Where? Saint Lucia, Caribbean
With the most enviable natural beauty of the Caribbean, Saint Lucia is a picture-perfect paradise. From the imposing twin Piton peaks in the south, to the lush tropical interior rainforest, extending down to the honey and rich dark sandy beaches, secluded coves and picturesque harbours, these surroundings were made to inspire you. Exploring is a must but leisurely is the speed, as the hilly terrain means road travel is best enjoyed at a gentle pace. The Atlantic Ocean rims Saint Lucia’s eastern shore, while the Caribbean Sea lines the west coast, which offers the calmest surf and the finest beaches.
Where? The Daintree Rainforest, Australia
A jewel in the Queensland crown, the Daintree Rainforest is the oldest living rainforest on Earth. And neighbouring the Great Barrier Reef, it is the only place in the world where two World Heritage-listed sites meet. Consisting of around 900,000 hectares of tropical rainforest, eucalypt forest, wetlands and mangroves, the region plays home to an abundance of wildlife and diverse vegetation including a third of Australia's mammal species, a quarter of its frogs, a third of Australia’s freshwater fish and nearly half of the country’s birds. It has been the home of the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people for over 40,000 years. The coastal rainforest people live in total dependence and harmony with nature and their environment. The Daintree Rainforest is home to many sacred sites, bush foods and medicines upon which Kuku Yalanji people rely for ceremony and survival.
Where? St. Pete/Clearwater, USA
Located on a sun-drenched peninsula on Florida's west coast, bordered by the Gulf of Mexico to the west and Tampa Bay to the east, St. Pete/Clearwater boasts 35 miles of award-winning beaches, sparkling blue waters and exotic nature trails. There are numerous opportunities to spot the area’s flourishing wildlife, including dolphins, manatees, herons and ospreys. The area also offers an average of 361 days of sunshine a year and 26 unique neighbourhoods bursting with authentic European culture, high-quality Gulf-fresh seafood, eclectic art and intriguing local history. In 2015, both St Pete and Clearwater beaches were named in the TripAdvisor Awards' Top 10 USA Beaches.
Where? Mauritius, Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean island's white beaches are protected by a coral reef barrier that encircles almost all of the coastline, with the exception of the southern end, where it falls away and where wilder waters and dramatic cliffs can be observed. From the northern plains, the land rises to a central plateau dotted by lakes and extinct volcanic craters. The Black River Gorges National Park (pictured) is a must-visit, with its 300 plant species, stunning waterfalls and beautiful views. Mauritius also boasts a huge diversity of adventure and fun activities within its lush landscapes, such as trekking, eco-tourism, diving water sports, horse riding , under sea walk, diving, nature trails, zip lining to name but a few.
Where? Loblolly Bay, British Virgin Islands
Stunning Loblolly Bay on Anegada Island boasts miles of secluded, unspoiled sand lined with hammocks and sun shelters. The remote island of Anegada has 37km of untouched, uninterrupted white sand beach. It stands as a flat coral atoll - the highest point is only 8.5m above sea level, hence earning its nickname, The Drowned Island. The island boasts the best bonefishing in the world and also shelters several rare species of flora and fauna, such as the endangered Anegada rock iguana. In fact, Anegada is home to more wildlife than humans - there are less than 200 residents.
Where? Lake Wanaka, New Zealand
In the beautiful South Island lakeside town of Wanaka, The Te Kahu Lodge sits within 50 acres of tussock and natural bush on the edge of Lake Wanaka. The timber clad four-bedroom lodge is a contemporary gem complete with a collection of fine New Zealand art, its own helipad and clay bird shooting range as well as state-of-the-art dining room and kitchen, a media room and separate lounge and floor to ceiling sliding doors leading out onto spectacular outside areas. Everything from skydiving to trout fishing and kayaking can be arranged.
