There are some truly incredible destinations around the world, but with a major downside being the huge swaths of tourists they attract that amble around like zombies.
Massive crowds can turn the simple pleasure of admiring ancient architecture into a test of endurance, as you slowly shuffle along, fighting claustrophobia and ruing your past self for not making better plans.
Yet, we wouldn’t be purveyors of the world’s best bucket list experiences without finding an alternative solution for the crowd-dodgers among you.
Take a look at our round-up of rare and regal private tours for those who want to forever be far from the madding crowd…
After-Hours Tour of the Vatican
Forget experiencing the Sistine Chapel by getting jammed with someone’s flailing selfie stick, elbowed in the eye, or trodden on fifteen times; this is clearly not how you soak in the splendor of Michelangelo’s magical Frescoes.
The way you want to see the Vatican in all her glory is free from the tangle of crowds, perhaps at twilight when your footsteps echo on gleaming marble floors and Botticelli’s beauties gaze upon you in all their heavenly grace.
It may sound impossible to go on a private tour of the Vatican and to have the whole of the place at your beck and call, but we have the key. On an after-hours tour, you can relish a two-hour sojourn through the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Library and St Mark's Basilica with no more than nine other people and a tour guide at your complete disposal.
Private Dinner at the Palazzo Ducale
Yeah, you can do dinner in a million tried and tested Michelin starred restaurants where tiny beautiful dishes come scattered with edible flowers and stashed beneath a veil of smoke and mirrors. Or you can take life up to eleven and book a private dinner in an 11th-century Italian palace. Cool story.
The Palazzo Ducale is now a museum stashed in the heart of romantic Venice, AKA land of lazy canals, sweeping gondolas, and masked glory. As part of this rare and regal experience, your tour guide is actually an Italian Count who has the keys to all the normally restricted parts of the palace.
We are talking unfettered access to the apartments and every nook and cranny before being invited to sit down to an epic candlelit supper against the astounding backdrop of the Doge Palace.
Stonehenge at Sunset
The mystical aura of Stonehenge can be hard to find when you are pressed against a restrictive fence surrounded by a thousand audibly irritating tourists. For those who want to soak up the pagan spirit in style then skip the queues, avoid the crowds, and instead book a VIP special ticket that allows you to slip beneath the fence at sunset.
Not only does the VIP tour of Stonehenge include a first-class luxury motor coach, private guide, and an early morning visit to Salisbury Cathedral, but it also means that you get to soak up the mystical moods of one of the worlds most spiritual spots without having a selfie stick rammed in your face.
Embrace the full spirit of the King as you book a private tour of Graceland. Sitting pretty in Memphis Tennessee – Elvis Presley’s former home is the ultimate chance to immerse yourself in the artistry of one of rock and rolls greatest legends.
An epic after-hours private party in the mansion means that you get to explore the epic jungle room, marvel at the trophy building, pay your respects at the Kings resting place in Memorial Garden, and enjoy a private dinner with your nearest and dearest as you listen to the crooning charm of Elvis himself. It’s an experience you can’t help falling in love with. Sorry, not sorry.
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