Thursday Travel Blogger: My Favorite Travel Destination
Travel bloggers can be your best source to learn about different destinations around the world. It’s like getting ideas, tips and honest reviews all in a one stop shopping. This weekly article is going to give us the insight of “my favorite destinations” from some of the best and experienced travel bloggers. Every Thursday you will be able to experience through a guest travel bloggers writing amazing and exciting destinations! So make sure to check in each Thursday for Thursday Travel Blogger: My Favorite Destination and maybe you will be destined to find your favorite destination!
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May 23, 2019
Learning to Breathe Abroad- My Favorite Destination:
We spent 6 weeks traveling through Albania in our campervan and absolutely fell in love with the country. In the North are the Albanian Alps, also known as the Accursed Mountains. Don’t you love that name? We did a 2 day hike that took us from the little village of Valbone up over the top of the Alps and down to another tiny village called Thethi. To get to Valbone we had to take a 3 hour boat ride through a stunning gorge with sparkling aquamarine water of Lake Komani. The adrenalin really kicked in leaving Thethi Valley as we careened up a gravel serpentine road in a 4×4 with a sheer drop on the side of the single-laned track.
We then took a slow drive down the incredibly beautiful Albanian Riviera, stopping at all the beaches and villages along the way. Picture crystal clear water and long white beaches with a few beach bars dotted here and there. Albania has some of the best beaches in all of Europe, but its still a secret, so get here quickly!
Although not legal, wild camping is widely tolerated and there is nothing quite like the freedom of parking your campervan right on the beach for a few days. Despite the rumours of gangsters and mafia, I found Albania to be one of the safest countries I’ve ever travelled in and we happily slept with our windows wide open.
There are so many things to do in Albania, from UNESCO sites of Butrint, Berat and Girokaster to blue eyed springs, hiking in the Alps, swimming in dazzling water, reenergising in hot springs and relaxing at Lake Ohrid. Albania has so much to offer and we loved every minute of our stay!
Contributed by Jeanne at Learning to Breathe Abroad
A few readers have asked me what my favorite destination so far has been. That is such a tough, tough question! Of course Italy is one my all time favorites, for its history, food and ancestry. Loved the Greek people and serenity. But I have to tell you, Scotland blew us away with its nature! No wonder it is voted to be one of the most, if not the most, beautiful country in the world!
May 16, 2019
Overhere – My Favorite Destination:
Tenerife isn’t only about beaches and pubs. This beautiful Canary Island offers lots of other non-beach attractions.
The north of the island is covered with tropical evergreen forests. The south is warmer, more desert-like. And the most spectacular part: the volcanic centre of Tenerife. There is the highest mountain in Spain – Teide volcano, which reaches whopping 3718 metres.
The central area of Tenerife is protected as Teide National Park. There are many hiking trails suitable for all levels of experience and fitness. We can hike to Teide peak (we will need a special permit to get to the top), or just walk to Montana Blanca (2820m). We can also hike circular Chinyero Volcano trail – nice and easy walk suitable also for families with children.
Great thing is that those trials are easily accessible – there are roads running across Teide National Park with many viewpoints along the road. The exotic volcanic landscape looks like out of this world and it is a true playground for photographers and nature lovers.
Another place worth to visit is Anaga Rural Park – mysterious mountains located in the north of Tenerife. They are totally different than Teide National Park, with abundant green forests and winding paths. I don’t think I have ever breathed cleaner air than on the seaside cliff in Anaga mountains.
Architecture aficionados need to visit La Orotava – charming little town located on the north of Tenerife. La Orotava is a perfect example of colonial architecture. After Spanish explorers came to Tenerife, many well off European families started to settle in La Orotava.
Contributed by Joanne at Overhere
May 2, 2019
Been Around the Globe – My Favorite Destination:
Hoi An Vietnam
I was pleasantly surprised by a small town in visited in Vietnam: Hoi An! The city’s not too big, nor too small, but above all, Hoi An is the city of lanterns. Indeed, you will see thousands of lanterns outside, beautifying the streets of Hoi An. During the day it’s beautiful. But in the evening, it’s wonderful! All the lanterns light up, and it’s hard to describe with how stunning it is. That’s probably why Hoi An was so special to me!
