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Written by
Natalie Johnson

Published on: September 21st, 2017

Last modified: August 18th, 2023

There’s something undeniably special about spending time in the desert. From the surreal sand dunes of Sossusvlei to the impossibly starry skies of the Atacama, desert landscapes give us the chance to escape modern life, delve into the unknown and discover some of the earth’s harshest and most impressive environments.

A trip to one of the world’s most spectacular deserts is the kind of thing you’ll never forget. And if you’re looking for an exciting holiday that doesn’t compromise on comfort, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best places to embark on a luxury desert adventure vacation.

1. Australia

The Australian Outback is a vast expanse of wilderness brimming with spiritual significance and downright magical views. The impressive Uluru monolith embodies the essence of this land, making it one of the best destinations in Australia for intrepid explorers.

uluru-ayers-rock-australia

Get as close as possible to Uluru by staying at Longitude 131º, a luxury resort where you can enjoy guided expeditions, private tours and dune-top dinners. It’s the perfect complement to the riverside treehouses of Silky Oaks or the secluded Lizard Island eco-lodge.

2. Morocco

Morocco contains just a sliver of the immense Sahara Desert, but it’s more than enough space to immerse yourself in this legendary landscape. The Moroccan Sahara is full of iconic sights and experiences, including some of the most picturesque desert scenery on earth.

The best way to enjoy the Moroccan Sahara is by staying at a camp like Merzouga, which combines traditional Berber-style tents with exceptional comfort. There’s no shortage of fun and family-friendly activities here, from quad biking to sandboarding down the dunes.

3. Namibia

Few places on earth feel as remote and wild as Namibia. With incredibly low population density and awe-inspiring landscapes, it’s the perfect spot to connect with nature in its purest form. As if that weren’t enough, the Namib Desert happens to be the world’s oldest desert.

Dryness in Namibia - Sossusvlei

Go on a flying safari over Namibia to hit all the highlights and see unforgettable views from above – or opt for a hot air balloon safari instead. The Namib is also home to the otherworldly terrain of Sossusvlei, where you’ll find the spectacular Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.

4. Jordan

Ancient history and modern culture collide in Jordan: one of the Middle East’s best destinations for thrill-seeking explorers. Soak in the dramatic desert vistas of Wadi Rum, or set out on the ultimate active adventure in Jordan to experience a little bit of everything.

When in Wadi Rum, stay at Discovery Bedu for authentic Bedouin culture with a touch of modern luxury. Or head to Sun City Camp, where you’ll be treated to panoramic views and gourmet meals served in an enormous geodesic dome.

5. Egypt

The Sahara covers the majority of Egypt, so it’s no surprise that this country is ideal for desert adventures. From jeep tours and sandboarding to prehistoric fossils and lush oases, there’s an endless array of things to see and do in this stunning cradle of civilization.

If you want a truly authentic – and sustainable – experience, stay at Adrère Amellal in the Siwa Oasis. This eco-lodge forgoes modern amenities to create a truly rustic atmosphere. Rather than relying on electricity, it’s illuminated only by candles, lanterns and starlight.

6. Chile

Chile boasts one of the world’s driest regions: the Atacama Desert. Nestled at the northern end of this narrow country, it’s an ethereal land of lagoons, volcanoes, salt flats and sand dunes. It’s also chock-full of opportunities for adventure and luxurious accommodation.

Stay at Tierra Atacama for privileged views of the Licancabur volcano and access to exclusive activities. You can get a bird’s-eye view of this breathtaking landscape on a hot air balloon or helicopter tour. At night, make sure to look skyward for some of the world’s best stargazing.

Tierra Atacama pool, Atacama Desert, Chile

7. Argentina

Argentina might be most famous for its bustling capital, but it also contains mind-blowing natural beauty. In its northwestern corner near the borders of Chile and Bolivia, you’ll find the stark and striking Puna desert.

puna-desert-argentina

Explore this off-the-beaten-path region on a private expedition through the Puna desert. You’ll head from Buenos Aires to the gateway city of Salta, then spend several days discovering its rocky gorges, ancient ruins, flocks of flamingos and seemingly infinite other natural wonders.

puna-desert-argentina-flamingos

8. Antarctica

The sparkling ice and snow of Antarctica may not be the most stereotypical desert landscape, but its low precipitation actually qualifies it as the largest desert on earth. It’s hard to beat the magnificently remote and pristine wilderness that defines the White Continent.

For a truly exceptional desert adventure, take a classic Antarctica cruise from the tip of South America. Once you arrive, you can spend the night in the wild at Whichaway Camp, which provides state-of-the-art sleeping pods and all kinds of exhilarating outdoor activities.

Whichaway Camp White Desert Antarctica

Talk to one of our expert travel designers today and start planning your once-in-a-lifetime desert adventure.