October 31, 2017

5 spooky places to spend Halloween around the world

The origins of All Hallows’ Eve can be traced back to Samhain, an ancient Celtic pagan festival. In modern times it is celebrated on the 31st of October and marks the time in the year to remember the dead, including saints (the hallowed) and martyrs. The costume parties, jack-o-lanterns and trick or treating that we associate with Halloween only become popular in the late 19th century.

Here are a few ideas from our partners at The Travel Corporation on spellbinding destinations to be on Halloween…

Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic

Like the most unsettling scenes from a horror movie, the Sedlec Ossuary will be something you see in your nightmares for days to come.

Photo © AdobeStock / Alexandr Chernyshov

Also called the Church of Bones, this perplexing chapel is adorned by more than 40,000 human skeletons that make up every part of the décor, including a coat of arms and a chandelier that contains at least one of every human bone.

GO HERE WITH SURE: Visit the Sedlec Ossuary on Trafalgar’s 10-day Prague, Vienna and Budapest itinerary through four of Central Europe's epicentres of culture and arts. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.

Dracula’s Castle, Transylvania

Known throughout the world as “Dracula’s Castle”, Bran Castle has been widely purported to have been a source of eerie inspiration for Bram Stoker when writing his iconic novel Dracula (despite the author never having seen it in person).



Wander through the 600-year-old gothic fortress into dark, stonewalled secret staircases and cavernous rooms once occupied by Romanian royalty. Explore its haunting intrigue, mystery and learn about the ghosts of the fictitious undead and the cryptic local evil spirits called “strigoi” that seem to resemble vampires.

GO HERE WITH SURE: Visit Bran Castle on Insight Vacation’s 18-day Treasure of The Balkans journey where you’ll get to discover the myths and legends of Dracula. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.


Witches Market, Bolivia

 Boasting brews and potions that exact revenge on a cheating spouse – or aid in seeking an abundance of wealth – the Witches Market in La Paz, Bolivia, is a treasure trove of the weird, the ritualistic and the macabre.

Photo © Adobestock / Scottiebumich 

Selling their wares are the yatiri, the last witch doctors in South America, who wander through the stalls, offering to perform pagan rituals on anyone who needs a little magic in their lives.

GO HERE WITH SURE: Visit the Witches Market in La Paz on Contiki’s new 13-day Bella Bolivia adventure. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.


The Forbidden City, China

 It’s near impossible to have a 600-year history devoid of a few bone-chilling tales, and the Forbidden City is not exempt. Centuries of assassinations have made for a myriad of ghost sightings, including a weeping woman in white, long believed to have been a murdered concubine.



Visitors are invited to look into a well haunted by a suicide, but be forewarned that something blood-curdling might be looking back. Lore has it that precautions have been made against haunting ghouls in the form of high steps between doorways to “trap” spirits in a room.

GO HERE WITH SURE: Visit the Forbidden City (with a Peking Duck lunch) as a featured excursion aboard Uniworld’s 18-day Grand China & The Yangtze voyage. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.

The Colosseum, Rome

Considered a must-see attraction for visitors to Italy at any time of the year, most forget that the history of the Colosseum includes a lust for blood, gore and revenge. Thousands died in the arena after its 80 AD opening, and the ghosts of slain gladiators are said to haunt the Colosseum to this day.



Many visitors have reported hearing screaming, cheering, crying and moaning, feeling cold spots and gentle pushing – not to mention seeing ghostly figures sitting in the stands and Roman soldiers standing guard at multiple entrances.

GO HERE WITH SURE: Visit the Colosseum and all its ghoulish splendour on Luxury Gold’s 12-day Ultimate Italy journey. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.


October 30, 2017

Where in the world can Trafalgar take you?

PERU!

Photo © www.visitperu.com

La Bienvenida a Perú! The third-largest country in South America and, of course, home to the famous Machu Picchu, llamas and alpacas. Peru has it all – history, natural beauty, adventure, wildlife, vibrant culture and delicious cuisine, not to mention an intoxicating air of mystery.

First stop is the Colca Canyon in Southern Peru. More than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon (although the walls are not as steep), the Colca Canyon is home to the Andean Condor, one of the largest birds in the world, with a wingspan reaching up to 3.2 metres. This is one of the few spots on the planet where it's relatively easy to see this bird species at close range.

