The year 2021 was a rollercoaster ride for many reasons, the first being the second wave of Covid-19 that led to the re-imposition of restrictions. Consequently, the ban on international and inter-state travel also proved equally vexing. As a result, people faced problems whenever they planned to go on trips to reach distant loved ones or attend social events abroad.
Just when we thought that we had come towards the end of the pandemic, the outbreak of the Omicron variant has raised a lot of concern worldwide. Therefore, a thought that has troubled us is that maybe we would not be able to arrange a get-together the same way we used to for a long time.
But with increased efforts towards ensuring health protocols through booster shots and maintaining covid hygiene, the Governments of respective countries are trying their best to combat the present situation. The Australian government, for instance, have started to facilitate international travel along with ensuring mandatory vaccination before any trips.
Be it cabin fever, getting a change of air, or simply travelling because you have not gone out somewhere with your family for quite some time, the reasons for taking a trip are plenty. But choosing the perfect spot or place is tough when you have so many options like the lush mountains of Portugal, a cruise in the Galápagos, an exotic hotel in Thailand.
Mentioned below are a few ideas that are sure to narrow down some of the key places you might want to visit with your friends or family.
Volcano-facing Villa in Madeira
Spend some downtime amidst nature, simultaneously taking advantage of fine dining. If you are the kind of person, who likes to get away from the hustle-bustle of city life, then we have the perfect spot for you: the volcanic island of Madeira, a remnant of Portugal’s colonial empire off the northwest coast of Africa.
Although it might look like a secluded island, cut off from the rest of the civilisation, we assure you that it is nothing of the sort. There are connecting and direct flights from the major airports at Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
The picturesque island is filled with an intricate system of historic irrigation channels dredged and terraced into the rocky mountain faces. You can go on a hiking trip along these mountains and treat yourself to waterfalls and canyons.
When you are done basking in nature’s embrace, you can enjoy the intricately prepared dinners at The Wanderer. The ingredients are locally produced and include an assortment of edible flowers and seaweed to pair with locally farmed and fished proteins. One of the food highlights is that the course discovery menu keeps changing constantly. Hence the diner is always up for a pleasant surprise.
Take a beach break at Costalegre, Mexico.
There is nothing like playing along the seashores while feeling the breeze in your face or helping your kids make sandcastles. Costalegre means happy place, and we bet that you will end up saying the same after going there. The longest beach stretches 93 miles along the Pacific ocean; If you get tired of the 93-mile beach, there are 43 more beaches, capes, and bays secluded from the mass tourism of nearby Puerto Vallarta for you to explore.
In the 1960s, a former banker from Italy, Gian Franco Brignone, established the first resort in Costalegre called Costa Careyes on a 20,000-acre nature reserve. Since then, it has been a popular attraction for many celebrities such as Madonna and Matisse.
A fantastic addition to the region is the new Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo, launching this March. The resort will carry forward the legacy by earmarking 98% of its 3,000 acres for an eco-reserve. Whereas the remaining beachfront land will have 157 rooms and suites, most of them would be facing the Pacific or the jungle, apart from miles of hiking trails and a traditional sauna.
Coffee pilgrimage to Pereira, Columbia
What comes to your mind when anyone says Columbia? If you say coffee, that is true, but there is more to it. The country has a diverse landscape and culturally rich heritage reflected through art, music, theatre, and food.
Pereira, for instance, is a coffee-growing mountainous city that is a gateway to all sorts of adventures. But, mainly, it is a paradise for trekkers, as it provides an opportunity to hike among the world’s tallest palm trees, raft down rivers, horseback ride through the rainforest; all of these have been favourites among the adventurers and helped to increase the area’s appeal.
You can stay at Hacienda Bambusa, a working cattle and cacao farm owned by the family of Juan Pablo Montoya, the country’s most famous Formula one driver. The farm has eight spacious rooms with a veranda and a large hammock. From the deck of the farm’s tree-shaded pool, you might be able to spot some of the region’s 1000 plus bird species.
Furthermore, the nearby towns are equally enthralling; for instance, Salento is famous for its multicoloured homes, whereas Filandia has quiet plazas and charming colonial buildings where you can spend your evenings.
Cruise in Alaska
Want to gift your family an extravagant and fully private family trip? Then you can take them to the 12-passenger Kruzof Explorer, a Bering Sea crab boat that the Alaska Native-owned Alaskan Dream Cruises have turned into an expedition vessel.
The cruise is facilitated with kayaks and paddleboats to take to the pristine waters of Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve or Misty Fjords National Monument. Although renting out the whole ship is pricey, there is no better and more intimate way to see the Last Frontier state.
Experience Galapagos never like before
If you feel a little adventurous and want to explore wildlife, then visiting the Galapagos Islands is a must. But there is a little bit of twist here.
You can plan a luxurious journey by opting for Silversea Cruises Ltd.’s 100-passenger, all-suite Silver Origin, the most deluxe ship to sail the archipelago. What’s more, is that you can enjoy the stargazing platform on its top deck and 24-hour room service that includes complimentary champagne and caviar.
Romantic getaway to Amalfi Coast
It has been a while since you took your partner out on a date or romantic trip. Hence, it is about time to make up for the lost chances and celebrate your relationship.
And, what is the best way to do that? Plan a trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast, which has some of the most scenic cliffs, picturesque villages, and iconic hotels, including —Il San Pietro di Positano, Hotel Santa Caterina, and Le Sirenuse.
The opening of Borgo Santandrea in the fishing town of Conca de Marina is noteworthy with its elevator access to a private beach and 45 rooms and suites that showcase handmade Italian ceramics.