There are times when you just want to escape, get away from it all, cast off your cares and leave the daily routine well and truly behind. We all have different ideas of the perfect getaway, the top of a mountain (or as high as we can comfortably get), a remote desert island, the depths of the jungle or amidst a sea of sand. They’re all places you can lose yourself, at least for a few days. I’m happy to say that we are privy to some of the very best escapes and I’m willing to spill the beans! So here are a few I’ve chosen specially to tempt you. Read on!
Your own tropical island, a world away from the stresses of the 21st century. No traffic, no TV, no mobile phones, just the sound of the breeze in the palms and the waves on the shore…if this is your idea of bliss then we’ve got just the place. Chole Mjini is rustic island-living at its best, with no fancy frills to distract you from its natural beauty and bounty. The warm, clear waters are ideal for snorkelling and diving and you can spend a lay day on sandbar sunbathing, swimming and tucking into a specially prepared picnic lunch. You’ll be staying in a treehouse built around a centuries-old baobab and, with no electricity the whole place is lit by atmospheric lamplight at night. This really is the stuff of dreams.
If trekking deep into pristine rainforest is more your thing look no further than Cristallino Jungle Lodge. Set in almost 30,000 acres of primary Amazon forest positively humming with butterflies, birds, insects and mammals, and criss-crossed with trails, you’ll soon find yourself completely immersed in this fascinating world. Listen out for the beautiful song of the musician wren, explore bamboo groves and round off your day with a visit to one of the observation towers, gazing down over the forest canopy as dusk approaches ushered in by a spectacular sunset. At the lodge recharge your batteries on the floating deck, enjoying the gentle rhythm of a rocking chair as you bask in the warmth of the log fire.
The Sahara is world’s best known desert and its vast sand seas and dunes cover almost one 10th of the African continent. From Morocco’s Desert Inn you’ll be able to see the famous Erg Chebbi dunes which tower 150 metres into the air. Deserts may appear barren, forbidding places yet there is life. Plants somehow manage to survive and animals cling on to life, hiding below ground during the heat of the day and surfacing after dark. Night is arguably the best time to be in the desert. Stars, the brightest you’ll ever see, fill the sky and the temperature is agreeably cool. Live like a Berber nomad, if just for one night, sleeping in a tent by the foot of the dunes, experiencing the sort of calm that is so elusive in our hectic, deadline-riven world.
Picture the scene. You’re looking out across the mirror-still infinity pool at Tiger Mountain to the snow-topped topped Himalayan Mountains beyond, tinged with amber sunlight in the late afternoon. It’s entrancing, mesmerising. . You’re one thousand feet above the Pokhara Valley, inhaling mountain-fresh air and relishing the utter tranquility. Enter your stone cottage to find handmade wooden furniture, colourful Tibetan rugs and original artwork, a real home-from-home. And you’ll have a private veranda for yet more of those stunning views. Take a dip in the pool followed by a stroll around the gardens or venture further with a walk to a local village. Make sure you’re back for pre-dinner cocktails on the candle-lit terrace. As for food, you’ll be treated to tasty Nepali dishes made with fresh ingredients from the garden. You won’t want to leave this mountain paradise.