New horizons

Vikram Madhok        Print Edition: Jan 8, 2012

Vikram Madhok
Vikram Madhok, Managing Director, Abercrombie & Kent
The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos are located about 1,000 kilometres off South America where three major oceanic currents meet. This archipelago comprises 13 major islands, 6 minor islands and 40 islets, and is a true natural wonder. It boasts unique wildlife such as land and marine iguanas, giant tortoises and hundreds of bird species. Charles Darwin's Origin of Species was inspired by what he found here.

Cuba
Classic cars, cigars, music, dance and colonial attractions are just a few of the reasons to visit Cuba. In Havana you will find 1950s flair mixed with soulful, latin jazz. Also take in the Sierra Escambra mountains and the pristine white beaches, and your holiday just went from wonderful to wow.

Myanmar
Beautiful, recently peaceful and unspoilt, this country appeals to any south-east Asia aficionado. It boasts an ancient culture, wonderful monuments, friendly people, a strong textile and handicraft tradition, and Buddhist festivals. Natural wonders abound such as the majestic Ayeyarwady River at the country's heart, Inle Lake, Mrauk U on the west coast and beaches to the far south.

Russia
One of Europe's most intriguing and fascinating countries is the toast of 2012. Russia is a profusion of historic monuments and cultural attractions. In Moscow, the famous onion domes of St Basil's and Red Square compete with Soviet-era buildings and modern skyscrapers. For galleries and museums, St Petersburg is unbeatable. If you're there between May and July the famous White Night's Arts Festival is in full swing.

Tasmania
Quaint villages, seaside towns, national parks, fine food and wine and exquisite boutique hotels make this part of Australia a unique and fascinating getaway. It is also home to the thought provoking Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) and Australia's newest super lodge, Saffire at Freycinet National Park.

Croatia
Croatia lays claim to one of Europe's most dramatic coastlines, with almost 6,000 kilometres of shorefront and over 1,000 islands and reefs. There are still plenty of sparsely populated islands, quiet coves and fishing villages to make you feel like you're in one of the world's most unspoilt areas. This is the Mediterranean of years gone by - from the Istrian peninsula in the north along the glorious Dalmatian Coast, right down to Dubrovnik in the south.

Morocco
Medinas, mountains and monuments. Morocco is a country where African, Arab and European cultures are entwined. It is a land of tolerance, a blend of cultures and religions, a country known for its amazing hospitality. Its fascinating mixture of history, art, food, music and architecture makes Morocco a definite must-visit on the destination list in 2012.

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