Photo © www.visitperu.com

Another definite must-see are the Nazca Lines, a series of hundreds of massive designs dug into the ground by the Nazca culture well over a millennium ago. Their designs range from simple geometric shapes to highly stylised images primarily depicting plants and animals from the natural world. Some of the figures are over 200 metres across and the only way to see them is from an elevated vantage point.

Photo © www.visitperu.com

Peru is an incredibly biodiverse country as visitors will see during a boat tour of the Islas Ballestas, the small group of islands that is one of the world's most widely recognised biodiversity hot spots. The islands can be reached by boat tours departing Paracas and generally takes around two hours. The Peruvian Amazon is another biodiversity hotspot, and it’s home to Iquitos, the largest city in the world without outside road access.

Throw a bit of culture into your Peruvian mix and visit the floating islands on Lake Titicaca: the largest lake in South America, the highest navigable lake in the world and home to the pre-Incan Uru people. This indigenous community still lives on what are essentially floating islands built and rebuilt out of dried reeds, drifting over the surface of the lake.



Peru has the highest sand dune in the world, Cerro Blanco, located in the Sechura Desert in the south. It measures 3,860 feet from the base to the summit and towers over the desert oasis town, Huacachina. What makes it even more fun is that you can ride dune buggies up to the top of the dunes and then strap a board to your feet and sandboard down it all the way to the town below.

For a modern-day cultural experience, head out to Barranco, arguably Peru’s hippest neighbourhood. Barranco is home to galleries, cafés, bars, nightclubs, and everything else you'll require to pass the time in bohemian bliss.

For the type of food that attracts gourmet greats to Peru’s shores, visit the capital city Lima. If you’re not a picky eater, you should try out some guinea pig or cuy, a traditional dish eaten served crispy complete with head, legs and eyes. It is healthier and has a lot more protein and less fat than llama meat. To quench your thirst, try a Pisco Sour, made from Peruvian grape brandy, mixed with lemons, sugar water, egg whites, ice and finished with bitters.

Photo © www.visitperu.com

So, “paca” your bags and experience this colourful and diverse destination with Trafalgar’s 12-day Land of the Incas tour. Ask your nearest Sure Travel consultant for details, or call 0861 47 48 49.


Play the #TravelTuesday with Trafalgar quiz and WIN!

Win a R350 Sorbet voucher!

Simply guess…

Where in the WORLD Trafalgar Tours can take you:




* I am the third-largest country in South America.
* I am home to one of the new Seven Wonders of the World - a famous archaeological site.
* I have the highest sand dune in the world.
* Love potatoes? Over 3 000 varieties are grown on my lands.

TO ENTER

1. Put your answer in the comment section of the competition post on Facebook.
2. Add the hashtags: #TravelTuesday #Trafalgar after your answer.
3. Share the competition post on your own Facebook page.

It’s really that easy! The winner will be announced on social media tomorrow.


Terms and conditions:
1. One winner will be selected at random from the correct entries.
2. The judge’s decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.
3. The winner will receive a R350 Sorbet voucher, courtesy of Trafalgar Tours.
4. The voucher will be posted to the winner by Trafalgar Tours.
5. Prizes not claimed after two weeks will be forfeited.
6. Competition is open to South African residents only.

October 27, 2017

'It's safe to travel to Madagascar and Seychelles' – WHO




There’s no need to stop travelling to Madagascar due to the outbreak of plague on the Indian Ocean island.

This is according to the latest assessment by the World Health Organisation (WHO) following a large outbreak of plague affecting major cities and other areas in Madagascar since August 2017. “WHO advises against any restriction on travel or trade on Madagascar based on the available information,” reads the organisation’s report from October 26.

The WHO also stressed there is no need for travel restrictions to the Seychelles following cases of suspected plague: “At this stage, Seychelles has not confirmed any plague case on its territory, and there is a very low risk that international travellers would come into contact with plague in Seychelles.”

Although declared plague free, Seychelles remains on high alert, as does Mauritius, Maldives, Reunion and South Africa.

WHO said the outbreak in Madagascar carries only a moderate risk of spread to neighbouring Indian Ocean islands, “which is mitigated naturally by the short incubation period of pneumonic plague and the institution of exit screening measures at the airport and other major ports”.

Plague is a preventable and treatable disease, however untreated pneumonic plague is always fatal. Madagascar has reported 124 deaths out of the 1 192 confirmed infections since August, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Madagascar's National Bureau of Risk Management and Disaster reported on Monday.

