Hello, 2019! I hope you put last year’s list to good use. Were you able to visit all the recommendations from the bloggers? If not, keep it, still. There’s no rush. You can still visit those places whenever you please.
Today, I gathered new faces and new destinations that will surely give you inspiration for your next destination. This selection is fresh, enticing and might be new in your travel vocab so listen up! Here are the best trips 2019 according to travel bloggers.
1. City escapade in Singapore
Okay, I know you might think this is not a strong start for this list but last month, I have discovered there are so many things to do in Singapore that even a frequent visitor like me has never explored before.
When we go to Singapore, the first word we think about is “expensive” and this limits our ability to explore such a great city. I discovered places like the Cloud Forest at Gardens by the bay, which, at the moment is my top recommendation when visiting Singapore. Similar to the Supertree Groves, the Cloud Forest has also considered the environment when it comes to the structure. Solar panels, proper water system and effective electricity conservation are some of the things that guarantee a construction like this are not harmful to the environment.
Singapore has one of the most interesting food cultures in Asia so don’t forget to try everything! For me, SG has one of the richest cultures when it comes to food. From the Chinese and Malay influences, explore the best of food fusion by tasting the great collective customs of Hawker food in Singapore.
2. Take a trip to Bartolome Island in Galapagos
It took me long research and brainstorming with my travel companion before deciding to take a trip to the Galapagos. Not that I was being difficult, on the contrary. My only concern was the budget, as I am on a long-term journey through South America and a trip to the Galapagos Islands would have brutally affected my average spent. However, we found a way to explore the spectacular Ecuadorian Marine Reserve without splurging and I talk about it in my detailed and comprehensive guide. Although we were tight on certain things, such as food and accommodation, we still wanted to make the most of our stay and visit all the best spots.
Bartolome’ island was one of them, an absolute must see, all worth the 200 USD cost for the one day trip.
I was just fascinated by the spectacular views you get from the top of the Vulcano, (after a short hike) the moon-like landscape of the dry slopes contrasting the bright blue of the ocean and there you have the classic Galapagos photos as you would have seen in all the travel brochures. Well, I was now there photographing it. It was out of this world.
But the true highlights of this trip were to me others, first a pod of 10 or more dolphins racing with our boat on the way to our destination. So incredible. Right at that moment, I felt that special connection with mother nature, so difficult to describe in words. I was almost in tears.
The second amazing gift I received was during the snorkeling time, after the hike. I was behind the group as I like to swim around at my own pace and suddenly in front of me 2 penguins swimming at the speed of light, like bullets in the air. But I managed to see them fading away in the blue of the ocean. That alone made my day.
3. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Seeing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the top things to do when visiting Sydney. It does sit smack bang in the middle of the harbour though, so is quite hard to miss. But don’t just look at it, experience it. You can climb to its very top, or walk across it at car level, or climb one of the pylons.
Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is up there with going to the top of the Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building. It is super high at 134m above the water. Not as high as the Eiffel Tower, but here there are no lifts, no comfortable paths or safety fences. Here you are climbing a structure, completely exposed to the elements and is physically very challenging. The whole climb up and back takes approximately 3.5 hours with lots and lots of steps.
However, I felt completely safe. You are attached to the Bridge with ropes at all times and the sense of exhilaration and achievement you have at the end of this epic adventure makes any nervousness worth battling through.
4. Champagne region road trip in France
Champagne region, with its rolling hills, is a beautiful day trip from Paris by car. Champagne is well known for the champagne wine, the drink linked to celebrations and luxury. Champagne wine is only produced in this area, with specific kind of grapes and under very strict methods of production, that’s why the champagne is so special!
