Diamond Circle: Get off the Beaten Track in Northern Iceland

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Iceland; the country on everyone’s lips. But after you’ve climbed inside Þríhnúkagigur, snorkelled the Silfra Fissure and traversed the Golden Circle – what comes next? To answer that question, we’re looking north to the second city of Akureyri, the untouched wilderness of Myvatn and the, as yet undiscovered, Diamond Circle. Outside the realms of the tourist tracks of south Iceland, the north is a step back in time to Iceland as it once was – raw and unknown. To really appreciate the difference though, start off seeing on the Golden Circle (after all, it’s still spectacular), before heading north to hidden hot waterfalls, caves of the silver-screen and a dash of nature yoga. Grjótagjá, Gjástykki and Þeistareykir; they may not be known now, so get there before they are.

The Classic

Touching down, your trip starts in the trendsetting capital of Reykjavik with a stay at the chic Hotel Alda, just off Laugavegur. Spend the evening getting to know the bars and restaurants that lie just a short stroll away before getting a sense for Southern Iceland the next day. In the morning, jump in your private super jeep for the day as you head east to the Golden Circle. A route carved between Iceland’s most iconic sights, there is no better introduction to this spellbinding country as you curve through the ethereal beauty of Þingvellir National Park and onto the geothermal power of Geysir and the thunder of Gullfoss. Head back to Hotel Alda in the evening for one last night before heading north to Iceland’s true wilderness early tomorrow.

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Alaska & Hawaii: An Ice & Fire Adventure

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One of the greatest joys of travelling through the United States is the variety of landscapes you encounter along the way – and the pace at which they change. We’ve travelled from north to south and east to west to take in each and every state but one journey we can’t get enough of is that across the outliers of Alaska and Hawaii. Think Alaska – and the mind conjures up images of sweeping landscapes where people are few and far between. Then – consider Hawaii and tropical hues seep in to give everything the iridescent glow of island life. Think of the two together and you have a contrast which defies explanation. So much so, it can only really be experienced. Spend twelve nights between these two naturally beautiful states as you discover hole up in remote luxury in the wilds of Alaska before watching the sunrise from atop a volcano and snorkelling through hidden lava caves in Hawaii.

Into the Wild

After a quick overnight in Anchorage on arrival, it’s straight out into the wilderness as you pull up in the small town of Talkeetna to board a helicopter to your home for the next three nights. Tucked deep within the Alaska Range at a towering 6,000ft above sea level and ensconced amid peaks and glaciers, Sheldon Chalet is as unique as it comes. Home to just five suites, each with a view that you’ll never tire of, spend the next three days alongside like-minded travellers as you discover the majesty of Denali. Whether trekking across a glacier, rappelling down a rock face or trekking into the historic mountain house – no day here is the same as another and with a helicopter on permanent standby, Denali truly is at your fingertips.

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Kuala Lumpur to Pangkor Laut: Off the Beaten Track in Malaysia

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If you thought there was little more to Malaysia than the pearlescent beaches of Langkawi and the bashful orangutans of Borneo, this ten-day trip will have you thinking again. Peninsular Malaysia is a fascinating destination where history, culture and food combine to create something just as colourful as the landscapes that surround them. Filled with intel from our South East Asia experts, this trip promises to get you under the skin of the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur before taking to the mystical Cameron Highlands to cool down. Through the jungles of Belum and onto the shores of Pangkor Laut, prepare to see what caught our eye in Malaysia.

New Cuisines in Kuala Lumpur

Begin your journey in the metropolis that is Kuala Lumpur, staying at the luxurious Mandarin Oriental. Sitting next to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, staying here means you’re right in the heart of the action. With your own personal guide on hand, explore the old and new charms of this vibrant city. From towering skyscrapers, colonial builds and traditional mosques and temples; get a feel of what makes this city tick. Kuala Lumpur also boasts some incredible food stalls open – many staying open until the wee hours of the morning. Don’t know your char kuey teow from your mee goreng, your roti canai from your roti bom? We’ll send you out with an expert guide to get to grip with all the best delicacies.

