From campervans and Yorkshire's hidden gems to whales In Mexico and bush retreats in Cairns
Saturday 25 January 2014
1. Bug off
Camperbug is a new website that works like airbnb.co.uk for campervans. It lists a network of more than 500 vintage VWs and puts renters directly in touch with UK owners, allowing them to source an affordable and fun set of wheels for a festival, short break, or family holiday.
2. Grand Départ
A new online guide points tourists and cyclists around Yorkshire's hidden gems ahead of the Tour de France Grand Départ on 5/6 July. It uncovers places to stay, walk, cycle and drink, such as The Pheasant Inn, a mile east of Leyburn, known locally for its glowing fire, affectionate Labrador and top cask ales.
3. Island nation
Indonesia has launched a new tourism website dedicated to the UK market. It whisks travellers around exotic locations in the archipelago of more than 17,500 islands, with detailed information on highlights such as Bali, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Papua, Java and Kalimantan, listing practical tips on what to see and do.
On 26 February, Wildlife Worldwide has a tour of Mexico's Pacific Coast with zoologist Mark Carwardine. It will take in the gathering of grey whales in their breeding grounds around Baja California. The week includes two daily whale-watching trips and flights for £3,890pp.
5. Spring watch
The Californian desert city of Palm Springs is hosting an 11-day schedule of films, parties, talks and tours in honour of Modernism Week (13-23 February). It will invite design buffs and retro enthusiasts to celebrate one of the largest concentrations of mid-century modern architecture in the US.
6. Outback oasis
Crystalbrook Lodge is a new bush retreat three hours west of Cairns in tropical north Queensland. Its prime location on a freshwater lake makes it ideal for fishing and wildlife enthusiasts, with birds, goannas, kangaroos and crocodiles regularly spotted in the area. Three nights A$3,300/ £2,200pp.
7. Flying down
If you're tempted by Brazil's beautiful south, note that TAM is abandoning flights between Heathrow and Rio de Janeiro from late March (with a brief reprieve in June/July for the Fifa World Cup). To fill the remaining flights, the airline is selling seats to Rio for as little as £648 return until 16 June.
8. Three save
To lure people off the roads, Virgin Trains now offers a 20-per-cent discount on Advance fares to groups of travellers as small as three. Book online and you qualify for fares between London and Manchester or Liverpool as low as £10 per person each way.
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