Monthly Archives: December 2012

Romance on Ice: Valentine’s Day at the Ice Hotel Romania

Romance on Ice

Whisk your other half away this Valentine’s Weekend for a three or four night romantic retreat at the Ice Hotel in Romania. Untravelled Paths is offering an exclusive Valentine’s package for £390 per person including all accommodation, transfers and a fairy-tale night at the enchanting Ice Hotel with complimentary bubbly on ice.

Let us sweep you into the heart of Transylvania for a few days of romance with your loved one. Huddle together and hold tight as you explore the eerie corridors of Dracula’s would-be residence at Bran Castle as well as absorbing the decadent furnishings and opulent suites at Peles Castle in Sinaia. In Brasov, enjoy a leisurely stroll around charming cobbled streets, stopping to warm up in one of the town’s bohemian cafes dotted along snow-dusted alleyways off the main square.

 Drift through the clouds as you ascend the Faragas Mountains by cable car up to the magical Ice Hotel past snow-capped peaks and frosty forestland. Get your heart racing with some snow-activities like sledging and snowmobiling then indulge in a four-course dinner for two complete with ice plates, frozen tables and frosty, fur-lined chairs before popping the bubbly and ‘Dancing-On-Ice’ the night away.

 Defrost the next morning with a hearty brunch at Transylvania’s very own ‘Eden’, Brukenthal Palace, before wandering through the medieval, chocolate-box town of Sibiu past rows of rainbow-coloured houses and decorative bridges. Then it’s back to Bucharest for a final night of romance amongst the capital’s buzzing bars and restaurants.

Who said romance was dead? Love is in the Romanian air.


Ice Hotel Romania for Valentine's Day 2013

v-day-ice-hotel-romania

 3 Night Valentine’s Getaway to the Ice Hotel, Romania (18th – 21st Feb) from £390pp:

  • 3 nights accommodation and breakfast
  • All transfers (in-country & airport)*
  • All day trips & excursions
  • Private, bi-lingual guide
  • Bottle of bubbly in an ice bucket
  • The Ice Hotel Dining Experience for two

*Flights not included but start from £48.99 from London Luton with wizzair.com

Ping us an email at marion.poerio@untravelledpaths.com  or call 08716629521 for more.

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Top Ten: Travel Books

There’s nothing quite like delving into a good book, especially at Christmas time when its cold and dark outside and you can cuddle up in the corner of the sofa with a cup of coffee cradled in one hand and thick warm socks bear-hugging your tootsies! With that in mind, you may as well grab yourself a fantastic read to keep you hooked.

We’ve racked our brains to come up with ten of our favourite travel-inspired reads so you can pick up a winner or to help to buy that all-elusive Christmas present for your nearest and dearest.

Have a read…!

1. On The Road by Jack Kerouac


On The Road Top Travel Books

‘What’s your road, man? – holyboy road, madman road, rainbow road, guppy road, any road. It’s an anywhere road for anybody anyhow.‘ 

Adventure in abundance, this one is the classic, really. One of those must-read novels if you’re a keen reader and/or traveller.

 

2. Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck

Travels with Charley Top Travel Books

‘When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch.’  

Man and man’s best friend on a tour of the US in 1960. A sentimental tale weaving historic context and loveliness, Steinbeck and his poodle Charley will certainly keep you entertained.

 3. Notes From a Small Island by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson Small Island Top Travel Books

Not a book that should be read in public, for fear of emitting loud snorts – The Times

Witty, nostalgic and a definite for any fan of Bill Bryson’s. These notes on his final journey around Blighty offer some interesting insights into modern society and will have you chuclking away to yourself  all long, especially when you get to the list of bizarre place names!


4. The Beach by Alex Garland

The Beach Top Travel Books

‘This incisive novel may well come to be regarded as a defining text in the history of imaginative travel writing’ – Daily Telegraph

Pure, unadulterated escapism. Alex Garland’s tale of paradise found and lost has become a cult classic for generations of back-packers across the world. The ultimate companion for a trip to the Far East.


5. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love Top Travel Books

It’s about a woman’s sojourn through three countries, and it’s fantastic.’ – Julia Roberts

One for the girls. Gilbert’s novel may not to to everyone’s taste but we love the rich descriptions and unique qualities of Italy, Thailand and India. Magical stuff.

6. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises Top Travel Books

‘Remarkable, startling, disquieting’ – Spectator

Perhaps one of Hemingway’s finest masterpieces, this novel tells the story of a group of American expats as they immerse themselves in the lives and loves of Paris and Spain in the 1920s.  The bull-fighting sequences in Pamplona are pretty incredible!

7. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things Top Travel Books

 ‘May in Ayemenem is a hot, brooding month. The days are long and humid. The river shrinks and black crows gorge on bright mangoes in still, dustgreen trees.’

One of our favourite ever novels and deserved winner of the Booker Prize. Immerse yourself in descriptions and text that will transport you to the heart of Kerala in India. Simply beautiful.



8. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Top Travel Books

‘We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold…’

Surreal, sharp and consistently funny, Hunter S. Thompson’s “Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream” follows Raoul Duke and his attorney Dr Gonzo on a drug-addled trip to Las Vegas.



9. Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2013

best-in-travel-2013-lonely-planet

Some non-fiction brilliance. As always, Lonely Planet have put together the definite guide for travel in 2013. It’s a goodie and offers tons of reliable information and inspiration.

10. The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

Great Railway Bazaar Top Travel Books

‘He has done our travelling for us brilliantly’ –  William Golding

‘I sought trains, I found passengers,’ writes Theroux in his recollection of travelling through Asia in 1973. A story of adventure  fuelled by the romance of the railway. We particularly love the descriptions of the people he encounters along the way.


Travel Inspiration: Foreign Lands

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Passo Di Resia Italy


The Coolest New Year Celebration Ever: Ice Hotel Romania

fireworks at the ice hotel romaniaWhisk yourself away this New Year to Romania’s awesome Ice Hotel and bring in 2013 with a bang!  Untravelled Paths is offering an exclusive 4-night trip for a cool £479 per person.

Do yourself a favour and abandon your lackluster New Year plans in exchange for a truly unique celebration ‘on ice’. An incredible evening of fine dining, local dancing and fantastic fireworks in the coolest setting on the planet, your Ice Hotel experience will be the highlight of your year.

Kicking off in buzzing Bucharest, you can toast the beginning of your adventure with a cocktail or three in one of the capital’s trendy bars before being swept into the heart of Transylvania. Explore the infamous Bran Castle, would-be home of Dracula, then enjoy the bohemian cafes nestled amongst Brasov’s cobbled streets before ascending the Faragas Mountains by cable car up to the Ice Hotel.

Commence celebrations with some action-packed snow sports like snowmobiling or sledging then head to the super-cool Ice Bar for colourful cocktails served in ice-cube glasses. Dine in style with a four-course, winter wonderful dinner complete with ice plates, frozen tables and frosty, fur-lined chairs before dancing into 2013, counting down to the New Year to the tune of fizzing fireworks. Defrost the next morning with a wander around the medieval town of Sibiu and tuck into a hearty Romanian lunch before touching back down in Bucharest for your final night.

Sub Zero Ice bar

4 Night New Year Celebration at the Ice Hotel, Romania, £479pp & includes:

  • 4 nights accommodation and breakfast
  • All transfers (in-country & airport)*
  • All day trips & excursions
  • Bi-lingual guide & Untravelled Paths booklet
  • The Ice Hotel Dining Experience

Ping us an email at marion.poerio@untravelledpaths.com  or call 08716629521 for more.


Top 10: Christmas Gifts for Globetrotters & Travel Lovers

Everyone loves getting presents, why wouldn’t you? But buying Christmas presents for our friends and family can be hard, especially nowadays when everyone already seems to have everything they need. So to help bring in the holiday cheer, we’ve rounded up our top 10 unique Christmas gifts for those who tend to be difficult to shop for, and who are also particularly fond of travelling.

