The ultimate armchair travel guide for exploring the world during lockdown

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Armchair travel; main

Whether you want to enjoy a city break, go on safari or take in the vistas of alpine Switzerland, you can do so from the comfort of your lounge, thanks to the amazing virtual experiences available online

Venues and destinations have employed technology and a big helping of creativity to help us satisfy our wanderlust – here, TravelMole editor-in-chief Beverley Fearis highlights some of the best offerings.

Get your culture fix

Armchair travel; Berlin

Photo: Getty Images

Go on a virtual city break to Berlin. Its new digital hub shares live or recorded performances from its theatres and concert halls – even DJ sets from its famous nightclubs – along with virtual tours of its museums, and yoga and fitness sessions from its resident professionals. 

Armchair travel; Olympic Museum

Photo: llee-wu/Flickr.com

Take a tour of online exhibitions at Lausanne’s Olympic Museum, a tribute to athleticism. The museum’s doors might be closed at the moment, but there are 27 digital exhibitions available, varying from the art of sports photography to stories of individual Olympians and past Games.

Armchair travel; Buckingham Palace

Photo: Getty Images

Join retired Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt, Master of the Household, and Anna Reynolds, Curator of Paintings for the Royal Collection Trust, for a fascinating tour of Buckingham Palace. Just click on the link to see a 360º view. You might even spot Her Majesty’s corgis! 

Tune in to travel

Armchair travel; dancing

Photo: Getty Images

Sit back and enjoy a specially curated mix of music by travel website Skyscanner. It has launched a series of Spotify playlists designed to take you on a journey across the globe, from India’s Bollywood beats to Brazil’s bossa nova. 

Armchair travel; orchestra

Photo: Getty Images

They might be confined to solo performances right now, but the musicians from The Seattle Symphony are doing daily broadcasts for music lovers from their own homes – and for free, too. If you don’t catch them live, you can watch them later. 

Armchair travel; safari

Photo: Getty Images

Close your eyes and imagine you’re on the deck of a safari lodge as you listen to the calming sounds of the African bush compiled by the Singita group, which has 15 lodges and camps across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Rwanda. You might even hear the Big Five. 

Get ‘outdoors’

Armchair travel; Abu Dhabi

Photo: Getty Images

Fly through the stunning landscapes and attractions of Abu Dhabi on a thrilling aerial video. It’s just one of a series of virtual experiences put together by its tourist board. It’s so well shot, it actually feels like you’re flying. Hold on tight! 

Armchair travel; Switzerland

Photo: Getty Images

Open the window, take in some fresh air, and be transported to the mountains of Switzerland, hopping from peak to peak for panoramic 360º views. The vistas might even inspire you to treat your neighbours to a spot of yodelling! 

Armchair travel; horseriding

Photo: Getty Images

Go horseback riding on Hutchinson Island, swim with manatees at the Three Sisters Springs, kayak the Rainbow Springs State Park, and speed along the Canyons Zip Line in Ocala. Visit Florida offers all of these virtual experiences on its YouTube channel, and without the nine-hour flight time. 

Armchair travel; golf

Photo: Getty Images

Perfect your swing with the help of the golf pros at the Algarve’s famous Quinta do Lago resort, home to three world-class 18-hole courses. With Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy among its frequent guests, you know you’re in good hands. 

Keep the kids entertained

Armchair travel; marine

Photo: Getty Images

Whisk your children to the Maldives to join the enthusiastic team at Six Senses Laamu, who have put together a fun and educational interactive 10-week expedition all about marine biology. Budding biologists can take part by emailing pictures, ideas and discoveries directly to the island resort. 

Armchair travel; rollercoaster

Photo: Efteling

Dare your children to jump on board the jaw-dropping Baron 1898 rollercoaster at Holland’s Efteling theme park. It’s just one of the rides they can experience virtually and in 360º on the park’s YouTube channel. And there are no height restrictions! 

Get a flavour of the destination

Armchair travel; Tuscany

Photo: Getty Images

Savour the delights of Tuscany with live cookery and wine-tasting classes being shared on Tuscany Now & More's Instagram account every Sunday throughout the spring and summer. Ingredients and wine choices are posted the Wednesday before so you’ve got time to prepare. 

Armchair travel; Thai food

Photo: Getty Images

Become a Thai MasterChef and treat your family to the best pad thai and tom yum kung (spicy shrimp soup) with classes from expert Thai chefs. Videos and recipes are being shared on the ‘Stay at Home Thai Style’ initiative from the Thai tourist board. There are also wellness videos, Muay Thai boxing and a crossword. 

Armchair travel; seafood

Credit: Damian Broom

Join Damian Broom, the head chef at Durham’s spa hotel, Seaham Hall, in his own kitchen as he shares some of his culinary secrets, including sessions on store cupboard essentials and family favourites, all with Seaham twists. 

Armchair travel; cocktails

Photo: Getty Images

Learn how to make the perfect margarita with the expert barmen at Mexico’s NIZUC Resort & Spa on Instagram. Be warned: they’ve added their own signature kick of habanero chili on the rim of the glass. 

Virtual wellness retreats

Armchair travel; meditation

Photo: Getty Images

Head to St Lucia to take part in a breathing workshop with Dr Maha Lakshmanan, body science leader at the wellness retreat, BodyHoliday. There’s also a 10-minute guided meditation session with a master practitioner and an immune-boosting smoothie by the resort’s executive chef, all on the retreat’s new video-led blogs.

Armchair travel; wellness

Credit: Chiva-Som

Be soothed by the smiles of the team at Thailand’s Chiva-Som health resort. It’s only 45 seconds long but this video clip really will bring a smile to your face. The resort is also sharing tips on sleeping, meditation and self-massage. 

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Armchair travel; cottages

Credit: cottages.com

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