While tourists to Madagascar and its neighbouring islands should be notified of the outbreak and follow the advice to travellers published by WHO earlier this month, the organisation stresses that there is no need to cancel travel.

Since October 10, the Madagascar Ministry of Health, with support from WHO, has implemented exit screening at the international airport in Antananarivo to prevent international spread. The Seychelles Government has also established precautionary measures in partnership with the WHO.

Need more expert travel advice on the plague outbreak? Speak to your nearest Sure Travel consultant. 

October 24, 2017

Where in the world can Trafalgar take you?

Singapore!



It’s time to scratch-up on your Singlish and head to Singapore for an experience unlike any other.

Singapore is very much a destination of contrasts and this is evident as you explore Chinatown and Little India, both of which are gastronomic and shopping hubs in their own right that both display the incredible ethnic diversity of Singapore.

That’s all sandwiched into a truly 21st century city where anything seems possible. At the futuristic Gardens of the Bay Park, you’ll come across the famous Supertree structures, which offer an impressive skywalk over the gardens and oversized seashell-shaped greenhouses that recreate chilly mountain climates. 



If you’re not scared of heights, consider taking a ride on the famous Singapore Flyer, known to be the world’s largest observation wheel. Built over a three-story terminal building, the Flyer is 150 metres in diameter, 165 metres high, and travels at 0.21m per second. Some advice: if possible try it out twice! Because, with breath-taking panoramic views that are so radically different during the day and at night, you may just miss out if you only try it once. 

It’s not all city buzz, though. For some rest and relaxation, head to Sentosa, a purpose-built island off the southern tip of Singapore. Sentosa offers a collection of beaches, theme parks, golf, shopping, dining and more. Perhaps even more exciting is that you do not have to travel by road as the island can be reached by cable car. 

For a safari of a different kind, Singapore’s famous Night Safari comes highly recommended. It is not only an interesting place worth a visit but a leading conservation and research centre in Asia. As a zoo it offers an unusual glimpse into the nocturnal animal kingdom, with more than 59 exhibits and 1 000 animals to be seen from around the world. These include Himalayan griffon vultures, greater one-horned rhinoceroses, wildebeests and gazelles. 



At Universal Studios Singapore you will get a glimpse of Hollywood in Asia. The park has more than 20 attractions in themed zones, including the Lost World, Ancient Egypt, New York, Hollywood, Madagascar and Far Far Away (remember Shrek and Fiona?), as well as several rides to keep the thrill going. 

Not to be missed is Marina Bay with the focal point being the Marina Bay Sands complex, famed for its shopping, gambling opportunities, dining and nightlife and, of course, the spectacular light show, which illuminates the water as well as several iconic landmarks.



In the mood for a real Singapore slammer? Make your way to Clarke Quay. This riverside development is packed full of bustling bars and restaurants, boutique shops and nightclubs.


Why not explore this one-of-a-kind destination with Trafalgar’s 4-day Singapore experience? Contact your Sure Travel consultant to book, or call 0861 47 48 49.



October 23, 2017

Play the #TravelTuesday with Trafalgar quiz and WIN!

Win a R350 Sorbet voucher!

Simply guess…

Where in the WORLD Trafalgar Tours can take you:





* I am one of only three surviving city-states in the world. The other two are Monaco and the Vatican City.
* I am among the 20 smallest destinations in the world, with a total land area of only 682.7 square kilometres.

* I have the fastest pedestrians on the planet (collectively clocking at least 6.2 kilometres per hour).

TO ENTER

1. Put your answer in the comment section of the competition post on Facebook.
2. Add the hashtags: #TravelTuesday #Trafalgar after your answer.
3. Share the competition post on your own Facebook page.

It’s really that easy! The winner will be announced on social media tomorrow.


Terms and conditions:
1. One winner will be selected at random from the correct entries.
2. The judge’s decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.
3. The winner will receive a R350 Sorbet voucher, courtesy of Trafalgar Tours.
4. The voucher will be posted to the winner by Trafalgar Tours.
5. Prizes not claimed after two weeks will be forfeited.
6. Competition is open to South African residents only.

October 19, 2017

Thailand to stub out smoking on beaches



Tourists caught smoking on Thailand’s popular beaches will soon face up to a year in prison or a hefty fine.

This comes after Thailand announced it is introducing a ban on smoking at 20 beaches, including those in the popular tourist destination of Phuket. Authorities say the measure is due to the tens of thousands of cigarette butts left in the sand, with “stompies” making up a third of all waste collected on popular beaches. 

