With Christmas and the New Year less than a hundred days away, have you been toying with the idea of venturing abroad for a well-deserved year-end or festive holiday but would like to explore your options out of the Vaccinated Travel Lane to Germany?
Below, the team at Scott Dunn has picked out five destinations from the recently announced country tier system, all of which are currently open to travellers from Singapore with varying SHN regulations, making them great alternative options for those looking to get away later this year.
Whether you’re seeking a cultural adventure to see the ancient wonders of Egypt or want to experience the holiday spirit in a private snow-covered chalet skiing the days away, these wonderful destinations promise a year-end escape you won’t forget.
Lapland is a magical wonderland of snow and ice in Sweden’s northernmost province. As it is north of the Arctic Circle, you may be lucky enough to witness an awe-inspiring display of the Northern Lights during the winter months between November and March.
Devour the wild landscapes of Lapland and the spectacular view of the Northern Lights. Here, history and culture meet natural beauty and adrenaline-packed activities from snowmobiling and hover crafting over frozen lakes to the more relaxed ice-fishing. You’ll be spoiled for choice with a plethora of winter experiences!
Hidden away deep in the forest of Gunnarsbyn, Arctic Retreat offers a truly exclusive and personalised escape. The Råne River winds its way around this tiny peninsula, with the Raven Rapids thundering just a few hundred metres away from the cabins. Other than the lapping of the water, here you can enjoy almost complete silence and serenity. The stylishly unique cabins boast cosy log burners, floor-to-ceiling windows and private hot tubs, from where you can relax and soak up the incredible views of the Lappish wilderness.
A trip to Lapland would not be complete without an encounter with the huskies and reindeers ready to show off their playground during your stay at Arctic Retreat. Take part in the adrenaline fuelled snowmobile safari, as you whip your way through the pine forests to a mountain peak for a spectacular view over the river valley, perhaps spotting a few wild reindeer along the way. Pay a visit to a local Sami family, where the head of the family will enlighten you with their stories of surviving the harsh Arctic winters, their traditions and the close bond they hold with the reindeer.
Enjoy the grand and stunning Arctic Bath Hotel, a unique concept of a floating hotel, surrounded by water which freezes over in the winter. At the centre of the main floating building is a plunge pool, carved into the ice during winter. With a choice of gorgeous over water or land cabins, each featuring a private terrace perfect for watching the Northern Lights. Take time to relax in the saunas along with treatment rooms with a range of therapies including massages and cleansing and detox therapies. Guests can enjoy the lounge area, bar and first-class restaurant to add another level to your stay!
Journey through Egypt’s ancient past, in juxtaposition with Egypt’s modern-day life, on one of the tailor-made Egyptian tours. Marvel at the sheer magnitude of the country’s majestic monuments and relics while soaking in the rich culture and religious history buzzing around you.
Egypt offers a winning combination of culture, history, Mediterranean beauty and stark desert scenery. Travellers are often amazed by the expected, and enthralled by the unexpected, when they travel through Egypt.
Sail the Nile River between the ancient cities of Luxor and Aswan by felucca and end in Elephantine Island for an afternoon tea overlooking the spectacular panoramic view of the Nile in all directions. This trip takes you to what feels like the end of the earth to see the colossal temple of Abu Simbel that is set on a stunning backdrop of Lake Nasser, one of the most impressive temples built by Rameses II.
Be dwarfed by the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids of Giza, now the last standing of the Seven Wonders of the World. There are activities available such as a camel ride or a Sound & Light Show at additional cost.
Go into the heart and romance of Islamic Cairo. Insightful stories abound as you make your way through Citadel of Salah-el-Din, Mohamed Ali Mosque, Sultan Hassan Mosque and Ibn Tulun Mosque. Continue to Gayer Anderson Museum to view impressive Islamic artefacts and Persian decorations. Conclude your journey through 4,000 years of history as you uncover a plethora of ancient Egyptian treasures in the Egyptian Museum.
A country landlocked in continental Europe with towering mountains, visitors from all over the world come here to ascend the slopes of the Alps, breathe in the crisp clean air and feel on top of the world on some of the most iconic mountain peaks. Enjoy the country’s thriving cosmopolitan cities, which are steeped in history.
Lean into the limitless horizons of Switzerland as you stand atop breath-taking mountains and breathe in the vast landscape that the Swiss Alps exudes.
As a ski destination, Zermatt fully deserves its status as one of the world’s best winter resorts. Combining excellent, mixed-ability skiing with breathtakingly beautiful scenery, a fabulous après-ski scene, and a lively village that feels magical all year round. En route, a brief stop in the town of Vevey to visit the famous Chaplin’s World, the first-ever museum dedicated to the work of Charlie Chaplin.
