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DESTINATIONS VALUE | WINTER SUN


3 the gambia


Gold-sand beaches brushed by emerald-green palms are the order of the day in The Gambia – and it needn’t mean breaking the bank. “One of the smallest African countries, it’s ideal for winter sun and offers great value,” says Ricky Wason, head of product and purchasing at Olympic Holidays. “It’s rich in heritage with vibrant markets and extremely welcoming locals, and it has almost zero rainfall.” The real draw, of course, is the wildlife, with chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, crocodiles, manatees and hippos all stalking its varied landscapes, and nearly 600 species of birds flitting above them. Book it: Olympic Holidays offers a week’s B&B at Palm Beach Hotel from £542 per person, including flights from Gatwick; clients can upgrade to half-board from £13 per day. olympicholidays.com


ajman


When it comes to guaranteed sun, the Middle East comes up trumps. But for a cheaper alternative to the UAE’s bigger emirates, look to Ajman, says Nikki Hain, product manager at Premier Holidays. “It offers great value for those after a five-star luxury stay,” she says. “You can potentially save hundreds, compared with a similar break in Dubai.” For those wanting to go beyond the resort, there’s wildlife at Al Zorah Nature Reserve, hiking in the Hajar Mountains and safaris in the nearby desert – plus Dubai is only a 45-minute drive away. Book it: Premier Holidays offers five nights’ B&B at the Oberoi Beach Resort from £1,339 per person, including flights and private transfers, for departures between January 13 and March 20, 2020. trade.premierholidays.co.uk


4


thailand


With a dry season running from November to April, Thailand’s best months are perfectly aligned with the UK’s coldest, making its white-sand beaches, verdant jungles and vibrant cities a go-to for when the nights draw in. There is accommodation and food to suit most palates, and sightseeing ranges from Chiang Mai’s glittering temples to Khao Sok National Park’s pearl-like lakes. But for those in search of total seclusion, Travel 2’s assistant product manager for Asia, Natalie Jones, recommends Krabi: “It’s an unspoilt region of turquoise sea and tropical forests with the most idyllic beach resorts.” Book it: Travel 2 offers a week’s B&B in a D’Light Room at DusitD2 Ao Nang Krabi from £999 per person, including flights from Gatwick in January. travel2.com


² travelweekly.co.uk 5 SEPTEMBER 2019 71


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