Hawaii’s magnetic charm is legendary. The beautiful golden beaches, swaying palms, and warm welcome make Hawaii one of the most sought-after tropical destinations on the planet. If you are lucky enough to visit more than once, there is a whole other side to Hawaii awaiting discovery. From poignant historical sites to jaw-dropping natural marvels – plus the islands’ undersea residents to meet – we take a look at some of the best off-the-beaten-path adventures in Hawaii.
Unravel the Past
Pearl Harbor was one of the most significant and infamous events of World War II. Hawaii’s National Historic Landmark in Central Oahu pays homage to those who lost their lives on that fateful day in 1941. It is a sobering experience, but to visit Battleship Row and the memorial of the USS Arizona, which rests in the shallow harbor, is to better understand not just the history of Hawaii but of the United States.
On the little-visited island of Molokai, the tallest sea cliffs in the world plummet 2,600 feet into the frothing ocean. It is a place of untamed, wild beauty. At the base of the cliffs, perched on a small peninsula, stands the village of Kalaupapa, a remote and lonely spot that was once a place of exile for Hawaii victims of leprosy (today known as Hansen’s Disease). Over 8000 people are buried here, and the village stands as a place of remembrance and honor. Indeed, some survivors chose to remain when segregation ended in 1969, and quiet village life continues. Access is via a single winding track down the cliffs.
When it comes to vacationing with friends, a European cruise is an ideal choice. Not only does it offer the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, but it also allows you to explore multiple destinations in one trip. Here are some reasons why a European cruise is the best vacation to take with friends.
Diversity of Destinations
One of the biggest advantages of a European cruise is the diversity of destinations. You can visit numerous cities and countries, each with its own unique culture, history, and attractions. From the picturesque Mediterranean coast to the stunning Scandinavian fjords, there is something for everyone. Plus, a cruise allows you to easily hop from one destination to another without the hassle of transportation or accommodations. What can better than your floating hotel?
Endless Entertainment Options
Onboard a European cruise, there is never a dull moment. Most cruise ships offer a wide variety of entertainment options, from live music shows and comedy performances to pool parties and cocktail hours. You and your friends can also take part in organized activities such as cooking classes, wine tastings, and dance lessons. And when you're ready to relax, you can hit the spa or soak up the sun on the deck. A range of experiences vary depending on your selection of a large or mid-size ship, or a yacht cruise.
The white continent at the bottom of the world is far from a lifeless, barren land. Antarctica is a wilderness like no other, untamed and untamable, a vast landscape of snow and ice inhabited by some of the hardiest wildlife on the planet. To cruise the frigid waters is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a humbling adventure to see Mother Nature at its most pure and undisturbed. Here we look at what awaits responsible travelers on an expedition to Antarctica.
Setting Sail in the Wake of Charles Darwin
At the far bottom of the great South American continent, between Chile and Argentina, the Patagonian Fjords are the gateway to Antarctica and a stunning spectacle in their own right. The Beagle Channel, named after Darwin’s famous ship, the HMS Beagle, is the first taste of Antarctica, with vast glaciers meeting choppy grey seas and great mountains towering into the sky. The Beagle Channel empties into the Drake Passage, and from there, it’s directly south until reaching Earth’s coldest, driest and windiest continent.
Novi Sad sprawls the banks of Danube, and many consider it the city of intrigue. It's easy to spend hours wandering Dunavska Street, the town's most beautiful and oldest streets. You can also lose hours walking through Zmaj Jovina, a pedestrian street that stretches for 500m. Speckled throughout the area, you'll find cafes, chocolate box houses, kafanas, and restaurants. Let's look at five reasons not to miss Novi Sad on your next adventure.
1. It's Creative and Vibrant Culture
Novi Sad, nicknamed "the Athens of Serbia," has a reputation for its creative and vibrant culture. During the late 17th century, the Habsburg Monarchy founded Novi Sad and, since then, it's been a hot spot for artists and art enthusiasts. The city is full of galleries, museums, and the Serbian National Theatre.
2. Underground Tunnel Exploration
Don't miss the Petrovardin Fortress, also known as Gibraltar on the Danube. The Habsburg Dynasty built this fortress in the 17th century as part of their military defense. There's 16km of underground tunnels beneath the fortress's floor waiting for you to explore.
3. Unique Wine-Tasting Opportunities
If you or someone you know appreciates unique wines, don't miss cevapcici. It's a Balkan delicacy of minced and grilled meat. Wash that down with the town of Sremski Karlovci's Serbian wine. Sremski Karlovic is Serbia's self-proclaimed wine capital. It's believed that Roman Emperor Probus was the first to plant grapevines on the mountain approximately 1,700 years ago.
4. Memorable Music
Music lovers should head over to Novi Sad during July. That way, you join more than 150,000 other music lovers at the EXIT festival. Every year, the Petrovardian Fortress hosts this event. When it's time for a brief break from the festivities, visit Strand, a gorgeous beach along the Danube.
5. Easy to Plan
Planning this trip is easy when you know where to stay, what to bring, and how to get there. I recommend the Hotel Leopold I to experience old-school glamour on top of the Petrovardian Fortress. Because you could be spending much of your time on your feet, bring a comfortable pair of sneakers. Getting to this destination is as simple as flying to the Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport and transferring directly to Novi Sad.
If you would like to learn more about the unique experiences you can have in Novi Sad when you are ready to travel, contact me to start planning your next vacation with the people you enjoy the most.
