The two most adventurous countries in the world

You’ll never guess which two utterly different countries have been voted as the Most Adventurous in the world…

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U.S. News and World Report recently ranked the most adventurous countries in the world based on five attributes that encapsulate what many travelers look for in an ideal destination:

Fun, Friendliness, Climate, Scenery and Sexy. The top two countries are over 9,000 kilometers (5,600 miles) apart and, could not be more different.

And the winner is….Brazil

Brazil, the fifth biggest country in the world by landmass, dominates South America. It is the only country on the Spanish-speaking continent where Portuguese is the official language and is, in the mind of many, associated with samba, Copacabana Beach and Brazilians’ infectious spirit. With 10/10 scores in the Fun and Sexy categories, if you’re out for a good time, beautiful Brazil is hard to beat.

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Scenery

The sheer scale of Brazil’s natural wonders is unbelievable: it’s home to the Amazon river (world’s longest), its coastline stretches 7,491 kilometers (4,655 miles) and the Amazon Rainforest is host to the greatest variety of plant and animal life on the planet.

On the Brazilian-Argentinian border lie the breathtaking Iguazu Falls, the largest waterfall system in the world. A walkway offers great views over the falls, and helicopter rides are available for aerial views.

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Adventure

Where do we start? Here is just a tiny pick of some of the most adventurous activities you can do in Brazil.

Hang gliding over Rio

Throwing yourself off a mountain beneath a hang glider is certainly an adventurous way to take in the sights of Rio, from its legendary beaches to the emerald green slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain – and it’s a must for adrenaline junkies.

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Trekking through the Amazon

Channel your inner Indiana Jones, embark on a journey through the dense Amazon Rainforest and keep your eyes peeled for they incredible variety of flora and fauna. Alternatively, grab a paddle and canoe down the Amazon River, a real adventure to tick off the bucket list.

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Diving in Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha, a group of islands off Brazil’s northeast coast, is widely regarded as the best place in the country to scuba dive, and just to the south, Recife is great alternative. The entire area offers year-round options to see ancient shipwrecks and a huge range of sea life. Be warned, though: sharks are pretty common in this area. All adds to the adventure, right?

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Fun

One of Brazil’s most famous events is Rio Carnival, the world’s biggest carnival which sees over two million people take to the streets every day to watch ornate floats and samba school dancers strut their stuff. If you’re lucky enough to be in town during the festivities, prepare to be swept up in a wave of dancing and all-night partying.

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Have your trip in Brazil uniquely organized by Castelo Viagens

And there comes….Italy

Italy is renowned for its rich history and its world-famous cuisine (pizza lovers bow down). While the country might be seen as a cultural paradise, perhaps fewer people think of it as a destination for an adrenaline-fueled holiday. But they’d be wrong – Italy takes second place on the list, scoring highest in the Scenic and Friendly categories.

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Scenery

With the Dolomite Mountains’ craggy peaks in the northeast, the country’s many picture-perfect lakes and its spewing volcanoes, Italy’s scenery is dramatic and varied. From picturesque coastline road trips to mountain hikes to unforgettable dives, Italy is brimming with adventurous experiences.

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Adventure

Want to get the adrenaline pumping next time you’re in Italy? Here are a few of the country’s most adventurous activities.

Volcano hiking

Travelers can choose from several volcanoes to hike, from the active volcano-island of Stromboli, just off Sicily, to the mighty Mount Vesuvius (the volcano that famously destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii), off Naples.

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Diving to the Sunken City of Baiae

This ancient Roman city provides an alternative diving experience: instead of sea creatures, you can check out amazingly well-preserved buildings, pillars and statues.

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Skiing in Piedmont

Glide across soft, powdered snow in one of Italy’s top winter sports destinations. Piedmont, bordering France and Switzerland, lies at the foot of the Alps (‘Piedmont’ means ‘foot of the mountain’), and over 40% of the region is made up of mountains. The 2006 Winter Olympics were held in Turin, so check out the best ski resorts in the region for an unforgettable winter trip.

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Fun

Plan a cinematic sojourn by renting a car and driving along the glamorous Amalfi coast, where the cliffs doubled as Themyscira, Wonder Woman’s mythical home island in the recent blockbuster.

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Cinephiles should also take in Rome: throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, made famous in La Dolce Vita, or whiz through the city’s terrifying traffic on a Vespa like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday.

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Have your trip to Italy uniquely organized by Acquaforte Travel Designer

 

Last but not least….

Spain is the 3rd and Greece the 4th adventurous country according to this categorization, so do not miss the chance to have your trip in Spain uniquely organized by Bubble Events and in Greece by Farscape Travel.

Story created with passion by Beyond Limits, inspired by U.S. News article.

The 30 little known gems to visit first, before they become massively popular

It’s a big world out there—so big that it can be daunting to decide what international destinations to visit in the course of a lifetime. From natural wonders to man-made masterpieces, from wildlife to cityscapes, the choices are seemingly endless.

But how do you choose your next destination and arrive there before the masses destroy it and convert it to a tourist trap?

We’ve whittled it down to thirty amazing places to see before they become the next hit.

Pick one or pick them all—you can’t go wrong.

 

1. Manchester, U.K.

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Once famed for its towering industry and more recently, vibrant music scene, Manchester is now one of the fastest growing cities in Europe, buoyed by an influx of digital and media companies. Servicing this boom are a number of upscale and design-led arrivals. The new Cultureplex, an ex-railway goods warehouse in the northern quarter, offers up a restaurant, bar, and café, alongside a constantly revolving program of film, visual arts, and performances. Opening this spring, Hotel Brooklyn, inspired by the New York City borough from which it gets its name, is housed in a Victorian brownstone. The team behind Chiltern Firehouse recently unveiled Native Manchester, a new multi-use 166-apartment hotel in the northern quarter.

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Meanwhile, chef du jour Tom Kerridge has opened an outpost in the new Stock Exchange hotel, a 40-room Relais & Chateaux property in a storied Edwardian Baroque building. Kerridge’s Bull & Bear restaurant serves smartly prepared British classics, such as crispy pig’s head with celeriac rémoulade. Epicureans are also flocking to Mana, which recently won the city’s first-ever Michelin star. The Nordic-leaning restaurant’s highlight is a 12- to 16-course tasting menu featuring morsels such as barbecued duck broth and lavender or yakitori-style eel with roasted yeast and blueberry.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Sapphire Private

 

2. Rijeka, Croatia

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With amazing views of the Adriatic coast, blockbuster beaches, and a colorful Baroque heart — not to mention one of the world’s biggest Carnival celebrations — it’s a wonder that Rijeka isn’t better known. But despite ticking pretty much every conceivable vacation box (toss in world-class museums, a bevy of top restaurants, and cinematic hikes in the surrounding mountains), it remains an under-the-radar Adriatic treasure. That’s all set to change in 2020, when Croatia’s third city is honored as a European Capital of Culture. Plenty is planned within the port town to mark the occasion: more than 1,000 official musical performances, literary events, art exhibitions, and parties; the multimillion dollar overhaul of the historic Sugar Refinery building into the Rijeka City Museum; and the addition of Hilton’s new five-star resort, the Costabella, in April. But perhaps most anticipated is the reopening of the ship Galeb (“Seagull”). Used as Tito’s personal mobile home while he was President of Yugoslavia, the yacht — where countless global leaders and celebrities were entertained — is being refurbished and transformed into a museum ahead of Rijeka’s moment in the global.

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Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert ETC Adriatic

 

3. Porto de Pedras, Brazil

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Porto de Pedras, gives you a pretty good idea of what heaven might look like. You know, the kind of place where you wake up every morning to a blood red sunrise and palm trees silhouetted against the sky. Between the estuaries of the Camaragibe and Manguaba rivers, on the northern shore of Alagoas, lies a stretch of Brazil’s coast where the ocean water is hot and clear, the landscape is framed by coconut trees and it’s still possible to go for miles without seeing a soul. A place where the full moon rises on the sea and manatees swim free. Where large, colorful houses share the few vestiges of civilization with town squares, where the inns have hot tubs, bungalows with private pools and decks with lounge chairs (with caipirinhas made with key lime or lemongrass at the snap of your fingers). Where the restaurants serve platters of seafood and fish encrusted with ground nuts. Some chilled wine to go with it? Always. We traveled the most charming 12-mile [20 km] stretch of the Ecological Route, part of an environmental protection area on the Coral Coast, and we surveyed all its secrets. Not to mention the natural pools – an added bonus in these parts.

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Pedras do Patacho hotel with just 7 bungalows, is located in a wide strip of white sand, warm waters and virtually untouched vegetation. Patacho Beach, located in the middle of the Ecological Route of Alagoas, stands out for its paradisiacal look. The perfect destination for those who value nature and, above all, tranquility.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Castelo Viagens

 

4. Sicily, Italy

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Sicily is mesmerizing, all compact in this beautiful island. Sicily is an authentic place having remarkable sites renowned world-wide. The historic Valley of temples located here consists of the Doric temples standing tall, with the breath-taking backdrop of gardens of olives and almonds. Hamlets’ names Noto are well-known for the ‘Baroque-type’ architecture having facades made of limestone. It is a must-visit place in 2020 for both families, newly-wed ones, and a singleton! It is not every day you get the chance of exploring the unnerving scenery of Mount Etna, which is Europe’s largest and most active volcano. Sicily stands amongst the most preferred holiday destination in the past few years.

A romantic hideaway set on the Bay of Mazzarò, Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea retains all the charm of a private residence.

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Built by an aristocratic family in 1919, Belmond Villa Sant’Andrea is a luxurious hideaway surrounded by subtropical gardens. Here on the rocky, romantic, and lush shores of Taormina, moments of pause are plentiful. Perhaps the spa is your preferred spot to ponder? Or perhaps you’d instead prefer to venture out in search of inspiration to Taormina, a “paradise on earth” full of ancient culture, food, and architecture.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Acquaforte Travel Designer

 

5. Tbilisi, Georgia

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This city’s creative groundswell has been building for a few years now, with young designers, chefs, architects, and artists — many of whom never knew life under the USSR — lending a palpable energy to the place. Georgian design, its profile boosted by Balenciaga creative director Demna Gvasalia, is on full display at the city’s surfeit of concept stores — find many of them, such as clothing atelier Flying Painter, at the mixed-use development Fabrika, which occupies a Soviet-era clothing factory. And “new Georgian” cuisine is finding its footing as young chefs bring traditional foods into the 21st century, with a glut of wine bars and standout restaurants like Shavi Lomi, Keto and Kote, and Kharcho (located inside a new creative hub and workspace called Art House).

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There are also an outsize number of excellent hotels for a city so small. Fabrika houses a colorful hostel, the brainchild of Adjara Group, also responsible for the trendy Rooms Hotels and the soaring, sensual Stamba, opened in 2018 inside an old Soviet printing factory. Next year, Stamba will expand its photography museum, which displays work by Georgian artists. Others followed in Adjara Group’s wake, with the opening of several small properties including a Moxy and the colorful City Wine Hotel, an offshoot of favorite wine bar g.Vino. If all goes according to plan, 2020 will see the opening of a Kempinski in Tbilisi — a gleaming, glass complex on Mount Mtatsminda that will shout to the world that Tbilisi has arrived.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Tika Tours

 

6. Galle, Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka has long been popular among surfers and adventure travelers. Though the country is still on the mend after last Easter’s bombings in Colombo, a new crop of resorts opening in 2020 make the island nation a luxury destination to be reckoned with. Haritha Villas & Spa, for one, debuts in December. It’s an elegant property located in Hikkaduwa, a resort town known for surfing, beaches, and sea turtles. Guests can enjoy infinity pools overlooking private gardens and one-of-a-kind treatments at the property’s jungle spa.

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Alila Koggala, a new sustainable resort located near the city of Galle, is set to open in fall 2020, offering 40 sleek suites and villas, plus guided excursions to nearby rain forests.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert A. T. Seasons & Vacations Travel

 

7. Barichara, Colombia

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Barichara is often described as the prettiest town in Colombia, and not without good reason: it’s a truly lovely little town with stunning architecture, beautiful natural surroundings, and excellent boutique hotels and restaurants. The main church in Barichara is a gorgeous building made of the sandstone that dominates the architecture of the town—it’s particularly lovely at sunset when the stone turns a rich orange. The steps leading up to the church are a great place to sit and watch the world go by or enjoy the beauty of the town. Barichara makes a great base for outdoor pursuits such as white-water rafting, mountain biking and rappelling. Fly into Bucaramanga and take an hour-long cable-car ride over a canyon.

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For your accommodation the stylish new Yahri villas, a trio of homes in town, with terraces that provide views of the surrounding mountains.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Travel Pioneers

 

8. Jaipur, India

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The colors, creative traditions, and opulent palaces of Rajasthan are what many of us picture when we think of India — but this coming year, even those who think they’ve been there and done that should plan a return trip. Fall will see the launch of Six Senses’ first India property, the 48-suite Fort Barwara, which is set in a 14th-century fortress south of Jaipur. In nearby Udaipur, the Raffles group is also due to make its Indian debut later in 2020.

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Set on a private island in Udai Sagar Lake, the palatial hotel will have a rooftop restaurant, an outdoor pool with gardens, and a capacious spa. Just outside the city, India’s first sculpture park opened at Madhavendra Palace, displaying the work of heavy-hitting Indian artists like Subodh Gupta and Mrinalini Mukherjee in a dramatic fortress setting. And in downtown Jaipur, the recently opened Amrapali Museum Jaipur showcases some of the 4,000-plus Indian gems collected by the founders of the Amrapali jewelry brand.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert A. T. Seasons & Vacations Travel

 

9. Quito, Ecuador

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High in the Andes, the Ecuadorean capital, with its unwieldy urban sprawl and car-centric downtown, has never quite held the allure of Rio or Lima when wanderlust strikes. The city’s been making real strides to address that: Several years ago, Quito moved its airport from the city center to its fringes in an effort to make landings less treacherous and satisfy noise-addled locals, and work is underway to transform the former terminal into a public park. Now, the long-awaited 2020 opening of Quito’s first-ever underground railway line, running 14 miles north-south, promises to truly transform Ecuador’s mountain city, putting once-inaccessible neighborhoods within reach and bringing locals downtown. The city’s skyline is changing, as the likes of Moishe Safdie and Jean Nouvel are enlisted for major new buildings in town. And after last year’s protests caused damage in the area, a community restoration effort has brought the Spanish Colonial Centro Historico back to its former glory.

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Check into the 12-room Carlota Hotel, and don’t miss a meal at Nuema, the much-lauded Ecuadorian restaurant that moved to a new space in San Marcos last year.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Tucano Peru

 

10. Paros, Greece

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Paros is a place overtourism forgot. The rugged Greek island, located smack in the middle of the Cyclades, can only be described as the cooler cousin of more populated islands like Mykonos and Santorini. Part of what makes it so cool.

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The newly opened Parilio, a 33-suite high-design hotel that rises from the landscape. A neutral palette graces its interior and exterior, while traditional building techniques elevate the Cyclades’ classic cubic houses. The island is home to those white-washed and blue-roofed buildings Greece is famous for, too, but with far less travelers elbowing you for the perfect Instagram. It’s worth navigating the labyrinthine streets in the town of Naoussa to spot some picturesque alleys, and booking a table at the much-loved Sousouro for a colorful breakfast spread.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Farscape

 

11. Cafayate, Argentina

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When Argentinian’s want to see a different side of their own country, they head north to the Salta Province. This is a land of contrasts, with towering red rock formations and lush green valleys that are home to the world’s highest altitude vineyards. The pretty town of Cafayate makes an excellent base for exploring what the area has to offer. It’s the perfect place to sample the Salta Province’s iconic empanadas and immerse yourself in the cultural traditions that have inspired generations of musicians and poets.

