Every continent, country, and the city has something amazing to offer; we look to travel bloggers & their favorite destinations around the world.
Favourite destinations in the world
If you’ve already discovered the beauty that is Bruges, let me introduce Ghent. Like Bruges, she has copious amounts of history, chocolate and beer, and in addition a long track record of rebelliousness that dates back to medieval times.
On the Graslei, once described as the most beautiful quayside in Europe, you’ll find the guild houses of the merchants, and from Sint-Michielsbrug, you can see the three towers that dominate the city, including the magnificent Belfort.
For more modern indulgences, Ghent has a vibrant music scene, plenty of street art installations, waffles and gastronomic treats galore, including a weekly veggie day, and opportunities to see the beauty of the city from the water. If you like your architecture medieval and gothic, your people warm and welcoming and your city bursting with attitude and history, then Ghent will charm you as she has charmed me over the decades.
This year my sister and I finally made the trip to Cuba. It was a short, one-hour flight from Tampa, FL and we wish would have visited this country sooner. We were missing out on so much! The moment we landed and walked into the terminal, we felt like we had stepped back in time. We were completely disconnected from our cell phones, couldn’t use our credit cards, and hopped into a classic American car. Off we were to Havana!
It was so exciting to be somewhere and have no idea what it was going to be like. You can’t get on your phone and read a review of a restaurant or pull up google maps to find your hotel. You just have to go with the flow! The amazing architecture and history blew us away, but the one thing we truly appreciated was the friendly and caring people. We’ve traveled quite a bit and Cubans are the most friendliest and welcoming people we have ever encountered on our travels.
Barcelona is one of my favorite places in the world!
The city has so much to offer, from delicious food and unique architecture to sports and the beach; there’s something for everyone. But food and the arts are my jam, so I loved seeing the works of Antoni Gaudi in real life and tasting Catalonian delights. Aside from La Sagrada Familia, there are also beautiful cathedrals built in a more traditional style, such as Catedral de Barcelona and Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi.
Barri Gotic, also known as the Gothic Quarter, is one of the most historic places in the city, with narrow medieval streets and a museum (Museu d’Historia de Barcelona) with the remains of the ancient Roman city.
For Picasso lovers, the Picasso Museum has a plethora of works from his early days up to his last days and you’re able to see his style transition and evolve from childhood to the Picasso we know today. Las Ramblas, though touristy, is home to one of the best food markets, La Boqueria, as well as Jamon Experience, where you can learn and taste 8 different types of Jamon, ranging from Jamon serrano to Jamon Iberico de Bellota. I loved Barcelona and cannot wait to go back!
The moment my boyfriend and I stepped out of Virac airport to explore Catanduanes, I just had this good feeling that we were going to have a great time.
And I was right.
Catanduanes is an underrated province in the Bicol region in the Philippines. It’s a landlocked island with mountainous terrain, and most of its residents are living in seaside communities.
Picturesque rolling hills are a common feature; it has pristine beaches hidden in small islands, lagoons, several waterfalls and beaches good for surfing or a simple day out in the sun. There are also fair-priced resorts for long stays.
For the history or culture buffs, there are old churches and lighthouses to see. But really, what I love most about Catanduanes is its friendly, generous locals. We were greeted with such warmth and offered help whenever needed and meals or fruits before we headed out on the road. It’s a place that’s brimming with good vibes.
Our new home is fast becoming my all-time, favorite destination. We traveled around Asia a few years ago and walked away loving China and everywhere in China, so moving to China has confirmed our love for the country.
Head to the north and explore the capital of Beijing, with its Great Wall, Forbidden City, Temple of heaven, and every unusual insect you can think of on a stick. Or pop on a train to Tianjin and visit our home, complete with an Italian-themed quarter, Ferris Wheel, a popular football team, and a gorgeous river running through the center.
Visit the Terracotta Warriors in Xi’an or get up close and personal to the Pandas of Chengdu. Jump of a Yangtze River Cruise to relax or catch the sights and wonders of Shanghai.
Koh Samui, Thailand
It was my first holiday to Koh Samui so I really didn’t know what to expect.
All I knew was that this holiday was going to be pure relaxation on a lovely island paradise by the beach where (along with my husband) we would stay in beautiful accommodation and just enjoy the ambience.
It was all that I could dream of and more!
We stayed at the Hansar Samui Resort & Spa located at Bophut Beach. It is a boutique hotel that greets you with a warm Thai welcome from the staff and stunning beachfront views; where you can so easily dive into the cool waters of the resort pool or the refreshing waters of the Andaman Sea.
The waft of delicious food cooking in the breeze is enough to set your stomach rumbling in unison with your mouth-watering, and you won’t be disappointed.
The food was amazingly flavorsome and to me, it was made with love, so of course, I just wanted to eat more and more……………..
Things to Do
Fisherman’s Village begins only a mere few meters away from the Hansar Samui and is a popular and bustling area that presents a generous mix of restaurants, salons, tailors, clothing stalls, convenience stores, and souvenir shops.
Don’t forget to bring along your best bartering skills too, especially for the Friday night markets.
Besides spending the day poolside or beachside (and always be sun smart) you are spoiled for choice with tour operators in Bophut offering a variety of day tours, hiring a Jet Ski, parasailing, and even reps advertising to watch Muay Thai boxing matches take place at the main boxing stadium in Chaweng.
My favorite travel destination has to be the remote Intag region of Ecuador. A couple of hours by bus from the nearest big city, few travelers venture there, so it’s truly off the beaten path.
