lavender farm in provence

Breathe in the soothing scents of a Provence lavender farm. (Photo: Getty Images)


6 One-of-a-Kind Outdoor Experiences That Keep Luxury Top of Mind

Luxury travel once connoted chic cityscapes or private-island getaways, but these days luxe has taken a decidedly understated turn for a generation of sustainability-minded travelers who prefer nature over couture. This “rural luxe” travel trend spans the globe with unique experiences just outside some of the world’s most vibrant cities.

Here are six to consider on your next journey.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Immerse Yourself in Lavender in Provence, France

While it’s true that cities like Paris and Lyon offer a range of luxury experiences, nothing quite matches the charm of a French village. Spend a day surrounded by the natural beauty of Provence, driving through picturesque lavender fields on a small group tour.

Stroll the cobblestone streets of villages like Sault and Roussillon to browse lavender shops for artisan soaps, delicate lavender sachets, gourmet honey and organic essential oils. Pick up local produce at an open-air market for a seasonal lunch followed by a tour of the Lavender Museum in Coustellet to learn about the history of lavender cultivation in Provence.

Track Coffee from Plant to Bean in Colombia

colombia coffee farm
From bean to cup, you’ll learn about coffee production in Colombia. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s only right that coffee lovers get to learn about what makes their cuppa so special on a trip to Colombia. Book a private, all-inclusive coffee tour to Hacienda Coloma in the town of Fusagasugá, two hours from Bogota.

Stroll the coffee plantations as you hear about the washing and drying process of the coffee bean. After a threshing and roasting demonstration, enjoy a delicious cup of the coffee prepared in the traditional Colombian style followed by lunch in the town of Sibaté.

Savor Farm-to-Table Foods in Kenya

In Karen, a suburb just outside of Nairobi, is Cultiva, a celebrated farm-to-table culinary experience with an ever-changing menu based on the seasonal produce grown on the property.

The cuisine highlights global flavors, with recent dishes including Ecuadorian street food, South African Butter Chicken Bunny Chow, and smoked beef pastrami bao buns, all served with the most artful presentation.

Don’t miss the artisanal baked breads, like the crumble brioche and sourdough loaves, and fine pastries like chocolate braided babka and delectable macarons.

Tour a Temples and Rice Terraces in Bali

bali rice terraces at sunset
Bali’s rice terraces are particularly scenic at dusk. (Photo: Getty Images)

Explore the agritourism side of Bali on a tailor-made tour through Bedugul, a mountain town in northern Bali. Your driver will take you to the traditional Candi Kuning market to see exotic orchids and sample the tasty and vibrantly colored berries. Then you’ll don a traditional sari to visit the sacred Ulun Danu temple at Beratan Lake.

After touring the temple, you’ll embark on an easy walk through tropical rainforest to see the thundering Gitgit waterfall before heading to the old town of Singaraja, Bali’s former capital, on the island’s north coast. Finally, you break for lunch in Lovinia, home to a dramatic black sand beach.

Fine Dining on the “Ocean Floor” in Nova Scotia, Canada

hopewell rocks of bay of fundy
The Bay of Fundy is filled with natural wonders. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Bay of Fundy, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of North America, is the setting for an afternoon of foraging and feasting on the best Nova Scotia food, beer and wine. Locals Chris and Melissa Velden host guests for a culinary adventure that starts with a guided tour of Nova Scotia edibles with a local forager through Burntcoat Head Park.

Next, head to the red cliffs of the park for a lunch feast of the freshest Nova Scotia sustainable seafood. After lunch, enjoy a private tour of the ocean floor during low tide when the basin completely empties to expose fossils, coral and tide pools. Then savor a three-course dinner featuring local ingredients paired with local wine. Cap off the beautiful day with a campfire on the tidal flats with tea and coffee as you watch the tide roll in.

Tour Napa Valley Wineries in a Classic Convertible

Sip Napa Valley wines in style with Classic Convertible Wine Tours. Owner Tab Borge personally restored the fleet of classic 1947 Packard Clipper convertibles to offer a unique experience to wine connoisseurs (and novices!) looking to enjoy the fruit of California’s wine country.

Work with the team to craft an itinerary of both landmark and boutique wineries to visit; then spend the day chatting with your driver as you learn the history of the area and meet the winemakers and families behind each winery.

Throughout the tour, enjoy complimentary amenities, including chilled sparkling wine, bottled water, blankets and a secure space for all those wine purchases.