No two people have the same dream holiday in mind. Some think laying for days on a beach in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh is ideal, whilst others are saving up to spend a hectic week at Disney World in Orlando, Florida in the U.S. Then there are the holiday-makers who dream of far-off places that are unique and filled with surprises. It is a big, exciting world, and the following five destinations are just a sample of the unconventional trips the brave-of-heart can enjoy.
The Dubai Desert Conservation area is a pristine desert offering a rare opportunity to visit a desert that has not been damaged by humans. On its edge sits the Al Maha Desert Resort, offering unimaginable luxury that is enhanced by views of the dunes. Bungalows are designed after Bedouin tents, making guests feel like they have stepped into a romance novel. For an excursion, ecotourists can ride a camel to a desert camp and enjoy an authentic Arabic meal under the stars. Be sure to exchange plenty of British pounds (GBP) for dirhams (AED) because there is no way to know what adventure lies over the next dune.
Each year, the Torne River in Jukkasjarvi gives up 10,000 tons of ice to the Icehotel. This remarkable hotel is constructed using only local resources. There are luxury rooms, a spa and the Icebar where warm friendships are made in the icy splendour of this unusual hotel. When adventure calls, guests join guided dogsled tours or take a hike whilst wearing traditional snowshoes. A three day trip with airfare is affordable at starting package prices of approximately £1,200. Once there, the national currency will look familiar to most travellers because it is the euro.
It is not unusual for a list of dream holidays to include a trip to the South Pacific, but for many people the conventional cruise ship is more like taking a trip on a floating mall with thousands of other people. When that is the case, it may be time to book a trip on the Aranui 3 freighter or a similar type of ship. This particular freighter delivers supplies and materials to the Marquesas Islands and takes on passengers looking for something spectacularly different. The freighter-cruise ship does have amenities, including an outdoor pool, gym and lounge, but this is a 14-day trip through the French Polynesia and Marquesas Islands for people who are serious about enjoying the beauty of the South Pacific rather than a crowd at a buffet table. French Polynesian currency is pegged to the euro. Various islands use different currencies, so a good plan is to carry some U.S. or Australian dollars.
The Vikings wandered the earth over a thousand years ago, becoming adventurer icons. Now visitors can imagine what the wind felt like in Viking hair by heading for Roskilde and the Viking Ship Museum. This museum has over 60 eleventh-century Viking vessels and thousands of artefacts. Roskilde was once a Viking trading post and became the medieval capital of Denmark. More Viking history is found towards the west in Jutland at Jelling. The eighth-century site has the Jelling Monuments and the Royal Jelling visitor's centre which can keep any history buff happy for days.
Cat lovers will want to resist petting the animals they come across whilst on a camping safari in Kenya. An overland trip to the Mount Kenya foothills is the first leg of a journey leading to the Samburu National Reserve. The Samburu people welcome visitors who appreciate the abundance of game which includes big cats like lions, cheetahs, leopard, and a host of other wildlife like elephants, hippos, buffalo and over 365 species of birds. There are hot springs, traditional lodges, tented lodges and campsites. If that is not enough excitement, animal lovers can continue on to Lake Baringo. The lake attracts crocodiles, hippos and a rich variety of birds. This trip is not for the faint-hearted, but it is definitely right for anyone who has big game-viewing on their dream holidays list.
Whether climbing a mountain or touring a castle, all dream holidays have one thing in common: A desire to see the unconventional side of the world. How "unconventional" is defined is strictly up the traveller. Wherever you intend to head on holiday, be sure to get your travel money from ACE-FX.