Come fly with me: the best, dreamiest escapes all Virgin Red members will love
“I want to break free. I want to breeaaak free.”
Never have the immortal lyrics of Queen rung so true than in the Covid era. With the world set to open up once more this year (cross everything you have), the giddy scent of freedom beckons – and we can’t help but dream of our next great escape.
If you’re with us, you’ll be happy to hear that members of Virgin Red, the new rewards club from Virgin, get a head start when it comes to exploring this wonderful planet of ours. Simply earn points on everyday bills and shopping to bag a Virgin Atlantic flight to dozens of tropical locations, from the pristine beaches of Tobago to party-central Cape Town and more.
Not only that, but Virgin Points – Virgin Red’s universal currency that never expires – can be used to unlock all kinds of wanderlust experiences in our pick of rewards. Sailing in the Caribbean with Virgin Voyages, sunbathing in a luxury Morocco hotel or a vineyard estate in the Western Cape with Virgin Limited Edition: you name it, we’ve got a reward to go with.
Here are 10 of our dreamiest getaways to kickstart your plans – all available via Virgin Points. Grab that kaftan and dive in for some delicious inspiration.
Please check with the UK Foreign Office for the latest entry requirements and guidance on Covid before booking to the destinations below.
If you’re not already, you’ll also need to be a member of the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club when you claim reward flights with Virgin Red. Find out how to join both clubs, and link your accounts, here.
See spectacular South Africa
Sunny South Africa hits that bucket list spot for many travellers – and for good reason. This is a country that pulsates to the rhythm of world-class adventure. Everywhere you look, there are thrills to be had.
Wine-lovers will adore the hazy vine trails of Franschhoek, with the mountains a perfect backdrop for a Chenin Blanc tasting or three. Then there’s the magnificent sights of the Garden Route, connecting the East and Western Cape, with desert landscapes, hiking trails and golden bays en-route.
Most of all, though, this is a place where you can delve into secrets of the animal kingdom: a safari drive with sundowners is an experience you’ll never forget.
Let Tobago tempt you in
Tobago lies to the south of the Caribbean near the coast of Venezuela. Along with its island nation sister Trinidad, it has the highest number of bird species per square mile in the world – including 17 kinds of hummingbird.
Sea turtles, armadillos and iguanas are also native to this lovely little island, and staying here will give you a glimpse into their natural habitats. Elsewhere, you can take a glass-bottom boat to spectacular diving sites, flop out with a cocktail or try out some crab 'n' dumpling – a Tobagonian special – from your choice of beachfront kiosks.
The real beauty of this island lies in its wild side: whether you’re heading inland for a waterfall picnic, or to the coast and a deserted beach, you’ll feel light years away from the hubbub of normal life.
Be wowed by Washington D.C.
With its hip bistros and boutique hotels, Washington D.C. is so much more than the political heartland of the United States. This is a place where you can paddle down the Potomac River one minute and browse at a cool Georgetown hangout like Hu’s Wear the next.
Whether you’re bar-hopping along Columbia Heights hotspot 11th Street NW, watching the Washington Wizards in action at the Capital One Arena or popping by the handsome Smithsonian American Art Museum, this city is crammed with things to do and people to see.
Naturally, you can walk in the footsteps of history, too: by seeing Congress in action, visiting the Supreme Court of the United States, or meandering round the U.S. Capitol grounds.
Flights with Virgin Atlantic are available from April 2022 onwards.
Fly to Mumbai
Treat yourself to a world of wonders with a flight to the magnetic city of Mumbai. India’s largest city is an exhilarating place to climb aboard for your South Asian holiday: immerse yourself in the vivid sensory landscape of Indian city life.
A visit to Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour, with its maze of UNESCO Hindu temples, will blow your mind; and who could resist a meditation session at the Global Vipassana Pagoda, a dome hall made of real gold?
