10 Things to See and Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

The seafaring history, incredible scenery, and the people of Dubrovnik create one of the most engaging Eastern European capitals—a place where old collides with new at almost every turn. Situated in Croatia’s southernmost region between the towering Dinaric Alps and the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is as picturesque as it is historically gripping. Following a destructive siege in 1991 through 1992, the city has returned to a lively, flourishing, and exciting destination. From sea kayaking to monument hopping, here are the 10 best things to see and do in Dubrovnik.

10. Cathedral of the Assumption

Constructed over top dual historic churches is Dubrovnik Cathedral of the Virgin Mary, a rich centerpiece in the city’s past. The very first church here was in Byzantine design circa the 6th century. The second, rumored to have been funded by Richard the Lionheart, was a Romanesque church which fell in the 1667 earthquake. As they say, the third time’s a charm; in its place, in 1713, a Baroque designed cathedral was created by Roman architects, who reclaimed the space and jump started some interesting, intertwined history. Take a look inside and spy remnants of the two preceding cathedrals, an incredible Titian polyptych painting rising high above the altar, and plum-colored marble columns along with beautiful gold work, carvings, and the main highlight, The Treasury. Lit by lofty windows, the interior isn’t as gloomy as other churches might be, offering a nice perspective on a centuries-old building.

Cathedral of the Assumption, Croatia

9. Sponza Palace

If Gothic Renaissance style thrills you in the slightest, don’t miss a visit to Dubrovnik’s 16th century Sponza Palace. The stone building is almost entirely rectangular with an interior courtyard built in a blend of Renaissance and Gothic styles. Constructed by local Croatian builder Paskoje Miličević, the palace’s original purpose was as a center where worldwide merchants brought goods to be assessed and settle a type of customs fee. Some of the best attractions inside are the sculptures and loggia (an exterior, covered gallery) crafted by a variety of legendary stonecutters. The loggia is supported by a series of arches, creating a sublime courtyard open to the elements. The open air atrium is a breathtaking sight that has played host to myriad weddings and special events. In its time, Sponza Palace has been a treasury, a mint, an armory, a bank, and even the location of a school.

Sponza Palace, Croatia

8. Sea Kayak the Adriatic Coast

The coastline hugging Dubrovnik and area is spectacular and there are many ways to make it familiar, but kayaking is one of the most unforgettable. Short distances or long, a view from the water is almost mandatory. Experienced kayakers can’t wait to get into the Adriatic waters and explore Dubrovnik’s coastline and outlying areas. For those without much experience but with a boatload of gusto, there are plenty of area outfitters to help to plan a safe and exciting sea journey. One of the best kayaking trips is to the Elaphiti Islands, a group of isles reaching from Dubrovnik to the northern Peljesac Peninsula. Only three of the 13 islands are inhabited which leaves plenty of outdoor landscape to contemplate and three islands where you can dock your kayak, meet friendly locals, cycle and hike the interiors, visit historic landmarks, and eat fabulous seafood dishes.

Kayak Adriatic Coast, Croatia

7. Dubrovnik Beaches

Though not your typical beach destination, Dubrovnik boasts some pretty beautiful coastal stretches worthy of an afternoon, but be warned, what a Croatian will say is a “beach” isn’t what most tourists would imagine. On Banje Beach near Old Town there are umbrellas and loungers for rent along the gravel coast. Most of the other beaches are gravel, smaller pebble, and even outright rocks but there’s still a lot to rave about like clear, cool Adriatic water and enchanting backdrops. Copacabana Beach features a shallow drop into the water and is alongside a waterpark, making it perfect for families. The Lapad peninsula is overtaken with hotels flanking a long pebble beach available to the public. Finally, do as the locals do: go east from Ploce gate, walk by Hotel Argentina and the old monastery, and head down a long flight steps to Sveti Jakov Beach, a neighborhood favorite.

Dubrovnik Croatia

6. Dubrovnik Cable Car

There isn’t any better vantage point in the area than from the summit of Mount Srdj and the way to arrive is by a spellbinding cable car ride, up, up, and away! Don’t confuse the old with the new: the first cable car to whisk passengers to the tip of Srdj began its run in 1969 but met its demise during the Croatian War of Independence; now there’s a new car in town, traveling the route since 2010 when they were finally restored. If you’re in Croatia to explore some of the country’s most beautiful islands, this is where you’ll get an amazing perspective of Lokrum, Saipan, Mljet, and Korcula, see the Adriatic spilled out in front of you, and get an eagle’s eye view of historic Old Town. Head east from Old Town by foot and you’ll arrive in Ploce where you can start your alpine adventure.

Photo by: Son of Groucho via Flickr
Photo by: Son of Groucho via Flickr

5. Saipan

Sipanska Luka and Sudurad are charming fishing towns on Saipan, the largest of the Elaphiti Islands. The old homes, hotels, and shops on Sipanska Luka are a great example of the abundant limestone rock used to build across Croatia. Sipanska Luka is enveloped by a scenic port where boats dot the water, coming and going with fresh catches. The sweeping harbour is a great place to stop for a meal and soak in the scenery. Explore the ins and outs of  town via interesting alleyways and small avenues. Sudurad also features a pretty port, host of restaurants, and a few good hotels. The grand, turreted estate of the Skocibuha family, and a 16th century spectacle, is also in Sudurad and was once used as a summer residence for the merchant, seafaring family. Ferries make daily trips to Saipan but note which town they are docking in when making plans.

RnDmS / Shutterstock.com
RnDmS / Shutterstock.com

4. Put Your Dancing Shoes On

If you’re visiting Dubrovnik anytime in July through the end of August, the city will give you a reason to put your dancing shoes on: Dubrovnik Summer Festival. If there’s one thing Eastern Europeans love, it’s their music. When this festival hits, you’ll hear plenty of local, national, and international songs echoing throughout squares, churches, palaces, hotels, fortresses, and many outdoor areas around the city for almost two entire months. There is also a large showing of films, dance and theater performances at more than 80 venues. Since 1950, this cultural showcase has enticed a growing number of visitors to the Renaissance Baroque capital to experience inspirational customs and traditions through the festival, which first premiered back in 1950. It is a true cultural celebration and a festival of the arts where you’ll see those young and old alike participating in lively and unique events.

