After being cooped up for 2 years, a lot of us are eager to spread our wings and soar to exotic, interesting, and unfamiliar places. Escaping the confinement of our homes and enjoying some adventures that spark our wanderlust and lead us in directions we’ve never been before. We’re all feeling it! We want to explore, discover and wander through terrain and landscapes that beckon our visit. We crave the hustle and bustle of busy European cities to the quiet laid-back vibe of tranquil beaches. We want to experience different sceneries, engage with new people and explore their culture, cuisine, and language. So get your passport ready and start packing your bags! But where to go?
Traveling anywhere has never been more complex than it is currently. Gone are the days of carefree and impromptu travel with quarantines, border closures, tour and cruise cancelations, non-essential travel kiboshed, vaccinations, and other suffocating, ever-changing travel regulations, rules and restrictions. All of which have hit the hospitality industry very hard. But as some restrictions start to lift in 2022, travel is back on the agenda for many people. The current global situation has allowed us the time to reflect on where we want to consciously travel. And, there are tons of awesome places to visit that will rejuvenate our souls and heal our spirits.
If you enjoy the mesmerizing beauty and tranquility of fjords, lush forests, thundering waterfalls, and magnificent snowcapped steep mountains, then you will drink in the enchanting village of Geirangerfjord, Norway. It’s been declared as a Unesco World Heritage site. A land of folklore and legend, the fairytale-like area is perfect for hiking, and sightseeing. Take the Fosserasa hiking trail and walk behind the Storsaeter waterfalls. Or take a boat cruise and enjoy the iconic Seven Sisters waterfalls — the streams of water resemble the hair of seven women.
Give your glutes a workout and walk up 300+ steps to take in the spectacular presence of the Storfossen waterfall. Or go behind glass railings, where the Geirangerfjord Skywalk offers an unobstructed panoramic view of the fjords. Be in awe at the cliff-hanging farms sprinkled throughout the rugged terrain. Enjoy adrenaline rushes? Take the Zipline and savor the breathtaking and heart-racing rush over a canyon. It’s a place where magic happens and memories are created.
Banff is one of Canada’s oldest and most scenic parks. It spans 6,641 square kilometers and is filled with fresh air, stunning mountains, picturesque lakes, dense forests, numerous glaciers, and an incredible diversity of wildlife. It’s located in the Alberta Rockies along the Trans-Canada Highway, approximately 100 kilometers west of Calgary. Lake Louise and Lake Moraine are glacier-fed lakes that have the more beautiful turquoise-colored water. Both are perfect for hiking and canoe exploring. Hike up to Lake Agnes Tea House and breath in the spectacular beauty of the area. You can also explore Banff’s Johnston Canyon and take an ice walk. If you love hiking and biking, then Banff has over 45 easy trails that the whole family will enjoy.
Explore the quaint medieval village of Locronan, a nostalgic, unspoiled, well-preserved, and most beautiful place in Brittany, France. The idyllic romantic charm still exists with even paths and pavements carefully preserved. The village was originally named Saint Ronan after the 6th-century hermit founder. In the historic heart of Locronan, you’ll see old buildings made from blue/gray granite. Thanks to a 16th-century sail-making trade, this sleepy village became prosperous. But it was not long before some aggressive competition and cut-throat prices took that away from the village. Today, the village thrives on tourism with hundreds of thousands of tourists cascading in. And filmmakers will use the old buildings as a backdrop in their movies.
Visit Saint Ronan church which was built between 1420 and 1480 and is deemed one of the most beautiful Gothic period buildings. If you’re up for a calm ambiance location, stroll through the old cemetery and view old graves of villagers from centuries past. Many make a pilgrimage to the grave of St. Ronan. It’s a great nostalgic place to explore. With only 800 residents, strolling through this picturesque village is like walking back in time to the French Renaissance.
Butterfly Valley, Turkey
Butterfly Valley is a sunny, warm, and trendy place along the Mediterranean coast in Turkey, where lots of tourists and sun-loungers alike visit every year. If you dig a quiet tranquil beach with warm sand, lots of sunshine, and a laid-back vibe, this is a must travel excursion destination. This rare beauty is located in the Gulf of Belceiz and is only assessable by boat from Oludeniz. It got its name from the stunning tiger butterflies which you can see from June to October. But there are over 100 species of butterflies that live on the island. With a gorgeous dense nature reserve, two gushing waterfalls, numerous hiking trails, and mesmerizing turquoise waters, this is a place where you can chill out and rejuvenate your spirit.
23 kilometers away from Butterfly Valley is the port city of Fethiye, Turkey. It’s the ideal location to set up as a base as you travel to different places around the area. There are ample things to do in and just around Fethiye that will keep you captivated for days. If you love hiking, there is an 8-day walking tour (6 hours a day) where you traverse well-traveled trails once used by ancient Greeks and Romans. Along the way, you can explore the Amyntas Rock Tombs dating back to the 4th-century. The most spectacular and notable tomb belongs to Amyntas son of Hermagios.
Then along the way, you will have the opportunity to explore the ruins of Kayaköy, a desolate, dilapidated, deserted stone village. In essence a ghost town. After what was called a cruel population exchange in 1923, the village was abandoned. Among the ruins is two churches that still have an elaborate interior. But, importantly, there are oodles of beaches to laze around and soak up the Turkish sun. Walk around the city and feast on the fruit of lots of olive and fig trees growing wild.
Riomaggiore is a colorful little village in the province of La Spezia and the first along the Cinque Terre rugged coastal line. The Cinque Terre includes a string of five little fishing villages/towns totally separate from each other, but joined at the hip by cliffside hiking trails. With oodles of historic character, Riomaggiore dates back to the 13th-century. The pastel colors of the homes are regulated by their government, so you would need permission first before changing hues.
Riomaggiore to Manarola: this part of the trail is affection called Lovers Lane – 1.5 km walk – 30 minutes
Manarola to Corniglia: 3 km easy walk – 1 hour
Corniglia to Vernazza: 4 km moderate walk – 1.5 hours
Vernazza to Monterosso: 3.5 moderate walk – 1.5 hours
Known for its tasty vino, you can join a guided walking tour of the vineyard and enjoy some local wine tasting. Step onto the Blue Trail and give your legs and buttocks a workout. Enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery as you trek to each village.