The atmosphere in this town is relaxed, the beach isn’t very far and if you’re into culture, you can visit several museums. Hoi An is one of the few cities in Vietnam which wasn’t damaged during the Vietnam War. That means the architecture of the buildings from the 15th century has been preserved. It might explain why Hoi An is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In Hoi An, you can also feel the French influence. Indeed, Vietnam was part of Indochina, the former French colony. And to this day, they sell croissants and baguettes over there. Talking about food, you have to try a Banh Mi, a sandwich in a French baguette with crudités, salad, meat and sauce. And I can’t forget their signature dish, the Cao Lau. It’s made with thick noodles with green salad, herbs sliced, roast pork and crispy rice pancakes.
Take some time to see their most emblematic spot, the Japanese bridge and get some food at the market. Wanna go there? The closest airport is Da Nang. From there, a shuttle goes to Hoi every hour, it’s a one-hour ride! There are hotels everywhere, you’ll have plenty of options!
Contributed by Roobens at Been Around the Globe
APRIL 25, 2019
Adventurous Retirement – My Favorite Destination:
I love a place that offers gorgeous aqua water, coral and sandy beaches, great scuba diving, snorkeling, with a diversity of activities and environments, history, culture, and good healthy food options. Curacao is one of the few Caribbean Islands that offers all of these.
Weather in Curacao never disappoints with temperatures between 81-89F, sunshine most days and island breezes. It doesn’t rain much; when it does, we still dive, or relax, read on a veranda, or visit historic sights. The sun doesn’t stay away long.
Willemstad, the main town in Curacao, is filled with maritime, slave, pirate, trade, Dutch, and Jewish history in several museums. Across the island, historic 18thand 19thcentury plantation houses have been preserved and are worth a visit. Some operate as farms, restaurants, art galleries, distilleries, and all have interesting island history.
Hiking to the tallest peak in Curacao at Christoffel Park is a challenge worth the reward – the views from the top (1,239 ft) are magnificent. The arid landscape and Park are alive with noisy and beautiful birds, like the colorful island parrots, troupials, and bananaquits.
From blue waters over the second largest barrier reef in the world, Curacao is rated in the top 25 places in the world to dive. Tom and I have been to Curacao 9 times and have well over 100 dives here, both shore and boat dives, plus lots of snorkeling.
We love staying in the more remote and quiet Westpunt area where snorkeling and diving are perfect pastimes. Snorkeling with the turtles in the wild at Playa Piskado is another preferred activity of mine. My favorite dive is Watamula, rated as one of the best in the Caribbean. Watamula is along the wild Western coastline and a short boat ride from Go West Diving in Westpunt. Pristine hard corals, fields of colorful soft corals swaying in the current, enormous schools of fish, giant sponges, squid, puffers, and seahorses can be seen at Watamula. Recently at Watamula, we were in the water after a dive and a pod of pilot whales swam by us.
In additional to snorkeling and diving, kayaking, wind surfing, kite boarding and fishing add to the mix of water activities that are plentiful all over Curacao.
We enjoy Curacao so much that we have already made our reservations to go again in 2019.
Contributed by Wendy at Adventurous Retirement
APRIL 18, 2019
Our3kidsvtheworld – My Favorite Destination:
We have only recently returned from Myanmar and Bagan was by far my favorite place on this trip. It left me with the same feelings when I first saw Angkor Wat, it totally blew me away. We got the overnight VIP bus from Yangon to Bagan and it cost about $12USD.
There are approximately 3000 temples in Bagan, they are everywhere, and you are able to enter many of them however a few have been closed due to extensive damage incurred during the 2016 earthquakes. The most condensed area for temples and pagodas is in and around the Old Bagan city walls. You’ll also find a number of high-end luxury hotels in this area.
We stayed in New Bagan where you’ll find middle level hotels and guest houses. We stayed at Villa Bagan which has only been operating since December 2017. We hired e-bikes from the hotel and went out exploring the temples by e-bike. It was very warm when we were there, we spent in the mornings exploring and then went back to the hotel to swim during the hottest part of the day. We then headed out again for sunset. If you don’t want to be out on e-bikes after dark, your hotel will organize a driver for about $10USD for sunset.
