The Tatra Mountains in southern Poland are truly spectacular

HF Holidays offer discounted walking adventures in Poland and Greece

Tatra Mountains Guided Walking Holiday

Was £1,149pp, Now £1,099pp

This is a truly amazing trip to one of Europe’s hottest walking destinations, exploring the beautiful Tatras National Park, the lofty peaks of Giewont and the picture postcard views across the traditional towns and villages of the Zakopane region. There’s also plenty of time to relax in the luxury of the four star Hotel Belvedere, complete with wellness centre, sauna, spa bath and steam room.  

Price: Seven nights departing 8th July 2019 from £1,099pp on a half board basis. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick and a full programme of daily guided walks. To book, visit www.hfholidays.co.uk or call 020 8732 1250. 

You can follow in the footsteps of Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan in this Greek idyll

Guided Walking at Pelion

Was £1,149pp, Now £1,099pp

Follow in the footsteps of Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan as you enjoy unspoilt Greece at its absolute best. The ancient Greek peninsular that features heavily in the Mamma Mia films is perfect for a sunny walking break, with the stone paths of Pelion providing fantastic routes between its untouched traditional villages.  

Price: Seven nights departing 6th May 2019 from £1,099pp on a half board basis. Price includes return flights from London Gatwick and a full programme of daily guided walks. To book, visit www.hfholidays.co.uk or call 020 8732 1250.

Places are limited on these holidays so book now to avoid disappointment. For more information on HF Holidays, please visit www.hfholidays.co.uk or call 020 8732 1250.


The wilds of Canada means that visitors have an adventure to remember

'A Year in the Wild' brings Canada to life thanks to Channel 5 television

Wednesday, 10 October

As Channel 5 brings “Canada, a Year in the Wild” to your TV screen on Thursday nights for the next few weeks, if you are inspired to take in some of the wildlife you see on the screens for real here are some ways to book:

Grizzly Bear Adventure at Knight Inlet Lodge

Enjoy some fabulous bear encounters on this wildlife break – the ideal addition to a tailor made touring holiday. Knight Inlet is a fjord carved by glaciers in British Columbia's coastal mountains. This pristine wilderness is renowned for its excellent grizzly bear viewing and a memorable stay at Knight Inlet offers a chance to see these fascinating creatures in their natural habit.

More Info: www.discover-the-world.com/holidays/grizzly-bear-adventure-at-knight-inlet Prices from £925 per person excluding flights. 2 nights in October, May – Sept*

In Search of Dolphins, Whales and Moose

Go in search of dolphins, whales, moose and black bear as you explore rugged coastlines on Canadas East Coast, sandy beaches, alpine tablelands, magnificent national parks and pristine lakes and rivers of the oldest settled part of Canada. More info: www.fcholidays.com/canada/wildlife-atlantic-canada Prices from £2789 per person for 15 days*

The Big Five Safari

The ultimate wildlife adventure – For unforgettable experiences in Canada's north, this Big Five Safari Holiday takes in Canada's own big five in the wildlife world: Moose, blackbear, bison, beluga whale and polar bears. Starting in Winnipeg and travelling overland to Riding Mountain National Park over 1,100 square miles of rolling hills and valleys which are home to moose , blackbears and a captive bison herd, as well as hundreds of bird species, wolves and elk. From here the journey continues north to Churchill in search of the Lords of the Arctic, the mighty polar bear, and the canaries of the sea, beluga whales. www.frontier-canada.co.uk/holiday/view/big-five-safari-wildlife-viewing Prices on request*

Ultimate Arctic Summer Adventure

Search for whales off the coast of Vancouver and enjoy a taste of the Pacific Rim lifestyle and then fly north to Churchill to search for beluga whales and polar bears whilst enjoying long summer days. Highlights include wildlife spotting in Hudson Bay, a stay at Lazy Bear Lodge and West Coast Whale Watching www.trailfinders.com/tours/canada-and-alaska/northern-canada/tour-ultimate-arctic

Guide Price from £3592 based on 2 adults sharing a room in low season. Please contact Trailfinders for latest prices and offers*

The Caribou Migration

The 350,000 strong Quamirjuaq  herd start their annual migrations in the autumn or in the spring. Both avoid inserts and you may see the herds swimming across the lakes. The Caribou migration and Autumn Arctic tundra safari runs late August to September and also includes other wildlife, from wolves and wolverines to bears as they gorge on berries to prepare for hibernation. This safari can coincide with seeing the incredible northern lights. You'll be walking, sometimes within metres of the caribou, watching them swimming from your aluminium boat, exploring wolf dens and watching out for migration snow geese. www.naturalworldsafaris.com/experiences/natures-great-events/caribou-migration 

Prices from approx. £4595 per person for 7 days August – September * *All prices quoted are approximate and subject to clarification with the tour operator directly depending on date of travel.


