Top tour op­er­a­tors

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Contents -

The sig­na­ture trips from the com­pa­nies you voted for

Choos­ing a tour op­er­a­tor can be as tricky as pick­ing a trip. Luck­ily, you’ve helped solve this dilemma by nam­ing those that made the dif­fer­ence to you over the past year. Ranked as per your sat­is­fac­tion rat­ings, th­ese tour ops wowed you the most in our Reader Travel Awards 2018 (p131). So read on for their sig­na­ture trips…

1 = India Ex­plore a lesser-known cor­ner

Delve In­side Kar­nataka with Hol­i­day Ar­chi­tects and hunt hid­den India. Take in the tem­ples of Belur and Halebid, sniff out in­cense cen­tres in Mysore and spy tigers and ele­phants in Na­gar­hole NP. See the Ti­betan com­mu­ni­ties and cof­fee re­gion of Coorg, and end on the sands of Nee­lesh­war. Who: Hol­i­day Ar­chi­tects (01242 253073; in­di­a­hol­i­da­yarchi­ When: Year round How long: 13 days How much: From £2,800 (incl flights)

1 = Ecuador Cruise the Galá­pa­gos

See wonders on Llama Travel’s Galá­pa­gos + A Taste of Ecuador tour. Stroll colo­nial streets in cap­i­tal Quito be­fore cruis­ing star-turn the Galá­pa­gos Is­lands aboard the San Jose, spy­ing wild ma­rine igua­nas and pen­guins be­fore cli­max­ing in trop­i­cal Guayaquil. Who: Llama Travel (020 7263 3000; lla­ma­ When: Se­lected dates Mar 2018–Mar 2019 How long: 14 days How much: From £4,299 (incl flights)

3. Malaysia Go off-grid

Un­cover hid­den nooks on Se­lec­tive Asia’s Bor­neo: Be­yond the Or­di­nary tour. From jun­gle treks and bed­ding down in an Iban long­house, to ex­plor­ing the rarely vis­ited bird- and orchid-rich Maliau Basin, known as ‘Sabah’s lost world’. A trip to re­mem­ber. Who: Se­lec­tive Asia (01273 670001; se­lec­tivea­ When: Year round How long: 14 days How much: From £2,776 (excl flights)

4. Peru The al­ter­na­tive Inca Trail

Ford the An­des from Cho­que­quirao to Machu Pic­chu with KE Ad­ven­ture Travel. Trek soar­ing peaks and deep canyons to de­scend on the lit­tle-seen Cho­que­quirao ru­ins, be­fore weav­ing cloud forests and river­ine val­leys to its iconic Inca sis­ter site. Who: KE Ad­ven­ture Travel (01768 773966; kead­ven­ When: Se­lected dates Mar–oct 2018 How long: 13 days How much: From £2,165 (incl flights)

5. Su­dan Ig­nore the stereo­type

Join Wild Fron­tiers and go Be­neath the Sands of Su­dan. Pitch up in desert camps along the Nile, visit an­cient pyra­mids and Unesco-listed Jebel Barkal across the north­ern Nu­bia, and meet the no­madic peo­ple that make this land so spe­cial. Who: Wild Fron­tiers (020 3883 7348; wild­fron­tier­ When: 10 Nov 2018 How long: 8 days How much: £2,695 (excl flights)

6. Viet­nam Bustling streets to back­wa­ters

Have a ‘best of’ ad­ven­ture with Aud­ley Travel’s High­lights of Viet­nam trip. Head north to south, ped­alling buzzing cap­i­tal Hanoi and glid­ing the karsts of Ha­long Bay en route to the fox tun­nels of cap­i­tal Ho Chi Minh City and the white sands of Phu Quoc. Who: Aud­ley Travel (01993 838140; au­d­ley­

When: Year round How long: 16 days How much: From £3,885 (incl flights)

7. Turk­menistan Uzbek­istan & Ta­jik­istan Track a leg­endary route

Join Undis­cov­ered Des­ti­na­tions in the Heart of the Silk Road. This three-coun­try ad­ven­ture soaks up the mosques and mau­soleums of Khiva, the Is­lamic artistry of Sa­markand and slides past wa­ter­falls, lakes and peaks in Ta­jik­istan. Spec­tac­u­lar. Who: Undis­cov­ered Des­ti­na­tions (0191 296 2674; undis­cov­ered-des­ti­na­ When: 16 Sept 2018; 21 Apr & 15 Sept 2019 How long: 15 days How much: From £2,599 (excl flights)

8. Nepal & Bhutan

Com­bine two moun­tain kingdoms

Join Bam­boo Travel’s Kath­mandu & The High­lights of Bhutan trip and go from the dzongs (fortresses) and palace of Bhutan cap­i­tal Thimpu to the ter­races and Tiger’s Nest Monastery of the Paro Val­ley be­fore eas­ing up in Nepalese vil­lage Na­garkot. Who: Bam­boo Travel (020 7720 9285; bam­ When: Year round How long: 13 days How much: From £2,895 (incl flights)

9. Spain Ride the Span­ish rails

Take the Slow Train through As­turias with In­ntravel, wind­ing the lush Costa Verde, pass­ing the fish­ing vil­lages of Cudillero and Ribade­sella, and soak­ing up the scenic char­ac­ter of Oviedo’s Old Town, all against a back­drop of the rugged Pi­cos de Europa. Who: In­ntravel (01653 617007; in­ When: 1 May–23 Jul & 1 Sept–31 Oct 2018 How long: 7 nights How much: From £595 (excl flights)

10. UK to Italy En­joy a clas­sic jour­ney

Hop on board the Venice Sim­plon-ori­ent-Ex­press with Kirker Hol­i­days for a travel clas­sic. Steam rolling French coun­try­side and alpine Swiss hills while de­vour­ing fine wine and cui­sine en route to the labyrinthine streets and canals of Venice. Who: Kirker Hol­i­days (020 7593 1899; kirk­er­hol­i­ When: Year round How long: 3 nights How much: From £2,548 (incl 1 flight)

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