What are the most important things to consider when choosing a holiday destination?

We've narrowed it down to just three key ingredients with our round-up of the best holiday destinations that combine sun, scenery and fabulous food.

Whether you want to experience Tuscany's long summer days, rolling hills and fine Italian food, or fly to Fiji to relax on sun-kissed shores, explore the rainforest and feast on fresh seafood — find a holiday destination that's got everything you need and more!


San Sebastian

Situated on Spain's northern coast, San Sebastian is a seriously underrated short-haul destination, offering plenty of sunshine from late spring to early autumn. It's also renowned for retaining its authentic Spanish heritage through its traditional food and cultural customs.

Spend a day exploring San Sebastian's lively food markets, where you can shop for delicious regional produce, including high-grade olive oil, cured meats and fresh fruits. Or go pintox bar hopping around the historic old town of Parte Vieja, where you can try traditional Basque tapas, consisting of Spanish cheeses, seafood, meats or vegetables skewered onto slices of crusty baguette.

Of course, all this eye-catching tapas should be accompanied with a glass of sparkling Txakoli or a bold red wine from the rolling hills of Rioja, which are just a stone's throw away from San Sebastian, making it a great destination for wine aficionados too.

And if all that deliciousness hasn't got you reaching for your passport just yet, then perhaps its amazing scenery will!

Sunbathe on stunning beaches like La Concha and Zurriola, and go hiking in the lush green hills that frame San Sebastian's centuries-old architecture. 


Morocco

Journey to the land of spice, souks and mountains with a visit to Morocco.

Located in the northwest corner of Africa, Morocco offers warm, pleasant weather all year round, making it an ideal destination for sun seekers — even in January!

The landscapes are truly remarkable, ranging from the sweeping golden dunes of the Sahara Desert to the rugged peaks of the Atlas Mountains. The coastal city of Agadir is ideal for beach lovers — it looks out onto the sapphire waters of the Atlantic Ocean — and the vibrant city of Marrakech is packed with historical architecture, bustling souks and lush gardens, like the Majorelle Garden.

When it comes to food, Morocco has a very clear sense of its identity. The cuisine is famous for its rich flavours and aromatic spices, with popular dishes like tagine, couscous and pastilla showcasing the country's culinary heritage.

You'll also find a plenty of lamb and olives in Moroccan gastronomy, as well as flavour profiles that include cumin, saffron and cinnamon.

If you're really looking to immerse yourself in Morocco's food scene, why not enjoy a private cookery class in a traditional Berber village? Hosted by a famous local chef, this unique culinary experience equips you with the skills you need to take a taste of Morocco home with you, by teaching your how to prepare some of the country's best-loved dishes.

Enjoy this exclusive experience on day four of our tailor-made tour: 'Highlights of Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains'.


Tuscany

A bucket list destination for foodies, Tuscany is renowned for its authentic Italian cuisine and world-class wines. What could be better, in the height of summer, than embarking a road trip through the region's sprawling vineyards to enjoy private tasting sessions under the warm Tuscan sun?

And while Tuscany's undulating hills appeal no matter where you stay, some hotels take showcasing the region's picturesque scenery and incredible food very seriously indeed. One such place is Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel.

Set on a 130-acre private estate, this luxury hotel is housed in a restored 10th-century castle and offers breathtaking views over the surrounding vineyards and olive groves, an ancient Etruscan amphitheatre and Casole d'Elsa town in the distance. 

The hotel also offers some amazing dining experiences, like the Enchanted Table — where you can indulge in delicate canapés at a 'floating table' suspended in the estate's rose garden — and the Michelin-starred Tosca restaurant, serving old world Italian favourites with a contemporary edge.

"On my road trip through Tuscany, I sat down to an exquisite meal at Tosca. The most memorable part was the heavenly dessert they served at the end: a dollop of rich frozen yoghurt sandwiched between sweet brioche, which was spread with jam and cream and dusted with icing sugar. I still think about it to this day!" — Alice, Europe Senior Product Executive


Maldives

The Maldives is the perfect getaway if you’re dreaming of sun, idyllic island scenery and exceptional food at luxury resorts. With its endless sunshine, here you can bask on milk-white beaches and laze under swaying palm trees in a place that oozes pure tranquillity.

And the views on land are just the beginning...you'll actually find the best scenery in the Maldives under the surface of the water! The region is teeming with vibrant coral reefs  go snorkelling in crystalline shallows to see gardens of seagrass and magnificent neon organisms. 