Photo by: The Dubrovnik Summer Festival
Photo by: The Dubrovnik Summer Festival

3. Koločep

A few kilometers northwest of Dubrovnik is Koločep Island, a quiet, peaceful island and ideal place to appreciate local life. Most of the bustle surrounds the harbor, which is the essence of life here, where ferries come and go, fishing boats pull their prizes to shore, and hotels and restaurants perch above, offering guests a lovely view, both day and night. Renting a bike and touring the small island is one of the best ways to delve into the natural treasures, cycle alongside flourishing olive groves, spy secluded beaches to sunbathe on, and explore two small island villages. Most visitors rave about the ample walking paths meandering around the island, some leading to cliff tops with amazing views of the mainland and nearby islands. Accommodation-wise, there is one larger hotel and some private rentals—that’s just the thing which keeping crowds from pouring in, leaving a small island beautifully untouched.

Kolocep, Croatia

2. Old Town: Explore

Old Town Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and pedestrian-only location with plenty of fascinating things to see throughout. Founded in the 7th century, you can definitely call the city “ancient” Epidaurum refuges that first founded the islands, naming them Laus. Eventually the Slavs came along and settled across the water in Dubrovnik, which then they called Dubrava, meaning “oakwoods”. In the 12th century, the channel dividing the two groups flooded and the refugees were united with the Slavs, all who were safeguarded by the Byzantine Empire. An ideally preserved, medieval, completely walled city, Dubrovnik’s Old Town is filled with historic attractions and modern curiosities. Among the spectacular, medieval, Baroque, and Renaissance landmarks within the impressive buildings and unforgettable city gates are the 14th century Baroque-style Franciscan Monastery; the 11th century Rector’s Palace (old Town Hall); Sponza Palace (customs house); the Dominican Monastery; and several Baroque-style churches.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

1. Take an Historical Walking Tour

The 10th century walls surrounding the city of Dubrovnik are a sight to behold and a magnificent attraction for tourists. Spanning almost 20 feet wide and up to eight feet high in some spots, the walls were made for one reason only—to keep invaders out. Anyone can walk along the entire stretch of ancient walls; it’s one of the best ways to see some of the sights of Old Town from above and soak in majestic views of the Adriatic Sea and coastline. Two forts, (Revelin Fort protecting the western entrance and Lovrijenac Fort protecting the east) along with dual towers, are built directly into the walls and thought to have been incorporated circa the 15th century to upgrade the city’s stronghold. To find the entrance to the walled walk, go to Pile Gate, the main entrance to Dubrovnik, and you can’t miss it.

travel ettiquette

The Best 12 Places in the World to Charter a Yacht

Planning your vacation is always one of the best parts about the vacation itself and if you happen to be taking a sailing trip in the near future, the first thing you have to decide is where you want to go. Are you looking for the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, complete with palm trees and white sand? Or are you after a more rugged and wild adventure? From the Southwest Pacific to the Mediterranean there are hundreds of amazing places to charter a yacht. Looking at an array of factors we have narrowed the list down to our favorite 12 places to charter a yacht around the world.

12. Fiji

In the Southwest Pacific there are 300 stunning islands over a large area of ocean waiting to be explored. These islands are surrounded by an abundance of sea life, spectacular reefs, crystal clear waters and beautiful lagoons. Fiji is also known for having some of the most welcoming people around. The remoteness of Fiji makes exploring these water and islands unlike anything else in the world. Discover the land of amazing beaches, coconut plantations, tropical rainforests and underwater adventures. Experiencing Fiji is easy, as English is widely spoken and it is known to be very safe. If you are looking for those long sandy beaches with palm trees and coral reefs make sure to get to the Mamanuca Islands. If you want to experience the traditional way of life, make sure to head to Yasawa Islands where the amazing scenery and crystal clear lagoons go perfectly with the laid-back lifestyle here.

Fiji Island

11. Seychelles Islands

The Seychelles Islands can best be described as paradise on earth with towering granite rocks, swaying giant palm trees and turquoise inlets that are framed with sparkling white sand beaches. These 115 islands lay off the east coast of Africa, just south of the Equator and are absolutely breathtaking. The outer islands are low-laying, mostly coral atolls and sailing is done mainly within the inner islands, all close together which make for easy island hopping. They are blessed to be situated in a balmy, calm part of the Indian Ocean and exploring these secluded islands is a once in a lifetime experience. Mahe is the largest and most developed isle and deserves to be explored at the mountains soar to almost 3,000 feet above sea level and the tropical forests are laced with hiking trails. Picturesque bays and coves line e 44 miles of coastline and boast 65 world-class beaches.


10. Tortola, British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands boast that they have more yachts there than anyone else in the world, reminding everyone that this destination is the perfect place to charter a yacht. What makes this destination so perfect? To start, the consistent trade winds, line-of-site navigations and abundance of sheltered anchorages. The ideal blend of easy deep water island hops is perfect for the whole family. Combine all of this with crystal clear waters, picture perfect beaches, breathtaking rock formations, abundance of on-shore activities and a great selection of dining options, and you can see why so many people love to sail here. Make sure to visit Anegada with its pristine white sand beaches and colonies of pink flamingoes. If you are sailing as a family you won’t want to miss Marina Cay, a flower covered island nestled in the calm, sheltered warm water lagoon that is perfect for young children.

Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com
Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

9. Thailand

Thailand is truly an awesome destination for sailors from anywhere in the world. Sandy beaches, towering palm trees, mountain ranges and bright blue sea make for an unforgettable landscape. Chartering a yacht here allows you to find both peace and tranquility while still letting you indulge in the sensational nightlife. Each island will share the same tranquil waters but feature different beaches and amazing landscapes. Head to Phuket if you want to escape the busyness and explore the exotic flora and fauna, hidden coves and bays. Everywhere you go in Thailand expect wonderful food and the warmest of welcomes from the locals. They don’t call this place “The Land of Smiles” without good reason. Warm waters mean plenty of snorkeling and diving throughout the day and we promise a yacht trip here won’t be boring.

Thailand yacht

8. Sicily, Italy

Sailors are attracted to this part of the Mediterranean for its famous beaches, secluded anchorages and quiet fishing villages. You will want to spend some time in the port of Palermo as this ancient city begs to be explored. Visitors can expect historic squares, impressive cuisine and stunning architecture. Also found in Palermo are an abundance of galleries, museums and opera houses. Don’t miss out on heading to the Aeolian Islands which are located just 35 miles north of Sicily. This chain of volcanic islands offers seas as clear as the Bahamas, exceptional cuisine and breathtaking landscapes. Also plan on visiting Catania where you will have extraordinary views of Mount Etna, as well as Trapani and Marsala.

