We all have one: A bucket list. Of places that we always wanted to visit but never found the time for. Of exhilarating experiences that we always wanted to try but keep putting off. Of holidays we dream of whilst stuck in the office or the car on a rainy day. The story we imagine ourselves living – and recounting numerous times around the dinner table to family and friends.
Now that the world has started to travel again, there is no better time to plan that special holiday; that break from everyday life and the immersion in unspoiled surroundings, the meaning of which has increased tenfold since we’ve been stuck at home for the best part of two years.
If you need some inspiration for your once-in-a-lifetime experience, this is for you!
Diving with Crocodiles in TulumFor a total immersion in nature, there is no better choice than a stay in the protected biosphere of Sian Ka’an in Tulum. Away from the crowds and ideal for spending some time off the grid, the location offers plenty of fantastic experiences. It is home to the second-largest coral reef in the world, more than 20 archaeological sites of the Mayan civilization, and a host of different animal species to admire, from jaguars to black iguanas. For those looking for an extra thrill, there is the possibility of night-diving and snorkelling with crocodiles in the cenotes – spectacular freshwater cave pools!
The four-bedroom Villa Destiny is the ideal place to stay, offering a private beach and a roof terrace with stunning views, perfect for exchanging stories of the day’s adventures over an evening drink.
Whale Watching in Cape TownSouth Africa is a paradise for nature and animal lovers. but if you have already seen “The Big 5” – or if marine wildlife is more up your alley – then Cape Town and its surrounding area is the perfect choice. Walker Bay, in particular, is a nature reserve with a coastline stretching for miles, which offers arguably the best land-based whale watching in the world. The nearby town of Gansbaai is the destination for the spine-tingling experience of cage diving with sharks – the area is called Shark Alley. Should that be a little too extreme, Dyer Island in the same bay hosts a colony of African penguins.
To enjoy this abundance of sea life – and stay on-theme – Villa Sea Lion in Cape Town is a convenient and luxurious base. It offers four bedrooms, magnificent ocean views, and a wine cellar stocked with local wines - another South African treasure not to be missed!
Firefly Dinner in RayongImagine a traditional Thai houseboat slowly making its way through the mangrove forest in the soft evening light; enjoying a delicious dinner on board and suddenly – in the darkness – being surrounded by thousands of small, glowing fireflies! An experience unique to the area, the firefly dinner is just one of the many attractions of Thailand, together with its beautiful beaches, spectacular temples, lively floating markets, romantic ancient ruins, and – most importantly – the warm and welcoming atmosphere.
For living all of this at its best, we suggest The Resort Villa in Rayong, a magnificent, uber-luxurious eight-bedroom private property with all the benefits of a resort including a staff of over 70 members, direct beach access, and a sophisticated spa.
Zip Lining in the Sabie River ValleyThe word “exhilarating” doesn’t quite cover it… Launching off a 55-meter-high platform and flying across a zip line at 90 km per hour, over the lush Sabie River Valley in South Africa is not an experience for the faint-hearted! The adrenaline rush and the spectacular scenery are definitely worthy of a bucket list tick-off! If that’s a little too extreme, the area has lots of other memorable experiences available, from hot air ballooning to quad-biking to white-water rafting or tubing on the river – a must for would-be adventurers.
To taste all of this, together with a full immersion in the Kruger National Park area, the perfect accommodation is Makanyi Private Game Lodge, a nine-bedroom luxury property, perfect for a large family or group of friends
Swimming in the Croatian WaterfallsThe waters of Croatia are not only beautiful on the coast but also inland. Several natural parks in the country are home to spectacular waterfalls, some with huge natural pools where visitors can cool down with a refreshing dip in the summer months. Croatia is a great destination for adventure seekers, offering everything from kayaking trips to cave exploration, and excursions to the wild and untamed archipelago of Kornat, an unspoiled cluster of inhabited islands, bringing to mind the rugged world of Robinson Crusoe!
For more traditional – and comfortable – accommodation, the six-bedroom Villa Mila near Split is the perfect place to sunbathe, lounge around the pool, and recharge after all the day’s adventures.