Recently, more than 138,000 cigarette butts had been collected by an environmental group over a 2.5km stretch of Patong beach in Phuket.

The ban, which will come into effect next month, will apply to beaches in the provinces of Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri and Songkhla, and includes the popular resorts of Koh Samui and Pattaya, the Bangkok Post reports.

The penalty for violating the ban will be up to a year in prison or a possible fine of up to 100,000 baht (R41,000).

While smoking will be prohibited on specified beaches, there will be designated areas further inland where smokers will be able drop their butts into the containers provided. 

Need more expert travel advice? Contact your nearest Sure Travel agency. 

Where in the world can Trafalgar take you?

Turkey!



Merhaba (hello) Turkey, the country that gifted us tulips, cherries and coffee, the birth place of Santa Claus, where oil wrestling is the national sport,  and where you can enjoy a chicken dessert!

Apart from its quirks, Turkey is one of the most beautiful, mysterious and exotic locations on Earth. It is packed with cultural heritage and there are more than 13 spots in Turkey inscribed on Unesco’s list of World Heritage Sites, and even more on the tentative list. They range from a Mesolithic temple (Göbekli Tepe) to a Biblical city (Ephesus) to a World War One battlefield (Gallipoli).



If you are a fan of ancient history or just Hollywood, then you might be interested in learning that the fabled city of Troy is believed to have existed, in real life, in Turkey. While it is believed that the city was destroyed and rebuilt many times, you will come across remnants of the fabled walls that surrounded the city and that are still in existence today. What we cannot promise is that you’ll encounter Brad Pitt.

Interestingly, while the Turkish population is 99% Muslim, the country is home to some of the most important sites in Christendom and draws draw tens of thousands of Christian pilgrims each year to visit some of its most famous sites. These include the 1,500-year-old Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, and the Armenian Apostolic Church in Kayseri which was established over 1,700 years.



It is not only history that makes Turkey famous. Its beautiful turquoise coastline draws sun-worshippers the world over. Ztuzu Beach, located west of Fethiye, is a major breeding ground for the endangered loggerhead sea turtle. The turtles arrive between May and October, climbing ashore at the exact site of their birth to lay a new generation of eggs. The beach sees around 300 nests dug each year, and government regulations have succeeded in balancing tourism with the need to protect and conserve this precious natural resource. Just down the coast, you will also find Patara, known to be the longest beach along the Mediterranean.



Want to go skiing? Don’t let Turkey’s balmy coastal climate fool you. The country is also home to spectacular mountain ranges, and during wintertime visitors can hit the slopes at nearly a dozen resorts. As a matter of fact, at Palandöken, in the eastern province of Erzurum, you will find Turkey’s highest and what is known to be Europe’s longest natural ski run of 3 125 metres.

When in Turkey, it is also best if you throw a blind eye to your budget, even if it is just for one day as it is home the one of the world’s oldest and biggest malls. Kapalı Çarı or Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar is believed to date back to 1455. Currently the ‘mall’ consists of roughly 61 streets lined by more than 3,000 shops. It is said that you will never possibly be able to explore it all. But there’s no harm in trying, right?



It’s also a good idea to forget about your waistline when visiting Turkey. From mezes and salads, to fruits and fish, pilav and pasta, Turkey will tantalise your taste buds. But don’t despair meat lovers; one of the more famous meat dishes is Döner kebab, made of meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie. The outer layer is sliced vertically into thin shavings as it cooks. It may be served on a plate with various accompaniments, stuffed into a pita or other type of bread as a sandwich, or wrapped in a thin flatbread such as lavash or yufka, known as a dürüm.



When it comes to dessert, don’t be surprised if you find some chicken in your sweet treat. The signature Ottoman treat is tavuk gösü, or chicken breast pudding. It’s a strange blend of boiled chicken, milk, and sugar, dusted with cinnamon. If it sounds too exotic, there is of course always baklava and traditional Turkish ice cream which can be eaten with knives and forks. And did we mention the Turkish delight?

Go here with Sure: Why not explore this amazingly diverse country with Trafalgar's 11 Day Wonders of Turkey package ?



October 16, 2017

Play the #TravelTuesday with Trafalgar quiz and WIN!

Win a R350 Sorbet voucher!