Enjoying a trek along one of St Lucia's remote beaches

Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays offers well anchored adventures for 2019

Offering the perfect blend of exploration and relaxation, Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 386767, www.ramblersholidays.co.uk/cruise-and-walk) the original walking experts have launched their exciting new Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays brochure for 2019.

Combining the best of small cruise experiences - sailing aboard Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s award-winning ships - with the opportunity to berth in the heart of some of the world’s most enchanting locations (not accessible by larger ships) with an included shore programme of carefully graded and guided small group walking itineraries, the new portfolio showcases a choice of 26 inspirational holidays across 64 different departures.

Stretching from the Arctic Circle to far-flung islands in the Indian Ocean, popular favourites, such as Roaming Around Scotland and Ireland, Baltic Discovery, Magic of the Canaries and Islands in the Caribbean, are complemented by a selection of new adventures, ranging from snowshoeing by day and northern light gazing by night in the Norwegian Winter to island hopping through the exotic Southeast Asian archipelago on an Indonesian Island Discovery. With stunning ports of call providing an enthralling backdrop to superb walks, other new adventures include exploring the Mediterranean on three different cruises, following in the wake of great conquistadors along the French and Spanish coasts, taking in the scenic river waterways of Europe on four new tours and venturing further afield on a fly-cruise holiday sailing from Cape Town to the Seychelles. 

To help clients select the right holiday to suit their preferred walking pace, ability and/or fitness, there is a continuum of walking grades that range from ‘Leisurely’ to ‘Moderate’ (Grade 1 to Grade 4). Styles of holidays are also indicated using a simple icon system and include categories such as ‘Pioneer’ for the more adventurous traveller, ‘Sightseeing’ and ‘Overnights in Port’ where you can step out in the evening to explore. Ramblers Walking Holidays ‘Cruise and Walk’ tours are available from a choice of five UK ports or from a selection of overseas ports as part of a ‘Fly Cruise’ departure.

Highlights which are new to the brochure include:

Norwegian Winter (Moderate, Grade 4)

Cruising the Norwegian coast from the colourful Art Nouveau city of Alesund in the south to the Arctic Circle and beyond, experience the snowy wonderland of Norway’s fjords on foot and by snowshoe by day with the promise of magical starry skies and unpredictable appearances of aurora borealis from ship’s deck by night. Complementing impressive shoreline vistas with time ashore delving into these scenes, the itinerary includes city walks around Tromsø with its strikingly modern polar centre and iconic Arctic Cathedral, island straddled Kristiansund and Trondheim; snowshoeing on Kvaløya island and from the little visited port of Bodø, dog sledding near Alta; a panoramic cable car ride up Storsteinen; and seeing Norway’s largest predators such as bears, wolves and lynx in the world’s northern most animal park. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767,  www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) Norwegian Winter 11 or 14 night holiday includes full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport. Prices available on request. Departures on 31 January 2020, 18 March 2020. 

Scandinavian Islands (Leisurely, Grade 2)

Sailing the pristine waterways of Sweden, Finland and Denmark to a backdrop of exquisite island scenery, this late summer cruise takes in the wooded islands, rocky cliffs and sandy beaches of Stockholm’s archipelago, some of Finland’s 6,000 plus Åland Islands and Denmark’s small rocky island Bornholm. Combining both city and countryside walks, highlights include wandering through historic cobblestoned streets with cross-timbered houses on Bornholm; visiting Gotland’s impressive medieval ruins; exploring the fourteen islands which band together the city of Stockholm; uncovering Finland’s seafaring history in the Swedish speaking port of Mariehamn; and getting an overview of Danish culture, taking in Copenhagen’s royal palaces and castles and the city’s contrastingly different, self proclaimed, autonomous neighbourhood of Christiania. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767,  www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk).  Scandinavian Islands 11 night holiday starts from £1,875 per person including full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport.  Departures on 15 September 2019.   

