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Fun destinations from A-Z

Published Jun 20, 2007


Ever thought about mailing home a postcard, or perhaps an email, from somewhere remote? While the world has had its dramas this year, the urge for travellers to venture off the beaten track remains strong. Here are a few suggestions:

A: Andorra is is one of the smallest countries in Europe, bordered by France to the north and Spain to the south.

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Why go: Skiing, duty-free shopping and for the very strong, mulled wine.

Getting there: KLM fly to Barcelona via Amsterdam. Prices from R6 690 with airport taxes. You then catch a bus to Andorra La Vella.

B: Belize is on the eastern coast of Central America.

Why go: To sample its world famous Belikin Beer and diving in the blue hole.

Getting there: Delta Airlines to Miami via Atlanta and then American Airlines to Belize City, which is about 60km from the capital, Belmopan. Priced from R14 245 with airport taxes.

C: Comoros is at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel between Mozambique and Madagascar. It is a group of three islands - Grande Comore, Anjouan, Moheli and several islets.

Why go: To breathe in the scents of the ylang-ylang distillery at Bamboa and the excellent seafood. Getting there: Air Tanzania via Dar Es Salam. Prices start from R5 950 with airport taxes.

D: Dominica is in the Caribbean Sea and is bound by Haiti to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south.

Why go: To hike through the lush rainforest to Boiling Lake, the world's second-largest natural boiling lake and the fruit punch made with fresh fruit and rum.

Getting there: Iberia Airlines via Madrid to Santo Domingo. Prices from R16 400 with airport taxes.

E: Eritrea is in North East Africa and includes the Dahlak Archipelago and other islands along the Red Sea coast.

Why go: Although parts of this country house some of the more desolate areas in the world, hang out in one of Italian-style cafés.

Getting there: Egypt Air via Cairo to Asmara. Prices start from R7 410 with airport taxes.

F: Falkland Islands are to the north-east of Cape Horn and consist of two main islands, East and West Falkland, as well as around 200 small islands in the South Atlantic Ocean.

Why go: Marching with the King penguins.

Getting there: The airport for the Falkland Islands is situated at Mount Pleasant and Santiago is the only city travellers can fly in from. Fly SAA to Santiago and then Lan Chile from Santiago to Mount Pleasant. Prices from R15 790 with airport taxes.

G: Guatemala is bound by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the south-west, Belize and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Why go: To hike the highest point in Central American (Tajumulco Volcano).

Getting there: Fly on Iberia Airlines via Madrid and San Jose to Guatemala City and prices start from R11 925 with airport taxes.

H: Honduras is bound by El Salvador to the south-west, Guatemala to the west, Nicaragua to the south and south-east, the Gulf of Honduras to the north.

Why go: To take an eight-day boat trip through virgin rainforest.

Getting there: Fly to Madrid on Iberia Airlines, then onto San José and into San Pedro in Honduras. Prices from R12 710 with airport taxes

I: Iceland is the most westerly country of Europe.

Why go: Enjoy Reykjavik's famously uninhibited nightlife.

Getting there: British Airways via London, fly into Reykjavik. Prices start from R8 250 with taxes.

J: Jordan is in the Middle East. It is bound by Syria to the north, Iraq to the north-east, Saudi Arabia to the east and south, as well as Israel to the west.

Why go: Pretending to be Julius Caesar at the preserved Roman city of Jerash.

Getting there: Fly on Qatar Airlines via Doha into Amman. Prices start from R5 680 with airport taxes.

K: Kazakhstan is in Central Asia and is a former republic of the USSR. It is bound by Russia to the north, the Caspian Sea to the west and south-west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan to the south, and China to the south-east.

Why go: To witness Silk Road traders haggling over Ttenge and to see Borat's home country.

Getting there: British Airways via London into Almaty. Prices start from R14 465 with airport taxes.

L: Latvia is bound by the Baltic Sea to the west, the Gulf of Riga and Estonia to the north, Russia to the east, Belarus to the south-east and Lithuania to the south.

