At the end every year we love to take a look back at some of the amazing trips we've planned for our clients, and this year there have been some absolute stonkers. We're talking intrepid honeymoons, adventurous sabbaticals, secret beach breaks, fun-filled family getaways, cultural escapades and much, much more. We've sent people to over 100 countries so far this year (104, to be precise) and here are just a few of our favourites...
Honeymooning in LA, French Polynesia and Chile
The honeymoon with a little bit of everything - we sent one intrepid couple to LA, French Polynesia and Chile. Our honeymooners spent their first couple of days amongst the glitz, glamour and cosmopolitan buzz of Los Angeles before heading to the beautiful and rugged island of Moorea in French Polynesia, home to soaring mountains, tumbling waterfalls and forrested cliffs, for some serious relaxation. And then on to Chile for a spot of adventure, including trekking the untouched parks of the Lake District and horse riding through the iconic landscapes of Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia.
A Recce Tour to Iran
This time last year we were extremely excited about the prospect of being able to send people to Iran again after the FCO updated its advice. And it has positively flown off the shelves in 2016. Little wonder given the country's irresistible conflation of culture, craft and history. Earlier this year our very own Amelia Stewart led a group recce tour to explore some of the lesser travelled spots, including the holy Imam Reza shrine in Mashad and the mystical Kaluts (wind eroded mountains) of the Lut Desert.
An Alternative Safari in Tanzania and Rwanda
Think safari, think wide open plains of the Serengeti or Masai Mara, right? Well, not always. In September we sent some clients to the little known wildlife hotspot of Katavi National Park in western Tanzania, one of the best places in the world for seeing wild chimpanzees. These sadly endangered creatures live on the steep mountainsides of the Mahale Mountains, overlooking beautiful Lake Tanganyika. From here our clients headed to Rwanda for a chance to glimpse another of our planet's most captivating but endangered species, gorillas. While this trip is not for the faint-hearted (the trekking can be intense), the reward of seeing these majestic animals in the wild is priceless.
Wilderness and City Slicking in Iceland and New York
Serious adventure meets serious city escape in this deeply cool combo of Iceland and New York. Iceland is all about raw nature and our clients spent five days exploring volcanoes, glaciers, geysers and waterfalls in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, the 'Golden Circle' and along the southern coastline. They say opposites attract and New York provided the perfect counterpoint to such a large dose of the Great Outdoors. It's impossible to get bored in the so-called city that never sleeps with so much to explore, from museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim to taking in a Broadway show and visiting iconic spots like the Empire State Building.
A Family Sabbatical to Vietnam and Indonesia
We've planned some great family holidays to Asia this year but this itinerary combining Vietnam with Indonesia is the pick of the bunch. Starting in the bustling, chaotic and historic city of Hanoi in north east Vietnam, this family made their way down towards Ho Chi Minh taking in the towering limestone islands of Halong Bay, the wonderful melting pot of architecture in Hoi An (from wooden Chinese shophouses to colourful French colonial buildings) and the floating markets of the Mekong Delta. There was more culture, history and scenery to be had in Indonesia with our clients exploring local villages by traditional horse and cart, visiting the likes of the Borobudur temple complex and touring Mount Bromo at sunrise. The holiday's swansong was six days of total relaxation at the beautiful island resort of Nihiwatu.