This Atlantic archipelago sells itself as “Europe’s best kept secret” but the secret is getting out. The dramatic — and extremely Instagrammable — landscapes, wildlife, remote villages and emerging food scene are drawing growing numbers of visitors in search of a bracing, authentic and a great way to relieve the stresses of modern life.
We offer several options for prizes on the Faroes but our favourite is one which offers the chance to explore the rugged and dramatic scenery as part of a 6 day escorted tour and spend 2 nights in the Danish capital of Copenhagen. The trip offers the opportunity to visit the quaint fishing villages, hamlets with old turf-roofed wooden houses and ancient Viking ruins, marvel the vistas stretching from one island to another, over the sea-cliffs and steep mountains. oak in the local culture and perhaps learn a few steps of the Faroese chain dance.
Today, Rwanda is a stable, well-run and peacefully united country. Getting there has also got much easier, thanks to new planes and routes, while travelling around is becoming quicker and more comfortable thanks to huge road improvements. Meanwhile, hotels and safari camps are moving swiftly upmarket.
We feature trips which include a visit to Volcanoes National Park, which is part of the larger Virunga Massif transboundary conservation area and a World Heritage Site and home to some 604 mountain gorillas, amongst a host of other rainforest species. On top of that, Akagera National Park has undergone a phenomenal transformation in the last eight years where poaching has essentially been eliminated and wildlife is now thriving. It's an incredible, rewarding, life-changing experience.
Muscat’s newly expanded airport opened last year and passenger numbers are hugely on the up. The city’s Al Bustan Palace recently reopened after a lavish renovation, and the Royal Opera House Muscat will launch a major new display space with an exhibition on 400 years of opera, in partnership with London’s V&A museum.
The real change for the country, is people moving away from the idea of luxury city 5* hotels for sunbathing and venturing out into the mountains and deserts in search of adventure. In the Hajar mountains, 2,000 metres up, the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar resort has been expanding its activities for adventurous families to include climbing, mountain biking, zip-lining and wadi swimming. The nearby Alila Jabal Akhdar offers various via ferrata routes, stargazing and caving. We can create prizes to include either or both.
This former British colony has made great strides in marine conservation, and last year the barrier reef was removed from the Unesco “world heritage in danger” list. The diving and snorkelling are among the world’s best and new eco-resorts are beginning to open along the coast.
Our choice travel prize is actor Leonardo DiCaprio's much-anticipated eco retreat at Blackadore Caye (opening 2019) and shortly, the Four Seasons. But it's the laidback communities on Belize’s coast and cayes which remain much less commercialised than other parts of the Caribbean and it is for this, that we hugely rate Belize.
Just a short flight from the UK lies the seductive charm of Morocco and 2019 promises even greater treasures to uncover. We have the inside-track and contacts to navigate the buzzing medinas, soaring mountains, sweeping coastlines and sandy dunes, away from the crowds. The recent introduction of the fastest train in Africa (from Tangier to Casablanca) and an increased number of flights linking Fez with Marrakech makes travelling around this country a breeze. The opening of the stunning Oberoi this year would be our top choice of Marrakech base. Haggle your way through the colourful souks of Marrakech (or Fez/Essaouira) or our personal shopper will steer to the best of the best, whilst being sure of paying the right price. We can arrange for a trusty Berber guide to accompany into through deep gorges, across the Atlas Mountains or to a private campsite in the Sahara desert – the adventures are endless. Our guides on the ground include:
- A professional photographer to capture Morocco’s ever-changing light
- A professor of architecture in Marrakech
- A Berber mountain guide in the Atlas Mountains
- A perfume maker to create a bespoke scent
- A gastro guide to teach you about the local lesser known Moroccan delicacies in the souks
- A private yoga instructor
- A head chef to teach you to cook delicious Moroccan food
- Excellent masseurs/masseuses
- Personal shoppers to navigate you through the souks
- A professor of English and cultural studies from the Karaouine University in Fez
- A leader and volunteer at the Peace Corps in Rabat