Through the lens: Uma Iyer in Iceland


As a travel outfit, it prides us, when one of our travelers come back with exciting stories from the land they have visited. Uma Iyer is just back from Iceland and she has put down her experience in an enticing way! She actually touched the very chord of Iceland: it being a land of paradox. Adorned with abstract nature, it is a photographer’s paradise. Ms. Iyer brought home many such images (of course, all of them are copyright protected and any reproduction of any sort will attract penalty!). Enjoy her words and snapshots of happiness!

Over to Uma Iyer:


A misnomer of Iceland being all ice while Greenland is all green – came out to be quite true during my recent visit to Iceland on a fortnight’s trip to the South and West of this beautiful and geologically diverse country.

The trip was organized by my agent, Farzana Haque from The Wanderers Leisure Travel Pvt. Ltd. and the entire tour of this magnificent country was seamlessly planned from the day I landed in Reykjavik till the day I left the country (with a heavy heart of course).

It makes you wonder why when you look at the globe, Iceland is more oddly green while Greenland is covered in ice. This is for many reasons and most importantly geographically being thanks to the Gulf stream, Iceland’s sea temperatures are 6 degrees Celsius warmer than Greenland. Which then means that Icelandic summers are intensely green throughout Iceland, even though 11% of that country is covered in ice.


So, like most travellers (especially from the Tropics), exploring a new country, I opted for the summer to visit this beautiful country –imagining that the summer would be the ideal given the maximum temperatures reaching up to 18 /19 degrees Celsius while minimum could be around 5/6 degrees. That was manageable.

As luck would have it, the country welcomed me with warm sunshine throughout my entire trip except for one day where it rained a bit (if you had a jacket – you would do fine). This country is a land of sharp contrasts – FIRE AND ICE – it’s simmering hot springs or geysers, lava fields, volcanoes, vast sand deserts contrasted with thundering waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, and fjords. Last but not the least – those who want are interested in the flora and fauna can be rest assured, they won’t be in the least disappointed – be it whale watching or the hundreds of species of birds or the variety of plant species. It is also a hikers paradise.


I had the choice between Iceland and Norway – and am glad I finally opted for Iceland as I wouldn’t have seen such diverse topography as I did when I travelled far South and then to the west right up to the western most tip of Europe. One of the highlights of my visit to Iceland is exploring the Westfjords. Very few tourists opt for this part of Iceland given its remoteness and unspoiled wilderness. That’s what visiting this place made it even more special. I would recommend everyone travelling to Iceland – not to miss this part of the country if you want to experience true Icelandic wilderness.

The summer’s midnight sun allows you to spend the entire day and night outdoors and enjoy all the wonderful treats of its Viking heritage, food and beautiful ‘scapes’ it has to offer.With global warming threatening to diminish the ice cover everywhere and thereby bringing catastrophically geological and climatic changes, I would recommend everyone who loves nature, to visit Iceland. Talk to ‘The Wanderers’ – they will guide you and give you a memorable experience.


PS: I am going back – for a winter experience. It is a country that beguiles you and casts you under a spell. Once is not enough. There is still so much to see and experience from this tiny, isolated but breathtaking country. The northern lights beckon and its wish shall be fulfilled hopefully soon.


Are you inspired? Explore more on our Iceland country page.

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9 Things That Nobody Told You About Vacationing In Italy

Italy Banner Page

Pic Courtesy: Shutterstock

Italy is a European country like no other! A wise traveler once said, ‘Put all of Europe on one side and Italy on the other and Italy will still come up trumps’. Maybe it’s as true for their brand of football, wine and food as well, but I guess in his mildly inebriated state he meant it from the tourism point of view! This boot-shaped country has got beautiful landscape with a remarkable coastline and mountains, rolling wine country, an ancient culture which is hard to beat and architecture which will take your breath away. And after you have been suitably mesmerized by Rome, Florence and the Tuscany region, you land up in Venice and think, what the hell were these guys up to? How could they pull off such an incredible feat as building the city of Venice? And then off course there’s the incredible food and wine and the typical Italian way of life ~La Dolce Vita~

1) That Italy is NOT for a hop-skip-jump visit.

St_Peter's_Square,_Vatican_City_-_April_2007Pic Courtesy:

If you are looking at Italy as a 3 night stopover in Rome, don’t waste your time. Go someplace else. That’s a frank advice. You can’t do justice to what this country did in 5000 years and attempt to even try and understand it in 3 days. Minimum spend 10 days. Anything short of that is a blasphemy! Rome and the Vatican needs 4 days; Florence and Tuscany another 4 days; Venice a good 2 full days; Amalfi Coast another 3days. Then there’s Sicily which if you want to get a feel you need 4days. Exploring it would require 6-7 days. And we haven’t covered Milan and the Lake Como region or the Dolomites! So, there you are. In 10 days you would be able to rush through Rome, Florence and a stay in a Tuscan villa, Venice and a bit of the Amalfi Coast.

2) Make a wishlist and dump that checklist.

