Count On Us, Your Local Travel Agent

YOU CAN COUNT ON US, YOUR LOCAL TRAVEL AGENT

With so much choice and a variety of online booking platforms available, many people ask us how travel agents are still in high demand. But, with specialist expertise, an unbeatable, personal service and up to date knowledge of the ever-changing covid-19 rules – we can offer something that online providers can’t. Let us tell you more…

IMPARTIAL ADVICE AND PERSONAL RECOMMENATIONS

It’s our job to know the destinations we sell inside out and will have had face to face training on destinations and resorts that we sell to you. Or even better, we’ve often been lucky enough to experience the resorts and destinations first-hand so that we can provide you with our very own experiences and recommendations. We’ll also take the time to listen to your needs so that together, we’ll find the perfect holiday for you and your travel party.

YOU’RE IN SAFE HANDS WITH US

We value each and every one of our customers, and don’t just consider ourselves as your local travel agent. Your health and safety are our top priority, which is why we’re keeping up to date with testing advice and will help you make sense of travel testing requirements to your chosen destination. We’re also in the know of the latest travel regulations – and should your booking be impacted, we’ll be in touch straight away to talk you through your options, whether you’re at home or in-resort. Whatever you decide, you’re in safe hands with us.

1,000’S OF HOLIDAY OFFERS AVAILABLE FOR 2021 AND BEYOND

We have access to 1,000’s of great value holiday offers – so whether you’re looking for a city break in Europe, a tour of South America or a luxurious getaway in the Maldives, we’re on hand to find the right holiday at the best price. Not only that, but we only work with reputable tour operators, so you can sit back and relax knowing that everything is being taken care of.

STOP DREAMING, START BOOKING!

We’re sure that we’ll all agree that 2020 was a difficult year. But with a new year, brings a new start – and we for one hope that it will include more holidays than we saw last year! So, whenever you’re ready, we’re here to book that long-awaiting break that you deserve and give you something to look forward to.

Get in touch with us today, and we’ll get to work in finding you that perfect break https://www.cbttravel.co.uk

info@cbttravel.co.uk

Tel 01706 250006

Beach at Sunset

HOLIDAYS ON THE HORIZON AGAIN

It’s no doubt that the last few months have been a strange time for us all, but now normality’s nearing, we hope that the latter half of the year can provide some hope and excitement after much unexpected change, whether that be seeing loved ones again, heading to your favourite restaurant or jetting off onto a well-deserved holiday.

NO ONE KNOWS TRAVEL LIKE WE DO

With planes flying through the skies once more, we’re delighted that summer 2020 has begun, bringing us an air of excitement and freedom that we’d forgotten not so long ago. But booking a holiday right now may seem like a minefield; what countries are safe? Will I need to quarantine? Will my travel insurance be valid, you may ask?

Booking your holiday is often half of the fun, and as experienced travel professionals, we’re keeping up to date with the ins and outs of travel rules so that we can answer your questions or concerns with confidence and clarity. That just leaves you to sit back, relax and look forward to your holiday!

BRINGING YOU PEACE OF MIND

We don’t just see ourselves as your local travel agent; we really care about our customers. Health and safety are just as important to us as the holiday itself, which is why we’re keeping our finger on the pulse to make sure we’re the first to know of any travel changes. Should amended regulations impact your booking, whether you’re home or in-resort, we’ll be in touch to talk you through your options so you can make a decision that’s right for you. Whatever you decide, you’re in safe hands with us.

ADAPTING TO THE ‘NEW NORM’

One thing’s for sure, we’ve come a long way over the last few months and the excitement around making plans again is something we can all share. Granted, we’ve all had to adapt and will continue to do so – and there are no exceptions when on holiday. Whilst resorts are open and welcoming us again, you may notice some changes; be prepared for face masks, social distancing and less guests for the time being – but rest assured that fun is still on the agenda! Resorts are going the extra mile to make sure that facilities are open safely so that you can enjoy your break just like before.

Plus, we’ll be with you throughout your whole booking journey, giving you the latest rules on your chosen resort, so there will be no hidden surprises when you arrive.

