Where to go

🐠 Rowley Shoals | 🚂 Andean Explorer | 🦭 Isle of Arran

29 March 2024

Luxury

The firm behind the Orient Express has launched South America’s first luxury sleeper train, says Condé Nast Traveller. Passengers on the Andean Explorer can enjoy a fully stocked bar carriage, three-course meals in the dining car, and plush cabins for sleeping or admiring the Peruvian Andes from bed. The journey from Arequipa to Cusco takes up to six days, with stops at wonders along the way including Lake Titicaca, the La Raya mountain range and Machu Picchu. From $4,048 pp, Belmond.com

Shoestring

Dresden is the “ultimate phoenix from the ashes”, says the I newspaper. The east German city was obliterated by Allied bombs in 1945 but is now one of Europe’s most romantic – and reasonably priced – spots, now known as “Florence on the Elbe”. It also has a thriving art scene: the Albertinum, an armoury-turned-gallery, has a particularly good collection of works by local boy Caspar David Friedrich. Dresden can be reached via Eurostar, European Sleeper and local train (approx 18 hours); or plane (approx 3 hours)

Adventure

The Rowley Shoals, around 170 nautical miles off the north-west coast of Australia, are one of the world’s finest places to scuba dive and snorkel, says the FT. Only a few hundred people get to visit the marine park each year on yachts like True North II, which carries up to 22 guests for five-night voyages. Unlike the Great Barrier Reef, the coral is pristine, and home to some 688 species of fish. Above sea level, there are stretches of perfect white sand where visitors can spot rare tropical birds. A five-night trip to Rowley Shoals with True North starts at A$6,595 (£3,400) pp, truenorth.com.au 

UK

The Isle of Arran “constantly over-delivers”, says The Daily Telegraph. Dubbed “Scotland in Miniature”, the western island boasts every landscape possible – from Alpine peaks and tumbling glens to rolling hills and sweeping sandy beaches. It also has “historic sights aplenty”, from brooding castles to bewitching stone circles, and is the only Scottish isle home to all of the country’s “Big Five”: golden eagle, red deer, common seal, otter and red squirrel. Arran can be reached by ferry from Ardrossan, return tickets from £8.40pp, calmac.co.uk

Hotel

Shinta Mani Mustang, a recently refurbished hotel in the heart of the Himalayas, is guaranteed to put the region on the luxury traveller’s radar, says Vogue. The breathtaking landscape of Mustang is defined by its soaring snowy peaks – visible from every one of the hotel’s suites – and the sweeping Kali Gandaki River. Tourists were only granted access to the area in the 1990s, and it’s still not easy: Shinta Mani is a six-hour car ride from Pokhara airport. But it’s worth it. Personalised excursions into the mystical landscape combine spiritual connection and scenic adventure. Five nights at Shinta Mani Mustang from $1800 per room per night, shanimanimustang.com