Luxury Isolation: 10 of the best destinations to escape the modern world
Finding a moment of peace and quiet in the modern world isn’t easy. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, we try to escape our busy schedules by hopping on a plane in search of paradise. But even when going on holiday, it’s becoming more difficult to avoid tourist traps, overhyped cities and overcrowded resorts.
In our own hunt for luxury isolation, the OROKO team have discovered some of the world’s best-hidden wonders – places where you can still slip away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. These are our top ten destinations to escape the modern world, some of which are quite close to home.
Often overlooked for its southern counterpart, the Algarve, Northern Portugal offers a more quiet but just as beautiful stay. The north of the country is best known for the beautiful Douro Valley that rises from the banks of its namesake river and stretches across the border with Spain. No better location to enjoy Portugal’s thriving food and wine culture than in the valley, this is a destination for foodies. White-washed villages sit atop steeply terraced vineyards carved into the valley’s walls.
Famed as one of the world’s oldest demarcated wine regions, the valley is primarily known as the birthplace of port wine. You can find world-class eateries and watering holes scattered throughout the valley, serving local port, wine and amazing traditional delicacies. Home to the marvellous Six Senses Douro Valley, you’re guaranteed exclusivity and luxury. The rolling hills of Portugal’s north make for the perfect isolated getaway, whether you’re looking for a short break or a luxury road trip.
Boasting some of the world’s largest natural wonders, Namibia is an ideal location for luxury isolation. Few countries can match Namibia’s sheer natural beauty. The stirring desert realm of the Namib, the dead-tree valleys of Sossusvlei, the ethereal shores of the Skeleton Coast, and the jaw-dropping beauty of the immense Fish River Canyon, escaping the modern world is easy in the landscapes of this beautiful country. When you set out on a luxury holiday to Namibia, leave society behind and enjoy having desert-adapted elephants, lions, and black rhinoceros as your neighbours.
At OROKO, one of our favourite ways to explore Namibia is on a fly safari. Experience true isolation up in the sky as you soar above Namib-Naukluft National Park in a hot air balloon or on a scenic flight to the rolling deserts of Swakopmund. We ensure your luxury holiday to Namibia features the best wildlife tours, game drives and exclusive lodges.
Private Villas in Croatia
A home away from home, a luxury villa holiday is one of the most wonderful ways to experience a private and exclusive respite from the everyday world. Croatia houses some of the most gorgeous private villas there are, a particularly magical experience during quieter seasons. Croatia’s sunniest location, the island of Hvar, is one of our favourite places for a private villa holiday. Hvar’s white pebble beaches open onto a stunning old town and legendary beach bars while its inland landscapes are rich in charming hamlets, craggy peaks, flourishing vineyards and romantic lavender fields. Our partner villa in Hvar is housed in Baroque house, immersing you in the island’s history. Its indoor/outdoor pool and Mediterranean gardens offer you complete privacy as you soak in the sun.
Ecuador & The Galapagos
From dense tropical rainforest to towering mountain ranges coated in snow, Ecuador is essentially a continent in miniature form with a fascinating array of wonders squeezed into this compact country. With more biodiversity per square kilometre than any other nation in the world, Ecuador captures what it means to escape the modern world and is also home to incredible experiential properties like Mashpi Lodge. Set deep within the cloud forest of the Mashpi Reserve, this lodge is luxury isolation defined and a springboard for exploring the biodiversity of the forest beyond. Ecuador also serves as the gateway to the first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Galapagos Islands. Known for its legendary and fearless wildlife, the Galapagos Islands offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences including swimming among sharks, walking alongside giant tortoises and dazzling yourself with unique landscapes in the world. But that doesn’t mean that safety doesn’t come first, and with 100% of the islands’ population vaccinated, the Galapagos is one of the safest destinations to travel to right now.
Off the beaten track in Italy
While many of us have visited and revisited the cultural metropolises and beloved islands of Italy, the country still retains a few hidden oases for those seeking luxury isolation closer to home. One of our favourite tiny towns is Polignano a Mare, a spectacularly positioned hamlet on Italy’s Adriatic coast. Sitting on the edge of a craggy ravine scored with caves, Polignano a Mare is considered to be one of the most important ancient settlements in Puglia. Winding streets of charming, white-washed buildings are lined with historic gems like the beautiful Romanesque church of San Vito Abbey. Soak up the Mediterranean sun on the pebble beach of Lama Monachile and the tranquil cove of Ponte dei Lapilli, before savouring some of the town’s world-renowned gelato. The cliffside Hotel Covo dei Saraceni is one of our favourites in Polignano a Mare, overlooking the historic centre and pebble beach below.