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Nizwa, Wahiba & Muscat: Discover Arabia’s Gem in Oman

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The Sultanate of Oman is a sure-fire contender for any ‘off the beaten track’ award, and for that reason, we just had to share this Arabian gem with you. An eight-night whistle-stop tour of Oman’s northeastern region is sure to leave you yearning for more as you witness the spectacular sand dunes of Sharqiya, try mouth-watering Omani cuisine in a Nizwa souk and experience total cultural immersion in the coastal town of Sur. Spend your nights in enchanting Bedouin camps, hilltop hideaways and luxurious beach-side abodes as you fall for Arabia’s gem.

History & Culture in Nizwa

Hit the ground running as you leave the bustling city of Muscat behind and make your way to the historic inland town of Nizwa. Enjoy the mesmerising landscapes that have enriched Omani life for thousands of years. The small verdant town of Fanja is a particular highlight for us, with its rich history and wild wadis whilst the town of Jabrin is home to one of the most impressive forts in Oman and is your last cultural pit stop before arriving at the Sahab Hotel; the ideal spot from which to watch mesmerising sunsets and sunrises.

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Sri Lanka: A Luxury Holiday on the South Coast

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From epic palm covered beaches to legendary tea estates, historical fortress towns and spectacular National Parks, Sri Lanka has it all. For a taste of the best that this country has to offer, embark on this seven-night Sri Lankan safari adventure through and take in tea plantations reflected in the shimmer of Koggala Lake, the stealthy prowl of a leopard through Yala National Park and the dip of the sunset over Galle’s fortified walls.

Welcome to Sri Lanka

As soon as you touch down in Colombo, you’ll take a trip inland, uphill and back in time to the intimate suites of Kahanda Kanda. Sitting on a twelve-acre working tea estate, overlooking an endless green vista of rolling tea-carpeted hills this boutique hotel makes for an idyllic start to your trip. The blossoming gardens, iridescent infinity pool and massage pavilion add a little bit of luxury in these remote surroundings. Spend some time learning about the journey from leaf to cup before exploring the area on foot. Immerse yourself in the nearby cultural hotspots before checking out some of the tempting beaches that lie just a few miles away.

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Cape Town, Klein Karoo & the Eastern Cape: A South African Adventure

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If you’re looking for a trip that’s jam-packed with adventure and intrepid discovery, look no further than the beautiful and wild South Africa. On this daring eight-night trip, you’ll experience the best that this fascinating country has to offer; from rugged coastlines, awe-inspiring wildlife and hair-raising activities peppered across the landscapes. So pack a bag and dive straight on into this South African adventure.

The Edge of Africa

For a truly South African experience, we’ll start you off in Cape Town, the city where stunning scenery meets vibrant culture. From the airport, we’ll whisk you off to your cliffside abode for the next three nights – Tintswalo Atlantic. Teetering on the edge of Chapman’s Peak and overlooking the azure waters of Hout Bay, you’ll be in prime location to explore the wonders of Cape Town and its surrounding natural bounty.

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Mpumalanga, Sabi Sands & The Drakensberg: Take it to the Mountains in South Africa

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Here’s a trip that will make you feel like you’re on top of the world, quite literally, as you leave the Cape behind and head into the Mountains of South Africa. Soak in almighty views of jaw-dropping scenery and expansive plains on this 12-night trip of epic proportions. A whirlwind luxury tour of all that we love about this country; expect scenic wonder, wildlife that roams free – and need we mention the abundance of gourmet cuisine? We didn’t think so.

Wild Mpumalanga

Touch down in Johannesburg and you’ll be transferred to Mpumalanga for two nights to get yourself in sync with the natural surrounds and African spirit as you take in truly astounding rose-coloured sunsets set against the silhouettes of the surrounding hills and listen out for monkeys in the trees above. For the next two days, the area is yours to explore. As the climate is generally cooler, it’s the perfect place to get out and discover the rich culture and geographical diversity of Mpumalanga on horseback, or if you’re feeling energetic take a hike through the forests where you’ll stumble upon waterfalls perfect for a much needed cool down.

