Experience the best of both worlds by visiting these three destinations, perfect for culturally enriching experiences and laced with hints of luxury.
When it comes to travel, there are some who might prefer the more adventure filled experiences whether it’s going on safari or an adrenaline packed holiday. Right on the other end of the spectrum you may find those that are more interested in the finer things in life, fine dining, beautiful hotels, theatre, high fashion etc. Somewhere in between those two groups, you’ll find possibly smaller segments that are completely besotted with culture, people, and the ways of the world if you will. They’re consumers of art, both paintings, sculptures, ancient civilisations and artefacts and they’re willing to travel the world over, to track down the masterpieces that the maestro’s of centuries before, invented.
However difficult the process may have been to shorten this list to just three, we thought about what our audience might enjoy and focused on three destinations that are both culturally rich and have some extraordinary offers of luxury. If you are one of those people that prefer investing in experiences as opposed to things, then you should be including Sri Lanka, Russia and Iran (yes, Iran!) on your list of the places to see before you die. They rarely get the attention they deserve while they could easily turn into a high-end luxury travel experience through chartering a private jet, allowing you access to unique and less touristy spots.
1. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a cultural gem that we don’t hear enough about, at least not as often as we’d like. Boasting the well-known cultural triangle, which stretches from the medieval Kandy, to the ancient kingdom of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to the east, Sri Lanka could very well be an archaeologist’s dream journey. Unesco have confirmed that 6 of the world’s archaeological sites, reside in the country.
With its range of exquisite hotels and resorts and extraordinary sights we’re sure that cultural travel expeditions with a twist of luxury can be achieved by visiting Sri Lanka.
With archaeological sites which are referred to as good looking rocks, visual replica’s or demonstrations of hell, caves to get lost in and much more for those that are less focused on arts and culture i.e sun, sea, nightlife, festivals etc, there’s no reason not to visit Sri Lanka for the best of both worlds.
Our next stop is Russia. If you read Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina or watched the film, you could have been enchanted by the Russian writer’s depiction of all things Moscow and St Petersburg related, or at least that is in as far as the aristocracy is concerned. Reading Tolstoy’s book could make you curious enough to visit, or possibly you may be lured by the many news stories that are always being released with regards to Vladimir Putin and the political and economic affairs of the state.
Books and news aside, in as far as the first stops on your itinerary to feed your cultural senses – Moscow and St Petersburg are where you need to head straight away. Moscow as the capital will be a treasure trove for all the history lovers, the city has also been going through changes some form of “gentrification” if you will and you might find to your surprise that pockets of the city has a bit of a hipster vibe. First things first, head off to the Red Square and Kremlin at the heart of Moscow and bask in the cultural ambience that awaits you. Hotels here are said to top the world’s most expensive list, and… that’s true! I would especially recommend the Four Seasons Moscow.
St Petersburg is of course the more touristy city in Russia, yet with the palaces being plentiful in and around the city, it’s an architect and interior designers dream, to encounter a place where the old world meets new. The month of May would be great for a visit as this month marks “the launch of the fountains in Peterhof” and welcomes the start of summer.
Bursting with only the best that luxury has to offer, Russians love their luxury brands, which means tourists are bound to find all the exclusive household retailers there, just waiting for them to make the necessary splurges.
We hear about Egypt, Paris, Rome, Spain and Italy all the time when destinations for culturally enriching travel experiences are mentioned. Especially with reference to the cultural sights that need to be seen – I have yet to hear as much about Iran, which is why it’s on our list of cultural hotspots. Naturally getting there is not as simple, you’ll have to compromise on a few things, i.e. no alcohol, women to be fully covered with a headscarf at all times and a few other inconveniences ; but despite these hassles, Iran was still voted as the most “intoxicating and enriching destination” by fellow luxury travel resource provider A Luxury Travel Blog.
The dreamy city of Esfahan has been voted as the Iranian state’s tourism capital and here you’re bound to find breath-taking historic sites (mosques and archaeological sites), Persian gardens which encourage tranquillity at its best and priceless items for purchase (handmade). Visitors are able to trade with the artisans that made these master pieces. To me it sounds like every culture vulture’s dream… What’s more, plans are underway to improve Iran’s luxury travel sector with the aim of making it one of 2016’s “must see” destinations. If you haven’t been keeping your eye on the news, you’re probably hearing it here first. These recent developments have made Iran a worthy inclusion in our list of top three cultural hotspots, for an indulgence of the senses and a twist of luxury.
That concludes our of top 3 destinations to visit for culture and a twist of luxury, they are all other worldly and quite possibly not spoken of enough, but that certainly doesn’t mean they’re not worth the visit. What’s more you get to experience the best of both worlds in these destinations, a taste of luxury and some enrichment for your cultural senses.
Article written in collaboration with Air Charter Service.