Kolkata, India tour: Noise, passion, colour and heartbreak where the Lion movie was set

Aswan, Egypt travel guide: A place of stark beauty and an unfinished treasure

Lisbon versus Porto in Portugal: Stunning cities, close ties, bitter rivals

Madagascar adventure tour: A four-day paddling trip down the Manonbolo River, Madagascar

The further we go down the Manonbolo River, the more traditional and untouched by tourism are the villages and people we encounter. Photo: Daniel Scott It’s the first afternoon of our four-day paddling trip down the Manonbolo River, in Western Madagascar, when a giant chameleon drops from overhanging branches into my canoe.  At the back […]

Morocco: Escape the Marrakesh chaos at this wellness and yoga retreat

Pool view at Riad Yeux Bleus Marrakesh Photo: Kerry van der Jagt There’s a knack to rubbing and aerating cous cous, but judging by the mess around my workbench I haven’t mastered it. “I only ever use instant at home,” I confess, as a blizzard of grains billows from my hands like a snowstorm. “Sometimes […]

Morocco unplugged holiday: A delightful digital detox

Sunset in the pilgrimage town of Moulay Idriss. Photo: Louise Southerden Our guide Khalid Llamlih playing Moroccan checkers. Photo: Louise Southerden Jamal the jewellery seller in Marrakech. Photo: Louise Southerden Traditional moroccan architectural details in Chefchaouen, Morocco. Photo: iStock The coast of Essaouira features a surf beach. Photo: kasto80 Stores in the medina streets of […]

Namibia desert tour review: Swakopmund, the adventure capital

The desert seems barren, but there is life here. Photo: Alamy “It won’t kill you,” guide Dayne Brain says. “But the pain of the bite will make you wish that it had.” It’s a warm early winter morning and we are roaming the velvety sand dunes of Dorob National Park, behind Swakopmund, Namibia’s most popular […]

New England, US: A small-group tour through Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont

Autumn foliage in Maine, New England. Photo: maine office of tourism It’s enough to make an ice-cream lover weep. On the Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour in Vermont, visitors dutifully watch an educational video about the history of the left-leaning company before peering through glass windows to observe fair-trade chocolate and nuts swirl into lusciously […]

New Zealand’s South Island day trips: Six of the best

5. TRANZALPINE RAILWAY If a train travels 223 kilometres for nearly five hours from Christchurch to Greymouth and stops for several minutes at seven other stations, what speed is it going? TranzAlpine speed. This scenic railway tour goes through 16 tunnels and over four viaducts, and takes in the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps, Arthur’s Pass […]

Oberammergau: Finding Jesus in a quaint Bavarian village

Traditional alpine buildings with frescoes. On the vast open-air stage of Oberammergau’s Passion Theatre, a cluster of foreign tourists, from twenty-somethings to septuagenarians, most clutching cameras and smartphones, are flocking around an affable, unassuming German chap. He’s Frederick Mayet, a 37-year-old who lives in this postcard-pretty Bavarian village, and works in PR and marketing for […]

Jane Austen tour: 200th Anniversary has England heaving like Regency bosoms

Bath, England. Photo: iStock It is a truth universally acknowledged that any story about Jane Austen must start with the words “it is a truth universally acknowledged”. Not sure why, as I’ve never read any of Austen’s work. From a position of profound and confident ignorance I have deemed them 19th century chick lit and […]

Paris Greeters free guided walking tours: How to experience Paris from the inside

Coulee Verte linear park runs for almost five kilometres along a former railway line. Photo: Alamy On a brisk morning, with the autumnal leaves a palette of red, yellow and brown, the Place de la Nation presents a picture-perfect Parisian scene. The sun shines brightly on sculptures of the kings Louis IX and Philip II […]

Paris to Monaco by coach: A great way to experience the delights inbetween

A view over Paris from the Eiffel Tower. Photo: Shutterstock There’s only so much one man’s bum can take, and mine’s reached its limit by the time we get down out of the coach in Lyon. “Man,” mutters one American as he tries to rub life back into his cul. “I should have read the small […]

Petra, beyond the facade: That spine-tingling moment everyone gets

Petra “You’re going to need a four-wheel drive,” quips the dreadlocked Bedouin, his bid sounding more like a used-car salesman than an offer for a donkey ride. “It comes with air-conditioning.” I decline, continuing on foot along the steep path to the Monastery, one of Petra’s lesser-known sights, as Jack Sparrow gallops off in a […]

