Europe’s top destination, Portugal is much more than port, fishing, and its yesteryear trams and tiles.

This is the authentic Algarve of rolling countryside, of salt pans, of small bustling towns and characterful fishing ports and a wide range of beaches that form part of the UNESCO-protected Ria Formosa coastline as it sweeps down to Spain. 

Halfway between the countryside and the sea, in the heart of the Eastern Algarve countryside is the perfect combination between connection to nature and the luxury comfort of modern life in the centre of the Algarve. The perfect base from which to explore the culture, gastronomy and natural beauty of this unspoiled area.

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Part of the Canaries archipelago, the entire island is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. Much of its culture was curated by the local visionary artist Cesar Marnique, an architect, sculptor and painter who worked with the Spanish government to draw up a plan to minimize the impact of tourism on the island. Think organic buildings that sculpt form out of the black lava that characterises the island with trees that spear through walls and interiors that seamlessly merge with the outdoors.

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Namibia is a trip of two parts. The Skeleton Coast stretches 500 kilometers. It’s uninhabited, untamed and backed by sand dunes up to 300m high. Cape fur seal colonies must elude lions and hyenas against he skeletons of shipwrecks. Inland, you move to a safari wilderness experience in five star camps that put you right at the heart of your experience with nothing but unfiltered nature around you. The 37000 hectare private Kulala Wilderness Reserve is home to wildlife like the bat-eared fox and brown hyaena while Sesriem Canyon showcases millions of years worth of fascinating geology to make you feel miraculous and blissfully insignificant at the same time.

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An hour’s drive from Siena, the Orcia Wine Trail passes the charming hamlet of Castiglione d’Orcia in the UNESCO World Heritage region of Val d’Orcia. The town is dominated by its unusual-shaped castle called the Rocca a Tintin Nano with breathtaking views of Tuscany’s iconic cypress trees and olive groves.

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Santa Ynez, California

Considered by many as ‘the Tuscany of California’, the Santa Ynez Valley is made up of six vintage-styled towns of Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Buellton, Solvang, Ballard and Santa Ynez. Think false facades that hark back to the early Spanish settlers and restored and refined ranches. There’re even sidewalks studded with horseshoes for the new cowgirl/boy in town. But what fuels this region is wine, and the six towns are easily picked off by bike if you want to wobble between wineries.

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