BACK ON THE HIGH-STREET

The ease of just ‘popping in’ with travel questions has returned, and we for one are thrilled! In our eyes, there’s nothing quite like a friendly face to put your mind at ease. Whether it be a current travel query, a booking amendment or you’d like to sit down and chat about where to travel to this year or next, we’re all ears. So, if you’re on the high-street, pop in and say hello. We’d love to see you.

WE’RE READY WHEN YOU ARE

Whilst we’re adapting to our new idea of ‘norm’, we understand that travelling isn’t at the top of everyone’s to-do list just yet. When you’re ready, we’ll be on-hand to give you the latest travel advice and find that long-awaited holiday you’ll very much deserve!

We’re very much open, so any questions about upcoming holidays or future travel, we would love to hear from you. Visit us in-store, give us a call or pop us an email and we’ll be in touch with all the information you need.

Grand Canyon

North America Vs South America: Which one’s for you?

Two huge continents with an eclectic mix of picturesque scenery, clashing cultures and renowned cuisines – how could you ever choose between the two?  

Well, we’re not asking you to. But, we’re going to home in on two of our favourite destinations – one from each continent, and which both offer an incredible holiday experience. What’s more, they couldn’t be more different if they tried!

LAS VEGAS

First up, Las Vegas. Everyone knows it for its mishmash of adult entertainment, fine restaurants and the iconic strip – full of the world’s best casinos! Once you arrive, you’ll soon learn there’s not enough hours in the day to soak up everything this unique destination has to offer.

But how can we persuade you to go ahead and book a trip to the destination that never sleeps? Well, take a look at our favourite things to do in Sin City and we reckon it’ll get you excited!

Las Vegas Sign
Las Vegas Sign

Place a bet in a world-class casino

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to casinos in Las Vegas. Caesars Palace is a particular favourite and must-visit though – with a mix of past and present, this old-school casino is the epitome of the destination…and nothing like the casinos you’ll find at home. The atmosphere, the choice and the sheer amount of people (any time of the day) is what makes any Las Vegas casino stand out from the crowd.

Don’t stick to one casino though – make sure you try a few (even if you’re just putting on a small bet) and experience as much as you can. It’s a once-in-a-life-time experience after all!

If you’re not a regular casino goer, don’t fret – why not take a stroll to the Gamblers General Store in Downtown Vegas? There are plenty of ‘how to’ gaming books to get your knowledge up to scratch. Or of course, doing your research at home before you travel, will do just the trick too.

Watch a resident musician or band

The Strip is well known for its resident A-list musicians and bands – and it’ll be guaranteed that whenever you visit, somebody will be putting on a show. It could even be worth checking the calendar before you book to prevent disappointment – and you could soon be in the crowd waiting to see the likes of Celine Dion, Elton John, Cher, Lady Gaga, Backstreet Boys or J. Lo perform!

Indulge in the finest restaurants and bars

Ever heard of kobe beef? You may have, but it’s unlikely you’ll have tasted it, as only a select number of restaurants in the U.S sell it – and three of them are in Vegas. Seeing as it’s so exclusive, we reckon you should give it a try. Head to SWS Steakhouse at the Wynn, Jean Georges Steakhouse at Aria or Jose Andres’ Bazaar at SLS. Trust us when we say, it’ll be one of the best steaks you’ve ever tried.

We’re sure you already know, that a tipple or two won’t be hard to find in Vegas – but if you’re looking for something a little extra special, give The Rio Wine Cellar and Tasting Room a try. It’s home to an impressive $10 million worth of wine! But don’t worry, there are plenty of different vinos to try, for all budgets and tastes.

Take a trip to the Grand Canyon

If you’re unlikely to make the trip twice, then we highly recommend you take a day trip to the mighty Grand Canyon. Consisting of 277 miles of the Colorado River and an impressive landscape, it’s no wonder it hosts a mighty five million visitors each year.

Luckily, it’s not difficult to get to from Las Vegas – and there are plenty of options too; from buses and helicopter rides, to motorcycles and small planes, or you could even rent a car for yourself. Of course, the prices will vary depending on which type of transport you choose. 

To find out more about the packages we have available to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon, contact us today by paying us a visit, calling us on 01706 250006 or sending us an email to info@cbttravel.co.uk and we’ll help you plan your trip.

