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4 travel packages to remote places: Escape to a hidden world

Discover untouched sanctuaries - and beat the crowds - with these tours that bring you far off the beaten track.

The novel coronavirus outbreak, now named COVID-19, has hit the global travel industry hard. Airlines, hospitality and holiday operators are struggling amid the efforts to contain the virus. It doesn’t mean you should stop travelling altogether: you just have to travel smarter. Think off-beat adventures, remote travel packages and hidden sanctuaries far from the crowds.

(Related: The best detox retreats in Asia to supercharge your immune system)

However, remember to exercise the necessary precautions and act responsibly. While we should avoid heavily affected areas (click here for the Ministry of Health’s travel advisory), it’s a great time to visit places you wouldn’t normally – supporting local industry and helping businesses through the difficult time.

(Related: Travelling in Bhutan: a balm for the harried soul)

Moreover, over-touristed hotspots like Amsterdam, Venice and Prague will get to recover, and who knows? These remote travel packages will give you more time with what matters most: a tranquil holiday with an unfettered opportunity to soak in the sights and sounds of your holiday destination. As a bonus, there won’t even be a queue to take a selfie with your significant other.

(Related: Five luxe resorts and holiday operators that put animal conservation first)

  • Remote Travel Packages Cherry Blossoms

    Japan with Walk Japan

    Though Japan is also tackling COVID-19 on its shores, the island nation is known for its rich cultural history with a medley of regional gastronomia, and an obsession with seasonal ingredients. Come April is sakura season, that normally sees crowds flocking to Japan to admire pink cherry blossoms in full bloom at packed spots like Shinjuku Gyoen or Ueno Park.

    Though they offer various tours ranging from coastal explorations to cultural dives into Japan’s history-rich cities, one of the most out-of-the-way walking experiences is their self-guided Shikoku Wayfarer tour. The journey begins at Tokushima, home to the 400-year-old Kira no Edo-higan-zakura, one of the largest cherry trees in the region. Thereafter, traverse through Japan’s smallest of its four main islands, passing paddy fields, isolated coastlines and various ancient temples that make up Shikoku’s famed 88-temple pilgrimage. Along the way, you’ll stay at scenic local hotels and inns and dine on regional delights like Naruto sea bream and Sanuki udon noodles.

    If not, there’s always the Oita Hot Spring Trail which brings you through some of Kyushu’s scenic valleys, verdant forests and of course, onsen hot springs. Expect the traditional Japanese inn experience at these remote spring baths, including opulent kaiseki meals and tranquil trails through the countryside blanketed by fallen cherry blossom petals.

    Before and after your tours, we’d recommend you avoid most typical tourist destinations. Many of them have been temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. For a list, click here.