Wishing you a much brighter and adventure-filled 2021
A new year is traditionally a time for new starts, and never has that been more welcome than after making it through the last year! But, whilst there are still hurdles to overcome, the return to a more normal life is thankfully now firmly in sight.
The highlights reel of any regular year is heavily weighted towards holidays; in 2020 though – thanks to the chocolate consumption in lockdown – it’s just been heavily weighted! However, 2021 will see a return to those holiday-highlights, and we’re here to help inspire your adventures this year with 8 of our favourite holiday ideas for 2021.
1. Orangutans and tropical islands in Borneo
The perfect Borneo holiday should always include a combination of wildlife safaris along majestic rivers, trekking trails through ancient rainforests in search of wild orangutan and strolling along stretches of white sand beaches lapped by crystal clear waters. This itinerary has it all.
Start in Sepilok for your first rainforest encounter and some exciting night walks before heading to a riverside lodge on the Kinabatangan. Cruise in search of Pygmy Elephant and gigantic crocodile before heading deep into the heart of the primary rainforest to stay at the exclusive Danum Valley Borneo Rainforest Lodge. Here the magic of Borneo’s famous wildlife comes alive both day and night, creating one of the most unforgettable wildlife experiences you will encounter.
Continue on to the city of Kota Kinabalu to soak up the local culture and taste delicious street food before heading to Gaya Island for a well-deserved beach break – the ideal end to your Borneo holiday.
How long?: 12 days
When to go: Year round (May-Sept is high season)
Average temperature: Average temp. 29C, rainfall 220mm/month (tropical climate), water temp. 29C
Flight time: 16hrs from London
2. Classic self-drive holiday in otherwordly Namibia
Namibia is famous for its sweeping desert, wild coastline, rugged mountains and diverse wildlife, all of which await you on this two-week self-drive itinerary. Driving the wide open roads, framed by spectacular scenery and endless horizons, is an integral part of travel in Namibia and could be the perfect holiday idea for 2021.
How long?: 14 days
When to go: November-March
Average temperature: Average Temp. – 23C, rainfall – 8mm/month (dry season), water temp. – 19C
Flight time: 14hrs from London
3. Explore Sri Lanka’s hidden gems over 17 days
Our 17-day Hidden Gems of Sri Lanka tour starts by heading directly north to the charming Horathapola Estate converted bungalow, set within a working coconut plantation. Next stop is Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Sri Lanka’s original ancient cities. To follow the culture, you’ll enjoy a full day safari in the nearby Wilpattu National Park, a chance to spot elephants, sloth bear, sambar deer, exotic birds and the elusive leopard. Next the trip heads up to Sri Lanka’s far north, Jaffna; considered to be more like India than Sri Lanka. Not a lot of tourists reach Jaffna so it feels very authentic and exciting.
The journey then heads south to the Cultural Triangle to explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Dambulla Cave Temples. You’ll also climb the lesser-known Pidurangala Rock at sunrise, which is adjacent to Sigiriya and rewards your efforts with stunning 360-degree views of the valleys, jungle and Sigiriya Rock! Next you’ll travel east to Passikudah, a quiet coastal area with the most gorgeous long, sweeping beaches – the best place to completely switch off and relax.
Next up you have a visit to Gal Oya National Park, a beautiful and untouched area with the country’s largest inland body of water. Here you can enjoy a boat safari, jeep safari and even meet the local indigenous tribe! You’ll then transfer up to the Knuckles Mountain Range for a Tea Country experience and hillside hikes with stunning views. After all of this, your trip comes to an end with your last night in a traditional Sri Lankan family mansion-come-boutique-hotel surrounded by pineapple estates.
How long?: 17 days
When to go: Mar-Sept (July & Aug are peak)
Average temperature: Average temp. – 29˚C (max / day time), rainfall – 136mm (dry season average / month)
Flight time: 11hrs from London
4. A holiday of highlights in South Africa
If you’re looking for holiday ideas for 2021 that include history, wine, stunning scenery and oodles of wildlife, this Classic South Africa itinerary could well be it.
This 16-day holiday makes the perfect first-time trip to South Africa, covering all the major highlights. Start with the Mother City, Cape Town, a cosmopolitan, relaxing and historic city, before moving onto the Winelands for some great food and wine. Stopping on the way to explore the underrated Overberg area you can visit such places as the De Hoop Nature Reserve, immersing yourself in absolute tranquillity. You’ll also get a flavour of some of the local South African wildlife as the reserve is home to herds of bontebok, eland and zebra, as well as marine life and birding.
Spend some time really getting to know the forests, lagoons and beaches of The Garden Route. Then finally, continue to the Eastern Cape for what many regard as the absolute highlight of a South Africa holiday: some time on safari.
How long?: 14 days
When to go: October-April
Average temperature: Average temp. – 14-22C, rainfall – 60mm/month, water temp. – 17C
Flight time: 12hrs from London
5. Take a walk through old Japan
Perhaps the best holiday ideas for 2021 will be the ones that get you off the beaten track. This Walk Through Old Japan itinerary definitely does that, allowing you to explore a lesser-known side of Japan. There’s no better way to truly appreciate the rich history and stunning scenery of the country than by foot. This trip is for the rambling wanderers who wish to escape to the rural parts of this beautiful country – walking through the wilderness and sleeping in traditional accommodation.
