Look to the West to find your bucket list holiday bliss

by Shane Dillon

If you’re yearning to get away on an epic trip, Travel Department and TD active Holidays have a couple of spectacular ‘bucket list’ trips to really put a spring in your step (even as Spring at home stays dour and dull).

Canada

First up, and Irish holidaymakers need little introduction to Canada, with the country’s incredible scenery and vibrant, welcoming cities drawing us ‘across the pond’ in ever greater numbers.

If you’re looking for something a little different from a Canadian holiday, a magical 10-day trip will bring you through the wonders of the Rocky Mountains and western Canada.

The busy trip across ‘the Great White North’ encompasses a range of incredible natural attractions, bringing you to some of the most scenic parts of Canada – and to some of the country’s famously-friendly citizens.

You’ll travel in comfort through snow-covered highlands and visit glaciers, rushing rivers and crystalline lakes, gaping canyons and valleys, thundering waterfalls and steaming hot springs.

The trip will take you through cowboy country and Gold Rush territory, where you’ll get a sense of the country’s rich history and dynamic spirit of her citizens.

You’ll also see the stunning National Parks of British Columbia and Alberta, with some of the most spectacular alpine scenery you’ll ever see.

It won’t be all wild wilderness and breathtaking sights – you’ll also explore vibrant, cosmopolitan Vancouver.

Prices start from €2,599pp for 10 nights, including flights, transfers, B&B accommodation, and excursions with expert local guides (admission to National Parks included), departing May, June, August and September.

See www.traveldepartment.ie, or call 01 637 1600.

Peru

Moving on – way, way on – and it’s hard to think of somewhere more fascinating than picturesque Peru.

Peru has been attracting seasoned travellers for centuries, but the past couple of decades have seen it really explode onto the tourism trail with its unique blend of ancient culture and gorgeous, jaw-dropping scenery and ruins.

One to mark for near the end of the year – due to permit logistics, making this one to book 6-8 months in advance – The Inca Trail 14-night tour of Peru will blend one of the world’s best-known hikes with a truly singular experience.

Every step along the way will be bringing you to and through some of the world’s most stunning landscapes.

On the trip, you’ll experience stunning mountain scenery, dense cloud-forests, subtropical jungle and a captivating mix of Inca ruins and tunnels as you spend four days trekking towards the magical UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu, and its captivating mountain city ruins.

Not for the faint-hearted, adventurous travellers will be rewarded with the trip of a lifetime, with a small tour group staying in a mix of hotels and overnight camps.

It’s on offer from €3,699pp for 14 nights including flights, transfers, B&B/half-board accommodation, and excursions with an expert local guide (including Inca Trail permit), departing on November 6.

See www.tdactiveholidays.ie, or call 01 637 1633.

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