So, two weeks ago we headed out on an amazing luxury adventure to the Seychelles from New York…Read More
Fiji...can I just say we should all go visit and be done with this post? 😂
Fiji has so many things to offer...every water sport known to man, crystal blue water, pristine beaches, picturesque waterfalls, and so much more. Read on to find out about several of the activities available on the island.
(Courtesy of Marriott)
Visit the Island of Taveuni
On the island of Taveuni you will find the Bouma National Heritage Park. This location offers snorkeling in Waitabu Marine Park, hiking through Vidawa Rain Forest (complete with ancient ruins), exploration of Tavoro Waterfall Trail's three sets of waterfall cascades, bird watching, or views of wildlife. Make sure you don't miss going on the Lavena Coastal Walk; this is a hiking trail that leads tourists along the coast, through the rainforest, and then to a stunningly beautiful hidden waterfall.
Visit the Coral Coast
Enjoy looking at the scenic coastline, which gets its name from the coral offshore, while you enjoy other regional activities. Make sure you go for a dive in Beqa Lagoon, take in the views at Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, explore Namosi Highlands, or wander around Tavuni Hill Fort. Also available in this region is Kula Eco Park...here you can see wildlife, learn about the flora and fauna, go ziplining, and enjoy a water slide.
Visit Kadavu Island
Here you can admire the Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world by taking part in reef diving or snorkeling. Sailing, fishing, kayaking, and hiking are also popular on this island. Away from the coasts, you will find tropical rainforests in the middle of Kadavu.
Take day trip(s) to the Lau Islands
Swim, snorkel, or dive in the water; and hike the interiors to see tropical foliage.
Visit Viti Levu
Head to Natadola Beach to find a white sand beach that meets crystal blue waters. You can sunbathe, kayak, surf, snorkel, or swim (regardless of the tide). While on Viti Levu, also make sure to hike through Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park for amazing views of forest and meadows before reaching the dunes. Sleeping Giant Zipline, which has 10 separate ziplines, or Orchid Falls and Jungle Safari, with four waterfalls and wild birds among tropical foliage, are additional activities available on Viti Levu.
Visit Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool
On the way to Sabeto Hot Springs you will enjoy a scenic drive past several local villages. Upon arrival you can also enjoy a massage before or after soaking in the Hot Springs.
Visit Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple
This is the largest Hindu temple in the southern hemisphere; it is composed of three sections dedicated to Murugan, Ganesh, Meenakshi, and Shiva. Admire the wooden statues of the deities, brought over from India, and the ceiling frescoes, created by artisans in India. Please dress conservatively and remove your shoes before entering the temple
Visit the Church of Saint Francis Xavier.
This church features European architecture, an unusual find here. The frescoed interior also makes for a stunning attraction. Take note of the fact that congregants sit or kneel on woven grass mats, as is the custom in Fiji.
Visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant.
Stroll through orchids, past lily ponds, and bamboo before enjoying a complimentary afternoon tea.
Visit Shark Reef Marine Reserve
Get up close and personal with sharks; or go on wreck dives or reef dives.
Sail to the islands of Mololo Lailai, Tavarua, Nomoto, and the outer reef
Along the way enjoy snorkeling in Musket Cove sand quay, swim, stroll along beaches, and enjoy a barbeque lunch.
Enjoy some time shopping
Handmade items can be found at La Galerie Fiji or at Nadi Handcraft Market. (If you plan to take wooden objects back home, the wood must have been treated before boarding your return flight.)
Depart from Denarau Port on a cruise
Cruise through the Blue Lagoons and the Mamanuca Islands. Upon reaching Schooner Island, a private and uninhabited island, you can snorkel, go scuba diving, or enjoy a massage before lunch. After lunch you will sail back to Denarau Port.
As you can see there are so many fun things to do on the islands of Fiji. Let me know what all you end up doing if you travel to Fiji. I, for one, am excited to do all the activities above, plus canoeing and white-water rafting.
New Zealand is at the top of my list of places to go. I don't know about you but I just love visiting islands. If you are like me, you have been dreaming about what to do when you visit New Zealand. So I compiled a list of what would be my top 10 activities.
(Courtesy of Conde Nast)
- Hike a glacier. You can hike Franz Josef and Fox Glacier on the west coast of the South Island. You won't be disappointed exploring ice caves and crevasses. There is also Tasman Glacier, in Aoraki Mt Cook National Park, that is available for hiking; this is New Zealand's longest glacier. Whichever you choose to hike, you won't be disappointed.
- Visit any of the geothermal parks between Rotorua and Taupo. These geothermal parks, located on the North Island, have multi-colored pools, bubbling mud, and geysers. They are truly a sight to behold.
- Learn about the Maori culture by attending a traditional Hangi dinner. These are most prevalent in Rotorua.
- Go bungee jumping. This is only fitting, after all bungee jumping was invented in New Zealand.
- Go on a hike. This is the best way to experience New Zealand's breathtaking scenery.
- Explore Milford Sound. Many people describe this as the most beautiful place in New Zealand. Ways to see Milford Sound include kayaking, taking a cruise, hiking, scuba diving, or taking a scenic flight.
- See a Kiwi. The best chance to see these is in one of the many conservation Kiwi houses around New Zealand; but if you happen to see one of these elusive nocturnal creatures in the wild, count yourself lucky.
- Visit The Hobbit site in Matamata.
- Gaze at the stars in a dark sky reserve. Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve on the South Island is well known for its star-gazing opportunities because the southern hemisphere stars are most vivid. (And did you know that the South Island is where you can see Aurora Australis--commonly referred to as the Southern Lights. Aurora Australis is best seen at midnight on a clear night between March and September.)
- Enjoy coastal activities. These include surfing, paddleboarding, snorkeling, scuba diving, and sunbathing on the beach. Just remember, summer in the northern hemisphere is their winter.
If you see the Aurora Australis, or anything else exciting, while visiting New Zealand--drop a comment and let me know.
If you're like me Belize is a place you have dreamed of going to for a while. The ocean, the beaches, the warm weather...it all sounds so nice. So what should you do while you are there? Read on to find out what is on my bucket list.
(Courtesy of Lonely Planet)
- Visit any one of the numerous ruins. There are several to choose from, so you can take your pick. Caracol is part of the Mayan Ruins with none of the crowds like Tikal, in bordering Guatemala. You can climb the highest pyramid of Caracol and see far into the distance, even seeing into Guatemala. Lamanai are other ruins that are more off the beaten path but worth seeing. You can also explore Altun Ha, Xunantunich, or Cahal Pech.
- Enjoy seeing marine life. You can snorkel or sail with sharks and rays, snorkel with manatees at Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary--just remember no touching, or swim with turtles.
- Catch a nice sunset. This is actually harder than it sounds with the coast on the east side--but if you head to Caye Caulker you will see an amazing sunset. A prime sunset spot can be found in under 5 minutes here, vs Ambergris Caye.
- Speaking of Caye Caulker, spend a day here at the Split. There is a makeshift beach where the water is deeper and more blue than usual. The Split is perfect for swimming and diving.
- Go caving in Actun Tunichil Muknal, voted #1 by National Geographic multiple times.
- Take a helicopter tour over the Blue Hole. This allows for a better view of this iconic landmark than diving into it from a boat.
- If you are scuba certified go scuba diving in any one of the many reefs. Please use reef-safe sunscreen and I highly recommend a travel insurance plan that covers scuba diving accidents. World Nomads' Explorer Plan is an excellent addition to a top tier Allianz Plan.
- Catch an amazing sunrise at Ambergris Caye.
- Spend time at the semi-secluded Ranguana. Here you can snorkel, kayak, paddleboard, or sunbathe on one of the most pristine beaches in Belize.
- Head to Cockscomb Basin to see the wildlife. Here you can see jaguarundi, ocelot, or if you're lucky a jaguar.
