Luxury travel operator Captain’s Choice is tipping Iran to become one of the most popular new luxury travel destinations for 2016.
Revealing his personal pick of some of the most exciting destinations driving bookings for 2016, Captain’s Choice Founder Phil Asker, said:
“People, places and experiences that are difficult to access, or which are perceived to be ‘off limits’ are really attractive to the luxury traveller of tomorrow. Our favourite five ‘hot list’ for 2016 may well come as a surprise as it contains many countries that have already been explored in depth. The point we are making in our round up is that exclusivity and originality can completely transform the way a destination is perceived. This is what makes the destinations sought after in the eyes of the luxury traveller.”
The Captain’s Choice ‘hot list’ of destinations in 2016 includes:
- Iran – A vast footbridge between Asia and Europe, Iran is perhaps the Middle East’s best kept secret according to Phil Asker. “This is a destination almost devoid of tourists and that holds huge appeal. From the dazzling contrasts of Tehran, to the exotic gardens and lavish mansions of Shiraz and Isfahan, the city that is the pride of Persia – a road trip through Iran will open your eyes to ancient historical sites and traditions that are still very much alive in Iran today. It’s definitely a place to go and explore now, before it opens up to the mainstream,” he said.
- Spain – You may think you know Spain well, but according to Phil Asker, there is more to this cultured and culinary country than meets the eye. “The best way to explore and discover the real Spain is through the eyes of a local. This vibrant country has so much more to offer when you venture off the traditional tourist trail, from the Jewish quarter of Girona to the El Transcantabrico rail journey tracing the country’s northern coastline. Stepping through the dimly lit doorways of La Rioja’s Calle Laurel to sample local tapas with MoVida’s Frank Camorra or riding the romantic Al Andalus train which cuts a steady path to Cadiz. Spain is definitely a country commanding attention in 2016.”
- Mexico – From the sun scattered beaches of Mexico’s coast to the burnished glow of its desert interior. Everywhere you venture you’ll be greeted with open hearted smiles which mirror an exuberance for life. Colourful and quixotic, according to Phil Asker, Mexico enjoys an inspired talent for transforming even the most sombre side of life into cause for celebration.
- Japan – For all its technology, fierce competitiveness and fast moving pace, Japan remains a country stilled by ancient culture and revered traditions. From the delicate spring time cherry blossom buds which signal a week of ‘Hanami’ (flower watching) parties to the UNESCO listed snowy mountain village of Shirakawa-go with its 150 traditional farmhouses known as gassho-zukuris where large families live together. It is culture and tradition that continue to captivate in Japan according to Phil Asker, “Whether it’s by land or via a cruise around the main and outer islands, Japan still manages to mesmerise. We are seeing an increase in interest in this destination.”
- The Silk Road and the ‘Stans’ – Central Asia has so far remained a mystery to most travellers. In 2016 Captain’s Choice is offering a rail journey that takes guest from China to Russia, taking in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan enroute. It’s a journey that Captain’s Choice has been running for 15 years and still continues to be in high demand. According to Phil Asker it’s designed for the true ‘luxury adventurer’, “I have always been fascinated by this region and its nomadic traditions so I’m really excited to throw open the doors to the Silk Road and some of the ‘Stan’ family for our guests in 2016. It is definitely an adventure, and one that promises to surprise even the most widely travelled.”