We recommend starting your Champagne explorations from Epernay, the capital city of Champagne. Along Avenue the Champagne, also known as the world’s most expensive avenue, you will find the most exclusive champagne producers, such as Moët Chandon, Mercier or Pol Roger. Join a guided tour to learn the story of the champagne wine and get a taste of their grand crus. Then take your car to explore the countryside, perhaps stopping at 1 or 2 small champagne producers to fill your cellar. Finally, visit the cute small town of Hautvilliers and its little abbey, where a young monk named Dom Perignon, “invented” the technique to produce champagne wines.
We recommend visiting the Champagne region during fall, after the harvest, to see the fields and hills with beautiful reds, yellows, and browns.
5. Luxury train ride through South India
Earlier this year I visited India for the very first time. I went on an incredible 8-day train journey through South India in the region of Karnataka more exactly. The Golden Chariot is a luxury train going from Bangalore to Goa stopping. Every day you stop to visit breathtaking locations like the old city of Hampi, Mysore Palace or to go for a safari in Kabini to see the Bengal tigers. The last stop before it returns to Bangalore is Goa, where you can decide to end your trip to fully enjoy the beaches. When you come back to the Golden Chariot train, you can enjoy the service of a 5 stars hotel. Every carriage as its own butler to satisfy your every need. The Golden Chariot also has 2 restaurants on board, a bar, a gym and you can even get a massage or a facial. Such a unique experience to discover India!
6. Road trip from Morocco to Guinea Bissau
When most travelers decide to hit Africa, they go for the known spots such as Egypt, Kenya or Tanzania. However, they are missing all the wonders of West Africa. The best way to explore this region is by taking a road trip from Morocco to Guinea Bissau. You’ll enjoy a new Africa you didn’t know existed.
This isn’t an easy trip; it’s more like an epic adventure. You’ll need to have some good driving skills and, above all, you’ll need to have a lot of patience. Dealing with the border police in some African countries can be exhausting. However, if you plan carefully and have all the proper documentation (visas, permits for entering a car in Senegal), it should be alright. Once you have solved the bureaucratic situation, you’ll be able to explore ancient cities like Marrakech, visit camel markets, and cross the surreal Sahara, the biggest desert on earth.
After that, you’ll get to Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea, three of the friendliest countries you can visit in West Africa.
7. Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik
By visiting various locations in Dubrovnik, you will have a great opportunity to discover the most memorable scenes from the famous television series, Game of Thrones. On this walking tour, you will explore:
- The city’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town, by walking along historical streets and walking up the city walls. You can visit the Ethnographic Museum, Jesuit Staircase, Rectors Palace, St. Dominic Street – all these locations used to film exterior scenes. The highest point of the city’s walls is Minčeta Tower, which gives you a stunning view of the Old Town, used for shots of King’s Landing.
- Fort Lovrijenac (the filming location of The Red Keep), a 11th-century castle perched high above the sea. Entrance into the Fortress is free with your ticket to the city walls.
- Lokrum island is just about 15 minutes by taxi boat from the old city harbor. Visit Benedictine Monastery where some of the garden scenes were filmed. At the Visitor’s center, there’s a special Game of Thrones exhibit. You can also visit here some of the best beaches near Dubrovnik.
And if you find yourself wanting more, check out other film locations, such as Tristano Arboretum, one of the oldest arboretums in Croatia, Gradac Park, and Hotel Belvedere.
8. Hiking Montenegro’s Mountainous National Parks
Montenegro is a little seaside country hiding in the Balkans. While its beaches are quite nice, the mountains of Montenegro are out of this world. There are mainly two mountainous national parks I’d recommend you to visit:
Durmitor National Park
Durmitor mountain range will take your breath away. It’s been a UNESCO World Heritage Site already since 1980. If you like to spend a day hiking up to a mountain peak, go for Crvena Greda (2,164m) or Bobotov Kuk (2,523m). Both offer stunning views of surrounding mountains dotted by glacial lakes. The hikes can be a bit strenuous but believe me – the views are well worth it. And what’s even better – you’ll hardly meet any tourists.
Biogradska Gora National Park
This National Park revolves around a glacial lake called Biogradsko jezero. The easiest hike you can do is just to walk around the lake – it takes about an hour.
Biogradsko jezero is surrounded by Bjelasica Mountains covered by one of the largest virgin forests in Europe. The area offers plenty of hiking opportunities, mostly easier than the high peaks of Durmitor.
9. Overnight camping in Wadi Rum, Jordan
Visiting Jordan’s Wadi Rum is definitely bucket list worthy and should not be missed. While so many visitors to Jordan explore holy sites in the country or take a short trip to Petra, not enough spend time in Wadi Rum and explore the breathtaking scenery and hospitality in one of the Wadi Rum camps.
Visiting the heart of Wadi Rum is done by hiring a 4×4 truck and driver. Known as a “Jeep Tour” visitors can book a 2 hour tour into the desert with time to climb up sand dunes, visit a bedouin tent for tea and plenty of time for photo spots. For those who want to see more of the desert, tours can be booked that are 3 hour, 4 hour or a full day option. Your guide will take you to see spots such as “Lawrence’s House,” point out Nabatean carvings, explore arch bridges and stop at the best place to watch the sunset!
Experiencing the vastness and the beauty of Wadi Rum is one of my favourite parts of Jordan. After a day in the back of the truck, climbing sand dunes and taking hundreds of photos, visitors to Wadi Rum can return to their camp, enjoy a hot meal and relax under the massive starry sky.
10. Old Havana self-guided walk
Havana beguiles. It enchants you and draws you in slowly but inexorably with its architecture, art, music, colors and people. The best way to explore this colonial gem is on foot with a self-guided walk through the Old Havana.
An efficient way of ensuring you hit the most interesting and historically significant points is to visit the four main plazas; Plaza de la Catedral, where you can see Havana’s 1800 century baroque cathedral nestled in a colonial plaza, Plaza Vieja with its cafes and eclectic art exhibits, Plaza de San Francisco, alive with restaurants and art galleries and, finally, Plaza de Armas where Havana was founded in 1519 and surrounded my fascinating museums. This is a walk that can last half an hour or days depending on your interests.
There is so much more to see in Old Havana. Any little street or alley way can lead to a delightfully unexpected experience like a visit to a chocolate museum or a café in someone’s living room. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this truly unique city.
11. Biking around Big Corn Island, Nicaragua
The Corn Islands are one of Nicaragua’s best-kept secrets, the majority of people have simply never heard of them! For that reason, we encourage you to visit them sooner rather than later.
Described as Jamaica before tourism, the Corn Islands are made up of Big Corn Island and Little Corn Island, both found off the east coast – think perfect Caribbean beaches with no one else on them but you.
Many people go straight to Little Corn Island, but if you want the best trip to the Corn Islands we highly recommend spending time on Big Corn Island, hiring a bicycle and exploring all it has to offer.
You can cycle around the entire island in as little as an hour. However we suggest you take your time and stop for lunch at Spekitos to see the Nurse Sharks, cycle up the to the highest point for the best views (it is a challenge) and then stop at one of the pristine beaches to dive into crystal clear waters and swim with the abundant sealife. It truly is a magical place.
Click here for a full guide to the Corn Islands.
12. Climbing Erta-Ale volcano in Ethiopia
Seemingly far away, I could see a faint red glow high up in the sky: the Erta-Ala volcano. It is one of the few active volcanoes in the world where you can witness a lava lake. To get to the top, you need to hike uphill for about 3 hours on black sand and solified lava rocks. You hike in the dark, which adds to the challenge. Once you get closer to the rim, you can already smell the toxic fumes of the volcano. And then you see it: the lava lake! You can sit here for a while, to witness the absolute spectacle of lava eruptions, whirling lava streams and fires in the deep. After that, you sleep in the open-air on the rim of the volcano before descending again. A truly unforgettable experience! Most people visit Erta-Ale volcano together with the Danakil Depression. You can’t visit by Erta-Ale or Danakil Depression by yourself, a tour with armed guards is obligatory, due to security risks in the area.
