Spend the day kayaking past icebergs, spying penguin colonies and humpback whales and even taking the plunge in its icy waters
Make your next trip one to remember by choosing one that’s in the Guinness Book of World Records
THE SMALLEST COUNTRY
It may be small, but it is powerful. The walled enclave of the Vatican City that can be found in the centre of Rome may be no bigger than a golf course, but it is a country in its own right. Its attractions can also leave other countries in the shade. Think the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel – and this isn’t without playing the trump card, the Pope. Exactly.
Stay: You won’t be short of places to stay in Rome. Rocco Forte is just about to open Hotel De La Ville that can be found at the top of the Spanish steps and the W Hotel group is about to launch its first hotel in Italy, W Rome in 2021.
THE DRIEST PLACE ON EARTH
Atacama Desert, Chile
Looking for adventure? Then head to the Atacama Desert in Chile. You can saddle up and ride across the desert on mountain bikes, go rock climbing or book a desert drive. Then you can top up the calories that you’ve burnt off by booking a quincho – a gut-busting Chilean barbecue. You don’t need to worry about getting caught in a shower as it has an average rainfall of 15mm a year.
Stay: Kick back at the refurbed Explora Atcama. The 17-acre resort comes with a spa, stable and its own hot springs.
THE COLDEST PLACE ON EARTH
Follow in the footsteps of the explorers and visit the wilds of Antarctica. Spend the day kayaking past icebergs, spying penguin colonies and humpback whales and even taking the plunge in its icy waters. Then spend the night hunkered down in a sleeping bag, looking up at the stars. However, we do suggest that you visit during the balmy summer months, and not the winter, when the coldest temperature registered minus 93.2C on a ridge near the East Antarctic Plateau. Yikes.
Stay: The luxurious M/V Sea Spirit will sail from Argentina, through the famous Drake Passage and on to the land where the penguin is king. The small and highly manoeuvrable M/V Sea Spirit is able to go deep into the waterways of the White Continent, but the team will take you even closer to the wildlife with the help of an inflatable Zodiac boat.
THE HIGHEST COUNTRY
Dinner party fact: With an average elevation of 3,280 metres above sea level, this makes Bhutan the highest country on Earth (Nepal comes in second at 3,265 metres). You will be able to breathe in this fresh mountain air if you book a 10-day trek through Paro, Thimphu and Punakha. Trek through paddy fields, spy rhododendron forests and visit the Tiger’s Nest monastery that clings to the hillside.
Stay: Ease those tired, trekked out limbs by booking into one of the five Six Senses Bhutan lodges that will soon be scattered around the country. The spa guru’s new retreats can be found in Thimphu, Punakhan, Gangtey, Bumthang and Paro.
THE HOTTEST PLACE ON EARTH
Death Valley, California
If a city ever came with a warning, this is probably it. It currently holds the highest temperature ever recorded – 56.7C degrees. However, it’s still worth a visit as the national park is rich in history, colourful landscapes and wildlife. You can take a day trip from Las Vegas and return to the aircon straight afterwards.
Stay: Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. This award-winning hotel not only features Twist by famed chef Pierre Gagniare, but is based in the middle of the Strip. Need to cool off after your trip to the valley? Then book a private cabana near the pool on the eighth floor.