The e-bikes gave us the freedom to explore at our own pace and I loved that we could stop when we wanted. Bagan is very safe and much like a country town. Many of the temples where accessible via dirt roads. I highly recommend exploring independently. I asked the hotel owners for dinner recommendations and we ate at the hotel one night as we were getting up early for sunrise.
Contributed by Sally at Our3kidsvtheworld
APRIL 11, 2019
DQ Family Travel – My Favorite Destination:
Acadia National Park, Maine
If I had to pick my favorite location to visit it would have to be Acadia National Park. There are so many family-friendly hikes in Acadia with beautiful viewpoints. Our favorite experiences were rock scrambling on the Ocean Path Trail and climbing up to view Bubble Rock. Our family spent a very short two days exploring the park on a Northeast road trip last summer and I was left wanting to see more. We happened to visit Maine when there was thick fog in the area. As beautiful as the Acadia National Park was with the fog, we did not hike certain trails due to the low visibility. Acadia’s natural beauty is truly spectacular. I had seen so many stunning pictures of the granite cliffs, the alpine lakes, and the coastal views that I was saddened to not see their full splendor due to the fog. It goes to show what a lasting impression the natural beauty in Maine had on me. Even through the fog, I fell in love with Acadia National Park and cannot wait to explore some more.
Contributed by Margie at DQ Family Travel
I’m Margie, the owner of DQ Family Travel, a site that gives other families ideas on where to vacation in the U.S. and ways to save money on travel. Our family recently made a bucket list goal to visit all 50 states before the kids graduate high school. We are more than halfway through our goal by visiting 32/50 states.
APRIL 3, 2019
Travelling Around Spain – My Favorite Destination:
Costa Brava Spain
It really is hard to pick a favourite travel destination, but I think I will have to go with the Costa Brava in Spain.
This section of coast between Barcelona and France is as its name indicates a little on the wild side.
The coast is mostly small almost private coves that are hidden under rugged cliffs. The water is a rich turquoise colour that I only thought was possible from photo-shopped pictures.
The coves are excellent for snorkelling as they tend to be rocky and have a lot of hiding places for fish.
The towns along the Costa Brava are smaller and not as built up as other spots along the Mediterranean, so you won’t find towering apartment buildings and multi-story hotels.
There are some thriving tourist centres, but they manage to keep their traditional feeling and style. More commonly you will find quaint villages such as Tossa de Mar, and Cadaques. If you want a town that skips the history and takes you straight to luxury you can hit Empuriabrava 40 km of canals with villas built alongside. You can dock your boat right outside of your villa and then take it out to the Sea along the canals.
If you head just slightly inland there is also a plethora of fabulous villages to explore. These are some of the most historic, cultural and picturesque villages in all of Spain. Besalu delves you into medieval times with and sports an old Roman bridge, Peratallada is perhaps the prettiest village you will ever see. It is full of ivy and flower covered brick walls and colourful paths and plazas. Then there is Castellfollit de Roca which is perched on top of a cliff that juts out over a river. To get to any of these places you drive through some of the prettiest countryside and farmland in all of Spain.
Contributed by Kim at Travelling Around Spain
march 28, 2019
Travel Continuum – My Favorite Destination:
Wildlife watching from Vancouver Island in Canada
Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, has a bucketful of small-town charm and the relaxed vibe of a surfer’s paradise. But more importantly, it’s the major departure point for boat trips into the surrounding wilderness of Clayoquot Sound – an enchanting, 350,000-hectare watery network of hidden coves, temperate rainforest and rocky islets.
It’s a destination that etches itself into your very soul. Black bears, bald eagles, seals, grey whales, sea lions and otters are among the many species of wildlife found here and it was a treat to head out on a Zodiac boat on two consecutive days to see what we could spot.
We struck lucky immediately. I lost count of the number of black bears we saw on the first day, nonchalantly turning up large rocks and seeking out tasty morsels to eat. Apart from an occasional glance the bears paid no attention to us, so focussed were they on their foraging. Our second day saw the grey whales who frequent these waters teasing us with distant displays of misty air from their blowholes. Occasionally, one would briefly surface nearby. ‘Over there!’, one of us would cry, spotting something out of the corner of our eye, and we’d all rush to try and snap a quick picture.