Simply guess…

Where in the WORLD Trafalgar Tours can take you:





* I am a country and my national sport is oil wrestling
* I gifted tulips to the world (you’re welcome, Holland!)
* Forget the North Pole, Santa Claus was born here
* When you visit me, you can travel to Batman

TO ENTER

1. Put your answer in the comment section of the competition post on Facebook.
2. Add the hashtags: #TravelTuesday #Trafalgar after your answer.
3. Share the competition post on your own Facebook page.

It’s really that easy! The winner will be announced on social media tomorrow.


Terms and conditions:
1. One winner will be selected at random from the correct entries.
2. The judge’s decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.
3. The winner will receive a R350 Sorbet voucher, courtesy of Trafalgar Tours.
4. The voucher will be posted to the winner by Trafalgar Tours.
5. Prizes not claimed after two weeks will be forfeited.
6. Competition is open to South African residents only.

October 15, 2017

5 incredible luxury cruises…for 10% less

Now’s the time to book that luxury, all-inclusive European river cruise you’ve been dreaming about: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is offering a 10% discount on five incredible cruises if you book and pay before 31 October 2017 (valid for travel on all 2018 cruises departing after 1 March 2018). Take your pick…

7-night Burgundy & Provence (Avignon to Lyon)

Follow in the footsteps of Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin on this exquisite journey through southern France. Cruise the Rhône and Saône rivers, enjoying the region’s incomparable wine and cuisine and discovering its many treasures – from the medieval wonders of Unesco-designated Avignon to Lyon’s lively Les Halles food market.



This cruise is for: Travellers wishing to walk through the lands that inspired Van Gogh, Cézanne and Gauguin. History buffs, gastronomes and wine connoisseurs.

Was priced from R41 900 per person sharing in a twin cabin.
10% discount Price: from R37 710

7-night Castles Along The Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel)

Cruise along the Rhine – Germany on one side, France on the other. Discover Alsace, whose dual French and German heritage has given it fabulous food and a winemaking tradition that goes back to the Romans. Marvel at castles that were once mighty fortresses and get an insider’s look at one of the only castles on the Rhine that has never been destroyed, Marksburg Castle. Visit historic cities, including ancient Cologne and picturesque Strasbourg; stroll through the fairytale towns of Riquewihr, Kaysersberg and Rüdesheim; and taste delightful white wines in the villages where the grapes are grown. Beethoven and Byron loved the romantic landscapes of the Rhine River, and the beauty that inspired them is still yours to experience.



This cruise is for: Romantics who love the picturesque and the historic and families.

Was priced from R44 900 per person sharing in a twin cabin
10% discount Price: from R40 410

8-night Remarkable Rhine (Amsterdam to Basel)

A tantalizing mix of art, action and authentic encounters, showcasing The Netherlands, Germany, France and Switzerland at their postcard-perfect best and deeply delving into local culture and traditions to reveal the rich complexity that lies within. Over the course of this nine-day journey, you’ll have special access to the art collections of revered museums in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Cologne and Basel.



This cruise is for: Art lovers and families (Generations Family Programme for ages four – 17 available on select cruises)

Was priced from R41 900 per person sharing in a twin cabin
10% discount Price: from R37 710


9-night Delightful Danube and Prague  (Budapest to Prague)

Experience dynamic Budapest, imperial Vienna and exquisitely preserved Prague. Marvel at ravishing scenery as your luxurious ship glides through the Wachau Valley, celebrated as one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, into Germany and past charming Bavarian villages. Exclusive treasures are plentiful on this delightful journey.



This cruise is for: Art and history lovers, active travellers and families (Generations Family Programme for ages four – 17 available on select cruises)

Was priced from R47 900 per person sharing in a twin cabin
10% discount Price: from R 43 110

9-night Tulips & Windmills (Amsterdam to Antwerp)

From the canals of Amsterdam to the belfry of Bruges, you’ll discover the best of the Netherlands and Belgium. Stroll through colourful acres of tulips at Keukenhof Gardens to get a sense of the Netherlands’ extraordinary connection to these blooms. Then visit the 19 Unesco-designated windmills of Kinderdijk, uncover the rich treasures at Amsterdam’s world-class museums and take in the dazzling skyline of Rotterdam as you cruise through the bustling harbour and drift along the canals of Bruges.



This cruise is for: Those who wish to step back in time may visit historic villages, medieval city centres and 20th-century battlefields. Art lovers will enjoy guided museum visits, while garden lovers will find a host of wonders with springtime blossoms.