Away from the skyscrapers, robots and 24-hour karaoke bars of Tokyo is a calmer Japan, where age-old temples and monasteries still operate as they did a thousand years ago. This trip will see you exploring Kawaguchiko, the beauty of the Kiso Valley, the mountain haven of Koyasan and Miyajima Family-run ryokan (traditional inns) still welcome guests with humble graciousness and a home-cooked dinner, exactly as it was before Western tourists arrived. Utilising the futuristic wonders of the country’s reliable railways, you can enjoy quieter locales and savour the warmth of Japanese hospitality every step of the way. Alongside the famous major cities you will get many opportunities to stretch your legs as you hike in the hinterlands of Japan.
How long?: 15 days
When to go: October-April & July-August (High Season) May-June and September (Low Season)
Average temperature: 0°C in January to 30°C in August, average rainfall: 50mm in December to 240mm in June
Flight time: 12hrs from London
6. Active Costa Rica: 16 days of adrenaline
If you’re looking for active holiday ideas for 2021, our active Costa Rica itinerary could be the perfect antidote to lockdowns and mince pies. Costa Rica’s volcanoes, cloud forests and dramatic river valleys lend themselves to outdoor adventure, and this itinerary has been specifically designed for those who like to be as active as possible whilst on holiday.
Three nights are first spent in the Turrialba region, which is the perfect base for sampling some of the best white water rafting in the country, as well as a superb canyoning tour that sees you abseiling down waterfalls. Continue on to Sarapiqui for horseriding, zip lining and rapelling in the setting of tropical forests before you reach Costa Rica’s activity hub, Arenal. A myriad of activities are on offer here – we have suggested paddle-boarding on the lake, mountain biking and a challenging hike to the beautiful Rio Celeste Waterfall but these can be easily adjusted to suit your individual preferences.
In Monteverde, you will find some of the best zip lining in the country, before completing your journey in Manuel Antonio. Here you can completely relax on jungle-fringed beaches, but there are also plenty of activities available such as kayaking, fishing, snorkelling and catamaran cruises.
How long?: 16 days
When to go: November-August
Average temperature: Average temp. – 29 C, rainfall – 250 mm per month (dry season) / 450 mm per month (green season)
Flight time: 11hrs from London
7. Best of Morocco: History, culture, cities and the Sahara
If you want to tick off all of Morocco’s must-dos in just one trip, this is the adventure for you. Taking in history, culture, city life, scenery, and one of Morocco’s greatest draws – the Sahara Desert – this itinerary takes you on a whirlwind around the country and is a true crash-course in all things Morocco.
We’ll arrange a driver guide for sections of the trip that cover long distances so you can stop off wherever you please to take in fantastic views and swing by remote villages. There will also be plenty of time to do your own thing and relax too, especially at the end of the trip by the beach! This tailor-made Morocco tour provides the perfect balance.
How long?: 14 days
When to go: March-June, September-November
Average temperature: Average temp. – 4-29C, rainfall. – 30-45mm/month, water temp. – 20C
Flight time: 3hrs 40mins from London
8. Peru: Lima, Cusco and a quieter Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru is one of the classic iconic multi-day hikes in the world. What’s more, in 2021 it’s likely to be quieter than ever before. Following this ancient and moderately challenging trail is the ultimate way to reach the spectacular ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. Spend four days following in the footsteps of the Incas, walking alongside the river through a lush valley, over mountain passes and through the tropical cloudforest.
There is also plenty of time to explore cosmopolitan Lima and pretty Cusco. Both have fascinating Incan and colonial history and culinary delights to sample! Spending time here will help you to acclimatise to the higher altitude on the Inca Trail too, so it’s definitely worth doing!
The Inca Trail has always limited the number of hikers each day, and will do so even more as we move into a post-Covid world. Do check with us first as to whether permits are still available for your preferred travel dates. For any trekking fan, it is a must – a fantastic hike that takes you up to 4,800 metres above sea level.
How long?: 11 days
When to go: April-November
Average temperature: Average temp. – 19 C, rainfall – 40 mm per month (May to Sept) / 200mm per month (Oct – Apr)
Flight time: 12.5hrs from London
Fancy getting away ASAP?
As bumpy as the road ahead may still be, we’re hopeful we’ll be able to operate holidays to certain destinations before too long in the new year. However, as we know all too well, these things can be unpredictable! So, unless you are happy to be flexible with your plans and postpone your holiday should unforeseen changes mean it isn’t able to go ahead (lockdowns and the like), we’d recommend getting a holiday in the diary from July 1st onwards, for a little more certainty!
Our Flexibility Promise
Covering all holidays booked with us since 1st June 2020 and onwards, our Flexibility Promise is designed to get you travelling with confidence again. So you can plan your next holiday with peace of mind that should you need to make changes – for any reason – alterations can be made without incurring further charges. (* A few terms and conditions do apply, so have a read of our full Flexibility Promise here for all information.)