At Corinthian Travel, we pride ourselves on our up-to-date inside knowledge and innovative new itineraries. To provide you with the highest standard of accommodation, the most engaging tour guides and latest in immersive experiences, not only do we research new and scout out upcoming places, we are constantly revisiting our existing destinations. This ensures our experts have all the necessary knowledge to guide you in planning a bespoke holiday experience.
In this month’s blog post, it’s time to get personal as we reveal some of the places the team has been travelling to this year. We are delighted to introduce some of the destinations we have visited in 2019 that we believe are among the most exciting places to visit in 2020.
In June, Niki visited Armenia to help develop our new Armenia programme. After introducing the beautiful Caucasus region to our portfolio earlier this year (launched with Georgia) it was inherent that neighbouring Armenia should follow. With stunning scenery, spectacular monasteries and incredibly friendly people, this Eurasian country has plenty to offer the discerning traveller. Located in the middle of the country, Yerevan, its capital, is a bit of a hidden gem. Impressive architecture, lots of green parks and leafy boulevards, combined with a thriving cafe culture ensures visitors are quickly enamoured. Yerevan is ideally placed for day trips to several of Armenia’s highlights including Geghard Monastery, Lake Sevan, and the iconic Khor Virap monastery. The capital is also where you will find some of the country’s best restaurants and most comfortable hotels. One of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, Yerevan has a rich cultural and historical heritage and its sights are diverse: from the terraced Cascade stairway, and the imposing Mother Armenia monument, to The Matenadaran, a museum-repository of ancient manuscripts, and a tour of the Ararat Distillery (Armenia claims to produce the best brandy in the world).
A selection of itineraries featuring Armenia will be available on our website soon. In the meantime, we’d be extremely happy to chat about the possibilities.
It’s crucial that we re-visit our destinations regularly in order to keep up to date with the latest developments, and this is particularly important when tourism is in its infancy. The team have visited Georgia three times over the past eighteen months, and Balaji has just returned from a visit to the Kazbegi region of Georgia. Sitting in the shadow of Mount Kazbeg, the little settlement of Stepantsminda is a great base for exploring the surrounding region. One of our favourite parts of the Caucasus, Kazbegi is the location of the stunningly located Gergeti Trinity Church and offers some superb hiking as well as an excellent boutique hotel: Rooms Hotel. Part of a new genre of luxury hotels, Rooms Hotel Kazbegi provides a touch of style amid Georgia’s high Caucasus mountains. The spectacular landscape takes centre stage at this chic alpine-esque hotel which is undoubtedly one of the most sophisticated places to stay in Georgia, outside of Tbilisi.
A visit to Kazbegi can be incorporated into any tailor-made holiday to Georgia. However, with prices starting at just £1845 per person, our 8 days / 7 nights Taste of Georgia itinerary is the perfect introduction to the Caucasus.
Ahead of the centenary of Howard Carter’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt, King Tut’s treasures have come to London. The priceless treasures are making a final appearance in London, and other places around the world, before permanently returning to Cairo. But why wait until their return to Cairo in 2021? There is no better time to visit Egypt and now is the time to explore the ancient civilisation of the pharaohs. As part of our continuous endeavour to develop innovative itineraries to Egypt, Hugh has returned to Egypt throughout the year. Our absolute favourite way to see Upper Egypt is aboard a dahabiya, a traditional boat similar in style to those on which Carter himself would have plied the Nile. A dahabiya Nile cruise allows you to enjoy Egypt at a gentle pace: time to relax on spacious wooden sundecks is combined with walks through sleepy villages, meeting Egyptians as they go about their daily lives, and visiting some of the wonderful ancient sites in places where the large multi-deck cruises cannot dock.
Our expanding portfolio features the best dahabiyas on the Nile. Suggested itineraries include our Classic Dahabiya Nile Cruise (10 days / 9 nights from £2150 per person) and the Luxury Dahabiya Nile Cruise (11 days / 10 nights from £2695 per person). Call us to discuss the full range of options.