Was priced from R44 900* per person sharing in a twin cabin
10% discount Price: from R40 410

Ready to book? Call your nearest Sure Travel agency and ask them about Uniworld’s 10% early booking offer, or call 0861 47 48 49. Hurry… offer expires 31 October 2017. Ts and Cs apply.

WIN a mystery prize hamper valued at R350!

Simply tell us which one of the five Uniworld luxury cruises you’d love to go on for 10% less.

To enter:
1) Post your answer in the comment section of the Facebook competition post.
2) Share the Facebook competition post on your own Facebook page.

That’s it. Competition closes 31 October 2017.


[Competition terms & Conditions]

1. Competition closes midnight 31 October 2017.
2. Winner will be selected by random draw and announced on 2 November 2017 via social media.
3. The judge's decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered in to.
4. Sure Travel's standard competition rules apply. Click here for full rules.
5. By entering this competition, entrants accept the above terms and conditions.


October 11, 2017

4 reasons you need to cross the Northern Lights off your bucket list this year

There has never been a better time to see one of Mother Nature’s ultimate shows: the spectacular aurora borealis – or Northern Lights. Caused when atmospheric gases collide with charged particles from the sun, the Northern Lights are a heavenly nocturnal dance of colour everyone should see at least once. Here are a few reasons to book your trip now:



1. The spectacular solar cycle ends soon 

We are nearing the end of a solar cycle, when the sun’s “heartbeat” is at its peak. From 2007 until 2018, the sun has been firing off solar flares and has an increased number of sunspots: the more solar activity, the better the light displays.



2. Guaranteed sightings, or a free cruise

Aurora hunters claim September and March to be the best months to plan a trip to see the lights — but the Northern Hemisphere’s winter months (from October to February) are a close second. To capitalise on the great conditions, Inspirations Travel and Tours (ITT) is offering 12-day expeditions with Norwegian cruise company Hurtigruten. They’re so confident you’ll have an incredible sighting on Hurtigruten’s 12-day Classic Round Voyages cruise that they’re making a very special Northern Lights Promise: if there’s no sighting, you’ll get another Hurtigruten six or seven-day Classic Voyage for free (*Ts and Cs apply, scroll down for details).

Lonely Planet has called Hurtigruten's round-trip cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes and back to Bergen “The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage”. It explores Norway’s entire coastal route – all 34 ports – and there’s a special Polar Circle crossing. And, of course, there’s the guaranteed Northern Lights sighting.



3. No two sightings are the same

Even if you’ve seen the Northern Lights once, no two sightings are the same. They can last from a few minutes to a few hours, as yellowish-green curtains of light, or white spirals or violet, white or red arcs. If you’ve seen ‘em in Norway, then try a trip to Iceland, Russia, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Greenland or Alaska instead.



4. Snow

Need another reason? We don’t get much of it in South Africa and it can be absolutely magical. An Arctic adventure to see the aurora borealis can be the perfect reason to ski, dog sled and snow angel until your heart’s content — or cosy up with a hot chocolate after a chilly night out.



*Ready to book? Ask your nearest Sure Travel agency about ITT’s Northern Lights Promise promotion, which applies to Hurtigruten's Classic Round-trip Voyages departing from 1 October 2017 to 31 Mar 2018. Cruises start from R18 499 per person sharing. Or call 0861 47 48 49 for more details.  

Where in the world can Trafalgar take you?

ROUTE 66!



From ‘honky tonks’ in a museum and sleeping in a wigwam to seeing the world’s largest rocking chair and just ‘taking it easy’, the famous Route 66 stretches across eight US states and features on many a weird and wacky bucket list.

This popular route spans from Chicago to Los Angeles and is otherwise referred to as the Main Street of America, remaining a favourite roadtrip for travellers across the globe.

You will undoubtedly pass many giant fiberglass statues along the road. However, the Muffler man in Atlanta, Illinois, is kitsch at its finest. Originally from Cicero in the 1960s, it served as an eye-catching ad for a hot dog restaurant. The restaurant closed but the statue was (very carefully) moved to its present location, hot dog still in hand.



In Fanning, Missouri, one of Route 66’s most famous attractions will be near impossible to miss – a 13-metre tall rocking chair. While the rocking chair actually rocked at one stage, it was decided to secure it in a stationary position for safety reasons. Adding to its quirky appeal is that it was completed in 2008 on April Fool’s Day, and was awarded the title of the ‘World’s Largest Rocking Chair’ in the same year. And no, you are not allowed to try it out.

