You’d think after millennia of people traveling, not to mention how quickly the world has shrunk with access to the Internet, that we would have seen it all.
But here are four beautiful and intriguing highlights from places that might not be as familiar. If you’d like a full list from National Geographic of the best trips for 2018 – some familiar, some not – check it out here
If you’re craving a break from busy-ness and noise, Haida Gwaii will give you the silence you’re longing for. A 180-mile-long archipelago off the coast of British Columbia is the ultimate getaway for nature lovers. May-September is the summer season, with more tourist services available, and a greater chance of seeing spectacular wildlife like the Orca migration. But if you’re into surfing, try October-May for the best waves.
To get a feel for what life was like for the Vikings, hop a ferry from Denmark or Iceland and check out the Faroe Islands. Located about 400 miles off the coast of Northern Europe and accessible by flights and ferries year-round, the Faroe Islands are ringed with dramatic green cliffs that plunge into the ocean, sparkling bays, and breathtaking Nordic scenery. In the city of Gjógv, stay in an authentic sod-roofed hotel and take hikes up into the mountains with a spectacular view of the gorge below. Go in July or August for mild temps and long days.
A hidden travel gem lies in the Western Baltics, which is already a somewhat-unknown region that is brimming with breathtaking scenery and a proud cultural heritage. The Via Dinarica is a year-round adventurer’s wonderland. Love gorgeous summer hikes and biking tours? May-September, this trail stretches through 1,200 miles of varied terrain and eight different countries. If you’re into skiing and snowshoeing, hit the Via Dinarica from January to mid-March for a pristine wonderland. Stay in remote mountain shelters, or immerse yourself in centuries-old tradition by staying with local host families.
We see a lot of Japan’s bustling cities, its towering skyscrapers, its industry, its bright lights. But if you’re interested in reclining into the contemplative heart of Japan, seek out Koyasan, a pristine monastic complex two hours south of Osaka by train and the seat of Japanese Shingon Buddhism. Many temples here offer guest rooms, and you can get a feel for what monastic life is like in the lush, misty mountain interior. Savor the simple flavors of clean Buddhist eating, take in morning rituals, or hike by lantern and moonlight along winding green mountain paths. After the intense and amazing sensory experiences that the large urban areas of Japan provide, Koyasan really is the perfect retreat into silence, simplicity, and mystery.
One of the many reasons I love what I do as a travel agent is that there is just so much to see, to take in, and to learn. We all have the amazing opportunity to launch out into new places, to find some new adventure that will change us forever — and I love getting to be a part of that process.
If you’re feeling that pull to places that are new to you, contact me below and let’s start planning your next adventure!
A Look at Some Incredible Hotels
In the air, under the sea, on the ice, in a tree: a look at some incredible hotels
Travel is meant to transport you — to other places, obviously, but also sometimes to other times, other worlds, other possibilities. These four utterly unique hotels are full of the magic, mystery, and wonder that travel embodies. These are places you might never want to leave!
The Taj Palace Resort, Lake Pichola, Rajasthan, India is for the person who’s ever wondered what it was like to see the world in the Golden Age of travel. This is the place (or palace) to get a glimpse of what it feels like to be royalty . Built in the middle of a lake, this huge marble resort features opulent 1930s rooms with intricately carved archways and rooms draped in sumptuous fabrics. You can dine al fresco with a view of the surrounding mountains and the warm lights of the shoreline, and then hop on a traditional sunset boat ride with your own personal oarsman.
If you’re a serious nature lover who also appreciates the finer things, then staying at one of the luxurious lodges on the Huilo-Huilo Biological Reserve will ignite your love of the natural world in a whole new way. Located in the mountainous jungles of Chile, not far from the Argentinian border, Huilo-Huilo features four main lodges on the property that are all intimately a part of the gorgeous natural surroundings — including one that’s built right into a mountain. Spacious rooms look out over lush green canopies, pristine rivers, and the bright, elaborate ecosystem of the Patagonia rainforest. Take advantage of spa facilities after a day of hiking and exploring, and enjoy 5-star meals that draw their inspiration from the surrounding jungle. Best of all, you get to be part of a sustainable tourist destination that’s committed to preservation and conservation of the world it
The Ice Hotel® in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden is a gorgeous, temporary palace of ice, located north of the Arctic Circle. Each year, the hotel commissions artists to create original masterwork rooms using snow and ice. Giant sculptures and huge vaulted rooms of carved snow surround fur-covered beds. Each room serves as a canvas for designers from all over the world. Get married in a church made entirely of ice, or spend a night watching the breathtaking aurora borealis from your room. But don’t wait too long: each Spring, the Ice Hotel® disappears
If cold weather isn’t your thing and you’re more into sandy beaches and mind-blowingly clear waters, then your dream resort might just be Cocoa Island by Como Maldives . This is a private island resort with 33 “overwater” suites. What that means is that you can literally walk out the door of your private villa and just slip into a warm turquoise lagoon for a swim. Each room has a personal terrace, with a view out onto the sea and of the sugar-white beaches nearby. Indulge in the holistic wellness treatments at the spa, take an incredible diving tour, and enjoy top-tier food prepared with a nod to the South Indian culinary influences.
What kind of places do you like to stay? If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind resort or hotel, I can help find a place that will totally transport you, for an experience you’ll remember forever! If you’re ready to dive in, book a vacation planning session with me .
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