Since Mumbai is the capital of Bollywood, no holiday here would be complete without a film screening at the iconic Eros Cinema – or you could book in for a private Bollywood tour. Meanwhile, Sanjay Gandhi National Park beckons nearby, with its ancient Kanheri Caves. And don’t forget the street food: anyone for dosa pancakes?
Unearth the marvels of Morocco
Kasbah Tamadot is Sir Richard Branson's enchanting retreat in the foothills of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. With views of Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak, this award-winning Virgin Limited Edition hotel is truly unique.
Every room is filled with colourful textiles and antique treasures, all lit up in the atmospheric glow of night-time lanterns. There’s an outdoor infinity pool wreathed by greenery, and an indoor heated pool, as well as a spa with signature Moroccan treatments.
The roof terrace is *the* place to be for a twilight mint tea under the stars – and the medina delights of Marrakech, along with the hiking trails of the Atlas Mountains, are both within easy reach. This break is yours, all yours from 240,000+ points** with Virgin Red, for a three-night stay with a friend.
Set sail around the Caribbean
Sunsets in Antigua and balmy Barbados dreaming... A Virgin Voyages cruise around the Caribbean offers a circle seat to some of the region’s hottest destinations – all from the comfort of your superyacht.
You’ll be treated like a VIP from the moment you step on-board, with menus created by Michelin-starred chefs, live circus nights and heated hammam spas. Beyond the ship, the adventure continues, with experiences that include beach parties at the exclusive Bimini Lagoon Cabana to incredible coral reefs off the Honduran island of Roatán.
You can start building the foundations of your Caribbean cruise with Virgin Red: 3,000+ points will lower the cost of a Virgin Voyages cruise, with savings made via Points Plus Money. Please note: in order to use points to pay, the cruise must be booked with Virgin Holidays.
Get a VIP ticket to Tel Aviv
You don’t need us to tell us that flying Upper Class is a pretty special experience. Not only do you get to unwind preflight in Virgin Atlantic’s VIP clubhouses (hello, cocktail hour and wellness spas), but when you arrive on board – champers all round – you’ll get to kick back in a sumptuous leather seat that converts into a flatbed for an excellent night’s kip. Luxurious extras such as High Tea Petit Fours, a 32-inch TV and a bespoke bar area, are all part of the experience.
This is your route into Tel Aviv, Israel’s mesmerising coastal city with all-night beach clubs, incredible food and a thriving international arts scene. Sandwiched either side by VIP flights, this getaway promises the party of a lifetime.
Let Barbados bliss you out
Bajan cuisine alone will knock your socks off – this is a nation famed for its fried flying fish and cou cou (a type of cornmeal side), spicy pepperpot stew, and the beloved island take on macaroni pie.
The cocktails aren’t bad, either: an icy rum punch or a hibiscus margarita are just the thing to keep you company on a sunny afternoon at Ju Ju’s legendary beach bar. Speaking of which, Barbados will keep you happy indeed when it comes to idyllic beach days. White stretches of sand framed by gently swaying palm fronds are woven into daily life here, and you can take your pick from remote castaway bays or more lively, celeb-spotting party beaches.
But don’t forget to make room for some sensational sea life: Caribbean reef sharks, stingrays and spotted dolphins are just some of the creatures you may spot around the island’s legendary wreck and reef dives.
Escape to Lake District luxury
While the Caribbean is clearly a cracking place to be, you don’t actually have to leave the UK for a brilliant holiday. A luxury break at Appleby Manor Hotel & Garden Spa, a retreat on the edge of the Lake District, using your points for a Virgin Experience Days’ Chrome Collection, may be just as reviving. With open log fires and front-row views of the North Pennine fells, this place has “luxury escape” written all over it.
An overnight stay for two, available via the Virgin Experience Days Chrome Collection voucher, comes in at 42,500 points.
*Taxes, fees and carrier imposed surcharges apply to all Virgin Atlantic flights where points are quoted. Points based on standard season rates.
** This offer is subject to availability, blackout dates and all Virgin Limited Edition terms and conditions apply.