37013-1920x1200 (1)- PositanoPic Courtesy: Shutterstock

For those who want to see a bit of everything and have a hassle free guided tour where even your meals are accounted for, go for the coach tours. Yeah bring out your laundry list for Italy! But if you have your own wishlist and want to see the Duomo in Florence at leisure or check out the ambiance of Tuscany by staying on a farm or a villa or want to enter Venice in style aboard a cruising yacht or spend endless hours in a piazza in Rome or stand transfixed for hours on end in front of the Coliseum, or stay in Taormina in Sicily for the awesome views of Mt.Etna and the Mediterranean, then go for the independent holidays. Don’t get chaperoned like on a guided coach tour and spend all your time in the world to savor the beauty of Italy like you would your red wine while seated in a café in front of the Pantheon or at the Trevi fountain!
3) Add that ‘self drive’ star to your trip.

venice-341468_960_720Pic Courtesy: Pixabay

Firstly, the ‘self-drive’ houseboat holidays near Venice. It’s a lifestyle holiday that’s so reasonably priced that it’s quite unbelievable. Imagine having a private yacht with 1-4 cabins with en suite loos, a small kitchenette, its own music system, the freedom to navigate down the river, choosing where you want to eat, where you want to moor and go for long walks or cycle down pretty pathways in villages you would never have seen otherwise. The second is self drive car holidays all over mainland Italy where we will chalk out your route and book you in pretty places all over Italy. The 3rd is the enchanting and myth laden island of Sicily. From short breaks to 10 day holidays in Sicily and covering Taormina, a climb to Mt. Etna, Cefalu, Palermo, Agrigento etc.
4) Don’t throw caution to the wind.

ponte-vecchio-691789_960_720Pic Courtesy: Pixabay

They have never given suparis to Indian tourists. Not even in Sicily. At least not yet. The Godfathers are yet to hear about ‘India Shining’ out there. But yes, we keep hearing from people or reading in news that there have been purse snatching or pickpocketing. I have never ‘met’ someone who has been at the wrong end of Italian hospitality. But since they say its that way in Italy, why not just be more careful and don’t go hanging your new Mont Blanc wallet around your neck!

5) Don’t visit at the wrong time of year and regret.

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June to Sep is summer. The scent of a warm summer breeze, pretty cafes open till late at night, fashion laden locals and hordes of mesmerized tourists waltzing down every narrow lane, music pouring out from street corners and pubs. It’s a heady cocktail of splendid architecture, food & wine, fashion, amazing landscapes and warm people. You will find it hard not be swept into the philosophy of La dolce vita. Apr/May & Oct would have a bit of all that but less in its intensity as well as price.

6) Don’t be the last minute Indian while VISA application.


Pic Courtesy: Pixabay

Not a problem, if you have your papers in order. In perfect order. It’s a Schengen country. But during the summer months, the consulate is loaded with applications, so don’t plan to apply at the last moment.

7) Don’t club in random countries with Italy and regret later.


Pic Courtesy: Wikimedia

France, Switzerland and Austria make a good combination. All of them are well connected by trains. For eg, you can combine Geneva (Switzerland), Chamonix (France) with a trip to Lake Como and Milan in Italy. Or you could wander to the Lake side triangle of Lugano (Switzerland), Como and Maggiore in Italy. The schengen visa will suffice for all these countries.

8) Exercise caution while hotel booking for ultimate savings.

ColiséePic Courtesy: Wikipedia

It depends entirely on your budget and the kind of location you like. But we would advise that in Rome choose a centrally located hotel between the Tiber river and Termini stn. Preferably within walking distance of the metro. In Florence choose any hotel close to the station. It’s a walking town. In Tuscany if you want to stay in a vineyard or on a farm, there are plenty of places to choose from. Check with us for ideas. In Venice, if you stay ‘inside’ Venice city, then prepare to pay a stratospheric price for a measly sized room but you may hear the gondola guys serenade you right below the window! Or you may opt to stay instead at Mestre, which is just across the creek and a 3min train ride away. Here you will get a decent 4 star hotel (eg Hotel Bologna) at the cost of a ‘so-called’ 3star hotel in Venice city.

9) Eat through Italy.

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Italy is a foodie’s delight. The further south you travel the more elaborate the meal becomes, so much so that in Sicily, 1-4pm is siesta time which I guess is more to do with their lunch than with rest. If an Italian decides to host you for lunch or dinner, do keep aside 2-3 hrs for that and no meetings afterwards. Nothing is short of a 3-course meal with wine overflowing. It’s not a Veg food paradise, but veggies will survive well. Indian restaurants are there in the main cities but these are not cheap. A simple dinner for 2 at the only Indian restaurant in Venice will set you back by Euro 40-50. Tap water is safe for drinking in Italy. But then in Italy who drinks water!

Holler if you finally want to take that Italy vacation or just click here to see our awesome Italy package: 16 Days Italy – The Wanderers Way!

Posted in TW Travel Dairy | 4 Comments

9 Reasons Why You Should Never Ever Visit Kumaon In Winter

And the mountains echo

Do you like polishing off scoop after scoop of ice cream as you tightly wrap your shawl around to keep the chill off your bones? Do you screw up your eyebrows and take deep philosophical dives into why some people complain about cold in winter and rain during monsoon – since the elements are just performing fine? Do you wait breathlessly for these gifted 3 months – December, January and February – when winter sweeps you off your feet and you get a reason to strut around in your winter finery? When the other three C’s – curling, cozying and cuddling become the defining words of your daily dos?

If you nod NO to all of the above then all of the below is just for YOU (for YES nod-ers anyways I can’t stop you all from reading on). So you’ve my permission to keep going: 9 reasons why you should never ever visit Kumaon in winter.

1. Trek in winter is like totally revolting!

Inside Corbett National Park

Seeping sunlight lighting up the jungle path

Not when you walk-the-adventure-talk on these narrow pahadi tracks or thrilling and remote Corbett jungle trails!

2. Homestays & luxury in this chill? Duh!

Solar heated pool

Wait till you immerse yourself in this cutting edge solar heated pool on a mountain top home stay – at the height of 2000 mts. (do I hear a gasp somewhere!)

