3 Easy Day Trips From Kathmandu

Just a short day trip from Nepal’s capital and you could find yourself in medieval cities, traditional villages and vibrant craft cities where you can buy some of the country’s best handicrafts. Here we take you though 3 of our favourites. When you are ready to explore, Brightsun Travel can arrange cheap flights to Kathmandu from a range of UK airports.


1. Bhaktapur

Even though the medieval city-state of Bhaktapur was hit hard by the 2015 earthquake, the remains of this, one of Nepal’s most well preserved of cities, still offers a mesmerising day trip, and the town entry fee goes towards protecting and maintaining the temples. Explore the city’s 3 major squares and you will stumble past some of the most beautiful temples in the country. Alternatively, head to the back streets and wind your way through almost traffic-free laneways, past traditional houses. Here you could meet artisans selling traditional tapestries and wooden carvings, and watch locals gather in hidden courtyards, and witness a very different way of life to that in the capital.



Just 32 kilometres east of Kathmandu is the traditional village of Nagarkot, well known for offering spectacular views of the Himalayas. The village is set on an elevation of over 2000 metres and is one of the most scenic spots in the Kathmandu Valley, offering some of the best views of the Himalayas in Nepal. The best time to go is October through to March, just after the monsoon rains stop and the air is clear. Go at sunrise and watch the sun rising over the mountains, before taking a scenic trek along popular hiking routes that make the most of the village’s incredible position. This is a great day trip if you can’t make it on a trek.



After stopping off at the Kopan Monastery and Nunnery, drive into Bungamati, a traditional village in the Kathmandu Valley. Then onto Patan, just across the river, known as the city of arts and architecture in Nepal, and stroll thousands of monuments around Durbar Square and witness extensive rebuilding work after the earthquake of 2015. Patan’s Golden Temple and Krishna Mandir are still very much intact, and well worth a visit. In Patan you will also find some of the best fair-trade shops in the city, and extraordinarily beautiful handicrafts made by local communities. Finish your tour at the incredible Patan Museum, which explores Nepal’s cultural history.


Getting there

Brightsun Travel can organise cheap tickets to Kathmandu from UK, with some of the world’s best airlines, including Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways, ranked 1 and 2 in the world by Skytrax in 2016.


Visit Ras Al Khaimah and Experience Pristine Beaches and Year Round Sunshine

Visitors flock to Ras Al Khaimah for its year long sunshine and warm Arabian hospitality. All around the emirate are truly amazing resorts, from where you can enjoy Ras Al Khaimah’s incredible Arabian Gulf coastline. Take a trip to the central manmade island, Marjan Island, or stay a while in one of its many central resorts, and unwind in style. Here we go through our favourite resorts in Ras Al Khaimah so you can enjoy a winter break in the sun anytime of year. When you are ready to go, Brightsun Travel has Ras Al Khaimah flights deals all year round.

1 Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf Astoria

Stay at the incredible Waldorf Astoria and be transported into another world. The elegant resort is set against white sandy beaches, and suites offer spectacular views of the Arabian Sea. The resort offers access to an 18-hole championship golf course, and has 9 restaurants, a spa and 2 swimming pools.

2 Cove Rotana Resort

Cove Rotana Resort

The Cove Rotana is a 5 star resort offering luxurious guest rooms with balconies and terraces overlooking the Arabian Gulf, plus villas with private plunge pools. The resort is set on 600m of pristine beach and has a gorgeous infinity pool, plus on site restaurants, bars and a fitness club.

3 Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa

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The Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa offers its guests 1.5 kilometres of private white sandy beach, plus 14 dining options, an on site spa with traditional Turkish baths, 7 outdoor pools, and a 24-hour fitness centre. The resort has guest rooms, suites, villas and beach chalets, all with balconies or terraces.

4 Double Tree by Hilton Resort & Spa, Marjan Island

DoubleTree by Hilton Resort

On Marjan Island, you will find the Double Tree by Hilton Resort and Spa, set on private white sandy beaches, with 7 swimming pools, 7 restaurants and bars, a fitness centre and a luxurious spa. All accommodation comes with balconies or terraces overlooking the Arabian Sea.

5 Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Marjan Island

Rixos Bab Al Bahr

The Rixos Bab Al Bahr is 5 star, all-inclusive resort on Marjan Island, offering beautiful beaches at its doorstep, plus 5 a la carte restaurants, cocktail lounges, and pool and beachside bars that put on regular beach parties and acrobatic shows.