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Cape Town, The Winelands & KwaZulu-Natal: Untamed South Africa

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One of our favourite destinations, we thought it was about time we put together our very own highlights reel of South Africa; all with a signature Black Tomato twist. Naturally, you’ll begin your ultimate South African adventure in style at the Royal Malewane, situated on a private game reserve adjacent to the Kruger National Park. This luxurious hotel offers personalised game drives, so you can choose exactly which of your favourite animals you want to be searching for. For a more intimate experience, explore on foot with a guide and come eye to eye with an elusive leopard or the awe-inspiring elephant. We told you this was no ordinary safari. Continuing on through Johannesburg, you’ll jump on the Blue Train down to Cape Town before hitting the Winelands and ending up amid the untouched lands of KwaZulu-Natal, this is South Africa in its wildest glory.

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Petra, Wadi Rum & the Dead Sea: Modern Luxury in Jordan

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A pocket of timeless mystery, Jordan sits seemingly immune from the touch of the world around it, all the while propelling a culture that is aeons ahead of the game. Here, hotels run on solar power, organic and locally sourced cuisine comes as standard and the approach to wellness is not to be sniffed at either. Jordan’s ability to seamlessly blend ancient realms with impeccable modernity has us hooked. Freshly back from our latest discovery, we’re sure it will leave you similarly infatuated as you forge your own path through this land of luxury and surprise yourself with all that contemporary Jordan has to offer. Spend six nights learning to live as modern Jordanian’s do in the cookery schools and craft beer breweries of Aman before seeing the country’s traditional side in Petra and Wadi Rum. Dusted off with a soak in the Dead Sea, you’ll come back glowing.

AMMAN’S CONTEMPORARY KICKS

Hit the tarmac in Amman and you’ll instantly feel the heat and buzz that comes with a thriving capital city. Let our private guide introduce you to all that present-day Amman has to offer, like cosmopolitan Rainbow Street where stylish crowds and fledgeling hipsters enjoy a spectrum of boutiques, cafés and cocktail bars. And don’t forget to try the innovative food offerings—go for contemporary organic dishes at Wild Jordan and help support Jordan’s nature reserves, or craft your own four-course feast at Beit Sitti’s family-run cooking school, one of the city’s immersive dining concepts. Still going strong? Sit back with a few cocktails before dancing the night away at Cube Lounge, before bedding down in the luxurious Fairmont Amman.

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Tokyo, Kyoto & Naoshima: Unique Customs & Timeless Traditions

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Sitting high on so many bucket lists, Japan is a country ripe for discovery. We’ve come for the fast-paced nature of its futuristic cities in the past but, today, it’s all about the slow, mesmeric rhythms of its ancient rituals. Filled with samurai swords and sumo stables, ancient tea ceremonies and glimpses of geishas, put the clock in rewind as you seemingly travel back in time to embrace some of Japan’s most intriguing customs and oldest traditions. Gaining unbeatable insight into Japanese culture, you’ll come out of this 12-night itinerary with an appreciation for this country strong enough to last a lifetime.

DRAWING SWORDS

Having spent a day acclimatising to the energy of Tokyo, you’ll begin your education in Japanese culture with the former curator of the British Museums’ Japanese sword collection at your side. That’s an impressive background, right? And you’ll be even more impressed when he begins teaching you all about the history of the Samurai and effectively opens the door into this mysterious world. With your guide by your side, Tokyo’s famous Japanese Sword Museum will feel that much more accessible and digestible. You’ll leave having learnt plenty, and you’ll be raring to go for the next part of this trip as you gain insight on another traditional aspect of Japanese culture.

SUMO STABLES

Next on your Tokyo itinerary is a visit to one of Tokyo’s Sumo stables where you’ll watch the professionals in their morning training sessions. Once the sessions are complete, spend time chatting to the wrestlers for a rare insight into the life of a Sumo. You’ll be accompanied throughout by one of the world’s top Sumo wrestling experts and also bag some incredible seats at one of the main ‘Grand Sumo’ tournaments. Having dipped into the traditional sporting world of Japan, use the remainder of your time in Tokyo with your private driver to visit temples and try local cuisine.

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