1. Travel Journal

Travel Journal Christmas Gift Ideas

Bound in fabric or leather, and beautifully illustrated with vintage maps and inspirations from around the world, these exotic journals are ideal for anyone you know who holds travel memories dear. Tour the globe and store your priceless memories in a journal whose splendour captures the beauty of travel.

£20, available from www.libretto-group.com

2. P5 noise isolating mobile hi-fi headphones from Bowers & Wilkins

bowers-and-wilkins-p5-headpones

Compatible with most Apple devices as well as regular headphone sockets, these stylish noise-isolating headphones are the perfect partner for anyone looking to become the master of surround-sound. Slide them on, and only listen to your favourite tunes as loud as you like, safe in the knowledge that no one else is listening in to your playlist!

£250, available from www.bowers-wilkins.co.uk

3. Scratch Map

Scratch Map Christmas Gift Ideas

Know anyone who wears their immigration stamps like a badge of honour? Or thinks of their visas as a licence to be ‘bad-ass’? This World Map is made for them. Simply scratch away the wax over places you’ve visited and create a live documentary of your globetrotting. Travel, record, and remember. Then show it off!

£15.95, available at www.scratchmap.co.uk

4. Soar

aesop-christmas-gift-ideas

For Christmas, Aesop has released this trio of exotic bathroom essentials for all gentlemen far and wide. Named after the Hawaiian Koiea, a graceful honeyeater, and also suitable for post-workout purification, it’s an ideal gift for men who understand that to look good, you need to smell good.

£55, available from www.aesop.com

5. On the Map: Why the World Looks the Way It Does – Simon Garfield

on-the-map-book-christmas-ideas

Described by the Independent as a ‘rollicking sweep through map history, packed with curiosities and written with verve’, this is an absolute must-read for any contemporary map lover. Start a fascinating new voyage this Christmas, and with Simon Garfield at the helm, it’s sure to be a journey to remember.

£16.99, available from www.amazon.co.uk

6. iPhone driSuit Endurance

underwater-iphone-case-christmas-ideas

A dream come true for any iPhone user, this iPhone driSuit lets your iPhone follow you to new, hidden depths. Travel underwater, play on the beach, or hike through mountains, and  relax knowing that the protective gel layer is keeping your phone safe and cosy. Phew!

£40, available from www.photojojo.com

7. Set of six Great Britain Map Plates

map-plates-christmas-gift-ideas

These set of stunning white bone china plates depicting a large vintage Great Britain map across them, are a beautiful addition to any household. Perfect for any British fan of fine china, and made for those who feel patriotic all year round, these map plates will help Christmas taste that much sweeter. Aaaaaw.

£130, available from www.liberty.co.uk

8. Oliver Sweeney Swipe Gloves

oliver-sweeney-swipe-gloves

These stylish, touch-sensitive leather gloves will delight any of the fashion-conscious out there. Rid the world of those ridiculous gloves that were woolly affairs, and trade them for these Swipe Gloves that allow you to comfortably use TouchTec technology in any type of weather, and in style.

£99, available from www.oliversweeney.com

9. Tapestry Cushion

tapesty-cushion-travel-christmas-gifts

This plush feather-filled tapestry cushion complete with striking Burmese imagery inspired by photography, is an ideal companion for any traveller who loves a good night’s sleep at a moment’s notice. No matter where you are, this square of feathery goodness is sure to bring you nothing but sweet, sweet, dreams.

£56, available at www.liberty.co.uk

10. Suitcase All Aboard Board Game

all-aboard-christmas-travel-ideas

A great gift for any fan of geography as your knowledge is put to the test in an exciting after-Christmas-dinner travel-themed game. Bring your love for exploring the world right to your door as you travel to exotic locations, navigate through interesting obstacles, and try to take the express route to victory. Hurrah!

£12, available from www.johnlewis.com

By Charles Oben (inspired by Conde Nast)