Gerewol Festival, Chad (Native Eye)
List 01 March

7 fun-filled festivals trips

Get a ticket to the planet’s most unique gatherings – from Indian music festivals and Alaskan husky races, to Buddhist celebrations in the Himalayas

Marvel at Alaska's dashing dogs

Witness the ultimate canine sledding spectacle on Artisan Travel’s 11-day Spirit of Alaska: Iditarod 2016 trip. The Iditarod is one of the world’s greatest dog sledding endurance races. Mush a team of competing huskies along wilderness trails before waving them off at the 1,600km race’s ceremonial start.

Dog sled team, Iditarod (Shutterstock)
Dog sled team, Iditarod (Shutterstock)

Swap sled for boat to cruise glacier-flanked Prince William Sound, then board the Alaska Railroad to Fairbanks, looking for Arctic foxes, moose and caribou en route. Ice sculptures and, with luck, the Northern Lights will add extra sparkle.

More like this: 4 ways to experience Alaska's great outdoors

Celebrate Mbororo style in Chad

Get a rare insight into one of Africa’s most passionate celebrations on Native Eye’s 8-day trip to The Gerewol Festival. Drive through the Sahel to the Durbali region to meet the semi-nomadic Mbororo people as they gear up for the event.

Gerewol Festival, Chad (Native Eye)
Gerewol Festival, Chad (Native Eye)

Join in the singing and dancing, watch camel racing and see the men don jewellery, feathers and vibrant makeup in a bid to court the ladies – a tradition that’s centuries old.

More like this: How to take great photos of festivals

Dress up for Venice Carnival

With all of its crowds and souvenir touts, it can be hard to have a truly cultural experience in Venice – but now's your chance. During the legendary Carnival (just before Easter), St Mark's Square is certainly busy – but the crowds are dressed in dazzling masks and ornate costumes, revelling in the festivities that date back to the 13th century.

Venice Carnival (Shutterstock)
Venice Carnival (Shutterstock)

On G Adventures' Winter in Italy trip you'll be immersed in Carnival, as well as Italy's other main sights: the 9-night itinerary includes 3 days in Rome, Florence and Venice – with plenty of stops for ice cream and pizza along the way.

More like this: First 24 hours in Venice

Blend songs and safari in India

Take a tuneful trip round one of India’s lesser-visited states with Songlines Music Travel’s India – Assam Musical Adventure tour. Hear performances of traditional zikir music in Jorhat and local Kamrupia Lokogeet folk tunes in Golaghat.

Rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park (Shutterstock)
Rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park (Shutterstock)

This 10-day trip mixes music with Sivasagar’s temples, the Brahmaputra River’s Majuli Island, a jeep safari in Kaziranga NP (looking for rhinos and elephants) and the 11th-century hilltop ruins of Deopahar.

More like this: Spotting rhinos in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park


Eyeball an eclipse in Mozambique

If you want to be in a prime position for one of 2016’s best celestial spectacles, join Expert Africa’s Ibo Eclipse Holiday in Mozambique. This 6-night trip stays at Ibo Island which is located in the zone of totality offering one of the best views in the world of this phenomenal event.

Traditional dhow boats, Mozambique (Shutterstock)
Traditional dhow boats, Mozambique (Shutterstock)

As well as watching the skies for the solar eclipse, take to the turquoise waters around the Quirimbas Archipelago on a dhow safari, snorkel with 375 species of fish (including seahorses), wander the mangrove forests, beautiful beaches, and soak up some history.

More like this: On safari in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique
 

High-altitude hijinks in the Himalayas

During winter, Ladakh is a land of frozen rivers, ice-cold winds and snow-covered mountains – a chillsome corner of India. But existence up here is far from bleak: venture to Thikse Monastery, a 12-storey complex at 3,600 metres above sea level, to encounter vibrant religious dances and rich hospitality.

Thikse Monastery (Shutterstock)
Thikse Monastery (Shutterstock)

Exodus's Festivals & Villages of Ladakh trip whisks you high up into the Himalayas, where you'll find the Gustor ritual: a 3-day festival of masked dances, synchronised chanting and trading. There's also the chance to spot snow leopards, experience a Ladakhi homestay, and explore the breath-taking valleys on foot.

More like this: 12 mountains everybody should climb

Absorb the aurora in Finland

Illuminate both mind and body on Off the Map Travel's 4-night Northern Lights for the Soul trip. Relax with yoga and meditation sessions in the Kilpisjarvi wilderness to get you in the mood for hunting the aurora in the evening.

Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland (Shutterstock)
Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland (Shutterstock)

Unwind further with traditional saunas (invigorating dips in ice holes are optional!), and tuck into a Lappish meal of reindeer and winter berries in a Sami kota tent.

More like this: How to see the Northern Lights for less than £250


Main image: Venice Carnival (Shutterstock)