CHILE

A long country, filled with differing climates and settings, Chile has an array of sights and cultures to get your teeth into. So take a look at what you can do while in Chile – and you’ll see why we’ve chosen it as our must-see South American destination.

Explore Santiago

What’s great about Santiago, is it’s mix of old and new traditions. Nestled within the Andes Mountains, the city’s influence of European cultures and South American charm is the perfect combination, making it a gem of a city.

Right in the centre of the city, you’ll find Plaza de Armas – the perfect pit-stop for people watching and appreciating the city. It’s also a great place to start your day and grab a coffee.

Make sure you enjoy some of the outstanding views on offer whilst here too. The beautiful Cerro Santa Lucia park is the perfect location to soak it all up. It may be a small park, but the views are anything but!  

Try the finest wines in a Valparaiso vineyard

For wine enthusiasts, you’ve come to the right place. Valparaiso hosts many vineyards, where you can try some of the country’s finest wines. Join an educational tour and you’ll gain an insight into the work that goes into making some of the finest Chilean wines – where an expert will share their expert knowledge with you. Of course, you’ll get to enjoy a number of locally produced wines, and the beautiful vineyard scenery around you too.

Visit even more of South America with Latin Routes

If you’re travelling all that way, why not see as much of South America as you possibly can? Peru, Brazil, Argentina all offer unique experiences and cultures that will add to your adventure!

Latin Routes, our favourite South America supplier, offer a range of fully inclusive tours to South America.

To find out more about Chile and all the other South America tours that Latin Routes offer, contact us and we’ll help you plan your adventure.

Call 01706 250006 or email us at info@cbttravel.co.uk

NORTH AMERICA OR SOUTH AMERICA?

With such unique sights and attractions, how can you choose between the two? In our opinion, you can’t possibly! They’re both worthy winners and should be on everyone’s travel list.

24 Hours in Paris

Fancy a break but don’t have a lot of time to spare? I recently spent a day in Paris and managed to see all the sights in one day.

Getting There

You can easily fly from Manchester either the evening before and spend the night in a hotel or catch an early morning flight to Charles De Gaulle and then train into the city centre. Alternatively, get the train to London and hop on the Eurostar which takes you straight into the city centre.

What to do when you are there

Once we arrived in the centre of Paris, we had a ticket for the Hop on Hop off bus which went around the whole city stopping off at the main sights.

Our first stop was The Arc De Triomphe and The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier. You can pay to get the top of the Arc De Triomphe and see the views all the way down the Champs Elysees.

Arc de Triomphe

We jumped back on the bus and listened to the compare through our free headphones telling us all about the buildings and the history of Paris, before getting off at our next stop which was Place de la Concorde. This is one of the best places for a view of the Eiffel Tower and lots of group photos and selfies were taken here. You also have the wonderful fountains between here and the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

From here it is just a few minutes’ walk down to the Eiffel Tower, via a few souvenir stalls if you wish to pick up a few reminders of your trip. If you wish to go up the Eiffel Tower then you have the choice of lift or stairs, depending on how fit you are feeling. It is a few euros less to climb the stairs – phew!! As we only had one day, we decided not to go up to the top and just took a few more photos from the ground before getting back on the bus at the Eiffel Tower stop and heading off to our next port of call – The Louvre.

The Louvre

Louvre Pyramid

After watching The Da Vinci Code, we had to get a photo of the glass pyramid outside the Louvre. Not really arty people, we decided not to go in, though it would have been nice to have seen the Mona Lisa! After our early start we were ready for a bite to eat. We found a nearby pavement café and grabbed a café and baguette whilst watching the sights of Paris go by. Not too expensive to say we were in the centre of Paris.

After lunch we changed on to the ‘blue route’ and headed up to the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre. It was a very warm day and was hot work walking up all those steps to the Sacre Coeur but was well worth it when we got there for the views over Paris. The people selling bottles of water for a euro were making a fortune that day!

Sacre Couer
Sacre Coeur

After taking in the view, we wandered around to the Place Du Tertre to see the artists at work and soak up the atmosphere. It is a great place to have your portrait done here.

After grabbing an ice-cream, time to head back to the bus and our next stop The Notre Dame. Unfortunately, you can’t go in at the minute, and from the back all you can see is scaffolding because of the fire, but from the front it is still an impressive building.

