Travel news: Freewheeling across the world

Cycling in the German Alps. Photo: Bruce Robertson
Have bicycle, will travel. But if you’re not sure where to ride, click on to this serious collection of bike tours from around the world. At last count, the website listed 7000 tours in 123 countries for all levels of fitness, for road bikes, mountain bikes and even electronic bikes. Website founder and keen cyclist Bruce Robertson is currently infatuated with Korea, where he’s going with friends for a 350km ride from Seoul to Andong. “Korea’s cycle paths and infrastructure are incredible,” he says. “The paths follow the rivers, not the roads.” The site also loves a best-of list, including the best off-road tours and city tours, packing tips and a guide to choosing the best bicycle tour. To lycra or not to lycra? That’s your call. See

Sleep easy with the locals
Dublin city, the heart of Istanbul and the jewel of the Greek islands, Santorini, are the latest destinations in Tempo Holidays’ 2015 Apartments & Catering Worldwide brochure. Stay in an Italian condo on Lake Como, a maison in the Cote des Maures in France or a villa on the Portuguese Algarve. All properties are researched by Tempo Holidays, which is owned by the world's longest established travel company, Cox & Kings. Many apartments and villas include hotel facilities such as daily or weekly servicing, but with the freedom of your own space and 24-hour help. Great for larger families or groups, they are priced per night, but with discounts for extended stays. Phone 1300 558 987, see

Of souks and spices in Morocco
Discover the soul of Morocco on a 10-day gastronomic tour of the country with TV chef and self-described ‘gastronaut’ Geoff Jansz. The journey starts in gritty Casablanca and travels through the ancient, regal cities of Fes, Meknes and Rabat, finishing up in Marrakesh. You’ll taste and learn about Morocco’s culinary traditions with local experts, shop for spices in magnificent souks (markets), drink Berber tea in the Atlas Mountains and eat in restaurants selected by Jansz. There’s also a visit to Roman ruins of Volubilis, Andalusian gardens and the craziness of Marrakesh’s central square, Djamma el Fna. The tour will accommodate 24 guests, from November 1-10, 2015. Costs $6895 a person, twin share. Phone 1300 590 317, see

Best Fiji cuisine
Taste Fiji before you even get hit the happy isles with Fiji Airways’ new signature dish for business-class passengers. The airline offers a charred beef fillet with masala chai tea rub, herb buttered prawns and Fijian organic vegetables, or seared wild fish with coriander and pineapple rice pilaf and red papaya curry sauce. The dishes are designed by Fiji Airways’ Culinary Ambassador chef Lance Seeto, who says the menu is influenced not just the native iTaukei cuisine but Indian, Chinese and colonial British as well. Seeto, who is based on Fiji’s Castaway Island resort, says it’s part of a culinary renaissance taking place across the country. Other business-class menu additions include a Fijian rum cocktail and mocktail, and the Yadra Vinaka (good morning) sleeper service. Phone 1800 230 150, see

Come to mamma
Whoever thought having kids meant giving up seriously good food and wine? The new La Dolce Vita Wine & Food Festival welcomes kids with all of its Italian heart. Held at eight wineries in Victoria’s King Valley, there will be jumping castles and giant sandpits, playgrounds and circus training, and every winery will offer a kids’ menu. Meanwhile, parents (and non-parents) can test-drive Prosecco cocktails, turn their hand at gnocchi making, cruise the market stalls or join a Long Lunch. The festival takes place on November 15-16. Phone 1800 801 065, see
Clean hands, clear conscience
If the phrase ‘life-changing hand sanitiser’ sounds a little far-fetched, log the tracking number on the back of this antibacterial hand sanitiser and you may find you’ve just helped provide clean water for a village in Myanmar. These body care products are from Thankyou, a social enterprise that channels its profits directly into health and hygiene training in developing nations. The hand sanitiser is a trusty travel companion that comes in a tasty grapefruit or eucalyptus mint fragrance, and at 50ml, it’s well under the airlines’ carry-on liquids limit. Other products include hand cream and soap, all Australian made, all without harsh chemicals and all are ethically sourced. Available at major supermarkets. See

Edited by Belinda Jackson, Takeoff is published in the Sun-Herald's Traveller section every Sunday.

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