On each day, the seals and sealions watched us, suspiciously, from their rocky outcrops, bald eagles called to each other among the trees and cheeky otters lay supine and munched their food, as if performing for us. I’ve always loved Canada, but even as an experienced traveller, I hadn’t quite expected the extraordinary sense of privilege at experiencing the majesty of Clayoquot Sound and seeing these magnificent creatures in their natural environment.
Contributed by Sara at Travel Continuum
march 21, 2019
Live Travel Teach – My Favorite Destination:
Bardia National Park
Bardia National Park in Nepal is my favorite place in the world and will quickly become yours too if you love remote villages, jungle life and wild animals. The bus ride to Thakudwara, a village on the edge of the national park, takes a full day from Kathmandu or you could fly into Nepalgunj airport and spend a few hours in a jeep getting to this pristine destination. I recommend checking out Wild Trak Adventure and heading on a trek with Jungle John since you won’t find much shopping or traditional tours here. Stay at his jungle lodge at night and venture into the jungle looking for wild tigers, elephants, rhinos by day!
Nighttime in Bardia brings a whole symphony of jungle life but even more amazingly, fireflies come out and illuminate every tree in the jungle!
Wildlife sightings are rare everywhere in the world but Bardia National Park is arguably the best place in the world to see wild tigers and the only place you can see them while trekking on foot. If you aren’t up for a jungle trek then you can easily take a jeep ride through the undergrowth and will have a chance to see even more of the park, just remember that wildlife tends to shy away from noisy vehicles. However you choose to explore Bardia you should be patient and expect to wait at different viewpoints that the locals know animals like to frequent.
Contributed by Mike at Live Travel Teach
march 14, 2019
Wanderlust Storytellers – My Favorite Destination:
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Imagine yourself on a traditional Vietnamese Junk Boat, sipping on a delicious cocktail whilst looking out from the top deck onto the magnificent bay surrounded by thousands of towering limestone islands topped with rainforests and peeking out of the emerald waters. Yes, you are in Halong Bay!
The best way to see the bay is, of course, by going on a Halong Bay cruise. Make sure to spend at least 3-night on your cruise here. This way you can enjoy two full days of exploration and really get to appreciate the surroundings to the fullest.
Checking out the amazing Halong Bay is an adventure that you will never forget. From peaceful cruising in the bay, to kayaking in the caves. From checking out fishing villages and pearl farms to cocktail sipping with beautiful sunsets.
On top of that you will also have a chance to check out the Amazing Cave (Sung Sot Cave). This is a truly amazing sight to see. As you are guided down the beaten track, deep into the rocky mountain, you will enter sensational grottos illuminated in different colours for a more dramatic spectacle.
Cruising Halong Bay was an unforgettable escape for us and we will definitely be back one day for another go. We loved it and I know that you will love it too!
Contributed by Jolene and Andreaj at Wanderlust Storytellers
march 7, 2019
Travel Crusade – My Favorite Destination:
Shimla is the summer capital of India situated in the princely state of Himachal Pradesh in India.The city is connected to the capital via buses,toy rides and railways and takes about 8-10 hours to reach.The city has the magic and enthrallment to attract tourists and like minded travellers across the globe.The summer capital boasts about high alpine mountains,the joy of toy rides through the mountain railways,the city mall and few churches in the heart of the city.Tourism is the primary mode of business operating in the region and there are hotels and well desgined resorts in and around the city.
