The summer period is ideal to leave cities and get fresh ideas with the nature. Primary islands, forests, big lakes or mountain, discover the rest of our series and five places to connect with the big spaces.
1. The Himalayan experience
Where: A trail through the wild and rugged landscape of India’s Bageshwar district leads to the isolated Shakti 360° Leti. This luxurious yet minimalist hideaway built of wood and stone and vast expanses of glass, nestled at an altitude of 8000 feet, overlooks the perennially snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas.
Nature calls: During your stay at Shakti 360° Leti, experience the wonder of the Himalayas on a camping experience, mountain walks or treks organised by the lodge. Opt for a more leisurely walk to a local temple, with views of the Ramganga Valley, Heeramani Glacier and Nanda Kot, or something challenging, like a hike to Bunga, with sights of Nanda Devi, the highest mountain peak solely within India. Soak it all in with a picnic or drinks and return to the lodge for gourmet dining and nights in front of the fireplace. Take to the rivers and try your hand at fishing or tap into the spirit of India with yoga and meditation sessions – a spirit that continues in the kitchen of this mountain retreat, with cooking lessons in the traditional Indian cuisine.
2. A breath of fresh Australian air
Where: Spicers Peak Lodge, on a remote hilltop in the Scenic Rim region of the Cedar Mountain plateau in Maryvale, Australia, is surrounded by national park wilderness.
Nature calls: Glimpse some of Australia’s most remarkable views from Spicers Peak Lodge, with its large patios and outdoor pool overlooking the mountainscape and the rock wallabies that come to visit. Leave your footprints on this unique part of the world on walks or hikes with a local guide – whether on a private trail across the mountain saddle, through the eucalypt forest of Cedar Mountain to the lush rainforest of Spicers Peak Mountain, or along the creek line in search of unique birdlife, such as the threatened Glossy Black Cockatoo. Take a breather and stop for a gourmet picnic. Head out on a guided downhill mountain bike ride through the forested home of the elusive brumbies or take it all in from above on a helicopter safari. At the lodge, connect with the land through your taste buds with the restaurant’s menus which change daily and feature organic offerings made from local seasonal ingredients, such as the honey produced on the grounds. Float under the Australian sky in the infinity pool, or enjoy the fresh air with a game of tennis, bocce, croquet or quoits.
3. Out of Africa
Where: 270 kilometres from Cape Town, the wide open plains and rugged rock formations of Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa, invite nature lovers to rest and reconnect, far away from city life.
Nature calls: This Cape Dutch-style farmhouse is at home in a private wilderness reserve area, with private patios in both the main lodge’s suites and the exclusive-use Koro Lodge greeting the fresh mountain air and views of the wilderness sanctuary. It is a place to relax among the reserve’s free-roaming wild animals – some of which are highly endangered. Get up close to them on nature drives, walks and mountain bike rides. Paddle the rivers that have left their mark on this mountain landscape on canoeing trips, swim in rock pools, go fly-fishing and take along a picnic, dine outdoors on authentic South African cuisine beneath the starriest of skies, or find your inner calm in the day spa that opens out onto a gentle mountain stream below. Experience this ancient land through the eyes of the original inhabitants – the Bushmen – with the reserve’s more than 130 rock art sites of ancient Bushman paintings, dating from ten thousand years ago.
4. The remote island getaway
Where: On a private peninsula at the edge of the Anjajavy Forest in a nature reserve, Anjajavy l’Hôtel consists of a beautiful ensemble of rosewood villas along the long sandy beach of Moramba Bay on the Indian Ocean’s Mozambique Channel.
Nature calls: Offering one of the most unique close-up encounters with nature in the world, Anjajavy l’Hôtel’s connection to the natural world begins in its landscaped garden, where some of the island’s rarest species of plants grow and where the curious lemurs come to play in the cooler hours. Nature’s touch continues with the warm Indian Ocean that laps on the beachfront a few steps from your villa and across the rest of the island – considered one of the last remaining unspoilt oases on the planet. Here you’ll get to explore virgin forests, savannas, tiny islands, deserted creeks, mysterious caves, little fishing villages and the Tsingy coral and encounter the uncanny lemurs, chameleons, tortoises, humming birds, cocoa, vanilla, ylang-ylang, papyrus and carnivorous plants – and, possibly, new, as-yet unknown native species which continue to be discovered for the first time by visitors each season. Harness nature’s serenity relaxing by the pool beneath the palm trees or on a romantic seaside sleepout with views across the horizon.
5. Beside Earth's highest navigable lake
Where: Titilaka Lodge in South America is as off-the-beaten-track as you’ll find, set on a remote private peninsula south of Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca in the Andes. It lies at an elevation of 12,500 feet, on the border between Peru and Bolivia – the cradle of the Inca civilisation and still home to one of the oldest communities in South America.
Nature calls: After arriving at Juliaca Airport, you’ll be driven to the wharf, and then escorted by motorboat to this remote eco-lodge. Wake up to the view of Lake Titicaca, fall asleep to fierce sunsets and star-speckled night skies, and in between, explore the Inca and pre-Inca ruins and the floating reed islands of the Uros people. Go hiking or biking through the Andean scenery, and explore the Aymara route – through the natural landscapes and communities of the Chucuito peninsula who depend entirely on their interconnected relationship with nature. Explore the open fields and pastures, travelling from one spectacular lookout point to another, whether by car, bike, or foot, and look out for the local wildlife and birds, while making time for a lake-view picnic.