Seville & Bordeaux (Leisurely, Grade 3)

Visiting the great seafaring cities of Spain and France, follow in the wake of Conquistadors, Atlantic fishing fleets and pirate ships sailing along stretches of spectacular coast from Southampton to Cadiz. Combining time at sea with additional river cruising on the Gironde, Garonne and Guadalquivir (following its serpentine loops all the way to Seville’s Golden Tower), explore fascinating sights captured from the water in more detail on foot. Meander through the old seafaring city of Avilés with its colonnades, wrought iron balconies and oriel windows; take refreshing coastal walks along the coastal cli­ffs and from Vigo with expansive views out to sea; soak up Seville’s rich Andalucian atmosphere strolling through its orange blossom scented streets, shady patios and the ramparts of its famous Moorish Alcázar; explore the narrow streets of Cadiz - the once grand city of the Spanish Armada; and venture deep into Médoc wine country for a walk through the vines and wine tasting on ancient grounds at Chateau Lamothe-Cissac. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767,  www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) . Seville & Bordeaux 13 night holiday starts from £1,885 per person including full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport.  Departures on 8 June 2019, 14 September 2019.  

The Mediterranean and her Islands (Leisurely, Grade 3)

Spring in the Mediterranean is a magical time with the countryside bursting with lushness after the winter rains. Following in the wake of Phoenician and Greek traders, Roman galleons and Viking marauders, sail along the Atlantic coast, island hopping into the Med to explore a wealth of historic sights that showcase the regions rich cultural heritage and span the centuries. Combining fascinating city explorations with hikes into the surrounding countryside, highlights include Ronda, one of the gems of Andalucia, and its dramatic deeply cut El Tajo Gorge; Minorca’s capital, Mahon and the relatively isolated east coast Cami de Cavalls path from Cap de Favaritx lighthouse to the pretty fishing village of Es Grau; the Corsican capital of Ajaccio with its coastal trail through flowering maquis of cistus and aromatic thyme to the 16th century Genoese tower of La Parata; and Sardinia’s main northern town Olbia where a walk from the neighbouring authentic enclave of San Pantaleo towards the famed ‘Costa Smeralda’ offers more impressive vistas of sparkling turquoise water and sun-kissed coast. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767,  www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk). The Mediterranean and her Islands 17 night holiday starts from £2,450 per person including  full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport. Departures on 2 April 2019.  

River Cruising - Cities of the Beautiful Danube (Leisurely, Grade 1)

Cruising the River Danube, immersed in the heart of Old Europe, explore some of this majestic stretch of water’s most imposing cities on a series of walks that take in a rich wealth of its castles, royal palaces and medieval towns, riverside ambles and hikes into the terraced vineyard clad hills. Incorporating the much revered capitals of Vienna and Budapest with visits to the magnificent Hofburg Palace, Buda's castle district and its Royal Palace, other highlights include an afternoon exploring Regensburg’s maze of historic streets, squares and monuments; the old town of Linz with its impressive Baroque architecture; wine tasting in Dürnstein with an optional steep walk to the medieval ruins of Burgruinne Dürnstein castle; and a tour of Bratislava and its imposing castle, with a short 20 minutes cycle ride to Devin Castle Ruine. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767,  www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) Cities of the Beautiful Danube 7 night holiday starts from £2,095 per person including flights,  full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport. Departures on 26 April 2019.

Cape Town to the Seychelles (Leisurely, Grade 3)

Characterised by iconic wildlife and enthralling natural landscapes, Cape Town to the Seychelles 17 night cruise charts South Africa’s stunningly beautiful coast, calling in at Port Elizabeth to spot elephants and other endangered species in the Addo National Elephant Parkand Richards Bay to explore the ‘home to the big five’ in Hluhluwe Game Reserve, before heading out to the exotic islands of Mayotte, Madagascar and Mahe in the crystal clear waters of the Seychelles.  Here, highlights include a boat trip on the largest lagoon in the Indian Ocean which boasts over 250 di­fferent species of hard coral; an exploration of the Grand-Terre on Mayotte featuring stunning volcanic landscapes, marked by deep ravines and soaring peaks; the delights of Madagascan wildlife - lemurs, chameleons, geckos and snakes; and hiking with a local guide to the summit of Morne Seychellois National Park for breath-taking views of Maher’s western coast. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767,  www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) Cape Town to the Seychelles 17 night holiday includes flights, full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport.  Prices available on request. Departures on 29 October 2019.  