The state is currently governed the CM,Mr Vir Bhadra Singh who takes all important decisions along with the governor.The state has gained importance and recognition lately due to the tourism sector introducing their base in the capital and spreading to other parts of Himachal Pradesh.The city mostly full packed and crowded by travellers throughout the year and people normally travel to escape the summer heat that hits the country in a hard way.It is my favourite location and I often travel to free my mind and escape the routine life surroundings.I would urge other like minded travellers to scout this corner of the region atleast once in their lifetime to enjoy the jaunt and the beauty prevailing in the Northern Himalayas
Contributed by Somnath at Travel Crusade
FEBRUARY 28, 2019
Life on the Mediterranean – My Favorite Destination:
My favorite location is Nice, France. In fact, I love it so much I’ve made it my home. When I was transferred to London, UK from the US 15 years ago, I started to miss the sun and the sea. I decided to buy a flat in Nice to escape on weekends where I could learn French and practice my Italian language. I’m only 40 minutes from Italy and I’m often popping over to shop at the local markets or enjoy a delicious, authentic Italian meal. This area is still a mix of France and Italy where the local dialect has hints of Italian, and the cuisine uses many of the same ingredients. I love the ‘old-world-European’ feel and living in a building from the 1700’s.
Nice boasts more than 300 days a year of sunshine so it’s great for being outdoors. You can enjoy the beaches, the national parks and the ski resorts – all in the same month. There are lots of hiking trails around Nice, Eze and in the Mercantour Park area to enjoy, and the ski resorts are 1.5hrs away.
There’s something going on all the time whether you want to attend an impromptu art exhibit in a local restaurant, a well-known festival, like the Nice Jazz Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Formula 1 races in Monaco, or even the Citrus Festival in Menton.
There are numerous marathons throughout the year, and you can ride for miles along the Mediterranean on paved bike paths. What a great way to take in the sites and smells than to have the Mediterranean breeze in your face. You can even rent a boat and go out on the Sea for the day, even if you’ve never driven a boat before! Something for everyone!
Contributed by Maureen at Life On the Mediterranean
FEBRUARY 21, 2019
AdventureDawgs- My Favorite Destination:
I travel everywhere with my dogs. When you name your blog AdventureDawgs, well there better be dogs and adventure. We usually avoid spending as much time as possible in cities because they typically aren’t as dog-friendly as the great outdoors. Having said that, Charleston is one of the few cities that I have absolutely fallen in love with.
Even though I could not take my dogs into many of the attractions, we were still able to enjoy the historic houses and churches from the sidewalk, especially a stroll along Rainbow Row. There are ample tour groups that offer historic and ghost tours through downtown Charleston and for the history fan, Fort Sumter is a short ferry ride away.
Many of the patios will allow well-behaved dogs so I was able to enjoy more substantial meals than what I could take out. I have also been to Charleston without the dogs and have been on dessert tours and culinary tours with Bulldog Tours. The food in Charleston is of such high quality that you will not be disappointed no matter where you go.
There is one place that I cannot leave Charleston without visiting and that is Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. The gardens are always a riot of colour and there are lots of opportunities for viewing wildlife with a tremendous population of birds and even alligators; quite a novelty for a Canadian like me. Needless to say, the dogs weren’t allowed to swim at the plantation but I made it up to them by taking them to swim in the ocean at a dog-friendly beach instead.
Charleston is one of the few cities that I recommend everyone visit. It truly is a very special place.
Contributed by Kristal at AdventureDawgs
FEBRUARY 14, 2019
Lets Get Tripsy- My Favorite Destination:
Iceland, a scarcely populated Nordic island nation, is on a lot of people’s bucket lists these days and tourism is booming – it is actually their number one industry and for good reason! From the rugged black sand coast line to the rolling green mountains up into the giant glaciers which take up 11% of this magnificent country!
Prior to watching a television show about Iceland, we hadn’t given it much thought but after seeing its rugged beauty and being Game of Thrones fans, we knew we had to visit. We had heard it is expensive so we set to saving and planning and we were so lucky to be able to make it a reality.
We rented a car (ensure you get insurance) and headed out onto the Ring Road seeing the Golden Circle, the DC Plane Crash, glacier lagoons, Northeast Iceland which is home to Puffin Island, Dettifoss (along with 100s of other waterfalls), Akureyri, the Snæfellsnes Peninsula including Kirkjufell Mountain, 100’s of sheep and then back to Reykjavik for a few nights before heading home to Canada.
In total we spent 12 days in Iceland and it was in fact expensive like we had heard but we wouldn’t change a thing! The people were friendly, the scenery was at times other-worldly and always beautiful, the Blue Lagoon while some deem a tourist trap was a fun experience and one we are glad we did but there are lots of other “hot pot” options! There is so much to discover and every turn is “Instagram” worthy.
