Hiking On St Helena

St Helena - Secret of the South Atlantic

12 days from £3,400pp – flights included for 2 adults

Johannesburg  – St Helena  – Johannesburg

Our specialists say:

Retrace Napoleon's Footsteps as he was exiled to St Helena in 1815

The journey by ship to reach St Helena used to take several days, attracting only those with lots of time to spare, but since the airport opened up in 2017 St Helena is now more accessible for nature, history and culture lovers. With a night in Johannesburg, South Africa at the start and end of your St Helena holiday, this itinerary has a true sense of adventure, without sacrificing any luxury comforts. Enjoy 7 nights on St Helena:

The days of the week in the itinerary below are based on the flights between Johannesburg and St Helena.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: Thursday - Fly to South Africa

Leave London Heathrow on a British Airways flight at about 7pm to South Africa.

Day 2: Friday - Tour of Johannesburg

The  Peech  Hotel Decor

The Peech Hotel

Arrive in Johannesburg bright and early at about 7am and be transferred to the lovely Peech Boutique Hotel in a northern suburb of Johannesburg. You can spend the day relaxing by the pool, or we can have you picked up by a driver guide for a flexible tour of Johannesburg including Soweto, Apartheid Museum & Constitution Hill.

Day 3: Saturday - Arrive on St Helena!

Climbing Jacobs Ladder On St Helena Compressed

Climb Jacob's Ladder in Jamestown

Breakfast at The Peech Hotel before being transferred to Johannesburg airport for your flight at 9am to St Helena!

On arrival at about 1pm you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel, passing through some of the small villages en route. The volcanic nature of the island is immediately apparent in the rugged coastline scenery. Check in to the Mantis Hotel with the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Dinner this evening is on your own account, but we recommend your hotel which offers a good a la carte selection.

Day 4: Sunday - Boer War Sights, the Bell Stone & South West of St Helena

Boer Cemetery On St Helena

The Boer Cemetery on St Helena

After breakfast meet with Aaron at 9.30 for an orientation of the island by 4x4. Stop at Deadwood Plain which was the camp site of Boer prisoners of war during the Anglo Boer War of 1900-1902 before a short walk to Flagg Staff which gives you wonderful panoramic views across the island. Visit Fisher’s Valley where Napoleon rode his horse during his exile on the island and Levelwood, home to the Bell Stone - a rock which when struck rings like a bell. Wind your way to the south west point of the island for incredible views over the Atlantic Ocean, which stretches unbroken for 2700 kilometres in every direction. Drink in hand as the sun sets, it’s the perfect end to the day.

Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Monday - Boat Cruise off the Island with Pan-Tropical Dolphins

Dolphin Watching On St Helena

Dolphin Watching On St Helena

This morning, after breakfast, a highlight of the island awaits as you join your skipper for a boat cruise off the island. Home to huge schools of Pan-Tropical dolphins, Bottle-Nose dolphins and Rough-Toothed dolphins, as well as turtles, Devil Rays and Whale Sharks (in season January - March), the deep blue waters are teeming with life. The tour gives you a scenic view of St Helena’s coastline and allows you to view a few of the old fortifications and outposts that still stand.

Return to port for lunch (not included) before you are met at the hotel at 2 pm to explore Jamestown on a walk with Basil George, a descendant of one of the Boer prisoners of war who decided to remain on the island after the declaration of peace. Basil is a hugely experienced guide and a local poet with a wicked twinkle in his eye who will keep you entertained with his vast knowledge of the island and its inhabitants. Visit the Castle with its tropical gardens, St James Church (the oldest Anglican Church in the Southern Hemisphere), the famous Jacob’s ladder which ascends 699 steps above the town and the Court House.

Meals included today: Breakfast

Day 6: Tuesday - Coffee Plantation, Sandy Bay & Jonathan the Tortoise

Jonathan The Giant Tortoise On St Helena

Visit Plantation House and meet Jonathan

Set off this morning with Aaron for the south of the island, stopping at the St Helena Coffee Plantation en route. A highlight of the day is Sandy Bay, which isn’t sandy, but is dramatic in its beauty and jagged cliffs, and where you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

As you head back to Jamestown, a private tour of the Governor’s residence, Plantation House awaits. Built in 1792, it has always been home to the island’s governors, and the current governor, Lisa Phillips, is the first female. Perhaps an even more famous inhabitant is Jonathan, the oldest giant tortoise in the world who has been trundling around for nearly two centuries. Visit St Paul’s Cathedral and Knoll Fort on your return to the hotel.

Meals included today: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Wednesday - Museum of St Helena & Dinner with the Locals

Mantis Town

Colourful Houses in Jamestown, St Helena

Today is at leisure to explore at your own pace. Highly recommended is the very well curated Museum of St Helena which not only traces the varied history of the island, but also has artefacts from the number of wrecks that have dotted the coastline over the last 500 years. You may also like to book another optional boat cruise, or swim in the Atlantic - or in the public Olympic-sized swimming pool that sits near the harbour and is a great place to meet local islanders.

This evening, dinner has been arranged with a local family to experience some local cuisine and learn about local island life - which often involves not so confidential stories about neighbours and family members!

Meals included today: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8: Thursday - Diana’s Peak Walk & Afternoon Tea

Farm Lodge Aerial View

Head to Farm Lodge for Afternoon Tea

This morning set off for Diana’s Peak, the island’s only National Park. Experience the micro and macro life in a cloud forest, from the many endemic plants and invertebrate species, to the breath-taking views of the island. It is a four-hour tour to the high central ridge. You will be driven to Cabbage Tree Road to start your walk up the path to the highest point on the island, Diana’s peak at 823 m (hikers need to have a reasonable level of fitness as there is an ascent of 175m). Have your picnic lunch on the peaks.

In the afternoon, stop at Farm Lodge for afternoon tea. Built in approximately 1670 as an East India Company planters house, Farm lodge is set in its own grounds of 10 acres with lawns and lush tropical gardens and entertaining hosts.

Meals included today: Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 9: Friday - Where Napoleon Lived & Died

Longwood House On St Helena

Longwood House where Napoleon spent his final years

Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to St Helena in 1815 and died on the island 6 years later. This morning we visit Longwood House where spent his final years. Owned by the French Government, Longwood is one of the best Napoleonic museums in the world, with original furniture and over 900 artefacts.

Have your picnic lunch on Longwood Green and after lunch take a 15 minute stroll to see Napoleon’s tomb and the beautiful heart shaped waterfall, before stopping at the St Helena Distillery on your return.

Meals included today: Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 10: Saturday - Return to South Africa

Jamestown On St Helena

Say goodbye to Jamestown

After breakfast you will have time for a last look around Jamestown before your transfer back to the airport and onward flight to South Africa at 2:30pm.

Arrive in Johannesburg just after 9pm and stay at The Peech Hotel for your last night in Africa.

Day 11: Sunday - A Day in Johannesburg before Flying Home

Breakfast and spend the day in Johannesburg before being transferred to the airport for your British Airways flight at about 7:30pm to London.

Day 12: Monday - Home Sweet Home

Arrive tired but happy at about 6 am after the trip of a lifetime!

Duration: 12 Days

Location: St Helena, Africa

Price: £3400pp

This St Helena with Johannesburg itinerary costs from £3,400pp for two adults and includes: International flights (price based on London Heathrow with British Airways and South African Airlink), all accommodation on a sharing basis and meals where mentioned.

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