Indonesian Island Discovery (Leisurely, Grade 3)

Sailing the Southeast Asian archipelago, from Phuket in Thailand to Bali in Indonesia, explore a fascinatingly diverse string of idyllic islands, touching on differing cultures and discovering a region of contrasting beauty with lush plantations, active volcanoes and pockets of pristine beach. Taking in some of the World’s largest with a visit to the enormous Buddhist temple and a panoramic ride on Singapore’s giant observation wheel, also see the largest living lizard on earth, the formidable Komodo dragon, in its namesake natural paradise surrounded by crystal clear water and colourful reef. Calling at Sumatra, Java and Singapore along the way, walking highlights include a tour through the Tigro Agro Plantation to view rubber, coffee, cinnamon and Kapuk; a hike on Lombok from Kerandangan to Senggigi beach and on to Baun Pusek to spot the endemic wildlife and meet with local hill people; and a hidden trail through Balinese rice paddies, past rivers and coconut plantations before visiting the famous Royal water temple Pura Taman Ayun. Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767,  www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) Indonesian Island Discovery 17 night holiday includes flights, full board accommodation, tour leaders & local guides, shore excursions, restaurant tips and local transport.  Prices available on request. Departures on 26 November 2019.  

For further information, contact Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays (01707 386767, www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) or download the new brochure here


  • The newly-renovated Casa Lascorz farmhouse in the Spanish Pyrenees.

  • The bedroom at the Casa Lascorz is both traditional and comfortable.

Walking and activity holidays in Northern Spain…

The area around Aragón in northern Spain is perfect for walkers.

Tuesday 22 May 2018

For anyone who fancies a different type of holiday in the picturesque area around Aragón in northern Spain, British couple Ben and Corinna Frost have opened a new B&B known as Casa Lascorz.

Back in 2016 they took the plunge by starting work on renovating an old farmhouse with the hope that guests would be able to take advantage of some great walking country in the breathtaking Spanish Pyrenees. 

After almost two years of hard graft, Casa Lascorz has been lovingly restored to create a welcoming rural guesthouse and family home. Work was finally completed back in January this year and the pair are now particularly targeting walking and outdoor enthusiasts. 

Traditional Aragónese architecture is combined with modern facilities to provide a luxurious retreat where guests can relax, enjoy and explore this magical area.

There are numerous festivals in this part of Spain

The area of Sobrarbe – and in particular the nearest town Aínsa – offers a wealth of things to do and see for there are several medieval towns within east reach to explore, the promise of some stunning scenery along with excellent walking trails which vary from easy strolls through to some really grand days out. 

There is also an annual music festival in this beautiful region which also has more than 15 local vineyards to visit. And then there's the promise of great artisan food along with viewing some fabulous wildlife, keen ornithologists being particular well catered for.

To see what Casa Lascorz has to offer, check out Ben and Corinna  Frost's website at www.casalascorz.com 

This impressive gite in the Haute Valle de l'Aude will have three ensuite bedrooms from September.

… and walking in South West France

There are some adventurous activities in the area

On a similar theme, British couple Aideen and William Hills are to create a gourmet package for serious walkers, combining picnics and evening meals in a beautiful area of South West France close the city of Carcassonne. 

The couple have a rather impressive gite which currently has two en-suite bedrooms, a wood burner, jacuzzi and swimming pool while from this September, thanks to an extension, an additional en-suite bedroom will be available – so that's two doubles and a twin!

With direct flights available from most British airports into Carcassonne, the gite is located in the Haute Valle de l'Aude while Arques is surrounded by stunning scenery just waiting to be explored on foot.

There are over 15 well signposted walks in the local area, you can have a different experience every day. From leisurely riverside walks to steep mountain climbs, it's really up to you just how much you want to stretch yourself. Spring and Autumn can be particularly pleasurable without the intense heat of the summer.

And if you wish to cycle and take in the scenery or whether you are a rather more serious cyclist, Les Reves in Arques is a great base for your cycling holiday as routes for every ability are available in the area. 