One of the things not to be missed is the Tren a las Nubes.

The train leaves early in the morning from Salta’s central station and makes the long journey up to the Quebrada del Toro high up in the mountains, so high in fact that the train regularly passes through clouds. By the end of the journey the train reaches a height of 4220m, where there is a viaduct crossing the valley below – quite an engineering spectacle. The journey through the mountains reveals beautifully colored rocks, due to the numerous minerals, and travelers are likely to catch a glimpse of a llama or two.

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For your stay, the ubiquitous Patios de Cafayate, amidst the vineyards of the winery El Esteco and with the breathtaking Calchaquí Valleys in the background, the estate’s farmstead – that once belonged to Michel Torino’s family and was founded in 1892 -, is today the soul of this unique hotel that boasts thick walls, corridors with glazed domes, Spanish roof tiles, wrought iron gates, murmuring fountains, colonial water wells and a vast collection of vintage furniture and pictures. A unique and exclusive wine experience in Cafayate. Patios de Cafayate is a must for those who want to enjoy the surrounding landscape, the history and the art of the region, as well as the incredibly welcoming and warm local people.

The hotel’s 32 rooms, located among large colonial-style patios, welcome you with their comfort, their roominess and their antique pieces of furniture, but also with the most up-to-date features and services.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert WOPA Travel & Events

 

12. Zanzibar, Tanzania

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Step off the boat or plane onto the Zanzibar Archipelago and you’re transported through time and place. This is one of the world’s great cultural crossroads, where Africa meets Arabia as well as the Indian Ocean.

In Zanzibar Town, the narrow alleys of historic Stone Town meander between ancient buildings decorated with balconies and gigantic carved doors. Meanwhile, on the coast, fishing boats set sail, and in the country side farmers tend fields of rice or the clove plantations that give Zanzibar its ‘Spice Islands’ moniker.

Beyond these little-changed traditions, visitors see a very different landscape. The idyllic beaches are dotted with hotels, and the ocean becomes a playground for diving, snorkeling and kitesurfing.

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With its tropical tableau and unique culture, plus an active beach-party scene for those that want it, the Zanzibar Archipelago offers a fascinating and highly enjoyable East African Indian Ocean experience.

Zawadi, a private, intimate getaway beach retreat with only 12 spacious villas & spectacular view of the Indian Ocean. Available for exclusive use.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Tanzania Journeys

 

13. Nur Sultan, Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan’s glittering capital is already regarded in niche travel circles for its captivating architecture, with the skyline increasingly filling with ambitious, space-age skyscrapers and monuments, including the 150-metre Bayterek Tower and the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, designed by acclaimed British architect Norman Foster. But it is now taking a confident step towards showcasing its cityscape to the world.

For all its grand pretensions, Astana retains something of the Russian and Soviet steppe trading post of its roots. Traces of elegant, pastel-coloured, tsarist merchant mansions; the bustle of the dusty streets; the familiar Soviet grid-avenues lined with birch trees and ugly 1950s housing blocks; Placid, gold-toothed women sit all day at street stalls selling raspberries, cucumbers and varieties of forest berries in cut-off plastic bottles.

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St. Regis Hotel with 120 rooms in a palatial, neoclassical design is truly stunning.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Trip to KZ

 

14. Palawan, Philippines

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Dubbed the “Best Island in the World” by Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler magazines many times, Palawan is undoubtedly a slice of paradise. Travelers from all around the globe fly for the well-known municipalities of El Nido and Coron. While they truly are stunning, the island has so many other lesser-known gems that make it worthy of its title: Port Barton, slowly being discovered by travelers who want to get away from the crowds of El Nido, is the fishing village of Port Barton. About 3h north of the Palawan capital, Puerto Princesa, is a less commercialized, more laid-back version of El Nido. There are no bars and no crazy nightlife, but the evenings and sunset views are serene. Boatmen can be hired for trips to surrounding islands like German Island, Exotic Island, and Paradise Island, as well as to wonderful snorkeling sites.

Araceli, Here, visitors can enjoy the pristine beaches and crystal clear waters people come to Palawan for, but without the crowds. It’s not yet considered a tourist destination, and is surrounded by untouched islands and well-preserved marine life, making it a great place for snorkeling. Visitors can expect close encounters with many sea friends like lobsters and manta rays, which alone are enough to make the two-hour bus ride from Puerto Princesa and four-hour boat ride from Roxas completely worth it.

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For your stay, Pangulasian Island Resort, the resort offers 42 individual villas all with a private balcony either on the beach, in the forest, 17 meters from the ground, or with a private pool. With a marine sanctuary right on the doorstep, this place is a divers’ dream. A library, restaurant and bar in the Clubhouse, an infinity pool and a spa are wonderful respites on land.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Infinity Journeys

 

15. Lille, France

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Crowned as the World Capital of Design 2020 for its advances in urban development, the once-struggling industrial city of Lille is on its way to enjoying optimized public spaces thanks to a slew of sustainable design initiatives. It’s also quickly becoming a cosmopolitan oasis with new galleries, museums, restaurants, and boutiques. Among the new art-forward destinations is La Piscine, an Art Deco indoor swimming pool turned art museum that just reopened after a two-year renovation.

 

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The bohemian-chic brand Mama Shelter also debuted a hotel in the city center last summer — its rooms offer sweeping views of the skyline. And jaw-dropping restaurants like Coke, a brasserie and hotel serving French classics beneath ornate moldings and crystal chandeliers, and La Belezza, a new Italian spot from the owners of Big Mamma in Paris, are marrying old Lillois style with contemporary flair.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert  Phileas France

 

16. Busan, S. Korea

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When in Busan, just look around and let the breathtaking scenery blow your mind! With its magnificent beaches and its historic temples, Busan has legitimately earned its title as the San Francisco of South Korea. Do not miss Haedong Yonggungsa, a temple right beside the ocean, and definitely pay a visit to Dongbaek Island, a very small island with dongbaek trees and evergreens thriving there. At the top of the island, there is a statue and a monument of Choe Chi-Won, a scholar and writer of the Silla Kingdom era. Walk around its newly transformed art districts, do all the vintage shopping you can do, get your beer break in hip and trendy breweries and treat yourself with all the street food delicacies a man can take.

Consider visiting Busan at the beginning of August, when the Seaside Festival takes place at Haeundae Beach, with live music sessions and a highly festive mood.

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Stay at the Paradise Hotel, by the beach which is also  well situated.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Creven Korea

 

17. Porto, Portugal

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Portugal remains a popular getaway — and in 2020, it’s all about experiencing it from the water. Last spring, Viking River Cruises christened the Viking Helgrim, a vessel built for its new Douro itinerary. A few weeks later, Ama Waterways debuted the Ama Douro, which sails between Porto and Vega de Terrón in Spain. This year, Tauck will launch the 84-passenger Andorinha, and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will christen the S.S. Saõ Gabriel, which has décor that channels the ambience of the Douro Valley. On land, wineries like Quinta do Portal and Quinta do Seixo serve light reds, vinho verde, and the ubiquitous port.

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Stay in Porto at recent additions like the Art Deco stunner Le Monumental Palace or the art-filled Torel 1884, whose 12 rooms and 11 standalone apartments feature art inspired by fabrics, materials, and spices from faraway lands.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert PT Signature

 

18. Trinidad, Cuba

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Many people argue that Trinidad is one of the best-preserved colonial cities in the whole of Latin America. In fact the architecture and cobbled streets of Trinidad are so highly regarded that the city is now UNESCO listed, protecting it from development and safeguarding its beauty for future visitors. The history of the city is fascinating, founded as it was in 1514 by the Spanish conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar, and the colonial influence runs deep.

Dance the night away at Casa de la Musica, an open-air bar where the standard of dancing always seems to be pretty impressive.

Visit the beautiful beach at Playa Ancon just seven miles away.  You can sit back and watch as the local fishermen go about their business or buy a conch shell from one of the divers to take home as a souvenir.

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Avoid the hotels and stay at a Casa Particular, one of those wonderfully preserved private mansions run by its owners, where most likely the patron will be there to make sure you get a nice breakfast and enjoy a nice cigar at the evenings paired with a rum…

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Enjoy Cuba

 

19. Antananarivo, Madagascar

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Antanavarino, the capital of Madagascar, widely known as Tana, is at the heart of culinary experiences, full of historical interest, as well as the starting point for many day trips, like for instance to Andasibe, Anjajavy and especially the wonderful Anjajavy le Lodge.   Look for the historical and cultural elements that have established the city as the home of Malagasy power for three centuries.

In Tana, one can find an amazing variety of African, Indian and western garb, and streets choked with all manner of motorized, human-powered, and animal-driven transport.  It is a city of faded glory that still shows signs of a more prosperous past.  Its beautiful villas covered by tumbling bougainvillea, palm-lined avenues, Anosy Lake crowned by blooming jacaranda in October, wonderful restaurants and great shopping, can leave no one indifferent.

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Enjoy a breathtaking view of Tana on the sunset hour from Lokanga Boutique Hotel, go to Lisy Art Gallery to get your special souvenirs from the red island or visit one of the local market places to look for bargains. Do not live Tana, without visiting Croc Farm, not only home of the huge Nile crocodiles, the biggest predator of Madagascar, but also of some other typical animal species, plants and flowers from Madagascar.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Lemur Island Travel Madagascar

 

20. Lviv, Ukraine

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Most people never heard about this gorgeous gem of a city located in the west of Ukraine.

A UNESCO World Heritage-listed town, Lviv, with its great culinary offerings, artistic flavour and coffee obsession, sounded right for a romantic night but it turned out to be much more than that.

There are around 1500 cafes in the city making it the highest amount of cafes per capita in the world!

You can spend a year in Lviv, visiting cafes only and you still wouldn’t go to them all!

Some of them are really old, cozy and charming and with a great interior that you will want to visit them anyway!

Lviv is a city with a special atmosphere, which more than half a century was ruled by the kings.

This is city of coffee, a city of lions, a city of jazz, rain, chocolate, terraces and passionate tango.

Food is a big deal here; restaurants range from the traditional to the hipster but tend to focus on Ukrainian staples. Coffee shops abound; in the 1600s, a Lviv native was the first person to pair sugar and milk and open a coffeehouse (though in Vienna). Today, you can visit its namesake — Under the Blue Bottle — where coffee is prepared on an open fire in copper jugs in a candlelit room.

Places like the POST OFFICE in Drukarska street or the PRETTY HIGH KITCHEN will definitely nudge your senses with their originality and vintage ambience.

If you are not a beer person, worry not – liquors are also always in season and every bar you stumble into will greet you with their signature twist. GASOVA LAMPA, for example, serves their selection of spirits in test tubes with the guests having no idea what’s inside until they taste them.

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And for a truly unforgettable experience head to GRAND HOTEL. Your stay there, will be full of grandiose emotions and endless care, exceeding your expectations!

“I love you #Ukraine,” Paris Hilton wrote in an Instagram post featuring her arrival at the opening ceremony. We too.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Ukrainian Incentives

 

21. Nanyuki, Kenya

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Nanyuki serves as a gateway to the Laikipia plateau, one of Africa’s most important wildlife conservation areas. Despite being a market town, it is probably the most cosmopolitan city in the area outside of Nairobi, with visitors who come often here to climb Mt Kenya or to visit the myriad safari parks. UNESCO proclaimed Mount  Kenya  as  a  World Heritage Site ,  one  of  the  most  impressive landscapes  in  East Africa,  located  right on  the equator.

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Everyone agrees that the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club Nanyuki is an exclusive retreat. Situated some one hundred and ninety kilometres to the north of Nairobi, on the slopes of Mount Kenya, it has a reputation for relaxed elegance. Many of the world’s famous names, be they royalty, film stars or merely the rich, seek it out as a secluded heaven where, although you do your safari during the day, you always dress for dinner.

Sir Winston Churchill was reputed to have been a founding member. The list of those who joined after the Club opened in 1959 reads like  an international Who’s Who, and includes Prince Berhard of the Netherlands, Lord Louis Mountbatten, author Robert Ruark, former US President Lyndon Johnson, Conrad Hilton, Bob Hope Bing Crosby, and a bevy of celebrities.

Today featuring 120 Rooms, Cottages, Suites and Villas is one of the world’s top hotels. Spoil yourself in a William Holden Cottage (170 sqm) and dine as a celebrity at Tusk’s Restaurant.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert GO PLACES AFRICA

 

22. Gdansk, Poland

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Gdansk is the city, where you can’t get bored.

Poland’s Baltic seaside city of Gdańsk has sat in the background for years as one of the most underrated cities in Europe. For a long time, this sleeping giant went unnoticed, until recently when the city suddenly became hugely popular with tourists. Gdańsk is a city steeped in history and brimming with activities all year round. If Gdańsk isn’t yet on your list of cities to see before you die, it is high time to include it.

Be ready for one of the most beautiful streets in Europe. Gdańsk’s Długi Targ is basically the main square, although it translates into English as ‘Long Market’. Leading down to it, is the Ulica Długa, or ‘Long Street’. Put simply, it is one of the most photographed streets and squares in Europe and a feast for anyone’s eyes on your first glimpse.

St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdańsk is an enormous Roman Catholic church (located on the aforementioned Ulica Piwna) that contains more red bricks than any other church in the world. In its time, the church was used by Protestants and Catholics and contains a lookout platform at the top – you must walk up the steps as there is no elevator, but the views from the top are tremendous.

Take a stroll along Gdańsk’s beautiful harbour front, and you may just fall in love with this city. Pretty colourful buildings reflect against a river amidst a flurry of local street musicians and aromas from popular restaurants, and in the background boats cruise to and from Hel, Gdynia and Westerplatte.

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Situated just off the Crane over the Motława River in Gdańsk, Hotel PODEWILS OLD TOWN Gdansk is a small, luxurious hotel which features spacious and quiet rooms with a marble bathroom with great views at the old town.

For great food and amazing view head to Paco Perez’s (Famous Spanish Chef) ARCO restaurant located at the 33rd floor of Olivia Star building.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert MICEART

 

23. Lofoten Islands, Norway

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The ultimate destination where culture and history meet nature! Fjords, mountains, white sandy beaches, and surprisingly warm water, that’s Lofoten.

A landscape of skerries, red fisherman cabins, lapping waves and the cries of gulls that will ease your tensions away. Not only the endless days but also the midnight sun gives you extra energy and you might find yourself playing golf at midnight, or forgetting to go to bed! Take a stroll in old, charming fishing villages, where creative people settle to find inspiration, active ones to find challenges, wanderers to find peace, where we all find endless beauty.

Jump on speed boats to explore the beautiful nature and watch sea eagles, catch fish up close, take a hike with rewarding world-class views and enjoy a pier-front meal of self-caught seafood.  So do not miss Anita’s Seafood. It will blow your head off.

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Choose to stay in an authentic fisherman cabin, or a panorama suite with both mountain, city and sea view at the same time.

Our favorite:  HATTVIKA LODGE.

Lofoten will take your breath away as there is no place like that elsewhere!

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Moment Norway

 

24. Arequipa, Peru

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The preserved colonial architecture of “the White City” — so named for its gleaming structures made from sillar, a volcanic rock — earned the historic center of Arequipa UNESCO World Heritage status in 2000. But a dearth of upmarket lodgings has kept this Peruvian destination off most travelers’ radar. Now, the town finally has accommodations befitting the local history:

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August saw the opening of Cirqa, originally built in 1540, the year Arequipa was founded, as an inn for guests of the Church of San Agustín next door. The property marries preserved elements of the original parador — high vaulted ceilings, textural stone walls — with contemporary flourishes, such as black-steel-framed windows and a plunge pool.

