STYLE

Holiday Inspiration For 2011

24/12/2010 10:22 | Updated 22 May 2015

There's nothing like cold wintry weather to make your thoughts turn to exotic sunny holidays next year. But if you're bored of two weeks on the beach, and would rather try something a bit more exciting in 2011, there's some fantastic new trips taking you around the world from Armenia to Zimbabwe.

Here's our perfect 10, taken from the new look December/January issue of Wanderlust magazine, on sale now, priced £3.99.

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The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

Travellers flock to Bali for many things but world-class waves are one of its biggest draws. Where better to indulge your action man/woman fantasies than on Flight Centre's Surfing in Bali trip? During three days of tuition you'll get to grips with the ups and downs of being a surfer and, as part of your education, there will be plenty of time to soak up the beach bum vibe, pick up some lingo and watch blazing sunsets.

Who: Flight Centre (0844 800 8660)

When: departures January 1-March 30, 2011

How long: 7 nights

How much: from £789 (including flights)

The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

Plunge headfirst into Mali's throbbing music scene with Songlines' Bamako, Ségou and Festival on the Niger trip. See djembé and kora makers crafting traditional instruments, visit the capital Bamako for a flavour of Malian nightlife, and then make for Ségou, home to one of the continent's best festivals, where you can immerse yourself in hypnotic beats and head-spinning performances. We defy you not to get up and dance.

Who: Songlines (020 7371 2777)

When: January 29, 2011

How long: 9 or 10 days

How much: from £1,299 (excluding flights)

The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

On the western edge of Armenia the view is dominated by Mount Ararat. It's here that Noah's Ark is said to have come to rest and it seems as if many of the animals that came tumbling out two-by-two are still dwelling among the country's diverse panoramas. Caucasian leopard, wolf, lynx, bear and an abundance of exotic flora occupy the landscape, making Armenia a rewarding place for the hiker, as Walks Worldwide's Armenia – Beyond the Silk Road trip reveals. The country's position means it's also seen its fair share of armies, merchants and adventurers over the past two millennia, and this vivid fusion of cultures is also emphasised.

Who: Walks Worldwide (0845 301 4737)

When: July 9, 2011

How long: 11 days

How much: from £1,695 (including flights)

The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

Zimbabwe – a land ruptured by conflict or a wildlife idyll? Long before political tensions marred this beautiful southern African nation, it was known for its plentiful fauna. Now tour operators are returning, and local guides, lodges and ordinary Zimbabweans are welcoming them back. Audley's Zimbabwe tour has serious pulling power, offering the chance to canoe through Mana Pools National Park – a 2,200 sq km mass straddling the Zambian/Zimbabwean border, studded with zebras, hippos and crocs – before retiring to a string of superluxury lodges.

Who: Audley (01993 838 000)

When: flexible departure dates

How long: 8 days generally

How much: from £3,125 (including flights)

The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

From the energy of Rio to the capoeira moves of Salvador da Bahia, feel the rhythms of Brazil on Dragoman's Brazilian Heartland trip. Going further than the typical overland tour, this itinerary includes two full days at Chapada Dos Veadeiros National Park, camping in Brazil's interior and a visit to the enormous cave system – South America's most extensive – at Terra Ronca.

Who: Dragoman (01728 861133)

When: from June 1, 2011

How long: 17 days

How much: from £615 + $360/£221 (kitty) (excluding flights)

The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

Unleash your inner chef on Flight Centre's Cooking in Thailand trip. This gastronomic adventure, based in Chiang Mai, will teach you the essentials of Thai fare. First up you'll tour the local market to learn about lime, lemongrass and a bevy of other fragrant ingredients. Then you'll get to chop, sizzle and stir under the guidance of a chef before celebrating your newfound kitchen skills with a belly bulging feast.

Who: Flight Centre (0844 800 8628)

When: flexible departures

How long: 7 nights

How much: from £799 (including flights)

The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

Romanticised and, alas, incredibly rare, tigers are the big cats on every wildlife lover's wish list. The chance to see them up-close and personal is something you don't get every day – let alone the option to do so on foot. In fact, the only tiger reserve to offer walking safaris is little-visited Satpura National Park, venue for Reef and Rainforest Tours' new LuxuryTiger Walking Safari. Stride out into this lovely reserve in Madhya Pradesh, and you could come within whispering distance of the elusive felines.

Who: Reef and Rainforest Tours (01803 866965)

When: flexible departure dates

How long: 10 nights

How much: from £3,863(including flights)

The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

The Merak Sakten region, nestled into the far east of this mysterious Himalayan kingdom, was closed to travellers in 1995, to protect its distinctive culture and – so the legend goes – its flourishing yeti population. In 2010 it was reopened, and a few tourists experienced its forest covered valleys, largely untouched by the progress of time. Be one of the first to traverse the hillsides, high passes and raging rivers of the region, pausing to drink yak butter tea with locals in shamo – the regional, and quite unique, headgear of choice, which is less hat, more spider.

Who: Blue Poppy Tours & Treks (020 7700 3084)

When: Anytime – tailormade

How long: 10-21 days

How much: from US$2,230 (approx £1,370) (excluding flights)

The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

Travellers flock to Bali for many things but world-class waves are one of its biggest draws. Where better to indulge your action man/woman fantasies than on Flight Centre's Surfing in Bali trip? During three days of tuition you'll get to grips with the ups and downs of being a surfer and, as part of your education, there will be plenty of time to soak up the beach bum vibe, pick up some lingo and watch blazing sunsets.

Who: Flight Centre (0844 800 8660)

When: departures January 1-March 30, 2011

How long: 7 nights

How much: from £789 (including flights)

The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

If you've hankered after the sun scorched African plains but can't find a decent companion, Tracks Safaris' Ladies Only Safaris could be for you. The small-group tours are aimed at solo travellers (so no hefty single supplements) and allow you to mingle with the Maasai, spot elephants, wildebeest and hippos, and picnic at the Ngorongoro Crater, a volcanic caldera overrun with lions. The best bit? No hairy, list obsessed, egomaniacal men to spoil those gorgeous sunsets.

Who: Tracks Safaris (01823 256 630)

When: May 22, 2011

How long: 10 days

How much: from £1,600 (excluding flights)

The Perfect 10: New trips for 2011

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