What is the opposite of lockdown? Trekking through the Himalayas; scaling a peak in the Highlands; skiing down a volcano in Chile; walking with the Big Five in Kenya – or paragliding in Montenegro.
Discover the high adrenalin, high energy, memory-making experiences, around the world which we’ll be adding to our travel wishlist…
Meet Asia’s “mountain ghost” and travel to some of India’s most iconic destinations
A once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience, &BEYOND’s Snow Leopard Journey is an unmissable opportunity to meet Asia’s “mountain ghost” whilst travelling to a selection of India’s most iconic destinations. This incredible 12-day winter expedition, in the Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh, meets the elements head-on, in an awe-inspiring landscape, in search of the elusive snow leopard and other incredible wildlife.
The majestic region of Ladakh, on the northern border of India, has a stark natural beauty. Known as Little Tibet, or the Roof of the World, it has its own culture and identity and has never ceased to enchant travellers. The Snow Leopard Expedition sets out in search of rare and endangered animal species in a setting that features the snow-capped Himalaya Mountains, clear cobalt lakes and ever-changing sand dunes. The wildlife the guests can expect to encounter includes not only the elusive snow leopard, but also ibex, Tibetan antelope, blue sheep, shapo, marmot and Tibetan hare. Guests can also look forward to exceptional birdwatching, with snow partridge, golden oriole, snow cock, golden eagle, horned lark and red billed chuff. The Expedition is headed by one of the region’s most experienced guides who is an authority on snow leopards and also knowledgeable about the fascinating cultural heritage of the region.
Bag a Monro in the Highlands of Scotland
The challenge is to conquer Scotland’s Munros, a list of 283 mountain peaks over 3,000 ft, named after Sir Hugh Monro, who surveyed and catalogued them in 1891. Climbing these peaks is an exhilarating way for walkers to explore some of Scotland’s finest scenery. Every Monro is different – some require full on climbing gear, some are beginner and family friendly.
There are forty Monros accessible from Braemar, home to The Fife Arms hotel, from Ben MacDiu to Beinn Bhareac (above), offering a wealth of exhalating and mind-clearing hill walking and hiking. The network of local paths and tracks are suitable for all abilities, including Morrone Birkwood and Creag Choinnich, just a short walk from the hotel. This is also an opportunity to get up-close to the wonderful native flora and fauna of Upper Deeside, from red squirrels and ptarmigan, to osprey and red deer.
Once the Munro has been conquered, the final – and well-deserved – step of the journey, is to repair to The Flying Stag pub at The Fife Arms, for a Venison Burger, local beers and whiskies – and plenty of local gossip.
Snowboard an active volcano in Chile
Snow falls on the spectacular 34-acre resort of andBeyond Vira Vira in Araucania region of Chile’s Lake District in June and lasts until mid-October, turning the area into a stunning alpine playground.
andBeyond has created a range of experiences suitable for guests of all levels of fitness, and a variety of slopes await, from beginners to more advanced ski runs. Lovers of winter sports will enjoy snowboarding and skiing down the only active Villarrica Volcano in the area. A spectacular environment of volcanic peaks and shimmering lakes, the flowing lava has created an incredible terrain of natural half pipes, cornices and wind lips for skiers to conquer. Thrilling heli-skiing allows keen adventurers to reach the most remote snowy peaks and glory in off-piste powder snow, while slightly less experienced skiers can opt for more flowing slopes – and those with a love for speed can take to a snowmobile to explore the volcano. A brand new adventure is husky sledding – an exclusive experience that takes place on private land, this is a raw and authentic Chilean winter adventure.
Follow the footsteps of a Samburu explorer in Kenya
This new walking safari rediscovers the true spirit of adventure exploring the magnificent Laikipia Plateau and the Masai Mara on foot, following in the footsteps of explorers of old – and camping beneath open skies.
The adventure is led by a local Samburu guide who unlocks the finer details of the bush and his own traditional lore. Follow the tracks of kudu or zebra and listen to the ancient songs of the Samburu as they water their livestock. Swim in the cool waters of an African river and spend warm nights beneath unbelievably starry skies. Climb to the top of rocky outcrops to admire vast views of endless open spaces and be immersed in the scent of Africa’s dust. The adventure culminates in the spectacular wildlife of the famous Masai Mara.
This 6-night trip includes a stay in Nairobi, three-nights at The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille in Laikipia, one of East Africa’s finest wildlife destinations, and two-nights at andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp in Masai Mara, providing an authentic dose of African wildlife, delivered with legendary Kenyan hospitality.
Embrace adrenalin-fuelled moments in Montenegro
Late summer and early autumn is the time to visit Montenegro, tucked between Croatia and Bosnia, a jewel box of a country which has to be experienced to be believed. This hidden gem of the Adriatic is bursting with unspoiled coastlines, turquoise sea and lakes, wonderful views and dramatic mountains, all just waiting to be discovered. This country may be petite, but it has huge amount to offer visitors, and a magical atmosphere.
It is also a spectacular setting for adrenalin-pumping activities. May to September is the time to embrace knuckle-biting white water rafting down the dramatic Tara River canyon, the deepest in Europe, second only to America’s Grand Canyon – all 82 kilometres of it. Montenegro could also have been designed for paragliding – high over the awe-inspiring UNESCO listed Boka Bay, where the soaring mountains meet the sea – as the poet Lord Byron said, “At the birth of our planet, the most beautiful encounter between the land and the sea must have happened in Montenegro…”
The place to stay, is Regent Porto Montenegro, right at the heart of the glamorous Porto Montenegro super yacht marina on the shores of the Adriatic, on Boka Bay, a superyacht homeport in a fascinating, modern-day, jetsetter’s hotspot. The hotel’s concierge can organise white water rafting, paragliding, kite surfing, horseback riding, sailing and water sports, all just minutes from the hotel.
