Hot List... summer 2018

| May 15, 2018

Whether it’s travelling in style across China, Chile or floating between the islands of the Galapagos, staying on the idyllic Andaman Islands or exploring India’s lesser known Dudhwa National Park, Katie has rounded up what’s new and hot this spring.

Hot List 2018

World’s biggest archaeological museum to open this year

Although not opening fully until 2022, part of Cairo’s long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum will finally open this year, on a new 50-hectare site two kilometres from the pyramids at Giza. The first sections on view will include the Grand Staircase, lined with 80 large statues, and an impressive atrium, where the prime spot is occupied by the 83-tonne colossus of Ramses II. Also to open are King Tutankhamun’s galleries, including the Tutankhamun Hall, which will display the entire collection of 5,200 Tutankhamun artefacts for the first time, including his 3,000-year-old funerary bed and chariot.  

Pyramids, Giza, Egypt

Luxury on the Andaman Islands

Putting the Andaman Islands firmly on the map, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa opens this spring and will be the Indian archipelago’s first luxury resort. Sitting on Radhanagar Beach – one of Asia’s best – on Havelock Island, the resort is surrounded by coral reefs rich in colourful fish, manta rays, loggerhead turtles and reef sharks. Its 72 stilted villas look out into lush grounds and each has a rain shower and bathtub, as well as a large outdoor deck. Three restaurants will each serve a different cuisine, with south-east Asian, local fish curries and international dishes all on offer. The Jiva spa will open fully this autumn. There are direct flights to Port Blair from Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.

Taj Exotica Andaman Islands

Taj Exotica Andaman Islands

High-speed trains in China

The latest addition to China’s ever expanding high-speed train network opened at the beginning of the year. You can now travel from Xian – home of the Terracotta Warriors – to Chengdu – to see the giant pandas – in less than five hours, down from 16. There’s already a high-speed link between Beijing and Xian, meaning it’s quicker, and cheaper, to travel by train rather than plane between some of the country’s highlights.

China's high speed train

China's high speed train

Cruising in style

The MT Camila is a brand new 16-passenger trimaran, currently the only one of its kind in the Galapagos. Launched in March this year, there are just eight cabins, each with a private balcony. The four-, five- and eight-day itineraries take guests to a variety of different islands accompanied by a naturalist guide. Its three hulls mean it can navigate the waters faster than other vessels – allowing for more time to be spent exploring the islands – but it is as sustainable as possible so uses comparatively less fuel.

MT Camila

MT Camila

A road trip like no other

Chile’s Patagonia is one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world and the 1,500-mile Carretera Austral highway, which slices right through it from Puerto Montt in the Lake District to Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn, is perfect for a self-drive adventure. Last year five new national parks were designated, bringing the total the road connects to 17, so it was renamed the Ruta de los Parques – Route of the Parks. It links in to 2,400kms of mainly dirt roads that wind their way through 25 million hectares of breathtaking scenery.

Carretera Austral

Carretera Austral

Unexplored India

On the edge of Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh – one of India’s least visited parks – is the recently opened Jaagir Lodge. This former colonial mansion has been converted into a luxury eight-room lodge where daily safari drives, nature walks and photography classes entertain guests. Rooms have eclectic decor, with fresco wallpaper and antique furniture, while the dining room serves excellent homemade cuisine. Dudhwa is one of the few places in India inhabited by tigers and one-horned rhinos, and is also home to 500 bird species.

Luxury Villa Interior, Jaagir Lodge, Dudhwa

Luxury Villa Interior, Jaagir Lodge, Dudhwa

If you are would like to organise a tailor-made holiday around our Spring/Summer Hot List 2018 then please contact one of our experts.

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