Places off-limits to independent travellers: Spots you can only reach on a tour

CHERNOBYL It takes all kinds, as they say. If you’re the sort of person who considers a former nuclear disaster site a tourist attraction, then fill your boots. Chernobyl, in Ukraine, is open for business. However, the only way you’ll be able to see it is with a tour guide. Applications for passes into the […]

Pont du Gard aqueduct and Roman ruins in Arles, France: Modern thinking, ancient marvel

The Roman amphitheatre in Arles. Say what you like about the Romans but they certainly were careless, leaving bits of themselves scattered willy-nilly across Europe. Take southern France, where they littered the place with enough amphitheatres, temples and triumphal arches to last many lifetimes. Oddly, this isn’t the case in Avignon, which sits in a […]

Rio’s Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel: The original rock star hotel

The Belmond Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro. Night is an excellent time to arrive at Rio’s historic Belmond Copacabana Palace Hotel. She’s illuminated like a 1930s screen legend on a red carpet, all her art deco curves and accoutrements accentuated as she poses on Copacabana’s beachfront. She’s learned from the best. Down the years, […]

Taj Mahal, Agra, India: Selfie-taking tourists are part of the fun

It’s selfie central at the Taj Mahal. Photo: Alamy The man in front of us holds his smartphone above his head, clicking madly in an attempt to capture an unobscured image of the Taj Mahal. He’s trying to get the couple facing him – whose phones are also clutched above their heads as they try […]

Semuc Champey: Guatemala’s most beautiful site

It’s hard to believe these pools actually exist. Photo: Alamy My guide Sam has just earned himself some serious brownie points. The climb to the El Mirador lookout is a one-kilometre-long thigh-punisher – a relentless series of uneven rocky steps and steep wooden ladders that would be taxing enough on a cool day, let alone […]

Bodrum, Turkey sailing tour: An ancient land’s turquoise coast

The ruins of the ancient Greek city of Knidos. Photo: Alamy “You still going to Turkey?” came the text message from one of our kids the morning of the suicide bombings at Istanbul airport. It was only hours before we were to fly out to rendezvous with my London-based brother who was hosting  his family […]

Avoid the single supplement: Ten of the best trips for solo travellers

Machu Picchu. Photo: Shutterstock Anyone who is, or has been, single has experienced the moment.  It’s the one where you spy a great price for a tour or cruise – only to see it gilded with the dreaded asterisk.  Sure enough, it’s a twin-share deal that requires a travel companion. Damn.  For the world, coupledom […]

Visiting the Demilitarised Zone on the border of North and South Korea: Touring the DMZ

During the month before our coach tour from Seoul to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea, the North conducted underground nuclear weapons testing and fired a new long-range missile. In retaliation, South Korea closed its factory complex just over the border at the Kaesong Industrial Complex, an uneasy alliance combining South Korea’s […]

Ten reasons why a coach tour is a good idea

Doing a coach tour means you can relax and enjoy the view. Photo: Shutterstock If you’ve never thought about taking a coach tour, it might be time to reconsider your preconceptions and climb aboard for a holiday on wheels. COACH TOURING HAS CHANGED You know how hotels and cruise ships have upped standards from bare […]

The end of sight-seeing trips: Travellers now seek experiences over sights

Just seeing the sights no longer cuts it for travellers. Photo: Shutterstock It’s been a slow change, so you probably haven’t noticed. You may not have twigged to the subtle difference in the brochures and the websites you’re perusing, in the way travel is sold, and also in the way people are talking about their […]

Best guided tours: The people who create the world’s greatest trips

Flamingoes in Laguna Colorada, Atacama Desert in Bolivia. Photo: iStock Standing in the desert in Namibia, Jenny Gray idly watched as a truck pulled up and the tourists inside starting climbing out. And then more climbed out. And more. It was as if Dr Who’s Tardis had landed, and there were hundreds of people cramped […]

Ethical travel: How to be a travel hero and the heroes of 2017 named

Love elephants? Then never, ever ride one. Photo: Shutterstock TEN WAYS YOU CAN BE A TRAVEL HERO GET OFF THAT ELEPHANT Love elephants? Then never, ever, ride one. Not only is the breaking-in process cruel; there are concerns that the popularity of elephant rides will lead to increased poaching of wild animals. BUY LOCAL If you […]

Best foodie tours: The greatest moveable feasts on earth

Arrive hungry for Urban Adventures’ half-day tour that takes you to the authentic cafes, carts and canteens in George Town, Penang, Malaysia. Photo: Julietta Jameson STREET FOOD: URBAN ADVENTURES TASTES AND TRADITIONS OF PENANG, GEORGE TOWN, PENANG Malaysians love their street food and local cafes and nowhere is this more on display than in the […]

