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Discover your destination: the most immersive journeys you can take with Anantara

Explore beyond the comfort of your hotel with the best of Anantara’s excursions – from helicopter flights to off-road drives.

For many, travel is about more than simply chasing the sun or putting your feet up – it’s about jumping headlong into another world. It’s reveling in culture shock, discovering ancient history and being surprised along the way. Established in 2001, Anantara now has a range of luxury resorts dotting Asia, Africa and Europe. Whilst its properties are lovely to languish in, Anantara encourages intrepid travellers to venture outside of this literal comfort zone. It arranges expeditions to experience the sights and sounds of each destination – everything from helicopter fly-overs to off-road dune rides. Read on to discover our favourite Anantara journeys. 

 

The full moon dune drive – Anantara Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort, Abu Dhabi

The Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort is an oasis in the middle of the desert. Not just any desert, either, but the largest continuous sand desert in the world – the Rub' al Khali. Whilst the endless, undulating dunes make a photogenic backdrop to your private villa, they’re more fun up close. Camel is the traditional mode of transport, but for a more high-octane and encompassing journey, how about a 4x4? You can hop in an adapted four-wheeler for a guided tour of this scenic landscape. As you carve across the dunes, an expert will teach you about the hardy flora and fauna that survive the extremes here. For a more atmospheric drive, take to the Rub' al Khali during a full moon; the mountains of sand look otherworldly in this half-light, whilst the firmament transforms into a blanket of stars. 

 

The walking tour of mountain villages – Anantara Al Jabal Al Akdar Resort, Oman

Situated amidst Oman’s northern mountains, the Al Jabal Al Akdar Resort peers over a breath-taking canyon 2,000m above sea level, offering five-star luxury in the most unlikely setting. Drag yourself away from your private villa and pool, lace up your toughest boots and head out to experience the surrounding country. There are various walking tours arranged by Anantara that will immerse you in the culture and scenery of Oman. During the Wadi & Waterfall Hike, wind along a six-kilometre nature trail before taking a plunge beneath a waterfall, then dry off in the sun with a poolside picnic. The Three Culture Village Walk is a whistle-stop tour of local villages lead by an Omani mountain guru. Discover Al Aqr, Ash Shirayjah and Al Ayn, where jumbled houses overlook vertiginous farmland growing everything from pears to pomegranates. There are few better ways to explore this mountainous corner of the Arabian Peninsula. 

 

The 4x4 beach drive – Anantara Baleed Resort Salalah, Oman

On the sun-drenched southern coast of Dhofar, studded by swaying palms, is the Al Baleed Resort Salalah. This family-friendly property exudes luxury, from its elegant architecture to its infinity pool. You could pad about on the surrounding soft sands barefoot – but why not take things up a gear with a 4x4 excursion? A beach drive with Anantara will take you across the white sands of Mirbat, Dahariz, Murghsail and Taqa. Speeding along these spectacular shores will set your heart racing – a thrilling contrast to all that rest and relaxation awaiting you back at the spa.

 

The chartered yacht to Ang Thong Marine Park – Anantara Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas, Thailand

Speckling the Gulf of Thailand’s azure waters are hundreds of idyllic islands waiting to be explored. One of the most popular, Koh Phangan, is famous for its monthly Full Moon Party. It’s also home to Rasananda Koh Phangan Villas, which boasts a beachfront infinity pool, sea-view wine cellar and exquisite Thai restaurant. Perhaps most exciting of all, though, is the resident private yacht – Minor Affair. You alongside up to 11 other guests can board this 20m vessel for expeditions across the deep blue yonder. There are daily excursions to Ang Thong National Marine Park, an archipelago brimming with wildlife from the tree-swinging langur to the blacktip reef shark. For an exclusive adventure, hire Minor Affair for a private tour or overnight journey.

 

The helicopter flight over Angkor Wat – Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa, Cambodia

Undoubtedly the Khmer Empire’s crowning glory, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. The complex of ancient temples is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sprawling across 163 hectares of verdant land – a must-see whilst in Cambodia. Stay at the 39-suite Anantara Angkor Resort to experience comfort and sophistication just six miles from the iconic temples. For a bird’s-eye view, take advantage of Anantara’s helicopter flights; there are a range of fly-over paths and durations to choose, from a whirlwind eight-minute tour to a thorough 48-minute orbit. Seeing Angkor Wat from up high is the best way to appreciate the breath-taking scale of the thing, before you pass through its gopuras to see the temples at ground level.   

 

The sunset cruise on the Thu Bon River – Anantara Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An’s atmospheric, lantern-lit streets are hypnotic and abuzz with locals – a great place to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture. A vital waterway for the people here, the Thu Bon River meanders around the city before pouring into the Pacific. On its banks lies Anantara Hoi An, a boutique hotel displaying a melting pot of stylistic influences. Whilst staying here, take a sunset cruise along the Thu Bon; fishing boats turn to silhouettes against the golden haze of twilight, and time seems to slow down a little as the sun plunges below the horizon. It’s an utterly romantic way to spend an evening.

 

Dining on the Royal Livingstone Express Train – The Royal Livingstone by Anantara, Zambia

Journey to Zambia for world-class wildlife, unique tribal customs and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World – Victoria Falls. Known in Chitonga as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’, these awe-inspiring waterfalls cascade from a sheer drop of 108m, a dramatic chasm along the course of the Zambezi river which marks the border with Zimbabwe. Situated on the banks of this great river, The Royal Livingstone is a stone’s throw from the falls, offering guests exceptional access. Aside from excursions to the spectacle, as well as sublime safaris, Anantara provides a rail journey to remember aboard the Royal Livingstone Express. This classic steam engine rolls past Zambia’s most exquisite landscapes, either chugging along the Victoria Falls Bridge or through the Mosi-oa-Tunya Game Park. Dine aboard the Royal Livingstone Express for a six-course dinner with the ultimate view, spotting wildlife from your window and toasting the sunset.