Great getaways: New Zealand in May, Icehotel; ski bargains; Dominican Republic


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The Independent Travel

Adventure centre

New Zealand in May, which corresponds to the Northern Hemisphere’s November, is a difficult sell, so Flight Centre has come up with some appealing prices. An eight-day camper-van holiday around the North Island costs £1,065pp, while a longer “South Island Explorer” self-drive trip with 13 days’ car hire and accommodation is £1,729pp. Both include Air New Zealand flights from Heathrow. Book by 15 December ( 

The big chill

Sweden’s Icehotel opens this month, and Discover the World offers the chance to be one of the first people to sleep there this season. The Lappish retreat is crafted afresh each year. This winter it has a London Underground theme, to mark the 150 anniversary of the Tube. A three-night break departing on 14 December, including a direct flight from Heathrow to Kiruna, is £1,164pp, with breakfast, transfers and use of the sauna (

Premier pistes

After New Year, ski bargains appear. On 11 January, Inghams is selling a half-board week at the Hotel Ambassador in the premier Swiss resort of Zermatt for £759pp, including Monarch flights from Gatwick to Geneva and transfers ( 

Caribbean castaway

Wait until 5 February – when the weather here will be at its miserable worst – to jet off to the Dominican Republic. Hayes & Jarvis is offering a week’s holiday on the Caribbean island for £995pp, staying at the  five-star Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa, with all-inclusive board, transfers and British Airways flights from Gatwick (