Further steeped in history is the cuisine at La Nueva Palomino, where a female-led staff cooks hearty stews from heirloom recipes. It’s all best enjoyed while admiring the three volcanoes in the distance (Chachani, Misti, and Pichu Pichu) with a tall glass of chicha, an Andean beer made from corn.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Tucano Peru

 

25. Inle lake, Myanmar

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Inle Lake is a magical watery world of floating gardens, stilted villages and crumbling stupas. An alluring attraction, where mountains tumble down towards the lakeshore, shaping heaven on earth. Enjoy a full day silent boat trip on Inle Lake – an instagrammer’s dream. Its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, on a scenic hills backdrop. Observe the lake’s unique ‘leg rowers’ – Intha fishermen who row standing up with one leg wrapped around a single oar, leaving their hands free to handle the conical fishing net. Pay a visit to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State, as well as to a traditional silk-weaving workshop which combines wooden handlooms with a blacksmith’s forge. Pass endless floating gardens, where Intha lake dwellers grow fruit and vegetables. Do not miss Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, one of the oldest on the lake, where you can see exquisite Buddha statues, more than 200 years old.

https://www.accorhotels.com/A095

The new SOFITEL is the hotel to stay. Great rooms and amazing views.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Myanmar Voyages

 

26. Papagayo, Costa Rica

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Several just-opened eco-retreats are offering more ways to unwind in Costa Rica. Perhaps the most-anticipated is Nayara Tented Camp, a safari-style retreat inside a sloth sanctuary. Adjacent to the famed Nayara Hotel and Nayara Springs resort, the camp debuted in December, and offers 29 family-friendly suites linked by footbridges across the rain forest. Then there’s Kasiiya Papagayo, which opened as an adventure-focused getaway; walkie-talkies and headlamps are distributed at check-in. Its five sustainably built, ocean-facing tents rest on platforms above the local flora, leaving much of the landscape undisturbed.

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Farther south is Kinkára Luxury Retreat, built on the slopes of the Talamanca mountain range. The wellness resort’s 31 glamping tents are centered around a thatched-roof yoga pavilion and a garden. Seriously indulgent bathhouses feature indoor-outdoor rain showers; outside, you can take a dip in the waterfalls and wading pools that dot the property.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Travel Pioneers

 

27. Gokayama, Japan

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The remote, mountainous districts of Shirakawa-gō (白川郷) and Gokayama, between Takayama and Kanazawa, are best known for farmhouses in the thatched gasshō-zukuri style. They are rustic and lovely whether set against the vibrant colours of spring, draped with the gentle mists of autumn, or peeking through a carpet of snow, and they hold a special place in the Japanese heart.

Gokayama is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that also encompasses the nearby village of Shirakawa-gō. Both areas are known for their traditional gassho-zukuri farmhouses. These centuries-old houses feature distinct thatched roofs, designed to withstand heavy snowfall. Gokayama is less accessible than popular Shirakawa-gō, and, as a result, its villages are more quiet and secluded.

 Other attractions include the thatched roof temple of Myozenji, the Doburoku Festival Museum where you can sample local sake, and the Shiroyama observation point which is the site of a castle ruin and the best place from which to view the whole village.

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Our favorite Ryokan in the area is the one and only: Shiroyamakan. When I stayed here I had a stunning experience, wonderful host: the food, the view, the house, the beauty of nature… everything was a magical, unique and beautiful experience I will never forget!”

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert True Japan Tours

 

28. Alacati, Turkey

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Alaçatı, a small town very close to Izmir, on the west coast of Turkey, on the Aegean Coast is hidden treasure, full of history, beauty and tradition. Having a Greek past, dating back to the 17th century, makes Alaçatı uniquely beautiful and picturesque, bearing a dazzling aura. Though the Greek population of Alaçati was banished in 1914, the place holds up to its Greek essence with its traditional, well preserved Greek stone houses, its bougainvillea-framed cobblestone “sokak” (streets) and its extraordinary cuisine. Although it has been declared as a historical site in 2005, this place remains up to date with windsurfers and flying kite surfers choosing it, for its ideal wind conditions for these sports (there is also a Kite Festival being held annually).

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Stay at the Alavya boutique hotel in the center or if you are looking for posh accommodation then BIBLOS is the undoubtful choice. For food head to Fava Alacati, a great seafood restaurant.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Crystal Concepts

 

29. Baja Sur, Mexico

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Just when you think the Baja buzz has reached a fever pitch, new arrivals make it all the more thrilling. This year, the locus of the excitement has shifted away from the towns of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo up to the East Cape, where a dreamy new 1,000-acre luxury enclave has finally come to fruition near Los Barriles.

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The Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas opened in October, with 141 rooms overlooking the placid Sea of Cortéz, and the Costa Palmas Beach & Yacht Club is welcoming members and hotel guests to its pools, golf course, two miles of beachfront, and — should you need a place to park your superyacht — a glittering, lake-size marina. Keep an eye out in 2021 for the arrival of Amanvari, Aman Resorts’ corner of Costa Palmas, with 20 villas and 24 residences. But all of that is merely the gateway to the real draw: An undisturbed corner of Baja where desert, mountains, and water meet.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Nomadic Totem

 

30. Durban, South Africa

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Despite a thriving food scene and tropical beaches, Durban has always lurked in the shadows of Cape Town and Johannesburg. But with the unveiling of Durban’s new seaside promenade, part of a $2.5 billion development designed to rejuvenate the waterfront area, the city is becoming South Africa’s next cultural and coastal getaway to watch. Dubbed the ‘Golden Mile’, the shiny 3.7 mile strip, which is an ongoing development over the next 15 years, will flaunt glistening buildings with apartments, shops, a hotel, and public hangout spaces, plus a hotly anticipated new cruise terminal, which began construction in late 2019 and is set to open in 2021. Beyond the shiny waterfront, the city’s food scene, which is rooted in South Asian cuisine due to the substantial Indian community, thrives. Street food dishes are a must: look for bunny chow (a hollowed out bread loaf filled with curry) at Cane Cutters and lemony pieces of chicken and slap chips (fries doused in vinegar) from Afro’s Chicken. Another key stop: A trip to the newly relocated African Art Centre for clay pots and beaded baskets.

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Finally for your stay the stunning OYSTER BOX HOTEL is just breathtaking.

Plan your trip with the help of our travel expert Extraordinary Events and Tours

 

Story created with passion by Beyond Limits

Sexy Hotels, Villas with Attitude, which are the best in the world?

How would it feel to stay at a hotel which is the sophisticated or sexier or more artistic version of your house?

This year’s Mr and Mrs Smith Hotel Awards’ committee has handpicked the world’s extra-special hotels and villas for an unforgettable stay, in some of the most amazing vacation spots. Let us guide you through this mind blowing selection!

Casa Fortunato, Lisbon

It is this tiny hotel, run by an amazing architect couple, Antonio Falcão Costa Lopes and Filipa Fortunato, situated in an Amoreiras townhouse, which made it to the top of the list, as the Best Smith Hotel 2019.

This nine-suites boutique hotel could be like your dream house! The past coexists with the present, through original tiling and timber surfaces, a nostalgic, cinematic staircase and dining room, as well as contemporary design items that make sure every detail counts.

Casa Fortunato

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Palazzo Daniele, Puglia, Italy

This 150-year-old townhouse is the most young at heart Palazzo, combining Italian art, Mediterranean hospitality and modernism. Its Italian finesse and artistry with its provincial character and long lived qualities nominated Palazzo Daniele as the Best Dressed Hotel. Do not miss out on a stay full of southern Italian temperament!

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Have your trip to Italy uniquely organized by null

 

Joali, Maldives

The World’s Sexiest Bedroom, according to Mr and Mrs Smith Awards, is found over in Asia, at the newly founded (October 2018) Joali Maldives. Sexy can be easily combined with exotic Maldives, the honeymooners’ beloved destination, however, when the above attributes fit in with an impressive art collection as well as inspiring culinary or diving activities, followed by a colonial chic beach bar, then kudos are definitely on the way!

Joali

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Euphoria Retreat, Mystras, Greece

In the pine forest of the Peloponnese, Greece’s Euphoria Retreat offers a holistic spa experience of premium quality, under the energy of the ruins of the fortified castle of Mystras, a Byzantine Empire city. The old and the new coexist in the hotel’s design (ancient patterns and earthly color code with a modern touch), as well as its spa philosophy (high tech equipment with Hellenic, Chinese and modern treatments)! And Yes, this is the world’s Most Spoiling Spa and it is your opportunity to praise yourself as you should!

Euphoria

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The Pig at Bridge Place, Kent, UK

For foodies and gourmet seekers, The Pig at Bridge Place, in Kent, UK, is the Best Gourmet Getaway. Really close to London, this estate, reinvented in the sixties, has a peasant air, exquisitely fresh cooking ingredients and the coziest area to relax and dine. Do not miss the kitchen garden with its secret patio!

The Pig

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Uxua Alma Casa Anderson, Bahia, Brazil

Modern artwork, kaleidoscopic colour effects, vintage tapestries and unique pieces of furniture, led Brazil’s Uxua Alma Casa Anderson to be named Best Smith Villa. It is Brazil in a villa, with all the boldness, beauty and exoticism the country carries!

Uxua Alma Casa

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L’Otel at Dôce 18 Concept House, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

A colonial-era casa where fine tequila, local fashion and Mexico City’s artistic personalities naturally meet. Relax on the sunny terrace, by the pool, and enjoy the view to San Miguel de Allende’s scenery, from the Coolest Creative Hub, as nominated this year by Mr and Mrs Smith Awards!

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Maison de la Luz, New Orleans, Louisiana

What if a luxurious, luminous, lofty hotel, taken out of Wes Anderson’s movies, with large staircases and artistic furnishing and design details, as well as seductive, spacious bedrooms, had also the Best Date-Night Bar in New Orleans? Enjoy your drinks at Bar Marilou at Maison de La Luz and let others worry about driving!

Maison De La Luz

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Sands Hotel & Spa, Palm Springs, California

Stucco walls in pastel pink, exotic tiles, cacti, a perfect pool in as Californian Style as it gets! Sands Hotel & Spa in Palm Springs is rooted in the Sixties, with a vivid sophistication, charming dessert Marrakech effect and worshipped Cabanas’ aesthetics, and it has been awarded as the Best Budget Boutique! Enough said!

Sands Hotel

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Story created with passion by Beyond Limits, courtesy of Mr and Mrs Smith Hotel Awards 2019 (www.mrandmrssmith.com)

THE ISLAND OF PASSION: MADAGASCAR

Boy, oh, boy, Madagascar is so unspoiled and spectacular. Having developed in isolation—the island broke away from the main continent of Africa around 180 million years ago—Madagascar is unlike any other part of the continent. Lemurs, interesting peaks with vertical rock formations, incredible biodiversity, the avenue of Baobabs and Andaside are some of the reasons to visit the unique island of true passion.

8 nights/9 days itinerary made for YOU!!!

Discover MADAGASCAR with our Charm & Luxury Tour, an authentic insight.

Exploring the rainforest of Andasibe to meet the largest Lemurs of Madagascar. Ending at Anjajavy Le Lodge, home of lemurs, birds and other animal species; a fermented session on the quiet and magical relaxing beaches.

This itinerary covers everything which interest people in Madagascar: nature, diurnal and nocturnal wildlife, landscape, culture, sharing experience with villagers, beach, water and underwater activities …

Day 1 Antananarivo

Meet at the airport of Antananarivo, the Capital of Madagascar; transfer to the hotel for a one-night stay.

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Day 2: Antananarivo – Andasibe

After breakfast, drive to Andasibe, where the scenery is absolutely breath-taking. In Mandraka, make a brief visit to the reptile Farm.

You are at the edge of the deep rainforest in Perinet (also called Andasibe). Your cottages are comfortable and rather a surprise to find so far away from home.

Check in, have dinner, and then join us on an evening walk into the rainforest to hopefully catch a glimpse of the nocturnal wildlife (perhaps a dwarf lemur or chameleon, maybe a fossa   if you are lucky, or maybe more if you are very lucky).  Either way, it is a wonderful experience to be in the deep rainforest as you listen to the night sounds and walk with an experienced guide.

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Day 3 Andasibe

Early start to hike into the forest of Analamazaotra Special Reserve, one of the easiest parks to visit, to see the Indri, the biggest lemur in Madagascar, these animals are monogamous, and do not live in captivity anywhere in the world.

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The area is also home to grey bamboo lemurs and brown lemurs, these lemurs are very shy. As well as Parson’s chameleons which can exceed half a meter in length, the Madagascar tree boa, and numerous birds including the Madagascar blue pigeon, the Madagascar paradise flycatcher, the blue vanga and the Madagascar buzzard.   This is a very relaxed and easy hike through the reserve.

Continue on visiting Andasibe village that allow you to connect with the local people and to discover the daily life.

Return to the hotel for lunch and an amazing visit to Lemur Island, which is right on the property.  This is a refuge for 44 lemurs which had been kept as pets. The owner of Vakona Forest Lodge took the lemurs in and created this oasis for them, enjoy the visit, be close to lemurs.  Take a boat across a very small stream – and be greeted by black and white ruffled, and common brown lemurs. The guide will have plenty of bananas and unbelievably, friendly lemurs sit on the top of your head or ride around on your shoulders – as long as you have a piece of banana for them…

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Day 4 Andasibe – Antananarivo

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Morning drive to the capital.

Afternoon visit the city, Tana with people in an amazing variety of African, Indian and western garb, and streets choked with all manner of motorized, human-powered, and animal-driven transport.  It is a city of very faded glory that still shows signs of a more prosperous past.  There are also beautiful villas covered by tumbling bougainvillea, palm-lined avenues, Anosy Lake crowned by blooming jacaranda in October, wonderful restaurants and great shopping:  Tana does not leave anyone indifferent.

At the end of the day, enjoy a beautiful sundowner and a nice view of Antananarivo at Lokanga Boutique.

Day 5 Antananarivo – Anjajavy

Early morning transfer at the airport to catch the regular flight to Anjajavy Le Lodge (Every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday), a beautiful place with bright sunny skies all year round.

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Anjajavy le Lodge (contact@anjajavy.com)

Located in the North West coast of Madagascar, on a peninsula.  Anjajavy Le Lodge is surrounded by creeks and magical beaches, to relax with sweet dream. This property is one of Relais & Chateaux member.

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Anjajavy le Lodge (contact@anjajavy.com)

Day 6 – Day 7 – Day 8 Anjajavy Le Lodge

Enjoy your free days at Anjajavy Le Lodge. Enjoy the journey to the fullest; explore the beautiful beaches and the wonderful coral reef to your heart’s content.

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Day 9   Anjajavy – Antananarivo 

Return flight to Antananarivo.

For this last day in the Capital city of Madagascar, you can choose to go to Lisy Art Gallery, or visit one of the local markets places to look for souvenirs and bargains, from this market, you can head over to a private park, the Croc’Farm, not far from the airport, not only home of the huge Nile crocodiles, the biggest predator of Madagascar, but also some animal species and various plants and flowers from Madagascar.

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The pleasant garden restaurant Coco d’Iles Taverne next to the lake serves all kind of crocodile specialties.

Simple things that make your trip in Madagascar memorable!

Appreciate the famous Malagasy hospitality. Enjoy a memorable experience of simple things like a local cooking. We want you to savor the authentic local products, get the pleasure to prepare and to cook it together.

Making experience of a local art, to get keen sense of what is artisan work looks like, make it yourself and get a story to tell with the handmade bracelet or other items you proudly wear, or the gift for your friends or family.

What better way to end a great day than with a delectable private beach BBQ on a wonderful evening!

Enjoy the visit at Vakona Forest Lodge, the only place where you can touch and feed a lemur!

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Discovering a people with incredible ancestral culture and customs

Your stay in the heart of the village will be an opportunity for you to discover this people with incredible ancestral culture and customs. Your evenings will be punctuated by strong times with the villagers; you will have the chance to participate in tromba, the invocation of ancestors and kilalaky, traditional dance.

 

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 Logo Lemur Island

TANZANIA: A Journey for a Life to Remember

Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar… The names roll off the tongue like a roster call of Africa’s most alluring destinations, all packed into one country. Resonating with hints of the wild and exotic these four alone are reason enough to justify packing your bag and heading off to Tanzania.

Within the space of several hours, it’s possible to go from lazing on idyllic beaches to exploring moss-covered ruins of ancient Swahili city states; from climbing mist-covered slopes in the Southern Highlands to trekking through the barren landscapes around Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania has managed for the most part to remain unassuming and low-key. It has also remained enviably untouched by the tribal rivalries and political upheavals that plague many of its neighbors, and this – combined with a booming tourism industry – makes it an ideal choice for both first-time visitors and Africa old hands.

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Cruise watching the Sunset over the Indian Ocean

Tanzania is an incredible country, with a quarter of its surface given over to national parks and conservation areas, over 1400 km of pristine coastline and the culturally and historically significant islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia.

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Zanzibar The Spice Island

You can follow the Great Migration in Serengeti, track the chimpanzees in Gombe or Mahale Mountains and take a boat safari on the Rufiji river.

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Serengeti Sunset

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Serengeti Migration

You can also see majestic baobab trees and huge herds of elephants in Tarangire, visit the UNESCO World Heritage site Ngorongoro Crater or spend some time in the relatively unknown Lake Natron area, a soda lake that is the only breeding ground for millions of flamingos.

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Flamingos in Lake Natron

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Elephants at Ngorongoro Crater

If you like to trek, not only you have the choice between the highest, the 5th and 9th highest mountains of Africa in Tanzania -Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and Mount Hanang.

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Biking tour in Tanzania

You could also reach the summit of Ol Doinyo Lengai, the only active volcano in Tanzania and a sacred mountain for the Maasai, or spend a few days walking in the Pare, the Usambara and Udzungwa Mountain ranges, incredible rainforests that host endemic species not seen elsewhere in the world.

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Ol Doinyo Lengai

But there is so much more to see in Tanzania, and different ways to do so!

An incredible way to admire nature from a different perspective is with a hot air balloon!

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Hot air Balloon Safari in Serengeti

Your adventure starts in the early morning, when you depart your lodge or camp. As it is still dark, you may be fortunate to see nocturnal animals on the way to the launch site. There you will meet your pilot and witness your balloon being inflated and prepared for launch.

Rising as the sun rises, your balloon floats in whatever direction the winds of the day are heading over this wonderful area and after landing, you will celebrate in the traditional way with a toast, before heading off to a special ‘Out of Africa’ bush breakfast.

Instead of driving without stopping through the villages on your way to the parks, you can take some time to see how Tanzanians live and work in Mto wa Mbu, a unique village that is home to over 120 different tribes. You can easily move around the houses, visit the farms, schools, churches and the local market with a Tuk Tuk, a small vehicle with open sides that will allow you to connect with people and enjoy the colorful environment of the area.

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Tuk Tuk tou

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Village Life

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Village Life

From the rainforest between Kidia and Marangu to Lake Chala and the Masaai lands on the north side -with game viewing opportunities- to the vast open agricultural spaces of West Kilimanjaro region, a 6 days biking tour will give you the excellent opportunity to explore all the different landscapes, people and animals at the base of Africa’s highest mountain Kilimanjaro.

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Mountain Kilimanjaro: Africa’s highest and most iconic mountain

To find out how you can see Tanzania from a different point of view, contact us: www.tanzaniajourneys.com

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White Sand Beach

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A Bespoke experience for serious FOOD LOVERS and PHOTO PASSIONATE people

CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

Compostela, Spain

by Suki Belaustegui & Nomadic Tótem

October 4th – 16th  2019
13 days – 12 nights that will take you through the most iconic and fascinating
flavors and sceneries.

Introductory Photo

by nomadic tótem  CAMINO DE SANTIAGO 42°52′50″N 8°32′38″O

explore local. travel beyond www.nomadictotem.com

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DAY  1 – October 4th 

MEET & GREET @ MADRID

This amazing journey begins as a meeting point at one of the most beautiful and foodie cities of the world; Madrid Spain. Icon Embassy Hotel; XIX Century building beautifully refurbished and the only hotel at the high-end and top fashion designers; Serrano Street. Welcome Lecture at the hotel by Suki Belaustegui and Nomadic Tótem Gurus @ 15:00 hrs.

Participants will introduce themselves and express what they would like to learn from the workshop as well as their expectations.

Participants will bring a selection of 20 to 30 photographs of their own so that Suki can observe each person’s photographic perspective and become familiarized with their creative tendency. This will enable an analysis of each person’s potential.

There will be a tutorial on the art documentary photography, ethical and humanitarian principles and techniques to develop the art of photography using natural light in people’s homes and environments.

An audiovisual with photographs related to the work reflected in the books ”Guardians of Time” and

”Africa in America” will be projected. Emphasis will be placed on the use of natural light.

Lectures devoted to the art of shooting the magic of landscapes in outdoor contexts. Participants will study the various uses of skills and the creative possibilities to make the best photography for this journey.

As a Welcome Dinner, we will enjoy a unique culinary tour tapas experience, downtown. We will taste the flavor of this city as a local; enjoying the best Spanish gastronomy at one of the most urban-chic and trendy districts in the heart of Madrid.

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DAY  2 – October 5th 

MADRID – LEON

Breakfast at the hotel

Group transfer towards the train station to headed León.

León boasts one of the greatest historical and architectural heritages in Spain. Some of the city’s most prominent historical buildings are the Cathedral, the finest example of French-style classic Gothic architecture in Spain, the Basilica of San Isidoro, one of the most important Romanesque churches in Spain and resting place of León’s medieval monarchs, and the Casa Botines, a Modernist creation of the architect Antoni Gaudí.

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After visiting León, head to one of the most spectacular sights in the Bierzo region: Las Médulas, an old open-air mine, the largest in the whole Roman Empire, it ́s interior was once home to tons of gold. It is a huge work of engineering which permanently transformed the mountainous area into a weird and wonderful landscape that now has the World Heritage designation. We can combine the visit to Las Médulas with an exclusive wine tasting at one of our favourite wineries in the region.

After admiring Las Médulas, your transfer will take you to your hotel in Vilafranca del Bierzo, last stop before starting your adventure: the Camino de Santiago. Check in at Palacio de Canedo.

This three century-old mansion converted into a 14-room guesthouse is a breath of fresh air just off the Camino. The one site winery and canning facilities are well worth the visit. Each room is uniquely decorated and themed, some referring to lords of Canedo, making for a cozy stay amongst pilgrims and travelers alike.

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 ON FOOT

The French Way is the Camino par excellence. The Jacobean itinerary with the greatest historical tradition and the most internationally recognized one. It was already described in 1135 in the Codex Calixtinus, a fundamental Jacobean book. The book V of this codex constitutes an authentic medieval guide to the pilgrimage to Santiago. It specifies the sections of the French Way from Gaul lands and reports in detail on the sanctuaries of the route, hospitality, people, food, sources, local customs, etc. Our path will start in O Cebreiro and end in Santiago de Compostela after 8 magical stages of endless memories and unforgettable experiences.

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CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

We’ve selected the best stages of the O Cebreiro – Santiago section. We’ve adjusted the kilometers and stages so you can accomplish the route in 9 days, walking an average of 8 -15 kilometers per day at a relaxing pace, with enough time to admire the gorgeous sceneries and the stunning nature and wildlife of Galician forests.

The transportation will be at your disposal along the route, picking you up at the end of each stage and taking you to your hotel, where your luggage will be waiting for you. In the same way, it will be ready to take the participants at any time they wish to take them to the hotel; this in case some of you would like to arrive earlier and have some more free time on your own.

The route is well indicated and there are plenty of maps to follow the path with explanations about the surroundings and main places to visit; however our professional local gurus will be accompanying along the Camino to assist you in any requirement.

DAY  3 – October 6 th

O CEBREIRO – TRIACASTELA

Breakfast at the hotel

If the fog does not hide the valley, seeing the sunrise from O Cebreiro, a beautiful village with a series of pallozas (round stone houses with a straw roof) still standing and that were inhabited until relatively recently, is a privilege that the Camino gives us that one can not refuse. Today, we immerse ourselves in the land of Santiago, the land of the fog and the orballo (morning dew); Celtic castros (ancient settlements) and mines coveted by the Romans; infinite hills and fragas (old forests) of oaks and chestnut trees. A magic land that will stay in your memories.

Accommodation at Palacio de Canedo.

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DAY  4 – October 7 th 

TRIACASTELA – SARRIA

Breakfast at the hotel

From Triacastela there are two itineraries to get to Sarria: the southern one, longer, visits the famous Benedictine monastery of Samos and progresses through the leafy banks of the Oribio river; the other one advances more to the north by San Xil and goes through pretty landscapes populated by oaks and chestnut trees. In Sarria your guide will be waiting to drive you to the lovely Parador de Monforte de Lemos where you will spend the next two nights.

PARADOR DE MONFORTE DE LEMOS

The historic site of San Vicente do Pino is located in the uppermost part of the town of Monforte de Lemos. It is made up of the keep, San Vicente do Pino Monastery and the palace of the counts of Lemos, which houses the Parador de Monforte. The monastery dates back to the 9th century, although the current structure was built in the 17th century in the neoclassical style.

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DAY  5 – October 8 th 

SARRIA – PORTOMARIN

Breakfast at the hotel

Sarria is very close to the mythical and last 100 kilometers, the minimum distance that you have to walk on foot to win the Compostelana. The stage does not disappoint either the first-timer or the seasoned pilgrim. It offers countless villages, good examples of Romanesque, asphalted rural tracks, rural paths and corridors, medieval bridges and rustic footbridges.

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DAY  6 – October 9 th

RIBEIRA SACRA – HEROIC WINEMAKERS

Breakfast at the hotel

Today if you want, you take a rest of your walking adventure and immerse in inland Galicia. Discover the incredible boat tours along the River Sil and River Miño canyons and enter a different world. Imposing locations with beautiful monasteries which, far from the madding crowd and protected by the mild climate of these lands, have for centuries devoted their time to God and grapes. As an optional choice you can keep walking to continue adding your personal kms to reach the 100km and get the Compostelana. The transportation will pick you up after your walk.

The rivers Sil and Miño, with canyons measuring 500 meters in depth, are dotted with tiny vineyards on steep slopes that require a heroic effort. Something unique that can only be found here. The Ribeira Sacra is the birthplace of the legendary “Amandi”, a wine that was so treasured by the Romans that they considered it the “gold of the River Sil”. A wine that centuries later the Benedictine monks produced exclusively for the wineries of the most refined popes.

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DAY  7 – October 10 th

GONZAR – PALAS DE REI

Breakfast at the hotel

The stage is divided by the Ligonde mountain range, which in turn divides the basins of the Miño and Ulloa rivers. The path goes along modest, provincial and even national roads. However, the journey brings good examples of Romanesque churches, including the possibility of diverting to Vilar de Donas to visit San Salvador, old pilgrim hospitals and the valuable Lameiros cruise.

From Palas de Rei you’ll be transferred to your next hotel: Pazo de Brandeso.

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Pazo de Brandeso. Check in. An old residence of the galician bourgeoisie of the early 17th century 1620 is more than just a rural tourism hotel. The atmosphere an spaces of a bygone era remain intact. The rooms, corridors, halls, dining rooms and library of the Pazo de Brandeso are decorated with antique furniture and pieces of art, bronze sculptures or magnificent marble fireplaces, all of which give the hotel a palatial atmosphere.

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DAY  8 – October 11 th

PALAS DE REI – MELIDE

Breakfast at the hotel

We divide the Palas de Rei – Arzúa stage in two, as it is the most difficult and demanding stage in the Camino. You’ll cross the river Roxán, follow a path surrounded by eucalyptus and oak trees to San Xulián do Camiño, cross a spectacular forest with trees embraced by rock and twisted branches and admire a gigantic basket that, like the ‘hórreos’ (local granaries), was used to preserve corn.

Melide is a great place to try Galicia’s classic dish of octopus. Once in Melide we will taste its famous ‘pulpo a feira’ or octopus at a legendary ‘pulpería’ where we will met the owner and share her story over a delicious meal.

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DAY  9 – October 12 th

MELIDE – ARZÚA

Breakfast at the hotel

From Melide the Camino crosses several streams and follows a forest track bringing you to the village of Boente with its church of Santiago. Next is the pretty medieval village of Ribadiso and finally the town of Arzúa, a cheese making village with the important attraction of rural and active tourism, especially in the vicinity of the reservoir of Portodemouros.

We will visit one of the local artisans that produce Arzúa cheese, learning how’s produced and tasting some of its varieties.

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DAY  10 – October 13 th

ARZÚA – PEDROUZO

Breakfast at the hotel

We’re close to Santiago, only 40 km, so we will divide this last segment in two days. A pleasant walk through the already familiar eucalyptus tree forests and green fields defines the day. At the end of the stage you’ll pass by a memorial to Guillermo Watt, a pilgrim that died in the Camino in 1993.

DAY  11 – October 14 th

PEDROUZO – SANTIAGO

Breakfast at the hotel

Today you’ll make the final journey into Santiago. You will have a short morning drive to Pedrouzo, where you’ll start your walk. Your next point of interest is Lavacolla, where pilgrims used to wash themselves in the river in preparation for their arrival in Santiago. Rows of tall eucalyptus trees line your journey to Monte do Gozo (“Mount of Joy”) and it is from here that will catch your first glimpse of the Cathedral of Santiago.

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When you arrive in the city, you will get a chance to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s

architecture and delight in the wonderful atmosphere of this spiritual and cultural mecca.

Explore Santiago de Compostela. Millions of people from all over the world come to this city every year, many of them reaching the end of the Way of Saint James pilgrimage route. Its historic center has been designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

In Santiago, gastronomy is an active part of the culture of the city. There is a spectacular array of restaurants, bars and taverns, with prices to suit every budget – quality is what they all have in common. Here you can eat well – and plenty. You can taste regional products like the freshest seafood you could possibly imagine, artisanal charcuterie, cheeses, wines, liquors… Our local foodie gurus will recommend you to explore the market and later taste its best produce at some of the local restaurants and little corners inside the market.

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Accommodation for 2 nights @ A Quinta Da Auga Relais and Chateux. A beautiful boutique hotel placed in a historical restored building. This hotel is one of the most charming hotels in the northwest of Spain. You can enjoy the gastronomy of the region at its unique restaurant and relax your mind and body at its luxury spa. This is a unique hotel, surrounded by nature with 10.000 m2 estate by the Sar riverside.

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DAY  12 – October 15 th

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

9 am to 1:00 pm: Breakfast at the hotel and free morning to have time to work on your photos from the previous days that you will show in the afternoon for the feedback of your work.

3:00 to 7:00 pm“Studio session” Last day of the workshop. We will be fully engaged in selecting, editing and analyzing the best photographs of each participant. At the end of the workshop, the best photographs will be presented as part of each participant’s portfolio.

As a Farewell dinner and to celebrate that you’re officially a pilgrim and a nomadic.photographer we planned for you a very special culinary experience, at the best restaurant in the city and beacon of the tradition-avant garde fusion in Galician cuisine: Casa Marcelo 1* Michelin.

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DAY  13 – October 16 th

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Breakfast at the hotel. End of Services.

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SEBASTIAN SUKI BELAUSTEGUI

Documentary Humanitarian Photographer. Experiential Photography Workshop Instructor.

His work has being published in books and magazines, including National Geographic (Cover February 2005), Time, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Unicef, and Travel & Leisure. Additionally he has held numerous workshops, lectures, and exhibitions in museums and art galleries throughout the world, including: Bhutan, India, China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, The United States, México, Argentina, Perú and Cuba.

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by nomadic tótem CAMINO DE SANTIAGO 42°52′50″N 8°32′38″O

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AN EPICUREAN PHOTOGRAPHY JOURNEY

CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

by; Suki Belaustegui & Nomadic Tótem

October 4th – 16th, 2019

Rate per person in double occupancy.

€4,350 euros.

Rate per person in single occupancy.

€4,900 euros.

Package Includes:

  • 12 days of tutoring in documentary photography theory, practice, selection and analysis with Sebastián Suki Beláustegui.
  • Welcome dinner Local Tapas Experience in Madrid.
  • AVE fast train ticket-touristic class from Madrid to Leon (one way).
  • Private transfer in minibus during the program. Camino de Santiago.
  • Accommodation in each hotel mentioned in the program. 12 nights.
  • Breakfast and lunch daily.
  • Farewell dinner at Casa Marcelo1* Michelin Star Restaurant.
  • Guided hiking tour through Camino de Santiago as mentioned in the program, with professional tour guides.
  • Boat tour along the River Sil and River Miño canyons and Amandi vineyard.
  • Hiking poles rented.
  • Local Taxes.

Package Excludes:

  • Services not specified in the itinerary.
  • Tips and meals not mentioned.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Airline tickets.
  • Airport transportations. Madrid airport – hotel / Santiago hotel – airport.
  • Water and hiking gear.

**ITINERARY IS SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY UNTIL THE MOMENT OF PURCHASE AND CHANGES WITHOUT NOTICE** Limited Availability to 14 pax. First come first served basis.

 This is a quotation only and is subject to availability as no reservations have been made. Because of the nature of hotels and the travel industry, it is not always possible to secure the hotels and lodges listed in the itinerary. Nomadic Totem will endeavor to secure the hotels listed in your itinerary. However, Nomadic Totem reserves the right to secure the next best available option or an upgrade in the event that the original hotels are not available or overbooked.  

  

BANK DATA (International wire transfers):

BENEFICIARY:                   NOMADIC TOTEM S.A. DE C.V.

Account Number for Wire Transfers:

CLABE:                                    002180701234651701

BANK NAME:                         CITIBANAMEX

BRANCH:                                7012 (Via Santa Fe, CDMX)

SWIFT CODE:                         BNMXMXMM

DATOS BANCARIOS (depósitos o transferencias en México):

BENEFICIARIO:                 NOMADIC TOTEM S.A. DE C.V.

BANCO:                                  CITIBANAMEX

SUCURSAL:                             7012 (Via Santa Fe, CDMX)

CUENTA No:                          000003465170

CLABE:                                    002180701234651701 (para Transferencia Interbancaria )

  * In case of payment by credit card, an additional charge of 4% must be considered, you will have to present the card on site (México City) at the time of the purchase*

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by nomadic tótem  CAMINO DE SANTIAGO 42°52′50″N 8°32′38″O

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THE MOST AMAZING EXPERIENCE: THE SON DOONG CAVE IN THE QUANG BINH PROVINCE OF CENTRAL VIETNAM.

Son Doong Cave is in the heart of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in the Quang Binh province of Central Vietnam. Only recently explored in 2009-2010 by the British Cave Research Association, the cave has only been open to the public since 2013.

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The world’s biggest cave has overwhelmed once more with an incredible 2-hour live broadcast that aired on the 2th/13th May on ABC’s Good Morning America and can still be found online. Once again Son Doong gets the spotlight, but there are numerous and wonderful cave systems in the area, many of which, including Hang En and Tu Lan, can be visited with A-Class Travel.

 Please kindly access this link for MSNBC‘s video:

GEOLOGY & SIZE OF SON DOONG CAVE

The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam contains the oldest karst system in Asia, between 400-450 million years old. Hang Son Doong itself is relatively young, with the analysis of sediment dating it to be only 3 million years old.

Formed on the edge of a fault zone, Hang Son Doong has been carved out by the mighty Rao Thuong River as it erodes away the limestone, forming the enormous tunnel beneath the Annamite Mountains. Giant sinkholes, known as do lines, have collapsed sometime up to 300’000 years ago, creating massive openings to the outside world. Cave pearls the size of baseballs have been formed by water dripping from the ceiling.

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The first expedition had been halted by an 80m high calcite barrier, which was jokingly dubbed the ‘Great Wall of Vietnam’. It wasn’t until their second expedition in 2010, when the Great Wall was finally climbed, and the end of the passage was found, that Hang Son Doong was determined to be the largest cave in the world.

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At over 5 km long, with sections reaching up to 200m tall and 150m wide, Hang Son Doong is large enough to house an entire New York City block, complete with 40 story skyscrapers. With a total measured volume of 38.5 million cubic meters, this comfortably surpasses Deer Cave in Malaysia, which was considered to be the previous record holder. Stalagmites up to 80m high have also been surveyed, the tallest ever encountered.

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Son Doong Cave Expedition is world-renowned tour product offering the very best caving opportunity for the very active adventure traveler! With a team of cave experts from the British Cave Research Association you’ll be deep in the wild jungle of Vietnam discovering the most amazing natural environments.

Our Son Doong Expedition is available with weekly departures. It is advised to book in advance as this is a popular tour and we are strictly limited to 10 guests per departure.

Some brief information about the Son Doong Expedition:

Duration: 7 days/6 nights

Adventure Level: Hard (60 km +) for physically active guests.

Availability: Weekly Departures (Feb to Aug, we close the cave from Sept to Jan)

Small Group Tours: 10 guests per departure

Minimum Age: 18 years old

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Should you need further information, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Giang at

ACLASS TRAVEL at giang.hh@aclasstravel.com.vn or phone number (+84) 4 3927 4288.

 

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THE 11 STUNNING CASTLES IN EUROPE YOU SHOULD VISIT AT LEAST ONCE IN YOUR LIFETIME

Not only do they offer the chance to climb spiraling stairways to the tops of the battlements, castles offer secretive passageways, unusual decoration, breathtakingly spectacular views and the chance to relive the past. Modern skyscrapers and luxury resorts don’t hold a candle to the raw power projected by a gigantic castle. Castles are fun to explore because they’re full of surprising rooms and terrifying dungeons, but some castles are so gigantic, or intricately designed and built, that our minds are blown just thinking about them.

Many of these castles are in Europe, the fairy-tale home of castles in popular culture. Explore below the 10 most mind-blowing castles of Europe, that are so different, so complex and so beautiful that we can’t believe they were built by humans.

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1. Scaligero Castle, Sirmione- Lake Garda – Italy

"Sirmione, Italy - April 27th, 2011 - Tourists visiting Scaliger Castle (Castello Scaligero) in Sirmione, on Lake Garda, Italy during spring break."

Located in the town of Sirmione on Lake Garda (north Italy), the Castello Scaligero gets its name from the rulers of Verona, whose power extended all the way to here in the 13th and 14th centuries. It’s not just modern-day visitors who find the castle beautiful—in 1786, Goethe was arrested for making suspicious-seeming sketches of the castle! The only access to the castle is through the drawbridge as the other sides of the castle are surrounded by water. Part of the lake is also enclosed by its walls, thus making it one of the best examples of lacustrine architecture.

Garda Lake with its beauties can be visits with a daily excursion departing from Venice, or this region can be a perfect destination for a 3 days Incentive, always in combination with Venice or with Milan and others northern Italy Lakes, Maggiore and Como lake.

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2. Kamyanets-PodilskyiUkraine

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Kamyanets-Podilskyi with its Castle and Historic center from UNESCO World Heritage list has the most places of architectural interest in Ukraine after Kyiv and Lviv.  Situated in western Ukraine just 1.5 hours away from Chernivtsi local airport, Kamyanets is tourist mecca for travelers. Marvelous medieval fortress was described as “a stone flower on the rock” by famous Ukrainian poetess. Impressive Khotyn Castle also located 25km from Kamyanets. In the Castle you can make special MICE-event.
Besides castles you can see here natural canyons making unforgettable impression.

To get the most from this wonderful city, you should visit it during festival, which take place here almost all year round! Annual Cossack Games and festivals, which include the open hot air ballooning championship of Ukraine, car racing and various music, art and drama festivals, attract thousands of local tourists.

For special experience try Ukrainian highest bridge for bungee jumping ~75m high over the river, also you can drive armored vehicles BRDM-2, BRDM and 4×4.

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3. Monemvasia Castle – Greecemgate

Visiting Monemvasia, the medieval castle town on the southeastern coast of the Peloponnese you feel overwhelmed by this magical place’s rawness, wildness, history and profound romanticism. Try to visit the castle in spring, summer and autumn, both with company and alone, as Monemvasia is an all-year destination, ideal for all emotional states.

Its uniqueness and its fairytale atmosphere remain as true as ever. Its history is written on the walls around you as you as you stroll inside the small alleys along the castle. The sense of isolation felt on this legendary rock, cut off from the coast of the Peloponnese by an earthquake in 375 AD, adds to the wonder.

As a natural fortress, it was inhabited and soon became a strategic fortress claimed the Byzantines, Franks, Venetians and Ottomans. Neither museum-like nor artificially fabricated, Monemvasia is Europe’s only castle that has never ceased being inhabited.

Behind the limestone with which it is built, around 15 people are permanent residents, but many more come and go daily. As for visitors, that goes without saying.

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4. Carlowrie Castle – Scotland

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Carlowrie Castle with its location close to Edinburgh airport and the city centre makes it an ideal location for bringing people together.  The Castle and its 32 acres of grounds provide you with the space and tranquillity to relax and escape the city. With flexible space for receptions, board meetings or private dining, we pride ourselves on designing and delivering an exceptional and bespoke service for each client.

Spend the night in one of our twelve luxurious bedrooms. All rooms are individually styled, spacious with nine in the Castle and three in the renovated Gate Lodge. The ensuite bathrooms feature handmade, roll top baths, marble tiles, underfloor heating and walk in showers. Wake up in your very own Victorian castle with modern essentials such as WiFi and satellite television. Guests can then relax in one of our many rooms from the Marble Lounge to our Bar and Piano room serving from Full Scottish Breakfast to evening dinner.Picture2

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5Aragonese Castle, Ischia IslandSouth Italy

"Castello Aragonese in Ischia Ponte, on Ischia island near Naples, Italy. Many little boats in the sea."

Sitting on the volcanic island of Ischia (the most developed and largest of the islands in the Bay of Naples), Aragonese Castle is accessible from Ischia by a small bridge. Amazingly, it dates from the 5th century and was built to protect the area from pirates and still looks as dramatic now from the surrounding mainland.

From the outpost of the Syracuse Greek Hiero I to the conquest of Alfonso of Aragon, from the splendour of Vittoria Colonna’s wedding to the English bombing in 1809, from total abandonment to recovery through the intuition of a farsighted Ischian lawyer: twenty-five centuries of history between churches, convents, prisons, lush gardens and breath-taking views,

suspended between the sky and the sea in a timeless atmosphere.

Ischia is renowned for its curative spas. Ferries and hydrofoils connect Naples to Ischia.

Ischia today is famed for its thermal spas, manicured gardens, and unshowy, straightforward Italian airs – a feature also reflected in its food. Ischia is a refreshing antidote to glitzy Capri.

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6. S. Jorge CastlePortugal

Lisboa1 (1)The Castelo de S. Jorge – National Monument occupies a privileged area of the old medieval alcáçova (citadel) and consists of the castle, ruins of the former royal palace and part of the neighborhood for the elite.

The fortification, built by the Moors in the mid-11th century, was the last defensive stronghold for the elite who resided on the citadel: the Moorish governor whose palace was nearby, and the elite city administrators whose homes are visible today in the Archaeological Site.

After Dom Afonso Henriques conquered Lisbon on October 25th, 1147, to become the first king of Portugal, the Castelo de S. Jorge began its golden age as home for the royalty. The old Moorish period buildings were modified and enlarged to receive the king, his court and the bishop, as well as the Royal Archives in one of the castle towers. Once the Portuguese kings had transformed the Castelo de S. Jorge into a royal palace in the 13th century, it was chosen to receive many notable Portuguese and foreign figures, as well as hold festivities as well as coronations during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

10 IMPORTANT MOMENTS AT THE CASTELO DE S. JORGE

  • 7th – 8th c. B.C. | BEFORE THE CASTLE • The first settlements
  • 11th c. | FOUNDING OF THE CASTLE • The castle and Moorish quarter
  • 12th c. | THE CHRISTIAN RECONQUEST • The transition from the Moorish to Christian worlds
  • 13th c. | ROYAL RESIDENCE • The castle and the royal palace of the alcáçova
  • 14th c. | ROYAL RESIDENCE • The Torre do Tombo and the Crisis of Succession
  • 15th – 16th c. | ROYAL RESIDENCE • Court life and the last king at the castle
  • 17th – 18th c. | FROM ROYAL RESIDENCE TO MILITARY BARRACKS
  • 18th c. | EARTHQUAKE OF 1755
  • 19th c. | THE CASTLE AS MILITARY GARRISON
  • 20th c. | THE CASTLE – A NATIONAL MONUMENT – Restoration work from 1938-40

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7. Alcazar Castle – SPAIN

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The Alcázar of Segovia is in the city of Segovia (Castile and Leon, Spain), and is classified as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The castle doesn’t fit the mold of most castles in Spain, which were constructed as fortresses and is rising out on a rocky crag above the confluence of two rivers near the Guadarrama mountains. It is reported to be the inspiration for the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World and were decorated with great luxury and beauty by Mudéjar painters and artists.
Built in 1122, the castle has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since then. It is currently used as a museum and a military archive building. The castle can be visited and allow visitors to enjoy views over Segovia and the countryside.

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8. Charlottenburg Castle – GERMANYberlin_Castle Charlottenburg (3)

Discover the magic of the rococo at the beautiful Charlottenburg Palace – completed in 1699 and once a royal summer residence. Today it is the largest and most magnificent palace in Berlin. Sophie Charlotte, the first Queen consort in Prussia, was not only an accomplished musician, playing the harpsichord and singing Italian opera, but also strolled through the grounds here with her friend, the renowned scholar and philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. When she died, only 36 years old, the palace and surrounding area was named Charlottenburg after her.  Sophie Charlotte, a great lover of the arts, invited poets, philosophers, musicians and artists to join her at her “court of the muses”. Even her husband King Friedrich I could only visit if she personally invited him.  The castle is not only famous for its classical concerts and the spectacular Christmas Market in December but is a great event location as well.

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9. Malbork Castle – POLAND

Medieval Malbork Castle, Marienburg Fortress of Mary, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pomerania, Poland, Europe

The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork is a 13th-century Teutonic castle and fortress located near the town of Malbork, in Poland. It is the largest castle in the world measured by land area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It was originally constructed by the Teutonic Knights, a German Roman Catholic religious order of crusaders, in a form of an Ordensburg fortress. The Order named it Marienburg in honour of Mary, mother of Jesus. In 1466, during the division of Prussia into eastern and western parts, the castle and town became part of western Royal Prussia, a region of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. It served as one of the several Polish royal residences, interrupted by several years of Swedish occupation, and fulfilling this function until the First Partition of Poland in 1772. Following Germany’s defeat in 1945, the land was reassigned to Poland.

If you’re looking up how to visit Malbork Castle, you’re most likely already in Gdansk, Poland. We spent about a week in Gdansk and found that it was a great base to explore the Tricity and surroundings. Despite the 60 km distance, Malbork is very easy to get to from here and there’s no need to spend extra money on an organized tour when you can save your pretty pennies and plan the day yourself.

Castle of Knights

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10Karst Castle – Slovenia

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A mere few kilometers from Postojna Cave, the Karst world offers an unforgettable experience in the fairytale world of knights. The impregnable medieval marvel has been perched in the middle of a 123-metre-high cliff for more than 800 years. Behind the largest cave castle in the world, there is a network of secret tunnels, from where the knight Erazem of Predjama would set out on his plundering expeditions. The world’s largest cave castle, listed as one of the Guinness World Records, tells a picturesque story about the times when comfort had to give way to safety, and when the clatter of weapons would often drown out troubadours’ songs. It is so special and unique, it ranks among the ten most fascinating castles in the world. ETC Adriatic using this location for special events and medieval team buildings.

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11Chateau de Berne in Provence, France

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In the heart of the true Provence, off the beaten track, a road makes its way through the ancestral vineyards of the wine estate of the Château de Berne.

The 18th-century Château de Berne is located on a 1235-acre forest & vineyard estate in the Var hinterlands. It’s located between the villages of Lorgues and Flays in Provence, France.  You enter the property via a small country lane & when you get inside you are surrounded by vineyards and beautiful views. You can smell the grapes, flowers, and trees as you walk around. The Château is both secluded and full of life, this is a place to slow down and unwind. Provence is a very fertile, sun-drenched part of France, that’s why the grapes and so much produce is grown there.

The domain has been practicing the art of producing wine for over 3 centuries. They are true artisans producing over a million signature square bottles per year, red, white and rosé. There is something for everyone! They grow many grape varietals and with expert crop growers and blenders, very tasty wines are produced. The hotel offers wine tastings and guided tours of their cellars.

For dining there are a few options, each taking advantage of seasonal, local produce. Options include Le Jardin de Benjamin (a Michelin star restaurant), the Bistrot in the cellar (a bit more casual), the Table de Chef (you in the kitchen watching the Chefs) or test your skills with hands-on learning at the cooking school.  Chef Benjamin Colomba and his team create all kinds of magic in their kitchen and we savoured quite the gamut, paired with the domain’s wines of course!

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Phileas France

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VIBRANT COLORS, LIVELY MUSIC AND ENDLESS SPECTACLE. WHAT IS THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS FESTIVAL, THE UNDOUBTEDLY MOST INTENSE AND MESMERIZING SHOW?

Everybody knows about the world-famous Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but does everybody understand how it really works and where things are happening? Well here is how:

A word of history: Carnival is an ancient pagan feast that can be traced back to 4000 AD. Revived in Italy, it spread around the world and Brazil was no exception.
Carnival means: “goodbye to the flesh” and is the last festivity before the beginning of the 40-day Quaresma or Lent: 40 days without eating meat!
And of course, Brazil was able to turn this farewell happening into the biggest show on earth.

The carnival is commemorated all over Brazil, and though other cities like Salvador or Olinda, host important carnivals, being mainly  spontaneous gathering of people in the streets, contrary to these places, Rio exhibits a a big spectacle being televised worldwide.

Where:
And even though the street carnival or blocks in Rio are once again becoming just like the popular festival it once used to be, gathering UP TO tens of thousands of people in Copacabana and Ipanema, the main spectacle remains the carnival parade taking place in a specially constructed open air stadium, called the Sambodromo or Sambadrome, at about 15 km from Copacabana and Ipanema, in downtown Rio de Janeiro.

Foto area dispon vel para compra (licenciamento) no banco de imagens Fotografias AŽreas: www.fotografiasaeres.com.br/banco-de-imagens/

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When:
The Carnival parades always start on the Saturday before Mardi Gras and officially ends on the Saturday after Mardi Gras. For 2019 this means from 02nd of March through 5th of March. The different participants, or Samba Schools, are organized in much the same way as soccer divisions: first comes the second division with the secondary groups (grupos de acesso). They will parade on the Saturday before Mardi Gras. Then comes the first division with the special groups or Grupos Especiais and they will parade on Sunday and Monday before Mardi Gras. On Mardi Gras, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday there are no parades. Every year the loser of the first division
will make place for the winner of the second division, and finally, Saturday after Mardi Gras, the 6 winning schools will have their final showdown during the Champions parade.

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How:
Every day there are around 6 schools parading and every each of them takes around 1h30 to cover the 700 meter long Parading avenue of the Sambadrome. The parade starts around 20h00 and finishes in the early hours around 06h00.
Sambadrome seating and tickets

Seating:
The Sambadrome is divided in sectors. Each sector has a grand stand with free seating (concrete steps in fact), front boxes on the parade level (A,B,C and D) and finally covered suites or lounges. We recommend sectors 4 to 9, which offer the best views and generally sector 9 is used for the foreign visitors who wish numbered (concrete) seats.

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Tickets:
Carnival tickets, as the rest during the carnival period, are not cheap. The good sectors/seats are expensive and the pricing works a little bit like the stock exchange market: the more demand the higher the prices and vice versa. This means that prices can change on a daily basis and the sooner you book the more chance you have to get good seats. It is not uncommon to have total sell out.

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Lodging during Carnival
As throughout most of Brazil during the Carnival period, hotels in Rio de Janeiro apply a mandatory 4- or 5-night carnival package. These package are expensive and although some prices seem (and are effectively) absurd, all hotels during this period tend to be sold out completely. The packages are generally applied from Friday (01/03) before Mardi Gras until Wednesday after Mardi Gras (06/03). Some hotels offer discounts if you book a very long time in advance. Reservations are only made after 100% payment, and once the bill has been settled there will be NO REFUND!

Champions Parade, a cheap(er) alternative:
There is, though, a way around these expensive packages without missing the Carnival completely: The Champions Parade. This parade held on Saturday after Mardi Gras (9th of March for 2018) is nothing more than the 6 winning schools from the Special groups and the winning school from the secondary groups parading one last time. Most hotels don’t apply any special rates for this period. Those who do, apply a mandatory 2 night package, but at rates far below the expensive main carnival packages.

Parade and participate personally:
And of course you can also participate in the carnival and parade in the Sabadrome with the school of your choice.
The fees therefore start around 100 US per person and are limitless with the most famous positions generally occupied by personalities or socialites.

Incentive opportunities:
Needless to say that such an event is a perfect occasion for an incentive group in the sign of carnival. Plenty opportunities and possibilities there.

Safety:
Contrary to the popular believe, the carnival period in Rio de Janeiro is not a moment of erupting violence. People are rather relaxed and just want to have a good time: at which Brazilians are especially very good. Off course whenever you have big gathering of crowds it is important to be aware of your surroundings. The access
tickets we sell to the Carnival parade at the Sambadrome are all with transportation and guide included and therefore within the Sambadrome your passenger’s safety is assured.

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Carnival is a once in a lifetime experience that everyone should witness, like it or not, it will never again leave you! Get to try this once-in-a-lifetime event using the services of an expert:

 

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http://casteloviagens.com.br

WHAT COULD BE YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE INCENTIVE DESTINATION?

Here is what you probably know: Amsterdam is a liberal city, rock ‘n roll city,  it rains a lot, everyone cycles and has more canals than Venice. It is easy to view Amsterdam in cliches, but venture beyond the rouge glow and find a dynamic metropolis with a village heart.

FIVE REASONS WHY AMSTERDAM IS YOUR NEXT INCENTIVE DESTINATION

Here is what you probably know: Amsterdam is a liberal city, rock ‘n roll city,  it rains a lot, everyone cycles and has more canals than Venice. It is easy to view Amsterdam in cliches, but venture beyond the rouge glow and find a dynamic metropolis with a village heart.

In the past couple of years Amsterdam has smartened up its act, with art galleries, stylish boutiques and buzzy cafes opening up. The big museums have reopened after years of improvements and the city is renowned for its thriving festival scene.

What is new to know? And why is Amsterdam your next incentive destination?

  1. Amsterdam’s Assets: Where can you go for a company escape that has world-renowned art museums, vibrant nightlife, cool upcoming neighbourhoods and unique architecture?
    Amsterdam Redefined’s choice: To make sure keeping all the participants of the group engaged and enthusiastic, creating an itinerary that includes the different aspects Amsterdam has to offer is key.A tour through the Red Light District? Yes we can! Not the standard one but a tour where we enter a private house in the district to hear the incredible stories of the family who once lived here.Only half an hour biking outside of Amsterdam you can enjoy the polder and windmill landscape. A whole different scenery and what’s more ‘Farm to Table’ than enjoying a lunch in between the grasslands and cows in a farmers garden?
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  2. Small Village feeling: Flat, compact and easy walkable you get a fairly good overview of the city without using a lot of transfers.
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    Amsterdam Redefined’s choice: Instead of getting in and out of coaches bringing you from one activity or venue to another. Why not use Amsterdams finest asset and use a private boat on the canals as a transfer to get from A to B?
  3. Booming restaurant & hotel scene:
    Amsterdam’s hotel scene is eclectic and characterful with a few new properties opening up each year and also existing hotels are smartening up their act.The Dutch food scene is enjoying a culinary renaissance and Amsterdam is fast becoming Europe’s most exciting and varied eating destination.
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    Amsterdam Redefined’s
    choice: Always looking for the best suitable hotel fitting the target group we love to use local hotel brands and international chain hotels alike. As the local government is banning coaches out of the centre, logistics are getting more and more a priority in order to give the guests the best experience.
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  4. Where to party?
    There is no lack of festivals and festive days in Amsterdam. No matter what time of the year you visit there’s always something going on whether you’re into dance music, food or art. Gay Pride, Kings day, a thriving music festival scene in the summer
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    Amsterdam Redefined’s
    choice: A once in a lifetime experience to incorporate one of the festivities into an itinerary for the young-at-heart groups. We arrange your private boat to be in the middle of it all or we make sure your group has their spot reserved on the VIP deck. For a group who likes it private, we know the perfect location to organise your own company festival.
  5. Good vibe city
    Ranking in the top lists of the ‘Quality of living’ index and the ‘Work-life balance’ study we can conclude Amsterdammer’s, as the locals are referred to, figured out how to enjoy life.This is what you feel when visiting the city.4ffa0d74-a6e7-419e-8080-c81e55decb47
    Amsterdam Redefined’s
    choice: Chatting with the miller of a windmill, meet the local retired policeman who spend his lifetime working in the city centre and shares his knowledge and amazing anecdotes. Listen to a passionate talk of a local artist who gives you a sneak peak in his gallery. We feel this is what creates lasting memories when traveling.

     

By Willemijn Derks, Femke Alderden

An experience created by        :       The Netherlands

 

DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU CAN SEE FLOATING PAGODAS AND A PARADE OF FASCINATING CELEBRATIONS?

Processions, devotion, traditional costumes, music and even boat races. Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is one of the biggest annual events in Asia, occurring every year around the month of October. Let’s discover more about it!

FOLLOWING A KARAWEIK: A MYTHICAL BIRD, THE SYMBOL OF THE FESTIVAL

Everyone interested in Myanmar probably already know that Inle Lake, declared Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, is a magical world. A world of stilt villages, floating gardens and crumbling stupas which have kept its unique and hundred-years-old traditional lifestyle. A world where one can relax feeling its tranquillity, enjoy the breath-taking landscape and learn about the Intha people’s interesting activities, such as leg-rowing fishing, extracting the threads from the lotus plant, weaving, manufacturing cheroots or silversmithing.

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Fishermen and Floating Gardens

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Leg Rowing Fishing

What fewer people may know is that during the month of October one of Myanmar’s biggest events takes place annually on the waters of this magical world: the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, occurring from the first waxing day to the third waning day of the lunar month of Thadingyut.

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, located on the western end of Inle Lake, is the holiest Buddhist site in southern Shan state. In the middle of the Pagoda’s main room, a group of five oddly shaped relics covered in gold leaf are displayed.

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Inle Lake

These relics, cast during the reign of Bagan’s King Alanghsithu (1112-1167 CE) and once with human form, have been changing its shape after years and years of receiving the gold leaf donations from thousands of pilgrims visiting this holy site.

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Five Golden Relics

These golden statues are precisely the focal point of the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda festival. During the festival, four of the five statues are placed on a decorative barge shaped like a karaweik (mythical bird) and taken on an 18 days tour around the lake, stopping at each village for a night or longer so residents can pay homage.

In this procession from village to village, the barge is propelled by Inle Lake’s famous leg rowers, who dressed in traditional costumes row in unison to the beat of a huge drum, while other ceremonial boats escorting the barge carry dancers and martial artists showcasing their sills.

Visiting Inle Lake during the festival provides a great opportunity to see the different ethnic groups, including Shan, Intha, Danu, Palaung, Pa-O and Taung Yo, gathering and celebrating the festival together, giving to the lake a combined devotion and carnival-like atmosphere.

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Ceremonial Boats in the Pagoda Festival

One of the highlights of the festival and best time for visitors to engage with the festival celebration are undoubtedly the impressive boat races, in which different teams of leg rowers representing villages around the lake compete aboard narrow boats over ten metres long.

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Boat Races

Every year, the Festival occurs from the first waxing day to the third waning day of the lunar month of Thadingyut – this year from October 10 to October 27.

See you there very soon!

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Inle Lake

By Lwin Lwin Kyaw

An experience created by Myanmar Voyages

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20 Gorgeous Islands Every Traveler Should Visit

As the plane makes its gradual descent you see much of the island from your window: the cliffs at one end, the long golden curve of a remote beach, olive groves, an isolated village, a patch of woodland, the whitewashed air traffic control tower. There’s just one carousel at the terminal. People seem to know each other. It’s only a short ride in the hired car into the small main town. You drive past the shopping centre, the primary school, the restaurant that specializes in seafood, the town hall or simply an endless blue beach with palm trees…  And there’s a strange, instinctive feeling of wanting to arrive there, live a few moments there.

The feeling of pleasure we experience on arrival is partly the work of the imagination.  In fact, the pleasure of the small island rests on qualities that can be found closer to us, our expectations, our longing for. A small island is not just a place on the map; it’s a psychological destination; a model of simplifying your life. You may not even have to take a plane or a boat to get there. Read about it, dream of it, close your eyes and you may suddenly be there…

A story created with passion and love by BEYOND LIMITS

1. Maddalena Island, Italy (pop. 11.332)

Maddalena

SARDINIA’S SECRET ISLAND 

The archipelago of La Maddalena, off the Costa Smeralda, is a quiet place of turquoise lagoons, deserted islands and the most heavenly beaches in Sardinia, with barely a footprint to spoil them. In the translucent seas of the La Maddalena archipelago, you’re in another world. It doesn’t feel like the Mediterranean here. It feels like a more rugged version of the Caribbean. Suspended between Sardinia and Corsica, this scatter of seven large islands and 55 tiny islands has some of the most spectacular beaches in Italy, and some of the cleanest and clearest water.But it is only recently that these islands have begun to discover tourism, and in turn to be discovered by tourists.

The Maddalena islands are only 20 minutes by ferry from the Sardinian port of Palau, and geologically connected to the pink granite rockscapes of Gallura in the north-east of Sardinia.