Dive amongst the hurricane wrecks in the BVI
Sixty tiny emerald islands and cays with a landscape of lush green peaks that drop dramatically into blue Caribbean waters, convoluted shorelines with idyllic, protected anchorages and captivating underwater topography. The British Virgin Islands offers some of the most remarkable diving and snorkelling in the world, with bounteous sites and the tiny islands that form the southern boundary of the Sir Francis Drake Channel waiting to be discovered.
Wreck Week (29 November – 5 December 2020) on Virgin Gorda, is an entire week in the British Virgin Islands dedicated to diving the wrecks as well as offering dive specials, beach clean ups – and plenty of parties! Some of the BVI’s most popular dive sites are The Kodiak Queen, a sustainable artificial reef which was sunk in 2017 and the RMS Rhone, a British Royal Mail Steamship, which sank in 1867. In addition to these much-loved dive sites, the Beyond the Reef project created two new dive sites in 2019, sinking the old iconic floating restaurant, Willy T and three plane wreckages (which had been creatively turned into sharks and dubbed Sharkplaneo!) which would also become sustainable artificial reefs, creating a diverse hub of marine life. Money collected from diving these sites will be donated to local charities to give local children swimming lessons.
Ben Williams of Kilbride’s Sunchaser Scuba in Virgin Gorda lets in on a hidden diving gem:
“My favourite dive site in the BVI is the Invisibles, located just off Necker Island. A lot of people hear about this site but only few get to dive it as the weather conditions need to be right. It consists of two underwater pinnacles, teaming with marine life, big schools of fish swirling in and around the crevasses. Not only during the day is this an awesome dive, it is also the best night dive I have ever done in the world. It is where the local sea turtles find a bed for the night and divers can see up to 15 sleeping turtles on a dive.”
Reach new heights and ski in the clouds in Zermatt
Heli-skiing is the ultimate challenge for the experienced skier or boarder – to satisfy their urge to carve tracks through soft powder snow. Being transported high above the crowds, this literally takes skiing to a higher level – adrenalin rush guaranteed. And where better to do it than the stunning resort of Zermatt deep in the legendary Swiss alps.
Book the Heliskiing Monte Rosa package – and master the slopes at 4,200 metres above sea level, directly below the Durfourspitze, the highest mountain in the whole of Switzerland. From start to finish, the trip is between 3 – 4 hours, descending with 2,500 altitude difference. The tour includes a briefing and guided tour by a certified mountain guide and the helicopter ride. The culmination of the experience, however, is the descent. On pristine, feather-light powder snow, ski over high-alpine glaciers in the midst of the fascinating 4000 metre backdrop, speed down steep slopes and make fresh tracks.
Make base at the Schweizerhof Zermatt, right in the heart of picturesque Zermatt. Newly renovated and reopened as a Michel Reybier Hospitality property (alongside its sister hotels, La Reserve Geneva, La Reserve Paris and La Reserve Ramatuelle) in December 2018, the hotel is on Bahnhofstrasse, a short walk to the railway and Gornergratbahn stations. With stunning views over the mountains, the hotel is easy-going and stylish – deftly combining contemporary chic with traditional alpine chalet-style, with a delightful spa for post heli-skiing soothing – and three restaurants including La Muna, serving Peruvian and Asian inspired dishes.
The Schweizerhof Zermatt reopens for the winter season on 18 December 2020.
Experience a thrilling expedition on the Peruvian Amazon
Aqua Expeditions explores the world’s most wildlife and culture-rich destinations aboard best-in-class stylish contemporary vessels – with tailored five-star itineraries, a highly-exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio with personalised service, a cuisine experience crafted by acclaimed chefs and expertly guided adventure activities and excursions.
This autumn, Aqua Expeditions unveils the highly anticipated Aqua Nera, setting a new standard of luxury and adventure on the Peruvian Amazon. The vessel will operate on three-, four- and seven-night itineraries to ensure complete flexibility and the ability to adapt to guests’ travel plans. Aqua Nera’s itineraries will depart from the Peruvian port of Iquitos before meandering through the various rivers of the Peruvian Amazon, visiting remote Amazonian towns and villages along the way. Expert naturalist guides will be on board to offer bespoke experiences, such as intimate wildlife encounters in the world’s most biodiverse rainforest; from morning birdwatching to spotting the legendary pink river dolphins. With a guest to staff ratio of 1:1, these expeditions ensure maximum intimacy and privacy, as well as the opportunity to access unexplored tributaries.
Aqua Nera’s effortless elegant interiors take inspiration from the black water lagoons and tributaries of the Amazon River and the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. The award-winning Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino will continue his role as consulting chef on Aqua Nera. Known for using local Amazonian ingredients in his innovative Peruvian cuisine, Chef Schiaffino’s menu will be a wonderful addition to his already highly acclaimed Aria Amazon menu. It will also echo Aqua Expeditions’ steadfast commitment to sustainability and supporting local producers, without compromising on the world-class dining experience that Aqua Expeditions’ guests have come to expect.