Insider Itineraries: Under-the-Radar Experiences from Our Destination Specialists

June 19, 2024 by Hidden Doorways

The most unique travel experiences are often the hardest to find, which means most travelers miss out on them. We recently asked our destination specialists what their picks for under-the-radar itinerary additions would be. From ethical foie gras farms in Spain to luxury train rides in Vietnam to dancing with wolves in Norway, these are the lesser-known destinations and immersive adventures they think your clients shouldn’t miss.


Take a Spiritual Quest – India

For many, spiritual rituals feel a far cry from everyday life. When setting sail to explore a culture as rich in its spiritual traditions as India’s, it’s hard to find something completely authentic. Something that hasn’t been touched by tourism in any sense. Banyan Tours offers a portal to such an experience — transporting travelers to immerse themselves in a true Keralan tribal ritual called Theyyam. Performed in front of a village shrine or even in the comfort of a local’s home, guests will witness a unique ritual dance and seek a blessing from the Theyamm, who is embodied by a local. Each ceremony is specific to a particular shrine or family and so each is completely unique. A once-in-a-lifetime experience that’s far from the beaten track.


Put on a Show – United Kingdom

London’s West End theater scene is famed the world over, with tourists flocking to the capital day after day to soak up some theatrical magic. But what if travelers didn’t even need to leave their hotel rooms to experience such a thing? Far more intimate than one of their many backstage tours, Extraordinary Britain can make this possible with a 70-minute performance by a cast of 5 actors who come directly to a hotel suite. Your clients will truly feel part of the action – interval and all — it’s a London theater experience that’ll feel completely personal.


Immersive Hideaways – Norway

Experience Norway like never before with off-the-radar accommodations that place you right at the doorstep of the country’s stunning outdoor activities. Nestled in the treetops above Hardangerfjord, Woodnest offers luxury treehouse living with breathtaking views and adventures like hiking and kayaking. Amot in Sunnfjord combines historical charm with glacier walking and gourmet dining, while Wolf Lodge provides a unique stay alongside wolves, blending wildlife encounters with culinary delights. For those seeking eco-friendly luxury, Kilsti in Storfjord features glass lodges with floor-to-ceiling windows, offering panoramic views of the surrounding fjords and mountains. The team at Nordic Luxury can curate these unique accommodations into a fantastic itinerary, offering your clients the chance to experience a one-of-a-kind immersive retreat set within unparalleled natural splendor.


Cross Borders in Style – South America 

When we think of crossing borders, it usually feels more like a necessity rather than an opportunity to embrace the difference in landscape and culture but VM Elite are changing the perception of this with their ‘Border Crossing Journeys’ across various South American countries. One that particularly caught our attention traverses the border between Perú and Bolivia. Starting with a gastronomical experience in Lima, visiting the Inca ruin of Moray, hopping aboard the Hiram Bingham Belmond train to visit Machu Picchu and spending an entire day at the Tunupa volcano — just a few highlights of an enthralling two-week itinerary designed to offer travelers a bespoke experience across the two countries.


Go Off Grid – Vietnam

Specialists in the art of travel, Asia Concierge have created what they call an “Off The Grid” experience to offer travelers a less well-trodden route around some of the highlights of Vietnam. Starting in Hanoi, guests are transported via a 4×4 or helicopter to the Avana Retreat in the northwest mountains of Mai Chau. The route then heads down to the coastal town of Da Nang in Hoi An before embarking on a luxury train to the beautiful coast of Quy Nhon. Other highlights include a remote beach stay at the Zannier Bai San Ho resort, a visit to the Mekong Delta river, crossing the border into Cambodia and staying at the luxurious tented camp of Shinta Mani Wild.


A Rare Find for Foodies – Spain

Just over an hour north of Seville is the Extremadura region of western Spain. Not only the birthplace of many a conquistador that followed in Columbus’ footsteps, but this region is also home to Eduardo Sousa. Eduardo is known for producing some of the most exquisite foie gras in the world. His main point of difference lies in his ethical practices and the care he takes of the birds he uses. None are force fed, meaning his foie gras is produced in small quantities — making it highly sought after by some of the world’s top chefs. Guests of Madrid & Beyond will spend time on Eduardo’s farm, learning about his unique processes, before heading out to his company’s facilities in the town of Fuente De Cantos. There will be an opportunity for guests to sample his foie gras amongst other products — including Iberian pork — before heading off to the neighboring town of Zafra for lunch at the finest restaurant in the area before exploring the local castle and plazas.


Sabanero for a Day – Costa Rica

Welcome your clients to Costa Rica’s Guanacaste region, known for its lush greenery and rich cultural heritage. Costa Rican Trails offers a rare opportunity to experience life as a traditional Sabanero (a Costa Rican cowboy). Guests will embark on a distinctive horseback riding adventure through wildlife-rich trails, guided by a traditional Guanacastecan Sabanero. They will try their hand at herding cattle, learning skills passed down through generations. The day culminates in a traditional gallada, where guests can savor authentic Guanacaste cuisine, providing an unforgettable immersion into the local culture.


Join the Animal Kingdom – Africa 

Safari has got to be one of the biggest pulls to visit Africa and Micato has every kind of itinerary covered. To ensure an experience like no other, though, they can tailor a safari entirely to your clients’ preferences and choice of destination. Whether a camel derby match in the Namib desert, coming face to face with a silverback gorilla, canoeing through the Okavango Delta floodplains to cavort with hippos, or kayaking just outside of Cape Town to greet a family of penguins – all of this and more can be arranged in a completely bespoke package to suit any travelers wishes and whims.

Related Posts