I stayed with a lovely couple who run a small grassroots ecotourism and volunteer project – Cloud Forest Adventure. They are promoting ecotourism as an alternative to mining, as the area is under threat from large-scale mining operations which will almost certainly harm the local biodiversity and general health of the population.
There, people still do a lot of things we take for granted by hand. Planting and harvesting crops, milking cows, making cheese, weaving baskets – these are some of the things you can do first-hand! There are also plenty of trekking opportunities in the cloud forest.
The best thing about it, though? The people. They are simple country folk who don’t have much in terms of material possessions, but they will welcome you warmly into their homes and offer you more food than you could ever eat. And that’s when you realize how little you truly need to be happy. I loved it so much, I ended up staying there 6 months as a volunteer English teacher.
French Alps – Portes du Soleil
My love for the mountains and snowboarding took me to work on and off during five consecutive Winters – and a whole Summer – in many ski resorts spread across the Alps. I got to know epic resorts like Val Thorens – in the domain of Les 3 Vallees, Saint-François-Longchamp, Risoul-Vars, Pra Loup, Les 2 Alps and many others. But my favorite was, indeed, Portes du Soleil.
One of the largest in the world – encompassing thirteen resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland, which make a skiable area of 650km and 10 terrain parks – I was often based in Avoriaz while working there. Although it is not one of the highest, as the highest you can go skiing is 2400m, Portes du Soleil usually enjoys lots of snow that attracts every kind of crowd.
Fun is not a problem either and Avoriaz has a few nightclubs to party the night away – ideal if there is a bad weather forecast for the next day. Last but not least, you are never waiting too long in the queues due to its massive skiable domain. After Portes du Soleil – my all time favorite ski resort in the world so far!
Why do I love Italy? I first fell in love with the weather. My first visit was in March (2012) and I flew from my home country (Romania) where the snow hadn’t melted yet. And landed in sunny Rome and 20C. I was hooked so badly that last winter (2016-2017) I decided to be a digital nomad in Italy.
Just as the weather was warming me up from the outside, the food did the same job…from the inside. The olives, the cheese, the pizza (cliché, I know), the seafood, the gelato, the cappuccino…I couldn’t even pick my favorite Italian food, cause I loved them all (minus pasta, I don’t like pasta).
Since I’m a bit of a geek, of course, I am fascinated by architecture and historical sites. I spent hours checking out the Roman Forum, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and a lot of castles.
Look and Walk
My favorite travel destination is Costa Rica. When I visited eight years ago, it was my first experience traveling outside of the US and I was immediately bitten by the travel bug.
Looking back, it was truly the happiest I’ve ever been. I went with a group of students from my high school Spanish class and our teacher as chaperones. We played soccer at the beach with locals, zip lined through the rainforest, witnessed a volcano erupting, and went dancing at a club.
I have just returned from my 7th trip to The Island Of The Gods.
There are so many wonderful things to do in Bali that despite 7 visits, I have yet to sample them all. Luxury villas rub shoulders with homestays so visitors of all budgets will have no trouble finding a comfy bed for the night. The Club Villas in Seminyak are all sorts of fabulous.
Foodies are spoiled for choice with a host of fabulous restaurants. Try Warung Kultur for authentic Indonesian cuisine starting at IDR50k or Nostima Grill where amazing souvlaki platters are only IDR75k. Shoppers can indulge in fabulous boutiques or the less scrupulous can bag a designer knock-off or two. I won’t tell! Everyone must experience a budget massage. I do. Daily!
Bali is ripe with natural beauty; seek out the fabulous beaches, verdant rice terraces, and monkey forest sanctuaries. Hire a scooter from IDR50k a day and brave the chaotic traffic to make getting around fuss-free. Sunset drinks are a must and Jimbaran’s Rock Bar is a favorite.
Bali is predominantly Hindu and has over 6,000 temples. The most famous, Tanah Lot, is very popular with visitors and is best seen at sunset. Kuta’s thumping nightlife is legendary and clubs along Jl Legian compete to get you through the door.
Inland, Ubud has a host of retreats and yoga dominates the scene. If that’s not enough, hop a ferry to nearby idyllic Nusa Lembongan or the Gili Islands. The snorkeling and diving are amazing! Bali truly has something for everyone!
I’ve been to so many countries, but the one I keep returning to is India.
There’s something in the chaos that just makes me feel at home; I love the colors, the openness, and the lack of pretense. It feels like everyone is just themselves in India, quirks and all, and that gives you, as a traveler, the right to be yourself as well. India is also incredibly rich in culture, history, and tradition.
One of my favorite places is the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. This Hindu temple is one of the holiest in the country and is a dark, mysterious, swirling mass of people. The smell of the incense, the sound of the chanting and the colors of the saris are hard to forget.
The other reason why I love India so much is the food. Growing up in the UK, I learned to love Indian food; the real thing is very similar to what we have at home but infinitely more varied and interesting. As a vegetarian, it is also incredibly easy for me to eat in India; in the south, vegetarians are in the majority so I’m spoiled for choice. My third trip to India is already booked for next year, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favourite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel to, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.
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Oh my goodness, these want to make me travel so much! My favorite is definitely Turkey or Italy, I loved the people, so friendly!!
Sunday 15th of October 2017
So many places, so little time! Would've loved to include a few places but there are just too many. How amazing this world is! :)
Saturday 14th of October 2017
This is such a great post and you have included some amazing places! you totally should go to Croatia, it is so beautiful! I love the Bavaria region of Germany, I used to live there :) great photos!