How do you make a bucket-list? How do you know where the best places in the world are, if you havent been there? Were here to help. Weve compiled a list of some of the worlds ultimate travel experiences to provide you with inspiration for your next holiday.
Obviously this isnt an exhaustive list, but what it does is name many of the travel experiences and destinations that our customers book to see time and time again. Lets take a look.
People have descended it in barrels and walked over it using a tightrope, but its also possible to marvel at it from the viewing platforms! What we will say, however, is that whether you approach it from the Canadian side, or the American, to truly appreciate Niagara Falls, youre going to need to get wet! Not to worry though, those yellow plastic ponchos might not be the most flattering item youve ever worn on holiday, but they are a badge of honour. Youve been close enough to one of the most powerful cascades of water to feel its spray. Its the largest producer of electricity in New York City. Nothing will be the same again.
Once youve felt the majesty of water at this volume, you can then enjoy a seafood dinner and shopping for truly tacky souvenirs afterwards. Niagara Falls often features as a destination on our escorted tours through Canada and North America. You can enjoy this unique stop off on your way from Toronto and Montreal. For the last 200 years, it has been known as one of the worlds most popular Honeymoon destinations!
The Taj Mahal
During WW2 the Taj Mahal was concealed to prevent it from being bombed and this is why we can still enjoy it today. Invariably described as the jewel in Indias crown, this infamous mausoleum of Agra is itself inlaid with plenty of jewels.
In the very early morning pale sunlight, its white walls glow and are reflected in the lake that lies beside it, removing all doubt as to why witnessing this for yourself should be on everyones bucket list. The Taj Mahal is included in many of the escorted tours through India that we offer; usually with a trip to Jaipur, Delhi, and possibly even a game drive through the Rajasthan jungle in search of Bengal tigers included.
In 2007 it made the shortlist to be named a new wonder of the world, such is its majesty. Its one of Spains most famous palaces, but its design is pure Moorish. From the shaded squares with ornate Fountains, to the Arabic crenellations, this is a palace in Granada that represents the 400 years of Moorish rule experienced by Andalucia in the south of Spain.
Its beauty is complemented by the Barrio Sacromonte; the gypsy quarter, which lies to one side of it and consists of white wash cave dwellings overlooking a mountainside filled with aloe vera. Granada is perfectly located in the centre of Andalucia to be included as part of a wider tour to Seville and Crdoba, which lie further west, as well as even Malaga on the south coast.
The Grand Canyon
Its the biggest hole on Earth. The temperature can alter by more than 25 degrees from the top to the canyon floor, and from some edges you cant even see across to the other side. There is something that is enduring and fascinating about how life can survive in the middle of the desert like this not to mention at the bottom of a pit this deep.
Whether you want to take romantic selfies from the steep cliff edge as part of your holiday to Las Vegas, or as part of a tour to California and Americas West Coast and Winelands, you wont be disappointed. Nobody ever regrets a trip to this wonder of the world; so huge it can be seen from space!
Its an Incan citadel in Peru, each stone of which was constructed to sit so precisely next to the others, that no mortar was needed. It clings to the side of a mountain and reminds us that even the worlds earliest civilisations knew a thing or two about adapting to their environment. They could perhaps even teach us a lesson about craftsmanship. How many of our modern buildings would you expect to be still standing after hundreds of years?
Its a steep climb to get here, but the endorphins released by the exertion only serve to make you feel even more rewarded by the view when you get there. Why not consider a tour that takes in Lima, Cusco and the Sacred Valley as well?
The Eiffel Tower at night
The Eiffel Tower is an iconic folly with which we are all familiar, but until youve seen it lit up at night, offering its sparkling display into the Parisian skyline, you havent truly experienced its wonder. It was built originally to be the entrance arc to the Worlds Fair in 1889 and was so popular that its still an integral part of the Paris experience and a must-see sight during all romantic weekends away here.