3. Come winter you only will have eyes for BIGG BOSS with SALMAN KHAN from under your blanket.

Tigress walking on gypsy track in Bijrani zone. Picture courtesy:

Else say ‘hello’ to the BIGG BOSS of Corbett NP as you catch some wild action here! Lodge beside a waterhole. What more can you ask for???

4. Breakfast with a view? You’ve done quite a few.

Breakfast on the deck

Not on this wooden deck under a powder blue sky overlooking the gorgeous Himalayan range – hazardous for all your senses.

5. Chatter of solitude is just so not you!

Chill. Read. Repeat.

Ditch the holiday crowd to messy hill stations and get charmed by doing absolutely nothing at all in these hidden gem of a homestays.

6. Crisp sky with bonus sight of the Himalayan hill range – travel agent’s trick I say!

The silver line

In the interiors of Uttaranchal offering a panoramic 180° view of the Himalayas.

7. Corbett – done to death (even the pages are yellowing!). Yawn-inducing.

Jungle Brook

Betcha you didn’t think you go off-roading in the tiger territory, did’ ya? Grool.

8. Living inside the forest – Bro that’s so primitive!

Swiss Tents

Till you try these Swiss tents packed with all urban comforts. Thank us later!

9. You hate to connect with anyone on vacation.

Pahadi pathways

Connect with nature. Connect with yourself.

If you are still hell bent on going to Kumaon this winter check out our gorgeous itinerary:

8 Days Walking and Wildlife Trails of Kumaon (

Till then … Keep wandering !!!

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The Middle Eastern Experience – Jordan and Israel

The Middle Eastern Experience..

By, Veena Suman


Many of our friends were surprised at our choice of a destination as far as Jordan was concerned.The general impression amongst a lot of people is that it is not a very well- off, and a conservative nation. We chose to go there as we were keen to visit a Middle East country that blended tradition with modernity, and I am glad to say that we were not disappointed.

Arrival at Queen Alia International Airport was a pleasant surprise.It is an efficient airport, very clean and user friendly. We found the Jordanian people to be extremely warm and hospitable, who seem to take pride in the fact that their country is peaceful in these troubled times.

We had an exciting time visiting the Blue Mosque, which besides being very beautiful, required us womenfolk to wear Abayas….a first and novel experience for us!The abayas are very thoughtfully provided by the shops outside the Mosque, free of charge.

Jerash, Petra and Wadi Rum are awesome experiences, and more than justified our decision to visit Jordan. Everywhere you go to in Jordan , you come across pictures of the present king and his very beautiful Queen Noor and their children , who seem to be very popular.

Floating in the Dead Sea is another great experience, though not as easy as it sounds.For one, the water is highly salty, and tends to sting if one has even a minor scratch.Its a good idea to carry a bottle of fresh tap water from the hotel  to rinse out your eyes every time the salt gets in . .It takes a couple of tries before you get the hang of lying on your back and relaxing, but once there, the feel is exhilarating!

Visiting the Dead Sea scrolls was a must for me personally, as I was told that Jordan is the only country that has the original and only copper scrolls. Israel is a unique experience, especially Jerusalem.It is a good idea to read up as much as possible about the city, in order to get as enriching an experience as possible.

The whole city comes to a standstill from Friday evening till Saturday evening,which can be a disappointment for most, but very interesting for me personally as I could see how the Shabbath is observed. The huge Rams horns  used for announcing Shabbat , being sold in the shops on Via Dolorosa make an interesting sight. We bought some souvenirs for our Christian friends and had them blessed in the churches when we walked for the Stations of the Cross.Jerusalem is full of Indians who have come for a tour of the Holy Land.We saw very few Indian tourists in Jordan.

We were very lucky that our guide in Israel was a member of a Kibbutz, who gave us a lot of information on the functioning of a kibbutz.We were very lucky that we could see a number of bar- mitzvah ceremonies at the Wailing Wall. The Jewish people prefer to call it the Western Wall, and we were careful to call it by that name. My only disappointment was that being non- Muslims, we could not see the truly magnificent Al- Aqsa mosque, but had to be content with a distant view. Early risers can however, go near the precinct after early morning prayers are over.

To end- Israel has delicious fruit , one must do full justice to it. The Medjoul Dates are the best in the world.We brought back boxes as gifts for friends and family. Olives are another must buy.

And yes- for travellers to both countries it is advisable to carry a headscarf, for visits to holy places.A lot of walking is involved in both countries, so comfortable shoes are a must.

As far as food is concerned,  I am not aware if there are any Indian restaurants. We dined in the hotels and were happy to sample the local cuisine!




Posted in Return as the Wanderer | 2 Comments

An Insider’s view of Tirol,Austria

Everything the guide books or tourism websites won’t tell you about the place..

The Wanderers in conversation with  Angela.


i. One little-known fact/trivia that everyone should know about when travelling to TIROL?

In Tirol fresh drinking water comes straight from the tap. It is very clean and of a high quality, so drinking it is probably one of the most natural and most healthy refreshments you can experience.

ii. What is a must buy when in TIROL?

Visit one the Swarovski shops and you will know. For example, go to the store in Innsbruck and gives you a feel of a Swarovski museum. Buy yourself a present there and take it home with you as something that will always remind you of a very special holiday in Tirol.

iii. One take-away after a visit to TIROL?

In my opinion, a “Zirben-pillow” would be a great take-away, it smells very good and can decorate your couch at home. Otherwise Kitzbühel with its luxurious boutiques and shiny jewelry stores is the most famous shopping destination in Tirol, I am sure you will find something nice at the exclusive shops at the “KITZ GALLERIA” (shopping mall).

iv. What is your advice to first-time travelers?

