Day trips are seldom daring and decadent, but that certainly describes 12 hours spent in Antarctica. For this extreme adventure, Natural World Safaris flies from Cape Town to an ice runway in the remote region. Visitors can explore ice grottoes, watch Adélie penguins and enjoy a Champagne lunch, bringing a new meaning to ‘served on ice’.

City dwelling

A home away from home – that’s what pilot and hotelier Joáo Rodrigues and his wife Andrea envisaged for Santa Clara 1728. Overlooking one of Lisbon’s most romantic squares in the city’s oldest quarter, the boutique hotel – with its six suites – sits within an 18th-century building renovated by architect Manuel Aires Mateus. While sensitively respecting the original features, the interior has been designed in an elegant minimalist style. Think limestone staircases, handmade Portugal tiles, heated wooden floors and Italian furniture. And a large communal family time.

Set the scene

Ever dreamed of starring in your own period drama? Enter Le Collectionist, which matches holidaymakers with heart-stopping locations – including a dreamy range of fairy-tale castles and villas. Options include Villa Stefano in Tuscany, where James Bond’s Quantum of Solace was filmed; the enchanting Château des Songes in Bordeaux (as shown), and château Constance near Paris, complete with helipad and 185-acre estate, where you can take lessons in local wines and cookery.

Treat yourself

Whether you are recovering from a gruelling work schedule or a busy social calendar, a stay at the Helios Retreat on Mykonos, among the mythical Cyclades islands, is sure to revitalise. The holiday offers a holistic approach in a harmonious hilltop setting. Hikes at sunrise come with views of the Aegean, and yoga, meditation, massage and fitness sessions are available, courtesy of a rotating team of experts. Nutritious meals are prepared by a Michelin-trained chef… after all, your body is your temple.

Mountain MAGIC

With its thermal baths, aromatherapy saunas, holistic beauty treatments, restorative massages and roaring fireplaces, Bürgenstock Alpine Spa pays homage to the golden age of Swiss health resorts. But perhaps the most spectacular feature of the newly opened cliffside spa is the 350 C infinity-edge pool overlooking Lake Lucerne, with view of Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi.

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