Sicily, Italy

7. Whitsunday Islands, Australia

The 74 Whitsunday Islands are located along the northeastern coast of Australia, right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Water sports along with snorkeling and diving excursions brings yachters from all over the world to experience these waters. The eight main islands here offer resorts but there are plenty of deserted islands and sandbars to visit as well. Make sure to anchor at Bauer Bay and walk to the top; as you will get the best view of the islands. Blue Pearl Bay is the spot you will want to anchor at if you want great snorkeling and plenty of whale sightings. Make sure you don’t miss Whitehaven Beach, considered one of the best beaches in the world. True to its name this beach offers pure white sand, some of the purest on earth and charms visitors with beautiful sunsets and breathtaking views.

Hamilton Island Whitsundays

6. French Rivera

This coastal region along the Mediterranean is just packed full of breathtaking beaches and stunning scenery. Full of sunshine all year round, to charter a yacht here will be an experience unlike any other. This area manages to do an incredible job of combining the rugged landscapes with the large cosmopolitan resorts of Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo. For vibrant nightlife and exceptional cuisine, head inland to any of these places. To escape the crowds, yacht down to Port Cros and Porquerolles where the atmosphere is relaxed and gently swaying palm trees is all the action you will see. Historical architecture along this coast combined with white sandy beaches and small marinas make this one of the most fabled places to charter a yacht.

Oleg Znamenskiy / Shutterstock.com
Oleg Znamenskiy / Shutterstock.com

5. Canary Islands, Spain

Located just off the coast of Africa, the Canary Islands are a popular European vacation destination, especially for those looking to take to the seas. Unspoiled nature and favorable winds make this a year round destination. The islands are a mix of different cultures, people, historical influences and warm local hospitality. The best way to explore the islands is to travel to and from them by yacht. The beaches of Gran Canaria are among the favorite of all visitors as well as the bustling nightlife of Tenerife. The island of La Palma is what makes this destination stand out among the rest though, and some visitors here refer to it as the most beautiful place in the world. With sheltered marinas, breathtaking beaches and favorable winds; this is one of the best places to be on the water in the world.

Canary Islands Tenerife

4. Croatia

Croatia is one of the Mediterranean’s hidden gems, offering over 1,000 islands and is truly a sailor’s paradise. The Dalmatian Islands are wild, rugged and mostly uninhabited and offer some of the best sailing in the area. Ancient villages steeped in history, pristine beaches and the isolated Kornati archipelago await you here. If you do plan on sailing here and want seclusion, plan on coming from in early spring where you can find your own private little cove. The water in April and May can be warm enough to swim in. If you are looking for exceptional cuisine, wine and culture; head on over to the West and South Istria where the people are proud to offer you these goods. Croatia happens to be a very popular spot for yacht owners who wish to keep their yachts in Europe but not in the EU, as it gives them a tax break.

Dubrovnik Croatia

3. Turkey

Turkey boasts over 8,300 kilometers of coastline, four seas and an abundance of coves, inlets, bays, beaches and marinas. Sailing in turkey is amongst the best in the world due to the crystal clear blue waters, the steady winds and the abundance of beautiful beaches and secluded anchorages. Turkey has long since been the meeting point between the Far East and Mediterranean and the culture and cuisine in this country can reflect this. The stretch of Turkish coast line is divided in four different yacht charter areas; each offering their own unique experience. Head up the Ionian Coast if you are looking for the best climate and to discover the shores which brought forth the rich culture of the Ionians or if you feel like discovering mountainous shores head to the West Lycian Coast. Rock tombs make up much of the Easy Lycian Coast and the Carian Coast is the most popular sailing ground.

Turkish Riveira

2. St. Martin

St. Martin has to be one of the most popular sailing destinations in the world and it’s no wonder why as this island is overflowing with beauty. The island is ruled by both French and the Netherlands and you truly get to experience two cultures in one place when you visit. When you charter a yacht here there are plenty of other islands to explore including St Barths, Anguilla and Saba. Expect beautiful deserted beaches full of silky white sand, exceptional waterfront restaurants and exceptional shopping. Explore the waters and learn why Saba is a diver and snorkelers paradise. The enchanting tropical scenery combined with enough nightlife, world-famous beaches and other islands to explore make this the number one Caribbean escape.

Yachts St. Martin

1. Greece

Greece boasts over 3,000 islands and islets and truly is one of the best places on earth to charter a yacht. The ancient archeology, stunning natural landscapes and rich culture draws yacht goers from all over the world. Some of the most popular islands to explore include Santorini, Mykonos and Crete. In Santorini you will find white washed houses, striking hillside towns and sunsets to die for. Crete offers visitors exceptional Greek food and the chance to go back thousands of years in history at one of their many archeological sites. Mykonos is where you will find the busyness of the Greek Islands, so head here if you want to experience the epic nightlife and packed main beaches. Sail through the ancient seas here exploring the many islands, both inhabited and not, under the glorious Mediterranean sun.

Greece islandssi

10 Unexpected Kid-Friendly Vacation Destinations

Beyond the Disney World’s, the aquariums, the all-inclusive resorts and the cruise ships; there is a whole other world of vacation destinations that are kid-friendly. Although at one time these destinations may have catered to only adults, in recent years they are encouraging families to visit and making it more affordable and easier to do so. From the mountains of Argentina to the coast of Wales to the heart of Brazil; these 10 unexpected kid-friendly destinations will have you booking your flights in no time. But hurry, before everyone else realizes what really awaits families here.

10. Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia has always been known as an incredible adventure destination but in recent years more and more families have taken to traveling here. It could be that the breathtaking landscapes that boast mountains, lakes, fiords and glaciers beckon to both kids and adults alike, or perhaps parents are discovering this destination which encourages kids to switch off their electronics. There is an abundance of guided walks, boat rides and horseback rides that are designed with kids in mind. The landscape here is rich with wildlife including gray foxes, cougars, whales, sea lions and eagles and if you are traveling with older kids mountaineering is a popular option to see some of these.  To get the kids excited about traveling here make sure to let them watch Ice Age before you go, where glaciers and fiords come to life. Plenty of family lodges and restaurants make this destination perfect for your next family vacation.

