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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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Calle Judíos, 14004 Córdoba, Spain
If you are looking for truly unique and beautiful gifts from Andalusia, Spain, look no farther than the Zoco Artisan Market in Cordoba. This shop is filled with jewelry, hand painted tiles, shawls, pottery and other local crafts. There are...
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Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
Jerónimos Monastery, also known as the Hieronymites Monastery, or Mosteiro dos Jerónimos in Portuguese, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lisbon. This stunning building took 100 years to build and it's no wonder once you experience the level of...
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Calle Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, 11, 11688 Zahara, Cádiz, Spain
While on a road-trip through Andalusia, we spent a day exploring the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park. The twisting mountain roads took our breath away at regular intervals. The region is famous for its Peublos Blancos (or white villages). One was...
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In such a densely populated and developed little country, it seems impossible to escape civilization. But there is one beautiful corner of Belgium where you can be truly alone—the Hautes Fagnes Natural Reserve, in Belgium's Eastern Cantons. The...
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Station House, Dart Bridge Rd, Buckfastleigh TQ11 0DZ, UK
Otters and Butterflies may seem like an unlikely combination, but you'll find them together at the Buckfast Butterflies & Dartmoor Otter Sanctuary, in Dartmoor National Park. I can think of few animals more adorable to watch than playful otters,...
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Buizingen, 1501 Halle, Belgium
Hallerbos (Flemish) or Bois de Halle (French) is a beech forest just south of Brussels. It's a popular spot for walking, cycling and horseback-riding. Every spring, for a few short weeks, the forest makes a magical transformation into a blue...
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To get a better understanding of the city and for some incredible views, be sure to walk the walls of the Dubrovnik old town. For a modest fee, anyone can climb the ancient stairs and circumnavigate the town, seeing life from the rooftops. The...
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This dramatic two-tier waterfall, whose name translates as "Golden Falls," a reference to the shimmering mist that sometimes appears around the falls, is one of Iceland’s most famous—which is saying something in a country...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
The weather outside may be frightful, even in summer, but the waters of the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa in Iceland are always delightful. We visited the Blue Lagoon Spa during an 8-hour layover in Reykjavik. All inclusive round-trips are available...
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2 Rue du Château, 64000 Pau, France
If you're looking for the prefect French vacation destination, the picturesque city of Pau, in Southwest France, may just have it all. Its location is perfect, almost equidistant from the stunning Pyrenees Mountains, for hiking and skiing, and the...
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Rue au Beurre 46, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
If you could only do one thing in Brussels (and frankly, that would be a tragedy), it would have to be a visit to the Grand Place. Also called the Grote Markt, in Flemish, Grand Place is Brussels’ UNESCO-listed central market square. Standing in...
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Rue Montagne de la Cour 2, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
My favourite building in Brussels is the Old England on Mont des Arts, just around the corner from Place Royal. It’s a striking concoction of steel and glass in the Art Nouveau style Brussels is so famous for. But what’s on the inside is just as...
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Freyr 12, 5540 Hastière, Belgium
With hundreds of castles and chateaux in Belgium, open to the public, it's hard to know which ones to visit. The castle of Freÿr, in Wallonia, is a great place to start. This grand building has remained in the same family for 20 generations and...
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Paseo de Cristóbal Colón, 11, 41001 Sevilla, Spain
Colour, music and dancing are an integral part of life in Andalusia, Spain. For a taste of the region's Flamenco, head to El Patio Sevillano in Seville (Sevilla). A variety of dancers, in colourful traditional costumes, will whirl and stomp across...
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Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
A visit to Granada, Spain isn't complete without a stop at the Alhambra. The Moorish architecture, robust gardens, and stunning views of Granada combine to make a truly memorable experience. Start your day with a tour of the Generalife Gardens....
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1000 Brussels, Belgium
Every even-numbered year, for a week, in August, Brussels' beautiful Grand Place is even more stunning. The ground is covered in 600,000 flowers, creating a unique pattern. Thousands of visitors flood the market square to capture the perfect photo...
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Calle Cardenal Herrero, 1, 14003 Córdoba, Spain
The landmark cathedral in Cordoba, Spain is the Mosque of Córdoba. You might be amazed by the bell tower, the stone path, and the orange trees. However, the moment you stepped into the prayer hall, it will take your breath away.
