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A Trot Over Iceland’s Lava Fields

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ride horses for six days and stay in mountain huts in Iceland on four tours that leave June 26, July 10, Aug. 21 and 28. Participants will ride from four to eight hours each day to see farmlands, craters, lava fields, mountains and glaciers. Stops are made at Lake Frostastadavatn, Landmannalaugar and Hekla.

Cost: $960 per person, including dormitory-type lodging, all meals, horses, guide and baggage transport. Not included: air fare to Reykjavik. Contact: Equitour, P.O. Box 807, Dubois, Wyo. 82513; telephone (800) 545-0019.

East Africa Safari

A 14-day tour to Kenya departs June 19 from Los Angeles. Participants will explore Kenya’s animal parks, the scrub forests of Samburu and the Serengeti grasslands of Masai Mara, as well as visit the Mt. Kenya Safari Club, Sweetwaters tented camp, Lake Nakuru and Nairobi. Lions, cheetahs, hippos, elephants, giraffes, zebra, wildebeests, rhino, baboons, and many other mammals and birds will be observed in the wild. An eight-day extension to Tanzania is available.

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Cost: $3,295, including air fare from Los Angeles via Rome, most meals, luxury accommodations, wildlife viewing, entry fees and local guides. Extension cost is $1,595. The tour is escorted by biology professor Norm Cole. Contact: Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, Calif. 92628; tel. (714) 432-5880.

Remote Africa

Michael Main, author and expert on the geology and archeology of the Kalahari Desert, will lead a 14-day tour into some of the most remote parts of Botswana May 13. Three nights will be spent at Jack’s Camp on the edge of the vast Makgadikgadi Pans. Local Khwe people will lead an exploration of the newly discovered Gweihaba Cave system, with a surveyed length of almost two miles and several massive chambers more than 100 feet high. Two days will be spent in the Tsodillo Hills, examining some of the more than 3,500 prehistoric rock paintings here. The Okavango Delta, with its wildlife, will be explored by canoe.

Cost: $6,695 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations, most meals, ground and air transportation within Africa, guides, entrance fees. Not included: international air fare to Johannesburg. Contact: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90007; tel. (213) 744-3350.

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Malta’s History

Spend a week exploring the Stone Age temples and archeological sites of Malta with tours from Travel With the Experts, scheduled on various dates through Aug. 30. Ggantija, on the island of Gozo, dates to 3600 BC, older than Stonehenge or the first pyramid in Egypt. Anthony Bonano of the University of Malta joins each group for lectures and for several days of touring. On the itinerary are visits to the temples of Tarxien, Haga Qim and Mnajdra, the Neolithic stronghold of Borg-in-Nadur, the Ghar il-Kbir cave dwellings, the hilltop city of Mdina, inhabited for the last 4,000 years, and the Renaissance city of Valletta, Malta’s capital.

Cost: $1,399 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from New York, seven nights lodging, some meals, sightseeing fees and transportation. Contact: Travel With the Experts; tel. (201) 595-7898.

China Discovery Tour

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A 21-day tour of China leaves Los Angeles Nov. 1 to visit eight cities. In Beijing, participants will see the Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Tian An Men Square, the Summer Palace and attend a performance of the Beijing Opera. A full-day excursion to the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs is taken. Also on the itinerary: Xi’an, to see the terra-cotta soldiers of Qinshi Huangdi; Chonqing, for a three-day cruise down the Yangtze River to Wuhan; Shanghai to visit the Bund, the Jade Buddha Temple and a Chinese acrobatics troupe show; Suzhou to visit the National Embroidery Institute; Wuxi, for a tour of a porcelain factory; a train trip to Hangzhou; Guilin, to see its dramatic karst landscapes and Reed Flute Cave and take a four-hour cruise down the Li River. Guests stop in Hong Kong for two nights before returning home.