Penguins Patagonia, Argentina

9. Croatia

One wouldn’t necessarily think of traveling to Croatia for a family vacation, as it is well-known for two things; its line-up of music festivals and a romantic seaside getaway. Families should be happy to know though that this breathtaking landscape is the perfect spot to bring the kids. Croatia boasts many family-friendly hotels that include kids clubs, private pools and planned activities. Even though this country is known for its elegant cuisine, kids here will find plenty of pasta and pizza on the menus, along with ice cream parlors on every corner. The long stretches of beaches are one of the biggest reasons to head here with the kids. Many of them boast facilities such as restrooms, snack bars and even lifeguards. This country loves children and while traveling here with them, you will be welcomed into every restaurant, museum or any other activity you want to explore.

Beach Dubrovnik Croatia

8. South Africa

Whether you are looking for a beach vacation or something more along the lines of a safari; South Africa is the perfect place to do so with the kids in tow. The excellent weather, breathtaking scenery, accommodations that fit your budget and a variety of activities to be had; the long flight is definitely worth it. Hotels that are specially geared towards families are speckled throughout the country and come with amenities such as kids clubs and experienced babysitters. These hotels often offer discounts for kids and many of them even offer ‘kids stay free’ promotions. Wildlife safaris can be planned on malaria-free reserves with all-inclusive lodges and an exciting kid’s program. Some even offer horseback riding and cycling safaris; which prove to be popular with kids. First-world amenities make it easy for the whole family to enjoy this country with kid’s menus in the restaurants and excellent road infrastructure.

Cape Town South Africa

7. Panama

It is one of Central America’s hottest new destinations and the biggest decision that families face when visiting this country is deciding where to go. This country is packed with wildlife, jungles, a remarkable canal system, fascinating islands and impressive history. A good tip in this exotic location is the fact you can drink the tap water safely, a bonus for families with kids who need plenty of hydration! Discover the jungle and wildlife with one of many family friendly guided tours, charter a boat around the islands or play in the surf at one of the many beaches. If you are looking to explore Panama City, it has never been a safer option than now and families will love strolling through the historic neighborhoods, biking along the paths, tasting unique fruits from the markets and enjoying one of the many ice-cream stands that are always nearby.


6. Sedona, Arizona

This vast natural playground provides the perfect setting for a family destination, whether you want to explore the red rocks and their geology, slide down a waterslide or pick out constellations in the night sky. A jeep tour through Sedona that caters to families is the perfect way to start your vacation as guides will educate you on the land, the rock formations and point out flora and fauna you will see throughout your visit. A visit here must include time spent at Slide Rock State Park where kids and adults will slide down the natural water chute, swim in the pools and enjoy a day of hiking. Camp Verde is also a must do on this family vacation with its zoo, zip lines and a close up look at Montezuma Castle. Plenty of kid-friendly accommodations and restaurants make it easy to plan your next family vacation to Sedona.

Wollertz / Shutterstock.com
Wollertz / Shutterstock.com

5. Hong Kong

If you can overcome the idea of taking your kids on quite a long flight, Hong Kong is perhaps one of the most underrated kid friendly destinations in the world. Underneath the modern skyscrapers that dot the landscape lays an array of kid-friendly activities, hotels and restaurants. The two theme parks here; Ocean Park and Disneyland Hong Kong are a huge hit with families and unlike other monstrous theme parks, these are small enough that kids can walk around and are less crowded than other theme parks. The people of Hong Kong love children and everywhere you go you will find someone willing to lend a hand, give up their seat and make your experience even more memorable. The luxury hotels here cater to families which means you won’t have to give up first-class amenities; some of the features for kids include kiddie pools, playgrounds, babysitters and baby equipment.

Hong Kong Observation Wheel

4. Wales, U.K.

If you are looking for a family vacation in the U.K. but don’t want to pay the high prices and fight the crowds in London, Wales is the absolute perfect solution. Only a two hour drive away from London is a world full of natural wonders, kid-friendly bargain accommodations and enough activities to fill your days for weeks. This destination is for families who love to camp or stay in cottages as there are an abundance of options, from ‘glamping’ in a yurt to staying in a self-catering cottage on the coast. If exploring the outdoors is on your list of things to do, Wales has you covered with its numerous mountain climbs and loads of nature reserves complete with boardwalks that make pushing a stroller a breeze. For the families that are seeking a little more excitement make sure to check out the zip lining adventures, underground trampolines and white water rafting.

Jason Batterham / Shutterstock.com
Jason Batterham / Shutterstock.com

3. Las Vegas, Nevada

It has long been known as the ultimate playground for adults but Las Vegas is surprisingly kid-friendly. This city may just offer more entertainment and activities for children than anywhere else in North America, other than Orlando. Staying here is a breeze as many of the hotels cater specifically for families and if you are looking for something a little quieter, many of them are located just a short shuttle trip away from the strip. Amenities such as kid’s pools, babysitting, playgrounds, camps and organized activities are all found in the hotels. Despite popular belief, a family vacation here can also be quite affordable with the many free attractions including free shows, street performers and admission to certain attractions. The best part of taking the kids to Vegas might just be watching their reaction as they see life-sized replicas of some of the most famous landmarks in the world.

Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock.com
Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock.com

2. Atlantic City, New Jersey

It may be known for its casinos and entertainment but Atlantic City certainly shouldn’t be thought of as an adults-only destination. This city has in recent years has put a big push on promoting itself as a family-friendly city which means you can score great deals on hotels which are catering to families. Choose a hotel that has a pool, kid’s programs and restaurants within to make your trip even easier. Many families are now choosing a non-gaming hotel when they visit here. Beaches line the Atlantic Ocean complete with surfing and kayaking opportunities. The Steel Pier is located on the boardwalk and features many rides and attractions for families, with even a kiddies-ride area. The Atlantic City Aquarium, the IMAX theater and historic landmarks are all just a short drive away.

Pier Atlantic City, New Jersey

1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio is often known for its beautiful people and beautiful beaches but underneath all of that is an extremely kid-friendly city that absolutely loves children of all ages. Restaurants that have attached playgrounds are the norm here, as are kid-friendly beaches and an abundance of family activities. Some of the beaches have organized kids activities, along with a slightly calmer feel than many of the popular crowded, beats-pumping ones. A train ride to see the iconic Christ the Redeemer Statue, aerial cable car rides, a walk in the rainforest and enough fresh juices, ice cream and pastries to keep the kids happy all day long proves that Rio can be just as fun for kids as it can for adults. Enjoy the hotels where kids stay free, the restaurants where they eat free and the welcoming arms of the people who will gladly juggle your screaming baby when you are trying to enjoy your meal.