The island of Burano: Venice’s best-kept secret

Colourful houses abound on the Venetian island of Burano in Italy. Photo: iStock As our vaporetto ends its 40-minute ride across the Venetian lagoon from St Mark’s Square – past the Isle of the Dead – there’s a stampede to get off. There’s nothing wrong with our water taxi, and no breach of the expensive new defences […]

Kyoto guided tour: Delicate, tranquil, poetic

“Very few things are more pleasant than having a cup of tea on a tatami mat while looking through windows onto the rain,” says my guide Chris Rowthorn. We gaze out at the raked Zen garden of Komyo Temple as fat raindrops tumble, plopping like jumping frogs on the pebbles. Fortunately, Chris isn’t one of those […]

SpiceRoads Cycle Tours Burma Adventure: The Myanmar you’ll never forget

The stilt houses at Inle Lake, Myanmar. Photo: Getty Images “Don’t cycle too close to the gutter,” fellow cyclist Carly says, watching me watching the traffic on the six-lane bridge that crosses the Irrawaddy River on the outskirts of Mandalay. “If you stick to the middle of the outer lane the cars will have to […]

Tours for female travellers: Nine of the best trips for women

The ancient Buddhist temple complex In Dein, Inle Lake, Mayanmar. Morocco is a mosaic of exotic experiences. Taking in the majestic desert sunset with a Berber guide. The Larapinta Trail is one of Australia’s most spectacular long-distance hikes. The desolate beauty of the Sahara Desert. The gentle rolling hills of the Tuscan landscape, Italy. Attarin […]

Group tours guide: How to choose the right holiday tour for you

Castle Hohenzollern in Germany. Photo: Rolphus “There are plenty of upsides to group travel,” says Ute Junker, an inveterate solo traveller and regular contributor, “and one of them is the calibre of the guides. Whether you are exploring Yellowstone in winter or prehistoric sites in Greece, travelling with an expert guide can completely change your […]

Tips and things to do in South Dakota: Star attraction bigger than Kevin Costner

Colorful formations jut up from the prairies in Badlands National Park, South Dakota Photo: Dennis Frates / Alamy Stock Photo Growing up with a mum who had a soft spot for Kevin Costner, I sat through plenty of epic Costner movies in my childhood. And they didn’t come any more epic than Dances With Wolves, […]

Tour guides: The most powerful people in travel

Many a country will be judged on the thoughts and the personalities of these people. Photo: Alamy You have to wonder if tour guides realise the power they wield. You have to wonder if they know the control and the influence that they have over the people they’re leading, if they understand that their clients’ […]

Marrakesh shopping tour: Contemporary class

Sidi Ghanem opened in 2009. Photo: Alamy Day nine in Morocco, and still it’s marvellous, but I’m just a tad over its tumultuous souks. I’ve had enough of the goat-scented rugs and pointy slippers that I suspect back home will just look like tawdry props from an Aladdin pantomime. I don’t want to see another […]

Australia tours: Five new trips that explore the wonders of the country

See Rottnest Island on a Ultimate Wonders of the West tour. Photo: Alamy How the world has changed in less than six months. The relative ease and efficiency of modern-day travel had led to us to believe the globe had somehow shrunk but, suddenly, due to the effects of the pandemic, for the first time […]

Travel tips and advice for group tours: How to choose an organised tour

A group of hikers on tour in Austrian alps. Travelling in an organised group isn’t real travel. It’s like using a tricycle instead of a grown-up bike: something for the inexperienced or insecure, lacking exhilaration and freedom. Why trundle around the block like a toddler when you could go on a free-wheeling adult adventure? Why […]

Traveller Tours: See Cambodia and Vietnam on an exclusive Traveller Tour in partnership with Wendy Wu Tours

The astounding Angkor Wat. Photo: iStock THIS TOUR IS NO LONGER ON SALE. See traveller.com.au/traveller-tours for our latest exclusive tour offerings. Cambodia and Vietnam, for the serious traveller, is a match made in heaven, and you’d have to concede, based on the two nations’ turbulent and tragic histories, one, at times, of hell, too. Yet […]

Traveller Tours: See China on exclusive Traveller Tours in partnership with Wendy Wu Tours

The Great Wall at Mutianyu, China. Photo: Getty Images THIS TOUR IS NO LONGER ON SALE. See traveller.com.au/traveller-tours for our latest exclusive tour offerings. This year marks the first China Australia Year of Tourism. To celebrate, Traveller, in its 10th year of publication and in association with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, is inviting its readers to join […]

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