What a year! To assemble this list, we looked back on our most enviable travel experiences of the past 12 months. They included riding Icelandic horses, road tripping in Italy, cruising the Nile and taking a luxury train to Machu Picchu, among numerous others. Putting these awards together reminds us of how fortunate we are to enjoy such incredible tours — and to share them with our members.
Most Memorable Excursion: Aran Islands, Ireland
The three Aran Islands, which showcase majestic sheer cliffs facing the Atlantic, a lattice of hand-built stone walls and a multitude of Celtic churches and Bronze Age forts, are a top attraction of Ireland's West Country. We booked a ferry with Aran Island Ferries to Inishmore. It docked at Kilronan, a tiny fishing village chockablock with shops selling traditional hand-knit Aran sweaters. We started at Dún Aonghasa, and its stark beauty did not disappoint; the vertiginous 300-foot drop was breathtaking. We also stopped at Seven Churches, a celebrated pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages, and relaxed on the powdery sands of Kilmurvey Beach. As we roamed the island, we overheard locals speaking Gaelic and instantly felt connected to the country’s ancient history.