With the cold nights closing in, it makes sense that we're all turning our attention to planning holidays for next year. Many of us are now looking for more than just a fly-and-flop getaway, opting to incorporate real adventure into our great escapes – enter the top 10 luxury travel experiences 2020.
Virtuoso’s selection of inspired experiences will have even the most seasoned traveller reaching for their passport.
See: These are the destinations for a luxury winter sun holiday
The 2020 Virtuoso Luxe Report, an annual survey of the global luxury travel network’s 20,000 travel advisors around the world, highlights insights and observations for travel in the year ahead. It has also revealed the most unusual and exciting getaways for next year.
Virtuoso's top 10 luxury travel experiences 2020 are:
1. Surf Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach
Whether a pro or first-timer, this is a bucket-list life experience. Bondi is just outside the city centre and extremely popular with locals and visitors alike. Serious surfers hang out at the southern end of the beach, while novices occupy the northern stretch, where waves are often smaller.
2. Head to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics
Japan continues to trend in 2020, finding itself on two Luxe Report lists for global and emerging destinations. Beyond the Games, which runs from 24th July to 9th August, travellers will be enamoured with Japan’s gorgeous scenery, dynamic cities, culinary delights and cultural heritage.
3. Witness the great migration in Tanzania and Kenya
In one of nature's most incredible spectacles, millions of zebras, wildebeest and antelope traverse the landscape in search of food and water while attempting to elude predators such as lions and crocodiles.
4. Live like a local in Italy
Italy is one of the Luxe Report’s top global destination of 2020. As authenticity is one of the year’s top trends, travellers can immerse themselves in the lifestyle of this beloved country. Rent a villa. Find a favourite espresso or wine bar. Learn the language. Master the cuisine... or just savour it.
5. Support the Bahamas
After the devastating impact of Hurricane Dorian, which severely damaged Grand Bahama and Abaco islands in September, head to the Bahamas for a luxury escape with heart. Tourism comprises 60 percent of the nation’s economy and revenues from visitors boost recovery efforts. Virtuoso’s nine resorts escaped with little to no damage; they are open and receiving guests.
6. Fly around the world in a private jet
Touch down at legendary destinations such as Easter Island, Petra, Jordan and the Taj Mahal. Country-hop in style on a specially outfitted jet while relaxing comfortably in a leather seat, with attentive on-board crew assisting with every need. Bypass commercial airports while avoiding jetlag … what could be better?
7.Sail through the Panama Canal
A once-in-a-lifetime experience, this century-old engineering marvel is even more impressive up close on a full transit cruise, where the ship sails though the canal. It takes a day to traverse the 50 miles of locks as the ship makes its way from ocean to ocean.
8. Explore the landscape of Antarctica
This vast and awe-inspiring continent was voted the top adventure destination in the 2020 Luxe Report, proving that cold-weather spots are hot, as travellers seek out destinations with unspoiled scenic beauty. You can kayak with humpback whales, watch penguins in their natural habitat and even take a dip in the frigid waters.
9. Enjoy the slow-down trend of the year: rail travel
The majesty of the Canadian Rockies unfolds before passengers with a train journey aboard the incomparable Rocky Mountaineer. Gaze at panoramic surroundings through the glass-dome coaches, savour local cuisine, and learn about natural and historic sites along the way through the stories of expert hosts.
10. Venture to an uninhabited island in Tonga
Looking for the ultimate unplugged escape? This Polynesian kingdom is comprised of 140 islands without residents as well as a wonderfully temperate climate and tropical scenery. You can soak up the sun on a private beach, snorkel in crystal-clear waters and explore jungles – all in blissful solitude.
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Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.
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