AS AUTUMN kick-starts, there’s no better time to start planning your next holiday.

HIGHLIGHTS OF NORTHERN THAILAND

Strathallan Times:

Become immersed in the striking scenery, fascinating history and intriguing local life in Northern Thailand.

After meeting the knowledgeable guide at Bangkok’s main railway station, travel up to Uttaradit on the sleeper train before starting the cycle.

Meet local potters and watch artisans weaving gold into cloth, pedal around the temples and palace ruins at Si Satchanalai Historical Park, take a dip in the natural hot springs at Ramkhamhaeng National Park, visit a bee-keeping centre near Lamphun and ride around the Royal Flora Botanical Gardens, breathing in the delicate scents of the colourful flowers.

The tour finishes in Chiang Mai, Thailand’s chilled northern capital, which is home to misty mountains and vivacious hill tribes; a delight for adventurers.

A seven-night Highlights of Northern Thailand tour costs from £1,510pp (two sharing) and includes full-board accommodation in three to five star hotels or best accommodation, well-maintained mountain bike with handlebar bags, the services of a local English-speaking guide, air-conditioned support van, transfers and sleeper train during the tour, luggage transportation, water and snacks when riding, entry costs and attractions listed on the itinerary, cycling jersey and a water bottle.

Return flights, transfers, visa, alcohol, soft drinks and tips extra.

Freedom Treks (01273 224 066, freedomtreks.co.uk)

LAKES AND CASTLES CRUISE, GERMANY

Strathallan Times:
Cruise the waterways of north Germany, discovering splendid castles and colourful towns or practising water sports on the Murtiz Lake.

The self-drive Lakes and Castles Cruise highlights include historic Rheinberg and Furstenberg, peaceful Mirow with its charming painted houses, and fishing town Himmelpfort, where cruisers can attempt to catch their own supper.

The region’s botanical gardens and classical music make for a sophisticated holiday.  
A seven-night self-catered stay on board brand new five-star Horizon 4, which sleeps up to ten people, costs from £1,380 per boat / £138pp (down from £1725 per boat, saving 20 per cent) sleeping 10.

Flights and transfers extra. Departs October 7, 2017. 

Le Boat (023 9280 1630, leboat.co.uk)

HOLIDAY VILLAGE MOLIETS, SOUTH WEST FRANCE

Strathallan Times:

Guests can book a last-minute stay in a traditional apartment, sheltered by a Landes pine trees forest, in beautiful Moliets-et-Maa.

The holiday village is a mere 1.5km from the beach and surf school and overlooks one of Europe’s finest golf courses. 

A scuba-diving pool, as well as three other heated pools are available at the resort. Pierre & Vacances offer children’s clubs for infants through to 17-year-olds.

A seven-night stay, at Holiday Village Moliets, from September 1, costs from £472 per apartment / £95pp (down from £735 per apartment, saving 36 per cent) for a self-catered apartment sleeping five.

Flights and transfers extra. 

Pierre & Vacances (0870 0267 145, pierreetvacances.co.uk)

LES PALMIERS DU GOLF APARTMENTS, FRANCE

Strathallan Times:

These apartments are located in a tranquil position surrounded by the Landes Pine Forest and the stunning Atlantic coastline.

The Moliets golf course, sandy beach and town centre are all within walking distance.

Learn to surf in the Bay of Biscay and enjoy the local cuisine at the number of restaurants and cafés in Moliets. Or just relax at the property, sunbathe by the pool and explore the gardens.

Each spacious self-catered apartment has a modern, well-equipped kitchen and a cosy living room, complete with Wi-Fi and a flat screen TV.

A seven-night stay at a Les Palmiers du Golf in September, costs from £66pp (£526 total, saving 30 per cent) for a one bedroom apartment sleeping up to six. 

Summer France (0203 475 4756, summerfrance.co.uk)