Japan offers travellers serenity. Photo: Lightfoot Travel
Japan offers travellers serenity. Photo: Lightfoot Travel

From Mongolia to Oman, 6 trips of a lifetime that travellers will love

Take your pick from calm in a crazy world, wildlife and nature, adventure or mystical culture

Topic |   Luxury travel

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Japan offers travellers serenity. Photo: Lightfoot Travel
Japan offers travellers serenity. Photo: Lightfoot Travel

Whether you’re looking for some TLC or for the adventure of a lifetime, here’s a round up some of the top travel destinations. From peace-filled retreats to far-flung trips of a lifetime, there is something for everyone.

For calm in a crazy world

Amanemu, Japan

Photo: Amanemu
Photo: Amanemu
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Get away from Japan’s conventional tourist trail with a stay at Amanemu. This stunning Aman property showcases all of the hotel group’s impeccable hospitality, but has shunned a big city location for Ise-Shima National Park, a three-hour train journey from Kyoto. The hotel prides itself on its simplicity and slow pace so it is ideal for those searching for calm in a crazy world. There’s an outdoor infinity pool, sunken terraces with fires for stargazing and cocktails, a library, and bicycles for exploring the area. There is also a serene spa, outdoor hot spring onsen baths, an airy yoga studio, a watsu water therapy pool and four treatment rooms with forest views.

For wildlife and nature

The Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada

Autumn colours in British Columbia. Photo: Deddeda Stemler
Autumn colours in British Columbia. Photo: Deddeda Stemler

Being a wilderness area, travelling in British Columbia, Canada isn’t particularly easy and it can be expensive, but if you’re looking for a special escape with a side order of self-satisfaction this will tick all the boxes. Travel in early September to visit the Great Bear Rainforest where you can kayak with the resident orca, watch black bears, grizzly bears and spirit bears feeding on salmon before their hibernation, and go on whale watching safaris. It’s safe for females, there are no language barriers and endless guided tours are available. The memories and sense of achievement on your return will be mind-blowing.

For some serious Zen

Koh Samui, Thailand

Kamalaya in Koh Samui
Kamalaya in Koh Samui

Show yourself some TLC with a stay at Kamalaya in Koh Samui. Whether you’re stressed out or just want to stretch out, you will find the perfect wellness programme thanks to a schedule that is tailored to your needs and over 40 wellness experts on tap. Built on the site of a Buddhist monk’s cave, there is a serene vibe and the hillside setting reconnects you with nature. Rooms are airy and rustic with big outdoor bathtubs and fabulous beds. Two restaurants serve healthy food and there are swimming pools, plunge pools, an infrared sauna and a fitness centre.

For unbeatable adventure

Mongolia 

The Orkhon Valley in Mongolia. Photo: iStock/Getty
The Orkhon Valley in Mongolia. Photo: iStock/Getty

If you and your friends are looking for an escape, a trek through Mongolia will be tricky to top. Traverse snowcapped peaks and high mountain passes in Tavan Bogd National Park in Mongolia’s far western Altai region, pass deep gorges and shimmering alpine lakes, hike through green grassy steppes dotted with Buddhist temples, and explore pristine forests. Witness the nomadic Tuvan people, stay at a traditional homestay and help local families to milk their animals and collect wood and water. Learn how to make Mongolian food and hear about eagles first hand from the Eagle Hunters. In between the hikes, enjoy stints on horseback.

For some mystical culture (and an amazing pool)

The Chedi, Oman

The Chedi’s long pool
The Chedi’s long pool

Historical, exotic, raw and geologically stunning, Oman is a fascinating destination with huge amounts on offer. Female travellers should head to Muscat with its dazzling souks filled with ceramics and jewellery, delicious seafood and the corniche, which sparkles as the sun sets. The place to stay is The Chedi, which is stylish, sprawling, and a winner for those travelling solo who like a feeling of space of freedom. Home to the Middle East’s longest pool, simply choose one of the surrounding daybeds, grab a good book and prepare for peace.

For a life-changing expedition

Svalbard, Norway 

Spitsbergen. Photo: Rinie van Meurs
Spitsbergen. Photo: Rinie van Meurs

Svalbard is an archipelago of extremes. It remains in darkness for three months during the winter when temperatures can drop to minus 20 degrees Celsius; the main island of Spitsbergen is home to the most northerly settlement on the planet – Longyearbyen; where there are more polar bears than people. The summer months of June and July turn up the heat to 7 degrees and the land transforms into a flower-filled tundra with Arctic foxes and reindeer. However, if it’s a holiday including the northern lights, husky-sledding and snowmobiling that you are after, visit in the winter. Many cruise ships can be found in the area and you can take long tours or short trips to get a taste of the Arctic.

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