In this day and age of competitive marketing among the best holiday destinations across the globe, there might be times when one overlooks the far simpler, yet no less exotic options. Blessed with a world that never fails to impress and leave people awestruck by its natural wonders – both long gone and newly found – vacations today have evolved to include more than just sitting back and relaxing. Whether it’s braving the chill of a room wholly comprised of ice or breathing in some coveted fresh air in the company of energetic Huskies, here is a list of destinations that are sure to redefine the grandness of a getaway.
Archaeology Holiday – Greece
There is no better way to step into the New Year than by taking a major step back right into the heart of history. That is exactly what the travel agency, Responsible Travel, offers with its trip to Greece, which focuses exclusively on the mysteries of archaeology. Greece is where science, democracy, and a variety of art forms originated, and this archaeology tour takes travellers back almost 4,000 years, to a place that thrived with beauty and progress, way ahead of its time.
Offering its customers the best of both worlds, the tour makes sure to treat its customers to the marvellous accounts and legends that came alive in the cities of Epidaurus, Sparta, and ancient Tegea. As for the present, the lifestyles of contemporary Grecian locals, along with their warm beaches and lush vineyards, are not missed out on either. An eight-day trip that includes visits to Delphi, Acropolis, Tripoli, the Filosofou and Prodromou monasteries, and Ancient Gortys among other places, the trip certainly promises a historically and culturally rich getaway which would leave anyone with a sense of awe.
Icehotel, Jukkasjärvi – Sweden
Apart from the glacial attributes of ice, there aren’t many things that can be described as clean, pure, crystalline, and sleek all at the same time. And the moment one combines these characteristics with the business of luxurious vacationing, the result is both fascinating and exciting. Such is the case with the Icehotel, located in the village of Jukkasjärvi in Northern Sweden.
A unique place to stay that pops up every winter in the Arctic; the Icehotel is comprised of ‘snice’, which is a mixture of snow and ice, mostly made from the Torne River. Blocks of ice, each weighing two tonnes, are harvested and stored from the previous winter in preparation for making the hotel. A form of a hotel that collaborates heavily with artists for its creation, it takes up to six weeks to end up with glistening rooms, with their metre-thick walls and a slew of unthinkable amenities and attractions. A few of the property’s many features and activities include the Ice Church, Ice Bar, Jukkasjärvi sauna, reindeer and dog sledging, ice-sculpting, and much more.
Pamukkale Thermal Pools – Turkey
A holiday destination that is truly something out of a fantasy novel, anybody’s curiosity about the Pamukkale Thermal Pools in Turkey is sure to get the best of them. Pamukkale, which literally translates to ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish, is also home to the ruins of Hierapolis, a Greek-Roman city from the second century BC and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the reason hordes of tourists gather at this ivory attraction is for the country’s prime mineral bath spa. The picturesque terraces are made up of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by the water from the hot springs; it is formed by underground volcanic activity. While one can relish the sight of the well-maintained ruins right from the spot where the ancient Romans enjoyed the experience of the carbonated waters themselves, visitors can also reap the many benefits of these hot springs. The Pamukkale terraces have been known to be beneficial for the eyes and skin, and even improve conditions of asthma and rheumatism.