Filipe Frazao / Shutterstock.com
Filipe Frazao / Shutterstock.com

The 8 Best European Winter Getaways

Some people actually prefer snow (as hard as that is to believe), yet the majority of winter dwellers crave a warm weather adventure to restore their bounce for life. Out in the big world are opportunities for everyone to experience life according to their own wish list. It could be skiing in the awesome Alps of Switzerland, laying on a white sand beach in the Mediterranean, or sipping coffee on a terrace in Italy. Whether you are seeking warm or cold weather getaways to escape the work cubicle, we have it covered. Time to de-stress and bring out the inner child. Take advantage of inexpensive locations to hook up with your fantasy trip. Everybody has one. The low tourism season always means low rates, so no reason to deny yourself a holiday. With so many global places eligible as vacation destinations, we went in blind to come up with our favorites for a top ten list, and here they are:

8. Andalucia, Spain

Andalucia is the ‘mother’ of Spanish folklore. It is the place where you get to live the magic of the authentic bullfighting and of Flamenco. This Spanish destination offers golden sand beaches and high ethereal mountain ranges while whisking the imagination to the days of Don Juan and Carmen, who were both born here. Andalucia is crossed by the great Guadalquivir River with an engaging history. It’s the friendly locals, the variety of landscapes, and interesting fauna which keeps travelers returning again and again. Seville, the Andalucia Capital, is one of the most beloved places by visitors due to its overall ambience and incredible landmarks.  The sky touching cathedral, Torre Del Oro, and the old district Barrio Santa Cruz are only a few of many must see places in Seville. Costa De Sol beckons with its fine sand beaches made popular by tourists. The Mediterranean coast revels in smooth climates, great food and entertaining culture. For sport enthusiasts, Andalucia embraces everything from skiing in the Sierra Nevada to surfing in Tarifa and always in the most ideal conditions.

Andalucia, Spain

7. Tromsø, Norway

Tromsø as a vacation spot may not come to many people’s minds immediately, however, this unique little place deserves to be explored. The city enjoys a midnight sun from May to July. During this time, the sun will always be above the horizon. Cable cars are readily available to whisk you away for one stunning panoramic view of the world.Other popular areas to view the sizzling horizon are on the Tromsø Bridge and in front of the Arctic Cathedral, either way, taking in the midnight sun is just the beginning. Tromsø is one of the best places to experience the angelic wonders of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). From the September through March, visitors can be enlightened by perfect atmospheric conditions in the Aurora Borealis belt called Tromsø.  For outdoor lovers, Tromsø offers plenty of sunshine, good weather, and continuous thrills into dark. There is an exciting husky safari, ice kick sledding, and ice fishing. Light and darkness have never worked together quite as well as they do in this special landscape. Tromsø’s most visited attractions include the Botanic Gardens, the Arctic Cathedral, and the Tromsø Museum. Be prepared to be inspired on this travel journey.

Tromsø, Norway

6. Vienna, Austria

“Let’s have a coffee” is a phrase you’re likely to hear a lot in Vienna. With a legendary coffee culture, many relationships and business decisions have been pondered over coffee. Vienna is a romantic’s dream with its baroque palaces and glittering shops. There is something almost ageless about this old historic city. The city bends time coupling old history with the dynamics of a youthful city. A city famous for its trappings of an imperial capital now also includes a rich electronic music scene and vibrant dance clubs.  Between multitudes of street performers, and glamorous balls, this is a city full of flavor. You should not miss the carnival season in Vienna, officially called ‘ball season’ the city hosts elegant and wonderful balls to attend. In the summer, take in one of the area’s many open-air film festivals for a change of pace. Vienna also boasts of over 21 markets, characteristically Viennese hut-like shops which are open daily. There is a large variety available from the dirt cheap to the upscale. Every market offers all the trimmings from coffee to butchers. Grab some kraut and stroll down to the Schloss Schonbrunn palace for a bite from history.

Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock.com
Jorg Hackemann / Shutterstock.com

5. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Enamored by this beautiful city, George Bernard Shaw described Dubrovnik as “For those who seek paradise on earth”. Words do not give justice to this well-preserved city in Croatia. Often called “The Pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik overlooks ancient monasteries, baroque churches, and aristocratic palaces to make for a wonderful getaway. Old town is the first stop in Dubrovnik, a place famous for Stradun and the patron St. Blaise. Watch the world go by in a coffeehouse and escape the gloom of winter. Soak up the sun at a hidden beach unknown to tourists, or check out Dubrovnik’s spectacular and dramatic Dalmation Coast. For those who have never heard of Dubrovnik, it’s the filming location for the widely popular HBO show “Game of Thrones”. In the series, Dubrovnik is used to create ‘King’s Landing” and locations used include St. Dominic Street, Lokrum Island, Sponza palace and Knezev dvor. Hotel Belvedere hosts not only the filming location for this beloved show, but also has some interesting history. Outside of old town, high on a steep beach, this 1986-built hotel was forced to close within 6 years because it was the primary target of the Yugoslav army as the hotel had served as a refugee shelter.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

4. Kas, Turkey

On the southern side of Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, two hour’s drive southeast of Fethiye, is a historic fishing village called Kas. Now a major tourist attraction, Kas has charm and the activities are endless with some of the greatest diving in the entire Mediterranean. Beautiful harbors and tiny-pebbled beaches are only a fraction of Kas’ appeal. There is an unhurried ambiance to the village, letting time float unnoticed amongst daily routines. White-washed houses sit quietly at the wall of mountains before facing the blue waters of the Mediterranean. Bring out the explorer in you by visiting the ruins of the ancient town of Antiphellos or cross the water to the Greek island of Megisti; only a day trip away. Kas also offers boat trips to neighboring villages like Kalkan. If adventure isn’t your calling then spend time relaxing and drinking Turkish coffee in one of their many waterfront coffee-houses. Turkey itself is an enormously cultural rich and diverse country, with a wide variety of interaction for everyone. This is one destination which should be visited at least once in a lifetime.