On the menu, expect plenty of seafood here with local dishes like garudhiya (a fragrant fish soup) and lip-smacking Maldivian lobsters.

If you're looking for a unique dining experience that combines the underwater scenery with outstanding seafood, then stay at OZEN LIFE MAADHOO. This resort is home to the showstopping underwater restaurant, M6M, where you can indulge in pan-seared scallops as you watch mattress-sized manta rays glide passed by your table.

"The Maldives is the ultimate 'wow' holiday destination. Every time I fly in on a seaplane and see the atolls scattered across the bright turquoise water below, it takes my breath away. My favourite foodie experience in the Maldives is by far the Crab Shack at Soneva Jani resort, where you can indulge in fresh shellfish with your toes in the sand and take in stunning sunsets views."  — Kelsey, Travel Specialist


Dubai

Beyond Dubai's soaring skyscrapers and city lights, you'll find rolling desert dunes that provide the perfect contrast to its glaring modernity. And with forecasts predicting sun for the majority of the year, there's plenty of opportunity to take in this Middle Eastern gem.

Renowned for its ultra-luxury hotels, it's no surprise that the dining scene in Dubai is as lavish as its famous resorts. From Michelin-starred restaurants to celebrity-helmed venues, the city has quickly become a 'must visit' destination for foodies. Tuck into exquisite Japanese fare at Atlantis, The Palm's Nobu and experience high-French cuisine at STAY by Yannick Alléno at One&Only, The Palm.

And while many travellers would argue that Dubai's cityscape is captivating in its own right, the city also boasts some of the most pristine beaches of anywhere in the world! Enjoy stretching out on the spotless golden sands of Jumeirah Beach or take to the desert to discover its stark natural beauty.

"Within just a 45-minute drive of the city, you'll discover a whole other side to this glittering Emirate. Here, you can swap high rises and mega malls for open horizons and sun-kissed sand dunes. Head out into the desert on a camel ride to explore this unique landscape, followed by a sunset dinner at a traditional Bendouin-style camp as the stars light up above you." — Peter, Travel Specialist


Mauritius

Fall in love with Mauritius' immaculate sands, vibrant cuisine and tropical climate.

Less manicured than the Maldives and more far-flung than the Caribbean, this beautiful island is located just a stone’s throw away from the coast of Africa and is considered a top winter sun destination, thanks to its year-round sunshine.

Mauritius is also known for its trove of beaches that still retain a sense of ruggedness and are lapped by the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean.

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Mauritius on a full-day tour of the island’s wild south. Climb to the top of a dormant volcano, where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular vistas, or see the island's jaw-dropping underwater waterfall, which is just off the coast of Le Morne Brabant.

And when you're done exploring the idyllic scenery, take your tastebuds on a journey with Mauritius' melting-pot cuisine, which is heavily influenced by the surrounding continents of India, Africa and China. Tuck into lots of freshly-caught seafood, as well as traditional street food, such as gateaux piment (chilli fritters) and dhal puri (Indian-style flatbread).

Other culinary-related experiences in Mauritius include a visit to the former-sugarcane factory, L' Aventure du Sucre, where you can learn more about the island's production of the ingredient, which has been taking place for over 200 years!


Barbados

With its platinum-sand beaches, turquoise waters and rolling green hills, Barbados' iconic landscape is enhanced only by the year-round sunshine that blesses its shores.

Set your watch to 'Barbados time' and enjoy a leisurely tour of the island to uncover its many natural wonders, from the Animal Flower Cave — which is located under the dramatic cliffs at North Point — to the wild east coast beach of Bathsheba.

While the island's stunning coastline is, of course, a big part of its draw as a holiday destination, there's so much more to Barbados than beaches.

The dining scene is diverse, so it's definitely worth taking a break from sunbathing to sample the local flavours. You'll find everything from upscale restaurants to food trucks in Barbados, serving fresh-as-you-like seafood and exotic grilled breadfruit.

Feast on red snapper in a fine-dining setting at one of the island's many luxury hotels or tuck into mahi mahi with your toes-in-the-sand, as you take in a famous Caribbean sunset.

For an authentic taste of Barbados and an unmissable foodie experience, head to Oisten's fish fry on a Friday night for fabulous grilled seafood and a Bajan street party atmosphere. Or enjoy an immersive rum-tasting session at the Mount Gay Rum distillery — the birthplace of the spirit!

