Nearing the year-end is the moment to update your bucket list of travel destinations.
For those with the heart of an explorer who yearns for prime adventure with prime luxuries, we dedicate this treasure chest of bold ideas to end the year with a bang or to add to next year’s wanderlust wishes.
#1 Get up close to prowling tigers in Ranthambore
Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, India, has been dubbed a haven to encounter wild tigers that roam the dry deciduous, dry thorn forest of the Tiger Reserve. Well renowned for its Royal Bengal Tigers, the fierce felines are openly on the prowl and reportedly no longer camera shy, allowing you to close proximity within safety limits. On a safari drive to the reserve, expect to see Mughal ruins, palaces and cenotaphs that silently lie of the ancient hills and forests, as well as abundant wildlife that roam about. In the winter, bird-watchers will delight in the thousands of birds that migrate from Europe and Siberia.
#2 Dining on a private sandbank in Baros, Maldives
If owning and relaxing on your own private island has not yet been made a reality, this might be the next best thing—sandbanks! Sandbanks are a deposit of sand forming a shallow area in the sea or a river, creating a sort of tiny ‘island’. In Maldives, there are countless sandbanks for you to enjoy, but some resorts take up their sandbank service one notch further for some luxury pampering. Sandbank Dining at Baros, for instance, sets up a secluded sandbank for your exclusive use, along with a discreet chef and steward on hand for your every whim for an exquisite culinary experience.
#3 Diamond diving in Port Nolloth
What better place to get your next diamonds than during a luxe holiday in South Africa, one of the leading producers of diamonds in the world. Cape Town-based diamond manufacturer Benguela is one of the first, and still the only, to offer a luxurious adventure of a lifetime, a diamond safari. This once-in-a-lifetime exclusive experience is the perfect experience to be part of the diamond mining-and-crafting process. This is your ultimate chance to come across diamonds that are indeed 100% genuine, top quality, certified, confict-free, and are acquired without an expensive and complicated intermediary, meaning the best valued diamonds to add to your collection.
#4 Sleep in a glass igloo in Kakslauttanen
The Finnish Lapland is the ultimate place to go in the winter, and Kakslauttanen in the Saariselkä Fell region is renowned as one of the best places for watching the Northern Lights. Try a stay at some unique and eye-catching dwellings at Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. The crystal-clear glass igloos give an unobstructed view of the starry sky, while the Kelo-Glass igloos is a hybrid structure of a cozy log chalet and glass igloos. Families may opt for the Log Chalets, which sleeps up to 10, which is made of impressive kelo pines. The resort also offers Queen Suites and Wedding Chamber for lovebirds, a traditional house, and even a Snow Igloo and Gold Digger’s chalets for the super adventurous.
#5 Riding a Glam Train through Russia
The Trans-Siberian railway is epic. At 9258 km long, it is the longest and the most famous train line in the world. Stretching from Moscow to Vladivostok, a Russian city that borders China and North Korea, the journey of a lifetime awaits on its tracks. The Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, stunning Lake Baikal, the Ural Mountains’ Great Divide and other iconic destinations will be visited along the way in the 15-day journey offered by Golden Eagle Luxury Trains. Rivaling that of a grand hotel, The Imperial Suites, the best class of accommodation, are the most spacious cabins available onboard the Golden Eagle.
PHOTOS Courtesy of Suján Sher Bagh, Benguela Diamonds, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, Baros Maldives, The Helicopter Line, Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort