Something To Declare: Korea; getting around Berlin; New Zealand on two wheels

Where to go, how to save, what to avoid

Bargain of the week: far horizons, via Korea

The two big Korean airlines offer British travellers excellent deals on flights from Heathrow via Seoul to a wide range of destinations in the Far East and beyond – especially if you travel in the low season, from September to early December.

Asiana Airlines (020-7304 9900; flyasiana.com) this month steps up its flights from Heathrow to Seoul, with excellent connections to a range of Asian destinations that lack direct flights from the UK – notably Manila and Hanoi – and good fares to Sydney.

Its rival, Korean Air, can take you to the South Pacific archipelago of Fiji. The islands are normally reached from the UK via Los Angeles, aboard carriers such as Qantas and Air New Zealand for around £1,000 return. But the islands' location – astride the International Date Line – make Fiji equally accessible from the East.

Korean Air has an autumn special to Nadi, Fiji's international gateway, for just £767, valid from 18 August-4 December. Flights are via Seoul Incheon, where a stopover is an easy option: a 90-day stay is granted to British passport holders upon arrival.

John Sannaee

Destination of the week: New Zealand on two wheels

The new prime minister of New Zealand, John Key, is also the nation's tourism minister – and a keen cyclist. He has just announced the construction of seven cycle tracks in wilderness areas, representing the first stage of what is hoped will become a network of interlinked cycleways running the full length of the country.

The seven spokes will take anything from one to six days to cover; on the North Island, they include a 150-mile run down the Wanganui River valley from Mount Ruapehu to the sea, and a "rail trail" on a disused railway track. On the South Island, the main interest is likely to be on the "Around the Mountain Rail Trail", starting in Queenstown and taking in a 110-mile loop.

While the work is under way, keen cyclists can already take advantage of disused rail tracks in the South Island on a tour organised by Queenstown-based Off the Rails (00 64 27 363 3724; offtherails.co.nz).

Simon Calder

Warning of the week: getting around Berlin

Anyone planning to visit the German capital during August could find much of the city's public transport system shut down. Following concerns over a damaged axle, a check has started of all 930 S-Bahn (elevated railway) trains. At present, only about one in four trains are running; eight lines have been closed completely; and stops at 19 stations have been suspended.

From a tourist's perspective the main problems are the lack of S-Bahn trains from Berlin's Schonefeld airport (served by low-cost airlines) to the city, and the main artery between Zoologischer Garten (hub of the former West Berlin) and the Ostbahnhof. Regional Express trains are running on these sections, but are overcrowded. BVG, the organisation that runs public transport in Berlin, says. "We have reinforced the subway (U-Bahn), bus and tram services so that passengers can use these services alternatively."

It is unclear how long the maintenance checks will take, and consequently how long disruption will last. Go to tiny.cc/lfQIW for the latest information.

Mike Stace

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz