Surrounded by Beauty
At the Domaine de Primard — a newly-opened hotel in an 18th-century chateau an hour west of Paris — the gardener is treated with as much reverence as the celebrity chef. Gérard Germaine, the gardener in question, was originally hired by the estate’s former owner, the French actress Catherine Deneuve. More than a decade later, he still tends the 100 acres, which were designed by 20th-century Belgian landscape architect Jacques Wirtz – including a semi-wild rose garden with more than 250 varieties.
Out on Portugal’s Madeira Islands, the lush archipelago far from the mainland, the North Atlantic Ocean has shaped every aspect of life for centuries. The insistent presence of the ocean in Madeira — the largest island in an archipelago of the same name — is so steep that even inland, when walking through a vineyard or dining on a hillside, bright water frames the view. And there is no better location than Madeira in which to drink Madeira. The wine and the place are as intertwined as their common name suggests.
Source: Travel + Leisure
Air Travel Tip
Because there are so many contingencies and so much is up in the air (except, of course, your plane), the U.S. Department of Transportation requires airlines to notify passengers of any schedule changes via email, text, phone call, or message sent via the airline’s mobile app. To be extra-informed, you can also track flights using independent apps and websites such as FlightAware and Flightradar24.
No. 1 in the USA
This Four Seasons property, Four Seasons Resorts Lanai, attracts beach lovers and is a No. 1 hotel pick by U.S. News & World Report. Positioned along a beautiful stretch of Hulopoe Bay sand overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it offers breathtaking ocean views, manicured grounds and top-notch customer service. During their stays, guests can enjoy outdoor pursuits, such as snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, hiking, whale watching, scuba diving and more. Visitors use terms like “paradise” and “heaven on earth” to describe the property.
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Flying the Friendly Skies Again
With more than 50% of 18- to 35-year-olds having been vaccinated, things are looking brighter for young Americans looking to resume international travel and embark on new adventures. For Contiki travelers, Europe is once again top of mind. Most of the bookings for next year are for Greek Island Hopping, European Discovery and European Magic, all multiple destination trips, 9-11 days long, with plenty of included experiences and free time along the way. South Africa is also big on the list, as well as Egypt, Thailand and Ireland. Departure-wise, young U.S. travelers are putting their faith in May and June 2022 and looking at a minimum of one-week vacation time.
Pay It Over Time
If you think that long sought-after vacation isn’t doable, think again. Financing companies and airlines have launched services that will allow you to book your bucket-list vacation now and pay for it over time. Affirm, PayPal, and Uplift are among the payment services offered by travel companies and airlines that let you book now and pay your trip off over time (with or without interest, depending on which service you use). Source: CNBC
Hide It AwaySometimes, flights and schedules don’t work out. If only you could lock up your bag somewhere so you don’t have to lug it around. Bounce Bag and Luggage Storage is aiming to solve that problem by providing locations around a growing list of U.S. cities to store your luggage for a small fee. Simply find the location nearest you, book space, drop off your belongings and you will be on your way. Source: thriftytraveler.com
Worth the Dip
Although Cornwall has some of Britain’s warmest seas, an outdoor swim can still feel like a decidedly chilly affair. Enter Penzance’s art deco, open-air Jubilee Pool. This triangular 1930s salt water lido sits right beside the sea, a geometric vision in blue and white. But what makes it a sensational swim spot is the geothermal section. It’s heated to a blissful 30 to 35 degrees Celsius by water that’s been extracted from a geothermal well that plunges 410m into the ground.
Source: Lonely Planet
Ever Evolving Finds
At Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg, hundreds of original and replica 18th-century buildings, including those along main drag Duke of Gloucester Street, recreate life in early America. But this area where north meets south, saltwater meets fresh, and history meets modern life creates a singular ecosystem worth exploring at the Colonial Williamsburg Archaeology Lab. The lab, which houses more than 60 million individual artifacts, continually processes and catalogs new archeological finds — each one an important puzzle piece in the evolving story of history-rich Williamsburg.
Source: National Geographic
Your Inner Goddess AwaitsOpen only to those who identify as women, Glowing Goddess Getaways are weekend ganja retreats meant to be shared with a few of your favorite friends – as long as you don’t mind glamping. The retreats are held at private outdoor destinations across the U.S. in states where recreational marijuana consumption is legal. The experience combines all-you-can-consume-cannabis, from dab bars loaded with smoky rips of shatter to infused chocolate fountains to platters of joints, with activities from yoga to dance to meditation meant to uplift and empower your inner goddess. Source: Lonely Planet
Researchers had been searching Lake Van, the second largest lake in Turkey, for a decade and finally found what they are looking for – the ruins of a 3,000-year-old castle. The castle is still relatively intact and has standing walls as high as 3 to 4 meters (10 to 13 feet). It is believed to be an Iron Age relic of the Urartu Civilization, also called the Kingdom of Van, which lived in the area from the 9th to 6th century BC.
The tree house hotel in the nature resort Tripsdrill near Stuttgart, Germany, offers hotel comfort at a height of up to 15 feet in the air. A veranda is attached to each of the individually designed stilt houses, where guests can enjoy the evening hours in nature and, with a little luck, hear the wolves howling in the wildlife paradise from a safe distance and height! Underfloor heating ensures cozy living comfort. The tree houses can be booked daily in winter and WiFi is available free of charge. When staying in the tree house, a rich breakfast and admission to the wildlife paradise are included on all days of the stay.
Source: PR Newswire
What is Old, Becomes New Again
The Black Forest is a magnificent place to visit with rolling hills interspersed with deep forests. Plenty of sign-posted trails make hiking and biking a pleasure through the countryside. Small towns with cafés and historic homes and churches offer a step back into time. In the town of Gengenbach-Reichenbach, the Boschert family has turned a dilapidated farmhouse into a designer holiday home. Lovingly restored, equipped with their own woods, the house now offers stylish quarters complete with a wood-burning stove and a mountain panorama with magnificent views.
The Joy of Casting
Between picturesque Tuscan hills, shady groves, and emerald streams, Italy is fast becoming one of Europe’s top fly-fishing destinations. And just outside the town of Sansepolcro in the province of Arezzo, the Tevere River, which runs from the Apennines to Rome, is teeming with Apennine Brown Trout and European Graying. Access to the river sends visitors to smaller hamlet towns of the Chianti region. With near year-round access from May to December, fishermen enjoy easy wading across shallow, pebbled riverbeds as they cast dry flies and some terrestrials. As one of Italy’s most classic fishing rivers, it is catch-and-release only, but the size of the trout, up to 20 centimeters in some areas, make the Tevere a true sportsman’s river.
Source: Colorado Wilderness
Private Jets, Luxury Hotels and Butlers — for Your Dog
The travel industry is ramping up the amenities for guests’ canine companions, offering everything from cushy dog beds and gluten-free meals to massages and facials. And just to name a few:
- VistaJet, a pet-friendly private jet company, trained its cabin attendants to help animals cope with fear of flying.
- Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, added “dog butlers,” whose responsibilities include dog walking, poop scooping and canine massage.
- El Encanto, a Belmond Hotel in Santa Barbara, Calif., also updated its dog-friendly offerings in 2020. Gourmet dog menus now list gluten-free options and seasonal fish for $15 a plate, as well as lavender-and-mint treats ($8).
- At the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, staff can arrange dog walkers and pet sitters for guests.
- Dog-owning visitors staying at New York City’s Crowne Plaza can partake in the Pets Getaway package that offers 33% off the pet fee (normally $75), two one-way MetroCards and a MetroCard chew toy.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Bike, Hike, Boat
One of the newest trends in active travel is combing traditional bike or hike trips with boats to access previously hard-to-reach spots such as Sardinia or the islands of Greece and Turkey. By combining the typical guided cycling trip with a private charter of a traditional Turkish Gulet ship, Duvine Bicycle Tours allows its guests to ride beautiful but off-the-beaten-path roads on Aegean islands on its Greece and Turkey trips.
Source: USA Today
Watchin’ the Sun Bake
Jimmy Buffett’s lost shaker of salt may be on a cruise ship. The singer-songwriter recently announced that he was expanding his escape-driven Margarita lifestyle brand to include thrice-weekly cruises to the Bahamas aboard a 10-deck ship called Margaritaville Paradise. The 658-cabin, 1,680-passenger ship – formerly Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s flagship vessel, Grand Classica – will leave Florida’s Port of Palm Beach on April 30, 2022 for its first two-night sailing to Grand Bahama Island. From then on, the ship will sail out of Palm Beach every other day on a rinse-repeat cycle.
Among the Best
By mapping trails, leading ascents and introducing locals to the beauty of their own backyard, one mountaineer, Chou Yeh-Cheng, has been working tirelessly to put Taiwan on the trekking map. Affectionately known as the “Old Mountain Monkey” among Taiwanese hikers, he has hiked Taiwan’s 100 3,000m-plus peaks a record 16 times each. He also holds the record for traversing those 100 peaks in the fastest time. But personal feats aside, by spreading his love of hiking and educating countless others about Taiwan’s natural beauty, Chou has single-handedly changed the island’s hiking culture.
Source: BBC Travel