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Estrada de Monserrate, 2710-405 Sintra, Portugal
While the tourist hordes in beautiful Sintra, Portugal, are flocking to Pena Palace, head instead to Monserrate. The gardens here are massive and have been recently restored. We wandered here for hours without hardly seeing another person. The...
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Nordurljosavegur 9, 240 Grindavík, Iceland
Iceland’s largest and most famous geothermal spa lies around an hour outside Reykjavik, quite close to Keflavik Airport. With a dramatic setting amidst large black lava boulders, the steam-filled, creamy-blue pool area is a striking and...
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Nunue, Bora Bora, Vaitape 98730, French Polynesia
$$$$
Half of the overwater villas at Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort are on the main island. The other half stretch out from a private island inside Bora Bora’s ephemeral lagoon. Because of the secluded nature of the latter and staggering vantage...
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47900 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
$$$$
Described by devotees as the most luxurious, one-of-a-kind lodging experience in all of California, the Post Ranch Inn was purpose-built to blend in with the Santa Lucia Mountains. Opened in 1992, and designed by famed Big Sur architect Mickey...
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90/3 Sridonchai Rd, T.Changklan, A. Muang,, Chang Wat Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand
If you know me at all you know that I'm not much of a backpacker. Don't get me wrong - I love hiking, camping, trekking, and the outdoors more than most people. What I don't dig is sitting around ramshackle guesthouses with 20-something tourists...
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Navidad, O'Higgins Region, Chile
During my stay at the new Hotel Surazo, I fell asleep to the sound of the Pacific surf pounding the sand. Located in Matanzas, a village on the sparsely populated, mountainous central Chilean coast, this low-slung, modern surf lodge is about 50...
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71895 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
For such a remote region, Big Sur has more than its share of amazing places to stay. One of the most unique is Treebones Resort, nestled high in the foothills of South Big Sur overlooking the Pacific. The off-the-grid property offers 16 signature...
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9 Rue des Martyrs, 75009 Paris-9E-Arrondissement, France
The friendly neighborhood of Rue des Martyrs is a favorite destination for buying edible souvenirs of Paris. To get started, head to No. 9, where the beautiful La Chambre aux Confitures stocks endless jars of jam for your...
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Nuwakot,, Trisuli 44900, Nepal
To experience Nepali life off the tourist trail, head to the one-lane town of Nuwakot, a four-hour bus ride northwest of the overcrowded alleys of Kathmandu and an easy detour on the way to the popular Langtang trek. Terraced rice paddies, pumpkin...
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Tungsung Basti, Darjeeling, West Bengal 734101, India
The views from your suite—of the Kanchenjunga Mountains, the hills of Sikkim, or the Rung Dung River—might make it hard to leave, but it’s worth it to learn about every stage of tea-making on a tour of the fields and factory. A tasting reveals the...
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Jl. Badrawati, Kw. Candi Borobudur, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
The sunrise at Borobudur is one of those magical experiences that makes us spend so much money on travel. The site of the smoking volcano on the horizon, combined with the brilliant hues and Buddhas on the summit of the temple mountain, make this...
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Cusco, Peru
The route to Machu Picchu has gotten smoother, thanks to two hotels outside Cuzco. Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel and Wellness resort is built on a 17th century hacienda and has one of Peru’s largest spas. Treatments feature coca leaves and camu...
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Lozovac, Croatia
Skradinski Buk is the name given to the series of tiers of cascades and waterfalls located in Krka National Park. The water flows from the Krka River and the volume is so great that it literally thunders as it rages, full force, over the karst...
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Ananuri, Georgia
I took a day trip from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and headed an hour north to the Ananuri fortress. The ancient 17th-century complex is perched on a hill overlooking the sparkling turquoise-colored Aragvi River and Zhinvali Reservoir. It...
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ຫຼວງພຣະບາງ, Laos
A great way to cool off on the blistering tropical days in Laos. Luang Prabang is the cultural capital of Laos and is quiet and lovely.
