Uncommon Experiences

October 14, 2023 by Hidden Doorways

Traveling is never just an opportunity to get away from it all; it’s an invitation to immerse yourself into the life and soul of a far-flung country, town or village. But what about digging a bit deeper to unearth those experiences that are harder to come by? What about opening hidden doorways to activities that you might never have known were there tucked away for the most avid explorers? From private chef suppers in Iceland’s lava caves to coral gardening on Costa Rica’s Guiri Guiri Reef, rare riches are within plucking distance…


Go Truffle Hunting in Northern Cataluña

A delicacy adored across the world, go treasure hunting for prized truffles in a region whose soils are ripe and ready to be sniffed out by Cataluña’s trained hounds. Once the hunt is over, you’ll head to Michelin-starred restaurant Els Casals in the small village of Sagàs that boasts a remarkable zero-mile menu – everything they serve has been grown and harvested in the immediate vicinity. Let their esteemed chefs cook up your hard-searched truffles along with ingredients found just beyond their kitchen window to create one of your most memorable meals to date.


Private-dine Somewhere Surprising in Iceland

When Iceland is blessed with some of the world’s most mesmerizing raw landscapes, why wouldn’t you want to soak up every moment and dine amongst the elements, even if just for one night? Gourmet gastronomy is but a wish away with private chefs cooking in breathtakingly beautiful pop-up restaurants upon request. Dine in lava caves or on glistening glaciers and take in the dance of the Northern Lights as you delight in a one-off, completely customizable menu and setting.


Coral Gardening in Costa Rica

One for experienced divers visiting Costa Rica, this planet-kind experience encourages you to get hands-on and assist in the regeneration of the Guiri Guiri Reef’s deeply damaged coral colonies. You’ll start by caring for newly planted baby coral, cleaning so they can grow and thrive before transplanting small adult coral grown in nurseries into the reef to help it repair, restore and revitalize. Coral gardening allows you to get up close with nature, but to contribute to the planet in a meaningful way – a do-good and feel-good activity.


Guided Fly Fishing in French Polynesia

Anything involving a lagoon feels somehow magical, but Tetiaroa’s lagoons have ancient roots and an abundance of fish that make it a fly fisher’s dream. The experience is led by Teihotu Brando, an exceptional fisherman and the son of Marlon Brando, who discovered Tetiaroa while filming “Mutiny on the Bounty” in 1960 before purchasing it. Open yourself up to both a once-in-a-lifetime sporting experience but also to hearing first-hand stories from Teihotu of the origins and wonder of growing up on this mystical atoll.


Journey to Luing – Scotland’s Hidden Isle

For those tempted by the raw draw of a remote island, the Hebridean island of Luing is calling. Positioned on Scotland’s west coast, this collection of luxurious pods allow you to bed into the rural landscape and take in the stark beauty of that it’s home to. Surrounded by wild seas, otters, seals, orca and whales swim in its depths while eagles, puffins and red deer dominate the land and skies with plenty of ruined settlements and ancient gardens in-between. Explore at your leisure or be personally hosted and guided by the island’s owners, mackerel fishing and barbecuing on nearby uninhabited island and shucking oysters on the bay to your heart’s content.


Swim with Penguins in the Galapagos

Board a private yacht and begin your voyage to Bartolome Island where you’ll first glimpse the native Galapagos penguins, waddling about their day. Watching from a comfortable distance, you’ll observe them tending to their nests, caring for their young and swimming wild and free before being gently guided to swim in their waters. The Galapagos National Park guidelines protect the penguins so that only sustainable tourism is promoted, which means no physical contact with penguins but a remarkably intimate experience interacting with them where they call home.


A Blindfolded Culinary Adventure in the Maldives

A powerful adventure for your tastebuds in the Maldives, this experience is called Dining for the Senses for good reason. Blindfolded, you’ll be led to a secret location shrouded in anticipation as a tailor-made four-course dinner is served. To guide you through each course is your very own culinary concierge who’ll present you with fragrant herbs, luscious fruits and vibrant vegetables – clues to what dishes lie in wait. Dessert arrives, your blindfold is removed, and your dedicated waiter will reveal all, reminding you of your guesses and presenting you with photographs of what you’ve been served. Dine, discover and play detective…


Sink into a Sublime Wellness Experience in Arizona

Spas by their very nature are restorative whether you melt into Thai-style massages or are warmed from the outside-in via Swedish saunas. But what Arizona offers is a wellness experience so unique it could be considered more a personalized quest to complete clarity and calmness. Each ritual at Mii amo is an act of ceremony, calling upon sacred plants and oils to heal (some unique to the area such as Arizonan jojoba), realigning and balancing energy channels and guiding you to achieve heightened awareness so you can reconnect with your inner self.


Surfing with a Pup in Hawaii 

If penguins and wild water swimming aren’t your thing then what about surfing and paddle boarding with a calming canine companion in the Hawaiian ocean? North Shore native, Rocky Canon is known for making even nervous newcomers at ease thanks to his four-legged crew members and pro surfer states. One for the photo album and one for post-trip storytelling, if you’re looking for an experience filled with laughter, look no further.


Design Your Own Tartan in Scotland 

A craft activity that’s unlike any other and that’s truly rooted in the land on which you’ll be standing. Tartan is the emblematic textile of Scotland, its Highlands and its islands with the iconic tartan kilt leading the charge. Many Scottish families have their own tartan linked to their historic surname (the oldest example dating as far back as third-century AD), but if your family tree doesn’t have Scottish lineage, why not create your own pioneering design and get weaving with this fashion-forward cultural rite of passage?


Hidden Doorways

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