You have to pack your suitcase for different types of weather. Like the onion-model: Be prepared for cold weather, but so that you can put off clothes if the weather is warm.

v. One thing to definitely pack when travelling to TIROL

Take good shoes with you. Doesn’t matter if you go through cities, on a mountain or just for a walk. Keep in mind that you might want to touch the snow on one of our impressive glaciers, which are easy to reach also in the summer.

vi. One activity anyone travelling to TIROL should not miss.

For sure you should not miss the view when you are on the top of a mountain. It is possible to go there for everyone. You can hike or take the gondola. For Example in Sölden in the Ötztal Valley you can visit the Big 3 panoramic rock path covered in glass, the view from there is breathtaking – even for locals!

vii. Where should anyone, travelling to TIROL, definitely get their picture taken?

It’s nearly the same for this question: On the top of a mountain. Do not forget to share it on social media to let your friends admire the view as well.

viii. Which is the best place to get a panoramic photo?

The Valluga in St. Anton am Arlberg, because you can see the peaks of three countries: Italy in the south, Switzerland in the West and Germany in the North – that’s a unique experience!

ix. Best place to enjoy sunset/sunrise?

As we are in the middle of the Alps, the best places to enjoy the sunset/sunrise is on the top of one of our beautiful mountains or on a tease with a nice cup of coffee.  If you are in Innsbruck you can go up the Mountain with the “Nordkettenbahn” which takes you at an elevation of almost 2,000 meters in 20 minutes directly from the city center.  This is something you could do every day, however for sunsets I recommend considering a Friday as the cable car has extended opening times till 11.30 pm.

x. Most romantic place to take a special someone to.

To the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens (only 20 minutes away from Innsbruck), because with their subterranean “chambers of wonder” they are a sparkling fantasy world and a pure invitation to dream. The atmosphere is magical to romantic there, someone special will notice.

xi. Best place to have local food?

The best place for local food is a real Tyrolean restaurant, beside the numerous international restaurants they are easy to find everywhere.

xii. You are favorite local dish and drink that you would recommend.

I would recommend the “Käsepressknödel” (cheese dumplings) because they are a vegetarian speciality that is typical for Tirol. By the way, the “Graukäse”, which is the cheese used for this dumplings, contains just 0,1% fat.

xiii. One place only the locals would know.

There are many places in the different regions. One example is at the Ötztaler Alps. There you can see ibexes most of the time.When you come to Tirol, just ask one of the locals. The people here are very friendly and will share their hidden spots with pleasure with you. If you would ask me I would send you to the Ötztal Valley to see the most beautiful waterfall – the “Stuiben Waterfall”.

xiv. The best pub and a best place to catch up for a drink.

There are plenty…so I try to give you the highlights.

In Innsbruck on the rooftop of a shopping mall is a quaint local bar called “360 Grad” that has an amazing “360-degree” view of downtown Innsbruck. For a real party experience I would recommend “The Londoner” in Kitzbühel, as it is the favorite party location for summer and winter tourists as well as for the local party animals since more than 25 years. In the Ötztal Valley the “Top Mountain Star” is a combination of a panoramic platform and a bar in a special shape on a mountain beyond 3000 meters above sea level.

xv. A local festival you feel more travelers should come and see

The traditional “Almabrieb” is a very colorful event in in autumn (mainly in September) where the cattle of the farmers that have grazed the mountain pastures all summer long are driven back down the mountain to the safety of their winter quarters. That is very beautiful in the region of St. Anton am Arlberg.

xvi. The things guide books will not tell anyone about TIROL

As you know, the official language in Austria is German, but we are very proud of our various dialects. However, sometimes people from the different valleys do not understand each other. As a result, it is common to make friendly jokes about the `foreign` dialects.

xvii. Is there any particular month you would not recommend travel to TIROL and what would that reason be?

The best time to come to come to Tirol is the summer season (middle of May – end of September) because the climate is very nice. You will have a warm temperature, but it is never getting too hot.

xix. In one sentence, TIROL is: the heart of the Alps!


Hello, my name is Angela, I am 29 years old and grew up in Innsbruck – the capital of Tirol. In the last years I studied and worked abroad, it was amazing to see so many beautiful places in the world, but coming back and to settle in Tirol was definitely one of the best choices I ever made, because this is where my heart belongs.


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“Horton Plains… Anything but “plain.”

“Horton Plains… Anything but “plain.”

by Vikas Kakwani

(Vikas and his wife and son travel regularly with The Wanderers and here’s his post from Horton Plains, Sri Lanka)


“In the name of Ravan, what would you do in Sri Lanka for 8 days?” was the question posed to us when we planned the travel. How absolutely wrong could that turn out to be? Each day offered us something new, from heritage sites to high rises, from hill stations to pristine beaches, from idyllic resorts to maddening shopping and from tea plantations to Horton plains.

It was Horton plains that got my fancy. Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka at an altitude of approx 2,200 metres and is situated 32 km from Nuwara Eliya where we stayed at The Grand Hotel that was the residence of Sir Edward Barns, Governor of Sri Lanka, till 1850 (to write about just the hotel will be another blog).