For an incentive group we can arrange a stunning catamaran excursion, with drinks and delicious food on board. During the boat excursion you will enjoy time on island beaches, swim off the boat, and taste the delicious cuisine prepared by our skilled chef on board.

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2. Rosario Islands, Colombia (pop. 700)

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A TRUE CARIBBEAN PARADISE

The Rosario Islands are an archipielago located on the coast of Colombia, approximately 100 kilometres from Cartagena. It is one of the most important Natural National Parks of Colombia. They have an aquarium and open sea ocenarium and are perfect to break from the urban environment. For the most adventurous travellers they can take a kayak out the sea, go diving, or sport-fishing, while the more relaxed visitors can easily spend a day on the beach. On the islands you will find the kind of beaches that you want to experience in the Caribbean, white sand, sparkling blue waters and a few palm trees, so expect to see some truly memorable sunsets during your visit.  All the islands offer combinations of luxury rooms, private beaches, and quality food, that you will never forget. It is a fantastic place to spend one day or also a few days in the Caribbean.

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3. Symi, Greece (pop. 2.590)

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WHERE TIME STANDS COMPLETELY STILL

Quiet but still full of cardio! Little, full of everything! This little spot of the Greek map, one of the most picturesque islands of the Dodecanese complex with intact beauty and special architecture, will make you fall in love at first glance … Her beauty, simple and man-made, unfolds before your eyes as the ship enters the harbor. In front of you, you can see, as a living painting, one of the most beautiful and bigger neoclassical settlements in Greece. Neoclassical houses painted in bright, warm colors, perched on the rocky slopes of the island, reflect the glorious past of Symi, with tradition in sponge, shipbuilding and woodcarving.

Beautiful and untouched, most of Symi beaches invite you to discover them. Crystal waters, provocative, sometimes play with towering rocks, sometimes with coniferous shades … The most well-known are Nos, Pedi, Marathounda and Nimporio.

The city of Symi extends to the northern part of the island and consists of two settlements equally beautiful and charming:  Ano Symi (Village) stretching as the top of the hill and Gialos, the safe harbor of the island. Symi offers you unique culinary delights featuring its own specialty, the famous homemade prawn! It is a rare variety of shrimp, of a very small size, that lives in the sea of the area and you can taste it in the fish taverns of the island.

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4. Kauai, USA (pop. 65.689)

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STUNNING HAWAIIAN SCENERY, NATURAL BEAUTY

With its striking natural beauty, Kauai has long been a destination for Hollywood filmmakers intent on capturing the island’s unspoiled terrain. Its stunning scenery is a worthy adventure for you. The Movie Tour provides a rare opportunity to experience Kauai through this lens, taking you on a six-hour guided tour of the island’s famous movie locations, including settings for “The Descendants,” “Six Days and Seven Nights,” “Gilligan’s Island,” “The Amazing Race,” “Fantasy Island,” “Blue Hawaii” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

Waimea Canyon (described as the Grand Canyon on the Pacific), Spouting Horn, a drive past Haupu Mountain range and a remarkable tunnel of 500 eucalyptus trees towering more than 100 feet, stops at the Opaekaa Falls lookout and Fern Grotto, a gorgeous tropical rain forest once reserved for Hawaiian royalty are some of the spectacular destinations you need to see in Kauai.

Take a cruise down to Wailua River, where you will take a relaxing cruise surrounded by lush jungle landscapes.

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5. Maui, USA (pop. 144.444)

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A REAL HAWAIIAN ISLAND

Hana, isolated from the rest of the island, is truly the last undeveloped tropical paradise on Maui. The Road to Hana Eco-Adventure features miles of lush tropical rain forests, beautiful waterfalls at every turn, narrow one-lane bridges and most importantly colorful and enduring cultural traditions kept by the elders. Hana truly is a world into itself. Discover its stories, live its legends and experience the authentic hospitality with cultural experts as visitors have the rare opportunity to mix with the Aunties of Hana and experience cultural practices and traditions. The guests will travel through the very heart of Maui and all that makes Maui no ka oi (the best!).

The hula and the lei, the dance and the flower are an entwined duo of Hawaiian beauty and grace. The respected islanders can share with you the true spirit of aloha. A noho or seated hula can be taught and shared through basic hula movements and their interpretive meaning. One must look inward to outwardly express the beauty and grace of the native dance.

The island offers Waterfall hiking in natural pool providing a well – deserved swimming reward, horseback riding along the pristine shoreline, standup paddle lessons & ocean snorkeling are all unique experiences you will never forget.

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6. Pringipos, Turkey (pop. 7.000)

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A UNIQUE BEAUTY IN THE AEGEAN SEA 

Pringipos – named Büyükada now, is the3rd biggest island in the Marmara Sea which is only half hour sailing from the Asian shore of Istanbul.   The island is known to be lung of the city, with clear fresh air, where there is no motor vehicles, but all transportation is managed by bikes and horse carriages. The climate and look of the island is more like of an Aegean town, and it’s a wonderful escape from the city even for a day break.

The residents of the island either lives through full year here, or some only stay at summers for their touristic activities. The island welcomes you enthusiastically with people riding bicycles with great merriment, lots of cats and dogs and, of course, seagulls.

Pringipos is the most romantic one among the Istanbul islands.

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7. Koh Rong Island, Cambodia (pop. 300)

Koh Rong

AN IINVITATION “AU VOYAGE”

Located just off-the-coast of Sihanoukville in Southwest Cambodia, Koh Rong is known for its serene beauty and breathtaking scenery, an “island paradise” as described by visiting tourists and a perfect holiday destination for families, couples and small groups of travelers, an island for all tastes and all budgets.

Whether you want to lie back, unwind, and admire the magnificent views, swim in the crystal-clear ocean waters, or explore the exotic wildlife and underwater world, the stunning Koh Rong Island will give you the memories for a lifetime to bring back home.

Relax on the white sandy beaches, contemplate and gaze at the mesmerizing sunsets, dine with the freshest foods.

Why not let yourselves lose in the breathtaking beauty of this spectacular island? Head to Koh Rong Island, whether you’re a backpacker or a seasoned luxury traveler, find a slice of Paradise in the Kingdom of Cambodia!

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8. La Graciosa Island, Spain (pop. 700)

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REDISCOVERING A LOVE FRO SIMPLE THINGS

Few places remain as hidden as this little desert of just 27 square kilometres; the eighth, and least known, of the Canary Islands, located in the Chinijo archipelago. The island is home to just 700 inhabitants, there is no tarmac, no rush, and no stress. You can see incredible sunsets almost every evening or walk barefoot through the sandy streets of the island’s two villages. It is a place where you can try your best to grow tired of eating fresh fish and seafood, swimming next to idyllic beaches and cycling between red and yellow volcanoes. You can also try recreational fishing and scuba diving in Europe’s largest marine reserve, or even bodyboarding, surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing thanks to the waves and perfect wind conditions. An island where the simple things, a natural existence and the slow life are what is important… in short, a getaway that can be enjoyed with all five senses: the view of the blue horizon, the fragrance of the earth, the sound of the waves, the feeling of the sand between your toes and the flavors of the ocean.

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9. Senja, Norway (pop. 15.072)

Senja

A MINIATURE VERSION OF NORWAY

Beautiful Senja is Norway’s second largest island, located far above the Arctic Circle. The Norwegians call the island «Norway in a Nutshell» as you are greeted by an awe-inspiring mix of sea, mountains, beaches, fishing villages and inland areas, all within a few hours’ drive. The Oceanside of the island is precipitous with sculptural rocks and colorful fishing villages in sheltered coves. The inland is filled with mountains, lakes and forests, and the mainland-facing coast sports unexpectedly green.

The scenery in Senja is full of contrasts, with the midnight sun and the northern lights, depending on the season. The «raw» mountain peaks rises straight from the sea along the coast and the combination of sea and mountains is ideal for those who participate in outdoor activities. In summer you are welcome to pick and choose from a wealth of trails for hiking and biking, whilst one of the world’s best fishing grounds and areas to observe the white-tailed eagle are right on your doorstep.

The range of restaurants and eateries in Senja reflects the region’s scenery and nature. To get a real taste of the region, char from Altevatn lake, cod from Senja, and goat cheese from Balsfjorden, are among the local products to try.

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10. The Island of Our Lady of Mercy (Gospa od Milosrđa), Montenegro

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THE HOLY ISLAND

Very few know about this small island known as the Island of Our Lady of Mercy, part of the Krtoli Archipelago located in Tivat Bay. This lush piece of land houses a church bearing the same name and a Franciscan Monastery. As well as Christian importance, the island has a long history of religious rituals for nearly five thousand years.

The history of the buildings on the island date back to 15 Century. Through the centuries buildings were damaged or destroyed by different causes and the current church dates to the 19th Century.

Often confused with the frequently visited Church of Our Lady on the Rocks, this island is an important shrine of pilgrimage and people come here to celebrate the Gregorian calendar’s Feast of Our Lady every year on 15th August. It is also possible to visit other times and enjoy the calm atmosphere and magnificent views of Tivat Bay and surrounding mountains.

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11. Wa Ale, Myanmar

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THE UNSPOILED ISLAND

Choosing an island in Myanmar is a difficult task, there are many of them (more than 800) and each most beautiful than the previous one, but Wa Ale island is without any doubt one of the favorites.

Nested in the Mergui Archipelago, Southern part of Myanmar, and part of the Lampi Marine National park, Wa Ale offers unspoiled beaches and stunning nature difficult to find anywhere else in the world.

There is only one possibility for accommodation, the exclusive eco-resort Wa Ale Island Resort, with 14 rooms that look like coming out from a fairy tale.

There are many activities available in the island, most of them focusing on enjoying the incredible surroundings like: treks, diving, watching wildlife or just relaxing by the beautiful beaches reserved for the handful of visitors that make it to this remote paradise.

Are you ready to disconnect and reconnect in this dreamy island?

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12. VIS Croatia (pop 3.617)

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A REAL FAIRY TALE

Welcome to Mamma Mia fairy tale! Vis is a small, secluded island with turquoise waters and beautiful secluded beaches. It is the furthest inhabited island off the Croatian coast and the most enigmatic. Vis served as a Yugoslav military base and foreign visitors were cut off right up until 1989. You can visit the Tito headquarters in one of the islands cave. The isolation prevented development and caused most of the population to move in search of work leaving the island trapped in time for many years.
Now, lack of development and the search for authenticity has become Vis’ drawcard. Travellers now visit Vis because of the nature, local cuisine, peace and quiet. A rise of visitors is in sight as the movie Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was filmed on this beautiful island. Beat the crowds and book your trip to Vis now!

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13. Mafia Island, Tanzania (pop. 40.801)

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THE INDIAN OCEAN’S MOST HIDDEN GEM

Mafia Island is the largest of a small archipelago of islands and atolls and the southern of three islands -with Pemba and Zanzibar– located off the coast of Tanzania.

Its name doesn’t have any link with the criminal organization but could come from the Arabic morfiyeh, meaning “group” or “archipelago” or from the Swahili mahali pa afya, meaning “a healthy dwelling-place”.

Mafia Island and its reefs are renowned as an excellent diving destination, with an unparalleled variety of hard and soft corals and diversity of tropical fish; the archipelago is one of the best locations in the world for swimming with whale sharks but it also has a rich history that goes back to the 8th century, when it played a major role in ancient trade between the people of East Asia and East Africa.

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14. El Cielo, Mexico

El Cielo

THE TURQUOISE WATER ISLAND

El Cielo is a paradisiacal sandbank named Heaven, where you will find starfish on their own habitat over an incredibly sea turquoise water. Is about ½ mile off the Cozumel coast; a very shallow unique place located in the center of the Caribbean, and only accessible by boat.

The water is only 3-4 ft as far as you can see, with powdered white sand that massages your feet. El Cielo is filled with starfish and stingrays that can be seen from yards away because of the crystal-clear waters of El Cielo. On the way there; you can snorkel or dive at the second biggest coral reef barrel in the world after Australia.

Taking advantage of the scenarios at this lovely island at the Mexican Caribbean, @Nomadic Totem develops different high-end activities and premium services; such as, luxury yachts and catamarans with premium open bar and hor d´ouvers; where you can be the owner for 5 hours and captain of your own boat at the Caribbean with servers and crew taking care of you onboard.

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15. Phu Cuoc, Vietnam (pop. 103.000)

Puh Cuoh

THE SNOW WHITE BEACHES ISLAND

Phu Quoc (pronounced “foo kwok”) – an unassuming Vietnamese island sitting pretty just off the coast of Cambodia – is one of south-east Asia’s best-kept secrets.

The Phu Quoc district is made of 28 islands, most of which are uninhabited while some are planned for development as private resorts. Spanning 574 square kilometres, Phu Quoc Island is where most of the tourism action takes place.

With no accommodation available on site, the island is a popular day trip spot. Its protected waters and picturesque beach can be enjoyed overnight by camping on the beach as part of a tour, but not independently.

There is 150 kilometres of coast with ice cream-soft sand and Phu Quoc Island is home to around 20 unspoilt beaches, trodden mostly by locals or tourists from Asian countries nearby. Khem Beach is one of its most beautiful, overlooking Emerald Bay with powdery white sands caressed by champagne-like effervescent waves.

Sao Beach, considered the “crown jewel” of Phu Quoc, while Long Beach, which boasts a 20-km coast on the west side of the island is ideal for sunsets and among the island’s most popular beaches.

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16. Karimunjawa, Indonesia (pop. 1.400)

Karimunjawa

A HIDDEN PARADISE

Any nature lover will easily fall in love with this place. Afterall, Karimunjawa is a sanctuary – an archipelago of 27 islands north of Semarang and off the coast of Central Java. With turquoise waters, fine white sand, fresh air and breathtaking views, this is the perfect escape from a hectic lifestyle that’ll likely satiate your cravings for fun under the sun.

 Travel experts recommend the best time to go is during the dry season from April to October, as Indonesia is a country with a tropical climate. Pack with you the necessary items to battle the humid weather such as sunblock, umbrella, hats and a pair of sunglasses.

Looking for a luxurious hotel? Kura Kura Resort in Semarang is nestled among coconut trees and surrounded by pristine beaches with white sand.

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, head on over to Menjangan Island. As many sharks have been sighted around the Karimunjawa islands, this has become a tourist attraction. Swimming with these sharks is a must-try activity here. You don’t have to worry since they’re smaller than usual and won’t bite. Aside from sharks, you can also find turtles and the Javan hawk on this island.

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17. Langkawi, Malaysia (pop. 65.000)

Langawi

THE 99 ISLANDS ARCHIPELAGO

The island of Langkawi in Malaysian is a tantalizing mix of folklore, stunning visuals, waterfalls, virgin coral reefs and mangroves inhabited by eagles and other exotic wildlife.

Situated in calm waters of the Andaman Sea, it is designated as south-east Asia’s first ever UNESCO Geopark for its unique geology and tropical geo forests. On top of all that, Langkawi is a duty-free island too.

The best time to visit the island is between December and March, it’s dry season and temperatures are around 30°C or more. It can get quite hot, but there is always a nice breeze in Langkawi.

Top attractions & activities on the island include: 1) Dataran Lang aka The Eagle Square 2) Langkawi Sky Bridge & Cable Car 3) Jetski Island hopping 4) Gunung Raya 5) Kilim Karst Geoforest Park 6) Skytrex Adventure 7) Taman Lagenda 8) Telaga Tujuh aka 9) The Wells Waterfalls 10) Tanjung Rhu & Datai Bay

Try some of them and you will be so excited with your visit there.

