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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020
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9 ideas for your ultimate fantasy holiday

We all need something to look forward to, right?

IT’S JANUARY. You’re miserable. And the weather is doing its best imitation of the End Times.

So let’s play ‘fantasy holiday planning’. Here are some ideas for 2013 to get you started…

1. Renting a glass igloo to view the Northern Lights

kakslauttanen.fi

The Kakslauttanen resort in Finland offers special heated glass igloos, in which guests can lie in bed and watch the Northern Lights through the ceiling. The igloos are heated and equipped with special glass that does not frost over, even when the temperature drops to -30°C.

2. Anse Source D’Argent beach, La Digue, Seychelles

Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

One of the world’s most beautiful beaches, where pinkish sand slopes into turquoise sea. Also, Mondays don’t exist there.*

* We’re assuming.

3. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

A 2000-foot deep hole in eastern Africa, formed when a huge volcano erupted and collapsed on itself three million years ago, the Ngorongoro crater forms a natural wildlife reserve within its high walls. It’s home to more than 25,000 large animals including lions, rhinos, cheetah and elephants. You should probably check them out.

4. Ghost towns, USA

The Longhorn Saloon in near-abandoned Scenic, South Dakota (Amber Hunt/AP/Press Association Images)

The western United States is dotted with ghost towns – some dating back to pioneer times – where main streets and saloons lie eerily preserved in the dry air. Nevada is probably home to the biggest concentration – there’s a list here – but they are scattered all over. Go stroll down their streets and pretend to be Gary Cooper.

5. Climb Everest (sort of)

David Cheskin/PA Archive

OK, so this is one for the more adventurous among you. But you don’t have to be Edmund Hillary to hit the Himalayas – thousands of reasonably-average-Joe visitors make the ten-day trek to Everest Base Camp every year.

6. Blue Train

PETER MOREY/AP

This? Oh, just a luxury five-star hotel on wheels running almost the length of South Africa (between Pretoria and Durban) through some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery.

You’re welcome. Oh, and bring your wallet.

7. Ani, the lost capital

Burhan Ozbilici/AP/Press Association Images

More than 100,000 people lived in Ani, one of the world’s great cities and a rival in its day to its Middle Eastern neighbours Baghdad, Cairo and Constantinople (now Istanbul). But several sackings and the odd earthquake saw it totally abandoned hundreds of years ago.

Now, all that remains are its monumental buildings, sticking eerily out of a field like broken teeth, surrounded by the open steppe. A bizarre and unforgettable experience in eastern Turkey.

8. Glacier cruisin’ in Alaska

Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

Raven. Explorer. Tired Pup. Not only do Alaska’s glaciers have some of the best names ever (full list here), but they’re a jaw-dropping sight. AND you don’t even have to harness up the huskies – you can see them all while sipping a mojito on the deck of a large and luxuriously-appointed boat.

You may also have to watch elderly people sing karaoke in the evenings, but hey. It’ll be worth it for sights like the one above.

9. Aitutaki, the Cook Islands

Eye Ubiquitous/Press Association Images

Did you watch Channel 4′s Shipwrecked? Did you wonder about the desert island paradise that served as its location? Yep, that would be the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. White sand, palm trees, and it should be clear of reality TV contestants by now. Grab your hammock.

More: 4 ways to own a piece of Ireland… without a nasty mortgage>

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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