We started off from the hotel at 5:30am with packed breakfast and drove for just over an hour to the entry of the national park. It was cold till we started walking. The total trek circuit is of 9 km and it offers three major scenic location viz the World’s end, the mini-world’s end and the Baker’s fall but more than just that, the experience is simply awesome. The terrain changes from normal hilly tracks to forest trails to rocky grooves. One can be carefully treading the slippery rocks at one moment and in the second moment find oneself atop the open hills and soon after climbing the tree roots while holding on to the branches. Bird watchers are treated with a vast variety of beautiful birds and the fauna lovers with exotic plants. The world’s end is truly breathtaking. The fall is steep so one doesn’t see anything down below and the cloud forest is thick so one can’t see anything ahead giving an impression of being the end of the world. It took slightly over 4 hours to complete the trek. The iPod nano recorded the exact distance and steps that we walked. Just as an advice, wear comfortable walking shoes and carry a water bottle.

Finally, if you are not one of the fitness freak, you might need to go in for a foot massage after the trip but in the end, all the pain will be forgotten thanks to the wonderful memories that you would carry forever… In all, a trip to Sri Lanka will not be complete without the fabulous experience on the Horton Plains.

Posted in Return as the Wanderer | 2 Comments

An insider’s view of Greece

Everything the guide books or tourism websites won’t tell you about the place..

The Wanderers in conversation with  Mary Menounou


Land of Grace (1)

i.One little known fact/trivia that everyone should know about when travelling to GREECE?

Greece is a unique destination for travelers holding a population of 10.815.197. Apart from an incomparable combination of mountain and sea destination spots, more importantly Greece offers remarkable history, monuments, attractions and amazing night life giving every traveler a reason to visit and hold Greece in their hearts!

 ii. What is a must buy when in GREECE?

Greek Olives and Extra Virgin Olive oil.

iii. One take-away after a visit to GREECE? 

Small or big ancient Greek civilization statuettes and fridge magnets sold as souvenirs.

iv. What is your advice to first time travelers?

To taste the rich Mediterranean cuisine and live the myth of Greece.

v. One thing to definitely pack when travelling to GREECE

Comfortable shoes

vi. One activity anyone travelling to GREECE should not miss.

 To swim in the crystal blue Greek Mediterranean Sea and to experience a traditional Greek night with “plate smashing”

 vii. Where should anyone, travelling to GREECE, definitely get their picture taken?

The most spectacular Archaeological site in Greece “Acropolis”; to visit the most scenic area “Delphi“ – the naval of the earth; and to walk on the still active Volcano of Santorini!

viii. Which is the best place to get a panoramic photo?

The magical Caldera views captured only in Santorini.

ix. Best place to enjoy sunset/sunrise?

The world famous sunset in Oia of Santorini.

x. Most romantic place to take a special someone to.

One of the most popular honeymooner’s destination in Greece, Santorini.

xi. Best place to have local food?

Monastiraki and Plaka areas in the heart of Athens most famous for traditional Greek cuisine.

xii. Your favorite local dish and drink that you would recommend.

Greek chicken souvlaki accompanied with traditional Greek beer or fresh seafood meze accompanied with local Greek ouzo

xiii. One place only the locals would know.

Litochoro village, located at the foot of mount Olympus, the home of our ancient Gods!

xiv. The best pub and best place to catch up for a drink.

We wouldn’t suggest just one pub as there are too many good ones, but the best three areas in the downtown area of Athens are Psiri, Kolonaki and Gazi for a fun evening/night out!

xv. A local festival you feel more travelers should come and see

The famous Greek carnival of Patras town which lasts for 2 whole days and includes mascaraed parades with singing, dancing and lots of drinking!

xvi. The things guide books will not tell anyone about GREECE

Religious and local cultural traditions that can only be found out on the spot whilst exploring!

xvii. Is there any particular month you would not recommend travel to GREECE and what would that reason be?

hroughout the year, during all seasons, Greece has many places a traveler can visit which means there is no particular month Greece is not ideal for all!

xix. In one sentence, GREECE is.

Greece is a country of history, culture, beauty and hospitality….. and you don’t have to be Greek to love Greece…


I was born and studied in Athens but I spent 12 unforgettable years in Santorini island!

The unique colors and the magnificent landscape writing every day a new story…  a place to spoil yourself!

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10 must do trips in 2015


Season’s Greetings from The Wanderers!

Happy New Year! 

We take this opportunity to thank each of you for making 2014 a great year for The Wanderers. And we wish you and your loved ones a fantastic 2015! May it be bigger, better and happier for everyone, wherever you are. To add to your happiness quotient, we promise to bring you awesome travel experiences from around the world throughout 2015. As a trailer, here’s a glimpse of what we would like to begin with! A winter trip to Canada, a wild trip to Botswana, a boat trip down the Mekong, a journey to Colombia or a road trip to North East India. We have all this and more for you in 2015. Its after all the year of the wanderer.

Don’t believe otherwise..

Dine in the wilderness,Botswana

Explore the wonders of Botswana in the wilderness hotspots of this diverse country with this luxury camping expedition. You spend your days in the Okavango Delta and take game drives in Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park before finishing the trip with the sight of the cloud of spray from the  mighty Victoria Falls. Its a one of a kind trip- exclusive & wild! All this and more in our 10 Days Botswana Explorer

Frozen Lake Louise

Enjoy a unique range of recreational activities from world class ski options, to Dogsled mushing, snowshoe tours, skating  along  ice-trails and much more.This trip is dedicated to highlight the winter wonderland – Canada, where you get to experience dog sleds, some winter wildlife, visit Lake Louise and Banff National Park and explore Vancouver city in the 10 Days Winter Extravaganza in Canada

Prime Cathedral,Bolivar Plaza,Bogota

Colombia, located in the southwest of South America, is a tropical country of incredible diversity and charm. it is known to fascinate the world with its ever-changing geography, a history loaded with mystery & adventure and the warmth of its people and rich centuries old culture. Discover this completely new world with The Wanderers on our 7 nights classic Colombia tour

Mekong river cruise

Take a trip down the River Mekong in Laos and its world renowned islands. Start the cruise at Pakse, situated at the confluence of Xe Don and Mekong Rivers, before continuing your cruise to Wat Phou – a UNESCO World Heritage site and the remote 4000 Islands! Our 4 Days Mekong river cruise is meant for discerning traveler.

