If Paris and the Maldives are destinations well-suited for couples and Italy is perfect for families – where should a group of friends go for active luxury vacations?
Despite the popularity of luxury group travel, planning such a holiday doesn’t come easy. You need to look for a destination that the entire group will love, and if you have different preferences, that can make planning even more complicated. To help you with this, we’ve created a list of active luxury vacations for travelling friends.
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Tanzania is one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in Africa. It has everything you could ever want for an active holiday with friends – luxury safari experiences, extraordinary landscape scenery, and fun outdoor activities. There is no shortage of adventures to enjoy here, whether you’re an avid hiker or a wildlife lover.
If you and your friend are passionate about climbing mountains, then hiking Kilimanjaro should be at the top of your list of things to do in Tanzania. Dubbed the “Roof of Africa”, Kilimanjaro is the world’s tallest freestanding peak and the highest mountain in the region. You do not need to be a seasoned hiker to conquer Kilimanjaro. Even those with no prior mountaineering experience should be able to climb as long as they have solid physical fitness. Also, getting to the top could take five days or more and require passing through challenging trails.
You may have heard about the jeep safaris in Tanzania, but for a more exciting way of discovering the wildlife, consider going for a walking safari in the Selous Game Reserve. Walking through the wild in search of incredible wild animals is an immersive and rewarding experience. The Selous Game Reserve is one of Tanzania’s most protected areas and home to different wild animals, from elephants to giraffes.
Spain is a country full of adrenaline-filled adventures, making it a perfect destination for active luxury vacations. From rock climbing in Barcelona to caving in Andalucia and playing golf in Tenerife, Spain is a playground for adventurers.
Barcelona is one of the best cities to visit in Spain for adventures. It’s home to adventure parks where you can take up various outdoor sports, such as zip lining and rock climbing. If you want to experience a thrilling rock climbing adventure, head to Altitude Extrem, where you can also try other outdoor sports like canyoning and bungee jumping. In Andalusia, discover Spain’s prehistoric world through caving and explore underground tunnels that have been around for several centuries. Admire the ancient drawings of the cave walls, dating back to the Paleolithic Ages.
Tenerife is another ideal destination in Spain where you can enjoy active luxury vacations with friends. It’s home to the incredible Mount Teide, the highest point in Spain. Aside from hiking and mountain climbing, Tenerife is also an ideal place for golfing, as it’s home to some of the country’s best golf resorts.
If you want to visit somewhere unique and explore off-the-beaten-path destinations with friends, head to Indonesia. The Southeast Asian country is home to more than 17,000 islands, offering everything you can ever want for an active luxury vacation with friends. It has several stunning beaches where you can enjoy fun water sports, from kayaking to snorkelling and scuba diving.
While most travellers would head straight to Bali, several other beautiful islands are worth visiting in Indonesia. For avid trekkers, consider hiking Merapi Volcano on Java Island. It’s an active volcano about two hours away from Yogyakarta. While in Java, don’t miss the chance to visit the famous temples of Borobudur. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site built around the 8th Century.
If you want to spend your time at the beach while staying in some of the world’s most luxurious resorts, head to Bali. Despite being touristy, some places in Bali are still under the tourist radar. One of these is Amed, a picturesque fishing village on the island’s east coast. The area is also an ideal spot for scuba diving, and you’ll find dive shops offering diving tours for divers of all levels.
France may be more famous for being a destination for romantic getaways, especially the capital city of Paris, but it also offers many unique activities for travellers looking for self-guided tours around Paris and beyond, so you don’t have to stick to the usual museum explorations.
If you and your friends are wine lovers, you should go for a wine-tasting tour in Bordeaux. Every year, the city hosts a 2-day wine festival along the banks of River Garonne, where participants get to sample a selection of delectable French wines. For foodies, you should try luxury cooking experiences such as Domaine des Étangs in Massignac hosted by Dominique Crenn, a 5-day culinary event in the picturesque countryside of Cognac.
In the Alpine town of Annecy, you will have the opportunity to sleep on a campsite surrounded by panoramic views. Most have direct access to Lake Annecy, where you can swim in its crystal-clear waters or go kayaking. You can also hire a bike and cycle along the scenic trails by the lake.
5. South Africa
With its breathtaking natural landscapes, South Africa is a fascinating country offering various opportunities for fun activities, making it a perfect destination for adventure enthusiasts. While it’s famous for wildlife safaris, it has more to offer for active travellers.
If you’re looking for thrilling adventures, try shark cage diving. The South African oceans are home to an abundant population of great white sharks, and you’ll have the opportunity to get close to them on your shark cage diving adventure. You can enjoy this activity in the coastal town of Gansbaai, about two hours from Cape Town. Surfing is another activity you should experience in South Africa. You will find many great spots for surfing in the country, but the most popular is in Jeffrey’s Bay, a surfing town in Eastern Cape.
Your trip to South Africa wouldn’t be complete without going on a safari and seeing wild animals up close. The country has several national parks and game reserves, but the Kruger National Park is the most popular and where you can enjoy luxury safari adventures with friends.
*This article has been contributed to Owl Over The World.