Brightsun Travel has several Ras Al Khaimah flights from UK with some of the world’s best airlines. Fly into Dubai, direct with Emirates or British Airways, and you could take a short 45 minute drive to the centre of Ras Al Kamiah.


Auckland’s City Highlights

Auckland is the largest of New Zealand’s cities, and a city so bursting with life that it could keep you entertained for weeks. Brightsun Travel runs regular Auckland flights offers, taking you into the heart of New Zealand, with some of the world’s best airlines.

Here we take you through the highlights in Auckland so you can plan a city break with a difference on your next holiday to New Zealand.

Galleries & Museums

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In the impressive Auckland Art Gallery, you can explore work by a range of local artists, including a stunning collection of portraits of Māori leaders. Onto the Auckland Museum, an impressive building in the city, and you could explore exhibits on Māori culture and Auckland’s volcanic field.


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St Patrick’s cathedral is a good place to start your tour of Auckland’s architecture – a beautiful Gothic Revival church in the heart of the city. Also head to the city’s Sky Tower, the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere, and watch it light up at night like something off the set of Star Trek.

Food & Drink

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Then onto the city’s food and drink scene, which is spectacular. In Auckland, new food and drink venues open up every week, transforming former port areas and historic buildings into thriving clubs, inventive restaurants and sophisticated cocktail bars.


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By day, the city comes alive with farmers markets, like the Parnell Farmer’s Market in the Auckland Domain, a beautiful park in the south of the city. At the Auckland Fish Market, you can attend cooking classes and enjoy the on-site seafood-cooking school.

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In Auckland’s trendy neighbourhoods, like Ponsonby, you will find streets lined with produce stores and coffee shops bursting at the seams with locals donning their weekend active gear. Stay in a boutique hotel here and place yourself at the heart of the action in Auckland.


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Auckland Domain covers about 80 hectares and is full of sculptures and gardens as well as sports fields and inactive volcanoes. Albert Park is where you’ll find Victorian gardens and stately buildings. Finally, head to the Parnell Rose Gardens between November and March and see the city come alive with colour.


Brightsun Travel has a range of cheap flights to Auckland, including comfortable Economy and Premier Economy flights with New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand, who offer spectacular in-flight entertainment at every seat, as well as a range of seating options. Fly Premier Economy and you could relax in luxury leather seats with enhanced personal space. Or, fly Business Premier and experience premium check-in and priority boarding, plus lounge access to Air New Zealand global lounges and partner lounges across the world.


New Zealand’s Urban Top 4

Fly into any of New Zeeland’s dramatic urban hubs and you are in for a city break of a lifetime. Here we take you through our favourite cities in New Zealand, so that you can start planning your next holiday to this incredible island. When you are ready to go, Brightsun Travel has several New Zealand flights from UK to suit a range of itineraries.


1 Auckland-5

In Auckland, new food and drink venues open up every week, transforming former port areas and historic buildings into thriving clubs, inventive restaurants and sophisticated cocktail bars. From Auckland you can travel to spectacular islands, including the beautiful Waiheke Island, where you can laze on white sandy beaches and gaze at surrounding oceans that provide sanctuary to dolphins and whales.


2 Christchurch-5

Christchurch is an exciting city that’s experiencing an epic rebuild after an earthquake in 2011, where you can take the incredibly scenic TranzAlpine Railway across the South Island and through the Southern Alps and Arthur’s Passage. From Christchurch you can also take a memorable tour around the Marlborough wine region, a trip that would expose you to some world class bottles of Sauvignon Blanc.


3 Wellington-6

Wellington, on New Zealand’s North Island, has been labelled as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’ by the Lonely Planet. Wellington, as with most of New Zealand’s urban centres, takes its food, and its coffee, very seriously. In Wellington you are almost guaranteed a good espresso or cappuccino. Here, an array of restaurants provide numerous dining out options, and a vibrant music and arts scene that will make it hard to leave.


4 Queenstown-7

If it’s winter sports and mountainous adventures that interest you, Queenstown, in the heart of the South Island, provides access to snowcapped mountains, and the incredible sights of Milford Sounds, with magical treks and kayaking tours through rainforests, streams, waterfalls and unforgettable scenery. In this gorgeous city, you can bungee jump to a mountain backdrop, or hike through the serene Mount Aspiring National Park.

Flights & Airlines

Fly with New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand and enjoy comfortable seating options and on-demand entertainment in Economy class, including Economy Skycouch™ for small groups. Or upgrade to Business Premier and enjoy lie-flat beds and premium New Zealand wines. Contact Brightsun Travel for a range of cheap flights to New Zealand, flying you into the country’s main urban centres comfortably and on budget.



