Witness the Northern lights in Iceland
One of the most spectacular sights in the world is Iceland’s Northern Lights. There’s little more awe-inspiring than watching the aurora of colourful waves twist and twirl while they light up the skies. The best time to visit is between late September and March, and tours are recommended because the lights can be unpredictable if it’s a stormy or cloudy night. While there, enjoy exploring the canyons, waterfalls and glaciers in the capital of Reykjavik or head to the Blue Lagoon and take a dip in a geothermal spa where the water temperature stays at around 38˚C.
• Four-star Iceland Holiday including the Northern Lights Tours and flights cost from £169 per person for two nights with holidayexclusives.com
Costa Rica for wildlife
With a perfect mix of mangroves, rainforests and two large coastlines, Costa Rica is home to more than 500,000 animal species and is ideal for a wild getaway. Spot sea turtles coming ashore on the soft sand beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula to lay their eggs, or hire a guide to explore the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, where communities protect the eggs until they hatch. Tortuga National Park is home to unusual frogs and exotic birds, which can often be spotted in the treetops of the Cloud Forest or the Corcovado National Park. If you want to make the most of your trip, enjoy a guided tour where you’ll sample local foods in the capital San José, then journey through the country’s pristine ecosystems and witness all kinds of wildlife, from capuchin monkeys to three-toed sloths. Waterfalls, volcanic craters, and thermal pools are all waiting to be discovered while staying at the Montaña de Fuego Eco Resort and Spa before heading to the Nicoya Peninsula for relaxing beach time.
• Introduction to Costa Rica tour costs from £1,743 per person for eight nights’ bed and breakfast, flights from London Gatwick, and some excursions included. Book online at Sunvil.co.uk
The Canadian Rockies by train
The Canadian Rockies must surely rank among the very finest of scenic and wildlife holidays on earth, and a trip by train is an incredible way to see them. Enjoy a 22-day adventure from Halifax to Vancouver as you travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts. Highlights include the spellbinding scenery of the mountains and the abundant wildlife, including bears, moose and wolves. You’ll get to experience overnight travel on The Ocean and The Canadian trains as you move through Montreal, Jasper and Banff National Parks. The trip also includes excursions to the stunning Icefields Parkway path with glaciers, waterfalls and a stop at the world-famous Niagara Falls to top off your epic journey.
• Canada Coast to Coast costs from £6,695 per person, including return flights from London with Air Canada, business class rail from Montreal to Toronto, 16 nights’ B&B in four-star hotels in Montreal, Toronto, Jasper, Banff, Kamloops and Vancouver, one-night cabin Sleeper Plus Class on The Ocean train, three nights in a cabin with Sleeper Plus Class on The Canadian, transfers on arrival and departure, excursions to Niagara Falls and the Icefields Parkway. Book online at Planetrail.co.uk or call 01347 825292.
Maldives for the beaches
To experience pure paradise, head to the Maldives. Soft white sands, turquoise waters and a choice of several islands make this the perfect couple’s escape. The islands are there to be enjoyed and life takes a slower pace, but the capital Malé is home to a few traditional shops for souvenirs and incredible street food. In the waters, you’ll find sharks, manta rays and turtles, and the best way to explore is with an organised snorkel or dive. If you’re after luxury, stay at the Niyama Private Islands resort, which is set across two spacious islands named Play and Chill, connected by a wooden bridge. Whether you’re staying in a studio on the beach or suspended above the water, enjoy stunning views, open-air bathrooms, private decks and butler service. But the jewel is the underwater restaurant Subsix – it’s reached by speedboat and you’ll dine surrounded by eye-catching sea life.