There is more information at www.holidayinaude.com or call 00 334 6869 0422


You can expect Alpine-like scenary in the Tatra National Park in Poland

Late availability May half term deals... and under 11's go free!

Guided walking takes you on some wonderful country paths

Wednesday 9 May 2018

With summer well and truly on the way, leading walking and activity holiday provider, HF Holidays – www.hfholidays.co.uk – has a range of late deals on its summer walking holidays, with up to £100 per person of! These limited time offers are to some of the UK and Europe’s hottest walking destinations, including: Poland, Wales and the Scottish Highlands.

Guided Walking at Zakopane, Poland

A stone’s throw away from the Tatra National Park, Zakopane makes the perfect base to explore this beautiful mountain resort. Reach the summit of Wolowiec, standing at 2,064 metres high, or visit rustic Polish villages, stopping by the sample Polish beers in the vibrant town of Zakopane.

Stay at Hotel Belvedere, a 4-star property complete with pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room to enjoy at the end of a long day’s walking. Seven nights departing 30 July 2018 from £898pp. Price includes half board accommodation and return flights from London Gatwick.  

Food plays a big part in all HF Holidays breaks

Guided Walking at Snowdon

Discover the natural beauty of Snowdonia on picturesque guided walks, tackling the rugged trails of high mountains, meandering along lakeside paths and enjoying the peaceful ambience of the trickling waterfalls.

Dolserau Hall is perfectly settled amongst beautiful countryside, and is a wonderful place to retreat to after a day exploring the region. Three nights departing 8 June 2018 from £259pp. Price includes full board accommodation. 

Guided Walking at Church Stretton, Shropshire

Explore the very best of Shropshire and discover the shapely summit of Caer Caradoc, and the great moorland ridge of the Long Mynd. Travel a little further to discover rolling green hills, sleepy villages, and charming market towns with their iconic black and white timbered houses.

Stay at Longmynd House, set in a wonderful elevated location above the town of Church Stretton, with excellent walks right from its doorstep. Four nights departing 11th June 2018 from £455pp. Price includes full board accommodation. 

To book any of the above holidays, visit www.hfholidays.co.uk or call 0345 470 8558.


Colmar is surely one of France's best kept secrets

Make a date with stunning Colmar and discover France's 'Little Venice' with DFDS

Friday 30 March 2018

Sitting quietly on the border of France and Germany is the beautiful commune of Colmar. Timbered buildings, brightly coloured with complimenting shutters give Colmar its unforgettable character. Explore them as you take a quiet wander down the cobbled lanes.

The River Lauch that meanders serenely through the town only adds to the overall enchantment of the town. Aptly named ‘Little Venice’, be sure to take a river cruise during your stay. 

The surrounding countryside is lined with local vineyards, producing fine wines to pair with the produce you’ll find in the Market Hall that has stood since 1865. Filled with the local gastronomical favourites, visiting the market is a must in order to immerse yourself in this wonderful area. 

Wander into the quiet, fairy tale town of Colmar and find yourself amongst vibrant, medieval architecture. Turreted houses, shuttered windows and timbered walls in candied colours create the very convincing idea that this is the enchanted town from a children’s fable. 

Founded in the 9th century, it is a community immersed in history, from the origins of the buildings, to the River Lauch that fed townspeople and salaried the fishermen for centuries upon centuries.

THINGS TO DO

  • Follow the narrow cobblestone paths, rich with greenery planted by the locals in the depths of Colmar’s old town. The scenic domains of traditional Alsatian design are apparent in every size and colour.
  • The Unterlinden Museum is a former 13th century Dominican convent and 20th century public bath. Boasting around 200,000 visitors annually it is the most popular museum in Alsace. The museum contains everything from impressionist paintings to modernist artwork, religious pieces and even furniture.
  • South of the centre, where the River Lauch meanders its way into the city you’ll find La Petite Venise. Take a boat trip past the beautiful buildings, with many dating back to the 14th century. Pass the charming fish quay and keep an eye out for otters who will often pay a visit in the summer.
  • Saint Martin’s Church contrasts the traditional houses in the town. Begun in 1235, the church is unmistakably Gothic. Though a reminder of a darker medieval style than the surrounding buildings, the colourful tiled rooves are in keeping with this rainbow town.
  • Born and raised in Colmar, Auguste Bartholdi’s most famous work is New York’s Statue of Liberty. Museum Bartholdi, housed in the sculptor’s birthplace, includes a massive collection of his work. While in Colmar, why not also check out the replica of the Statue of Liberty? You’ll find it on a main roundabout just 10 minutes from the centre.
  • Straight out of a Grimm’s tale, Maison Pfister was built in 1537. The octagonal turret, a break from traditional medieval design, represents the beginning of the French renaissance. The external murals of both secular and biblical description demonstrate a Europe in the midst of a humanist movement, leaning more towards rationalism than the Christian doctrines of the medieval period.