Where? Sumba, Indonesia
Sumba is a beautiful island located southeast of Bali and undiscovered by mass tourism. On a sweeping bay facing the Indian Ocean, you will find the intimate, island retreat of Nihiwatu, home to just 21 villas that are set amid hundreds of acres of surrounding land to ensure total seclusion. The Nihi Oka Spa Safari concept is a full day experience ideal for couples which takes you on a trek across Sumba’s dramatic west coast to the secluded nearby Nihi Oka valley where you can enjoy any number of spa treatments with uninterrupted views of the sea and cascading rice paddy fields. Ampersand Travel offers holidays at Nihiwatu.
Where? Canyonlands National Park, USA
The breathtaking Canyonlands is the largest national park in Utah with a diversity that staggers the imagination. Visitors are treated to wave after wave of deep canyons, towering mesas, pinnacles, cliffs and spires stretching across 527 square miles. Formed by the currents and tributaries of Utah's Green and Colorado rivers, Canyonlands offers many different travel experiences, from moderate hikes through the Needles district to opportunities to create your own version of one of America's most photographed landforms, Mesa Arch.
Where? Isle of Eriska, Scotland
This 300-acre private island, located 20 minutes from the wonderful coastal town of Oban and two hours north of Glasgow, boasts stunning views across the sea, with the Isle of Lismore in the distance. There are countless nature trails and beautiful untouched beaches perfect for long strolls taking in the cleanest of sea air and the breathtaking scenery of the Scottish Highlands. The Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa & Island is a haven of tranquility with a Michelin-starred restaurant and a luxury spa. There are wild otters, seals and even red deer living on the island.
Where? Krakal, Indonesia
The tiny island of Krakal is a true paradise surrounded by white sands and crystal clear waters, located 30 minutes by speedboat from Kura Kura Resort. The island has two cottages which serve as a bedroom with en-suite bathroom, and a living room. There is no kitchen or electricity on the island so the Kura Kura resort provide a gourmet picnic for dinner and an ice box full of your choice of drinks. Krakal provides the perfect setting for a desert island adventure. Bamboo Travel offers holidays to Krakal.
Where? Lizard Island, Australia
Located at the north of the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island has 24 white sand beaches and a number of secluded accommodation options including private villas, suites and pavilions. The ultra-luxury resort is so exclusive that every guest can have their own private beach for the day and enjoy private beach picnics and helicopter tours over the reef. The Cod Hole, one of the area’s world-famous dive sites, is just a short boat ride away.
Where? Yukon, Canada
Situated in the upper Northwest corner of Canada, next to Alaska, the Yukon is the country's most accessible northern destination and with scenic drives into all corners, it’s a driver’s dream. The territory boasts a network of highways that rank among the world’s premier driving adventures including the legendary Alaska, Top of the World, Klondike and Dempster highways. Yukon also has an exhilarating combination of postcard scenery, heritage sites and cultural attractions and just beyond the dashboard are inviting towns, campgrounds and countless adventures.
This is a land of friendly characters, midnight sun and breathtaking scenery. It is one of North America’s major wilderness attractions, with 5,000-metre peaks, forested valleys, unspoiled waters and untamed wildlife.
Where? Fiesole, Italy
Set within the sloping hills of Fiesole, yet only moments from the city of Florence, this refurbished Renaissance villa comprises 45 rooms and suites all individually designed to incorporate the preservation of original and unique features, including 19th century frescoes, huge marble fireplaces and ancient mosaics. Il Salviatino’s luxurious gardens provide a unique setting for lovers of Tuscany with spectacular views.
Where? Tresco, Isles of Scilly
This beautiful island located just 30 miles off the Cornish coast boasts unspoilt sandy beaches, clear azure waters, exotic gardens and world-class accommodation. A safe, peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of modern life with a small and welcoming community, Tresco is dedicated to creating an exceptional holiday experience for its visitors. Measuring just two and half miles long and a mile wide, it is one of the five inhabited islands which, together with 200 or so islands, islets and rocks, form the Isles of Scilly.