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Extraordinary School Expeditions for 2016

turkey11_38.jpg#asset:633:thumbIn honour of our school groups about to head off on awesome adventures to far flung lands, we thought it time to tantalise your tastebuds with ten tasty treats for tip-top trips. Mary Berry eat your heart out.

It's worth noting we can tailor-make school expeditions in any of these destinations. The ideas below will hopefully give you a feel for the places.

So, without further ado, let's get amongst it...

Indian Himalaya expedition

India_3_week_expedition.jpg#asset:524:thIf Carlsberg arranged great value long-haul school expeditions, they'd probably look like this. Three weeks in India, trekking in the Himalaya, getting to grips with the Buddhist culture of Ladakh and undertaking some unusual but highly prized project work (yak enclosures and donkeys anyone?), all for around £2,700? Step right this way… Sandbach High School for Girls will be off on just such an adventure next summer.

Length: 21 days, Guide price: £2,700 Season: Summer

Morocco: Couscous, Camels and Kasbahs


Sure, it's only three hours from the UK, but Morocco has enough of the hypnotic exotic kind of power to zap your adventure seeking soul right between the eyes and leave you thinking you've travelled half way around the world to find it. It's a bargain too. Whilst not quite Poundland material, a three week expedition here is going to set you back in the region of £1,500 per student. Kasbahs, couscous and camels - what's not to like?

Length: 20 days, Guide price: £1,500 Season: Year round

Peru: Salkantay Trail and Project

Peru_-_18_day_expedition.jpg#asset:555:tThis summer, Queen Margaret's School near York and Alcester Grammar School are heading to deepest, darkest Peru (arranged by our good selves, just in case you think we mention random school trips!). Aside from keeping an eye out for marmalade and hat wearing bears, they'll be trekking the fabulous Salkantay Trail, working on some inspiring irrigation and building projects, exploring the Amazon and staying in homestays on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

If you want an alternative to the usual haunts of southern Peru then you could always head north from Lima, putting your best trekking foot forward on the magnificent Huayhuash Circuit - setting for the legendary book and film - 'Touching the Void'.

Length: 18 days, Guide price: £3,200, Season: Summer

Vietnam: Chinese Border Tribal Trek

Vietnam_-_chinese_border_trek_expeditionHot off the lemongrass press is this challenging and truly unique expedition to Vietnam, recently developed for Exeter School. Having been to Peru and the Indian Himalaya in recent years, it was time for something completely different. And this one's going to be HOT and STEAMY...

This itinerary covers the length and breadth of Vietnam and includes a 9 day remote trek along the Chinese border amongst ethinic tribal communities. Oh, and there's kayaking in Halong Bay, a stunning jungle/cave trek and a construction and maintenance project run by a local community in the Mekong Delta. The students will be cycling to work that week.

Conical hats optional. Comical hats highly likely.

Length: 26 days, Guide price: £3,500, Season: Year round

Venezuela: Auyentepui and the Lost World

Venezuela_-_The_Lost_World.jpg#asset:581Land of the Lost World, giant anacondas and incredible caves (have a look at this and try and find the helicopters), then there's waterfalls, and rivers, and then, of course, the jungles, and widlife, beaches, mountains, tribal cultures (I could go on, but I'm sure you get the picture). Venezuela is a school expedition destination of epic proportions, yet 30 day trips here come in at around £3,400 per student.

For a unique start to your expedition, why not harvest your own food in the highlands, freeze dry your expedition rations and then head off into the wilds?

Length: 25-31 days, Guide price: £3,200 - £3,500 Season: Summer

China: Inner Mongolia Trek and 'Those Pandas'

China-22_day.jpg#asset:509:thumbWe first featured this expedition back in January, but that's a long time ago and it's so good we didn't want you to miss it. This is another highly unusual and well off-the-beaten-track expedition to taste the delights (that would be the ancient walls, grasslands, warriors, pandas and dumplings) of China. I thought about mentioning deep-fried chicken's feet in that list, but decided against it in the end.

Not only is it a corker of an itinerary, at around £3,200 for a 22 day expedition, it's a steal as well! Who can resist those cute cuddly bears?

Length: 22 days, Guide price: £3,200 Season: Summer

Nepal: Classic Everest Base Camp


We think you’d be hard pushed to find a better version of the Everest Base Camp trek than this 20 day expedition. Over 35 years of experience and expert (and we mean really expert!) Nepali guides go to make this itinerary really very special indeed. It’s one for Easter though – PLEASE don't listen to those who tell you it's OK to go in the summer (unless you like cloud obscured views and walking in the rain - in which case, come to Dartmoor in the autumn and we can show you our favourite haunts!).

Length: 20 days, Guide price: £2,600 Season: Spring or Autumn

Madagascar - Canoe, Trek and 4x4


"Smile and wave, boys, smile and wave". It's time to loosen up those muscles and hike, canoe and off-road your way across the amazing island of Madagascar. This is one for the true adventurer, with multi-day river trips, stunning canyons, intriguing cultures and not a karate kicking cuddly penguin in sight.

With luck you might see some very cute and cuddly Lemurs, or even a (not so very cute and cuddly) fossa.

Length: 26 days, Guide price: £3,600 Season: Summer

Rural Laos and Active Vietnam


One for the culture vultures amongst you. In stark contrast to some of the other adventures mentioned here, this is an easy-going cultural expedition that steps away from the usual and discovers the remote communities of rural Laos. Discover traditional villages and a way of life that has changed little over the years.

After Laos, it’s off to northern Vietnam for some active exploration by bike, kayak and on foot. I'd encourage you to read the itinerary. It's not the type to shout at you - more it oozes into your mind and settles just under your skin, quietly drawing you in...

Length: 23 days Guide price: £3,400 Season: Year Round

Mongolian Panorama


This is one we’re particularly proud of. So many school expeditions to Mongolia miss out on so much it's a crime. And if you're going to pay what is often a hefty price and make it all the way out here, you should really do it properly. This itinerary takes groups way out to the remote west and the Altai mountains, where eagle hunters and nomads roam, and vast skies meet snow capped mountains in some of the most remote and wild places on our planet. THERE MIGHT NOT EVEN BE PHONE SIGNAL!

If you can find a better itinerary, then let us know! Extensions to the Gobi, Beijing and the Great Wall also available.

Length: 20 days Guide price: £3,600 Season: Summer

So, there we have it. A mighty fine selection of school expeditions that will challenge, excite and enthrall you and your students all the way to the ends of the earth. Check out our school expeditions page for sample itineraries and ideas to get your feet wandering and mind wondering!

Don't forget to look at our pre-expedition training which comes as part of the package. Accompanied by a smug grin and a knowing nod: "It's a fine expedition programme" - even if we do say so ourselves!