Discover the beauty of the Sultanate of Oman with this seven days journey. Start your travel in the capital city of Muscat, a vibrant city that has successfully balanced the modern with its traditional culture. Here you will be introduced to Oman’s history, culture and development. Make your way along various tourist hot spots of Oman like Nizwa, Bahia Fort, Wadi Nakher, Jebel Shams and Wahiba Sands before returning to Muscat, where you end your trip. This  7 Days best of Oman trip gives a fascinating insight into a destination so close to India.

Pamper yourself and your loved one while discovering this beautiful country together. This 11 day tour takes you on a magical journey in Rainbow Nation. With the ease of self drive for most part of the journey, you can take your time reaching your destinations. Stop at little known places. Discover those hidden nooks. Go on game drives. Do activities together. Get awed by the sights and the scenery along the way. Live in luxurious lodges and hotels throughout which have been handpicked specifically for this luxury offbeat tour. For more details.11 Days Luxurious Honeymoon in South Africa

See the best that Tanzania has to offer in luxury. Stay at some of the most luxurious tented accommodations and camps while you go on Safaris and game drives. Start your trip at Ngorongoro, famous for its Crater where humans and wild beasts coexist peacefully. Move on to Serengeti National Park, unequalled for its natural beauty and the greatest concentration of plains game anywhere. Drive down to Lake Manyara National Park, extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen  in Africa”. From here you can either return back home or   extend your trip and take in the beaches at Zanzibar while staying in the lap of luxury some 45 kms away from Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar. For more details.. 11 Days Tanzania in Luxury

Discover Mongolia starting with a 2 day visit to the smaller brother of Baikal, Lake Khuvsgul, the deepest lake in Central Asia. In Ulaanbaatar, you will experience a blend of tradition and modernity in the rapidly developing city. Head east to Maikhan Tolgoi, followed by a trip to Gobi desert and then a walk through the ice gorge at Yolyn,Am,Mongolia’s largest sand dunes.Finally, experience Naadam festival which is the most colourful festival of the Mongols. For more details.. 14 Days Highlights of Mongolia

Our 13 Day Kailash overland yatra to Mt. Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, which lies in the Southwestern part of Tibet, is an incredible experience. It is an epic pilgrimage to the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva,that is considered the most sacred and revered pilgrimage for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists alike. It is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding spiritual journeys known to man. Apart from this group tour, we have other journeys to Mt Kailash including a trip via Lhasa, another one which is an arduous trek, the inner parikrama, the chopper tour, the private journey and more. Do contact us for details.

The North Eastern region of India is one of the least explored regions of India. With its abundant natural wealth, wildlife sanctuaries, high mountains, tribal culture, tea gardens, waterfalls, famous temples, the majestic Brahmaputra valley, angling opportunities, fast flowing rivers, quaint markets and a flourishing textile trade, it’s a wonder that these sister states have been able to keep themselves under wraps for so long! This 12 day Splendours of North East unveils all of the above during its sojourn through Assam, Meghalaya and the Himalayan region of Arunachal Pradesh.


Meetings – Incentives – Conferences – Events

Does the reward of a trip to London and Paris or to Australia and Thailand galvanise the sales force into action? We are sure it does if the booming numbers of incentive travelers to places far and wide is any indication. But how about taking this a notch higher and announcing a trip of a lifetime thats truly worth coveting? A voyage to the Antarctic for the top performers! Or a trip to the Arctic Circle or the North Pole or a Trans Siberian Rail journey for the deserving few.. Is it time to turn incentives on its head and move away from mundane trips to the trul extraordinary experiences of life? So, next time you are planning a trip for your delegates, do you want to go on planning the ordinary or would you like to give it a Wanderers touch? For more info, please read on..


Return as a Wanderer..

Thanks for all your arrangements. The trip was absolutely fantastic and very well organized. Thank you for making this trip happen in a short period of time. I know it was challenging indeed, given the time constraints.It will certainly remain a Dream Trip etched in our minds. I do look forward to organizing a trip too next year with Wanderers ..and hopefully many more trips thereafter.  It was really a pleasure working with you!


Om Hemrajani, after his recent trip to Switzerland,Austria and Prague


Israel – Shalom!

Abhik Dutta, The Wanderers

 Abhik Dutta travelled to Israel for a recce trip and this is what he had to say about this beautiful country.

Solomon’s Pillar, Timna, Park

“I had always wanted to visit Israel having grown up reading books about the country and its people, how the state was formed, about kibbutz life, their culture of innovation, the politics and religion of the region, the holocaust etc. So, when I got the invite from the Israel Ministry of Tourism to visit the country, I already had one leg in the El-Al flight! Tel-Aviv, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea is a city on steroids! An active city, where people are forever on the go. Cycling, running, skating, sailing, segwaying, dancing. Always moving. No wonder its called the Non-Stop City. Jaffa, is the exact opposite. Quiet, reflective, artsy, historical. To escape the noise...more


For more offbeat trips and unique experiences around the world, please visit our website

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Israel- the Non Stop country

Old city, Yaffo, Tel-Aviv

Known as much for its Biblical past as it is for its vibrant present and a promising future, Israel embodies a great ‘never say die’ spirit that encompasses the very life of Israel.

