Traversing through roads urban and rural, the journeys are sure to enchant and inspire
January 13, 2021: If there is anything the pandemic has taught us, it's the renewed promise of open roads and a long driving stretch to satisfy our wanderlust needs. Taking advantage of this new scenario, resorts brand Aman has introduced Driving Journeys that will take you through the mountains and canyons of the American West, the wind-carved dunes of the Sahara or the sacred forests of Japan.
With the new bespoke journeys, guests have the option to drive impeccable sportscars, SUVs or classic vehicles on supported three to five-day trips using Aman’s incredible locations as a base. Events are ideal for like-minded friends and family members with a passion for motoring and independent travel, with guests also able use their own vehicles to travel in utmost comfort, with Aman assisting with any shipping required.
With flexible itineraries and between three to five hours of driving per day, guests are free to set off in their own time, exploring and pausing en-route as the mood takes them. Personalised Aman iPhones will be pre-loaded with guides, recommending off-the-beaten-track stop-off points – from coffee shops and galleries to all the best photo opportunities. Lunch stops range from picnics and casual meals in authentic road-side eateries, to exquisite fine dining when the opportunity arises, all arranged by Aman. Aman GPS systems ensure easy route-finding, and a support vehicle is never far away. For a more relaxed approach, shamrock-style routes even allow for non-drivers to skip a day on the road and spend it relaxing at the resort instead.
Best planned for spring and autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, Aman Driving Journeys can be arranged from a number of iconic Aman resorts and hotels worldwide. These include Amangani and Amangiri in the USA, Amanjena in Morocco, Aman Kyoto and Amanemu in Japan, Amanzoe in Greece, Aman Venice and Rosa Alpina in Italy and Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro.
From the untamed wilderness of Amangiri in Utah to the wildlife inhabited valleys surrounding Amangani in Wyoming, Aman Driving Experiences in the USA showcase the very best of America’s great roads. Driving through Escalante National Park, Monument Valley and around the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the journey can be complemented by a half-day in speedboats on Lake Powell and a helicopter ride up Tower Butte for sunrise yoga, with plenty of time at the end of each day to experience the healing powers of Amangiri’s 2,322 sq m spa and otherworldly surroundings.
Perched atop East Gros Ventre Butte with awe-inspiring views of the Grand Tetons, Amangani is the perfect base from which to experience the thrill of Wyoming’s open roads. From the wonders of Yellowstone National Park into the long, winding highways of Idaho and around the Palisades Reservoir, the surrounding regions offer a fantastic mix of scenery and wide, smooth roads suited to both sports and classic cars. Back at the resort, soak in the open-air heated pool and Jacuzzi overlooking the Snake River Valley or dine by a roaring log fire in the Grill Restaurant, the perfect antidote to a day of driving.
From the impossibly scenic Peloponnese, where coastal roads lead to bustling seaside villages and ancient ruins, to the spectacular mountain passes of Morocco, Montenegro and Italy, Aman’s one-of-a-kind driving itineraries commencing from Amanzoe, Aman Venice, Amanjena and Aman Sveti Stefan allow guests to experience the best of each region. Amanzoe’s hilltop setting in Greece is an island-lovers adventure, where driving routes showcase the rolling Peloponnese countryside. Surrounded by 360-degree views of olive groves and with the Tripoli Mountains in the distance, guests can admire the epic scenery, savour coffee breaks in traditional villages, explore quaint port towns such as Paralios Astos and uncover ancient Greek structures including Epidavros.
While the floating city might not be the most obvious location for a driving experience, Aman Venice whisks guests from the palazzo to the dock, where cars are ready and waiting for guests to explore the Padua Hills, the foothills of the Dolomites, Lake Garda and the Valpolicella vineyards. Venture along the edge of the dramatic Eugenean hills and visit Fiorano – home to Ferrari’s private racing track – where lunch can be enjoyed in the iconic Ferrari restaurant before an optional tour of the Ferrari museum. Alternately, head to the beguiling waters of Lake Garda, driving the tunnels featured in James Bond’s Casino Royale en-route.
Elsewhere on Montenegro’s coastline, Aman Sveti Stefan driving journeys traverse the Aegean and can include Kotor’s famous hill climb, the backroads to Croatia and numerous mountain passes. Driving through the Bay of Kotor, experience winding roads surrounded by dramatic vistas or venture into the country with its cliffsides hiding secret beaches. Cross the border to visit Dubrovnik for lunch on the cobbled streets of the Old Town, stroll through the vineyards of the famous Radevic Wine Estate or stop at the Skadar Lake for a picnic surrounded by an abundance of birdlife. Return to the island solace of Aman Sveti Stefan at dusk, just in time for a pre-dinner treatment in the extensive beachfront Aman Spa.
Resting on the outskirts of Marrakech, Amanjena is perfectly situated for an Aman Drive 4x4 experience designed for dedicated drivers and thrill-seekers alike. From coastal tracks and rolling hills to cedar forests and vast tracts of desert sand and dune, Morocco is a country made for adventurous driving. The terrain is rugged, the scenery magnificent and the roads stretch for miles. Camel rides, Bedouin picnic lunches and elegant alfresco dinners in Amanjena’s tranquil gardens enhance the experience.
Aman Kyoto and Amanemu in Japan are ideally placed for exploring the countryside between and around them. From the shores of Ago Bay where the sacred forests of Ise Shima embrace Amanemu and its healing hot springs, to Aman Kyoto’s secret garden in the country’s ancient capital, the roads between these two private sanctuaries are some of the most stunning on Earth.
Starting and finishing at Aman Kyoto, two distinct driving routes to and from Amanemu take in the Japanese Alps, cross the Kanto Plain, and include the famous Hakone Turnpike, Venus and Izu Skylines with their twisting turns, huge elevation changes and panoramic views. Guests also journey along Japan’s highest road, the mind-blowing Norikura, which rises to 2,700m and offers extraordinary views of the Yatigatake and Hodaka Mountain Ranges. At Amanemu, time in a private onsen and forest treks to Shinto temples instill a deep sense of peace, while at Aman Kyoto, picnics in the private gardens and visits to the area’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites provide natural and cultural distraction.