When you have been spending all year working hard to afford a holiday that’s a little bit special, it’s unlikely that you will want to waste all of the limited time at your disposal during your break stuck in your hotel. True luxury is in many ways all about having new and exciting experiences, so here are just nine of our favourite adventurous – but also still opulent – holiday experiences.
- Going ‘flightseeing’ by helicopter
All of the usual trappings of a great luxury holiday – fast cars, casino gambling and fine wine, among others – can quickly feel passé compared to clambering into a helicopter and surveying the magnificent views that your chosen destination has to offer.
Great places to take a helicopter tour include the Canadian mountain town of Banff, which is bordered on all sides by the majestic Rockies, or the French Riviera better known as the Côte d’Azur. There is certainly no shortage of great helicopter ‘flightseeing’ specialists around the world, with one of our favourites being Era Helicopters, which offers amazing tours of Alaska’s incredible natural beauty.
- Teeing off on a stunning backdrop
Speaking of helicopters, any golf course that can only be reached by this mode of transport may sound promising to you already. The course to which we refer is Queenstown Golf Club in New Zealand, which is regarded as one of the most picturesque – if extreme – golf courses on the planet.
The course is a monumental 1,370 metres up New Zealand’s Southern Alps, overlooking Queenstown. It’s certainly a course where you should receive extra kudos for achieving a hole in one, given all of the breathtaking scenery to potentially distract you.
- Embarking on a cruise
Cruise holidays have long had a major following among more discerning travellers, partly because even the lowest-priced cruise packages frequently offer generous opulence, but also on account of the opportunity that they give the holidaymaker to discover a wide range of appealing destinations in quick succession.
One operator that has caught our eye as of late, Imagine Cruising, serves a broad assortment of locales including the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and so many more.
- Taking a hot air balloon flight
The notion of taking to the air in a hot air balloon on your next luxury holiday is almost unbearably romantic, and yet, it’s also one of the more exhilarating experiences that any human being can have.
Nor has the world exactly deficient in naturally stunning landscapes to survey via such a leisurely mode of transport, such as the south of France’s glorious countryside, or the lush, green and rolling Yarra Valley in Australia. The latter is home to creative artist studios, craft stores and passionate food and wine producers, and it’s the sun-drenched vineyards that you are likely to particularly notice as you journey by balloon across the Valley’s gently undulating emerald landscape.
- Living it up on a yacht
Conspicuous wealth surely has no greater symbol than the yacht – whether or not you own one is almost the measure by which you are judged to be successful or not, at least in the eyes of the super-rich.
While actual yacht ownership may be beyond the financial means of everyone but the elite, there is no shortage of yacht charter specialists out there willing to give you a taste of that rock-and-roll lifestyle. Burgess, for instance, offers charter services for both motor yachts and sailing yachts, encompassing an impressive range of destinations including the western Mediterranean, Caribbean and South East Asia.
- Staying on your own island
The thought of being ‘marooned’ on your own island may be a delightful one to you, as long as you aren’t quite literally cut off from the outside world.
The opulent Jumeirah Dehvanafushi resort offers just such an experience on its secluded stretch of the southern Maldives, with special villas having been constructed off a boardwalk to give the impression that your room hangs out over the sapphire sea.
- Sampling world-beating fine wines
Wine has always been synonymous with luxury – whether on holiday or not – and it’s difficult to think of a better part of the world in which to develop or reinforce your wine-buff credentials than the south of France.
You’ll find many of the world’s best wine vintages here across literally hundreds of prestigious vineyards, so you won’t lack for options as far as luxury wine tours and tasting experiences are concerned. Whether you are a complete wine novice or a seasoned aficionado seeking some especially rare bottles for the cellar, you will be more than ably served.
- Having a flutter in Monte Carlo
We may now be in the era of online casinos, but in many ways, it is still only the brick-and-mortar casino experience that truly deserves to be called “luxurious”. Gambling really doesn’t become any more distinguished or prestigious than the gambling that takes place in one of the world’s richest independent principalities, Monaco.
If only the best will do, don your finest tux or LBD and make your entrance at the most celebrated Monte Carlo casino of all, the eponymous Casino de Monte Carlo. You may lose your shirt, but it’s also possible that your indulgence will result in some big winnings to fund new luxury travel experiences for a long time to come. Visit during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend for the most complete experience of all.
- Renting a serious set of wheels
Watching some of the world’s most expensive and rarefied wheeled machinery hurtle past you around the principality may just whet your appetite for getting behind the wheel yourself.
Wherever you are in the world – perhaps one of the ‘glamour capitals’ like London or Paris, or near one of the legendary remote driving roads such as the Conor Pass in Ireland or the “Big Sur” stretch of Highway 1 in California – you will probably find rental agencies not too far away that are willing to give you access to some of the most desirable automobiles in existence. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin or a different marque altogether – the choice is very much yours.
When you take luxury seriously, it is often the case that nothing but the very best will do – and many of the above experiences certainly qualify as being among “the very best”.