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The Blue Planet Collection

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We love everything about water – and there’s something mesmerising about H2O on all scales, from the trickle of a small stream to the great expanse of an ocean. 

This collection of experiences celebrates water in all forms and all temperatures, whether you’re dreaming of lapping waves on a sandy beach or the squeak of freshly fallen snow. Discover blue depths, powdery slopes and staggering landscapes with our experts’ top experiences based on water, ice and snow. So no matter the season, get out into the big wide world to refresh, invigorate and reconnect with nature.

Sailing Europe’s Best Beaches

Sandwiched in an ocean between Italy and France, Corsica is the perfect amalgamation of the two countries; glorious sunshine, delightful architecture and sumptuous food. It’s also home to Scandola Nature Reserve. Navigate the coastline by boat for balmy, salty summer days, and seek sand on the Corsican beaches commonly compared to Caribbean rivals. Then hop off your boat and venture on land to explore craggy peaks and stylish coastal towns.

Diving through the Galapagos

Nowhere else in the world will lovers of diving see such diversity of marine life in one country. Look out for large schools of fish in the warm waters of the northern islands, and everything from large tuna to manta rays and hammerheads. Whereas the cooler waters of the southern islands are home to penguins, marine iguanas, dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions and more. Scuba excursions in the Galapagos are best reserved for avid divers, yet all visitors can experience this unique ecosystem with a variety of activities, from snorkelling with dolphins to paddle-boarding amongst the penguins. Spend a week aboard a luxurious small cruise to best discover the variety the archipelago has to offer.

Powder Snow & Steaming Baths

For Asia’s best skiing, the famed slopes of Hokkaido,  Japan, offer fresh powder and breathtaking views of its national parks and volcanoes. After days in the snow, do as the locals do and relax weary muscles in geothermal waters. This 8th-century tradition will have you soaking up the water’s healing properties in the island’s variety of hot spring onsens, surrounded by mountain scenery. Or retreat to your elegant hotel with both private indoor and outdoor onsens, filled with steaming volcanic water.

Snorkelling with Manta Rays

Head to the turquoise waters of the Maldives, in the Baa Atoll’s Hanifaru Bay, for a striking sight of nature. As well as being one of the few spots in the world where whale sharks congregate to mate, it’s a famous spot to join the manta rays in the water and snorkel alongside these gentle sea giants. If you’re lucky, at high tide you’ll find a manta feeding frenzy of over 200 rays swirling and colliding through an area no bigger than a football pitch.

Kayak with Seals & Skeletons

Water adventures may not be the first thing that comes to mind when exploring the vast burnt orange landscapes of Namibia. But the Skeleton Coast is a wild stretch of Atlantic to be included in every trip. Fly above the shipwrecks which give the coast its name, then head to Namibia’s adventure capital of Swakopmund. Kayak amongst Pelican Point’s Cape Fur Seal colony, accompanied by an abundance of bird and marine life, with bottlenose dolphins and seals playing around your kayak. Head of Africa Georgie says, “These seals are famously curious, and they loved diving beneath my kayak and leaping out of the water to show off!”

Tropical Island ‘Sea’ Horses

The Indonesian island retreat of Nihi Sumba is an escape like no other. Just when you thought that you couldn’t get closer to paradise (sipping cocktails by the beach and taking a dip in the pool under the shade of palm trees) each lunchtime you can watch the spectacular sight of Nihi’s herd of horses galloping along the white sand. Join them for a swim as they plunge into the Indian Ocean on this magical daily ritual. During your stay, join the equestrian experts exploring the long expanses of beach on horseback and discovering the important role that horses play in local Sumbanese culture.

Untouched Patagonia

Head to Chile for striking views of towering glaciers and cobalt lagoons, trekking across the electric blue glaciers with ice axes. To get away from the main tourist haunts, escape to the mountains of Sierra Baguales. The guanacos and horses which inhabit this area are truly wild, unaccustomed to humans, and you can spot them racing through the snowy slopes. With private access, join your guide trekking through the frosty valley and discovering ancient fossils.