13. Staycation in Port Dickson, Malaysia
Port Dickson is located in the west coast of Malaysia, less than 100km away from Kuala Lumpur, and 300km+ from Singapore.
The place is well known for their resort stays and particularly those with a private pool especially Lexis Hibiscus. The reason why we are looking at this because we wanted a staycation out of Singapore and some places where we can just relax and chill in the resort.
Every room has their private pool, and they currently hold the World Record for “the most number of swimming pool in a resort.” The resort is also one of Malaysia’s iconic beach resort and they are the only one in the shape of a Hibiscus – Malaysia National Flower.
What I like about this resort is the private pool, you can basically soak yourself in the water all day. Best for a family with kids, where they can have the whole pool to themselves.
14. Take a trip to Kolukkumalai, India
Kolukkumalai is a small hamlet at the border of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is famous for breathtaking views and the highest organic tea estate in the world with an altitude of almost 8000 feet. The bumpy ride through the unforgettable greenery is an experience to remember. You can choose to trek 9km to the peak of Kolukkumalai instead of taking a jeep. There are mountain huts and permanent camps in the tea estates for those who would like to stay in the lap of nature.
Throughout the trip, the sprawling green tea gardens will entertain you with occasional glimpses of perennial waterfalls, tiny creeks, and colorful blossoms. The trip to Kolukkumalai is attractive throughout the year, but late monsoon period of October and November is when it is at its best. When in Kolukkumalai, you should never miss a guided tour of the highest tea factory in the world. The orthodox method of tea production here ensures superior quality which earned it the Golden leaf award from tea boards in India and abroad. The sunrise at Kolukkumalai is also a treat to the eyes.
15. Hot air balloon ride over Cappadocia
I had seen dreamy photos of hot-air balloons over Cappadocia almost since Instagram launched. Which is why I was determined to make the journey to this magical place on a recent trip to Turkey. Let me get the suspense out of the way first by saying that the experience is totally worth it.
After signing for the balloon tour the previous night through our hotel, we were picked up at the ungodly hour of 4.30 in the morning to be taken to the landing area where many balloons were being filled with gas to take us up. There was a slight hiccup in terms of wind speed though so we had to miss the sunrise and fly later when the conditions got better.
Even then, the sheer joy of getting up in the air with an admiring the Mars-like landscape of Cappadocia and gliding over its weird rock formations put a smile on everyone’s face. We competed with nearby balloons to get higher and admired the landscape that opened up below and near us. When it was finally over, we touched down and celebrated with non-alcoholic champagne. This is an experience to be seen rather than read, trust me.
16. Road trip in the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia
If you love to do road trips, then one of the most scenic places to visit for 2019 is the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. The entire Dalmatian coastline is filled with historic cities, towns and amazing scenic landscapes that make a drive around the coastal areas worth the time and a perfect trip visiting Croatia. Driving from historic Dubrovnik all the way north to Zadar and then to Rijecka is a fantastic way to absorb and enjoy the stunning beauty of the entire Croatian coastline and take your time to visit the many beautiful places along the way.
Outside of visiting the main cities and attractions, a DIY drive allows you to stop and go as you please and visit some of the smaller and unique places to visit along the way including the gorgeous island city of Trojir, Ston and alluring Primostene – a hill town located right on the coast with gorgeous views all around the small peninsula. These historic little towns ooze of Mediterranean charm, Venetian Splendor and architecture from so many different rulers of these pristine coastlines. For more inspiration in visiting the Dalmatian coast and the main attractions to explore, check out the best of the Dalmatian coast here for more inspiration of what to see and do in this magnificent part of Croatia and the entire Mediterranean.
17. Hill Country Sri Lanka by train
Sri Lanka was named by Lonely Planet as the top destination to visit in 2019 and there’s no better way to experience the pearl of the Indian Ocean than by train through the stunning Hill Country. The train journey from Kandy to Ella has often been described as one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s not hard to see why as the train slowly weaves its way past mountains, jungle and through emerald green tea plantations. It’s a must for your Sri Lanka itinerary.
The best way to take in the views is from the train doorways where you can sit or even stand hanging out of the train, there are no rules here! The doorways are the most popular spots so you won’t be alone, but it will definitely be an experience.
The journey begins in Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second biggest city. From here you can choose to take the train all the way to Ella (another beautiful hillside town) or stop at Nuwara Eliya (Little England) or Haputale – one of our favourite places in Sri Lanka with the famous Lipton’s Seat sunrise viewpoint. The full journey takes anywhere between seven and nine hours but we would definitely recommend stopping along the way.
18. Walking through the fairy stream, Mui Ne, Vietnam
There are many things you can do in Mui Ne, but what I highly recommend you do not miss is walking through the Fairy Stream. The stream that is allowed to be entered and enjoyed by visitors is about a kilometre long. You will experience walking through a fresh stream that is just above ankle deep, see small fishes swimming, and enjoy the rock formations around this stream. You can also climb the hills that are covered with red-orange sand and try not to sink too deep. In the main entrance, the trees on both sides touch each other making a magical scenery. Getting here is very easy too, you can either hop on a tour or simply rent a motorbike or hop on a motorbike taxi and tell the driver the name of the place. If you are staying on the main strip of Mui Ne where most accommodations are located, you simply drive your motorbike straight towards the main town and you will see a sign of Fairy Stream.
19. Running the Easter Island Marathon in Chile
Easter Island is one of the most remote islands in the world. You can reach Easter Island one of two ways: a 5.5-hour flight from the capital, Santiago, or a four-hour flight from Tahiti. Either way, you want to make sure that you optimize your stay on this fascinating island as much as you can.
One of the most unique things to do on Easter Island is to participate in the Easter Island Marathon. It is a small annual sporting event on the island where no more than 200 runners from all around the world compete in a 10k, half marathon or the full marathon race.
The Easter Marathon is scheduled for June 2, 2019. You can either independently register and arrange your own way to get there or to join a marathon tour company to do it.
The running expo is a small and intimate spaghetti dinner, where you also pick up your running gear and running bib. The next morning, you can participate in the traditional Rapanui Sunday Mass. The race starts right after that at 9:15 am.
For the full marathon, you’ll run along the backbone island road to Anakena Beach, the other side of Easter Island. It is a quiet, but meaningful marathon with surreal beauty. And the finish line is a treat, marked by an ancient moai in overlooking Hanga Roa Harbor.
20. A trek to the roof of Africa to conquer Mt Kilimanjaro
If you are looking for something amazing to add to your travel bucket list for 2019, we thoroughly recommend a trek to the roof of Africa to conquer Mt Kilimanjaro.
The best thing about Mt Kilimanjaro is that it’s one of the most accessible mountains with routes suitable for every type of trekker. We chose the 8-day Lemosho Route which allows you to slowly acclimatize to the altitude. This is important as it dramatically increases your chances of reaching the peak.
While it’s not the hardest of peak challenges, it’s by no means an ‘easy’ hike either! It’s one of the most mentally and physically challenges hikes we’ve ever done. Luckily, you don’t need any special equipment or technical skills to complete the hike, you also don’t have to worry about carrying your own gear all the way up the mountain. An entire village of porters will come with you on the journey to help you carry your gear and other equipment, to cook for you, care for you and do what they can to help you summit the peak.
Nothing could have prepared us for the overwhelming sense of joy we felt when we saw that wooden sign declaring that we had reached the summit. It’s breathtakingly beautiful at the top and the sense of achievement at the end of it all is like nothing we have ever experienced before! It’s absolutely a bucket list experience!
Check out our video about the experience to get a bit more excited about this incredible adventure!
