel.gtmail.co.uk

Diamond Travel, agency ref S0466. We act as The Global Travel Group Ltd in connection with the sale of travel products. Unless specified as the operator, The Global Travel Group Ltd is the agent of ATOL Protected Tour Operators and other principals.  (NB the photos are random pictures of penguins and don’t represent the species you’d find in the adjacent text!)

 

India – day one!

Mark Twain wrote: “India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition.” It is a country of over 1.2 billion people, and the seventh largest country in the world by area. So it has a lot to live up to when tourists visit!!

I must admit, it wasn’t that high on my bucket list, but when I was asked to visit there with other travel agents to see for myself what it is like as a tourist – I jumped at the chance. Now I’ve been, I want to go back again to see in full some things that we sped through or skipped due to time restrictions and I want to see more.

The trip I did was only 7 days but we packed a lot in, so this piece will only deal with the first couple of days. Our hotel for the first night was the Trident Gurgaon, lovely hotel with good facilities and a lot of space for a hotel so close to the city. It’s located next to its sister hotel, the Oberoi.oberoi-gurgaon Both hotels have large pools, not for swimmers which adds to the appearance of space. On our first day, we lunched at the Oberoi Maidens – a Heritage Hotel, with lots of glimpses to how India was during the British Raj. cavalry-bar-oberoi-maidens

Delhi is huge (573 square miles) and the traffic is constantly busy. However it’s worth persevering to see the sights. For example, the India Gate is popular for picnics and gatherings of locals after work. Gandhi doesn’t have a tomb, his ashes were scattered in various places around India. His monument is a very peaceful area and full of respect.

My recommendation is to stay in the city, Gurgaon is a little far out for sightseeing in Delhi itself. I’d suggest a hotel near Connaught Place if you’re staying a few days, to explore the city. My other recommendation is that you use the services of a guide, relatively inexpensive, but essential to guide you through this massive city.

Diamond Travel, agency ref S0466.  We act as The Global Travel Group Ltd in connection with the sale of travel products.  Unless specified as the operator, The Global Travel Group Ltd is the agent of ATOL Protected Tour Operators and other principals.

Contact us on 01252 519669 or email olein@diamondtravel.ltd.uk for more information or to book your next holiday to India (or elsewhere)

Christmas is coming soon

Where will you spend it?  In front of the TV with a box of Quality Street?  Why not do something different this year?  I’ve got various UK Christmas breaks available.  This is just an example in Chester

christmas-in-chester

Diamond Travel acts as The Global Travel Group Ltd in connection with the sale of travel products.  Unless specified as the operator, The Global Travel Group Ltd is the agent of ATOL Protected Tour Operators and other principals.

All quoted subject to availability at the time of booking.

3 nights at 5 star Viceroy Palm Jumeirah

A brand new hotel, opening in 2017, this is perfectly placed on the trunk of the famous Jumeirah Palm in Dubai.  The hotel will have some great facilities, including 3 restaurants, a cafe, patisserie, 4 bars and a nightclub.  As well as the beach, there are 3 pools, an indoor gym and spa facilities.  There is a beach club with water sports.

The location is so convenient for getting around Dubai.  Close to the monorail that takes you to Atlantis for the Waterpark and close to the Metro to get you to the shops and sights of Dubai.  Direct flights to Dubai operate from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Newcastle.

viceroy-dubai

For more details and other hotels in Dubai and across the world, just call us on 01252 519669

We act as The Global Travel Group Ltd in connection with the sale of travel products.  Unless specified as the operator, The Global Travel Group Ltd is the agent of ATOL Protected Tour Operators.  All prices quoted subject to availability at the time of booking

Christmas shopping time

Time to empty your suitcases and head for the Big Apple.  New York isn’t just about shopping however.

  • Go ice-skating in various venues in New York – from Central Park to the famous Rockefeller Center.
  • Just south of Times Square is Bryant Park, with its Winter Village – ice-skating, shopping, food and more
  • Go to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in the Rockefeller Center.  This has been running since 1933 and is a New York tradition.  Tickets start at $49
  • Window shop along Fifth Avenue with the fabulous Christmas-themed displays

And then there;’s the shopping – with Christmas markets, and department stores all looking for you to spend your well-earned dollars!

nyc-shopping

The prices here are based on 2 people sharing a room and departing from Heathrow on Thursday 1 December, for 4 nights.  Staying at the Hampton Inn Ridgefield Park, about 10 miles from Times Square.  Far enough away to get a good hotel price and close enough to enjoy New York City!

Other US cities that are full of the Christmas spirit include Boston and Chicago.  If you’d like to visit any of these, just call or email!

Diamond Travel, agency ref S0466 acts as The Global Travel Group Ltd in connection with the sale of travel products.  Unless specified as the operator, The Global Travel Group Ltd is the agent of ATOL Protected Tour Operators and other principals.

Dubai offer – including new parks

This is a great offer.  The new theme parks open soon in Dubai and promise to be fantastic.  There’s something for everyone.  So call me now to book

Diamond Travel, agency ref S0466.  We act as The Global Travel Group Ltd in connection with the sale of travel products.  Unless specified as the operator, The Global Travel Group Ltd is the agent of ATOL Protected Tour Operators and other principals.  All holidays quoted subject to availability at the time of booking

dubai-13-10-16