Spotlight on… holidays 2017

James Bond island Ko Tapu in Phang Nga bay

If you’ve always taken a beach holiday or gone skiing, now’s a great time to mix things up a bit and try something different.

There’s so much on offer that, whatever time of year you like you travel, there’s always something around to inspire you.

Here are just a few ideas to get your creative travel juices flowing:


Rail travel shouldn’t be restricted to your daily commute, and Eurostar certainly isn’t where travel overseas stops. And with so many exciting and amazing rail journeys around the world, it also isn’t just for train fanatics.

iStock_000007147897_LargeStarting with bonny Scotland, the Jacobite Steam Train is widely considered one of the finest journeys in the world, recapturing a golden era of steam rail travel for a new generation of travellers.

The amazing original locomotives take it in turns to make the 82 mile trip from Fort William to Mallaig and back. Truly stunning scenery and right here in the UK…

If you fancy going further afield you could try AMTRAK in the US, Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer, the New Zealand Tranzalpine, The Pride of Africa or the Shatabdi Express in India. Plenty to choose from!


Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 14.58According to the Oxford Dictionary, glamping is ‘a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping’.

Very popular nowadays, this is a great way of experiencing the great outdoors without the sleeping bag and freezing cold tent. This along with yurts, tree houses, gypsy caravans and shepherds’ huts are all the rage. With options to suit all budgets and glamping now popular in Europe too, you don’t have to stick to the UK.

Those wanting to keep their feet on home turf should check out The Dandelion Hideaway for more information.


Woman artist paintingIf you love painting why not be inspired by different landscapes, meet fellow art lovers, and learn from experienced painters from around the world?

Painting is big business and there are operators such as Authentic Adventures that can offer you the chance to experience destinations such as Romania, Italy, India, Sri Lanka and Turkey to name but a few.

These companies also offer singing, photography and food and wine holidays. So whatever you’re in to why not explore your passion to the maximum on a specialist holiday like this?

Cultural walking

Hikers in the forrestOne of the best ways to experience a destination is on foot. A guided cultural walking tour gets you up close and personal – whether you’re exploring the backstreets of Venice, the monasteries of Armenia or the mountain trails of Bhutan.

The trick is finding a tour operator that combines imaginative itineraries with expert guides and organises small groups of like-minded travellers.

Tall ship sailing

Tall ship on the oceanThis is an experience like no other, provided by luxury companies such as Star Clipper. Enjoy an adventure on the waves, but with the comfort and luxury of a normal cruise.

Perhaps one for the cruisers out there who want to try something different and more adventurous? This is a much more intimate experience, with the feeling of being on your own private yacht!

Eco travel

iStock_000021022751_LargeAn eco holiday following the Inca Trail, in the Amazon Rainforest or whale watching in the Azores could be just the trip. You’ll find this type of holiday in the UK too.

‘Responsible tourism’ can apply to many types of holidays, but it simply means holidays that care about the local communities, their culture as well as the environment and conserving any wildlife in the correct way.

Island hopping

James Bond island Ko Tapu in Phang Nga bayWhether you’re in Greece, Thailand, Seychelles or Cape Verde, why not experience a few places during your holiday? Perhaps beach/city or beach/beach – there are so many options it’s a great choice for the more adventurous traveller.

Greece is super popular for these types of holidays as ferries running regularly between the various islands.

Popular combinations are Santorini and Naxos and Symi and Rhodes. Olympic Holidays are a great choice for these types of packages and their prices and small family run properties make island hopping very affordable indeed!

Whatever your choice of holiday, why not make 2015 an adventurous one?

Find out more… (rail) (glamping) (painting and other specialist holidays) (cultural walking and eco travel) (tall ships)

Kirsty Fisher

About Kirsty Fisher

I’m a travel counsellor with over 12 years’ experience working in the industry, in both leisure and business. I have many customers who love to cruise – visit my website to find out more.