Yet another strangely bizarre sight can be found in Amarillo, Texas – a colourful burial ground for cars known as the Cadillac Ranch. The ranch consists of 10 Cadillac cars that are partly buried, front first, in the hard, flat earth and their iconic tail fins pointing toward the open Texas sky. While the site is meant to represent the golden age of cars, visitors are encouraged to leave their mark on these cars, so don’t be surprised if you notice visitors with spraypaint in hand.

Other stand-out features of Route 66 includes the route’s many motels, some of which are just a little odd, like the Wigwam Village in Holbrooke, Arizona. Each room is actually a separate building, tall and cone-shaped.



If you ever wondered what a honky-tonk was, at the Museum Club in Flagstaff, Arizona, you’ll find out. Opened in the 1930s, it was built to be the biggest log cabin in the world, housing its then taxidermist owner’s collection of stuffed animals. It later became a place to gather and drink, and eventually country-western music and dancing was added. Over the coming years, the club got wilder and earned its title as a honky-tonk, a bar that features country music, low-cost drinks and wild behaviour. Rest assured that today, while it is still lively, it is very much respectable.

In Winslow, Arizona, fans of The Eagles song “Take It Easy” will appreciate taking it easy as you too can stand on a corner and see a flatbed Ford. It really is just a corner, so it’s fairly small featuring a mural depicting multiple windows, with the reflection of a truck in one and two people embracing in another.



You will never have to travel Route 66 on an empty stomach, especially in Texas. As the saying goes, everything is always bigger and better in Texas, even the steak. At the Big Texan Steak Ranch you may even get your steak for free. The catch? You have to finish a 2kg steak in one hour. You will get your own table, though – in the middle of the restaurant, for everyone else to watch. Another popular spot is Crown Candy Kitchen. Operating for more than 100 years, this family run soda fountain shop is popular for its candies, malts and meals.

Novelty shops can be found around every corner. However, Angel & Vilma’s Route 66 Gift Shop in the town of Seligman, Arizona, is known to be one of the best. The owner Angel Delgadillo was born in a house located on Route 66 and fought to have the road granted historic status in the 1980s.

Make your travel all about the journey and experience this famous highway with Trafalgar’s 15 Days Route 66 package. You won’t regret getting your kicks on Route 66.



October 9, 2017

Don't play resort roulette: find your perfect match in Mauritius

With eight Mauritian hotels in the four- to five-star categories – seven of them occupying prime beachfront sites on the island’s preferred west coast and the eight boasting a prime site in the heart of a marine park on the south west coast – you'd be forgiven for struggling to choose which Beachcomber resort to spend your island break at. Here’s a little help:

Honeymooners Delight

Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa (five-star)


Loved by South Africans since it opened in the early ‘70s, Trou aux Biches was bulldozed in 2009 and reopened in 2010 at the very top end of the market, as an eco-friendly resort with exclusive-use villas offering private gardens, pools, outdoor showers and dedicated butler service. More accommodation options are available in the form of Junior Suites, as well as luxurious Beachfront Suites with pool. It’s all about privacy, luxury and romance at this all-suite, all-villa accommodation resort, which is a top choice for weddings, honeymoons and anniversaries.

Best choice for: Couples, and families. 


Sporty and Secluded

Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa (five-star) 


Set on a private peninsula a short drive from the airport, Shandrani offers the best of both worlds: nature and non-stop action. Choose from one of three beaches, take a turn on the hotel's 9-hole, par-29 "pitch & putt" golf course or head to the sailing club and dive centre. Shandrani is surrounded by a marine park, which means the sea life is well protected and you can expect some of the best snorkelling on the island. It gets better: a short boat ride inshore takes you to the famed Ile aux Aigrettes nature reserve, where you can see giant tortoises.

Best choice for: Families wanting an action-filled holiday, groups and nature lovers.


Best Value For Money

Mauricia Beachcomber Resort & Spa (four-star) 


Cosmopolitan and relaxed, but with a festive buzz. Dance the night away at Mauricia’s private nightclub, La Rhumerie, and watch live cooking on show at the main restaurant’s glass-fronted kitchen. Choose between two swimming pools right on the beach, an array of water activities or the facilities at sister resort Canonnier next door – two resorts for the price of one!

Best choice for: Fun-loving couples, families and solo travellers who want bang for their buck. 


