Recent research shows that on average, we will take approx. 120 holidays during our lifetime with Brits spending more than £168,000! It’s quite shocking to realise that we will take this many holidays during our lives isn’t it? With that in mind, we decided to take a look at some of those holidays that provide an ultimate experience instead of the usual sun, sea and sand! Check out our Top 5 below and we’d love to know if you’ve been on any holidays where you have encountered one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences:
Watching the sun set over Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The Far East has always been a popular holiday destination with many hitting the tourist hotspots of Bangkok, Hong Kong and Beijing but sometimes it’s worth venturing a little further for that ultimate holiday experience. Pack a rucksack and
head out to World Heritage Site, Luang Prabang, located at the point where the River Nam Khan meets the mighty Mekong River. Enjoy a scenic drive to the Kuang Si Waterfalls where you’ll learn about the traditional culture of Laos. Take a dip in the many turquoise pools, visit a Bear Rescue Centre and maybe take lunch beside the cascading waterfalls – how idyllic? Take time out to visit bustling open-air markets in Vientiane, explore the Ancient Quarter in Hanoi, head to Halong Bay and enjoy a boat cruise through the mighty limestone peaks and see the amazing Cu Chi Temples in Saigon. The highlight of any holiday in the Far East is a visit to stunning Angkor Wat – an exotic temple complex that has become a symbol of Cambodia. It is advised that you begin your tour by entering the complex via the principal entrance, by doing this you will truly get an idea of the sheer size of this mystical masterpiece – all we can say is make sure you have some good walking shoes with you! Once you have been around the entire complex, find a suitable spot beside one of the temples and watch as the sun sets – an experience you’ll never forget!
The Inca Trail, Peru
Visit one of the most spiritual, if not inspiring, places in the world with a holiday to Peru where the highlight is a visit to
Macchu Picchu – a site that was originally missed by Spanish conquerors and left to be swallowed up by the jungle before American archaeologist Hiram Bingham rediscovered it in 1911! Your first stop will be an orientation tour of Lima, the ‘City Of Kings’ where you can visit the Plaza Mayor, Government Palace, Cathedral and the 17th Century church of San Francisco. Check out the pre-Incan pyramid of Huaca Huallamarca or relax in the Park of Love in upmarket Miraflores. Take in the ancient sights of Cusco including the ornate Temple Of The Sun and the Baths of the Inca at Tambomachay, not forgetting the stunning Sacayhuamán – a pre-Incan fort in the shape of the sacred puma! The highlight of this ultimate holiday experience is your visit to Macchu Picchu where you’ll travel deep into the jungle above the Urubamba Valley to explore the many temples, parks, sanctuaries and houses of this remarkable Incan ruin. A visit to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, is the perfect ending to an unforgettable experience!
Marvel at the Northern Lights
Magical holiday moments don’t come any better than marvelling nature’s most amazing natural light show – the Northern Lights! The Abisko National Park is known locally as one of the best locations to see the Northern Lights
because of its clear, dry air and virtually cloud-free sky. Grab some warm clothes before joining a 20-minute chairlift ride to the Aurora Sky Station where you’ll take your spot to witness this spectacular light phenomenon. The perfect end to your holiday would be spending a night or two in the world-famous Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi. Every year, this hotel is completely rebuilt where guests can spend one night in a ‘snow room’ and one night in a ‘warm room’. In the ‘snow room’ you’ll spend the night on a bed of ice – don’t worry you’ll be in sleeping bags on top of reindeer fur so you’ll be nice and warm throughout your stay here! Why not try your hand at ice-sculpting and perhaps take a night-time husky sled-ride across sparkling snow through a variety of forests – you never know you may even catch another glimpse of the spectacular Aurora Borealis!
Watching Polar Bears in Canada
This is quite possibly another one of those amazing experiences that everyone should encounter at least once during
their lives! From Winnipeg take an internal flight to the far north of Manitoba where you’ll stay in the remote town of Churchill, located on the southern shores of Hudson Bay. You’ll certainly be in the wilderness on this fabulous break to Canada as an expert naturalist guide joins you to discuss what you’ll be experiencing throughout your stay. Every autumn, polar bears gather together along the west shore of Hudson Bay as they wait for the Bay to freeze so they can step out onto the frozen sea in search of seals. Climb aboard a Tundra Buggy as you travel into the freezing wilderness where nothing will prepare you for your first sighting of polar bears! Watch them play with one another and if you’re lucky, some will even come alongside the Buggy so you’ll get right up close to them!
Tread in the footsteps of Darwin
This in itself is a wonderful holiday experience especially if wildlife is your passion! This tour also allows you to take in the delights of South America with visits to Quito where you can explore Otavalo, one of the most important markets
of the Otavaleno Indians before travelling to Pakakuna Gardens, located approx. 8,000ft above sea level. Your next stop is the mighty Amazon Rainforest where you can join various jungle trails and guided walks to spot a variety of birds and other fascinating wildlife including a visit to the magnificent Butterfly Farm. The highlight will be following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and visiting the Galapagos Islands, a ‘living laboratory’ that’s home to a variety of species. Head to South Plazas where you’ll find incredible fauna, sea lions, iguanas, frigate birds, pelicans and the famous blue-footed boobies. No trip to these magnificent islands would be complete without seeing the famous giant tortoise that has become a symbol of Galapagos!