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Touring and exploring

Where will 2017 take you?

Emma Humphrey January 4, 2017

As we bid farewell to 2016 and welcome the New Year, there’s never been a better time to start ticking off your travel wish list. With so much of the world to explore, there’s no need to choose ‘either’ ‘or’; 2017 is your year to say ‘AND’.

There’s no better place to start working through your wish list than with us: whether you dream of sleeping in an overwater villa in the Maldives or exploring the South American rainforest in hunt of tropical animal life. The question is: where will you start?

 

Explore your wild side on an African safari

There’s no doubt about it: an African safari is one of the greatest wildlife encounters you can experience, and is high on most people’s travel wish lists. From spotting the Big Five as they wander the African plains to following the Great Annual Migration, it’s sure to be unforgettable.

Kenya is one of the best places to embark on a memorable safari. Visit the Masai Mara and enjoy game drives through some of the world’s most magnificent national parks as you come across lions, rhinos, elephants, cheetahs and more in their most natural habitats. Tanzania is also a fantastic place to experience an African safari as well as see the greatest wildlife show on earth: the Great Annual Migration. See the millions of wildebeest trek through the open savannahs as they migrate with the changing seasons to find food and water, along with gazelles, zebras and thousands of birds.

For water based safaris, Botswana is the place to visit where you’ll find the Okavango Delta; home to an array of bird and big game species. Or, visit Rwanda to meet the mountain gorillas and venture the Congo Nile trail.

 

Enjoy an overwater villa in the Indian Ocean



For a complete detox from everyday life, the Indian Ocean can’t be beaten. Think cerulean waters; soft white sands; delicious cuisine and dreamy spa-resorts: it doesn’t get much better. If you want to upgrade your stay in paradise, we recommend staying in an overwater villa. You’re guaranteed stunning views across the ocean, perhaps with a dolphin spot or two, along with your own private veranda and maybe even a luxury pool for you and your travel companion to enjoy.

The Maldives is one of the best places to experience a few nights over water; Lux* South Ari Atoll in particular offers stunning villas for the perfect romantic getaway. With direct access to the surrounding lagoon, home to tropical fish and beautiful coral reefs, this is the ultimate in luxury island living.

Mauritius is also a great place to book an overwater villa experience; all you need to do is wake up to see the sun rise as you lounge in bed waiting for your champagne breakfast to arrive.

 

Embark on the greatest road trip ever on Route 66


Do you dream of taking to the wheel and driving across the USA with nothing but adventure ahead of you? We don’t blame you; and that’s what Route 66 is all about. It’s a road that’s inspired millions: from musicians and film directors to fellow travellers just like you, looking for complete freedom on the open road.

You’ll travel across eight states in total on this quintessential road trip, from Chicago to California as you pass through sunny coasts and rustic ranches, and even enjoy a night or two on the Las Vegas strip where the glitz and glamour exceeds all expectation. The sights are amazing and the spirit of this iconic road is sure to captivate you. Whether you travel by car, perhaps a classic Mustang or Chevy, or embark on one of our EagleRider tours where you’ll cruise the road by motorcycle, this is a journey you won’t forget. 
 

Challenge yourself to the Great Wall of China

If 2017 is the year you want to push yourself, there’s no greater achievement than walking the Great Wall of China. Stretching over 13,000 miles and visible even from space, it’s perhaps the ultimate challenge.

Of course, you don’t have to walk the entire wall itself: many adventurous travellers choose to hike just a small section of this gigantic landmark, and any stretch is impressive thanks to the wall’s rocky terrain and zig-zag route. While you trek along the wall and climb some of the tens of thousands of steps, you’ll be surrounded by amazing landscapes: from ancient ruins and crumbling relics to lush green forests, staggering mountain peaks and the East China Sea shores. The continually changing scenery is sure to keep your hike a fascinating one, while offering a slice of Chinese heritage and culture.

If embarking on hike over a few days isn’t your dream, why not visit the wall on a tour instead? That way, you can still soak up the beauty and magnitude of this World Heritage Site, all the while snapping hundreds of photos, without the hard work.

 

Find natural beauty in the rainforest

Be at one with Mother Nature and explore the world’s beautiful rainforests, home to tropical birds and animals that can’t be seen anywhere else on earth. Whether exploring at ground level or by a sky-high walkway, you’ll soon feel immersed in the lush, exotic surroundings with the sounds of the rainforest and humid temperatures around you.

Costa Rica is one of the best places to explore the rainforest; as the eco-capital of the world, you’re guaranteed to see cheeky monkeys swinging from the trees and beautiful, vibrant butterflies flutter from branch to branch. As you wander the largely-unspoilt landscapes, you’ll encounter misty cloud forests, eerie yet mythical, as well as fierce volcanic peaks, thundering waterfalls and beaches where you’ll see endangered green turtles lay their eggs and, if you’re lucky, see baby leatherback and hawksbill turtles take their first shuffle toward the ocean.

Beyond South America, more rainforest adventures can be had in St Lucia where paradise beaches are starkly contrasted by verdant, thick forests and jungle-like backdrops. From sulphur springs, perfect for a quick and refreshing dip, to tranquil nature trails and even zip line adventures, the Caribbean rainforest is the ultimate haven.
 

Spend the night on a house boat in Kerala

For a complete escape from the real world, and for those seeking a slice of tranquillity, the backwaters of Kerala offer the perfect detox. Home to some of Southern India’s most stunning landscapes and wildlife, the best way to tour these wonderful waterways is by house boat as you meander your way through the enchanting labyrinth.

You’ll enter a world of emerald tea hills, lavish temples, quaint churches and rural beauty as you explore the maze of canals that showcases South India in its most authentic form. Our Classic Kerala tour offers an overnight stay in a traditional houseboat as you travel through the backwaters of Kumarakom and admire the regions serene beauty.

 

Shop with a difference at Thailand’s markets


Shopping in Thailand is no ordinary experience, especially if you head to one of the famous floating markets in Bangkok. Wander down to the waterside and be greeted by friendly, local vendors bobbing along in wooden boats as they sell everything from delicious fresh fruits to handmade crafts. The hustle and bustle; the vibrant colours; the smells and sounds; it will all captivate you.  You’re best to visit early in the morning, before most tourists arrive and when the produce is at its freshest.

If you’d rather stick to dry land, the night markets in Koh Samui are just as exciting, diverse and colourful; Fisherman’s Village Walking Street in particular is famed for souvenir shopping and bargain hunting.

 

What’s on your wish list? See more inspiration here or visit our deals page.