“Nasty, brutish and short” is how some might feel about the day-to-day – but it doesn’t have to be like that.
We’ve picked some of the world’s best trips to fuel your travel fantasies and tickle those itchy feet. See you on the next flight out…
Trek over glaciers in Patagonia
Go trekking on one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Patagonia with Ultimate Expeditions. This six-day tour takes in some of South America’s most spectacular landscape and incorporates trail walking and ice-trekking. Those with an adventurous spirit can circumnavigate turquoise lakes, gawp at ice-blue glaciers and explore Mount Fitz Roy, the formidable mountain which sits on the border with Chile and Argentina. The trip ends with a visit to an ice bar where whisky is served on freshly-chopped glacier ice: not for the faint-hearted.
Safari and sand dunes in Namibia
Prepare for some seriously jaw-dropping scenery in this magnificent southern African country on a tour with Expert Africa. Explore Sossusvlei – home to the giant terracotta sand dunes and Tim Burton-style dead trees – and visit sea lion colonies on foot or by kayak on Namibia’s coast. Then head to the safari lands of Etosha in the north to find wildlife such as elephants, cheetahs, lions and rhino. Enjoy local cuisine (seared oryx fillet, anyone?) before drifting off to the chirrup of insects in one of the spectacularly remote safari camps.
Explore New Zealand in style
If you’re time poor but cash rich, this New Zealand in a Week tour by Artisans of Leisure is the perfect choice. The private tour aims to capture the highlights in the land of the long white cloud – and it doesn’t scrimp on the finer things. It takes in buzzy Auckland, restorative Rotorua and Lake Taupo on the North Island, and Queenstown and Milford Sound on the South Island. As well as staying in some of New Zealand’s finest hotels, guests can visit locations made famous by the Lord of the Rings film franchise, take a private helicopter ride over Milford Sound, enjoy a private lake cruise and participate in a host of activities from bungee jumping to fly fishing.
Take a sunset ride over the Grand Canyon
Long a bucket list favourite – and for good reason – the Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most spectacular natural phenomenons, and it celebrates its 100th birthday this year. On this sunset tour, guests will be collected from selected Las Vegas hotels in limousines before boarding a chopper to take in sights including the Hoover Dam, Lake Mead and Mojave Desert. Enjoy a champagne toast and light snack and marvel at the setting sun hitting the red, pink and orange rocks before returning to the bright lights of Sin City.
World-class beaches and ancient sites in Sri Lanka and the Maldives
This 15-day trip with Responsible Travel is the perfect combination for those after history, culture and beach. The first part of this tailor-made tour takes place in Sri Lanka, where guests can experience a dawn ascent of the rock fortress of Sigiriya before heading to the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa for a guided tour of its historic temples and statues. A jeep safari through Minneriya National Park offers an excellent opportunity to observe elephants, leopards, monkeys and sloth bears in their natural habitat, while the second city of Kandy has plenty to offer for those with a thirst for culture. The latter half of the trip involves nothing more taxing lazing on white, soft sands of the Maldives before snorkelling in the aquamarine waters with fish, sea turtles and reef sharks.
Walk China’s Great Wall
As one of the world’s seven wonders, China’s Great Wall is a spectacular feat of human endeavour. On this nine-day tour, visitors will trek the Great Wall at Jinshanling before exploring the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square in Beijing proper, as well as visiting the Terracotta Army in Xi’an. There are also options to visit the Shanghai Tower, go on a sidecar tour and even attend the Chinese Grand Prix. It’s a great introduction to the history and culture of this incredible country.
Chase the Aurora Borealis in Lapland
Trek through Arctic forests in search of the world’s most famous light show on this three or four day tour. In addition to gazing skywards, you can also travel by reindeer sleigh, mush your own team of husky dogs and ride along frozen rivers on snowmobiles. Warm up with a hot toddy or two in a traditional log cabin for an unforgettable experience.
Take a grand tour of India
Cox & Kings’ eight-day Classic India tour includes some of India’s most famous landmarks, including the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and a full-day tour of Jaipur’s Pink City. Extensions to the trip are also available and include destinations such as Amritsar, Goa and Shimla.
See New York City solo
Want to swallow the Big Apple solo? On this five-day trip to the city that never sleeps, a local guide will escort you around some of New York’s best bits including the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Grand Central Station and the High Line. Then take in the city from above from the top of the Empire State Building before strolling around Greenwich Village on a food-themed tour.
Discover a different side to the land down under
Leave behind the hordes of the east coast and head to South Australia to discover a less-travelled side to this epic country. On this eight-day South Australia Discovery tour with Emirates Holidays, travellers spend two nights in the regional capital of Adelaide before heading into the outback for a tour of Flinders Ranges National Park. In the evening, guests can take a scenic flight over staggering Wilpena Pound, a natural amphitheatre of mountains, before watching the sun sink into the red mountain range. Also on the itinerary is the culinary scene of Clare Valley, home to one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, before a wine-tasting tour of the area’s best wineries. Sip Australia’s world-famous riesling followed by a gourmet lunch in the rolling vineyards.