Bucket List Holidays To Start Planning Now

If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught us, it’s that life is worth living. If like many people you’ve got a burning desire to tick some places off your bucket list, it’s time to start planning now – ready for when this is all over. And with options for families, couples, and solo travellers, there’s something for everyone to enjoy…
MARATABA CONSERVATION CAMPS, SOUTH AFRICA

Explore The Tanzanian Wilderness 

If you’ve always wanted to explore the beauty of East Africa, Tanzania has it all. Home to world-renowned national parks, beautiful coastlines and fascinating culture, the country is a great choice for a once-in-a-lifetime family holiday. With a vast landscape of protected land, heading on a Tanzanian safari is a no brainer. While the Serengeti is famous for wildebeest, zebras and crocodiles, Rusha National Park is the largest in the country and has some of the highest population of lions and elephants in the world. Located in the south of Tanzania, the park receives fewer tourists than other national parks, so it’s one to bookmark it for a totally remote experience.

Where To Stay: Jabali Private House, Rusha National Park

Set on a rocky peninsula in Rusha National Park, Jabali Private House is an ideal location for families or large groups. The three-bedroom property is surrounded by beautiful baobab trees and feels totally remote – only a handful of lodges share the five-million-acre national park. Guests can head on a day or night-time safari or explore the area on foot. 

Visit AardvarkSafaris.co.uk

Go Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Rwanda’s rolling hills and vast mountainous landscape are teaming with wildlife. The northwest regions have some of the most beautiful ranges in the country and are home to some of the world's last remaining mountain gorillas and rare golden monkeys. Visitors should make a beeline for Volcanoes National Park for hiking, canoeing and mountain biking, before heading on a once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trek.

Where To Stay: One & Only Gorilla’s Nest

Located near the village of Kingi, One & Only Gorilla’s Nest lies at the foothill of the Virunga Volcano range. Nestled amongst a forest of eucalyptus trees, the stunning resort has breath-taking views of the Rwandan hills and national park, as well as state-of-the art facilities throughout. During your stay, you’ll be able to discover the natural habitat of mountain gorillas, while spotting other wildlife in the national park – a truly unforgettable experience.  

Visit OneAndOnlyResorts.com/Gorillas-Nest

See The Northern Lights In Iceland

Iceland’s rugged coastline and natural wonders can be appreciated year-round, but if you’re after the ultimate winter holiday, head to the island during the colder months. Visitors can enjoy an extensive selection of outdoor activities from skiing and glacier hiking, to husky sledding and bathing in geothermal pools. Iceland also has one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Nordic region – the northern territories in particular are known for their vast mountain ranges and rivers. For an unforgettable experience, head to the north to see the Northern Lights.  

Where To Stay: Deplar Farm

Located in the northern town of Ólafsfjörður, Deplar Farm is a stunning retreat surrounded by mountains and green valleys. Once a working sheep farm, the property now has everything you need for a luxury stay, including a geo-thermal spa and stylish, Nordic-inspired interiors. Guests can stargaze across the clear Icelandic night sky and catch a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights (from October to March), head into the Icelandic wilderness on a snowmobile safari, and enjoy a range of outdoor activities.  

Visit ElevenExperience.com

Island Hop In The Seychelles

For a luxury getaway and slice of island life, head to the idyllic Seychelles. Ideal for a couple’s trip, or special occasion, the islands are famous for their crystal-clear waters, lush palm trees and mile-long beaches. Visitors can snorkel in the coral reefs, explore the nature reserves, and enjoy the many water-based activities on offer. Mahé, the largest island, has some of the best resorts in the country, though Praslin and Silhouette Island are more secluded. 

Where To Stay: Denis Island

Once you’ve made your way around the islands, head to Denis Island for a private stay. The 350-acre coralline island has just one hotel with 25 secluded cottages. Around the bay, the sea is full of marine life where guests can snorkel off the beach and spot turtles in the topaz waters. The hotel also has a fantastic diving centre, as well as an on-site farm – with a selection of activities on offer, a week here is best spent exploring the flora and fauna.   

Visit AardvarkSafaris.co.uk

Drive The Great Ocean Road In Australia

Head to the south eastern coast of Australia for the ultimate road trip. Made up of over 150 miles of coastal scenery, wildlife and unique history, the Great Ocean Road begins in Torquay in Victoria, and ends at Allansford near Warrnambool. The scenic route takes around three days to complete, but there are plenty of things to do along the way, including surfing, hiking and wildlife spotting. 

Where To Stay: Drift House

There are countless places to stay along the Great Ocean Road, but one of the most stylish is Drift House in Port Fairy. The simple yet modern interiors offer the perfect place from which to relax after a day on the road – book Suite Six for a stylish room with an open fireplace and private courtyard.

Visit VisitMelbourne.com

Camp Under The Norwegian Stars 

While the beauty of Norway can be appreciated year-round, the summer is one of the best times to visit. Travel company 62ºNORD is a great choice for discovering beautiful scenery off the beaten track and trying a range of outdoor activities in the north west of the country. The Sunnmøre region is well known for its beautiful landscapes and natural features – think fjords, waterfalls and glaciers. From mountain hikes, cycling trips and cross-country skiing, to kayaking adventures along the fjords, there’s something to suit every explorer.

Where To Stay: Storfjord Hotel

During the Norwegian circuit, guests will visit three hotels, including Storfjord Hotel. With views from one of the largest fjords in the region, the breath-taking location was made for outdoor pursuits, while the lodge itself has been designed in traditional Norwegian style, with wooden beams and simple furnishings. Guests can swim in the nearby lake or enjoy a wellness treatment from a list of spa treatments, too. 

