Beyond the Ordinary

From venturing into untouched corners of the Earth to stepping back in time to bygone eras, we’ve curated a collection of remarkable journeys for the intrepid explorer. For those who crave something beyond the mundane, these unparalleled experiences await.

Embrace the call for adventure and set your sights on unique destinations that defy the ordinary. While popular places may be drawing crowds, there’s a world of exciting experiences awaiting those seeking the less travelled roads, from niche festivals to exhilarating polar expeditions. So, pack your bags, embrace the spirit of exploration and set off to discover some of the most intriguing corners of the world.

FESTIVALS

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Experience the enchanting beauty of Thailand’s Yi Peng Lantern Festival, celebrated annually on the full moon of the twelfth lunar month. You need to head to the northern city of Chiang Mai, where thousands of paper lanterns are released into the night sky, creating a mesmerising spectacle of light and colour. As the lanterns drift upwards, carrying wishes and prayers for the future, immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere filled with traditional music, dance performances and delicious street food. It’s a truly magical experience that will leave you in awe of Thailand’s rich cultural customs.

Buñol, Spain

Spain, with its diverse cuisine, culture and rich history, is a captivating destination for travellers. If you’re planning to immerse yourself in the heritage of this joyful country, don’t miss out on experiencing one of its most unique festivals. Prepare to plunge into a sea of red as you partake in one of the world’s most famous food fights. Taking place annually on the last Wednesday of August in the town of Buñol, near Valencia, La Tomatina is a tomato-throwing festival like no other. Join thousands of fellow festivalgoers from across the globe as you gleefully hurl ripe tomatoes at each other amidst pulsating music, lively dancing and an atmosphere of pure exhilaration. It’s a messy, chaotic and utterly unforgettable experience that embodies the spirit of fun and camaraderie.

POLAR EXPEDITIONS

Svalbard, Norway

An unforgettable North Pole expedition awaits at the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, located in the Arctic Ocean. This pristine wilderness boasts majestic mountains, icy fjords and vast glaciers. But what truly sets Svalbard apart is its enchanting display of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights), best observed from late September to early April, when the Arctic nights are at their darkest. Amidst sightings of polar bears, reindeer and Arctic foxes, prepare to be captivated by the enthralling dance of the Northern Lights illuminating the night sky. Whether hiking across glaciers or kayaking among icebergs, Svalbard offers an unparalleled adventure.

Antarctica

Venture to the southernmost continent on Earth for the ultimate polar expedition in Antarctica. June heralds the onset of winter, bringing shorter days and colder temperatures. Yet, it’s a prime time to witness stunning ice formations and the enchanting Southern Lights, with their distinctive pink hue contrasting with the traditional blue of the Northern Lights. Amidst this icy wonderland, encounter remarkable wildlife like penguins, seals and whales in their natural habitat. Set sail from Ushuaia, Argentina, boarding an expedition ship and cruise across the Drake Passage to explore pristine wilderness. Whether you’re exploring ice-covered landscapes, visiting research stations or kayaking among icebergs, Antarctica offers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will leave you spellbound.

TRAIN JOURNEYS

The Rocky Mountaineer, Canada

Embark on a luxurious train journey through the spectacular scenery of the Canadian Rockies aboard the Rocky Mountaineer. Departing from Vancouver or Calgary, this iconic railway takes you on a breathtaking adventure among some of the most stunning landscapes in North America. Wind your way through towering mountain peaks, lush forests, and glacier-fed rivers as you travel across British Columbia and Alberta. Choose from a range of routes, including the classic First Passage to the West, Journey through the Clouds and Rainforest to Gold Rush. With its glass-domed carriages providing uninterrupted vistas, gourmet cuisine crafted with local Canadian ingredients and attentive service, this train ride ensures a journey of opulence complemented by nature’s splendour.

The Glacier Express, Switzerland

Hop on the Glacier Express for a scenic journey via the heart of the Swiss Alps. Known as the slowest express train in the world, this iconic rail tour takes you on a leisurely ride from Zermatt to St. Moritz, passing by some of Switzerland’s most stunning landscapes. Marvel at snow-capped peaks, deep gorges and picturesque valleys as you traverse through mountain passes, viaducts and tunnels with panoramic windows offering uninterrupted views. Indulge in gourmet cuisine served in the dining car and enjoy informative commentary about the regions you’re passing. Upgrade to Excellence Class for luxurious amenities and exclusive service. Sip on selected drinks, nibble on Swiss chocolates and capture unforgettable moments of the trip.

ARCHAEOLOGY WONDERS

Petra, Jordan

Step back in time and explore the ancient city of Petra, nestled among the rugged desert canyons of southern Jordan. Carved into pink sandstone cliffs over 2,000 years ago by the Nabataeans, Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most extraordinary archaeological sites in the Middle East. Wander through the narrow siq, a natural rock fissure that leads to the iconic Treasury building, before uncovering the temples, tombs and dwellings that dot the sprawling archaeological complex. Head over to Wadi Rum for a guided tour and indulge in luxury glamping, where stylish tents, gourmet dining and thrilling adventures await under the starry desert sky. You’re sure to feel like Indiana Jones with this ultimate desert experience.

Giza, Egypt

Go on an odyssey into time to discover one of the world’s most iconic sites, the Great Pyramids of Giza. Located on the outskirts of Cairo, these ancient wonders stand as a testament to the ingenuity and architectural prowess of the ancient Egyptians. Marvel at the towering pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, which have stood for over 4,500 years, as well as the enigmatic Sphinx guarding the plateau. Delve into the mysteries of early Egypt as you study burial chambers, temples and tombs, gaining insight into the beliefs and customs of this ancient civilisation. With its awe-inspiring monuments and rich history, the Great Pyramids of Giza offers an unforgettable archaeological voyage.

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