Abhik Dutta, Director & Co-Founder of  The Wanderers gives a brief synopsis of his trip to this ancient land and comes away fascinated.

I had always wanted to visit Israel having grown up reading books about the country and its people, how the state was formed, about kibbutz life, their culture of innovation, the politics and religion of the region, the holocaust etc. So, when I got the invite from the Israel Ministry of Tourism to visit the country, I already had one leg in the El-Al flight!

Tel-Aviv, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea is a city on steroids! An active city, where people are forever on the go. Cycling, running, skating, sailing, segwaying, dancing. Always moving. No wonder its called the Non-Stop City. Jaffa, is the exact opposite. Quiet, reflective, artsy, historical. To escape the noise and pulsating rhythm of Tel Aviv, we headed for the quiet lanes of the Old city of Jaffa where we visited the Ilana Goor museum (which is also the current home of this gifted artist).  At the Nalaga’at Centre located near the wharf, we got a taste of different wine in a pitch black restaurant called BlackOut, escorted by blind waiters! A most humbling experience.

An orthodox jew pedals up a street in Jerusalem

In Jerusalem, we followed a local family through the old streets as they celebrated the Bar Mitzvah function of their son’s coming of age. I prayed at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and laid to rest, then headed down the lanes to the Western Wall or Kotel (earlier called the Wailing Wall) where I prayed once again donning a ‘kipa’. Later, I visited a Roman Catholic Franciscan cemetery to pay respect at the grave of Oskar Schindler, the German who saved over a thousand Jews during WW II. Remember the movie Schindlers List?

I also visited the Holocaust Museum. It was a deeply moving experience. The architectural marvel hides the brutality, pain and suffering depicted inside its grey walls as it takes you through the history of the Holocaust with heart rending stories of suvivors, bringing their pain closer to our hearts. And finally, after 2 hours, I emerged at twilight from the dark corridors of one of last century’s most sordid periods to a patio overlooking the dazzling lights of Jerusalem. A sign of light and hope for the future?

While traveling to the Dead Sea we took a cable car ride up to the hilltop fortess of Massada (over a 1000ft high), now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by King Herod in 30 BC. It has majestic 360 degree views of the Jordan Rift Valley and Dead Sea on one side and the desert landscape on the other. I decided to run down the  ‘Snake Path’ on the way down- a decision that affected my gait over the next 3 days!

That evening we drove in Landrovers into the Judean desert to watch a surreal sunset and the next morning I was up at dawn to master my ‘water floatation technique’ on the Dead Sea. As opposed to the Jordan side of the Sea which is rocky (I happened to visit Jordan in September earlier this year), the place where we entered the water was sandy  and well-maintained. We floated around for the better part of an hour before heading back to our hotel and drove onward to Eilat on the Red Sea.

Solomon’s Pillar, Timna Park

Eilat is hedonism at its Middle Eastern best. The Red Sea is perfect water sports, scuba diving & snorkeling during the day and post sunset, the city makes a quick switchover to the good life full of great cuisine, music and clubbing. Blessed with year round mild weather (water temperature rarely dips below 20deg C), Eilat is the perfect place for relaxation in Israel. We snorkelled in the Sea, discovered the beauty of Timna Park and its ancient copper mines nestled in the magical surroundings of the desert and as the lights of the city dazzled, we made our way to the Three Monkeys Pub to listen to an English band and down a few beers..a perfect way to wind up my short trip to Israel!


1. Which places did you visit?

I travelled to Israel in the month of November and had the wonderful opportunity of visiting the vibrant ‘non-stop’ city of Tel Aviv (including Jaffa & Herziliya) on the shores of the Mediterranean, the ancient city of Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the resort city of Eilat on the Red Sea. En route to the Dead and Eilat, we took detours into the Judean desert and the Negev desert.

2. What is the best time to travel here?

Being on the Southern coast of the Mediterranean, it enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate. While it does get cold in Jerusalem for a month in Dec/Jan (it could even snow there), one can still take a dip in the Red Sea resort of Eilat in end Jan. But I would recommend the months of March, April, May, June and Sep, Oct and November. July & August are hot months, specially around the Dead Sea and the desert area of Negev.

View of the Mediterranean Sea from rooftop of Ilana Goor Museum,Jaffa

3. What is the best way to travel around the cities?

In Tel-Aviv, its easy to cab it to any of the main centres and then just walk around. In Jerusalem, you have to walk in the Old City and get lost in its labyrinthine lanes and by lanes of the Muslim, Christian and Jewish quarters. Eilat is chiefly a walking town and its great to just walk the promenade from one end to the other. It’s the most vibrant stretch in Eilat, filled with pubs, cafes, shops and restaurants.

4. What do you consider to be the 3 highlights of your trip? And why?

Walking through the old streets of Jerusalem. Here time stands still. Wandering along the old cobble stoned walk ways of the city leading through the various quarters, past curio shops and galleries right up to the open view of the Temple Mount and the Western Wall is a delightful experience. To visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and laid to rest is one of my life’s most poignant moments.

Wine tasting in Tel Aviv: There are many kinds of wine tasting that takes place around the world. But none as rewarding or humbling as that offered at the BlackOut, the pitch-black restaurant with its staff of blind waiters. This is part of the Nalaga’at Center at Jaffa, located near the wharf. The Center – the first of its kind in the world, seeks to promote interaction between deaf-blind, deaf, and blind individuals and people able to hear and see, regardless of cultural or social distinctions. At BlackOut, we were escorted by blind waiters to our seats in total darkness and over the next one hour taken through a session of wine tasting that left an indelible impression on my mind.

