Peru's 'second Machu Picchu', Italy by train, and the original Hogwarts Express - Travel agenda

Where to go and what to know

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The Independent Travel

1. Go slow

Journeys of Distinction has a new "slow travel" collection, combining classic tours with river cruises or rail. Among the new packages is a 16-day Transylvania and Medieval Europe itinerary, from Istanbul (above) to Prague, and a 21-day Grand Tour of Europe, from Amsterdam to Budapest. jod.uk.com

2. Potter around

The original Hogwarts Express steam engine will be on display at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour from 19 March, as well as a recreation of Platform 9¾. The new permanent section offers visitors the chance to climb aboard the train and to pose with a luggage trolley as it disappears through the platform's wall. wbstudiotour.co.uk

3. Night at height

Airbnb is giving one person and three of their friends the chance to spend a night at 2,700m, by transforming one of Courchevel's cable cars into a bedroom. The one-off "room", available on 6 March, will have beds for four and a living area, and will leave you in prime position to hit the slopes the following morning. To enter, visit Courchevel's listing on Airbnb and explain why you'd like to win. Entry closes 26 February. airbnb.co.uk

4. Explore Asia

River-cruise company Pandaw has launched a new tour operation, Pandaw Expeditions. It offers flight-inclusive package holidays to Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and India, all with a cruise element, plus hotels and sightseeing tours. pandawexpeditions.co.uk

5. Puglia plus

One of the joys of travelling in South-east Italy is the network of train services run by Ferrovie del Sud Est. It stretches from Bari to Taranto, and the new February edition of the European Rail Timetable (£15.99) contains a summary of services in Puglia. europeanrailtimetable.eu

6. Secret Peru

Now is the time to head to Peru's "second Machu Picchu", the fortress of Kuelap, if you want to beat the crowds. The Peruvian government has announced plans for a new cable car, which will improve access to the archaeological site in the north of the country, potentially quadrupling the number of visitors. It is due to open in 2016.

7. Hotel revamp

London's The Goring hotel has closed for the first time in its 104-year history as it undergoes an extensive renovation, involving four interior designers; Nina Campbell, Tim Gosling, David Linley and Russell Sage, who have redesigned the suites, the bar and lounge, the terrace, and the dining room. The hotel will reopen on 21 February, just in time for its 105th birthday celebration. thegoring.com

8. Iberia expands

After shrinking the network from its Madrid hub, Iberia is growing again. Five weekly services to Havana are restored on 1 June. On 3 July a new thrice-weekly triangular route is launched to Colombia, stopping first in Medellín and second in Cali. iberia.com

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