Travel agenda: From skating in the Italian Dolomites to wine tours in Turkey

Thomson Cruises has an excellent option for the last two weeks of November: sail from Malaga to Barbados for £900

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The Independent Travel

1 Skate off

New winter options from Exodus include a skating course in the Italian Dolomites, starting in January and based in the scenic village of Versciaco di Spore. Prices from £1,229pp for eight days include flights, accommodation, all breakfasts, most dinners and instruction. (

2 Sail away

Thomson Cruises has an excellent option for the last two weeks of November: sail from Malaga to Barbados for £900, including flights to/from Gatwick and all meals on board. Ports of call include Gibraltar, Tenerife, Sint Maarten and Dominica. (

3. Class act

First-class passengers on Cathay Pacific’s five daily flights between Heathrow and Hong Kong between September and December will dine on dishes created by the star chefs of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Dishes are “seasonally inspired and use quality organic ingredients”. (

4. Classic Rhine

Martin Randall Travel is organising eight private concerts “in beautiful and appropriate historic buildings” along the Rhine as part of The Rhine Valley Music Festival tour departing 20 June 2015. Packages start at £2,860 per person, including travel by river and road, accommodation, meals and even interval drinks. (

Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate, view from Loreley at Middle Rhine valley

5. Wales trail

The spectacular rail journey between north and south Wales (with a couple of incursions to England) takes under four hours on the direct link between Cardiff and Bangor, the station for north-west Snowdonia. Advance fares are typically £21 each way, and around £33 the day before travel. (


6. Scandi sale

The SAS seat sale has good availability from Heathrow to Stockholm for £104 return, with deals also from other British airports to the capitals of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, plus Bergen, Stavanger and Gothenburg. Book by 26 August, travel from 15 September to March 2015. (

7. Wine time

Embark for a wine tour of Turkey from 12-14 September. The one-off trip costs €790pp via Unison Turkey, flights extra. Kicking off in Istanbul, it will travel along the Sea of Marmara towards Gallipoli and up to Edirne, taking in local vineyards and tiny villages. (

8. Slow train

The Heathrow Express between the airport and Paddington station is suspended all day today and until lunchtime on Sunday. The reason: Network Rail work connected with the Crossrail project. The Heathrow Connect stopping service will operate between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington, where it connects with bus 140. (