Blue Safaris from the Air

Fly above Madagascar’s Nosy Ankao archipelago, rich with marine life, coral reefs and the magnificent whale sharks, for the ultimate blue safari. For unobstructed views of the largest shark species (growing up to 20m long) and their unique patterns splashing below the turquoise waters, head out on a ‘doors off’ heli flight from the luxurious eco-resort of Miavana. 85% of the island’s species are found nowhere else on Earth – it’s the place to discover our blue planet at its best.

Snow Escapes & Michelin Stars

Northern Italy’s Dolomites offer one of the most extensive (and spectacular) ski networks in the world. Be sure to include a circuit through the Lagazuoi mountain’s hidden valley, scaling the peak by cable car and skiing its dramatic slopes, to be met by a horse and sleigh to tow you back to the village. You’d be challenged to compete with the rugged mountain backdrop of this UNESCO site, and the jewel in the crown is the impressive selection of Michelin stars in the region. Our firm team favourite is Rosa Alpina – with its own two stars, two spas and roaring fires.

Geysers, Waterfalls & Lagoons

A feature on H2O wouldn’t be complete without celebrating Iceland – nature’s wet, wild and frozen playground.Here, kayak across glacial lagoons, don your crampons to climb towering glaciers and tunnel into ice caves, hike to discover endless spectacular waterfalls which carve out the landscape, then marvel at the geysers of the Golden Circle. After all of that activity, soak your muscles in a steamy bright blue lagoon.

In Your Element

It’s not just about H2O. Discovering all four elements as you travel the world will lead you to some extraordinary experiences – so embrace fire, earth and air too as you plan your next big adventure.

FIRE

Treat your senses with a reservation at Asador Etxebarri in Spain’s Basque country, critically  acclaimed and named as the third best restaurant in the world. Here, expect fiery theatrics and an immersion into the ancestral technique of cooking with flames. Chef Arguinzoniz was born and raised in this tiny Spanish farming community, and the restaurant remains unpretentious despite its credentials, with food cooked on the famous heat-adjustable grills which Arguinzoniz designed himself. Embracing different types of firewood, fire, charcoal and the scented trace of smoke lends a depth of flavour to dishes from baby octopus to homemade chorizo or smoked goat’s butter, and of course their spectacular steaks.  

Enjoy 5 nights in the Basque Country with wine tasting, food and art tours from £2,100 pp.

AIR

Arrive at the luxe sanctuary of Shinta Mani Wild, deep in the Cambodian jungle, by ziplining across its gushing river. This tented retreat is the ultimate escape for activity seekers, where your ‘adventure butler’ will recommend everything from jungle hikes to biking, foraging, motorcycle patrols with the rangers and tubing down the river. But it’s the 400 metre zipline that offers the chance to get high in the air and enjoy sweeping aerial views of the lush canopies and Raging Big Sister Falls, as you speed up to 50kmph. Finish your flight at the aptly named Landing Zone Bar, where you’ll be handed a gin and tonic, and relax after your day’s adventures in one of the best roll topped baths we’ve seen – out on your deck and immersed in the rainforest.

Stay 3 nights here with 4 nights in Song Saa’s overwater villa from £4,995 pp all inclusive.

EARTH

The green haven of Gibb’s Farm, Tanzania, is the perfect lodge retreat to combine with your ‘traditional’ safari camps. Give back to the earth and embrace the green ethos of this working farm, producing coffee, tea and an abundance of organic produce. Start your days with organic Arabica coffee, grown and roasted on site, and sample their magnificent farm-to-table menus in the sanctuary of the garden. Head out into the surrounding wilderness to discover elephant caves and walk the Ngorongoro Crater rim for a safari truly in touch with Mother Earth.

Stay for 3 nights, alongside 3 nights on safari in the Serengeti, from £4,325pp all inclusive.

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