Why go: To beachcomb for washed-up amber along Latvia's Baltic Coast.

Getting there: KLM flies via Amsterdam to Riga. Fares start from R6 750 with airport taxes.

M: Myanmar is on the mainland of South-East Asia.

Why go: To take a trip to Bagan, where thousands of ancient temples rise spectacularly out of a vast, treeless plain.

Getting there: Qatar Airlines via Doha into Yangon, prices from R6 090 with airport taxes.

N: Nicaragua is in Central America. It is bound by Honduras to the north, Costa Rica to the south and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

Why go: To meet the friendliest people in Central America and enjoy inexpensive tourism.

Getting there: Iberia Airlines flies via Madrid and San José into Managua. Prices start from R12 710 with airport taxes.

O: Oman is in the extreme south-eastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula.

Why go: To enjoy the vast unspoilt beaches, six-star luxury and dune bashing.

Getting there: Fly into Muscat via Doha on Qatar Airlines, from R5 620 with airport taxes.

P: Palau is in the west Pacific Ocean about 960km east of the Philippines.

Why go: Sailing, diving and enjoying the outstanding seafood, such as the mangrove crab and lobster.

Getting there: SAA via Sydney to Cairns and then Continental Airlines via Guam to Koror. Prices start from R19 250 with airport taxes.

Q: Qatar is on the east coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

Why go: Aladdin's Kingdom - the only amusement park in the Gulf with a serious rollercoaster and the opportunity for amazing desert excursions.

Getting there: Qatar Airlines Doha direct. Prices start from R7 990 with airport taxes.

R: Rwanda is in East Central Africa.

Why go: Visit the rare mountain gorillas in the dense forest of Parc National de Volcans.

Getting there: Fly direct on SAA to Kigali. Prices start from R5 435 with airport taxes.

S: Slovakia is a landlocked country in the heart of Europe. It is bound by Hungary, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic and the Ukraine.

Why go: The sensational skiing, to witness folk traditions that survived domination by foreign rulers and the Stalinist architecture.

Getting there: Lufthansa Airlines flies to Bratislava via Munich. Prices from R7 300 with airport taxes.

T: Tunisia is in North Africa. It is bound by Algeria to the west, Libya to the south-east and the Mediterranean Sea to the north-east and north.

Why go: To bath in the hot springs of Ksar Ghilane as the sun sets over the dunes.

Getting there: Qatar Airlines via Doha flies into Tunis. Prices start from R6 100 with airport taxes.

U: Ukraine is in Eastern Europe and is a former republic of the USSR.

Why go: To live like royalty in Lviv's early 20th-century hotels and a night at the opera.

Getting there: KLM fly Amsterdam to Kiev. Prices from R7 480 with airport taxes.

V: Venezuela is on the north-east coast of South America.

Why go: For keen wildlife watchers in Los Llanos - an immense savannah filled to the brim with birdlife, caimans, capybaras, piranhas and anacondas.

Getting there: TAP Airlines via Lisbon into Caracas. Prices start from R9 360 with taxes.

W: Wales is on the western shores of the United Kingdom.

Why go: To tour villages with tongue-twisting names and visiting the many medieval castles and ruins. Catching a rugby game would definitely be worth a go as well.

Getting there: KLM Dutch Airlines fly into Cardiff via Amsterdam. Prices start from R7 430 with taxes.

X: Xi'an is the capital of Shaanxi province in central China.

Why go: Visit the famous Terracotta Army, a collection of over 8 000 life-size figures of warriors and horses, inside the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum, which dates from the third century BC.

Getting there: Visit

Y: Yemen is on the south-western corner of the Arabian Peninsula.

Why go: To be one of the first to discover the most untouched corner of Arabia.

Getting there: Qatar Airlines via Doha flies to San'a. Flights are priced from R5 680 with taxes.

Z: Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa.

Why go: Check out the Victoria Falls at the border and to bungee jump off the Zambezi Bridge.

Getting there: Nationwide flies direct to Livingston from R2 915 with airport taxes.

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