Discover Doha – The Mall Capital of the World

Doha, coined the mall capital of the world, is a shopper’s paradise. Here we go through our 5 favourite city malls so that you can plan your next shopping spree in the Middle East. Talk to Brightsun about our incredible range of cheap flights to Doha so that you can also get there on budget.

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1. Mall of Qatar

The massive Mall of Qatar, Qatar’s largest mall, opened its doors in December 2016. The mall measures 5.4 million square foot, and offers over 500 retail stores, hundreds of food outlets, an on site 5 star hotel, a 10 lane bowling alley, plus the largest IMAX laser 3D projection system in the world.

2. Alhazm Mall

The recently opened Alhazm Mall, which opened its doors in May 2017, is a luxury mall, designed to reflect Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, one of the world’s oldest shopping malls. Alhazm Mall is fast becoming a top attraction in Doha, with more than shopping on offer, it has its own gardens and a library.

3. City Centre Doha

The City Centre Doha is one of the largest malls in Doha, attracting tens of thousands of visitors a day. The mall offers over 300 shops, an ice-skating rink, bowing alleys, a 14 screen cinema complex, plus restaurants spread over 5 floors. The mall is in West Bay, which also boasts slick new arts centres.

4. Villaggio Mall

The Villaggio Mall, covering over 350,000 square feet, has a Venetian inspired interior, where you can take a classic Gondola ride and shop the Via Domo Luxury Area. Here you can also enjoy the Gondoliana theme park, as well as ice-skating rinks, IMAX movie theatres and a range of food outlets.

5. Katara Plaza

The Katara Plaza, Qatar’s first open-air and air-conditioned plaza, set to open in September 2017, and will offer a Galeries Lafayette, an Evian Spa, plus a mall dedicated to children, with candy stores and clothes and games outlets galore. The mall is also set to host a range of cultural events, concerts and festivals.

Getting there

Qatar boasts one of the world’s best airlines, Qatar Airways, ranked number 1 in the world by Skytrax in 2015. From 2015 Qatar Airways introduced direct flights to Doha from Birmingham, making travelling to the Middle East effortless from most of the UK. Contact Brightsun Travel about our exclusive range of Doha flights from UK and get there in style this holiday.


Explore Arabian History in the Middle East

The Middle East is a fascinating continent, with a long and rich history to explore. Brightsun Travel has Middle East flights offers all year round into the region’s main urban centres. Here we take you through some of our favourite historical cities in the Middle East.


1 Doha -4

For a historic slice of Doha, you could visit the Souq Waqif, with authentic Arab shops. At the weekends, join the locals for brunch in the historic quarter, when cafes burst at the seams with elaborate buffets and hungry families. Or, in the impressive Museum of Islamic Art building, explore Islamic art spanning 1400 years and 3 continents, and relax in the MIA Park, offering amazing views of the Doha skyline.


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Away from its modern architecture, the Al Fahidi Historic District is a heritage area in Dubai that has sand coloured houses and beautiful mosques that will transport you back in time. The best way to navigate your way through the area is to visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, a non-profit cultural centre, which offers tours that focus on the traditions and customs of the United Arab Emirates.


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In the Asian side of Istanbul, Beylerbeyi Palace, built in the 19th century, is an Ottoman palace with crystal chandeliers and marble fountains, and one of the most beautiful old interiors in the city. The city’s Grand Bazaar, in the heart of the Old City, is a century-old market with an array of stalls that could keep you entertained for days. Finally, built in 532, the Basilica Cistern is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, and a breathtaking underground palace.

Ras Al Khaimah

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From Ras Al Khaimah, you can take side trips into the Hajar Mountains, and stop off at the Dhayah Fort, dating back to the third millennium BC, and experience the only surviving hilltop fort in the United Arab Emirates. In the capital of Ras Al Khaimah you could explore its long and rich history, which dates back to the third century BC, in the old Jazirat Al Hamra village, or in its National Museum, set in the palace of the al Qawasim family, who ruled in the 18th century.


Brightsun Travel has a range of Middle East flights from UK, including direct flights from London to Dubai with Emirates airlines, ranked number 1 in the world by Skytrax in 2016, and short 4 hour flights into Istanbul with Turkish Airways. Qatar Airways will take you direct into Doha with award-winning service, or for the ultimate in luxury, fly ‘The Residence’ first class suites with Etihad Airways.


Travel Around Mauritius

Mauritius is a dreamy location, and its award-winning resorts certainly make the most of it. Here we take you through our 6 favourite resorts in Mauritius, from north to east. When you are ready to go, Brightsun Travel has a range of holiday and hotel packages to Mauritius, plus Mauritius cheap flights offers throughout the year.

