Sometimes, we’d just rather escape from our desk and head off somewhere more exciting. Here are the top 7 places we’re daydreaming about jetting off to…
1. Vancouver Island
This Canadian island is the largest Pacific isle east of New Zealand, and it’s a rugged and wild paradise that’s home to some of the world’s best deep-sea fishing. The perfect antidote to another Monday morning. There’s also some incredible hiking opportunities (and some stunning views) and some incredible restaurants home to world-renowned chefs for when it’s time to refuel.
What we’d do: Go on a custom chartered boat tour. BC Boat Tours will organise a personal itinerary for you depending on where you want to go and what you want to see, whether you fancy beaches and swimming at the foot of a waterfall or the best meal on the island.
Where we’d stay: We like the look of Oak Bay hotel. It’s got everything you need for the perfect escape: an idyllic location right on the beach, luxurious rooms, a choice of first class restaurants and a beautiful outdoor spa with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Mykonos is a Greek island known as the glamorous one of the Cyclades. It’s a whirlwind of parties, beaches and amazing views alongside some of the best shops and restaurants you’ll find anywhere in Greece. There are excursions, boat trips, diving adventures and more to suit the more active holidaymakers- and if all you want to do is lie on a sunbed with a cold drink and take in the views, you can do that too.
What we’d do: Go to the Paradise Club– it’s long been hailed as the best club in Greece, with an all-star cast of the best acts on the clubbing circuit. And we’d book a table in the poolside VIP area to save fighting our way through the crowds.
Where we’d stay: Bill and Coo– it’s a calm oasis after Mykonos’s famous clubs, with an outstanding choice of luxury suites (have a look– you’ll be impressed), the best gourmet restaurant in Mykonos and a stunning candlelit infinity pool where you can relax day or night.
The British peninsula overlooking the English channel is famous for beautiful beaches, a laid-back lifestyle and of course, cream tea- three things that sound much more appealing than a morning at our desk. It’s the longest stretch of coastline in the UK, home to tiny fishing ports, secluded coves and plenty of pubs and restaurants- it’s worth going just for the freshly-caught seafood.
What we’d do: Take a surfing lesson- the Harlyn Surf School has professional instructors and a sheltered location (so the whole beach won’t see you take a tumble). After working up an appetite, we’d head to the Waterfront for a long, lazy afternoon tea while watching the sun set over the coast.
Where we’d stay: The Scarlet Hotel: Cornwall’s eco-friendly, adults-only luxury hotel. The rooms are luxurious and beautifully furnished, the views are second to none and the spa is the best in Cornwall. You’ll feel like a new person by the time you leave.
4. Lake Garda
The largest lake in Italy is ideally situated between Venice and Milan. Its shore is studded with pretty harbour towns, cobbled streets and Roman ruins, with the view punctuated by castles, mountains and of course, the impressive lake, with the clearest water you could imagine. We can almost feel the stress of a morning’s trading leaving us just by imagining it…
What we’d do: Eat at Ristorante Gemma– it’s right on the side of the lake, overlooked by the mountains and drizzled with bougainvillea. It has excellent fish straight from the lake as well as some Italian classics (pizza, anyone?) and a wine tasting menu.
Where we’d stay: Villa Feltrinelli. It’s Italian grandeur and opulence at its best with classic, beautifully designed rooms and an ideal location. It’s almost impossible to get a room, so book now!
It’s probably the ultimate holiday destination, on an island just off Indonesia. It’s got beaches, surfing, restaurants, shopping, spas, world-class hotels and history, as well as a warm, welcoming, laid-back atmosphere. There’s always something going on, whether you want to join in a street party, paint the town red in the clubs of Kota or watch the sun set from a cliff top spa.
What we’d do: For the more active travellers among you, see volcanoes and dragons on a World Expeditions excursion, including sunrise treks, challenging ascents and descents and some of the best views you’ll ever see.
Where we’d stay: If all that sounds a little too strenuous, head to the Amori Luxury Retreat, a beautiful secluded villa surrounded by trees. You can rent it for your exclusive use and enjoy the spa and open kitchen undisturbed.
6. The Mekong River
The Mekong River features the world’s third-largest waterfall and a plethora of rapids and canyons. Cruising it is not for the faint-hearted. But then, people say the same about Forex trading, and you manage that. The reward for making it down this formerly inaccessible river are views of the cities, towns and temples lining the Vietnamese and Cambodian shores, and nights spent on a sandbank in the middle of the jungle with all your creature comforts on board the ship.
What we’d do: Board one of Pandaw River Expedition’s newly renovated ships (they have an iPad in every cabin, so you can keep half an eye on what’s going on in the markets).
Where we’d stay: For the landlubbers, the Mekong Riverview Hotel has such amazing views you’ll feel like you’re on the water (but without a hint of seasickness). It’s the ideal location on the river’s peninsula and the rooms are stunning.
If Mykonos is a bit too action-packed for you, maybe Santorini is your destination of choice in the Cyclades. It’s basically the leftovers of an enormous volcanic explosion, resulting in a lagoon surrounded by cliffs and some unbelievable views. It’s famous for its sunsets (and sunrises, if you can face getting up early enough) which are some of the best you’ll see anywhere in the world.
What we’d do: Get the best of the sunset on a boat cruise. The Bella Aurora and Thalassa are traditional sailing boats with a choice of itineraries and Greek meze included.
Where we’d stay: The Andronis Luxury Suites for breathtaking beauty, unbelievable views, private cliff top pools and the ultimate in relaxation. You’ll be hard pressed to peel yourself off your sun lounger.