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In recent years, rumors have begun to spread about the existence of a group of nine volcanic islands in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean, about two thirds of the way between Europe and the US. Islands with emerald beaches, dazzling blue lakes, verdant pastures, volcanic caverns, bubbling mud pots, sprawling sunrises and waterfalls cascading deep into ravines (which you can rappel into, by the way).
Basically, if someone grabbed Iceland, moved it 3,000km to the south, and smashed it into nine pieces, you would have the Azores. They share the same volcanic origins and overwhelming landscapes, only this archipelago has subtropical lush vegetation instead of ice.
The Azores Islands are an autonomous region of Portugal. And while only a two-hour flight from Lisbon, this far flung archipelago has been but a blip on the radar of possible destinations, making it Europe’s best kept secret.
Situated in the Gulf of Thailand, the beautiful island of Koh Samui it is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Chasing a slice of paradise, travelers are flocking here from all over the world, and due to its broad appeal the island attracts everyone from the budget backpacker to the mega famous Hollywood celebrities.
And while famed for its palm tree edged beaches and crystal clear waters, the list of things to see and do here is both varied and interesting. The island is home to an abundance of natural wonders and man-made attractions, from mummified monks and sacred Buddhist temples, to thundering waterfalls and spectacular dive sites.
There really is something for everyone on this paradise island, and you’ll be hard pressed to fit everything into only a few days. We highly recommend spending a week, though don’t worry, the following activities will keep you busy for at least 7 days!
There’s no doubt that Fiji is one of the most beautiful places in the world. A tropical haven that’s filled with coconut palm trees, sugar white beaches and turquoise blue lagoons.
If this South Pacific archipelago is high on your travel bucket list and you plan on enjoying paradise like the locals do, you’re in luck. Today we speak to International Model and Fiji Airways Ambassador Phillipa Steele (born and raised in Fiji’s Coral Coast) to find out her favourite local spots, including where to stay, play, relax, shop and eat.
I’m loving the explosion of glamping in Australia; the availability of luxury accommodation in picturesque natural surrounds. I’m talking tents with real beds, cozy decor, and all of the amenities of home. I’m talking luxury cabins offering secluded wilderness with a hot tub.
From barns and cabins, to tree houses and caves, glamping is a way to connect with your surroundings without having to rough it. And with incomparable access to nature, “glamorous camping” is the newest Australian craze. Tucked inside mountains, scattered along white-sand beaches, unique structures with an amazing backdrop are beginning to pop up everywhere.
Located in the beautiful East Gippsland region of Victoria, one glamping site is particularily worth noting. Situated in lesser known Nungurner is a unique rural homestead; a contemporary vacation cabin nestled on 50 acres of stunning countryside. Just over three hours east of Melbourne, this property provides the perfect setting to retreat, relax and rejuvenate, and is the ideal base for exploring everything East Gippsland has to offer.
A pinch of humidity, few spoons of fresh air, and a plate full of scenic views as far as the eye can see is Kerala for you. Between beaches, tea estates, paddy fields, mountains, rubber plantations, pepper, and beautiful backwaters, this Indian state has it all. It’s no wonder they call it God’s country.
And it’s possible to experience it all – to witness each of the stunning landscapes people flock to Kerala to see. You’ll just need to hop on a houseboat.
50 years ago, houseboats in this region were setup to transfer goods from one place to another, as most of the state was not reachable by land. Though in recent decades the secret of Kerala’s beauty has got out, and these historic houseboats have been made accessible to the public as tourism takes hold.
Regardless of your destination, there’s something to be said about escaping the city limits for the countryside; ditching the urban sprawl for a destination where the air is cleaner, life is peaceful, and you can find distance from crowded spaces and personal space invading strangers. It’s an opportunity to recharge your batteries, reconnect with nature, and uncover the hidden gems that lie just a short drive from the big smoke.
And this is especially true of Buenos Aires. The most European, most glamorous, most hedonistic city in South America, you don’t have to travel far to swap city life for gaucho culture, and it’s a short one hour drive before high rise hotels give way to estancias (elegant ranches) where travelers have the unique opportunity to experience the countryside.
Estancias are found all over Argentina, though as this would be our first estancia experience we chose to experience the best. A stay at Puesto Viejo Estancia truly encompasses an experience like no other, offering the ideal leisurely countryside break to unwind away from the city. Seamlessly blending historic ranch life with contemporary accommodation, Puesto Viejo Estancia is an idyllic luxury country escape located right on Buenos Aires’ doorstep.
Thinking of a beautiful Mediterranean island for your next holiday? Perhaps one that sits off the toe of Italy? Seductively beautiful and perfectly placed in the heart of the Mediterranean, Sicily should be at the top of your list.
Sicily is the largest of the Italian islands, and has long seduced travelers with its natural wonders and cultural treasures. It boasts wonderful weather, and a diverse range of culinary influences. Natural wonders abound here, and the juxtaposition of sea, volcano and mountain scenery makes a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities. The island is full of history, bursting at the seams with ancient artistic and architectural gems. When it comes to ancient Greek architecture, Sicily actually rivals Greece.
There are many incredible reasons to visit Sicily. The following are to name just a few.
With the travel season quickly getting underway, now is the perfect time to address motion sickness. And while you may not have suffered from it in the past, this is a common condition that affects millions of people, and the reality is that motion sickness can ruin anyone’s trip.
Sometimes referred to as car sickness or sea sickness, motion sickness is a disturbance in your inner ear that is caused by repeated motion. Hiking up the highest peaks or cruising across the ocean can easily be derailed. This not only applies to those heading on a cruise, but could develop if you find yourself traveling in countries with poor road systems or stuck on a horribly crowded buses. Even turbulence from a plane could set you off. And unfortunately, many sufferers don’t do anything to treat it, or treat it with the wrong products and ineffective methods.
But for those of us who live our lives in motion, it’s critical that we know how to prevent and deal with motion sickness should it occur. Because it’s something that is easily treatable, and as such shouldn’t ruin anyone’s trip.
If there’s one thing I’m always on the hunt for, it’s finding a better way to learn a new language.
People learn a language for all different reasons. It’s a great way to get ahead in your professional career, connect with family members, or maybe you met a cute foreign boy. Though my interest lies in speaking with locals while I’m traveling.
Because I hate feeling ashamed that I can’t communicate in another language. We expect tourists visiting English speaking countries to speak English, however 90% of the time don’t reciprocate by making an attempt to speak the local language when traveling through foreign countries ourselves.
Not expecting people to speak to you in English, and making at least an attempt to communicate in the language of the land wherever you go, is a sign of respect for both the locals and their culture. But language learning isn’t for everyone, and surely no-one in the world has mastered over 200 local dialects! So what is a traveler to do?
Who hasn’t dreamt of going travelling and escaping off into the sunset for a while? Seeing parts of the world and experiencing different cultures can be costly, but costly doesn’t mean impossible.
Here’s some handy tips for those wanting to escape the 9 to 5 on a budget.