Poet Stanley Horowitz describes the four seasons as works of art – and we think he could be describing luxury world travel – when he says,
“winter is an etching,
spring a watercolour,
summer an oil painting,
and autumn a mosaic of them all”.
No matter where you are in the world or what season it might be, there is always some place where beauty and adventure are to be found. The secret to enjoying the palette of the seasons to the fullest, however, lies in our mastery of the art of luxury world travel.
World Travel: Autumn’s mosaic
North America is perfect any season of the year, but autumn is that brief window of time when the temperature is just right – neither too hot and sticky nor freezing and miserable. Throughout the continent, it’s harvest season – a time of cider mills, festivals and fall foliage second to none. To see and experience it all from the comfort of one of the continent’s luxury trains makes it unforgettable.
Britain may not be the most obvious choice for an autumn, yet it has a great deal to offer. There are definitely far fewer visitors, so you can easily get into places that are otherwise crowded in the summer months. Yet again, the option of a luxury train journey through some of the United Kingdom’s most stunning scenery promises a magical experience – the quieter seasons in the Lake District and environs, for example, is often a time of year when incredibly clear skies provide an amazing clarity to the outdoor light.
All across the northern world, autumn is a time of harvest and spectacular foliage. Throughout the many wine regions, towns and wineries of France and Italy, special events and harvest celebrations abound – there are even opportunities for participating in some grape stomping!
Further east, nothing beats the experience that comes from viewing the autumn foliage among the volcanoes and hot springs of Japan’s Hokkaido Island.
World Travel: Winter’s Etching
Europe’s top destinations for winter travel are numerous and the freezing season is not necessarily something to be dreaded. Why not embrace it, for example, on a cruise along Norway’s fjords with shore excursions for dog sledding, snowmobiling, city tours and a stop at the “Top of the World” at the North Cape.
You can even sleep on a bed of ice one night if you wish. Part novelty, part exhilarating adventure, ice hotels, where everything from walls to beds to drinks glasses are carefully carved from frozen blocks, illuminate dreary winter nights, creating a truly one-of-a-kind sleep experience. And on any night you might see the Northern lights dance across the sky.
Europe in the winter comes with many snow-filled opportunities. The crowds are sparse, the pubs are cozy, the fireplaces are roaring, and baked goods and hot toddies round out every action-packed day.
Christmas markets have been an annual tradition in Europe for centuries, and are still going strong throughout Germany, Austria, Hungary, France, Switzerland and beyond. All the markets are unique and each one promises an unforgettable experience. One of the best ways to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Europe during the holiday season is to take a luxury river cruise, putting you right in the heart of the festive action.
Heading even further north to Iceland for a soak in the Blue Lagoon, one of Europe’s top natural hot springs, promises an otherworldly experience. This steamy source of crystal-blue water, surrounded by vast expanses of open fields will leave you feeling as though you’ve traveled to a dreamlike dimension.
World Travel: Spring’s Watercolour
Autumn in the north means it’s spring on the other side of the world – a season when South Africa’s western Cape province and Western Australia’s south-west bloom under a carpet of wildflowers for months at a time. This is also the only wine region in Australia where you can hop from award-winning wineries and restaurants to stunning beaches, tall-timber forests, world-class surf breaks and ancient caves, all within the space of a few hours. Plan to arrive on one of the great luxury trains in this part of the world in time for these regions’ awesome floral displays.
World Travel: Summer’s Oil Painting
But if the turning of the leaves and dropping temperatures leave you feeling cold, there are plenty of other luxury travel options. After all, it’s always beach season somewhere – like Hawaii, Thailand or the Caribbean.
Discover Central America on a cruise ship. Thanks to its location close to the equator, the temperatures there are hot all year round. It’s a place where incredible experiences await you – go jungle trekking, explore giant caves, or visit some of the most amazing Mayan ruins on the planet.
The height of summer in the south is the time for that bucket-list cruise to Antarctica! And there’s no need to trade comfort for safety and adventure either, because the state-of-the-art ships that are designed specifically for dealing with this region come stacked with all the bells and whistles. Offering luxurious accommodations, spacious public spaces and lounges, and five-star amenities these vessels will carry you in style to the most remote wilderness destination on the planet.
As the pendulum of the seasons begins to swing back the other way again, knowing when the rainy season and the dry season falls, helps determine the best time for an African safari. Generally, the dry season – the autumn and winter months in the southern hemisphere – is best for safari. It’s the time when water is scarce and animals will congregate around existing water holes, the grass is lower affording better visibility, and the dirt roads are navigable – all very important factors for a successful safari.
No matter what the season or where in the world you want to be, there is always a luxury option to enable you to experience the best that both the location and the season has to offer.
The Luxury Holiday Company – The fine art of travel.