21. Scuba Diving Cenotes in Mexico
For a unique experience, one of best trips to take in 2019 has to be diving in the cenotes around Tulum in Mexico. Cenotes are natural pools and cave systems formed when limestone bedrock collapses to leave sinkholes that fill with water. There are hundreds of cenotes all over the Yucatan region of Mexico, from single pools to miles of caves running underground. One of the best places for cenote diving in Tulum on the Riviera Maya. Not only does the town have spectacular beachfront Mayan ruins, but there are also lots of cenotes nearby to explore. Cenote diving is different from sea diving as there are no waves or currents in the cenotes, and less fish to spot. I did see a crocodile though! Most of the cenotes are fresh water, but some have an interesting mix which creates halocline, and ‘layers’ of fresh and salt water which dramatically reduce visibility. You need to dive with a guide who knows the safe routes in and around the cenote caverns, so you don’t lose your way, Cenote diving sessions can be arranged with one of the many Tulum diving schools. If you don’t dive, then snorkeling is almost as much fun!
22. Traditions of the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea
If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination, head to Papua New Guinea, a country that had its first contact with the Western world only in the 19th-century. Traveling to Papua New Guinea is challenging, but the traditions and unique culture make up for the effort.
We traveled to the Sepik River in the northwestern of PNG, with jungles and isolated villages. The only way to explore the Sepik is by dugout canoes, following the strong river and taking shortcuts on shallow water canals after the rainy season.
Several villages are scattered along the Sepik River; Pagwi, Kanganamum, Korogo, Yenchen, and Wamerak among the most important settlements. Traditional dances play an essential role and vary from one community to another, depending on the village’s clans and beliefs. Crocodile dance in Yenchen, the Cassowary dance and the Haus Tambaran mask dance – both in Kanganamum – are incredible dances that took us back in time as we watched in awe the dancers in traditional gear.
Villages have different clans, with one or more spirit house reserved for the men. The eagle, crocodile, and pig are considered the strongest of all clans and are usually represented during celebrations. Especially the crocodile, with a dance and a ceremony dedicated to it, where crocodile scarification is done on young men.
We loved our trip to Papua New Guinea and can recommend for adventurers and experienced travelers.
23. Walking the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is a network of pilgrimage routes mainly through Spain, Portugal, and France. Walking the Camino gives a unique opportunity to explore both famous and off the beaten path places, to meet interesting people, to challenge yourself (yes, to walk 800 km at once is quite a challenge) and to enjoy slow travel when for a month or so you move only at walking speed. Many people associate Camino de Santiago with the French Camino – the most popular one but in fact there are many routes, they all start in different cities across Spain, Portugal, and France and finish in Santiago de Compostela. You can walk any of them or if you’re like us a big hiking lover you can try to walk all of them (we’ve done 4 Caminos so far). All established routes have similar infrastructure; the way is marked with yellow arrows and shells painted on the walls, ground, poles etc. There are special hostels for pilgrims called albergues, they are exclusively for pilgrims, it’s very cheap to stay in them, between 5 and 6 Euro. There are 6 main Camino routes to choose from; Camino Frances – the most popular one; Portuguese Camino – starts either in Lisbon or Porto, coastal route from Porto is very beautiful; Camino del Norte – a scenic route along the coast of Northern Spain; Camino Primitivo – the original Camino de Santiago, walked by King Alfonso II in the 9th century; Via de la Plata – the toughest and the longest Camino walk, over 1000 km from Seville; Camino Ingles – the shortest route, 120km, a good option for a first-timer. Whichever route you choose walking the Camino is a lifetime experience, a very special trip that you’ll never forget.
24. Road trip around Iceland’s Westfjords
Iceland has become a hugely popular destination in recent years, but it’s still possible to avoid the crowds as most people stick to the well-worn path of the Golden Circle and Ring Road.
We created a different Iceland itinerary that took us off the beaten track to the remote Westfjords in the far northwest of the island. It can be a bumpy ride on the rough gravel roads, but the breathtaking fjords, beaches, waterfalls, and hot springs make it worth it. We were often the only people around.
Highlights of the Westfjords include the stunning Dynjandi waterfall, the huge red sand beach Rauðasandur, Látrabjarg Cliffs where you can see puffins in summer, and the pretty town of Ísafjörður.
There are many isolated hot springs and geothermal swimming pools in the area, and they cost a fraction of the price of the famous Blue Lagoon. Our favorite was Krossneslaug, a warm outdoor swimming pool overlooking the sea along the rugged Strandir coast. We felt like we’d reached the end of the world.
The Westfjords are best visited from May to September as the mountain passes can be closed due to snow in the winter. We visited in September and got to see snowy mountains and the northern lights.
25. Miner’s lunch 61 meters underground, Bendigo
One of the most unique trips (and meals!) you could ever experience in 2019 would have to be an underground mine tour of the Central Deborah Gold Mine – which includes an authentic miner’s lunch! Located just under two hour’s drive from Melbourne, this was once a fully operational gold mine. It is now a popular Bendigo tourist attraction with plenty to see and do, however the real excitement is to be found underground, with several mine tour options to choose from. An Underground Adventure Tour includes gearing up in genuine miner’s clothes and taking the lift down 61 metres. Here you will be guided along dark tunnels by torch-light and descend a series of ladders to reach as far down as 85 metres. During your tour you’ll discover gold veins in the tunnel walls, try swinging a miner’s pick, operate a drill and learn the stories of the miners – how they worked and survived underground. During your tour you’ll even get to learn first-hand how the miners ate, by eating a delicious miner’s lunch in a large carved-out underground room. Here you can enjoy a hot Cornish Pastie, a hardy but tasty pastry designed just for miners. It features a pastry “handle” which can be discarded after dirty hands have held it whilst eating. Inside, the pastie contains a vegie mix filling at one end and an apple pie desert filling at the other! This ingenious meal is not only very serviceable for miners, it also remains a very tasty treat in modern-day mine tours. If you’re visiting Melbourne, Australia, the Central Deborah Gold Mine is well-worth a visit.
26. Road trip from Muscat to Salalah in Oman
Oman is an extremely hot and humid country located on the Arabian Peninsula, which hardly witnesses cool weather and greenery at any time of the year. The capital city of Muscat situated in the North of Oman experiences sunny and hot weather throughout the year. However, on contrary, the southern city of Salalah turns into a lush green paradise with misty weather and seasonal rains during the monsoon time (July to September). The journey from Muscat to Salalah is an epic 1000km long road trip passing through small towns and a desert. Locals claim to complete the road trip in seven to eight hours, however, for first-timers like us, it tool dot twelve hours to complete the journey. After the first three hundred kilometers, the journey further continues on a single lane narrow road right in between a desert. It seems like an illusion to see plain golden sand in the horizon for long nine to ten hours during the longest leg of the road trip. The dry and hot scenery suddenly changes into green mountains covered in fog as soon as you drive past to the other side of the mountain. Locals say that the greenery and beauty of Salalah is the reward which heat-struck people of Muscat gets after a 1000km drive through the desert. This road trip is surely unique considering its distance and the sudden atmospheric change from dry desert to green mountains.
27. Lisbon by foot
Lisbon, Portugal was recently named “World’s Leading City Destination” at the World Travel Awards. The secret is out. Lisbon is safe, sunny, full of history and culture, and delightfully affordable. Now is the time to visit, while it’s still relatively new on the tourism scene.
Though hilly, Lisbon is best seen on foot. It’s possible to walk to most of the city’s best attractions with the help of public transit here and there. We stayed for a full month last Fall, but we highly recommend staying at least three days in Lisbon to see the highlights.
First, spend quality time in the historic center – this is the flattest part of town, chock full of impressive buildings and commercial activities. Next, wander the streets of the historic Alfama neighborhood and admire colorful cityscapes from various scenic viewpoints. Finally, head down the river to the former port of Belém and stop into a more modern hot spot, LX Factory.