If you make it on a helicopter tour over the Blue Hotel leave a comment and let me know!
(Courtesy of Lonely Planet)
You want to visit the Virgin Islands but you aren't sure where to go between BVI and USVI. How do you decide. Read about the differences to help you decide/
First, if you are an American citizen, visiting USVI is easier; likely the same goes for British citizens traveling to BVI. And the two differ in characteristics in relation to travelers.
USVI islands, except for St. John, offer more commercial benefits. But with that comes more hustle-and-bustle. BVI islands are relatively more calm. There are far fewer deluxe hotels on BVI islands, most of those being on Virgin Gorda. For USVI islands, only St. John matches the tranquility of BVI where it protected by the US Forest Service. You could always travel between the islands to experience all their vibes.
If you are wanting to travel between islands, just know that there are only frequent ferry connections between St. Thomas and St. John. To visit other islands a private boat or an airplane flight are often required for now. So if you plan on traveling between islands, don't plan on a ferry.
I can't wait to travel to Morocco. And if you are like me, you are wondering what to do when you get there. Well look no further.
(Courtesy of Forbes Middle East)
- Explore the Marrakech. Wander around the markets and souks. While here walk around Bahia Palace.
- See Chefchaouen. Blue buildings make up this iconic village and create a beautiful sight. While here visit the medina.
- Walk around Merzouga. Nestled in the sand dunes, you might see a few flamingoes in this area of the Sahara Desert.
- Visit Rabat. Rabat is the capital city of Morocco and sits on the Atlantic Ocean. Don't miss walking around the Royal Palace when you visit Rabat.
- Hike the Gorges of Dades. The views here are so amazing.
- Take in the sights at Ouzoud Waterfall. You can see the Atlas Mountains here. If you swim in the falls do so at your own risk; the falls aren't patrolled and have dangerous currents.
- See the arches of Legzira Beach. Only some of the arches remain, so make sure you admire the breathtaking red cliffs and arches. Sunset is the best time to visit. After you watch the sunset, enjoy dinner.
Christmas Island is a beautiful island. This single island is an Australian territory, located in the Indian Ocean. Nearly 2/3 of the island is a national park. The island is made up of diverse mix of cultures. Malaysian Chinese, Mainland European Australians, and Malay Australians make up most of the residents of the island. So the island is often referred to as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean. Wet season, for the island's tropical equatorial climate, is between December and April; the island is in the path of northwest monsoons. The island has a unique population of wildlife due to the island's isolation and climate. The official language of the island is English but you will often hear other languages.
- Watch the annual red crab migration. The migration occurs between October and December. Adult red crabs migrate from the forest to the coast to breed. The eggs are released at the turn of the high tide and hatch as soon as they hit the water. After a month in the sea, the young crabs make the dangerous trek back to the forest to spend the first three years of their lives.
(Courtesy of Christmas Island Tourism)
- Enjoy the amazing scuba diving. Christmas Island has some of the world's largest drop-offs. The island is surrounded by narrow tropical reef that is home to beautiful types of hard and soft coral. Butterfly fish, eels, and so many other types of fish can be seen. The northern coast has the best unspoiled corals in the world, as well as docile whale sharks that visit between November and April.
- The island is a year round nesting ground for green and hawksbill turtles, especially Dolly and Greta beaches.
- Christmas Island is known for bird watching. 80,000 sea birds, of 23 different species, visit annually. The birds are very unique and very approachable. Bird 'n' Nature Week is also a great time to attend workshops and take part in seminars that discuss current research.
- Celebrate any of the numerous holidays that are celebrated on the island. Australia Day, Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Haji, and Month of the Hungry Ghost are just some of the holidays celebrated on the island. During some of these holidays authentic Thai, Chinese, Malay, or modern Australian food is enjoyed.
Belgium is home to medieval cities, cathedrals, palaces, abbeys, forests, and many historical sites. Brugge and Ghent have been preserved over the centuries, and are beautiful to visit. Brussels and Antwerp have a more modern feel. Brussels has art deco architecture and grand squares to enjoy, while Antwerp has stores that appeal to luxury shoppers.