The Land of a Thousand Hills, Rwanda is famed for its fertile rolling landscapes home to some of the world’s last remaining mountain gorillas. A visit to these greatly endangered species will really take you off the grid and leave a lasting impression. Nowhere are there mountains more majestic than Rwanda’s Virunga Volcanoes in the northwest. For a change of pace, the shores of Lake Kivu conceal some of the best inland beaches in Africa, while Nyungwe Forest National Park protects extensive rainforest trails and is home to many adorable primates. One of our all-time favourite properties is in Rwanda, the Wilderness Safaris’ Bisate Lodge. These eye-catching villas built into the slopes of an eroded volcano crater are designed in the traditions of Rwandan royalty, an ideal base to unwind in luxury and set out on gorilla tracking adventures.
Home to soaring mountains shrouded in mystery and deep fjords where the Vikings once roamed, Norway’s landscapes are a dramatic celebration of nature and luxury isolation. From the frozen north of Svalbard to the vast fjords of the west, it truly is a photographer’s paradise, and each well-defined season offers a unique perspective of the kingdom. Polar bear, Arctic fox, puffin and orca are just some of the mighty wildlife that one will discover on a luxury holiday to Norway. The impossibly steep Norwegian fjords serve as the backdrop to some of Europe’s prettiest villages and charming hotels. We love to explore these landscapes by rail and boat, journeying between hamlets with scenic train transfer and discovering the mighty fjords from the sea. A luxury cruise is also the perfect way to experience Norway’s Arctic, an escape to the land of polar bears and the dancing lights of the Aurora Borealis. We partner with Quark Expeditions, experts in the icy realms of Norway’s north, allowing our clients once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
The essence of paradise, luxury isolation ripples across the azure waves and tumbles down the tropical islands of the Indian Ocean. Powdery white sand beaches, thriving rainforests and smooth granite rocks, the countries of the Indian Ocean are home to incredible flora and fauna. These island paradises offer something for everyone. Seychelles and Mauritius provide the perfect couple’s holiday retreat with pristine sandy beaches and azure-blue waves that break gently on the shore, while the luxury over-water villas of the Maldives are paired with endless activities for all of the family to enjoy. Those in search of next-level luxury isolation will love the private island resorts of Seychelles. Our partner properties like the Six Senses Zil Pasyon and North Island, A Luxury Collection Resort are pioneering barefoot luxury on their exclusive islands.
Sailing in Greece
Nothing says luxury like a private yacht and no better place to sail than through the islands of Greece. From the Cyclades to the Dodecanese, each of the Greek islands offers something special with its unique feel and culture. While some of these islands are extremely popular with tourists, many preserve a more quiet and traditional way of life. Some even remain uninhabited, protecting the ancient wonders of Greece like the temples on the small island of Delos. Sailing is one of our favourite ways to explore the Greek islands, allowing a bespoke holiday to the islands that best suit your desires, whether that be beachside relaxation, historic adventures or culinary journeys. Plus, your private charter doubles as luxury accommodation and luxury transport. When OROKO charter your private yacht, we ensure that you have the best possible skipper and hostess at your disposal. We’ll steer you away from the crowds as well ensuring that your days at sea fit seamlessly into the rest of your trip.
The ultimate destination for those seeking isolation, Antarctica is the only continent where you can leave civilisation completely behind you. One of the world’s last wildernesses, Antarctica is a land sculpted by ice and engulfed in frozen silence, but even this icy realm can be experienced in luxury. We partner with the world’s leading polar cruise providers like Ponant, allowing intrepid explorers to discover the White Continent on once-in-a-lifetime expeditions in the company of expert guides. Witness mighty orca breach the frozen water, gigantic albatross battle the harsh winds and the splendour of young penguin chicks playing on the ice. Encircled by the inescapable beauty in the tapestry of Antarctic scenery, stay in state-of-the-art cruise ships featuring incredible amenities from underwater viewing lounges to luxury spas.