Floating on the Dead Sea:

Sunrise over the dead Sea,Israel

We have all grown up reading books about floating on the Dead Sea. Floating here is made possible because of its high  salinity (34%) which is almost 10 times more saline than Ocean water. It was an amazing experience to tread into the still waters of the Dead Sea at dawn in November, the water temperature mild even this early during the day, so late in the season. And for the next hour, I floated quietly on the ‘oily’ water chatting away with my other ‘floating’ friends, smearing my body with salt from the sea bed in what is one of my life’s most surreal experiences. Needless to say, this is perhaps the only Sea in the world where nobody even tries to swim!

5. What are the must do sightseeing when you travel to Israel?

If you have a week in hand, you must visit Tel-Aviv (and Yaffo), Jerusalem, Dead Sea and finally party away in Eilat. En route from Dead Sea to Eilat, you will pass the Negev Desert. You can experience a jeep safari in the Judean desert, visit the Timna Park in Eilat or snorkel in the famed reefs of the Red Sea. For those interested in the Holyland tours, a visit to Bethelhem, the Sea of Galilee etc are a must.

6. What are the best places to eat local cuisine? I can heartily recommend the following places where we tried our luck:

Tel-Aviv: At Vicky Cristina at the Old train station or sea food at White Pergola at the Port area. Or you can just walk through Carmel open market and pick up food from the local stalls. In Jaffa, you could try Dr. Shakskuka restaurant. Its been featured in a few travel channels as well and seems like a favourite with the locals.

Jerusalem: Try the seafood at Adom restaurant in the Old train station area (yes, Jerusalem too has one!). The food is delicious and the atmosphere of the area is electric!

Eilat: If you want to try Asian fusion cuisine, try Ginger Asian Bar and Kitchen. I heartily recommend whatever the chef throws at you. The Bar beach restaurant cooks up great sea food menus.

But no matter, where you are, you MUST try Israeli wine. Its great stuff. I heartily recommend the Galil Mountain red wine made from Syrah grapes.

7. Can you name a few flea/famous markets where one can pick up souvenirs?

Don’t miss the great atmosphere of the Carmel market in Tel Aviv, an open air market selling everything from food to locally made (innovative) window cleaning equipment, curios and flowers. On Tuesdays and Fridays, you are in for a treat as the next door Nahlat Binyamin Pedestrian street comes alive with local craftsmen lining the street with their exceptional crafts that range from miniature rice paintings to stone pantings, sculpture etc. It’s a feast for the eyes.

8. Can you recommend a few ‘watering holes’ to be at post 7 pm?

Tel-Aviv is known as a Non-Stop city! With a reputation to live upto, its no wonder that the city is full of bars and pubs that stay open well past the break of dawn. Unlike other large cities in the world, the cities pubs are small but allow for a great pub hopping experience. Its best to see a few and then return to the one you like best. I would recommend that you head for Lilienblum Street and then take it on from there! In Eilat, my favourite was the “Three Monkeys Pub”.

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An insider’s view of Marseille

Everything the guide books or tourism websites won’t tell you about the place.

The Wanderers in conversation with Cyrille Saboya

_ _

i. One little known fact/trivia that everyone should know about when travelling to MARSEILLE?

The If Castle on the island If, famous for the Count of Monte Cristo is located in Marseille or that Marseille is the oldest city of Marseille with 2600 years of history

ii. What is a must buy/take – away when in MARSEILLE?

Soap of Marseille

iii. One take-away after a visit to MARSEILLE?

Soap of Marseille

iv. What is your advice to first time travellers?

Notre Dame de la Garde for the panoramic view

v. One thing to definitely pack when travelling to MARSEILLE?


vi. One activity anyone travelling to MARSEILLE should not miss.

“The Calanques” National Park

vii. Where should anyone, travelling to MARSEILLE, definitely get their picture taken?

Calanque de Sormiou

Notre Dame de la Garde and the Mucem, the new national museum with a great architecture

viii. Which is the best place to get a panoramic photo?

Basilica Notre Dame de la Garde

ix. Best place to enjoy sunset/sunrise?

Corniche, the seaside road

Corniche Turquoise

x. Most romantic place to take a special someone to.

Boattrip at sunset in the bay of Marseille or in one of the typical little marina. Les Goudes for example

xi. Best place to have local food?

Typical little marinas on the seaside road

xii. Your favorite local dish and drink that you would recommend.

Bouillabaisse fish soup/ dish, Pastis aperitif.

xiii. One place only the locals would know.

Le Grand Bar des Goudes

xiv. The best pub and best place to catch up for a drink.


xv. A local festival you feel more travelers should come and see:

Fiesta des Suds/ Marsactac electro music

xvi. The things guide books will not tell anyone about MARSEILLE.

That Marseille has changed and is “A must see city in France” and that Marseille is as much city as a beautiful National Park.

Mucem Fort St Jean

xvii. Is there any particular month you would not recommend travel to MARSEILLE and what would that reason be?

Maybe in February as it is a bit cold (5  to 10° C) . June and September are peak season for the hotels so the prices are quite high. But July and August are OK.

xix. In one sentence, MARSEILLE is. Secret. Marseille has completely changed.

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I was born in Aix en Provence (25 KM from Marseille). I arrived in Marseille 10 years ago and I was amazed by the diversity of landscape of the city and the beautiful National Park and the sea.

Since 2013 Marseille has completely changed and i am proud to promote the oldest city of France and the trendiest city of France today!

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