Now, getting towards the end of the day, just time to pop in a couple of shops then head back to where we were getting our transport home. We managed to find the nearest bar and enjoy a nice cold beer to cool down before we were picked up to head off home!

All in all, a great day and highly recommended!

By Lisa Mousley, Chic Boutique Travel

Sunshine and cultural delights await you in Corfu and Croatia

We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to summer destinations; just a few hours flight away and we’ll reach turquoise blue seas, gorgeous white sands and a range of cultures that differ to our own. But this year, there are two destinations that stand out from the crowd – Corfu and Croatia. Why you may ask? Well, let us tell you…

CORFU, GREECE

An old-time favourite, it’s no surprise that Corfu’s one of our recommended destinations for a summer getaway. Surely the amazing cuisine, unrivalled sandy beaches, picturesque villages and warm climate is enough to sway anyone? We think so – but there’s more to the Greek island than what’s right in front of you, and that’s what we’re here to tell you about.

Ancient ruins you need to see

There’s 3,000 years of history to get your teeth into in Corfu – including the Temple of Artemis in the ancient city of Korkyra, the Monument of Menekratis in Garitsa and the ancient site of Palaiopolis – all very much showcasing the history of the island. What’s more, visit these monuments and get to know the local cities and towns too. Be sure to visit some of the local restaurants and get a flavour for authentic life in Corfu – it’ll feel like a million miles away from your holiday resort.

The greenest of the Greek islands

What we love about Corfu, is it’s the greenest of the Greek islands (and there are thousands of them)! Not to be confused with Ireland, Corfu’s often called ‘The Emerald Island’ due to its mesmerising vineyards, beautiful mountain peaks and simply for having some of the prettiest shades of green, turning the island into an emerald heaven.

Rural villages

You’ll not be short of a rural village or two in Corfu – and they’re all gorgeous and beautifully authentic. We don’t expect you’ll visit them all, and if you only get time to visit one – make it Paleokastritsa. You’ll find everything you need here; from charming tavernas, a stunning blue bay and six beaches to sit back and soak it all up on. You’ll also find the 13th century Theotókou monastery here, which many consider to be the main point of cultural interest. With culture and scenery rolled into one, what more could you ask for?

CROATIA

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a soar in visitor numbers to Croatia – and we can understand why, as its recently been named one of the top three most beautiful and affordable travel destinations! We think it’s got everything you need in a holiday; beaches, national parks, historical cities and plenty of opportunities to island hop. Still a destination that’s increasing its tourism, we recommend you go sooner rather than later – and we’ve listed our tips on where to visit.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Not only is this Croatia’s most popular national park, some consider it as Europe’s most breathtaking natural wonder. Just imagine stunning waterfalls, sixteen electric blue lakes and a forested canyon. Sounds incredible right? It’s set up for tourists too, with boardwalks and trails as well as shuttles for the less active traveller. There’s also the option to row across the calm waters! Whichever option you go for, we’re in no doubt that you’ll be wowed.

Historical Dubrovnik

This city on the sea has it all; centuries-old forts, a picturesque Old Town a collection of baroque buildings, alluring cliff views…and even a beach! Need we say more? It gets even better, as Dubrovnik is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. To get to see it at its best, take a cable car ride to the peak of Mount Srd and simply appreciate what’s around you – you may even see some of the Game of Thrones filming locations! Located near many of Croatia’s islands, it’s the perfect place to start your Croatian adventure too – we recommend you start and end your trip here, with some visits to your favourite islands in-between.

Bustling Split

Life doesn’t stop in bustling Split! From the outside, you’ll come face to face with an imposing walled fortress, but inside it’s bursting with a buzzing atmosphere – no matter what time of the day. You’ll find trendy bars, restaurants and shops in tiny narrow streets that you could wander around for hours – some even get lost – but that’s more opportunities to try a different local wine, we say!

      

CORFU AND GREECE WITH ADVANTAGE HOLIDAYS    

Advantage Holidays offer incredible holidays to Corfu and Greece, from 3-star breaks on the beach to 5-star luxury holidays combining excursions, cities and beach. Anything’s possible.