I have compiled a list of the top ten things to do while in Belgium.
(Courtesy of Shutterstock)
- Royal Palace of Brussels is the official palace of the king and the queen, although they live in the Royal Palace of Laeken just outside of Brussels. The palace is along Paleizenplein, and close by Brussels Park. Items belonging to Napoleon, King Louis Phillipe, Leopold I, and Leopold II are in the Royal Palace. During the summer the palace opens to visitors, who are allowed to view select rooms.
- Grand Place is a city square in central Brussels. It is one of the most beautiful places on the planet and many historical events have happened here.
- Atomium is an iconic structure and a symbol of Brussels.
- Gravensteen is an amazing castle in Ghent. You won't want to miss seeing this.
- Groeningemuseum is a museum in Bruges. It is located on the site of the medieval Eekhout Abbey. This museum includes Renaissance, Baroque, as well as modern masterpieces.
- Basilica of the Holy Blood is a Roman Catholic basilica located in Bruges. It was built in the 12th century and is amazing to behold.
- Museum Mayer van den Bergh is located in Antwerp. It features the collection of the late art collector Fritz Mayer van den Bergh. The museum includes Renaissance and Gothic pieces from Belgium and the Netherlands. Artists showcased here include Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Master Heinrich of Constanch, and Pieter Huys.
- Museum aan de Stroom is the largest museum in Antwerp. It is on the banks of the Scheldt River and features postmodern art deco architecture.
- Pairi Daiza is a zoo and botanical garden in Brugelette. It has some unique exhibits. Algoa Bay has seals and penguins; and La Terre du Froid has reindeer, raccoons, and a train museum. Pandas on loan from China can also be seen here. A steam train takes patrons around the zoo and provides wonderful views of the exhibits and the zoo's large lakes.
- Zeebrugge is a village on the Belgian coast. It is along the North Sea. This seaside village has quaint cafes and beautiful beaches.
I don't know if you know anything about Greece, beyond the fact that it is comprised of several islands, but there is so much to see in a location that has mythological, archeological, historic, artistic, and philosophic influences. So are you planning your trip to Greece and wondering what you should do there? Well keep reading to find out what is on my bucket list for when I finally go to Greece.
- Visit Santorini. The architecture here, with the white buildings with blue rooftops is amazing!!! With buildings that contrast so well with the sea, it is no wonder people flock to Santorini to enjoy a view whose formations was aided by the help of a volcano.
(Courtesy of USA Today)
- Tour the Acropolis. The Acropolis used to be the site of the famous statue of Athena, goddess of Athens. The columns and the glittering marble of the Parthenon are a sight to behold.
- Climb Mount Olympus. If Greek mythology fascinates you then you won't want to miss coming here. Mythology asserts that Zeus' throne was here, and this is also where Hades ruled in the Underworld. Few places are as steeped in mythology as Mount Olympus is.
- Visit Lake Plastira. Lake Plastira is surrounded by trees and offers activities such as, rafting, canoeing, hiking, and horse rides.
- Wander around the Acropolis Museum. The museum is known for its cafe and terrace that overlooks the Acropolis.
- Tour Epidaurus Theater. This theater is dedicated to the god of medicine, Asclepius.
- Visit the Delphi. People used to travel here to pay homage to Apollo, god of healing, music, prophecy, and light. Today there are temples and ancient ruins.
- Hike the Samaria Gorge. This site is on the island of Crete and is a stunning site to behold.
- Spelunking at Melissani Cave.
- Head to Hephaestus Temple. This temple is dedicated to Hephaestus, god of fire, and Athena, goddess of pottery and other crafts.
- Visit Corinth Canal. Here you can go on the Zulu Bungy Jump to see the canal in all its majesty.
- Travel to the monasteries of Meteora. These monasteries are atop of rock formations.
- Take in the history when you visit Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.
- See the sites in ancient Corinth.
