Looking for ideas for your next holiday? The Lightfoot Travel team gives us the heads-up on new destinations, hot places to stay and unforgettable things to do on holiday this year.
Places to go
This used to be a tricky destination to visit, but thanks to new reforms it’s no longer the case. Come here to marvel at 14th-century mausoleums, mosques and madrasas in every shade of blue possible, alongside brightly coloured tapestries. Also, after a three-year ban, social media is now permitted so happy snappers can post endless ceramic tiles, Soviet-style architecture and starry skies for all to see.
The wilderness and natural landscapes of this Australian island make it this year’s go-to for travellers who like getting active. The wild coastlines, untamed forests, mountains, gorges and wildlife parks are all ripe for exploration. Add some culture by heading to the capital Hobart for its thriving art scene – including the impressive Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) – delicious cuisine and shopping.
Hike the peaks and valleys. Discover ancient Buddhist monasteries. And learn about local life in the remote northern Indian region of Ladakh. No visit here is complete without a search for the elusive snow leopard. Spend your days on a trail with an expert tracker looking for paw prints in the snow and scent marks on rocks.
Places to stay
Raffles Hotel, Singapore
So highly anticipated is the re-opening of the legendary Raffles Singapore that they’ve already started taking bookings for August 2019 onwards. We hear that the striking architecture, heritage and graceful service will remain (along with the fabulous Long Bar and iconic afternoon tea), but new bars, courtyards and social areas will add to the glamour.
The Nautilus, Maldives
Switch off your Wi-Fi, kick off your shoes, practice your best horizontal position and prepare for paradise at The Nautilus. Located in the Baa Atoll, it’s opening its doors early this year and offers beach and ocean houses with separate living rooms, private pools and butlers known as “House Captains”. We love the restaurants that offer “unscripted dining” so guests can simply dictate what they’d like to eat.
The Datai, Langkawi
After a 12-month renovation, The Datai re-opens for business in 2019. Making its beachfront location, landscaped garden and gorgeous swimming pool even more alluring, the interiors have been overhauled for a modern look with a soothing vibe. Child-friendly menus make dining with kids easy, and the refurbed Beach Club and Beach Bar are the ideal setting for larger get-togethers.
Things you need to do
Hot-air ballon over Bali
You may be familiar with Bali’s beautiful beaches and turquoise waters. But have you considered looking down on this stunning island from the sky? From June to November this year, the Chedi Club Bali will take guests 50 metres above the property so you can soak up the landscape from a different perspective. Flights at the Ubud-based resort take place at dusk and dawn
Ride with Gauchos in Patagonia
Fulfil your cowboy/cowgirl fantasies with a trip to the Andes to learn how to become a gaucho. At Estancia Huechahue, you can spend the day working cattle with the gauchos and mastering the art of wielding a lasso. You can also ride out with them across the landscape to discover the land they call home.
Fly by Microlight over The Victoria Falls
Belt up and focus on the views on a flight over Victoria Falls. Your microlight pilot will whisk you over “the smoke that thunders” along the Zambezi River. And by the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. For a closer inspection, brave the mighty waters yourself with a dip in the Devil’s Pool, a natural swimming pool that forms at the lip of the Falls during the dry season.
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This article first appeared in the February/March 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.