We have travelled and seen a bit of our amazing planet with lots more to go but so far, Iceland is unmatched and a trip we will cherish the rest of our lives!
Contributed by Meggan and Peter at Lets Get Tripsy
FEBRUARY 7, 2019
I Heart Slovakia- My Favorite Destination:
Spišský hrad (Spiš Castle) in Eastern Slovakia is one of the biggest castle ruins in Central Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site (since 1993). It is the country’s top destination, drawing visitors from across the country and the region. It’s also my favorite castle in Slovakia the mere sight of it brings back fond memories of school and family trips, in the 1980s and 1990s.
Spiš Castle sprawls on 10 acres atop a travertine hill, where it was first built in the 12th century as a border fortress. The castle was expanded several times, particularly in the 14th century, becoming the power center of the Spiš region for many centuries. A massive fire destroyed Spiš Castle in 1780, and it fell into disrepair and ruin until the 1970s, when an extensive conservation effort began.
The museum located at the showcases the castle’s history, historic weaponry, and feudal justice practices. Night tours have become popular in recent years, and various reenactments and historical performances draw crowds in the summer.
Another reason I enjoy Spiš Castle is because I can always make a day trip out of visiting it. After the castle tour, I like to hike to the nearby Dreveník travertine preserve. Leaving, I make stops at the Sivá Brada (Gray Beard) mineral spring below the castle and the “Slovak Vatican” Spišská Kapitula, before completing the trip in my father’s town of Spišská Nová Ves.
Contributed by Peter at I Heart Slovakia
January 31, 2019
My Adventures Across the World- My Favorite Destination:
Kaieteur Falls quite easily qualifies as one of the most beautiful places on earth. Located in the rainforest of Guyana, one of the smallest countries in South America, this waterfall is famous for being the widest, single drop waterfall in the world.
World records aside, visiting is just a unique experience.
As it is completely isolated, unless ready to embark on a strenuous 5 days hike through the jungle of Guyana, the only other way to visit Kaieteur Falls is on a day trip from either Georgetown, Guyana’s capital, or from a handful of other places in the country.
The day trip implies catching a charter flight, on a plane that carries up to 12 passengers. Flying over the waterfalls affords spectacular views, that get only better once on the site. The plane lands on a small airstrip, where a guide meets the visitors (the numbers allowed per day is kept down by the fact that virtually only those who fly can get there and only one plane is allowed on the airstrip at one time) and takes them on a 2 hours tour that goes to the most beautiful viewpoints and through the jungle, where it is possible to admire some unique animal species such as the cock of the rock.
It’s a once in a life experience that is worth every penny invested in the tour!
Contributed by Claudia at My Adventures Across the World
January 24, 2019
Fitz 5 On The Go- My Favorite Destination:
Morocco is a wonderful place travel to experience different cultures and atmospheres. We chose Marrakech for our 5 day stay in January. For the most immersive experience I recommend staying near the medina. The riads are beautiful and can be an experience in itself. We stayed in a self-catering riad from Airbnb. You would also have a wonderful time staying in a larger bread and breakfast or hotel type riad. For your first trip exploring, I recommend getting a guide. The souks and surrounding areas are wonderful, but it can be really easy to get lost. Guides can also help you navigate the merchants and give more history about the area. The souks and medina are overrun with colors, smells and sounds that are unique to this part of Africa.
Our favorite part of the trip was our guided tour in to the Atlas mountains. We rode camels, stopped by local markets, explored an Argon cooperative (the kids even got to help), and then made our way up the mountain for the most beautiful location for lunch. The day we went had a large snowfall, so the trip was a little nerve racking but the views at that top were just spectacular. The traditional berber lunch was pretty amazing to. The tour was our favorite day out of our travel year.
If you’re looking for a unique experience or something a little more exotic, then put Morocco on your list. It’s an easy jump from Europe and a perfect place to make memories that you will always remember.
Contributed by Lori at Fitz 5 On The Go
For more exciting things to do while in Morocco check out this tour of Blue Town of Chefchaouenc