Whenever and wherever you want to go, contact us today and we’ll put create a holiday that’ll last long in your memory.

Where to see the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights are a sight like no other. The ethereal dance across the dark sky amazes those who spot them . We think they’re the world’s finest natural phenomenon. With that in mind, we thought we’d share our favourite places to witness them in 2019.

 

TROMSO, NORWAY

 

Tromso is at the centre of the northern aurora zone, meaning the odds on spotting them are definitely in your favour. We love Tromso because, while the main draw is undoubtedly to see the Northern Lights, there’s plenty to enjoy on the ground. Opt for adventurous excursions, including husky sledding, snowmobiling, hiking, kayaking and whale safaris.

Or head to Fjellheisen, the cable car behind the city’s Arctic cathedral. Once at the top, a number of delightful walks afford superb views of the city below.

We’ve not even mentioned the lively nightlife. From traditional Norwegian cuisine to more typical home comforts, everybody is catered for here. While for those who want to stay up after hours, Tromso boasts more pubs per capita than any other city in Norway. Skål!

SVALBARD

 

With a population of just 2,600 and three hours from Oslo by plane, Svalbard is remote, and it’s this that makes it the ultimate winter experience. In winter, the sun barely appears above the horizon, giving it an eerie, mystical feel. Its topography is both dramatic and beautiful. Think snow-laden peaks, towering glaciers and ice fields as far as the eye can see.

The total lack of light pollution makes for a terrific Northern Lights experience. Wintry excursions are all on offer here too, though Svalbard has an ace up its sleeve: polar bears. There are more of them than people,. So pack your camera and hop on a photography excursion. The month of September is best for combining both polar bears and the Northern Lights.

ICEHOTEL, SWEDEN

 

The name says it all, doesn’t it? Nestled in Swedish Lapland in the tiny village of Jukkasjärvi and dotted with glassy lakes, snow-clad fir forests and reindeer. The original ICEHOTEL won’t disappoint. It was, in fact, named as one of the ‘world’s greatest places’ for 2018 by Time Magazine.

After nights spotting the lights in the virtually pollution-free north Swedish Lapland, discover the incredible architecture of the hotel itself.  Sleep in an expertly carved -5 degree ice room, kept warm by reindeer furs and woken the next day by a glass of hot lingonberry.

Icehotel, Sweden

ROMANTIC ICELAND

 

One of the most popular and well-known Northern Lights destinations, Iceland’s delights are endless,  and ideal for a bit of romance. The ‘land of fire and ice’ is packed full of adventure, with everything from self-drives among epic waterfalls and erupting geysers to soaks in the famous Blue Lagoon.

If you’re looking for the ideal romantic retreat, Hotel Grimsborgir, surrounded by Iceland’s natural scenery and on the doorstep of UNESCO-listed Thingvellir National Park, is unparalleled. This luxury hotel is ideal for the adventurous, with horse-riding, quad-biking, snowmobiling and glacier hiking on offer. Plus, its rural location means chances of catching sight of those famous lights are even higher – and can even be done from a private hot tub.

Why not combine Iceland’s iconic Golden Circle sights and south coast with the Northern Lights for the ultimate romantic break?

Iceland Northern Lights

 

GLASS IGLOO AND ICEHOTEL HOLIDAY, FINLAND

 

Some would say we’ve saved the best until last with this bucket list experience. You’ll start with a stay in the snow-carved rooms of the ICEHOTEL. Enjoy sauna soaks and hearty Lappish cuisine, before swapping to a heated glass igloo for the most magical of private performances,  seeing the Northern Lights from the comfort of your bed. What’s more, if you do fall asleep, a “watcher” will act as an aurora alarm, so you don’t miss a second.

 

Alongside this unique accommodation, there’s plenty of winter activities to enjoy, too, from snow sculpting and ice fishing to snowmobiling and husky safaris; it’s the ultimate polar adventure.

Glass Igloo

Spotting the Northern Lights is high on many a bucket list and, combined with so many unique destinations and experiences, makes for a wonderful short break. Chic Boutique Travel can offer a range of unforgettable holidays to Scandinavia and the Nordics with tailor-made options throughout.

 

Call us to find out more about Northern Lights holidays in Scandinavia – 01706 250006