- Visit Phaestos and enjoy the stunning vistas it has to offer.
- Travel to Ancient Mycenae. This location is famous due to Homer's the Iliad and the Odyssey. Sites to see in the area include Agamemnon Palace, Lion Gate, the Great Court, and the royal cemetery.
- Learn more about the Holocaust at Museum Of The Kalavryta Holocaust. This is the only Holocaust museum in Greece; it honors those who were victims of the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis.
- Travel to Mount Athos. 20 monasteries can be seen on its slopes; but the monasteries can only be visited by men.
- Visit the Palace of Malia.
- Enjoy Balos Beach. Spend some time surfing here or explore the many lagoons that open up to jet blue water where fish can be seen. Sunbathing is also a popular past time here.
- Go to Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil.
- Wander around the Museum of Contemporary Art. In a country so full of ancient history, it is fun to see more modern works.
- Enjoy time sunbathing at Psarou Beach. This beach, in Mykonos, is one of the most famous, and has many restaurants along the beach.
- Visit the Vergina Royal Tombs Museum. Phillip II tomb is here, as well as items he was buried with.
- Hike Corfu Trail. The landscape and views along this trail are breathtaking.
There is so much to do and see in France; it is no wonder that people flock there year round. So what should you do and see when traveling to France? Read on to find out what makes it on to my bucket list, by location.
Paris is of course a must see. There is so much to do and see in Paris.
- Top of the list is, of course, to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. The lines are long but well worth it for this iconic experience. Afterward, enjoy a picnic under the Eiffel Tower. Or head to the Eiffel Tower to enjoy the sunrise.
(Courtesy of Untapped Cities)
- View Paris from the Notre Dame. The towers of Notre Dame are a great way to see Paris. And of course seeing the gargoyles here are amazing. Lines are also long for this tourist spot, but well worth it.
- Take a stroll through Jardin des Tuileries.
- Eat macarons at Ladurée.
- Go up to the top of Sacre Coeur.
- Stroll around Luxembourg Gardens.
- Enjoy a Seine River Cruise.
- Head to Berthillon to enjoy an ice cream and enjoy the view of Notre Dame Cathedral.
- If visiting during the winter, go ice skating at the iconic Hotel de Ville.
- Go up to rooftop bar of Le Perchoir to enjoy the views.
- Make your way to the Louvre, and don't forget to see the Mona Lisa while there.
- Enjoy an opera or ballet performance at Palais Garnier.
- Go to Saint-Chapelle, and don't forget to look up.
- Take your time shopping at Galeries Lafayette. This is even more impressive at Christmas.
- Climb up the stairs at the Arc de Triomphe. This is one of the best views in Paris.
- Tour the catacombs and see a different side of Paris.
- Purchase a crepe from a street vendor, and make sure to get nutella with it.
- Make your way to Carette in Le Marais and enjoy their breakfast; reportedly one of the best breakfasts in Paris.
- Browse Shakespeare Company Bookshop and don't forget to purchase a book.
- Tour the Picasso Museum.
- Enjoy a jazz concert.
- Eat at Au Paradis Du Gourmand and enjoy a baguette. Reportedly they have the best baguettes.
- Head to Angelina and enjoy their famous, decadent hot chocolate.
- Ride a scooter around Paris' streets and ride a bike along Seine.
- Make your way to Sébastian Gaudard and buy some of their caramels.
- Purchase eclairs from l'eclair de genie.
- Watch people at Cafe de Flore.
- Go to Chez Janou and enjoy a nice French meal.
- Head over to Jacques Benin and purchase a box of chocolates to take home as a souvenir.
- Stroll through Les Passages Couverts. The scene looks like something out of a postcard.
- Watch people at Les Deux Magots; and at Canal St. Martin.
- Enjoy croissants at breakfast.
- See a Monet painting.
- Visit the Orangerie.
- Make your way to Place Vendôme--designer boutiques and luxury hotels in a quaint square.
- Stroll around Île de la cité and buy some flowers.