Kas, Turkey

3. Sorrento, Italy

This southern city of Italy is a treat whatever the weather, with Capri and Naples easily accessible from here. This is the ideal place to taste authentic Italian cuisine and is also the place where gelato was born. The amazing scenery combined with authentic old-world delicacies promises a good time for everyone. The stunning Amalfi Coast is in Sorrento so many tourists flock to this coastal paradise. The intensity continues with Naples so close by. Naples is Italy in the extreme. This is the birthplace of Sophia Loren, modern pizza and also the Camorra, ‘family of organized crime’.  Still, this region of Italy is loaded with travel thrills including the Pompeii ancient Roman sites nearby and Paestum with its old Greek temples. With Sorrento as your sunny springboard you can jet around this part of Italy and never be bored. In fact, you will probably wish to bask lazily on one of the many fine sand beaches in the area, drinking fine wine and taking in a spectacular sunset. The Sorrento people have gone out of their way to make this quaint cliff-ledge town a relaxing and safe place for tourists from all over the world.

Amalfi Coast

2. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is a city split down the middle by the beautiful Danube River. On one side is Buda characterized by curvy rolling hills, the famous Castle district, and historic Ottoman relics. The other side is Pest marked by spread out, tree-lined boulevards, trendy ruin-style bars and vanishing apartment blocks. Budapest is full of magic waters as they bubble constantly into the 118 springs and boreholes around the city. It’s known as the city of spas, and for fans of the pampered type, this winter getaway promises an impressive array of spa baths. Choose from the 1913 neo-baroque style Szechenvi Spa or the Rudas Spa, a 16th century Turkish pool draped by original Ottoman architecture. Afterwards, enjoy Budapest’s amazing city history, engaging culture, and natural beauty. Take in Roman ruins at the Aquincum Museum, or wander through Statue Park to see the 300 foot dome of St. Stephen’s Basilica. Escape to Margaret Island, which was used as a harem during the Turkish occupation. The island once called “Island of the Rabbits” is now a serene green park in the middle of the Danube, so get ready to stroll on its medieval ruins and romantic pathways.

Budapest, Hungary

1. Innsbruck, Austria

If you are looking to extend your winter recreation then rope in some friends and head off to the best of winter destinations in the Karwendal Alps. Ski like a professional down the peaks with crisp air and stunning Alpine landscapes, or try your energy with cross country skiing in these magnificent mountains. Bring lots of energy here, as this has been home of the winter Olympics. Rent a traditional chalet at one of the many resorts and prepare for a fun-filled Alpine vacation. Austria may seem intimidating at first, but no worries, the locales are happy to help you navigate the locale. This Austrian town is chalked full of medieval centers, cathedrals, castles, and fine museums with more attractions to visit and things to do other than just skiing. You certainly won’t go hungry in Innsbruck with an endless variety of restaurants and pubs to feed the most ravenous appetite. Innsbruck is officially an internationally world renowned winter sports center. It is also the halfway point between Verona, Italy and Munich, Germany; perfect for an extended travel journey. While you are in Innsbruck, take in the Alpine Zoo or University Botanical Gardens. Tourism is the number one industry here making Innsbruck desirable for visitors.

Innsbruck, Austria


The 10 Best Naturist Beaches in Europe

No need to worry, this article is completely safe-for-work. No photos of an embarrassing uncle who is all too comfortable in his own skin either (although you may want to send him this link once done reading). We North Americans may not be as accepting to the nude trend (at least we’re told not to be) but that is not how it works in the rest of the world. There are certainly a few in South America, but for the most part, Europe is where the “action” is.
Spanning the globe looking for a place to sport your birthday suit can be an intimidating task as most people may not want to ask “Where’s the closest nude beach?” Therefore, the purpose of this guide is to avoid that embarrassing question, but then again, nude beaches aren’t for the timid so ask that question anyway. We’ve got the answers, here are the top 10 places in Europe to strip off that last layer and be young, wild and free. Or something like that.

10. Wenningstedt-Braderup -Sylt, Germany

Off the northwest coast of Germany (near Denmark) is the island of Sylt. Among the plethora of family-friendly beaches, beaches for dogs/animals, there is of course nudist beaches tucked into this little known region of Germany, and Wenningstedt-Braderup is one of the latter. Wide and spacious, this beach is a forerunner in Germany’s “free body culture” movement also referred to as the FKK. Bare it all next to the North Sea in northern Europe. It might be a little colder due to its location on the top side of the country, but the sand and water are as remarkable as the freedom to let it all fly at this large open space. Among the nude beach however, the town of just over 1,400 has garnered over 1 million overnight stays, and is the fifth-largest tourist resort in the area. So, there is bound to be some company out near the water as well.

Wenningstedt-Braderup, Sylt, Germany

9. Playa de Ses Illetes -Formentera, Spain

Playa de Ses Illetes is a stone’s throw south of the party-crazy Ibiza, Spain. If in Ibiza to go wild, maybe a trip to the local nude beach will seem like a better idea to those who normally wouldn’t be so adventurous. It is such a small place; there is no way to get there through the air. Ferry, bus or cabs are the only available methods of transport in order to reach this location. Spectacular beaches with crystal-clear water will smack tourists in the face (figuratively speaking of course), and almost all of them are nude-friendly. A much more accepted social construct than over here. Playa de Ses Illetes is one of the most popular nude beaches in the area as the white sand and sparkling waters make it incredibly appealing to the eye even if the passersby are not. Be forewarned that July and August are peak months and are likely to be very busy.

beach spain

8. Ilha Deserta -Olhao, Portugal

Where number nine on the list is a much more populous area due to its closeness to Ibiza, Ilha Deserta may offer a more tranquil experience given the fact the area is uninhabited. Just one restaurant exists there, leaving travelers alone to ponder their weird, naked thoughts. A 30-minute water-taxi ride is the way to get to the island whose name translates to “Desert Island”. While there is only one restaurant in the southern-most part of Portugal, that doesn’t mean there is nothing fun to do. Jamanta party boats can be rented for your friends, carrying up to 200 people. There are also nature tours and regular boat tours that are a bit more toned down. Portugal is a tolerant place with one of the most reformed criminal justice systems in the world, so it’s no wonder they are so free spirited when it comes to nude policy.

Ilha Deserta

7. Filaki Beach -Crete, Greece

Crete is known for its incredibly picturesque beaches and beautiful sunsets with Filaki being one of those that stand out among a tough crowd. It is secluded enough to be private; at the end of a long, winding road and partially hidden by an overhanging cliff. It comes with plenty of sun beds, umbrellas and of course a snack bar. Filaki prides itself on being the only “Official” nude beach of Crete. Nudity is actually so accepted in the area that just down the road is the nudist friendly Hotel Vritomartis. While it is a fine beach, it is conveniently located close to a number of other nude-friendly beaches. Need more nude? A local tavern is noted as having almost completely nude clientele, some of which simply walk direct to and from the beach, to their cars and back without getting dressed. A nudist’s paradise, Filaki Beach in Greece is a standout on the list.