After browsing the postcards and posters in the stall on the left bank and sharing an intimate bottle of claret over the bloodiest, but best, steak you ever taste, youll want to head over to Le Champs de Mars to see the Eiffel Tower do what it does best; remind you of how great it feels to be in love and share this moment with someone special. Why not consider a city break here. Its the perfect backdrop for popping any big questions you might have!
It is perhaps one of the most recognisable volcanoes in the world and its visible from many high rises in Tokyo, Japan’s metropolitan capital. Its actually three in one volcanoes, which is what gives it its unique shape and its still active.
However, its not till you get your first, close-up look at this iconic, flat, snow-covered summit, poking up through the clouds, you truly understand how its made a mark on the international consciousness. Its a symbol of strength and hidden power, not to mention quiet continuity that looks unlike any other peak on Earth.
The famously floating Italian city of Venice is known for the diverse characteristics of its individual islands, beautiful period buildings that go back a thousand years and stretch below the waterline. Many of them are best reached by water taxi, gondola, or if youre fortunate enough to live here, your own private launch.
Piazza San Marco is the main hub of pavement cafs, off which narrow labyrinthine streets sell typical Venetian masks, intricate jewellery and Murano glass objets dart by the bucket load, but when youre not simply marvelling open-mouthed at the stunning scenery, as you view the infamous bridges; the Rialto bridge, or the Bridge of Sighs, then you could also be enjoying one of the famous art collections that Venice boasts. This is a city that can be enjoyed over a dedicated weekend, or as part of a wider tour of Italy.
Its the cathedral with the biggest wow factor in the world, over one hundred years in the making and still not complete. The Sagrada Familia is synonymous with Barcelona, designed as it was by the citys famous native architect son, Gaud. This is a building that needs to be seen several times in a lifetime just a marvel at how many new lofty spires and gargoyle ornaments have been added. Barcelona is the biggest city on Spains Costa Dorada coast and can be enjoyed as part of a city break, or a wider escorted tour of Spain.
Savoie French Alpine Ski Village stay
For the ultimate, first time alpine ski experience, you should book yourself into one of Club Meds unbeatable chalet style hotels. The accommodation is part of an all-inclusive deal, which means that as well as getting all the equipment you need to glide effortlessly down the piste, youll have high-quality ski tuition too.
The coaching you get will be designed to help you improve your skills whatever the level youre skiing at currently, and, if youre a novice, allow you to look up from your feet to admire your glacial surroundings as you ski past.
Its exhilarating, life affirming, and nothing beats putting your aching feet up after a rewarding, but tiring day, to enjoy a glass of wine and bowl of Savoie fondue with friends as you look out onto the glistening slopes and reflect on the majesty of the mountains.
The Panama Canal
The great divider of the Pacific and Caribbean seas, the Panama Canal is home to the worlds busiest shipping lane. Even if you wouldnt formally identify as a dedicated boat-spotter, you cant help but find this fascinating highway on the sea utterly compelling.
Cruise liners fight for space alongside ferries and cargo boats. It takes about a day to pass through it, and entering the lock gate at either end is always a thrill. On your way through, youll be passing other canal users, packed beaches and even the occasional crocodile. Its best seen as part of a cruise through Central America.
Its the biggest adult playground in the world, that hasnt just bent the rules when it comes to deciding what is considered an acceptable leisure pastime. Its burnt the book completely! Here, you can marry a stranger on a whim, with a ceremony that may or may not be presided over by an Elvis impersonator. You can win or lose millions in the casinos, while you drink the bar dry. Or, you can take in a show so glitzy, youll need a week to recover.
This is the Schrdingers cat of holidays. While Schrdingers imagined cat lies in its box, it exists in two states. As you watch the roulette wheel spin, or choose the cards that will define your future finances, in your mind you are both one of lifes lucky winners and also the one that got broken. As long as you enjoy the thrills of the moment in moderation, the fun that can be had in Vegas is quite unlike anywhere else in the world.
If you fancy booking any of the holidays suggested, or youd like further inspiration, please give the Aspen Travel team a call. Wed be happy to help you find the holiday that best suits your personal travel plans. Please get in touch.