Sure, snow is pretty and skiing is fun. But sometimes, deep in January and February, winter can start to seem endless. Folks dream of blue skies, days flooded with sunshine, and glorious scenery. Here are 5 places to go to escape the winter blues, in every corner of the world. [Read more...]
Most people dream of taking a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to somewhere far away and exotic. Whether you’ve been squirreling away cash for more than a decade or are just starting to consider a trip, here are some exotic South Pacific vacations that are sure to wow.
South Island, New Zealand
New Zealand’s larger island has less than half of the country’s population, so if you want to get away from it all, this is definitely the spot. You’ll find wildlife and scenery here that’s unlike anything else in the world. Mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, and pristine coastlines make the South Island’s landscapes some of the world’s most picturesque. Skiing, scuba diving, and hiking await the adventurous, while world-famous vineyards, glamorous boutique hotels, and relaxing spas are in store for those who need some pampering.
Hawaii’s majesty would set it apart from all other states, even if the Pacific hadn’t already done the job. Stunning landscapes, rich underwater worlds, and a noble history—this is one tropical paradise with serious depth. Vitamin D deficiencies melt away under the Hawaiian sun, all without the hassle of a passport. You won’t need to convert currency to take surf lessons, explore active volcanoes, or go whale watching. Really, the only difficulty is choosing which island to visit: Do you prefer the pristine beauty of Kauai, the modern luxury of Oahu, the award-winning beaches of Maui, or the natural wonders of the Big Island? Willing to get farther off the beaten path? Then Molokai or Lanai might be worth a visit.
In 2013, Tasmania, Australia’s southernmost state, will celebrate its 30th anniversary as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Join the festivities on the wild island, where wombats and wallabies roam free. The island offers an unspoiled Australian adventure like no other. Check out Cradle Mountain National Park’s diverse wildlife and catch a peek of the eponymous Tasmanian devil. Or dive the coast’s calm waters and explore shipwrecks, exotic aquatic life, and crystal-clear Wineglass Bay.
Five amazing archipelagos, 118 islands, one paradise. Tahiti is less than eight hours from Los Angeles, but it may as well be in an entirely different universe. The South Seas islands promise emerald waters, white-sand beaches, and, oh yeah, overwater bungalows. Embrace leisure with a unique banana-tree-leaf body wrap, culture on a tour of small villages, or adventure on a shark-feeding expedition. Or, simply start out the day in your overwater bungalow with breakfast delivered by canoe.
Often considered one of the world’s most livable cities, Adelaide celebrates year-round with food and art festivals, as well as major sporting events. As the wine capital of Australia, the city’s reds and whites get high praise. Adelaide is also the jumping-off point for Kangaroo Island, which is one of the prime places in Australia to see animals in their natural habitats.
Which of these destinations would you like to visit right now? Tell us about your dream exotic vacation!
Source: Yahoo Travel
Image: Smarter Travel
How to explain the difference a beachfront hotel makes? “More than unobstructed views, it’s about the freedom of not having to look both ways to cross the street before feeling sand between your toes,” says Matt Thomson, founder of Wavecation.com, a surfing-focused vacation rental company. Here are the top 5 beach hotels in the world: [Read more...]
Hankering to see some happy feet? Antarctica is far from your only option. From the windswept beaches of Tierra del Fuego at South America’s tip to sunny Cape Town, South Africa, and Melbourne, Australia, penguin colonies exist in many strikingly beautiful destinations in the Southern Hemisphere. Check out these amazing penguin spots: [Read more...]
Rivers that run red. Blinding white landscapes. Cliffs that wave in swirls of orange. No, those aren’t works of science fiction. They are wonders of nature that will leave you shaking your head and wondering just how that is possible. The best part? You won’t need a spaceship to get there. We’ve outlined exactly how you can get there—which in most cases is surprisingly easy.
Socotra Island, Indian Ocean
The largest of the four-island Socotra Archipelago, the island has about 250 species of plants that are not found anywhere else in the world. This includes the canopy-topped dragon’s blood tree, which has blood-red resin that runs down if the trunk is pierced, and the desert rose, which can grow to 10 feet with a bulbous trunk that swells with water absorbed in anticipation of dry weather. [Read more...]
In Travel + Leisure’s annual World’s Best survey, readers ranked their favorites, and the results show that no distance is too great when a fabulous island waits as your reward. Whether your island hopping takes you across the country or around the world, here’s where to go to find secluded beaches, wildlife encounters, and luxurious pampering. [Read more...]
Scuba divers have a vested interest in protecting the coral reefs and ocean habitats they explore. After all, seeing cool fish and colourful coral is the main reason divers descend below the surface. Here are a few ways you can give back to the sea while still witnessing all it has to offer. [Read more...]
From ancient times, humanity has enjoyed few activities more than the sheer inhumanity of scaring the living daylights out of each other, so it’s no shocker to find entire tourist industries built on doing just that. Come with us as we glide through the walls and down the spooky passageways of five of Australia’s most-terrifying visitor hotspots. Boo! [Read more...]
The ” bicycling capital of Europe” tops many lists — including this one, it seems — as the most bike-friendly city anywhere. Safe and extensive route networks, serious governmental promotion, and a bike culture that transcends class boundaries are all reasons why 40 percent of the city’s traffic moves on two wheels. [Read more...]
Beluga whales: Cunningham Inlet, Nunavut, Canada
Approximately 2,000 beluga whales visit Cunningham Inlet for about four weeks each year. Whales can be observed thrashing about, playing and making lots of noise just a couple of meters from the shore. If boats make you seasick, this is the whale watching spot for you. Richard Weber, who owns Arctic Watch Lodge with his wife, recommends the last week of July for visitors who want to see the highest concentration of belugas. Arctic Watch charges US$6,937 per person per week of whale watching from Yellowknife. [Read more...]
It may not be scenic and showy like Sydney, Australia’s biggest city, but Melbourne is arguably the most rewarding of all Down Under urban destinations. Here are five compelling reasons to visit Melbourne, as rich an Australian treasure, in its own edgy way, as Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef. [Read more...]
Off the coast of Sydney, the winter period of June to August is rush hour on the “humpback highway”, as thousands of whales migrate from Antarctica to sub-tropical breeding grounds such as Hervey Bay in Queensland.
On a four-hour trip with Sydney Whale Watching, one of the many companies that offers whale watching tours along Australia’s eastern coast, travelers can have a brief but enchanting encounter with the magnificent creatures, which can grow up to 18m long and weigh 45 tonnes. The whales, including mothers and their newborns, can also be spotted as they make the long trip back to the icy waters of the Southern Ocean between September and November. [Read more...]