Travel

How to create the perfect getaway — all your questions answered

Looking for recommendations, tips and guidance for your next trip? Flight Centre’s Travel Consultants provide expertise and personal service to help you find your ultimate adventure.Wednesday, 9 October 2019

By Flight Centre
Cape Town, South Africa.

Flight Centre's travel experts are well versed in handling all the details of researching, planning and booking trips. They've come up with a great series of suggestions for a number of reader queries.

“My partner and I are keen to visit South Africa for the first time. We're looking to do a road-trip where we can experience local culture, along with great food and wildlife. Which spots should we check out?”

The best place to start is Cape Town, a bustling city full of culture and history. Take a cable-car ride to the top of Table Mountain, and don’t forget to watch out for mischievous little dassies (rock hyrax). It’s also worth checking out Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.

While South Africa is known for good steak, head to Camps Bay for some seafood from restaurants right on the beach. Dig your toes in the sand, a glass of wine in hand, Table Mountain right behind you and the beautiful blue sea stretching out as far as the eye can see.

Then, take the Garden Route and stop in Stellenbosch to spend the night at one of the working farms in the area, where you can sample some more wine and local cooking.

One of the best places to take in Africa’s wildlife is Addo Elephant National Park in the Eastern Cape. Or, for a heart-pounding experience, try shark cage diving — the best time of year for this is March through to September.

Answered by Prachya Van De Gevel from Flight Centre's Chiswick office

Practitioner of kalaripayattu, a traditional martial art.

“My husband and I love learning about the local culture — particularly the local cuisine — when we go abroad. We’ve been thinking about visiting India for some time now. What are some unmissable experiences?”

India — and specifically Kerala — offers a good mix of cuisine and culture. Watch locals fishing with ancient nets, smell the aromas from bustling spice markets and relax on a leisurely cruise through the scenic backwaters.

For many, catching a traditional Kathakali dance show is a must-see — the intricate dressing-up ceremony is an art form in itself.

Stop and make your own tea between Periyar and Munnar, and sample some curries along the way. The reward when you reach Munnar is a hike exploring beautiful scenery and wildlife, or a relaxing Ayurvedic massage. Don’t miss a demonstration of kalaripayattu, a traditional martial art show dating back centuries. Round your stay off with a trip on a traditional rice boat, sailing along the bustling backwaters, before getting to grips with the tastes and flavours of southern India at a local cooking class.

Answered by Alison Marsh, from Flight Centre's Bath office

Black River Gorges National Park in Mauritius.

“I’d love to treat my mother to a really special family holiday — ideally a tropical island break of some kind — for her 60th birthday. We want her to feel like she can just kick back and be pampered. Any suggestions that would appeal to the whole family?”

The island of Mauritius has beautiful reefs and sheltered sand beaches perfect for relaxing dips. If lounging on the beach becomes too much, explore the wild, natural beauty in the Black River Gorge or delve into the vibrant culture of the island at one of its many temples. 

Another unmissable spot to check out is the Seven Coloured Earths of Chamarel in south-western Mauritius. See who can take the best photo of the famous multi-coloured sand dunes, or spend some time with the resident tortoises. While you’re in the area, check out Black River Gorges National Park, with its beautiful waterfalls and an abundance of birds and wildlife.

Then, the Aquaventure undersea walk enables you to literally walk on the sea bed and check out an array of multicoloured fish and beautiful coral.

Finally, head to the capital of Port Louis and check out the high-end boutiques and open-air markets for unique mementoes of your trip.

Answered by Ben Cann from Flight Centre's Oxford City office

For more information, visit flightcentre.co.uk.

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