Escorted tours for return visitors, from Sicily to the Seychelles
Escorted tours for return visitors, from Sicily to the Seychelles
As the world becomes ever more accessible, there’s a temptation for travellers to turn choosing their next holiday destination into a list-ticking exercise. For specialist tour operator Jules Verne (www.vjv.com), however, the opposite is true…increasingly its clients are asking for itineraries that take them back to countries they have enjoyed in the past, to explore beyond the classic, first-time sites and discover lesser-known delights.
Presented for the first time in a dedicated brochure, Jules Verne’s Top Secrets collection features escorted tours from Sicily to the Seychelles, each encompassing areas not normally covered on a first visit. Many of the itineraries also include a Jules Verne Special Event - exclusive and memorable experiences created to further illuminate a chosen country and its peoples. Enjoy a chamber music concert in Ravello on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, visit private palazzos in Sicily, learn how spit cake is made (from sweet yeast dough) in Romania, feast on a traditional Moldovan lunch at a local lady’s countryside home, take high tea at India’s Falaknuma Palace, and much more.
Three of Jules Verne’s European Secrets tours have been timed to coincide with delightful local festivals, guaranteeing even more wonderful memories. Join Secret Italy (seven nights from £1,395 pp*) in October 2018 or 2019 and visit the Festival of St. Francis in Assisi, watching the morning procession of colourful banners from the Piazza to the Basilica and the afternoon procession of the Relic of St. Francis. Join Secret Ancient Italy (seven nights from £1,645 pp*) in May and witness the magnificent spectacle of Assisi’s Calendimaggio Spring Festival, its participants dressed in medieval costume as though they have just stepped out from a fresco. Or Choose October (2018 or 2019) to visit Secret Moldavia (seven nights from £995 pp*) and enjoy the annual Chisinau Wine Festival, sampling wines from one of the largest and best producers in the former Soviet Union, as well as traditional dancing and music.
Jules Verne’s collection of Secrets tours, for departures until December 2019, also features:
Uncover the Treasures & Secrets of Sicily (14 nights from £2,395 pp*) on a journey from the capital, Palermo, to the ancient sites of Syracuse, Agrigento, Segesta and Selinunte, and the Aeolian Islands; or follow in the footsteps of ‘Inspector Montalbano’ on a journey through Secret Sicily (seven nights from £1,295 pp*) that also visits the hillside village of Savoca, setting for The Godfather film.
Back on the mainland, Secret Tuscany (seven nights from £1,295 pp*) explores hill towns, art cities and beautiful landscapes, and travels to the Isle of Elba, where a visit to Napoleon’s summer villa is among the many highlights. Secret Naples & Ravello (seven nights from £1,295 pp*) promises palaces, castles, churches, gardens and magnificent Amalfi Coast scenery, while the three corners of Italy’s most famous lake - including the lesser-known Lecco arm - await discovery on Secret Lake Como (seven nights from £1,095 pp*).
ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE…
Step back in time on a tour of Secret Romania (seven nights from £995 pp*), visiting medieval towns in Transylvania, remote Maramures (famous for its Wooden Churches), Timisoara (known as ‘Little Vienna’) and more; or discover the hidden gems of Montenegro by boat and train - plus visits to Albania and Serbia - on Secret Balkans (eight nights from £1,145 pp*).
Northern Greece’s Macedonian, Greek, Christian and Byzantine heritage come under the spotlight on Secret Greece: Alexander & Olympus (seven nights from £1,195 pp*); while Secret North Cyprus (seven nights from £995 pp*) reveals two millennia of fascinating history and visits the rugged and remote Karpas Peninsula, home to untouched sandy beaches, wild donkeys and pine-covered hills.
From mystical Marrakech through the High Atlas mountains to the Atlantic coast, Secret Morocco (nine nights from £1,295 pp*) blends unforgettable sightseeing with historic accommodation in unique locations. Stay in a riad or kasbah at the foot of Toubkal (North Africa’s highest mountain), at the heart of the medina in Marrakech, in a countryside riad at Taroudant (once the capital of the Saadians) and at a riad hotel close to the port in ancient Essaouira.
In Tanzania, Serengeti & the Secret Migration (nine nights from £3,695 pp*) offers the chance to witness one of the natural world’s most magnificent spectacles. As well as Arusha, Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro area and Lake Victoria, two nights are spent in a private mobile camp within the Serengeti migration area, staying in tented accommodation on the roof of a working Land Rover, its elevated bedrooms providing unrivalled views of the wildlife activity below.
Explore the Temples and Stone Chariot of Hampi, Mysore palaces, hill stations, tea plantations and historic Hyderabad during a tour of Secret India and its Karnataka region (14 nights in 2018 are from £2,095 pp*; 16 nights in 2019 are from £2,295 pp*), while spectacular wildlife and blissfully uncrowded coastal areas await in Secret Sri Lanka (ten nights from £1,995 pp*) on a tour that takes in the country’s emerging northern region, which has retained its unique style and culture after being off limits during decades of civil war that ended in 2009.
Picture perfect and rumoured to be the original site of the Garden of Eden, the Secrets of the Seychelles (eight nights from £2,895 pp*) are revealed on this island-hopping voyage, on board the MY Pegasus, taking in the powdery beaches and incredible plant life of Mahé, predator-free Cousin Island (where birds nest on the ground and giant turtles roam free), untouched Moyenne Island and more.
For a glimpse at Secret Vietnam (18 nights from £2,195 pp*) away from its main cities and resorts, Jules Verne’s carefully-crafted itinerary for returning visitors ticks all the boxes. Travelling to the mountains in the north and inland from the coastal region, highlights include picturesque Sapa (known locally as ‘the Tonkinese Alps’), a journey through the DMZ (Demilitarised Zone) to the extensive Vinh Moc wartime tunnels, the Imperial City and tombs at Hue, and the delightful town of Hoi An.
*Prices are based on two sharing (No Single Supplement places are available on selected tours and departure dates) and include return flights, accommodation, meals and excursions as per the itinerary, and the services of guides and local representatives. Independent arrival prices (where clients choose to arrange their own flights) are also available - see individual itineraries for details.
Fully ABTA and ATOL bonded, and winner of many travel awards, including Which? ‘Recommended Provider Status 2017’, Jules Verne’s team of travel experts organises every detail, ensuring that clients can book in complete confidence. This commitment is further reinforced by Jules Verne’s 100% Price Guarantee; the holiday price is fixed when clients book and will remain so, even if Jules Verne’s costs increase subsequently.
A copy of Jules Verne’s Top Secrets brochure can be viewed or downloaded here. For details of its escorted tours and cruises worldwide, for the remainder of 2018 and beyond, call 020 3553 3722 or visit the Jules Verne website at www.vjv.com.
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