The Great Journeys book is published by Lonely Planet this month, described by the world-famous travel publisher as a comprehensive guide to “the world’s most spectacular routes.”
Long transnational itineraries have been popular for decades among travellers taking cheap holidays throughout the world, and this hardback tome lists over 70 such itineraries, such as the Inca Trail, culminating in the spectacular Machu Picchu site in Peru and the Asian “hippy trail”, from Europe overland to southern Asia – incidentally one of the first journeys made by the founders of the Lonely Planet series, Tony and Maureen Wheeler, and the journey that left them well and truly bitten by the travel bug.
The new guide organises the various itineraries into groups based on features such as following a river – holidays spent tracking the Nile to its source, exploring the Norwegian fjords and taking the Mississippi up to New Orleans, for example – or overland treks through areas of historical importance or transcontinental hikes, such as the Cairo to Cape Town tour, tracing the entire course of the Great Wall of China or following the route into “darkest Africa” as recounted in the Joseph Conrad tale Heart of Darkness.
One of the routes recounted in detail is the Trans-Siberian Railway, from Moscow to Beijing. Lonely Planet is also offering a free trip on this legendary railway as part of a competition to promote the new book – entrants are being asked to pick their favourite holiday journey and explain why.
Lavishly illustrated with stunning photographs and packed full of tips for planning such expeditions and a wealth of background material, this guide looks set not only to be a great coffee table travel book, but a handy practical resource when it comes to those epic journeys.