All Aboard!

Every new year comes with a bunch of hot new destinations to visit, in India and abroad. When travelling abroad in 2010, you can choose from the obvious places. But what about off-the-beaten-path destinations?

Bibek Bhattacharya        Print Edition: January 10, 2010

Domestic Destinations


Madhya Pradesh

MP is the heart of the country and the state tourism board is quite correct to advertise it as so. Home to some of our oldest indigenous cultures, great ruins and majestic forests, it's there to be discovered. Take in the sound and light show at the Gwalior Fort and proceed to Orchha to see the beautiful examples of medieval architecture. Visit the Panna National Park with its deep gorges, dense teak forests, and go on safaris. Finally, make a pilgrimage to Khajuraho in search of the sublime preserved in stone that are the temples of this fabled town.

GETTING THERE: Cox & Kings offers 5 days/4 nights packages for Rs 12,221 per person on a twin-sharing basis. The price includes accommodation, transfers, sightseeing and travel insurance.

Chattisgarh

Chattisgarh looks like a beutiful dagger drawn through the heart of the country- A land of myriad tribes, dense forests and roaring rivers. Visit the tribes of Guriapara and take in the old temples of Dantewada and Barsur. Roam through the stalactites of the Kutumsar caves and the eleventh century Bhoramdeo temple in Kawardah.

GETTING THERE: Cox & Kings offers 7 days/6 nights packages for Rs 16,500 per person on a twin-sharing basis. Price includes accommodation, transfers, sightseeing and travel insurance.

The North-East Green Triangle

No amount of time is enough to enjoy the beauty of the North-eastern states. Go shopping in Shillong's local market and visit Ward's Lake, Lady Hyedri Park and the St. Cathedral Church. Then to Cherrapunjee, often the wettest place on earth. Visit the Kaziranga National Park for an unforgettable safari before visiting the famous Kamakhya temple in Guwahati.

GETTING THERE: Cox & Kings offers 7 days/6 nights packages for Rs 16,640 per person on a twin-sharing basis. The price includes accommodation, transfers, sightseeing and travel insurance.


International Destinations


Finland

The 2009 Legatum Prosperity list, which rates countries on the basis of economic performance and quality of life ranked the land of a thousand lakes, number one. To find out what makes it so special, travel to Rovaniemi to meet Santa in his office and then on to the Arctic Circle Husky Park for a husky sleigh ride. Visit the Ranua Wildlife Park for a wide variety of Arctic animals. Take a sightseeing trip of Helsinki or take in the cities' fascinating mix of parks, waterways and architecture.

GETTING THERE: Cox & Kings offers 7 days/6 nights packages for Rs 54,000. Price includes accommodation, including breakfast, sightseeing and sleigh ride.


Cyprus

Tucked away in the quiet eastern periphery of the Mediterranean Sea lies this beautiful island-country. Lying on the cusp between Europe and Asia, this unassuming Republic has seen a lot of history. A part of the Assyrian, Persian, Greek, Roman and Ottoman empires, Cyprus boasts of great antiquity. Travel through the palm-fringed promenades of Lamaca; visit the Byzantine monasteries in the beautiful Troodos mountains; swim in the beaches under the ancient Baths of Aphrodite; or soak in the Carnival and the Wine Festival in Limassol.

GETTING THERE: Cox & Kings offers 7 days/8 nights packages for Rs 25,710 per person on a twin-sharing basis. Price includes accommodation, airport transfers, sightseeing and a self-driven vehicle.

Sri Lanka

As this beautiful emerald isle returns to normalcy, it's time to fall in love with this beautiful country all over again. Stop over at the capital, and then make your way to Kandy and visit the Botanical Gardens and the Temple of the Tooth; make your way through the colourful markets and gems showrooms. Then, make your way to the hill station of Nuwara Eliya in the central highlands.

GETTING THERE: Cox & Kings offers 7 days/6 nights packages for Rs 15,828 per person on a twin-sharing basis. Price includes accommodation, transport, sightseeing and guides.

Greece

Greece is a perennial favourite. From its rich historical past to its sun-kissed beaches and wind-tossed mountains to its fantastic cuisine, it's a traveller's paradise. Travel to Athens this year and take in the majesty of the Acropolis and Parthenon. Make your way to Cape Sounion and the beaches of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza. Cruise the Saronic Islands and gaze at the spectacular Temple of Poseidon or visit the island of Aegina and the secluded beaches of Poros island.

GETTING THERE: Cox & Kings offers 5 days/4 nights packages for Rs 98,446 per person on a twin-sharing basis. Price includes airfare, Schengen visa, accommodation, airport transfers and sightseeing.
China

The great dragon up north is a hot destination this year. One of the oldest nations in the world and one of the biggest too, China is a fascinating place. Visit the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and take a tour of the Forbidden City. Visit the Imperial Palace and travel to the Jinshanling Pass for a taste of the Great Wall. Marvel at the Terracotta Warriors of Xiang and the Shaanxi Museum. Take in the myriad charms of Nanjing and Shanghai and take a cruise on the Huang Pu.

GETTING THERE: Cox & Kings offers 10 days/9 nights packages for Rs 1,52,950 per person on a twin-sharing basis. Price includes accommodation, airport transfers, sightseeing, meals, entrance fees.

New Zealand

This finger-shaped group of twin-island in the Pacific Ocean rocketed to fame earlier this decade as the stunning locale for The Lord of the Rings. Go for the Middle Earth tour of the National Parks where they were shot. Explore Auckland, and take in the picturesque Tamaki drive. Visit colonies of King and Gentoo penguins or the Waitomo limestone caves and the Glowworm Grotto. Visit the spectacular volcanic landscape of Rotorua and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Go for the Wildlife Cruise in Dunedin and do some serious shopping and fine dining in Queenstown.

GETTING THERE: Cox & Kings offers 11 days/10 nights packages for Rs 1,13,297 per person on a twin-sharing basis. Price includes accommodation, airport transfers, meals, sightseeing, and guides, among others.

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