HOW TO GET THERE

There are four routes to Europe from the UK, all of which are seven hours or less from Colmar. From the ports in Dunkirk and Calais you’re just six and a half hours from Colmar. Dieppe and Amsterdam are both seven hours in the car to Colmar. Make sure to take in the breathtaking scenery from your car as you travel to this stunning town.

For more details, check out www.dfdsseaways.co.uk


Pilgrims gather for the Easter celebrations in the Spanish town of Santiago

Setting off on the road with the Camino de Santiago pilgrims

Friday 23 March 2018

With the second episode of Pilgrimage: The Road To Santiago duo to be screened tonight at 9pm on BBC2, the Camino Way has certainly been a hot topic for walkers and those who are intent on having a religious experience. But with so many starting points now on offer, there is now even a walk which starts in Ireland. 

Traditionally, Camino pilgrims used to start their journey from their own homes and various Camino de Santiago routes developed over time crossing most of Europe.

The so called Camino Ingles, or English Camino, was the route preferred by British and Irish pilgrims on their way to Santiago, as well as other pilgrims from northern Europe. Pilgrims would take a boat from the main ports in their countries and land in the North of Spain to continue their journey.

There are two main starting points on this Camino route: Ferrol and A Coruña, in Galicia.

In order to receive their Compostela pilgrim certificate in Santiago de Compostela, pilgrims must complete at least the last 100kms of any Camino route.

While A Coruña is a traditional starting point, it is only 75kms away from Santiago, meaning pilgrims wouldn’t be able to obtain their Compostela certificate in Santiago.

The Camino Society Ireland has announced a new Irish ‘Compostela’ that pilgrims can request in St James Church in Dublin after completing 25kms of any pilgrim trail in Ireland. This certificate can then be used by pilgrims to complete the journey from A Coruña to Santiago and request their Compostela in Santiago.

This is now known as the Celtic Camino.

CaminoWays.com has now launched new self-guided tours on the Camino Ingles starting from A Coruña for those pilgrims looking to experience the Celtic Camino. For details: Camino Ingles from A Coruña.

If you are looking to start your journey in Ireland we highly recommend the Kerry Camino trail from Tralee to St James Chuch in Dingle, in the wonderful West of Ireland.

At CaminoWays.com we are also delighted to be supporting the Camino Society first Celtic Camino festival in Ireland this April, more details here: Celtic Camino Festival.

For more information about the Celtic Camino, starting your Camino journey from Ireland or A Coruña, contact our travel specialists

Semana Santa (Holy Week) or Easter in Spain, is one of the most important festivals of the religious calendar.

WHEN DOES SEMANA SANTA TAKE PLACE?

Easter in Spain generally starts on Palm Sunday and finishes on Easter Sunday, hence the term ‘Holy Week’ or Semana Santa.

During Easter week, many towns and cities host impressive processions, reenacting different episodes of the passion and resurrection of Christ. Thousands of locals and visitors attend and take part in the processions.

WHAT WILL YOU SEE?

Processions are the main focus of Easter in Spain.

The processions or parades generally involve floats with religious imagery and sculptures related to the passion of Christ (known as ‘pasos’), carried by members of different brotherhoods (cofradias).

Drums and music or singing are also part of the parades in many Easter celebrations, which can be full of emotion.

Brotherhood members wear special attire, including a cloak and a pointy hat covering their face. Each brotherhood has its specific colours.

The processions take place on the streets of each town and have different starting points and routes. The style can also vary from region to region, some of them being more animated and others being more solemn.

Each procession or parade focuses on one aspect of the passion of Christ, and there are many different processions taking place each day for instance:

PALM SUNDAY

Domingo de Ramos or Palm Sunday commemorates the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem. He is generally depicted arriving on a donkey and welcomed by people with palm leaves.

