The photogenic Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto (Dreamstime)
List 09 January 2019

Exploring in expert company: 2019’s best new learning trips

From photographing Japan and Nepal with the professionals, to getting great views of Chile's total eclipse – discover the planet’s most fascinating corners with help from those in the know…

1: India

Authentic biriyani – just one of the many tastes of India... (Shutterstock)

Authentic biriyani – just one of the many tastes of India... (Shutterstock)

Taste the spice of life

Indian cuisine is a swirling, lip-tingling, multifarious joy, part of the country’s rainbow patchwork of customs and traditions. Wild Frontiers’ new Tastes of India: A Culinary Tour with Romy Gill trip combines all of the above into one sense-assaulting sojourn through the country. In the company of food expert and chef Romy Gill, you’ll head to Delhi, Lucknow, Kolkata and Hyderabad – sampling delicious specialities, touring markets, and delving into the extraordinary history of the region.

Meals, cookery lessons, entrance fees, sightseeing and other attractions are all included. Ever tried a truly authentic biriyani? You will here.

Who: Wild Frontiers 

When: 3 Oct 2019

How long: 10 nights

How much: From £4,275 (excl int’l flights)

2: Georgia

Tbilisi blends striking architecture with cool cafés (Dreamstime)

Tbilisi blends striking architecture with cool cafés (Dreamstime)

Join Wanderlust on a unique trip

Lying on a key stop on the Silk Road, Georgia has always seemed like a cultural outlier: one foot in Europe, the other in Asia. It’s a fascinating blend of the two continents, and one that Wanderlust Journeys’ Discover Georgia with Lyn Hughes trip sets out to unravel, all in the company of Wanderlust’s co-founder and editor-in-chief – yes, that’s two travel icons for one.

Join Lyn everywhere from hip capital Tbilisi – a curious blend of sixth-century architecture and café culture – to the rock-hewn monasteries of Davit Gareja, and along the way sip orange wine in the vineyards of the Kakheti region, explore the remarkable cave town of Vardzia, and wander the little-visited mountainous area of Tusheti.

Who: Wanderlust Journeys 

When: 24 July 2019

How long: 11 days

How much: From £1,825 (excl int’l flights)

3: Chile

The vineyards of the Elqui Valley (Dreamstime)

The vineyards of the Elqui Valley (Dreamstime)

Watch the wonders of the cosmos with an expert

Wanderlust subscribers can use their £50 voucher for this trip!

Wendy Wu’s Chile Eclipse trip gives you premium seats as July’s total eclipse rips across the skies above the Pacific Ocean and southern Latin America. From the lively port of Valparaíso, where the poet Pablo Neruda once found inspiration and colourful houses trickle down the hills to the shoreline, you will make for the seaside city of La Serena and out into the Elqui Valley. Here you’ll find vineyards and pisco makers, as well as the best views of the eclipse (2 July).

You’ll also be joined by author and astronomer Dr Stuart Clark (along with a few bottles of local wine) to help unravel the mysteries of the day. Side trips to the colonial cobbles of Santiago’s old centre and the region’s surrounding vineyards only add to this trip’s star power.

Who: Wendy Wu

When: 29 Jun 2019

How long: 7 days

How much: From £3,790 (incl int’l flights)


4: Cuba

Havana's Malécon promenade (Byron Motley Photography)

Havana's Malécon promenade (Byron Motley Photography)

Live a literary adventure

Ever-atmospheric, fast-evolving Cuba is a singular whirl for the senses – and Steppes Travel’s new Hemingway & Highlights small-group tour captures it all. You’ll travel with Cuba expert and journalist Lydia Bell, meet Ernest Hemingway’s daughter-in-law (and former PA), and see Cuba’s extraordinary highlights – from colonial Havana and the Viñales countryside, to the wetlands of Ciénaga de Zapata and Che Guevara’s resting place in Santa Clara.

For those keen to scratch beneath the surface and understand how this Caribbean country is transforming, this is the ideal itinerary.

Who: Steppes Travel 

When: 4 Apr 2019

How long: 12 days

How much: From £5,295 (excl int’l flights)

5: Japan

The photogenic Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto (Dreamstime)

The photogenic Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto (Dreamstime)

Put the Far East in focus

Few destinations are as photogenic as Japan, where sharp design and an exotic otherness intertwine to heady effect. For travellers who take their photography seriously, it makes InsideJapan Tours’ Portraits of Japan trip a deeply appealing prospect. Hosted by a professional photographer – and even featuring the services of a kimono model – the programme encompasses time-honoured highlights such as Kyoto and Osaka alongside a range of other striking sights.

Expect to encounter everything from monks and fishermen to geishas and fan dancers – and there’s even an exhibition party at the end of the trip to showcase the group’s images.

Who: InsideJapan Tours 

When: 21 Oct 2019

How long: 11 nights

How much: From £6,000 (excl int’l flights)


6: Nepal

Painting the Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu (Stuart Holmes)

Painting the Boudhanath stupa in Kathmandu (Stuart Holmes)

Capture the magic

From old bazaars and ash-smeared sadhus to brightly coloured yak trains, even the everyday has a spark of the magical in Nepal – and that’s before you even get to the mountains. Wild Photography Holidays’ Nepal: a Photographic Expedition to Everest Base Camp trip doesn’t simply head straight for the peaks, but provides time to train your lens on the stupas, markets, and everyday life of the Kathmandu Valley first.

From there, it’s a short flight to Lukla to trek rocky paths through forests, across prayer flag-draped bridges, and up the slopes – passing monasteries at 4,000m-plus, to settlements where the air is thin and the pace is slow. Here everyday life is as fascinating as the geography is incredible, with professional photographer and mountaineer Stuart Holmes leading you all the way up to base camp at 5,300m. Unforgettable.

Who: Wild Photography Holidays 

When: 26 Apr 2019 & 24 Apr 2020

How long: 16 days

How much: From £2,450 (excl int’l flights)

7: Iran

Silky way: The colourful entrance to the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz (Shutterstock)

Silky way: The colourful entrance to the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz (Shutterstock)

Follow in Lumley’s footsteps

If, like us, you watched Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road Adventure series on ITV last year, you will no doubt have been swept up by her immersive Persian odyssey: travelling from the bustling bazaars of Tehran to the pleasure gardens of Kashan and the ancient grandeur of Persepolis. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, one of the directors of travel company Silk Road Adventures, worked closely with the crew to design the television series itinerary – and thus makes the perfect leader for A Silk Road Adventure: Iran.

You’ll visit all of Lumley’s favourite destinations, from the emptiness of the Dasht-e Lut desert to the Abbasid architecture of Isfahan and the food, historic sites and poetry of Shiraz, in a group of no more than ten travellers.  

Who: Silk Road Adventures

When: 7 Apr 2019

How long: 14 days

How much: From £3,650 (excl int’l flights)

Your Wanderlust £50 voucher

Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators.

And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer: you get one every time you renew your subscription.

The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring that Wanderlust subscribers always get the best deal possible. 

Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount.

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