Visit 62.No/EN

Explore Peru By Train

Explore Peru's historic Inca ruins, colourful culture and dramatic landscapes on a journey around some of the country’s highlights, including Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. There’s plenty to explore around the country, but if you want to do it in style, hop aboard the luxurious Belmond Andean Explorer sleeper train. Beginning in the capital of Lima, the tour passes through Cuzo, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and Colca Canyon – a great option for solo travellers or those travelling in a small group. 

Where To Stay: Belmond Andean Explorer

Train travel doesn’t get much better than the Belmond Andean Explorer. South America's first luxury sleeper has three types of en-suite cabins to choose from, as well as a fine dining restaurant, lounge car, and spa. While there’s plenty to do on board, the best thing about the Andean Explorer is undoubtedly the view. 

Visit ScottDunn.com/Peru

Visit The Shorelines Of Mozambique

Southern Mozambique is home to miles of empty beaches, sand dunes, and more recently, a selection of stylish hideaways. For a secluded trip to the beautiful coast, visitors can appreciate the peace and quiet and diverse wildlife. Bazaruto National park is surrounded by crystal clear waters, while the Maputo Special Reserve is where you’ll find Mozambique’s bush – both of which are great options for a safari. Once you’ve made the most of the culture, head to the coast to relax on the white-sand beaches.

Where To Stay: Sussurro

Having just opened this month, Sussurro is a stunning hotel located on the Nhamabue peninsula. Set on the secluded shores of a turquoise lagoon, it’s thoughtfully designed – sustainability and conscious travel are at the heart of the experience. With an idyllic outdoor pool area, yoga deck and selection of spacious bedrooms to choose from, guests can relax in pure style. Personalised itineraries range from four-day safaris to two-week wellness trips.

Visit Sussurro.co

Head To An Untouched Island In Indonesia

When in Indonesia, island hopping is a must. Kuta and Gili Trawangan in Bali are not to be missed, while Seminyak is one of the best spots for surfing. However, the real heart of the island is Ubud, where visitors can walk through dense jungles on one side and enjoy cultural town offerings on the other. For the best of both worlds, Scott Dunn operates tours to the Bawah Reserve, an archipelago of six islands in the remote Anambas Islands. With 13 white-sand beaches and two lagoons, visitors can go snorkelling and diving, then soak up the culture in Ubud.

Where To Stay: Nihi Sumba

There are countless homestays and beachside properties to choose from, but Nihi Sumba, as part of the tour, is a luxury resort that feels totally remote. Guests can go horse-riding in the sea, head on a one-of-a-kind spa safari, and make the most of some of the best surfing waves in all of Indonesia. The bedrooms, with canopy beds and panoramic views of the Indian ocean, feel completely remote – you can fall asleep to the soft sounds of waves and wake up to wildlife on your doorstep.  

Visit ScottDunn.com

Camp Under The Stars in Morocco

Known for its huge mountain ranges, ancient cities, and vast deserts, there are countless things to see and do in Morocco. In the desert, visitors can take tours of the Saharan dunes and visit the ancient medinas, before heading into the cities. The Ouarzazate province, known as the ‘door of the desert’, is rich with culture and is a great starting point from which to explore some of the best sights. 

Where To Stay: Dar Ahlam

This 19th-century Kasbah is tucked away in the Sahara Desert, just a short journey from Ouarzazate. With a number of suites to choose from, the lodgings are spacious and have distinctive Moroccan flair – for a special trip, ask for a room with views of the Atlas Mountains. Guests can spend a night under the stars in the desert, then relax at the hotel in the on-site spa and hammam.

Visit DarAhlam.com

Head On A South African Safari

When in South Africa, booking a safari is a must – June to September is the best time to go for spotting wildlife when animals are more likely to be spotted in the bare bush and watering holes. With over 600 national parks to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice, but Marakele National Park is a great choice for first timers. The mountainous park is home to the ‘Big Five’ (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos), plus one of the world’s largest colonies of the endangered Cape vulture. 

Where To Stay: Marataba Conservation Camps 

Having opened two new camps in September, Marataba is ideal for a week-long safari. Set in a private section of Marakele National Park, guests can stay at the exclusive Founders Camp, which has four suites overlooking the Matlabas River, or the Explorers Camp, which overlooks a busy watering hole. Alongside traditional safari excursions, guests can also take part in the daily conservation efforts and wildlife tracking in the park. Kids will love spotting animals around the camp, while adults will appreciate the luxury campsite accommodation.

Visit AardvarkSafaris.co.uk

See The Himalayas In Bhutan

As one of the world’s most exclusive places to visit, heading to Bhutan is a one-in-a-lifetime experience. With spectacular nature and fascinating cultural sites, visitors can explore the country’s hidden corners and learn about the traditional Buddhist way of life. Six Senses have created a journey across Bhutan’s key valleys that take visitors across lush tropical plains in the south to the sub-alpine Himalayan mountains in the north. Highlights include the Dochula Pass which offers dramatic views of the Himalayan peaks, Chimi Lhakhang (an ancient fertility temple), and a hike to Taktsang Goemba – the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery.

Where To Stay: Six Senses Lodges

Travelling across Bhutan, guests can stay at five Six Senses lodges which are spread across the country – Paro, Punakha, Thimphu, Gangtey and Bumthang. Each location has breath-taking views of the landscape, and the luxury interiors make for a truly special stay. Punakha overlooks the Mo Chu River, while Gangtey has impressive views of the Phobjika Valley. 

Visit SixSenses.com
 

*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice before you book anything. Please note, this list is a guide and should not considered as definitive list for worldwide travel. Visit Gov.uk for more information. 

INSPIRATION CREDITS: Marataba Conservation Camps, South Africa​
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