Cost: $3,495 per person, double occupancy, including all air and land transportation, luggage handling, transfers, three meals daily in China, admission to all special events, hotels and guides. Not included: airport departure taxes. Contact: Don and Frieda’s Selective Tours, 828 E. Fairmount Road, Burbank, Calif. 91501; tel. (818) 848-8141.

South Pacific

Fiji, New Zealand and Australia make up a 16-day trio tour offered by Qantas Vacations from April to June. The trip includes three nights in Fiji, two nights in Christchurch, New Zealand, a four-day motor-coach trip to Queenstown, tour and boat trip of Milford Sound, three nights in Sydney, three nights in coastal Cairns and a full-day catamaran excursion off the Great Barrier Reef.

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Cost: $2,399-$2,599 (depending on date) per person, double occupancy, including air fare throughout the tour from Los Angeles, hotels and sightseeing. Contact: Qantas Vacations; tel. (800) 327-3857.

Italy for Artists

Artist-lecturer Roberta Kritzia will lead two 14-day art programs in Umbria and Tuscany, Italy, Sept. 6 and Sept. 26. Daily field trips are scheduled to see the art and history of Siena, Florence, Assisi, Orvieto, San Gimignano, Renaissance gardens and artists’ studios.

Cost: $2,500 per person including hotels, two meals per day and private transportation in Italy. Group is limited to 12 participants. Contact: Personalized Travel, 5455 Sylmar Ave., No. 902, Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91401; tel. (818) 994-2402.

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Southern Comfort

A nine-day tour to the Deep South to visit private homes and gardens in Atlanta and Savannah, Ga., and Charleston and Beaufort, S.C., leaves March 22. Participants will join docent tours of two antebellum plantation gardens (Magnolia and Middleton Place near Charleston); participate in Callaway Garden’s Azalea Festival and Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival activities in Georgia; take a carriage tour of historic Beaufort, and take a Savannah River cruise. Accommodations are in the historic districts of Charleston and Savannah (three nights each city). Also included are overnight stays in Atlanta and Callaway Gardens (near Pine Mountain Valley, Ga.), 14 meals (two in mansions), walking tour tickets in three sets of private homes and gardens, city sightseeing tours, admissions, porterage, ground transportation and Atlanta airport transfers. The tour terminates in Charleston. Cost: $1,100 per person, double occupancy. Not included: air fare to Atlanta and from Charleston. A two-day extension tour in Georgia includes a gourmet luncheon in a historic Augusta mansion; a stop in Juliette at the Whistle Stop Cafe (from “Fried Green Tomatoes”); visits to the Carter Presidential Center, 32-acre Atlanta History Center, Stone Mountain, 1996 Olympic venues, Joel Chandler Harris’ Wren’s Nest, the World of Coca Cola, the State Capitol and the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Cost: $235 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, two meals, sightseeing and admissions. Contact: S.T.E.P. Inc., 6719 Abbottswood Drive, Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. 90275; tel. (310) 377-1601.

Turkey’s Treasures

Experience antiquity on a 16-day tour of Turkey that leaves May 8. The itinerary includes Istanbul and shopping at the Grand Bazaar; Ankara, the Turkish capital; Cappadocia, where there are underground villages and rock churches; Konya, to see the Tomb of Melvana, the 13th-Century mystic; Antalya and three Hellenistic sites on the Turquoise Coast; Bodrum, where there is a Crusaders’ fortress; Ephesus to see the Basilica of St. John; Troy, the lost city of more than 2,000 years, and Pergamum to explore the Temple of Athena and the altar of Zeus. Cost: $1,650 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, all meals, entrance fees and guides. Not included: air fare to Istanbul. Contact: Jennifer Luckow, Your Travel Center, 5654 Calle Real, Goleta, Calif. 93117; tel. (805) 967-0177.

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The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with cruise lines, travel agents or tour operators. More Tours & Cruises

* Additional listings of tours and cruises are available on the new TimesLink on-line service. For more information, call (800) 792-LINK.


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