From easy coastal rides to epic mountain adventures, New Zealand is THE destination to cycle. With more and more holiday goers opting to see this double island paradise on two wheels instead of four, there has never been a better time to join New Zealand’s cycle revolution. Holiday with a difference.Discover our favourite bike trails and luxury stays below.
“Domo arigato,” I say to the taxi driver who smiles, bows twice and says “Hai. Hai.” I wheel my bag along a pathway by the Ooi river just over the Togetsukyo bridge heaving with crowds of tourists who clot in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district. Some are in rent-a-kimino taking selfies, others are in school uniform giggling and smiling and then there’s the occasional western tourist biting into a Miffy shaped donut.
This side of the bridge is much quieter. My quest is to find the private boat ramp for the Hoshinoya Kyoto. I see the sign just ahead written in English and Japanese and stop and breathe a sigh of relief. ‘No. No. This way,’ says a Japanese man with a camera hung around his neck gesturing downstream. I smile. Perhaps I should have donned a pair of Blahniks and a flowy Camilla for this journey. “You have to be a very special Japanese person to stay at the Hoshinoya,” my taxi driver confided before he dropped me off.
On a cycling
holiday you’re immersed in the landscape. Life doesn’t whiz by as you watch
from the coach, car or train window: you become part of the landscape through
which you are passing. Conversations with locals happen. Amazing photos happen
because you can stop when and where you want. No deadlines, except getting to
your bed for the night. Opting for the luxury version of a cycling holiday
means you fully supported every kilometre of the journey, so all you have to do
is ride, enjoy those leisurely breakfasts, long lunches and delicious dinners
along the way, knowing that your luggage will be transported to your next
destination daily. You can choose from
guided or self-guided options, and your trusty mount will be a well-maintained
bike (or e-bike), with back up support if you get a flat tyre or the weather
Rolton shares some of her favourite luxury cycling holidays, which are designed
to make your time on two wheels as enjoyable as possible.
Whoever said luxury cruises are best in summer has obviously not read this list of exceptional luxury winter cruises. Time to swap your swimmers for a scarf, and set a course for the world’s most remote regions. Discover the Northern Lights, one of the world’s largest king penguin rookeries and walls of looming glaciers. Dare to be different, cruise in winter.
Private islands, Moroccan magic and African safaris; discover a world of luxury with Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin Limited Edition (VLE). Travel to the world’s most spectacular destinations across the British Virgin Islands, South Africa, Kenya, Mallorca, Swiss Alps and Morocco. Sir Richard Branson has hand-selected each luxury hotel and destination retreat to ensure a truly unique experience.
Discover your next home away from home with Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Limited Edition below.
High up in
the misty forests of central Bali, far from the crowded cities with their
bright lights and traffic snarls, is the tiny village of Jati — just a handful
of houses amid rice terraces and market gardens on a small road that leads, eventually,
to Mount Batur.
From lush jungles to vast deserts, Peru is a country full of mystery and adventure. Discover the unyielding natural beauty and ancient civilisations of Peru with Abercrombie & Kent’s wellness-inspired cultural journey. Learn about the sacred rituals of the Incas, walk the through the ancient city of Machu Picchu and kayak Huaypo lagoon.
As far as countries that ‘fly under the travel radar’ go, Namibia is pretty much at the top of the list. And while most people have heard of this extraordinary destination, few have ever visited. Those who have experienced the rich culture of Namibia all agree – this is a jaw-dropping destination not to be missed.
There are cities, landmarks and experiences that make the cut on most bucket lists. And a visit to the ancient metropolis of Petra in Jordan is one of them. Petra is most famous for Al Khazneh (the Treasury). And while this is an absolute must-see for anyone travelling through Jordan, this remarkable country has so much more to offer.
From Greece to Malta, the Mediterranean is full of secret islands waiting to be explored. But with so much choice (and so much beauty) how do you choose which islands to visit? With this ultimate guide, First Class will take you off the beaten path to some of the lesser known islands scattered throughout the Mediterranean.