This three-day Lisbon itinerary will bring you to the best of Lisbon’s past and present. Don’t forget the yummy seafood, Portuguese pastries, inspiring street art, and unique souvenir spots along the way.
28. 10 days through the Middle East
Travelers craving exotic yet rich experiences must visit the Middle East in 2019. In only 10 days in the Middle East, any traveler can sample the best of the region (and North Africa) while experiencing five seemingly similar but very contrasting cultures:
Jordan (3 Days): The Martian landscape of Wadi Rum deep in the Arabian desert, and the Lost City of Petra, a stone city and archeological site good enough for Indiana Jones alone are worth a trip to the Middle East
Beirut, Lebanon and Around (2 Days): The Paris of the Middle East will surprise you with French-influenced sights and tastes wrapped in a still very Arabian experience, surrounded by millennia-old ruins
Israel (3 Days): Experience the Middle East’s most progressive city (Tel Aviv) contrasted by the conservative city (Jerusalem old town) that arguably influenced more of the last 2,000 years than anywhere else on earth
Bethlehem, Palestine (½ Day): Walk (or ride) from Israel into Palestine to gain a new perspective on what the world is really like.
Cairo, Egypt (18 Hours): Experience 4000+ years of history and culture in less than a day, from the Pyramids of Giza to full-blown chaos of the legendary Khan al-Khalili “Suq” (Market)
29. Tour du Mont Blanc
The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the premiere long-distance hikes and destinations in Europe and the world – if you enjoy hiking through massive mountain vistas, this is the trek for you! The TMB traverses the Alps of France, Italy, and Switzerland over a 10-12 day time period, covering 170 km. While challenging due to its extensive elevation gain and loss (approximately 10,000 m total), this iconic hike is well-marked and well-traveled. As you loop around the massive mountains making up this mountain range, you’ll cover rocky peaks and stunning flower-hewn valleys along the way. Keep an eye out for marmots, ibex, and other mountain wildlife.
There are huts and B&Bs in which to stay along the TMB route, and the jovial company of your fellow TMB hikers at breakfast and dinnertime make for a fun experience. The hiking season starts around the end of June and goes into October – consider avoiding the end of August, when the Ultra Trail Marathon takes place. Fulfill your adventure bucket list destination with the Tour du Mont Blanc and you won’t be disappointed!
30. South Africa Garden Route
Some of the most beautiful places to visit in South Africa are located along the Garden Route, in the Western Cape. This part of the country is packed with beautiful, long and sandy beaches; forests and mountains that are perfect for hiking; and lovely small cities that are nice to explore. The best way to visit the Garden Route is via a road trip, making various stops along the way to enjoy the scenery and the atmosphere.
Among the nicest places there are Wilderness, a tiny town that offers access to a multitude of fantastic hiking trails; Knysna, located in a lagoon: here, the most famous attraction is the Knysna Heads, which can be seen pretty much from anywhere in the city; Plettenberg Bay, which has a bunch of fantastic beaches; and Tsitsikamma National Park, which is perfect for nature lovers and where there are several hiking trails of various lenght and difficulty.
31. Slovakian Castles by car
Slovakia punches way above its weight with castles, in fact, the moderately sized European country is home to over 100 castles in total. Some are majestic hill-top tourist attractions like the capital’s very own Bratislava Castle, some are lesser known ruins such as Beckov Hrad.
The remote whereabouts of some of these castles means it is necessary to drive from location to location. Hiring a vehicle isn’t too expensive in Slovakia, but you may want to pay a little extra for a 4×4 to ensure comfort on some of the lesser paved roads. Some of the best Slovakian castles are Bratislava, Čachtice and Devín Hrad – but I urge you to visit as many as you can. With rolling hills and large mountain ranges such as the Tatras, the landscapes on the journeys between castles can be just as breath-taking.