Fun For All Ages

Canonnier Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa (four-star) 


Located on a peninsula five kilometres from the heart of Grand Baie, this all-rounder resort has two separate beaches, each offering a unique sea view. An old lighthouse, the ruins of ancient fortifications and old cannons are dotted around Canonnier's tropical gardens, making it a fascinating stay for history buffs. The sublime Banyan Wellness Centre, built in the branches of a centuries-old Banyan tree, is a major drawcard.

Best choice for: Families, the fun-loving crowd, wedding parties and honeymooners.


Five-star At Four-star Prices

Victoria Beachcomber Resort & Spa (4-star superior)


Victoria is well known for its spacious rooms and suites, perfect for the whole family – grandma and grandpa included. Situated between the vibrant tourist hub of Grand Baie and the capital of Port Louis, shopping, nightlife and – if you’re in Mauritius on business – a meeting is never too far away. For those who want out of the hustle and bustle, no problem: look forward to sensational sunsets, long beach walks and snorkelling in the nearby Marine Park. 

As of 1 December, Victoria will offer child-free adults not wanting to share their holiday with someone else’s children private accommodation with the opening of the new adults only wing. The 40-room wing will have its own a la carte restaurant, bar and 800-square-metre swimming pool.

Best choice for: Families, child-free couples, shopaholics, groups and business travellers.


Golf Lovers Paradise

Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa (five-star)


Paradis is the resort you want to head to if you’re a golfer, especially a golfer with a family. A stunning beach that stretches for kilometres around the famous Le Morne peninsula, an 18-hole championship golf course, eight dining venues to choose from (four at Paradis and another four at sister resort, Dinarobin) and endless sports and activities for partners and kids. This is the ultimate five-star resort for all ages.

Best choice for: Families, golfers and other sports enthusiasts. 


Grown-up Getaway

Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa (five-star)


Don’t want to see or hear other people’s kids on holiday? Aside from Victoria’s adults-only wing, this is your best bet. While kids are welcome at Dinarobin, you can choose to stay at the adults-only accommodation crescent – one of six accommodation crescents that make up this resort. Each of the accommodation crescents has its own swimming pool and all accommodation is all-suite or all-villa. Tough choice. With a tantalising mix of international and local cuisine, Dinarobin’s also a foodie’s dream holiday. 

Best choice for: Honeymooners, kid-free travellers and foodies. 


Fit For Royalty

Royal Palm Beachcomber Luxury (five-star luxury)


Royal Palm Mauritius is included in the Leading Hotels of the World portfolio, and for good reason. Almost as many staff as guests (four staff to every suite), discreet service and a Michelin-accredited executive chef who delivers mouth-watering cuisine at the three restaurants. Did we mention you can arrive by helicopter? 

Best choice for: Discerning guests and VIPs.


Ready to book? 

Have a look at Beachcomber packages here, and don't forget to ask your Sure Travel consultant about the early booking discount offer,  or call 0861 47 48 49.

WIN a mystery prize from Beachcomber worth R2,000! 


Simply tell us which of the eight Beachcomber resorts is the perfect fit for you.

To enter:
1) Post your answer in the comment section of the Facebook competition post.
2) Share the Facebook competition post on your own Facebook page.

That’s it. Competition closes 30 November 2017.


[Competition terms & Conditions]

1. Competition closes midnight 30 November 2017.
2. Winner will be selected by random draw and announced on 2 December 2017 via social media.
3. The judge's decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered in to.
4. Sure Travel's standard competition rules apply. Click here for full rules.
5. By entering this competition, entrants accept the above terms and conditions.



Play the #TravelTuesday with Trafalgar quiz and WIN!

Win a R350 Sorbet voucher!

Simply guess…

Where in the WORLD Trafalgar Tours can take you:




* I am NOT a country, a city or even a town.
* I stretch across three different time zones.
* I was the topic of a 1964 Rolling Stones song.
* You will find me in the Disney Pixar movie ‘Cars’

TO ENTER

1. Put your answer in the comment section of the competition post on Facebook.
2. Add the hashtags: #TravelTuesday #Trafalgar after your answer.
3. Share the competition post on your own Facebook page.

It’s really that easy! The winner will be announced on social media tomorrow.


Terms and conditions:
1. One winner will be selected at random from the correct entries.
2. The judge’s decision is final and no further correspondence will be entered into.
3. The winner will receive a R350 Sorbet voucher, courtesy of Trafalgar Tours.
4. The voucher will be posted to the winner by Trafalgar Tours.
5. Prizes not claimed after two weeks will be forfeited.
6. Competition is open to South African residents only.