Those with an appetite for adventure in the coming year may like to consider the following luxury travel destinations, all of which are supported by elite travel agencies with bespoke itineraries, to ensure a thoroughly memorable 2016 trip.
The Republic of Georgia in Central Asia was one of the first places to produce wine, and is now home to an astounding 500 grape varietals, with the Kakheti near the Caucasus Mountains being the principal wine-producing region. The capital city, Tbilisi, was founded in the 5th century and has a rich history dating from the medieval ages through to the Soviet regime and beyond. With stunning mountain scenery and a reputation for superb powder snow, Georgia is set to become a must-see destination for history enthusiasts and oenophiles.
With the recent rapprochement in relations between the US and Cuba, many advise that the time is ripe to visit before the bygone charms of the Caribbean island are lost to modernisation. Many of Havana's old, brightly coloured buildings have been lovingly restored to boutique hotels, however the cobbled streets are still home to vintage cars, live music and gregarious locals smoking cigars.
With its rich culture, stunning scenery, delicious food, and high level of service, Japan has a varied offering for travellers with a wide range of interests. Traditional Japanese guesthouses, known as ryokan, offer an authentic experience and many have privileged access to indulgent hot springs (onsen). There are also the striking wisteria gardens at Kawachi Fuji in Fukuoka, which are only open to the public during the blooming season from late April to early May, and in the autumn when the maple leaves change colour.
4. The Arctic
Expeditions to the frozen tundra of the Arctic usually embark from northern Norway. Luxurious ships take passengers through the icy, remote landscape, which offers excellent opportunities to spot wildlife like polar bears, reindeer and sometimes, the mysterious arctic fox. Some cruise vessels also sail to eastern Greenland and then on to the north coast of Iceland.
The ancient Inca citadel of Machu Picchu is a much-loved destination for adventurers, but recently Peru has gained widespread acclaim for its cuisine. The capital, Lima, is home to no less than three eateries on the prestigious World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Dinner at the renowned Huaca Pucllana overlooks the ruins of a pre-Inca pyramid that dates back 1,500 years.
With late 2015 marking the anniversary of the hit film 'Out of Africa', Kenya is experiencing a safari renaissance. Famed wildlife reserves like the Masai Mara, Lewa Downs and Tsavo offer accommodations with elegant camping and fine dining, where comfortable modern facilities give way to open spaces with sweeping views. Most resorts offer game drives, guided walks and horseback riding.
It’s no secret that Australia boasts extraordinary landscapes and lifestyle. Its cultural and culinary ratings have soared, making it a sought-after luxury travel destination. With its bustling cosmopolitan cities, world heritage sites like the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru National Park, fine wines and idyllic climate, Australia cannot fail to impress.
If your location search extends from holidays to luxury property, contact Engel & Völkers. Our experienced agents are perfectly placed to guide you through your search and find the right investment for you.