- Visit Centre Pompidou and see the largest collection of modern art in Paris; and enjoy the view from the terrace on the roof.
- See the Concierge, where Marie Antoinette was held prisoner during the French Revolution.
- Enjoy shopping at Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville.
- Visit Maison Victor Hugo and ponder on the famous author, who wrote The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables.
- Visit Place des Vosges.
- Have an espresso at a café.
- Visit Palais Royal.
- Visit Paris Pantheon, the resting place of Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie.
- See St Sulpice.
- Make your way to Musée D'Orsay.
- Head to Trocadéro and watch the sunrise.
- Visit Les Invalides.
- Walk around Cemetery Pere Lachaise, final resting place of the tragically star-crossed lovers Heloise and Abelard--among others.
- Enjoy Bastille on a Friday night.
- Walk Rue Cremieux, reportedly the prettiest street in Paris.
- Visit Cemetery du Montparnasse.
- Go up Tour Montparnasse, whose height is only surpassed by the Eiffel Tower. Watch the sunset over the city here, and the city light up at dark.
- Visit Palais de Tokyo.
- Stroll around the quaint Montmartre and walk the steps.
- See the iconic Moulin Rouge, if only to say you've been there.
- Visit Château de Chantilly, which now houses Musée Condé; this used to be the home of French princes.
- Take half a day to visit Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen--the biggest flea market in the world.
- Take a day to make a trip to Versailles Palace.
- Spend a day to go to Fontainebleau.
- Head out to Château de Vincennes.
If you're looking to avoid Paris and enjoy quieter regions there are several other places to visit.
- Explore the Bordeaux region. Besides touring wineries and partaking in wine tastings, Bordeaux boasts a buzzing food scene, the Miroir d'Eau, and impressive architecture.
- The Alabaster Coast is also a wonderful region to explore with limestone cliffs and clear green-blue waters.
- The medieval city of Rouen, the current capital of Normandy, is an interesting place to visit; situated along Seine, you can stroll Old Market Square, or go to the nearby Church of St. Joan of Arc and admire the stained glass windows.
- Don't miss heading to Saint-Émilion. This region also has a neat church, that was carved out of a single piece of rock; as well as dreamy medieval views and amazingly tasty food.
- Lyon is a wonderful region to travel to. When here decadent foods are abundant and meals here will be an elegant treat for your taste buds. Make sure to stroll Parc de la Tete d'Or after enjoying a fine meal.
- Alsace is an amazing area to explore and see the French & German fusion that occurs in their cuisine. This picturesque region also boasts amazing wines. If you're short on time in this region, make sure to stop by Colmar and Strasbourg.
(Courtesy of Wine Mag)
- Avignon is a neat historical region. In the 14th Century, this is where popes at that time called home. Visitors can tour Palais des Papes to see where in Avignon popes resided. Avignon also has charming boutiques, picturesque streets, the ruins of Avignon Bridge, and the views at Jardin des Doms.
- The Camargue is known for its white horses, pink flamingos, and Saintes Marie de la Mer if wildlife isn't your cup of tea.
- The Loire Valley is well known for its magnificent castles, decadent food, and the Loire River.
- Corsica may seem like only a history buff's dream, being the birthplace of Napoleon...but it boasts beautiful, pristine beaches and clear blue waters. Don't miss exploring Corsica.
(Courtesy of Vogue)
- Provence...there is nothing more to say beyond dreamy buildings among lavender fields.
- Mont Saint Michel is a UNESCO World Heritage site and well-known for its views. This island in Normandy even has a medieval monastery.
- The French Riviera is a dreamy area, seeing as how this is where France meets Italy. The coastline touts luxurious resorts to stay in, so as to enjoy the 300 days of sunshine per year. Nice is a well-known town to visit, but there are several other smaller towns to the east that are just as picturesque. Other common places to explore in this region are Fécamp, Étretat, and Dieppe.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you visit any of these locations, or if you have visited any of these--what you thought of them.