Five wild holidays for adventurers
From high-altitude luxury in Oman to wildlife filming in the Cairngorms. Jasper Spires reports on five of the best holidays for adventurers
The highest luxury hotel in the Middle East
“For those who enjoy adrenaline coursing through their veins on holiday, the Middle East’s highest luxury hotel has just built an extreme activity wall on the canyon below it,” says Lisa Grainger in The Times.
Towering over the deserts of northern Oman, the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort is both a monument of opulent adventure and the cornerstone of an adrenaline-fuelled getaway you won’t soon forget.
The resort offers a range of activities to enjoy. “Daredevils can zip-line 1,000 metres above the canyon floor, climb rocks using steel cables and then cross the Middle East’s highest steel bridge,” while leisurely visitors can enjoy relaxing rose-oil spa treatments, yoga classes on the hotel’s exquisite campus, and star-gazing on lush desert nights.
Rooms range from those with delightful views of the arid landscape to poolside villas, with prices starting from £307 a night. See anantara.com
Roam like a Bedouin in Israel
“What the Negev never had until now was a really spectacular place to stay. That’s been neatly solved by Six Senses, which opened Six Senses Shaharut here last August”, says Maria Shollenbarger in the Financial Times. “Prepare to be dazzled.”
Lying low in the Negev desert, in Israel’s “deep south”, the 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, organic everything), a sprawling spa with indoor pool, low-slung villas with white-on-cream-on-meringue interiors and plunge pools giving onto those Holy Land views.”
Sprawling in every direction are the mesmeric expanses of the wadis (valleys), local date farms and kibbutzim that once pioneered ancient agricultural methods, and an open, sunlit blue sky. Rooms start at $750 a night. See sixsenses.com
Adventure in New Zealand
Ultimate Alpine Escape, voted one of the world’s best luxury lodges, is set on the shores of Lake Wakatipu amid the rugged, snow-capped peaks of New Zealand’s Southern Alps. Here, on Blanket Bay, “relaxation and adventure meet luxury accommodation, unparalleled service and five-star facilities”, says Christine Gray in Luxury Travel Magazine.
Whether you’re seeking “adrenalin-pumping action” or respite, the Southern Lakes offer alpine activities in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. From hiking the sublime natural landscape in pristine quiet, river jetting into Mount Aspiring National Park, or flinging yourself off the world’s first commercial bungee jump, Blanket Bay will turbo-charge your time away.
Between each exciting exploit, the hotel’s main lodge serves as a base camp with its gorgeous rooms and suites. Each is designed with sumptuous wooden furnishings and breathtaking views of nearby Lake Wakatipu. From £955. See blanketbay.com
A rustic retreat in Croatia
For a short stay at one of Croatia’s hidden mountain treasures, the stone villa at the Kameni Dvori family farm is the perfect forest getaway, say Nazia Parveen and Rachel Dixon in The Guardian. Sleeping 11 people, it is available for exclusive rental in the summer, although rooms can be rented out until the end of April.
Situated in the cypress groves outside Dubrovnik, this rustic abode has plenty to offer in the way of entertainment. Aside from enjoying the atmosphere, exposed stone walls, wooden beams and ancient fireplaces, there is, following a restoration of the property, a swimming pool outside a former barn, a games area 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 neighbouring forest to find a lookout point with views of the Adriatic”.
Guests can sample the homeowners’ homemade wines and take a cooking class. Double rooms start from €68 a night. See holiday-village-konavle.com
A course for would-be wildlife film-makers 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 the Cairngorms National Park is perfect for those looking to get up close and personal with some of Britain’s wildest landscapes and creatures.
Participants camp in pop-up canvas hides, from where they seek to “catch on camera red squirrels, woodland birds, ospreys and dolphins while covering a range of techniques, including macro, time-lapse and long-lens filming”. It is open to budding nature enthusiasts and videographers of all skill levels, and provides lessons in camera and filming techniques for a wide range of equipment, including specialist camera traps and small drones.
Guests can expect six nights’ stay in a highland lodge and all meals to be provided for £1,695, as well as priceless wildlife photography tutelage from film-maker Neil Aldridge. See wildlifeworldwide.com