The pandemic has reshaped the holidays we want to achieve before we die. Here’s a new list of ultimate holidays.
Play tennis with Wimbledon champs in paradise
Staying at Amanyara in the Turks and Caicos is a bucket-list experience in itself. For here’s one of the world’s most luxurious resorts, set in a 7300-hectare nature reserve where your pavilion looks out across nearly a kilometre of some of the world’s whitest sand beach (and it’s all within the Caribbean).
But why not really make it worth your while by combining your stay with private lessons from some of the planet’s top sporting heroes. As part of its 15th anniversary celebrations, Amanyara has been bringing out stars like Maria Sharapova for private coaching clinics for guests. You can have a private clinic from just US$375 per hour.
Rent your own private island
Don’t share your holiday with anyone else: rent an Aussie island for yourself. How about Haggerstone Island? Go where the Packers and Murdochs have gone before you and rent out this tiny island north of Cairns, within the Great Barrier Reef, for up to 10 people. There’s just five open-plan villas set right on the sea.
Or consider the Mackerel Islands, 10 secret islands just off the West Australian coast that you can pay to have sole use of. The charter flight takes two hours from Perth (it’s 22 kilometres off the coast). Here southern grey and humpback whales swim just offshore, and you’re in the best fishing spot in Western Australia.
Or forget the tropics altogether and go remote in Tasmania. At Satellite Island, fly to your own private island just off Bruny Island, below Hobart. There is room for just eight people on this 30-hectare bush escarpment with pebble beaches and sea cliffs where you can pick your own wild oysters to have cooked for you on a barbecue overlooking the sea.
Drive cattle through Montana
For anyone who ever wanted to really social distance in the widest open spaces on Earth (while living out their fantasy to be a cowboy, or cowgirl); there’s really no other option: you have to drive cattle through Montana’s high country. Be just one of 12 guests who’ll help drive between 400 and 1000 head of cattle through the Big Belt Mountains in the south-west of Montana.
Sure, your butt will hurt, and you sure won’t be babied (you’ll saddle your own horses), but you’ll join a cattle family whose heritage dates back 150 years through some of the prettiest high country in North America. Yee-haaa.
Hire a skippered yacht through Greece
With Europe open again, what could be more liberating (and safe) than hiring your very own skippered yacht for a voyage that you decide where it goes – all through the Greek Islands. This is the ultimate bucket-list holiday for anyone who likes history, warm water and Greek food, all rolled into one.
There are 227 islands in Greece, so set your own pace through them with the help of a skipper with local knowledge. Spend time in known foodie and entertainment spots (and dance till dawn) in islands like Mykonos, but discover quiet islands with their own deserted harbours, where you’ll wander through white-washed ancient fishing villages, eating fish seafood at local tavernas.
You have the option, of course, to charter your own boat, but who needs the responsibility? Hire a skippered boat and all you’ll have to wonder is what wine to drink today.
Find the perfect wave
Find your perfect wave in 2022 by chartering your own seaplane in the Maldives. It’ll pick you up from outside your over-water bungalow at the Four Seasons Resort – and take you to the most remote and undiscovered waves of the Maldives. Some of the world’s best waves break across the outer reefs surrounding these islands between April and September.
Travelling by private seaplane allows you to find the most remote, and the most pristine, of all these reef breaks, with a surf guide to show you secret locations. There are still hundreds of undiscovered surf breaks in the Maldives, and access is only available via boat or seaplane. Then fly back in time for sundowners at the Four Seasons’ private sunset beach.
Forage for the perfect gin in Scotland
Fly to the geographical heart of Scotland and learn to make one of the finest gins Scotland has ever produced, while staying within the distillery. Daffy’s multi-award-winning gin offer gin appreciators the opportunity to come and forage for the ingredients so that you too can make your own high-quality Scottish gin. You’ll even be able to use a paddleboard across a loch as you search the grounds and hills around the distillery in the Scottish Highlands.
Stay on-site in a cottage attached to the distillery (convenient, right?), here you’ll be within the grounds of a Victorian shooting lodge once used by Queen Victoria. Once you’ve foraged for the ingredients you can help make one of the best gins in Scotland from scratch.