HOLY THURSDAY

Jueves Santo or Holy Thursday was the day the Last Supper took place and also when Jesus was apprehended.

HOLY FRIDAY

Good Friday processions represent the passion of Christ, including his encounter with the Virgin Mary and the crucifixion.

RESURRECTION SUNDAY

Because some of the sculptures and imagery in the floats are of great artistic value, many being centuries old, processions are weather dependant which means, if it rains, they will not go ahead to avoid damaging the statues.

WHAT ARE THE ORIGINS OF SEMANA SANTA?

While the passion of Christ has been celebrated since the very beginnings of religion, the concept of Semana Santa processions and Easter events in Spain became widespread in the 16th century when the Catholic Church decided to bring the passion of Christ to the streets and saw these theatrical events as the best way to explain these events to the people.

Zamora, on the Via de la Plata, claims to be home to the oldest Easter celebrations in Spain, dating back to the 12th century.

WHERE YOU CAN SEE IT?

Seville on the Via de la Plata and Ferrol on the Camino Ingles host the most important Easter celebrations on the Camino routes in Spain and Galicia repectively.  However you can witness Easter processions in most cities and towns across Spain; many of them on the Camino routes, including Santiago de Compostela, Fisterra, Lugo, Leon, Salamanca, Caceres, Granada and many more.

For more interesting events, check out the Camino festivals calendar here: Camino Culture.

For more information about the Camino routes or to book your trip, contact our travel specialists


The National Civil Rights Movement marks the 50th anniversaru of the assissination of Martin Luther King

Marking the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination

The Lorraine Hotel was the site of the assassination

Wednesday, 14 May, 2018

Next month (April 4th) marks the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's assassination - a tragic yet catalytic event that propelled the American Civil Rights Movement to its ultimate goal of achieving social change. 

The anniversary is being marked throughout the American Deep South (where the Civil Rights Movement was played out), with commemorations and events spearheaded by the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee and The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Visit both these attractions - and a lot more besides - on a fly-drive holiday with tailor-made North America Specialist, Bon Voyage, whose Civil Rights Trail itinerary takes in all the key landmarks on a moving and colourful journey across five US states.  

Starting in Atlanta, Georgia (with visits to the Centre for Civil and Human Rights and the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site), the trail crosses Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi before ending in Louisiana with a discovery of vibrant New Orleans.

Highlights en route include Montgomery's Rosa Parks Museum (honouring the young woman who famously refused to give up her seat on a bus), the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis (located within the Lorraine Hotel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated on 4 April, 1968; his 1963 "I have a dream" speech was among the era's most definitive moment) and the all-new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, which opened in the state capital, Jackson, in December 2017.

The 12-day US Civil Rights Trail itinerary is new for 2018 and costs from £1,995 per person with Bon Voyage (0800 316 0194; www.bon-voyage.co.uk) and includes flights, car rental and a personalised road-book with detailed directions and travel tips.


Picturesque Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada

New Atlantic Canada self-drive adventure with Bon Voyage

Nova Scotia

Sunday 4 March 2018

Seeking a transatlantic adventure but don't much fancy a long-haul flight? Tailor-made specialist Bon Voyage has the perfect solution - a road-trip in Atlantic Canada. At less than six hours' flying time from the UK (officially the shortest transatlantic flight), nowhere else in North America lies within such easy reach.

New for summer 2018, Bon Voyage's suggested Atlantic Canada itinerary takes in the maritime provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and combines gorgeous coastal scenery with all key attractions, from wildlife to wine.

Highlights include a chance to cruise the Bay of Fundy in search of giant whales, or take a boat trip to Nova Scotia's Bird Islands to meet a colony of Atlantic puffins. Colourful festivals, hiking trails, wineries, historic sites and ancient Mi’kmaq petroglyphs make interesting stops along this leisurely island-hopping route, along with regional cuisine that's big on lobster and mussels plucked straight from the sea.

The 14-night holiday costs from £1,795 per person and includes flights from London, Manchester or Glasgow plus quality accommodation (room-only basis), car hire and a road-book filled with detailed directions and handy travel tips. Call 0800 316 0194, or visit www.bon-voyage.co.uk