Now that the world is back travelling, people’s appetites have been whetted for more meaningful and memorable holidays. As a result, the biggest travel trends for 2023 are adventure and cultural experiences, according to Brendan Breen, managing director of Oroko Travel. It is Ireland’s only dedicated luxury tailored travel agency, offering exclusive experiences in worldwide destinations, each one hand selected by its specialist team.
Breen says forward planning and expert advice are key to creating the perfect holiday, whether you want easy-to-access European destinations to delight foodies, or tropical beaches, adrenaline-fuelled adventure and wildlife spotting on long-haul luxury. The world is your oyster.
Adventure is back
“Last year it was all about relaxation, sunshine and just getting away. This year people are looking for adventure and culture,” says Breen. “Now that the world has opened up again, holidaymakers are keen to embrace the sights and tastes of the truly exotic. “For 2023 we are already seeing strong demand for long-haul destinations such as Egypt, Bali, Costa Rica and Namibia.”
Last year it was all about relaxation, sunshine and just getting away. This year people are looking for adventure and culture
Oroko’s top destination picks for 2023
Namibia, often called Land of the Brave, offers spectacular desert vistas and safaris.
Home to Etosha National Park, one of the largest national parks in Africa, you can see all of the so-called Big Five – elephant, buffalo, leopard, rhino and lion – converge at its watering holes.
“It also has the biggest sand dunes in the world, the planet’s only desert elephants and the old German town of Swakopmund, which has become a mini adventure hub for sandboarding, paragliding and taking a trip in a light aircraft up the Skeleton Coast,” Breen advises. “Namibia is a great road trip destination and we can organise either self-drive or a private driver for you.”
Offering great value, terrific food and wine, as well as amazing standards of hospitality, South Africa makes a great family holiday option. This year, three-centre holidays are popular, taking in Cape Town, the scenic Garden Route and finishing up with a safari.
“With very young children you have to be careful because most safaris won’t accommodate those aged under nine. We have some really nice ‘safari light’ options for those with younger children, in the Eastern Cape staying on a smaller private game reserve, a much more accessible option,” notes Breen.
Bali has beaches and incredible surf, but so much more. Its deeply ingrained culture resonates with every step of the journey, with offerings of flowers and incense paving every street.
There are so many different types of holidays to have in Bali: families can cycle through paddy fields or go white-water rafting, while many couples like to finish up at Uluwatu, for outrageously beautiful clifftop sunsets. It truly has something for everyone and a phenomenal foodie offering marrying excellent quality produce with western influences – the best brunches of your life are guaranteed.
“We put together terrific holidays at Seminyak, a beach resort with a lovely laid-back Ibiza vibe and lovely beach clubs, before moving on to Ubud, the spiritual centre of the island, staying in stunning hotels built right in the rainforest,” says Breen.
The Central American country, known for its beaches, biodiversity and coffee, has seen a bounce in bookings this year too, and Breen knows why. “It has lovely tropical beaches and turtle nesting sites plus jungles and rainforest for wildlife, so again, lots of quite different experiences, with a good mix of accommodation and endless options for expeditions.”
The birthplace of eco-tourism and responsible travel, it’s where ziplining was invented, introduced in the 1990s to promote reforestation and conservation efforts.
Closer to home, Greece and Italy top the European charts at Oroko Travel in 2023. “Greece is like 15 countries in one because each island is different,” says Breen. Choose luxurious Greek spots such as Halkidiki, an idyllic haven on the sparkling Aegean coast, or the historic Costa Navarino, or family-friendly island-hopping from Athens to Crete and Mykonos.
“Each part of Italy is unique, from Lake Garda to Portofino, Tuscany to Puglia, Venice to Sorrento and the Amalfi coast,” says Breen. The Oroko team has forged exclusive relationships with some of its best luxury guides and accommodation providers, meaning it can offer an unparalleled experience to its clients.
Post-pandemic travellers have a renewed understanding of the value of booking through a licensed and bonded travel agent.
“We only sell places we know,” Breen explains. “The result is a bespoke end-to-end service that creates a unique itinerary for every trip in which no detail is overlooked and no added-value experience left out.” This level of customisation explains why 70 per cent of Oroko bookings are repeat business or referrals.
As well as its dedicated concierge service that puts the finishing touches to your booking including booking all restaurant, spa, childcare and in-resort reservations, Oroko has developed its own app into which every detail of a customer’s holiday is uploaded. This includes boarding passes, up-to-date flight information, gate changes, live mapping and 24/7 contact numbers.
“The best itinerary is predicated on clients coming to us as early as possible,” advises seasoned traveller Breen. “What you really want is to end your holiday on a high.”
To discover your dream holiday for 2023, visit Orokotravel.ie