In a country as vast and diverse as India, there is always something new for the traveller to discover, and that includes our destination experts. At the beginning of the year, Balaji headed to East India to develop some new itineraries designed with Indophiles and second-time visitors in mind. Nestled amid the rolling hills of Darjeeling, Glenburn Tea Estate remains a perennial favourite with discerning travellers and we found the Glenburn experience to be as welcoming as always. Venturing into rural Bengal, Balaji was thrilled to spend time at Rajbari Bawli, a sophisticated 19th-century mansion set on the outskirts of Calcutta which offers a glimpse into the way of life of the wealthy traders of time past, known as the nabobs. Odisha (formerly known as Orissa) is one of India’s less-visited regions and makes for a fascinating off-the-beaten-path travel experience. Tourist infrastructure is a little lacking but we intend to keep a keen eye on developments in the region, and for now it’s an exciting option for intrepid travellers.
Explore some of eastern India’s hidden gems on these suggested itineraries:
Nabobs & Tea Planters: Colonial Calcutta and Darjeeling 11 days / 10 nights from £3195 per person and
Classic Odisha Tour 12 Days / 11 Nights from £3195 per person.
Hugh’s most recent trip to Oman saw him visit the lesser-visited but highly scenic Salalah and Empty Quarter southern regions of the country. Dhofar province in Oman’s far south is characterised by incense infused souks, ancient ruined frankincense ports, water-fed wadis, whitewashed forts, desolate sun-blasted mountains, white powder beaches, and magnificent towering dunes. Endowed with both coconut fringed beaches on its Indian Ocean shores and landscapes featuring rugged white limestone cliffs, Dhofar is an engaging destination which contrasts perfectly with the enormous shifting dunes of the Empty Quarter (Rub Al Khali) desert. Oman’s Empty Quarter is one of the last outposts remaining for those who yearn for adventure, discovery and the wild! Highlights of a mobile camping safari include the magical sight of sunrise over the desert and a thrilling off-road 4WD adventure.
Visit these two very different areas of southern Oman on our Salalah & Oman’s Empty Quarter itinerary, a private tour that explores the country’s highly scenic south. 9 Days / 8 Nights from £3895 per person.
Dismissed as a beach holiday destination, Tunisia is often over-looked by travellers seeking a cultural experience. In March, Kirsty toured Tunisia’s historical sights and stunning landscapes and was awed by the country. From labyrinthine souks with distinctive colourful wooden doors to white-washed villages, Tunisia’s diversity doesn’t stop with its architecture. From the rippling dunes of the Sahara to lush mountain oases, and picturesque harbours, it’s hard to pick a favourite. Tunisia is also scattered with archaeological ruins including the Roman city of Dougga, the amphitheatre at El Jem, and some of the best-preserved Roman mosaics in the world. Once the heartland of the mighty Carthaginian Empire, bread-basket of ancient Rome, and coveted base of the infamous Barbary pirates; modern Tunisia offers the visitor a magnificently rich panorama of history that is rarely matched elsewhere.
Choose from our selection of private journeys to Tunisia including Tunis Sojourn (5 days / 4 nights from £865 per person), Tunisia & The Barbary Coast (8 days / 7 nights from £1220 per person), and the all-encompassing Grand Tour Of Tunisia (11 days / 10 nights from £2150 per person). Alternatively, contact us to discuss a tailor-made itinerary.
Lebanon has proved to be very popular with our clients and it’s also a particular favourite of our founder, Hugh. He makes regular visits in an effort to unearth some of the charming homestays and cosy boutique hotels that are emerging across the country. Designed for those who enjoy a slower pace of travel, our Lebanon Off the Beaten Track itinerary is an immersive journey that showcases a side of Lebanon that visitors rarely experience and includes stays at charming boutique hotels and homestays in rural areas. Lebanon may be a small country but it has always packed a punch when it comes to unforgettable sights… Roman ruins, Crusader castles, a stunning coastline, mouth-watering cuisine, beautiful scenery. The increasing number of characterful guesthouses and boutique hotels that are peppered across the country mean visitors no longer need to reply on returning to Beirut after a day of sightseeing.