Be entranced by the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bern. This petite city of lofty spires, cobbled streets and medieval architecture is set to a backdrop of snow-capped peaks and occasional glimpses of the glistening Aare River that runs through its heart. Elegant yet affable, Switzerland’s capital city promises to delight, with its museums, ancient arcades and 16th century fountains.
Aboard the Glacier Express, one of the most famous train journeys in the world, as it winds its way between Zermatt and St Moritz to Andermatt. Relax in spacious carriages and enjoy freshly prepared lavish meals in the dining car served at your seat. Witness picturesque sceneries through vast panoramic windows from table level to over the ceiling above you, whilst friendly and attentive staff look after you.
Renowned for its distinctive, delicious alpine cuisine and a lively après-ski scene – Austria is a landlocked country that borders Germany and the Czech Republic in the north and Switzerland to the west. St Anton exudes character and charm and the Tyrolean hospitality is not to be missed.
Breath in the stunning Alps scenery whilst on top of the world. St Anton is just one part of the awesome Arlberg ski area which is linked with Lech and Zurs.
Experience the spectacular views and see the highlights of the Arlberg with St Anton Classic ski guides and gain insider knowledge about the best ski runs if you wish to do more than scratch the surface. The excellent snow record combined with such an extensive area is the perfect location for any good skier. While the terrain can be challenging for those with little experience, the Rendl area offers some easier and often quieter runs, snow parks and plenty of sun.
For adrenaline junkies with endless stamina, take a tandem paraglider to a remote spot – this may involve some further hiking or skiing, and on arrival you’re given a hearty lunch. Be rewarded with the best skiing experience – mostly untouched slopes, all the way back down. If you’re not afraid of flying and you’re a competent off-piste skier, this will set your heart racing. You’ll even get a professionally edited video of your day for everyone to watch before dinner!
A ride in a horse drawn sleigh is perfect for non-skiers. The horse-drawn sleigh ride picks you up opposite the Hotel Mooserkreuz and takes you into the scenic Verwall valley and lasts about an hour.
During your stay at arguably one of the finest contemporary chalets in the Alps, Chalet Artemis provides all the comfort and facilities you could ever wish for. With an exceptional tailored service of a private concierge, chef, chalet host and driver service. A private nanny can also be arranged upon request. Guests at Chalet Artemis get to enjoy bespoke modern alpine dining, offering whatever you desire starting with a sumptuous breakfast to afternoon tea to lastly, exceptional dining with hand selected pre-dinner drinks, champagne and canapes.
Dive into three iconic cities of Venice, Florence and Rome as you discover the antiquity and the arts of Italy. Staying in ultimate luxury, you will be doused in world-class art, breath-taking architecture, profound ancient history, all alongside expert guides, unprecedented service and mouth-watering cuisine, you will be spoiled from top to tail with this ultimate itinerary.
Kickstart your adventure in the vibrant and opulent city of Venice, built over a picturesque network of 150 canals. Staying at the iconic Belmond Hotel Cipriani, exuding vintage glamour this is one of Venice’s most celebrated hotels – offering panoramic views across to Piazza San Marco, the lagoon and the islands beyond.
Get lost in the maze of winding streets as you explore the city and cross the canals by foot or on board one of Venice’s iconic gondolas. Discover the history behind St Mark’s Square, home to the towering Campanile bell tower and the extravagant Doge’s Palace, once a seat of huge political power. Culture lovers could also visit one of the city’s celebrated art galleries or enjoy a spectacular performance at the world-famous La Fenice opera house.
Ease yourself into the luxuriously elegant city of Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. The cultural capital of Italy, Florence boasts some of the most renowned art galleries and museums in the world, as well as truly breath-taking architecture. Admire the city’s most famous sights with your private guide, including the Ponte Vecchio, the Piazza della Signoria and the iconic Duomo. Discover the incredible artworks on display at the centuries-old Uffizi Gallery, or admire masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s David in the Galleria dell’Accademia.
Soak up the famous landmarks and glorious cuisine of Rome, the ‘Eternal City’, bursting with history dating back thousands of years. If you are an early riser, join your expert guide at the Vatican in the early morning to explore the incredible museums before the doors are opened to the general public. Admire artistic masterpieces and the iconic Sistine Chapel, then explore the monumental St Peter’s Basilica.
Discover the tunnels and holding chambers of the iconic Colosseum, following in the steps of the city’s Gladiators, before exploring the Roman Forum, once the vibrant heart of the ancient city. Take in the fascinating art and architecture as you get to know the city, from the beautifully-preserved Pantheon and the picturesque Borghese Gardens.
Get in touch with Scott Dunn’s team of Travel Specialists at 31654050 for a complimentary consultation and find out more about the extraordinary experiences and properties from around the world they can include in a bespoke trip just for you.
In addition to Government advice, the team remains in close contact with their own partners on the ground to get first-hand information and insight. Coupled with their flexible booking policy, you’re fully protected should you need to alter your travel plans.