Seasonal sensations

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iol travel june 8 Autumn

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Paris in autumn

Which is the best season to take a Trafalgar holiday?

If you say summer, you’d be wrong – even though summer is clearly also a great choice. But with Trafalgar’s brand-new, expanded Europe & Britain Autumn, Winter & Spring brochure, you will be spoiled for choice like never before.

With daily rates as low as R799, which can come down even further with special booking discounts, you’ll not find a first-class holiday that’s as laden with experiences, yet so friendly to your pocket.

“South Africans tend to take their annual holiday at year-end, in high summer and during the long school holiday, unlike people from the Northern Hemisphere, who do so mid-year,” says Trafalgar managing director Theresa Szejwallo.

“But like our European brethren, we’re inclined to chase the sun for our holiday – and we miss out on so many thrilling European adventures that can only be experienced in autumn, winter or spring.

For example, one can’t go to Germany’s fabulous Christmas markets or spend a romantic New Year in Paris during summer, or revel in Europe’s glorious autumn colours, or take in one of several springtime festivals.”

Trafalgar’s beefed-up Europe & Britain Autumn, Winter & Spring brochure now contains 33 different itineraries from which to choose. These include three summer itineraries that have proved so popular that they have been extended to the other seasons: Paris & Rome, Wonderful France and Best of Morocco.

Additionally, two extra departures each have been added to the Christmas Markets and Great Italian Cities itineraries, and two At Leisure itineraries – for Great Italian Cities and Prague, Vienna & Budapest – have been included.

Szejwallo points out that Trafalgar’s autumn, winter and summer offerings boast distinct advantages over summer holidays, including that:

They suit all kinds of holidaymakers, from singles to groups of friends, to budget-conscious travellers and families

Many of the itineraries boast a Small Group Sightseeing offering, where groups of no more than 25 people enjoy more personal, intimate visits to sights

Destinations and activities are less crowded, because they are out of peak season

The weather is milder than one expects with several destinations

They include activities that do not take place in summer (such as Christmas markets, for example)

At a saving of up to 32 percent compared with a summer holiday, travellers extract maximum value for money – and they can access even more discounts, too

“With rates as low as R799 per day – which is what one could easily pay for a hotel room only, leave alone an exciting guided holiday with just about everything included – we’ve taken one of the most worrying aspects of buying a holiday out of the equation completely: the cost. And it gets even better, with discounts for early-bird and group bookings on top of this never-to-be-repeated rate,” says Szejwallo.

She adds that travellers need not worry about the weakening rand, as Trafalgar will guarantee the quoted price – no matter how far in advance the holiday has been booked.

“Of course,” Szejwallo continues, “our Autumn, Winter & Spring itineraries boast all of the wonderful inclusions and Insider Experiences that one has come to expect from a Trafalgar guided holiday, such as our expert Tour Directors, first-class accommodation, VIP entry to major sights, airport transfers, our Be My Guest dining experiences with local hosts, our Hidden Treasures surprises that we include on every tour, and our Local Specialities that introduce our guests to traditional European crafts and trades.

“But the Autumn, Winter & Spring itineraries boast even more, in the form of Festive Celebrations – special arrangements for Christmas and New Year, where our guests have the opportunity to celebrate in true local style.”

It is thus clear, Szejwallo concludes, that the best holidays are not always the ones with oodles of summer sunshine.

“We all love summer holidays; of that, there is no question. But for sheer out-of-the-box experiences and holidays that are utterly unlike what one would find here in South Africa, there is simply no place like Europe from November to April.

“And there’s no travel company that does it better than Trafalgar. Part of our branding is the red door – and you can open it to three seasons of savings!” she says.

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