If you’re ready to plan long-awaited trips around the world this year, then there are plenty of exciting options waiting for you. With many of us ready to put our passports to good use, Caroline Underhill, our Global Marketing Director and Head of CSR, spoke to our friends at Lightfoot Travel to learn more about some of their team’s recommended hotspot destinations for 2023.
Far flung holidays are very much back on the agenda, and global bookings have seen a real uptick since the start of this year, particularly for places which take us far away from our usual stomping grounds. Here are four destinations which might offer some inspiration for your travels this year.
Lucy Jackson – Co-founder and Director chooses Indonesia
Tell me more: There are over 17000 islands in Indonesia – so much more than Java, Bali and Lombok. Having lived in Bali for many years, I’d recommend heading further East to the untouched Spice Islands and Banda islands (one of the latter was exchanged by the British for Manhattan Island and then the Dutch in what is believed to be one of the key shifts in colonial trading). It’s worth exploring these on your own phinsi (locally crafted boat), crewed and fully hosted with huge sharing platters served at every opportunity. No need to worry about over-indulgence though as there is plenty to do, whether you are jumping onto pink sandy beaches, exploring with ribs along the shoreline, spotting the Komodo dragons swimming in the waters or diving with manta rays. If you’re a group with lots of different ages don’t worry – each generation will have plenty of activities to enjoy. But it’s the pristine destination and tribal cultures as you head towards Papua that mesmerise and leave you enchanted with the area.
Top tip: Spend at least a week at sea and reach Papau – take pencils, notebooks and wooden toys for any children in your party.
Nico Heath – Co-founder and Director chooses Zambia
Tell me more: One of Africa’s best kept secrets, Zambia is home to some of the continent’s best National Parks, walking safaris and fishing. The wild and remote nature of the Parks, which are serviced by small and intimate camps with an extremely high quality of guiding, allows you the very best insight into this raw, vast and unspoilt country. With intense concentrations of game there’s a surprising diversity of wildlife to be seen on safari. Spot big game in the Lower Zambezi, leopards in the South Luangwa and benefit from unrivalled access to the iconic Victoria Falls. When it comes to getting away from the crowds and truly feeling the soul of the bush, Zambia is the perfect African destination for those looking to have an authentic safari experience.
Top tip: For an unique experience of feeling like a true explorer that’s not to be missed, camp out and fall asleep under Africa’s stars for an adventurous addition to any safari.
Simon Cameron – Founder and Managing Director chooses Costa Rica
Tell me more: This tropical paradise is a mecca for nature lovers and those who want to experience the rainforest, cloud forest and remote wild beaches of either the Caribbean or Pacific coasts. The southern rainforest properties like Lapa Rios are wild. Set amid the biodiverse rainforest, this sustainable eco lodge provides a first-hand jungle experience in complete comfort. No matter who you are, Costa Rica cannot fail to charm, astonish and beguile. From the thrills of white-water rafting to photographing exotic birds, Costa Rica gives an experience deep in nature, yet high on indulgence, where the real luxury is in living and breathing the raw beauty of this majestic country.
Top tip: Typically, the best time of year to visit Costa Rica is between December and April when the weather is drier and brighter. If you’re looking for fewer crowds and excellent wildlife spotting opportunities, then opt for the summer months.
Camille d’Harambure – Head of Private Clients chooses Greece
Tell me more: Greece ticks all the boxes for family travel in the European summer months with guaranteed sunshine. The food is always incredible and the scenery breathtaking. The holiday becomes even easier if you pick the right property and somewhere like Sani Villas for families is a luxury resort in a way that makes travel seamless for young families – with holiday clubs and endless activities to choose from. Private villas are also plentiful for those looking for a bolthole or somewhere to base themselves while exploring the surrounding area.
Top tip: Greece’s many rugged islands have an indescribable allure, each with their own charm. Experience their beauty with a personalised island-hopping itinerary. Not only does it make for an adventure unlike any other but the freedom that comes with sailing to secluded coves and stopping to watch the sunset wherever you please, has to be one for the bucket list.
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 Gemma Chase at firstname.lastname@example.org quoting The Fry Group.