Filaki Beach

6. Guvano Beach -Corniglia, Italy

In order to get to Guvano Beach one must walk through an abandoned railway tunnel that has both entrance and exit visible at all times (a good safety feature if naked). It is not unlike others on the list in that it’s hidden away from the touristy spots, with a backdrop of cliffs and a secluded entrance way along the railroad tracks. It’s roomy out there, and the water is just as accommodating. Seeing is better than believing, as this remote Italian town is built on top of a cliff surrounded by beautiful forests and steep hills. It is recommended to stay overnight to explore all the region has to offer, and book a ferry or boat tour while there. Guvano Beach has less of a resort feel than other beaches on the list do, and more of a private secluded getaway feel, made for a secret agent or celebrity.

Northfoto / Shutterstock.com
Northfoto / Shutterstock.com

5. Plage de Tahiti -St. Tropez, France

France has several nude beaches and Plage de Tahiti is a shining example. Sitting on the French Riviera’s Mediterranean shoreline it’s simply an astonishing site. Picture-perfect sand and waves await visitors, and it’s said to be a favourite of some celebrities, so no cameras please. Lonely Planet describes it simply as a “magnificent sandy beach” but that doesn’t really do it justice. There’s a peer, several bars, restaurants and enough umbrellas to find one for your own. Nearby hotels make for a great vacation spot although, the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean can get a little bit pricey. Unless the chequing account agrees, don’t plan on staying long without putting a dent in the bank account as mentioned before, this is a popular area for celebs (especially around the time of the Cannes Film Festival) and the prices are very likely to reflect that.

Plage de Tahiti -St. Tropez, France

4. Agesta Beach -Stockholm, Sweden

The official nude beach of Stockholm, family, friends and couples all hang out in this area at Agesta. This is where one is likely to be neck-deep in nudist culture. Play areas (whatever that means), picnic tables and barbecue areas are all available for groups to have a great time and enjoy themselves. While the country is more likely known for its love of hockey and cheap furniture, nudity is rather widely accepted in Sweden, and is certainly encouraged as a nudist destination for anyone visiting the capital city. This also means there’s no need to be embarrassed! It’s simply a part of life there. The beach is owned and operated by the government and is likely unknown (and rather unexpected for that matter) to foreign nationals. Stockholm buses reach the beach or you may even drive from the city and simply follow the signs or naked people to get to the correct destination. Stockholm can get cold, so bring appropriate clothing along, too.

lake Magelungen

3. Playa de los Muertos -Almeria, Spain

Hold onto your hats because Playa de los Muertos translates to “Beach of the Dead”. However, the Walking Dead isn’t filming here and the name doesn’t really have anything to do with it. This pebble beach has sparkling deep turquoise waters that give the feeling of tranquility at first glance. There aren’t many facilities on site, but this helps to keep the beach less busy in peak months; of course nudists will be there all year round. It’s a bit of a trek to reach the beach from the volcanic cliffs, but it is well worth it. In fact, many tourists advise bringing some snacks and drinks to ensure enough energy for the journey back! The downward adventure is not advised for children, the elderly or in flip-flops/sandals. It can get a bit slippery and it is harder to traverse on the way back up than it is on the way down.

Playa de los Muertos -Almeria, Spain

2. Valalta -Rovinj, Croatia

Technically referred to as a “naturist campsite”, Valalta takes on nudity full bore. There exists a swim-up bar, a waterslide into a pool, and beer tasting at the on-site brewery. This is essentially an inclusive vacation resort… just with nudity! Thousands of nudists are present at any given time; however the facility is large and spacious enough to accommodate everyone. Different types of beaches including stone and sand make up this pleasant village with plenty of pools, restaurants and even a market for fresh food. Expect to make friends if planning to return, many of the guests have been visiting for generations and make it a yearly ritual to return with their families. So if that’s your thing, invite grandma, grandpa, even your brother and sister along for the family vacay. Croatia is a beautiful country and this resort is no exception.

Photo by: camping.hr
Photo by: camping.hr

1. Plage de Pampelonne -St. Tropez, France

As with most of the beaches near the beautiful backdrop that is the Mediterranean Sea, Plage de Pampelonne attracts the rich, famous and the nude. Nude or non-nude guests are welcome to reserve a beach bed or parasol to be both comfy and covered from the sun. It is also a bit of a legend that once the sun goes down, the beaches aren’t the only places that allow nudity but nearby clubs as well. Plush greenery and picturesque trails lead to and from the beach that make walking anywhere a delight. Several beachside restaurants give a resort feel, and there are cabins to rent in the area should one wish. The view is certainly spectacular as yachts float about adding to the glitz and glamour the water already provides, and to the many reasons this beach is number one on the list. Class, elegance and fun are at the forefront at Plage de Pampelonne, where nudity is simply accepted rather than a requirement or overbearing necessity.

Plage de Pampelonne -St. Tropez, France

Underrated Escapes: The 8 Most Beautiful Places in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean spans a huge swath of the world and is so crammed with beautiful hotspots that it can be overwhelming to plan a trip.  Let’s step aside for a moment from the traditional destinations and focus on the overlooked and underrated escapes that will help you discover and explore the beauty of the Mediterranean while avoiding the main tourist traps.  Beaches, delicious food, exhilarating adventures, and relaxing getaways await, and you will come home with memories of a unique experience that will last a lifetime.

8. Tarifa, Spain

If you are an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for water sports, head to Tarifa, Spain. Located on the southern tip of Spain, a mere 13 kilometers away from northern Africa, this fantastic place can attribute its reputation as a Mecca for windsurfing and kitesurfing to the constantly blowing winds. Laid back and relaxed, this town will feel like home. New to windsurfing and kitesurfing? Grab a lesson at Tantrum Kitesurf, Tarifa Air Force, or Rebels Tarifa Kitesurfing, then show off your new moves at the beautiful Playa de Bolonia. Refuel and recover by enjoying barbecue at Asador El Caseron or grab some tapas at La Jara La Cana Perfecta or La Burla.  Diving enthusiasts can explore the crystal clear water and underwater attractions with Yellow Submarine or new divers can become certified while checking out some of the best diving in the Mediterranean. Sick of the waves?  Head just outside Tarifa to the Archaeological Ensemble of Baelo Claudia to visit some remarkable ruins.