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18. Easter Islands, Chile (pop. 5.761)

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THE ENIGMATIC STONE STATUE ISLAND

It was the eighteenth century Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen who named this isle Easter Island after he stumbled across it on Easter Sunday 1722 on his way across the South Pacific. In later years the Polynesian islanders gave the island the title Rapa Nui, but to this day locals still use the name that’s so commonly known worldwide. Situated 3,700 kilometers from the coast of Chile, Easter Island is the most isolated inhabited place on Earth.

Easter Island is most famous for its mysterious monolithic stone statues. Known as Moai, they are believed to have been carved by the Rapa Nui people sometime between 1250 and 1500, depicting the faces of their ancestors. Many statues have been moved to other spots along the coastline and positioned facing inland.

Guided hikes lead visitors around the island to see archaeological sites amidst scenic landscape. In around seven hours, trek along the dramatic northern coast – an area that’s only accessible on foot – from the western edge of the extinct volcano Maunga Terevaka to Anakena beach, with Moai, caves and rock carvings to see along the way.

Anakena on the northern coast is the island’s most popular beach – particularly during the southern hemisphere’s summer months – where white coral sand is lapped by the warm Pacific Ocean with coconut trees swaying in the sea breeze.

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19. Parquerolles Island, France (pop. 200)

Parquerolles

THE CARIBBEAN ISLAND OF FRANCE

Welcome to Porquerolles! A short 10-minutes boat ride away from the coast, the crescent-shaped island nestles a charming village in its centre where you will find a wide and diverse offer of accommodationrestaurants and bike rentals. The best way to discover Porquerolles is hiking or cycling on the numerous marked trails of the National Park.

Porquerolles is a favourite with the French and is busy in the summer and on public holidays. The best months are in late spring, September and October. Late May sees Porquerolles at its most beautiful. Tender shoots are still green and fresh, blossoms exuberant with new colour. Nature fizzes – just before the burn of the summer sun begins and the fading starts.

Porquerolles has two facets: on the southern side, the coast is made of steep cliffs and secluded creeks only accessible to hikers. The northern side, on the other hand, offers fine sand beaches and turquoise waters…our very own Caribbean! As for the core of the island, it is made of fertile plains on which the botanical conservatory grows ancient and unique species. This special island awaits your visit…

 

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20.Cayo Arena, Dominican Republic

Cayo Arena

A PRIVATE PARADISE ISLAND

There are tons of kitschy picture-perfect settings in the Caribbean: a turquoise ocean with endless beaches, palm trees looking diagonally towards the sea, the tropical cocktail during the sunset or the jump into a natural pool of a waterfall. All these typical Caribbean dreams are waiting for you in the Dominican Republic. However, on the north coast of the country, there is a special spot which is more perfect than the mentioned moments and which will even enthuse Caribbean experienced travellers: Cayo Arena with its 7 pretty beach huts on a sandbar which is not that much bigger than 30×90 feet – surrounded by crystal-clear water, a colorful coral reef and the infinity of the ocean. Is there a better spot for taking remarkable photos of the Dominican Republic?

The fascination of Cayo Arena is basically limitless. Besides the incredible setting the coral reef offers an abundance of fishes who are presenting themselves in all colors you even can’t imagine of. And after your snorkeling trip through the underwater world of Cayo Arena you can enjoy a chilled drink and fresh fruits to complete your perfect day in the Caribbean.

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11 European Small Towns Every Traveler Should Visit

A story created with passion and love by BEYOND LIMITS

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When planning your grand European adventure, it’s all too easy to obsess over the essential, big-ticket experiences: taking selfies with the Eiffel Tower, munching pizza near Trevi Fountain, trying to steal the hats off of those Buckingham Palace soldiers. But better to give the beaten path the finger, and head off to explore lesser-known gems in hidden valleys and un-cruise-shipped coves. As you’re no doubt aware, Europe is absolutely stacked with postcard-worthy villages and historical small towns.

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1.  Lofoten Islands, Norway (pop. 24500)

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WHERE CULTURE AND HISTORY MEETS NATURE

Fjords, mountains, white sandy beaches, and surprisingly warm water, that’s Lofoten. A landscape of skerries, red fisherman cabins, lapping waves and the cries of gulls that will ease your tensions away. Not only the endless days but also the midnight sun gives you extra energy and you might find yourself playing golf at midnight, or forgetting to go to bed!

Take a stroll in old, charming fishing villages, where the creative ones settle to find inspiration, active people to find challenges, wanderers to find peace, where we all find endless beauty. Choose to stay in an authentic fisherman cabin, or a panorama suite with both mountain, city and sea view at the same time. Join us by speed boats to explore the beautiful nature and watch sea eagles, catch fish up close, take a hike with rewarding world-class views and enjoy a pier-front meal of self-caught seafood. Lofoten will take your breath away!

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Fishermen Village

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Sandy Beach

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2.  Semur-en-Auxois, France (pop. 4240)

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A FAIRY TALE MEDIEVAL TOWN

Just 250 km from Paris in beautiful Burgundy you will come across one of the best medieval cities of France, Semur–en-Auxois, Discover its high city and its suburbs by the river Armançon, its municipal museum, its history and its exceptional architecture. Drive down the hill into Semur-en-Auxois on a fine day and often you will see artists sketching the citadel. For this, it is a very picturesque town with attractive houses, antique ironmongery on the walls and doors and narrow streets. By day, the magnificent fortress looks onto the pretty valley of the River Armançon with its weeping willows and weirs. By night, the gigantic towers and ramparts are softly illuminated to create a spectacle all their own.

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The Entrance to the Town

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Cobblestone Streets

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3.  Cadaqués, Spain (pop. 2837)

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SENSE AND SENSIBILITY

It is said that on one of his trips to Barcelona, Einstein escaped to Cadaqués after his interest was piqued by a recommendation from one of his hosts. Upon arriving, he was so overwhelmed by the beauty and so affected by emotion that he began to play the violin.

Throughout the twentieth century, this small fishing village was a centre of attraction for great artistic figures, such as Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, García Lorca, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. The latter had childhood attachments to this area, as it was a summer holiday destination for his family.

Cadaqués remains a special place. The Pyrenees come to an abrupt end as they meet the Mediterranean Sea, and the isolation this provides from the surrounding world explains how Cadaqués has been able to preserve its purity. Yesterday, like today, the two thousand and a few inhabitants who live here view it with a very special sense and sensibility. Fortunately, Cadaqués is a dream that nobody has yet awakened from.

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Sunset in Cadaqués

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The View from the Sea

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4.  Bled, Slovenia (pop. 6322)

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A SIGHT IN YOUR MEMORY FOR EVER

Bled is a small town located in Gorenjska region, Slovenia’s most popular resort due to its breath – taking scenery. Lonely Planet chose Bled as one of the top 10 regions to visit in 2018! In the center of everything is Lake Bled (Blejsko jezero). Lake Bled is a picture-perfect mountain lake with emerald green water and a tear shaped isle in the middle. A fairy tale like church stands on the Isle and an imposing medieval Bled Castle stands tall on a rocky cliff overlooking the lake and the town.

Culinary scene of Bled is based on locally produced food. Bled also serves as an access point for Triglav National Park, where eco livestock free range breeding is extremely important and is also a big part of the local tradition. The most famous dish is a desert called Kremšnita, a cake made of vanilla custard and crème.

Bled is known as an access point for many outdoor activities – hiking, biking, swimming, rafting, and various other water sport activities. Rowing boats or more traditional Pletna boats are a great way to explore the lake. For something different, Hot air balloon flights are a great way to experience the amazing and breathtaking views of Lake Bled and nearby Julian Alps.

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Blejski Grad

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The Lake

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5.     Budva, Montenegro (pop. 13300)

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PEARL OF THE ADRIATIC

Budva is welcoming its guests all year around. Either you look for crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean, backed by gorgeous mountains or a vibrant nightlife or even explore the alleyways of the fortified medieval old town, Budva has a lot to offer to its visitors. The city is home to a variety of lodging options ranging from luxurious resorts to small cozy apartments in stone building restored for the comfort of those who seek privacy. As well as the old town, Budva area is home to many fine restaurants offering delicious seafood from the Adriatic Sea.

Budva is also ideally located within the reach of the most untouched parts of the country where nature lovers enjoy lots of adrenaline raising activities in its mountains, lakes and rivers.

An incentive trip combining all these in the beautiful environement of Budva is quite a unique experience to remember.

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Panoramic View

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The Port

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6.  Zhovkva, Ukraine (pop.13594)

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A HIDDEN TREASURE OF UKRAINE

Old Slavic Vinnyky. Medieval Zolkiew. Soviet Nesteriv. With each change in history this town changed its name and appearance. However, the centre is the same as in medieval times and is again called Zhovkva.

Zhovkva is a small Renaissance town 25 km north to Lviv, the former residence of the King of Poland Jan Sobieski III.

Zhovkva was founded in 1594 as a private town, by Polish military commander Stanislaw Zolkiewski who had decided to build a “perfect city”. From those times, the city kept the most glorious monuments: an impressive Zhovkva Castle, marvelous St. Lawrence Catholic Church, which is a real Renaissance work of art, a sophisticated house of the Town Hall, and a spacious Vicheva Square.The history of the city keeps memory of the numerous historical events that influenced the development of not only Ukraine, but also the entire Europe. In different periods, such famous people as Napoleon Bonaparte, B. Khmelnitsky and Peter I visited Zhovkva. The entire central part of the town has the status of historical and cultural reserve of national importance. The Church of Holy Trinity was listed as the UNESCO World Heritage, amongst 16 wooden churches of the Carpathian Region.

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A Panoramic View

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The Square

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7.  Alaçatı, Turkey (pop. 9745)

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ROMANTIC WEEKENDS

Alaçatı as an extension of Cesme resort in Izmir, a small town  for calmness, relaxation and recovery. You can find small, cozy and romantic hotels in this town. It offers you a lot of possibilities; a beautiful nature, excellent restaurants & cozy cafes, romantic bars, a lot of shops and antique stores, one of the most famous open bazaars of the region, the beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters and some of the best wind and kite surfing paradise in the country. It is a unique place to fall in love. With its mild climate, it is considered a beautiful holiday destination throughout the year.

Stay in a boutique hotel, walk along the narrow streets surrounded by typical stone houses of the town, visit the small antiquity shops in the hidden corners that will offer you memorable souvenirs to pamper yourself, taste the delicious Aegean vegetable cuisine in the small restaurants, walk to the hill of the hundred years old windmills for photoshoot , sit on the beach and watch the windsurfers dancing on the sea. Enjoy every breath you take in this small Aegean Town…That is all about Alacati.

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Alacati Sokaklari

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Sokak

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8.  Asolo, Italy (pop. 9085)

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THE CITY OF A HUNDRED HORIZONS

Just 80 km from Venice, defined by Giosuè Carducci the City of a Hundred Horizons, Asolo is one of the most picturesque old town centres in Italy. Contained within the ancient walls that branch off from the 12th century fortress, in every corner it preserves testimonies of its thousand-year old history. A fascinating place on the rolling Asolan hills, Asolo was a destination for poets and writers, artists and travellers that found inspiration and harmony here. Among them the English poet Robert Browning, the Divine theatre actress Eleonora Duse, the composer Gian Francesco Malipiero, the English writer and traveller Freya Stark. A visit to Asolo allows you to combine the pleasure for history and culture with that of dining. In taverns, restaurants, cafes and wine bars that overlook the characteristic arcades and squares you can enjoy delicious dishes prepared with the finest local produce and linked to the Venetian culinary tradition, such as the delicious “Cicchetti” (venetians tapas). All accompanied by a glass of sparkling Asolo Prosecco Superiore DOCG, the excellence of this land.

 

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Canal Bridge in Asolo

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Τhe Castle

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9.  Kazimierz Dolny, Poland (pop. 3572)

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ROYAL AND CHARMING

Kazimierz Dolny is not only one of the oldest, but also one of the most charming towns in Poland. Located 140 km from Warsaw, it proudly stretches on the Vistula bank. Being a royal city and one of the main shipping ports during the Golden Age, it is now a place full of picturesque wooden villas and beautiful verandas, which are an outstanding architectural jewel.

The unique natural landscape of the Vistula valley strengthens the charm of this town, which is surrounded by a dense loess network of woody green hills and magnificent lush gardens. The atmosphere of not only artistic bohemia, but also traces of the Jewish “shtetl Kuzmir” together with the culture, spirit of the Renaissance and idyllic landscape attract thousands of visitors each year.

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Photos by courtesy of Town Hall in Kazimierz Dolny

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A Great View of the Town (Photos by courtesy of Town Hall in Kazimierz Dolny)

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10.   Milos, Greece (pop.900)

 

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A GREEK ISLAND LIKE NO OTHER

Milos, like Santorini, is an island that is not only rich in spectacular sunset views and minerals but also in the things that travelers come to Greece looking for: beautiful beaches, inspiring views, a rich history, white-washed Cycladic villages, excellent food and good-hearted people. Combined with Sifnos, one hour away, Milos makes a perfect holiday destination for those who want to experience the real Greece in all its beauty, without the crowds that are found in the more popular Greek Islands and at a fraction of the price.

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A Fishing Village

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Famous Beach

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11.   Rovinj, Croatia (pop. 14294)

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ROMANTIC SPIRIT

Rovinj is a town in Croatia situated on the western coast of Istrian peninsula. First built on a small island and later connected with the mainland, Rovinj is a typical Istrian town. Steep and narrow cobbled streets are full of local shops and art galleries. A majestic Cathedral of Saint Euphemia stands tall on a hill overlooking the town. Despite being a major tourist destination, Rovinj remains one of the last true Mediterranean fishing ports. Tradition and romantic spirit of the town are best experienced during warm summer nights, when a visit to one of numerous music concerts under the stars is mandatory. There you can combine traditional Istrian music with seafood delicacies drizzled in homemade olive oil, and delicious local wine. And if you wish to indulge in dining of the highest class, it is worth noting that since 2017 Rovinj is the only place in Croatia that has a Michelin star restaurant.

Rovinj and its surroundings have a lot to offer. Just off the coast lies so called Rovinj archipelago, consisting of 14 small islands which make for pleasant afternoon trips. Various water sport activities offer great fun in a crystal-clear sea such as sailing, scuba diving, canoe rides, and fishing. Or hop on a boat and head into the Lim valley canal and visit mystic pirate caves.

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Lovely Rovinj

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Mirroring of the Town

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HOW TO GROW YOUR FOLLOWERS AND BE INSTA-FAMOUS ON INSTAGRAM

We all know that social media rules the world these days, right? We also already know that social media is one of the most effective marketing tools out there. Instagram is right now one of the most popular haunts for all Travel bloggers, and as DMCs we are uniquely placed to be able to take advantage of this growing community of people worldwide ravenously devouring Travel dreams.

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5 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CLIENTS COMING BACK

For the last two years we had arranged a series of successful trips for my client Futuresoft France. We maintained a lovely relation over this time, organizing and arranging trips for their best clients. However, the third year I lost them to another agency. I don’t begrudge losing them as a client. However, it did get me wondering, “where did we go wrong?”

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HOW TO GET A VIRTUAL PERSONAL ASSISTANT CUSTOMIZED JUST FOR YOU!

Hi. I am Savas Kazantzides, the founder of Beyond Limits, a Travel and Event Collective of passionate, global organizers who go Beyond Limits to redefine the travel MICE industry from a logistical arrangement to an absolute life changing experience.

One of the first things we shared amongst fellow members of our Collective was how much we struggle to keep up with the tons of business cards we have in our possession and how to locate one when we really need it.

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