My longest trip of the year was completed this past weekend, as I safely helped my son, James, move into an apartment in Cincinnati. It finally dawned on me, and I finally accepted, that this amazing 22-year old is now a proper adult. It's not easy letting go is it?
The travel industry is also having difficulty letting go. Many operators are clinging to the hope that the conditions of 2019 will return and everything will go back to "normal". Meanwhile several more flexible thinkers are rapidly embracing emerging travel trends which may be with us for quite a while.
Small ship cruising, small group and multi-generational private group travel inquiries are surging, along with interest in remote destinations such as French Polynesia.
Personally I am embracing these trends and will continue to highlight what I think will be the safest and most mind-blowing travel experiences of your lives.
I'm highlighting the Nordic region (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, as well as the Faroe Islands and Greenland) this week, prompted by a meeting at Virtuoso Travel Week with 50° North, a wonderful Nordic itinerary builder who we have worked with successfully before. Why this region?
- a more remote destination with less crowds
- air and water are incredibly clean and fresh (forget about bottled water!)
- spectacular nature and a wide range of outdoor activities
- plenty of small accommodation options
- easy to travel around, and driving is a safe and a very viable option in the summer
- excellent hygiene, healthcare and other safety standards
Top 5 - Remote Destinations - Nordic Exploration
1. Roadtrip, Oslo to Bergen
The 6-day Oslo to Bergen road trip itinerary is a classic route that combines beautiful accommodation with spectacular views of Norwegian fjords, mountains and valleys. Enjoy historical hotels and fresh local produce all the way. This also includes the world-famous 'Norway in a Nutshell’ Flåm train journey (above).
2. Roadtrip, Log Cabins and Bears of Finland
The 8-day Log Cabins & Bears of Finland self-drive itinerary is something altogether different. Travelling along the eastern half of Finland, you'll have a unique chance to explore five different National Parks and even enjoy viewing brown bears and reindeer (above) in the wild! At Rovaniemi you'll be within the Arctic Circle and enjoy Riisitunturi National Park.
3. Slow Travel, Private Island Retreat in Sweden
Slow travel means exploring another part of the world in a relaxed, unrushed pace, soaking in your new environment and locality. It means feeling stress-free as well as more connected and mindful of the food you eat, the locals you meet and the nature that surrounds you.
A Private Island Retreat near Ockelbo (below) in Sweden is a 5-day stay on a tranquil island in rural Sweden. It gives a glimpse into lives of the locals. Most Swedes own a summer cottage somewhere close to water and use it as a place to relax and recharge. You can swim and canoe in the lake, enjoy the lakeside sauna, explore the tiny nearby town, or just sit back and enjoy the view and the sounds of nature all around.
4. Biking, Rallarvegen by bike tour (above)
An easy 3 day add-on to many Norwegian itineraries, Rallarvegen is the most popular cycling route in Norway, and follows the hand-made service road used during the building of the Bergenbanen railway from 1895-1902. Rallarvegen follows the outskirts of the Hardangervidda Plateau, leads you along the Bergen Railway Line from Haugastøl via Finse, Hallingskeid, Myrdal and down to Flåm. The road by itself is an attraction, but it also brings you through a fantastic highland area starting at 3,000 ft above sea level, peaking at 4,000 ft to then lead you back down to the fjords at sea level.
5. Glamping - Greenland Luxury Adventure (above and below)
If you might be ready to "Book Your Bubble" please hit the button below.
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