The world has countless unique travel adventures just waiting to be discovered, but where do these hidden gems lie? Caroline Underhill, our Global Marketing Director, spoke to our friends at Lightfoot Travel to learn more about some less travelled destinations which offer a luxurious and exciting experience – ideal for holiday inspiration!
Mountain top towns, monasteries and untouched natural landscapes make Bhutan a treat for the privileged few. This landlocked Himalayan Kingdom has carefully managed the number of tourists who travel to the country, making it a haven for keen hikers looking to head out into the fresh forest air and trek across sacred mountains, observing religious and cultural practices at the monasteries en route. It’s not all hard graft though, as Bhutan is also home to a collection of luxury lodges, boasting views that will quite literally take your breath away. Regularly referred to as one of the last true unspoilt countries on earth, no trip to Bhutan is complete without hiking to the famous Taktsang ‘Tiger’s Nest’ Monastery, the birthplace of Buddhism.
Once isolated from the world, today Mongolia has opened its borders, welcoming travellers from around the world who are seeking wild landscapes, extraordinary history, and rugged adventure. Stay in a traditional cosy ger tented camp with a local Nomadic family, spot Asiatic red deer, wild horses and gazelle at Khustain National Park, or feel like you’ve landed on another planet as you explore the iconic sand dunes, ice canyon and stunning mountain vistas of the Gobi Desert. For something completely unique, time your visit to coincide with the two-day Sagsai Golden Eagle Festival which takes place annually in September to marvel at the skill and bravery of Mongolia’s famous eagle hunters.
To visit Antarctica is to experience the humbling sight of soaring ice caps, creeping glaciers and a white expanse of wilderness, home to the most fascinating survivors on earth. Follow in the footsteps of Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen to this mythical land which offers an unrivalled experience whether you take a luxury cruise or camp out on the ice. Each month offers unique experiences whether it is changing landscapes, penguin breeding season or whale sightings. When you need warming up, the Shetland Islands are an interesting insight into the other end of Antarctica’s climate spectrum. Among them is Deception Island, formed by a volcanic eruption and full of hot pools and geothermal lagoons.
Known as the ‘Pearl of Africa,’ Uganda manages to pack quite a punch despite its relatively small size. This landlocked country in Eastern Africa is the source of the Nile, boasts serious wildlife-spotting opportunities, and is fast becoming a must-visit for adventurous travellers. As well as being able to witness leopard, lion, African buffalo and the African bush elephant, Uganda is also one of the best places in Africa to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, with the government taking great steps to protect and preserve the country’s unique wildlife ecosystem. When it comes to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, coming face to face with a family of endangered mountain gorillas as they feed, play and groom just a few feet away from you has to be one for the bucket list.
Geographically, Chile is one of the most diverse countries in the world. A narrow strip along the west coast of South America, it’s 2,833 miles in length but never more than 221 miles wide. The Andes provides its eastern border, the Pacific Ocean the western and top to bottom, it incorporates bone-dry deserts, salt flats, temperate rainforests, glaciers and fjords. North, near the border with Bolivia, lies the Atacama Desert. There’s a remarkable barren beauty in its vistas that range from otherworldly salt pan expanses and dramatic volcanoes to geo hot springs and geysers. Down south lies the lush landscapes of the Lake District. Here you’ll find a paradise for outdoor adventurers with wonderful hiking, kayaking and fly-fishing available among its shimmering lakes, deep forests and conical volcanic basins. In the far south is Patagonia, a land that has tempted explorers for centuries, and is the crowning glory of all of Chile’s natural wonders; think thick swathes of green, temperate rainforests, ancient glaciers and fjords overhanging the ocean, and whales frolicking off the coast.
Lightfoot Travel specialises in tailor-made holidays and, with offices around the world, can help you plan an adventure from any location. To discuss your holiday wish list please contact the Lightfoot Travel team at email@example.com quoting The Fry Group.