Kitesurfing Tarifa, Spain

7. Cadiz, Spain

One of the oldest cities in Western Europe, the city of Cadiz is a beautiful gem in the Mediterranean. Founded by Phoenician sailors about 3000 years ago, the rich history of the city is present in every twist and turn of the old city. Check out the stone walls and forts around the old town, visit the Cathedral, and climb the North Tower to take in views of the entire city. Try to plan your trip to catch Carnaval in Cadiz, which usually happens in February, for some incredible costumes, singing, dancing, and food. Rent a bike and pedal your way around town, stroll around Park Genoves, grab a surf lesson, or simply enjoy a day at the beach at Playa Victoria. Make the most of the beach side destination by enjoying the fresh seafood. If you are budget conscious, head to Calle Zorilla or Calle de la Palma for streets that feature plenty of affordable dining options, or go all out at Restaurante El Faro.

Cadiz, Spain

6. Aeolian Islands, Italy

The Aeolian Islands are a group of volcanic islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, found between 25 and 50 kilometers north of Sicily.  Although these islands have enjoyed a recent surge in popularity and can be very busy during July and August, visiting during the rest of the year will give you a chance to soak up the incredible beauty while avoiding the crowds. Rent a kayak and explore the coastlines, take a boat tour, go scuba diving – the options are endless. Whatever you choose, you will be surrounded by mountainous green islands with jaw dropping coastlines.  Vulcano is the most popular island and gives you the chance to climb a volcano, have a mud bath, and swim in sea water full of volcanic bubbles.  Top off your visit to Vulcano with seafood at Maurizio. The island of Lipari is relatively quiet, affordable, and features a pumice quarry, while Stromboli has an active volcano, beautiful black sand beaches, and gives you the chance of a lifetime to climb the volcano at sunset, and then run down the volcanic ash slopes.

Aeolian Islands, Italy

5. Tetouan, Morocco

Filled with traditional white buildings and home to an old town on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the stunning coastal town of Tetouan is a remarkable destination in the Mediterranean.  Southeast of Tangier, this smaller port town is off the beaten path, and off the radar of many travelers. Head to the Medina to learn about the multicultural history of Northern Morocco – it is divided into the Andalusian, the Jewish, and the Berber sections (consider hiring a guide to get the most out of your experience). Stroll around Mohammed V Avenue, a pedestrian only road found in the center of the town which is packed with cafes, boutiques, shops, and street vendors. Grab a coffee and a quiet spot and watch the hustle and bustle and the locals, and then stroll further down the street to visit the King’s Palace.  Explore the vibrant culinary scene at Blanco Riad, Riad Saada, Restaurant Restinga, Snack Yousfi, and then load up on sweets with the locals at Dallas.

Tetouan, Morocco

4. Dubrovnik, Croatia

The walled city of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Sea is found in the far south of Croatia. Although a popular destination within Europe, the beautiful city of Dubrovnik isn’t overwhelmed with tourists. Walk atop the ancient city walls for some epic views, walk around the old town, rent a kayak and explore the coastline, sample local wines on the Dubrovnik Wine Tour, take a boat tour, rent a bike, dive the crystal clear waters with Blue Planet Diving Center, or go sailing with Dubrovnik Sailing. Relax after your days of exploring at Dionysus Wine Bar, grab some tapas at Patarul, seafood at Barba, and dessert at Gossip or Dulce Vita. Try to time your visit to catch the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, featuring theater, opera, and dance events in open air venues across the city. Need to get out of town? Explore the nearby Mljet, Lokrum, Lopud, or Korcula Islands for a peaceful getaway and even more breathtaking sights.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

3. Corsica, France

The island of Corsica, France, has managed to avoid over-development compared to many other islands in the Mediterranean. Most tourists head to Corsica in August, so skip the busy season for a more relaxed adventure. With some of the best beaches in Europe and plenty of walking and hiking trails, this island is worth a visit!  If you have the time, consider hiking the GR 20, an approximately 17 day hike. Short on time? Visit the Calanche Cliffs – red cliffs that tower over the blue waters of the Mediterranean, Gorges de la Restonica, Vallee du Fango, Aiguilles de Bavella, and the Nature Reserve of Scandola for some outdoorsy hikes and walks. Best beaches are Roccapina Beach, Plage de Ghjunchitu, Plage du Petit Sperone, Plage d’Arone, Plage du Lotu and Tamaricciu Beach (as you can probably tell, there are plenty of beautiful options). On the island, you can pursue a variety of activities, including diving, skydiving, boat tours, biking, ATVing, and much more. Relax and make some new friends at B’52 or Café de la Tour.

Calvi Corsica, France

2. Haifa, Israel

Haifa, the third largest city in Israel, is often overlooked as a Mediterranean destination, but its coastal location, proximity to Mount Carmel, loads of activities and plenty of delicious eats should put it at the top of your travel wish list. You absolutely must visit Baha’i Gardens and Golden Dome to see one of the most beautiful gardens in the world (up kept almost entirely by volunteers) while enjoying breathtaking views of Haifa Bay. Get the most out of the experience by booking a free tour in advance. Check out the Mada Tech, the Israel National Museum of Science for a day of hands on learning suitable for the whole family. Visit nearby Mount Carmel National Park for hiking and mountain biking. Take advantage of the delicious street food on Yafo Street and Wadi Nisnas – try the shawarma, falafel, baklava, and knafe! And of course – the beach! Head to Dado Beach to soak up the sun on this clean and picturesque beach.

Baha'i Gardens Haifa, Israel

1. Evia, Greece

The island of Evia, pronounced ‘effia’ is also known as Evvia or Euboia. Perhaps this case of multiple identities is what has kept it from the majority of the world – although being a popular Grecian getaway, this island has for the most part, stayed out of the global spotlight. Greece’s second largest island is easily accessible and full of hot springs, archaeological wonders, and mouth watering food. Visit St. John the Russian, Karababa Castle, and Dragon House at Ochi Mountain for a taste of history, then hop in the Healing Thermal Springs of Edipsos to rest and rejuvenate. Enjoy beautiful beach settings at Kalamos, Chiliadou, and Pefki Beaches to soak up the sun, and check out the Lihadonisia Diving Center in Edipsos for some spectacular Mediterranean diving. With hundreds of villages on this beautiful island, it can be hard to narrow down your options, so rent a car in Eretria, then take your time, relax, and enjoy the adventure as you explore this piece of Greek paradise.

Evia, Greece