Many people claim to have seen and done iconic cities like London, Paris and Rome. Yet there’s much more to these destinations than famous attractions.
Tens of millions of tourists stick to the tried and tested, ticking off the must-see and must-do. We prefer exploring what’s new and seeking authenticity, rather than the number one attraction.
So if you’re not the person to do the usual tourist stuff, how about trying this instead?
There’s More to France than Paris and the Riviera
Of course Paris is magnificent. Everyone’s been there and done the Eiffel Tower. How many people have slept inside the Palace of Versailles? Or enjoyed a private jewellery experience, including private houses and studios. And there’s more to France than Paris and the French Riviera.
Normandy was one of the top travel trends of 2022 – it’s finally being rediscovered as a luxury travel destination.
Bordeaux is not only for wine lovers, it’s the largest UNESCO protected city on the planet, a journey through Romans, Barbarians, Moors, Medieval and Renaissance legends. And why stick to sipping Champagne on the Riviera, when you can go drink Champagne in Champagne, at a Champagne house not owned by LVMH?
Skip Michelangelo’s David, Make Perfume & Leather in Florence
Every day thousands of people crowd around a statue of David on Piazza del Signoria, even though it’s a replica (the real one is in the Accademia Gallery).
Beyond central Florence there are far more personal art experiences to discover. Like creating your own fragrance with a master perfumer. Spending an afternoon in a workshop with a master leather craftsman.
Discover the art of masterpiece restoration at Opificio delle Pietre Dure, admiring the techniques used to bring marble, ceramic and bronze art pieces back to life.
Local Experiences on Greek Islands
Santorini sunset from Oia? Tick. Shipwreck Beach on Zakynthos? Tick. The windmills of Mykonos? Tick. Every summer, millions of tourists have the same tick list. And these places are far too popular to enjoy from June to August.
Greece is all about authenticity. Like a seafood picnic along the quietest Mykonos coast. Or A luxury hotel with a private pool and sunset view in Santorini.
Try Crete. It doesn’t have that many famous attractions, but its undeveloped South Coast remains one of the most authentic destinations in Europe.
Fisherman villages, vineyards, empty beaches, local food…this is the country’s most hospitable island, a destination for the explorer in you.
Want a Unique Holiday?
Get Out of Crowded Central London
London’s famous attractions are really not so impressive. Big Ben, The London Eye, Buckingham Palace? Tired global icons on noisy traffic-choked streets, surrounded by a thousand people taking selfies.
Flashy skyscrapers, labyrinthine alleys, regal hotels, afternoon tea, the juxtaposition of opulent stores and grungy, graffiti-ridden pop-up boutiques. London is incomparable, but which side are you going to experience?
Travel outside Zone 1 of the London Underground (go by black taxi obviously) and you’ll find real London. Like the trend-setting funky neighbourhoods of East London. The new hipster hangouts in South London. Away from the bright and famous you’ll find London to be one of the world’s most creative cities.
The Hidden Side to Rome’s Open-Air Museum
Rome is a living museum, a magnificent open-air ode to history. So why does almost everyone crowd into the same few famous places?
Of course the Sistine Chapel is an otherworldly work of art. Do your visit after hours, when the chapel is silent, not packed with 500 other people.
Frescos, basilicas, galleries, archaeological ruins, Roman wonders…Rome has many secret treasures, hidden in plain sight next to the busy tourist streets. You can even follow the mystery of The Da Vinci Code.
Creating Your Own Experience in an Iconic Destination
There’s a beauty to an evolving relationship with a destination. The best destinations are always changing. Your own travel preferences and interests change over time as well. So why would anybody follow the same itinerary as somebody else?
Travel is freedom. It’s creating your own experiences and memories every moment you are away. We partner with a global network of leading travel professionals, opening up a world without limits for our clients.
So don’t follow the others. Get ready to set trends. Are you ready to explore and holiday like a privileged few?