off the beaten track Oman

Off-the-beaten track travel

Off-the-beaten track travel

Six locations to escape the madding crowds

Oman’s Empty Quarter

Sleep under the stars in the vast space of the Rub Al Khali, aka the Empty Quarter, and the world’s largest continuous sand desert. Take a tour and head into mountains, deserts and the sands of Wahiba, and dine on the beach at Ras al Madrakah. Via

Nature watching in Sri Lanka

Sooriya Resort & Spa in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province is tucked away on a remote and environmentally protected area. It is big on its eco and social responsibility, reducing its environmental footprint, employing local staff, and helping to conserve wildlife. Guests can join the conservation team for a sunset trip to watch turtles nest. Go on a whale spotting trip, see the bird sanctuary or kayak around the mangroves to spot wildlife.

Walking and stargazing in Northumberland

The region is home to miles of rugged landscapes and beautiful beaches and makes perfect walking territory. After dark, grab a pair of binoculars and gaze at the night sky – the Northumberland Dark Sky Park is a top spot to star-gaze all year round, although the best times are autumn and winter. Find out what you’re actually looking at by booking in advance for the Kielder Observatory. Rent a remote cottage or a grand country pad such as 19th Century Broadgate House set on 1,000 acres. Via

Hike in Sweden

Make a beeline to Höga Kusten – The High Coast – the world’s highest coastline which continues to rise by around 8mm a year. This Unesco World Heritage site offers incredible hikes with glorious vistas taking in mountains, forests and beaches.

Hidden Algarve

While the Algarve is firmly on the tourist trail, there are pockets that are more off the radar. Try the island of Deserta, in the Ria Formosa Natural Park, where you can swim and enjoy the beach. It’s not exactly deserted and is home to the solar-powered restaurant Estaminé.

Head to The Highlands

With dramatic mountains and gorgeous coastline, the far North West Highlands is perfect for an away-from-it all escape. Boutique hotel Newton Lodge has views out over the surrounding lochs – grab some binoculars to spot seals, and take in the stunning area with some kayaking or cycling. Admire, or climb, the famous Stac Pollaidh. The hotel also offers story-telling walks, which gives an insight into the mysterious landscape and local folklore.