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The ultimate driving luxury – Japan, Europe and the USA

The ultimate driving luxury – Japan, Europe and the USA

Aman Driving Journeys Monument Valley USA

The world’s most luxurious driving journeys in Japan, Europe and the USA

Shiga, Japan Genkyuen Garden, Japanese garden in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan
Shiga, Japan Genkyuen Garden, Japanese garden in Hikone, Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Image courtesy Aman

Aman Driving Journeys, offer the ultimate personalised self-drive road trips. The new bespoke journeys provide the opportunity for guests to drive impeccable sportscars, SUVs or classic vehicles on supported three to five-day trips using Aman’s 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 preloaded with bespoke 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. Aman Driving Journeys can be arranged from a number of iconic Aman resorts and hotels worldwide. While Australians may not be heading overseas this year, Japan looks like one of the first destinations where we will be allowed to travel. Thus put Amanemu and Aman Kyoto on your list along with Amangani and Amangiri in the USA, Amanjena in Morocco, Amanzoe in Greece, Aman Venice and Rosa Alpina in Italy and Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro.

Aman Drive Journeys
Aman Drive Journeys

Japan – The Japanese Alps, crossing the Kanto Plain

In a country famed for its natural beauty and the sheer variety of its geology, Aman Kyoto and Amanemu 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. While 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. Leaving the cars behind, guests can further extend the experience with the option of taking the bullet train to Aman Tokyo for two nights to explore the capital.

USA – Escalante National Park, Monument Valley

A car driving on a road with a picturesque view of Monument Valley in the backdrop. Utah
A car driving on a road with a picturesque view of Monument Valley in the backdrop. Utah. Image Courtesy Aman

Aman’s properties in the USA offer on and off-road experiences with bespoke itineraries to suit the seasons. 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. Set on over 200 pristine hectares, Amangiri claims sweeping desert views and access to some of the most breathtaking roads in the world. 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 sqm spa and otherworldly surroundings. Built around a central swimming pool with elegant dining areas, indoor and outdoor lounges and just 34 spacious suites and a four-bedroom Mesa Home, the resort reflects the raw beauty of its setting with pared back serenity. 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, fast, 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.

Europe – Mountain passes of Morocco, Montenegro and Italy

Julier Pass Road in Switzerland
Julier Pass Road in Switzerland Image courtesy Aman

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. Including both seaside and mountain routes, 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. Island-hopping can also be incorporated, with luxury Riva boat transfers to the small islands of Poros and Hydra, where an opportunity to explore one of the region’s hidden gems awaits before returning to Amanzoe in time for cocktails at sunset or a private villa dinner. While the floating city might not be the most obvious location for a driving experience, from Aman Venice in Italy private speedboats whisk 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. Return to Venice to enjoy the evening’s atmosphere or continue onwards to spend the second half of the journey driving the roads of the Dolomite mountains from Aman’s partner hotel, Rosa Alpina. 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 4×4 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. With some of the finest routes reaching the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, guests can experience lunch in the most unique locations, before being flown back to Amanjena by helicopter. Camel rides, Bedouin picnic lunches and elegant alfresco dinners in Amanjena’s tranquil gardens enhance the experience.

Panorama of Limone sul Garda, a small town on Lake Garda, Italy
Panorama of Limone sul Garda, a small town on Lake Garda, Italy. Image courtesy Aman.


About Aman Driving Journeys

Aman was founded in 1988 with the vision of building a collection of intimate retreats with the unassuming, warm hospitality of a gracious private home. The first, Amanpuri (place of peace) in Phuket, Thailand, introduced the concept and, since then, Aman has grown to encompass 33 exquisitely serene hotels and resorts in 20 destinations across the world, with a further seven under construction. The next Aman to open will be Aman New York. The introduction of Aman Skincare in 2018 and SVA in 2020 has continued the holistic journey beyond the perimeters of Aman’s havens. Offering a soothing journey to a place of beautifully scented repose and respite, Aman Skincare represents the spirit of Aman in a bottle. Meanwhile, SVA’s range of all-natural food supplements allow Aman guests to maintain optimum health, supporting one’s wellness journey from the comfort of their own home. In 2020, Aman not only welcomed Aman Fine Fragrance, a sophisticated collection of scents echoing Aman destinations but also a new hotel brand, Janu – meaning ‘soul’ in Sanskrit. Janu offers a unique take on hospitality where genuine human interaction, playful expression and social wellness are at the core of the experience. Janu aims to bring balance to the head and heart and rekindle the soul. Janu launches with three forthcoming hotels which are already under construction: Montenegro (2022), Al Ula in Saudi Arabia (2022) and Tokyo (2022), as well as a robust pipeline of future hotels. Janu Montenegro will be the first hotel to incorporate the brands serviced residence concept, enabling guests to wholly embrace the Janu lifestyle

For more personalised information tips and advice, or to book this incredible holiday contact your local TravelManagers’ personal travel manager here.

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