Long-haul and long-stay: five luxury itineraries for post-pandemic travel

Many travellers are planning to maximise their trips abroad this year, turning travels into long stays and multi-stop adventures. Here are five luxury itineraries, from a road trip route across New Zealand to an epic Russian trail trip.

By Samantha Lewis
Published 14 Feb 2021, 08:00 GMT
The Marlborough region of New Zealand is home to stunning vineyards and spectacular views.

The Marlborough region of New Zealand is home to stunning vineyards and spectacular views.

Photograph by Patrik Stedrak

1. Driving across New Zealand

A self-drive tour is one of the best ways to see New Zealand — and this 17-day itinerary is nothing short of epic. Highlights include a gourmet wine tour in the Marlborough region, a stunning helicopter trip over Fiordland National Park and the Southern Lakes region and a kayak tour of the Dart River. Plus, you’ll stay in some plush accommodation, from a farmhouse in the rolling hills to an award-winning lodge with otherworldly lake views.
How to do it: Audley Travel offer a 17-day tailor-made itinerary Luxury New Zealand self-drive tour costs from £12,905 per person and includes flights, transfers, accommodation, car hire and excursions. 

2. Wellness in the Himalayas

Ananda in the Himalayas is one of India’s finest spa resorts, located on a maharaja’s palace estate overlooking the city of Rishikesh. It offers all-inclusive packages of up to 21 days that focus on traditional Indian wellness practices. For the ultimate mind and body cleanse, opt for the Holistic Detox package. Guests receive one-on-one consultations and nourishing healthy meals and can take part in a range of daily activities including yoga and meditation. They can also enjoy spa treatments and use the hydrotherapy facilities, the epitome of pure indulgence. 
How to do it: Healing Holidays can arrange a 21-night Holistic Detox programme from £9,249 per person sharing, including British Airways flights, transfers, full-board accommodation and  the Holistic Detox programme.

3. Exploring Japan

You could spend a lifetime exploring Japan and still barely scratch the surface, so if you’re planning a visit go for two weeks or more. This 23-day itinerary is ideal for first-timers as it features major tourist attractions and some off-the-beaten-track gems. In Tokyo, you’ll try your hand at making sushi with one of the city’s top sushi chefs, before heading to Kyoto to explore the famous geisha district. You’ll also spend two days on Miyajima island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and relax in a hot spring spa in the Japanese Alps. 
How to do it: Audley Travel's 23-day tailor-made Deluxe grand tour of Japan itinerary costs from £20,280 per person and includes flights, transfers, accommodation and excursions. 

Passengers aboard the Golden Eagle can enjoy luxury surroundings while taking in the beautiful views of Russia.

Photograph by Getty Images

4. Ride the rails in Russia 

Travel through Russia in style on the Golden Eagle, one of the world’s top luxury trains. The 18-day tour starts with three nights in St Petersburg and one in Moscow before boarding the train. You’ll then spend 12 nights travelling the famous Trans-Siberian route taking in some of the most remote parts of the country. You’ll attend a concert in Kazan, visit Mongolian Nomads around Ulaan Baatar and travel along Lake Baikal on the Circum-Baikal Railway. The trip ends with a final night in Vladivostok where you’ll learn about the city’s military history.
How to do it: Audley Travel offer a 18-day tailor-made Luxury Rail: A journey across Russia with the Golden Eagle itinerary costs from £16,520 per person and includes flights, transfers, hotel accommodation, 12 nights on the Golden Eagle and excursions. 

5. ‘Work from home’ in the Maldives

If you’re working remotely, why not swap your home office for a beach in the Maldives? The Nautilus, in the Baa Atoll, has launched a ‘Workation’ package that allows guests to combine work and play for up to three weeks. They’re provided with luxury office amenities, including a desk with a sea view, a personal assistant on hand 24/7, high-speed wi-fi and refreshments throughout the day. There’s scheduled time for relaxing, too. The exclusive package also features daily yoga, fitness and mediation sessions, an outdoor cinema experience, snorkelling and a sunset cruise.
How to do it: Red Savannah offers a 21-day Workation package at The Nautilus, Maldives, from £23,485 per person, based on two people sharing. It includes 21 nights in a beach house with private pool, return flights from Heathrow to Male with Emirates (via Dubai) in Economy, VIP arrival in Malé, return seaplane transfers and the Workation package. Price based on travel in May 2021.

As featured in the 2021 edition of National Geographic Traveller The Luxury Collection

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