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Adding excursions is a great way to explore your chosen destination and make your trip a memorable experience. Whether you're keen to soak in the warm water of the geothermal Blue Lagoon in Iceland, spend a night in a Mongolian ger camp or watch the sunrise in Burma from a hot air balloon, it's the experiences that make a Regent Holiday.



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Iceland excursions area a great way to enjoy Iceland during a city break, fly drive or tailor made tour. Bask in the warm water of the geothermal Blue lagoon, race through beautiful wilderness on a snow-mobile or a superjeep, or search for whales on a whale watching tour.

Christina Gibbons

My first visit to Russia, or to the then Soviet Union, was in 1973. Oranges were a sought after luxury and the tour guides towed the party line. Many illusions of down trodden, sullen people were dispelled – with temperatures hitting the upper 80s folk were out and about in summer clothes, eating ice creams, swimming in the rivers, picnicking and queuing at street barrels for the alcohol-free malt beer kvas. So started a long love affair with Russia.

I have since returned many, many times but my excitement for the country has never waivered. There is always a frisson of tension and a hustle and bustle about the place, especially in Moscow. One cannot fail to be awe-inspired by the former wealth of the Tsars and the autocracy with their opulent palaces and priceless art collections. It is worth venturing off the well-trodden tourist routes to experience the vastness of the world’s largest country.

Take the train from Moscow to Irkutsk - an amazing piece of engineering in itself - to gaze in wonder at the world’s deepest lake, Lake Baikal. Stop en route in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s first industrial city; and the gateway between Europe and the East with the Ural Mountains forming a natural boundary Yekaterinburg’s main claim to fame is as the city where the last Tsar of Russia’s family were assassinated.

My first tour with Regent was over 27 years ago to the then staunch communist state of Albania. All foreigners were viewed with suspicion and one had to walk through a disinfectant trough on entry in order not to contaminate the local populace. Several times I was hauled before the secret police because members of my group had tried to venture on to a train. It took much persuasion to convince them of the British love of rail travel. North Korea is not dissimilar today; in order to pay your respects to the late Great Leader and founder of the present-day state, you have to be fumigated!

If I had to pick a favourite tour it would have to be Russia and the trip I took down the river Volga. There's the Kremlin, GUM and Red Square in Moscow at the start and the Great Palace and famous museums of St Petersburg at the end, but the best bit is that you get to see Russian life from the banks of the Volga. There is also a stop in Kizhi Island. The huge wooden churches here are one of Russia's least known but most impressive attractions. You can travel on a similar trip on one of our 5-Star Russian River Cruise holidays. 

Andrea Godfrey

I was a Regent Tours Manager for the Baltic States and Russia for many years starting back in 1995. As a Russian and Soviet Studies graduate, I have always been fascinated by this vast country and love discovering something new on every return visit. One of my favourite Regent tours is the Great Siberian Sayan Ring and I heartily recommend including a visit to Siberia or at least seeing more than just the major cities when travelling in Russia  - being in the wide open space of the tundra, picnicking beside shimmering birch trees and visiting provincial towns is to experience the real Russia. One of my most memorable trips was an incredible journey along the Trans-Siberian Railway with my family. My travel advice for this epic journey? Don't try and keep up with the Russians when vodka drinking!

In 2009, I led Regent’s inaugural tour to Kosovo and was overwhelmed by the generous hospitality of the local people. More recent travel adventures have taken me to Iceland – one of my favourite ever destinations. Iceland is simply one of the most visually stunning countries I have visited with its thundering waterfalls, ice-filled lagoons, fjords edged with steep, flat-topped mountains and jagged glacier tongues. And how I can forget the northern lights? What an amazing, awe-inspiring spectacle.

Read more about my travel experiences in my blog

Michael Voss

Growing up in the rolling Cotswold hills and enjoying walking holidays to the Brecon Beacons, Lake District and Munroe-bagging in Scotland it seems inevitable that when I started exploring the wider world my hiking boots would be one of the first things to get packed whenever venturing abroad.

When it comes to trying to pick a favourite destination or travel experience, I'm a bit stumped. It’s hard to pick out just one because setting off along a trail leading from the guesthouse built into the cliff at the head of the canyon in Jordan’s Dana Biosphere Reserve, being invited for tea by the local Bedouin herding their goats in the valley and ending at the candle-lit guesthouse in Feynan is so different from the experience of strapping on your crampons, picking up your ice axe and heading up the stunning Svinafellsjokull glacier tongue in Iceland.

However one of the 'stand out' highlights of my travels with Regent would have to be the climb up Borneo’s Mount Kinabalu which stands at 4,096 metres and is the highest mountain in South East Asia.  Whilst the mountain is reasonably accessible and not too technically challenging (although you have the option of taking the nerve-wracking via ferrata route) only 146 permits are issued each day so the mountain never feels too busy.  The first day sees you climb solidly for about 6 hours through the pitcher-plant and bird-rich rainforest before taking a well-earned rest at the Laban Rata guesthouse.  The second day involves a pre-dawn start to reach the peak for sunrise.  As I climbed the moon was high and to the north-east, I could watch a spectacular display of lightning over the sea happening several hundred feet below me which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The beauty of this peak is that having achieved the impressive feat of reaching the top and returning to the national park at the foot of the mountain you are lucky enough to be in Borneo so can take your weary limbs to soak in the baths at Poring Hot Springs, head further into the jungles to visit the orang-utan, elephants and proboscis monkeys or simply find a beautiful beach to relax on whilst enjoying the wonderful food and hospitality of the locals.

Read more about my travel experiences in my blog

 

 





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