"My favourite spots in Barbados bring back memories of warm sand and the smell of frangipani on the sea breeze. I loved seeing the island's rugged east coast — a total contrast to the manicured west side."  — Mari, Travel Specialist 


Anguilla

For a more under-the-radar experience than Barbados, Anguilla is a hidden gem for sun, scenery and fabulous food in the Caribbean.

Many celebrities have been known to choose Anguilla over the big-name islands like Barbados, finding it offers a more secluded and low-key experience.

Take your pick of the island's 33 unspoilt beaches, such as the famous Shoal Bay and the serene Meads Bay, where the sand is powdery white and the water is an exquisite shade of turquoise.

Beyond the picture-perfect beaches, you'll find dramatic coral cliffs, hidden coves and exotic foliage in every corner the island's undulating landscape. Check out the panoramic views from the top of Crocus Hill, which has an elevation of 75 meters and offers 360-degree views of the island's coastline.

Now, let’s talk about the food...you could go as far as saying that Anguilla is something of a secret culinary haven.

From cozy beachside shacks serving the freshest catch of the day to upscale restaurants dishing up gourmet international and regional favourites, Anguilla's food is remarkable for its exceptionally high quality.

Don’t miss out on trying local dishes like the crayfish, Johnny cakes, and of course, pepperpot — a rich meat stew that's cooked low and slow and is typically served around Christmastime in the Caribbean.


Fiji

Blessed with 333 paradisiacal islands, Fiji is a natural wonderland, combining beautiful scenery with year-round sunshine and a style of cuisine that reflects its multicultural heritage.

With influences from Polynesia, India, and China, indulge in fragrant curries and just-caught seafood, including the islands' delicious 'Kokoda', which is a ceviche-style dish made with fresh fish, coconut milk and lime juice.

Other unmissable foodie experiences in Fiji include attending a traditional LOVO feast, where succulent meats and vegetable are barbequed underground!

Once you've satisfied your appetite, explore Fiji's diverse landscape, where you'll also encounter its unique wildlife. Hike through the lush rainforest to discover cascading waterfalls, looking out for orange fruit doves and Fijian crested iguanas along the way.

For pristine shorelines, nowhere beats the unspoilt Yasawa archipelago with its scattering of white-sand beaches and crystal-clear lagoons to snorkel in. These islands are also where you'll find the famous Sawa-I-Lau Caves — the setting of the 1980's classic film, The Blue Lagoon, and one of the most extraordinary examples of Fiji's fabulous scenery.

“Sustainability is taken seriously in Fiji, so expect to see pristine tropical forests, beautiful white-sand beaches and an underwater world like no other. I’ve never seen such vibrant greens and blues anywhere else on the planet.” — David, Senior Product Manager


Hawaii

Aloha! Welcome to the paradisical islands of Hawaii — America's 50th state and a honeymooning hot spot, thanks to its laidback atmosphere, luxury resorts and beautiful beaches.

The islands' year-round tropical climate means you can count on sunny days for all your outdoor adventures — and trust us, you'll want to get outdoors here, as the scenery is nothing short of spectacular!

From dense rainforests and dramatic waterfalls to colourful volcanic craters and rugged cliffs, every corner of Hawaii offers a breathtaking vista. 'Must-see' spots like the Na Pali Coast on Kauai Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, and Haleakala National Park on Maui will leave you in awe of the islands' natural splendour.

And while you might not immediately think of Hawaii as a food lovers' destination — think again! Hawaii's culinary scene is a delicious mix of fresh seafood, tropical fruits and mouth-watering traditional dishes like poke and kalua pork.

Whether you're dining at a farm-to-table restaurant or grabbing a bite from a street food truck, you'll find the flavours in Hawaiian cuisine are as vibrant and diverse as the islands themselves.

"The island of Maui is an unforgettable experience. You can go whale-watching in the pristine waters of Wailea and peek into the incredible Haleakala Volcano. It’s all about natural beauty on ‘The Valley Isle'." — Eleanor, Travel Specialist


Plan your bespoke luxury holiday

Ready to enjoy sun, scenery and fabulous food in one extraordinary trip?

Our Travel Specialists have been to all the places featured in this travel guide, so can help you plan the ultimate luxury getaway to your dream destination.

Whether you want to dine at an underwater restaurant in the Maldives or sip rum cocktails on the platinum-sand shores of Barbados, we’ll make sure you experience your destination in a way that's perfect for you.

Speak to our dedicated Travel Specialists to find out more or browse our full portfolio of luxury holidays, exclusive hotels and tailor-made tours.

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