While the 34-miles of pristine sand along the Amalfi Coast attract plenty of tourists, this stunning region of Italy also boasts countless off-the-beaten-path treasures just waiting to be discovered. From uncluttered stretches of sand and towering cliffs to charming seaside towns, the secret gems of the Amalfi Coast are also surprisingly easy to reach.
Enjoy the Coastline
Nestled beneath clusters of cliff-hugging fisherman houses, Furore is the region's only fjord, a narrow inlet sandwiched between high cliffs that end in a small beach. Overhead a striking arched bridge connects two soaring outcrops and is one of the area's main focal points. The picture-perfect pocket of sand is accessible by a steep flight of stone steps, which only adds to its charm and air of mystery.
Hop on a boat to visit Li Galli, a small archipelago just off the Amalfi Coast that comprises the islets of Gallo Lungo, La Castelluccia and La Rotonda. Also known as the Sirenuse Islands, this area is said to have once been home to half-woman half-bird creatures from Greek mythology. While over the years, the allure of Li Galli has attracted a slew of actors, painters, and dancers, today the archipelago is a part of the Marine Protected Area of Punta Campanella.
The limelight might shine on Mykonos, Santorini, and the famous names of the Greek Islands. Still, with more than 6,000 islands to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds and seek a traditional way of life and untouched natural beauty on a Greek Island cruise. Here we take a peek at five spectacular secret islands which fly under the radar and why you should visit them.
The most remote of the Northern Sporades islands, Alonnisos encapsulates the spirit of the Greek Islands. The small isle is blanketed with pine forests, olive groves, and orchards grazed by bell-toting sheep in the picturesque harbor of Patitiri, a cobbled waterfront lined by pastel-colored buildings and quaint cafés. Hora (the Old Village) is dominated by a medieval castle with panoramic sea views, and its narrow lanes are home to ancient stone houses. Alonnisos is pure natural perfection, and its National Marine Park is home to seabirds, dolphins, and the endangered and rare Mediterranean monk seal.
Despite being part of a remote archipelago far off the tourist trail, Fourni has a thriving population and is home to the delightfully vibrant little fishing town of Kambos set around a natural harbor. Yet its true magic lies in its dramatic landscape, where fjord-like bays have been carved between towering sea cliffs, and islets stretch into the horizon like giant stepping stones. It is little wonder pirates from across the Mediterranean were drawn to its grottoes. From ancient windmills to mulberry trees and a freshwater spring, Fourni offers raw beauty and Greek hospitality in equal measures.
Italy is bursting with iconic destinations, from flamboyant Venice to cultured Rome and the pastel-hued villages of the Cinque Terre. Famed the world over for its rich cuisine, its picturesque landscapes, and blend of ancient and modern culture, there is nowhere which fires the wanderlust quite like Italy. Yet step away from Lake Como or the Amalfi Coast, and you'll discover an even more authentic Italian experience. Our destination here is Le Marche, a region of dramatic landscapes, fine white wines, and pretty hilltop towns.
Be Dazzled by Dramatic Landscapes
Tucked between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Le Marche offers visitors the best of both worlds. The crowd-free pebble beaches are lapped by the clearest of waters, with tranquil little bays such as those in the Parco del Conero backed by white cliffs. There are impressive caves to explore - the Grotte di Frasassi standing as one of the largest cave systems in Europe - and sweeping national parks of towering mountains and foothills blanketed in vineyards. While away an afternoon at the vineyard in the Parco Regionale Monte San Bartolo, sipping delicate wines while the sun sets over the Adriatic for an experience that's impossible to forget.
A cruise to Alaska ventures deep into one of the world’s wildest frontiers. In this vast realm, nature reigns supreme and promises unparalleled adventure and exploration. The snow-frosted mountains, great calving glaciers, and puffing whales are jaw-dropping when seen from the deck of the ship, but get up close, and you’ll feel genuinely embraced by nature. Here we look at some of the most incredible wild adventures Alaska can offer cruise ship passengers.
Meet the Wildlife
All across Alaska, wildlife thrives, from the vast mountainous inland to the long craggy coastline. Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is home to the largest brown bears in the world, so where better to watch these magnificent animals as they gorge on plump summer salmon and dig for clams in the coastal shallows? Rugged and remote, Kodiak is the largest island in Alaska and is home to 3,000 grizzly bears, whales, seals, sea lions, and otters. Alaska’s chilly Arctic waters are teeming with marine mammals, and in Juneau, you can hop aboard a small ship and go in search of huffing humpback whales and pods of orcas.
From the port city of Seward, the Kenai Fjords National Park promise a day of unforgettable wildlife experiences. In the shadow of gargantuan glaciers, spot orcas and whales, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, puffins, and majestic eagles.
Copenhagen is one of the absolute most amiable cities in the world. It's full of vibrancy wherever you go. While it is possible to see a lot that the capital city has to offer in just a day or so, you won't want the time you have to spend there to be fleeting. Once you get wrapped up in the city's charm, history, and culture, you may never want to leave. To make sure you take in all that you can during your visit, here is a list of the top experiences you shouldn't miss out on…
A beautiful landscape coated in rolling hills, cobblestoned streets, and centuries-old houses, Saint-Émilion could be your next vacation spot in France! Read on to explore more of what this famed wine-producing region has to offer.
Culture & History
The tourists who pass through Saint-Émilion on their way to other destinations don’t know what they’re missing. Saint-Émilion is the kind of charming little French town where you can chat with the locals or sit down and relax in one of the shaded piazzas.
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