Five crazy vacations for adventurers
The tallest luxury hotel in the Middle East
“For those who love adrenaline rushing through their veins while on vacation, the tallest luxury hotel in the Middle East has just built a wall of extreme activity on the canyon below,” Lisa Grainger tells The Times. .
Towering over the deserts of northern Oman, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort is both a monument to opulent adventure and the cornerstone of an adrenaline-filled getaway you won’t soon forget.
The resort offers a range of activities to enjoy. “Daredevils can zipline 1,000 meters above the canyon floor, scale rocks using steel cables, and then cross the tallest steel bridge in the Middle East,” while leisurely visitors can enjoy relaxing rose oil spa treatments, yoga classes on the hotel’s exquisite campus, and stargazing on lush desert nights.
Rooms range from those with great views of the arid landscape to poolside villas, with prices starting at £307 a night. See anantara.com
Wander like a Bedouin in Israel
“What the Negev had never had until now was a truly spectacular place to stay. This was perfectly solved by Six Senses, which opened Six Senses Shaharut here last August,” says Maria Shollenbarger in the Financial Times. “Prepare to be dazzled.”
Located in the Negev desert, in the “deep south” of Israel, Six Senses Shaharut offers guests a unique chance to experience the natural beauty of the landscape once roamed exclusively by Bedouin tribes. “It has just about everything to recommend it: killer food (light, locally sourced, all organic), a sprawling spa with indoor pool, low-rise villas with white-on-cream-on-meringue interiors, and plunge pools overlooking on those Views of the Holy Land.
Spreading out in all directions stretch the hypnotic expanses of wadis (valleys), local date farms and kibbutzim which once pioneered ancient farming methods and open sunny blue skies. Rooms start at $750 a night. See sixsenses.com
Adventure in New Zealand
Ultimate Alpine Escape, voted one of the best luxury lodges in the world, is located on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, amidst the rugged, snow-capped peaks of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Here at Blanket Bay, “relaxation and adventure meet luxury accommodation, unparalleled service and five-star facilities,” says Christine Gray in Luxury Travel Magazine.
Whether you’re looking for “adrenaline-pumping action” or a respite, the Southern Lakes offer alpine pursuits in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Whether hiking through sublime natural scenery in pristine calm, diving in Mount Aspiring National Park, or taking on the world’s first commercial bungee jump, Blanket Bay will speed up your time. .
Between each thrilling feat, the hotel’s main lodge serves as a base camp with its magnificent rooms and suites. Each is designed with sumptuous wooden furnishings and boasts stunning views of nearby Lake Wakatipu. From £955. See blanketbay.com
A rustic retreat in Croatia
For a short stay in one of Croatia‘s hidden mountain treasures, the stone villa on the family farm Kameni Dvori is the perfect forest getaway, say Nazia Parveen and Rachel Dixon in The Guardian. Accommodating 11 people, it is available for exclusive rental in the summer, although rooms can be rented until the end of April.
Set in the cypress groves outside of Dubrovnik, this rustic abode has plenty to offer when it comes to entertainment. As well as enjoying the atmosphere, exposed stone walls, wooden beams and old fireplaces, there is, following a restoration of the property, a swimming pool outside an old barn, a playground games with football, badminton and darts, and a dining terrace equipped with a barbecue. Bike rental is also an option, for those who want to “explore the nearby forest to find a lookout point with a view of the Adriatic”.
You can taste the owners’ house wines and take a cooking class. Double rooms are from €68 per night. See holiday-village-konavle.com
A course for future wildlife filmmakers in Scotland
“Channel your inner Attenborough with a videography workshop in the Eastern Highlands,” says Jacob Lewis on iNews. Wildlife Worldwide’s five-night nature documentary course in Cairngorms National Park is perfect for those looking to get up close to some of Britain’s wildest scenery and creatures.
Participants camp in pop-up canvas hides, from where they seek to “catch red squirrels, woodland birds, ospreys and dolphins on camera while covering a range of techniques including macro , time-lapse and long-lens shooting”. It’s open to budding nature enthusiasts and videographers of all skill levels, and offers lessons in camera and filming techniques for a wide range of equipment, including specialized trail cameras and small drones.
Guests can expect a six-night stay at a highland lodge and all meals for £1,695, plus invaluable wildlife photography tutelage from filmmaker Neil Aldridge. See www.wildlifeworldwide.com