Le Meridien Ile Maurice

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Starting in the north, Le Meridien Ile Maurice offers a family friendly resort from where you can enjoy a range of complimentary water sports activities, such as snorkelling, water skiing and boat tours, to make the most of the island’s exotic marine habitats and colourful warm waters. The hotel also offers fishing tours, diving expeditions and catamaran cruises.

LUX* Grand Gaube

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Also in the north, a short stroll from the quiet fishing village of Grand Gaube, and 10 minutes from Grand Bay, the 5 star LUX* Grand Gaube is a romantic resort set against white sandy beaches. The resort offers luxury villas with a 24 hour butler service, plus 5 swimming pools, a decadent spa with hot tubs, and a traditional hamman.

Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa

Hilton Mauritius Resort & Spa-3

Hilton Mauritius Resort is a luxurious beachfront accommodation situated on the island’s west coast in Flic-en-flac. The award-winning hotel offers some exquisite culinary experiences in three restaurants featuring local flavours as well as a luxurious spa. Here guests can enjoy complimentary water activities and dolphin watching or drive to the Casela Nature and Leisure Park in about 20 minutes and embark on unforgettable safari adventures.

Constance Belle Mare Plage

Constance Belle Mare Plage -3

Go east in Mauritius and experience a part of the island that’s relatively untouched by mass tourism, and a world away from the lively beaches of the north. The Constance Belle Mare Plage is a 5 star resort, surrounded by soft white sandy beaches, offering luxury villas with private pools, deluxe suites and Prestige rooms, all with balconies or terraces overlooking the ocean.

LUX* Belle Mare

Belle Mare

The LUX* Belle Mare is a luxury hotel near the small village of Belle Mare on Mauritius’ east coast. The hotel offers thatched-roof suites and villas set on white sandy beaches. The hotel has a large outdoor swimming pool, a world-class golf course, plus a range of restaurants and bars, including a California-inspired food truck. Here you can also relax on Belle Mare beach or in the LUX* ME spa.

Flights & Hotel Packages

Contact Brightsun Travel for exclusive holiday and hotel packages to Mauritius, plus cheap air tickets to Mauritius from UK all year round.


Top experiences in the Maldives

The Maldives is known the world over for its amazing island location, with stunning beaches, exclusive resorts and some seriously good water sports. Here you can go wildlife spotting in its protected waters and World Heritage sites, stroll around an atmospheric capital city, or simply relax on the beach. Brightsun Travel offers a range of hotel and holiday packages to the Maldives, as well as discount airfares to Maldives so you can take your pick of the island’s many experiences this holiday.


1 Male-6

Whilst most people travel out to the beaches soon after they land in Male, it is a city worth exploring for its beautiful mosques and bustling markets, offering a slice of the traditional side of the Maldives. Its National Museum explores Maldivian history back to the 12th century, and, the oldest mosque in the country, the Old Friday Mosque, is a beautiful building to explore, made of white coral. Head to the central Fish Market and experience Male’s heart and soul.

Beaches & World Heritage Sites

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The Maldives has some of the best beaches in the world, with white sand and crystal blue waters. Baa Atoll has received UNESCO World Heritage status, and here you can experience jungle wilderness and unspoilt beaches. Go west and you’ll find the Ari Atoll, an oval lagoon dotted with reefs, with incredible beaches and amazing diving opportunities. Or, go south to the South Male Atoll, and experience a remote corner of the Maldives, just a few hours by ferry from Male.


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The reefs around the Maldives offer sanctuary to an incredible array of tropical and endangered fish species and wildlife. Here you can swim with sharks in deep waters, and find yourself surrounded by small colourful fish, just moments from the beach. The Maldives is home to the Green and Hawksbill Turtles and also offers one of the best places in the world to see Whale Sharks, and Hammerhead Sharks.

Diving & Snorkelling

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Whether its leisurely snorkelling or deep sea diving that interests you, the Maldives can really deliver. In total, the coral reefs surrounding the Maldives represent a massive 5% of the world’s remaining intact coral reefs, and are the 7th largest in the world. Literally anywhere on the island you can snorkel and dive past incredible marine life and vibrant coral reefs. Go between May and September and you are almost guaranteed to spot majestic manta rays.

Flights & Holidays

Brightsun Travel offers exclusive holiday packages to the Maldives, and runs Maldives flights from UK all year round, so you can secure your ultimate island getaway this holiday.



Colombo – A Gateway to Sri Lanka’s Diverse Landscapes

Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, sits on the west coast of the country, and is surrounded by diverse landscapes including jungles, sandy beaches, lush tea plantations and World Heritage cities. Sri Lanka is another world to explore, and Brightsun Travel has cheap tickets to Colombo from UK, from where you can access a range of experiences.

World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Sites

From Colombo you can visit Sri Lanka’s ancient cities like the UNESCO World Heritage city of Kandy, where you can view the Temple of the Tooth temple, housing a sacred Buddhist shrine. Or, a short drive or train ride from Colombo is the most visited historic site in all of Sri Lanka, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site of ancient ruins, lying on dramatic rocky slopes.

Scenic Train Journeys

Scenic Train Journeys

From Colombo you can take a romantic train journey along the coast to Galle in the south of Sri Lanka, a Dutch Fort boasting classic architecture and an exotic oceanfront setting. Or travel through the picturesque landscapes of Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka’s hill country, and enjoy views of Sri Lanka’s hills and tea plantations.



Surrounding Colombo are popular beachside resort areas like Hikkaduwa, Bentota beach and Negombo. Head east and you will access the incredible Arugam Bay, arguably the best surfing beach in all of Sri Lanka, and Nilaveli, with golden sands, small islands and incredible diving and snorkelling. Or, head south to Mirissa, a stunning beach with a party atmosphere and whale-watching spots.

Tea Plantations

Tea Plantations

From Colombo you can take some of the most scenic rail journeys in South Asia, through Sri Lanka’s stunning interior, and past some of the finest tea plantations in the world. Stop off and visit the Dambatenne Tea Factory, built in 1890 by Sir Thomas Lipton, and learn about the tea making process in fantastic factory tours, and buy a box to take home.

National Parks

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park, a 45 minute flight from Colombo, is the most visited park in the country, and famously provides sanctuary to the highest leopard concentration in the world, with forests, grasslands and wetlands to explore. Or, Uda Walawe National Park is one of the best places in Asia to spot wild elephants, and Bundala National Park offers prime bird spotting opportunities.


Contact Brightsun Travel about Colombo cheap flights offers, plus a wide range of Sri Lankan tours so that you can enjoy all that this incredible country has to offer next holiday.



Discover National Parks & World Heritage Sites

The Indian Ocean is where you’ll find the world’s largest population of leopards in its important National Parks, and beautiful World Heritage sites that contain one of the largest coral reef systems on the planet. Brightsun Travel has cheap flights to Indian Ocean, plus holiday packages that will take you to some of the region’s highlights.

National Parks

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Yala National Park in Sri Lanka, a 45 minute flight from Colombo, has forests, grasslands and wetlands to explore. It was one of the first National Parks to be established in Sri Lanka, and is now the most visited park in the country. The park famously provides sanctuary to the highest leopard concentration in the world.

The Black River Gorges National Park, Mauritius

The Black River Gorges National Park, Mauritius

Mauritius has many protected areas and National Parks where you can explore ancient forests, magnificent mountains and exotic waterfalls. The Black River National Park is the biggest and most important park in Mauritius, and the best place to catch a glimpse of the incredibly rare Mauritian Kestrel and the Pink Pigeon.

World Heritage Sites

Coral Reefs, Maldives

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The Maldives is globally significant for its coral reefs, which are the 7th largest in the world, accounting for 5% of the world’s total reef area. The island’s reefs have received World Heritage status, including Baa Atoll, where you can experience jungle wilderness and unspoilt beaches, and Ari Atoll, where you’ll find incredible beaches and amazing diving opportunities.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Sri Lanka

One of our favourite of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage sites is the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a short drive or train ride from Colombo. The Sigiriya Rock Fortress is an abandoned palace at the top of a gigantic boulder, and one of the most visited sites in Sri Lanka today. A highlight here is the gardens of Sigiriya city, one of the world’s oldest landscaped gardens.

Where to stay

• Sri Lanka: Base yourself at the 5 star Cinnamon Grand in Colombo, an exclusive hotel on the seafront, with 14 restaurants, a luxury spa and Presidential suites.
• Maldives: The Bandos resort in the Maldives offers decadent over water villas with freshwater pools, plus an award-winning Dive Centre on its doorstep.
• Mauritius: LUX* Belle Mare and LUX* Grand Gaube have got Mauritius covered, with luxury accommodation options in the north and the east of the island.


Contact Brightsun Travel about exclusive hotel deals and cheap airfares to Indian Ocean so you can experience all that the region has to offer this holiday.