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Poon Hill Marga, Histan Mandali 33711, Nepal
On the second day of our trek to Poon Hill in the Annapurna Sanctuary, my friend Brill and I stumbled upon this absolutely gorgeous waterfall pulsing through a deep, green canyon. It was the early morning—about 7:30 when we first got to the river...
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Purdon Rd, Nevada City, CA 95959, USA
I just spent the weekend following the 4th of July up near Nevada City. It got over 90 degrees during the day, so we headed to the river. Although lots of people had similar ideas, I was with a local who directed us to this spot and we had it to...
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Località Bagni di Petriolo, 58045 Pari, Civitella Paganico GR, Italy
Relax in the warm volcanic water emerging from deep underground. These natural spas were known by the Romans, who came here for their yearly health retreat.
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Hummingbird Hwy, Belize
If you rent a car in Belize, make sure to cruise the Hummingbird Highway from Dangriga to Belmopan. Take your time and check out all the amazing locations, such as Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce Factory, St Herman's Cave, Five Blues N.P., and the Blue...
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Nordnesparken, 5005 Bergen, Norway
It was August, so it seemed a perfectly sensible idea. I'm in Norway, land of the fjords—let's go for a splash in one! Bergen has a lovely little lido that offers you just that opportunity. Sure, you can swim in its heated outdoor pool, but the...
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11 Richmond Rd, Pohara, Takaka Golden Bay 7183, New Zealand
I WWOOFed at the Sans Souci Inn for a month and my wonderful hosts sent me on many adventures. I hiked up to Rawhiti Cave, the largest cave opening in NZ; got coffee on "Jacques Cousteau's Pirate Espresso Ship;" admired wood pigeons in The Grove;...
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Via Addolorata, 5, 98050 Valdichiesa ME, Italy
Just returned from four weeks in Sicily. The time we spent on the Aeolian Islands was incredible. Italy with no crowds, unbelievably fresh seafood, and days spent boating around the small islands (Salina was our favourite), stopping to swim...
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5222 Kobarid, Slovenia
Kobarid is also known as Caporetto, because the town—on the border with Italy—was annexed by the Italians for part of World War I. The brutality of that war has been erased—and scenery like this has survived (you can revisit the war at the museum...
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13, Vang Vieng, Laos
Vang Vieng could be considered a touristy town, but don't hold that against it. It's a magical place, and if you don't find it floating down the river, rent a bicycle and head straight out into the countryside. This image was taken after climbing...
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Last summer, Tim and Kathy Turner took a break from the Mont Blanc hiking circuit for a night at Refuge des Mottets, a French backcountry lodge decorated with cowbells and old iron cookware. The Turners, from the United States, were the only...
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Turistično društvo Gorje, Podhom 80, 4247 Zgornje Gorje, Slovenia
There is nothing like the power of water. What it's done along the one mile trail through the Radovna River gorge is an engineering masterpiece. Built on wood scaffolding, the trail winds its way down river, crisscrossing the current in the...
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Milford Track, Fiordland National Park 9679, New Zealand
Steve from Trips and Tramps makes a great tour guide through the Milford Track. The guided half-day hike, an easy seven miles on a well-groomed trail, was just a tease—given the time, the full four-day, 33-mile track would be well worth it. We...
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Peru
The easy way to get up to the entrance of the citadel at Machu Picchu is to take a bus. It's can be a pretty scary ride with all the hairpin turns. So instead, hike up There are cut-troughs will help. It won't take more than an hour, and it will...
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Dynjandi, Iceland
Twenty kilometers east of Hrafnseyri, at the point where Route 60 weaves around the northeastern corner of Arnarfjörður, the impressive Dynjandi waterfall plunges over a 100m-high clifftop into the fjord at Dynjandisvogur inlet, forming a...
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Jalan Penatahan-Wongayagede, Wongaya Gede, Penebel, Wongaya Gede, Penebel, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 85125, Indonesia
Pura Luhur Batukaru is one the most important temples on the island of Bali as it is one of the nine directional temples that protects the island from evil spirits. Unlike other Balinese sacred sites, Batukaru sees very few tourists due to its...
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411 W 1st Ave, Anchorage, AK 99501, USA
It’s tempting to explore Alaska by car – indeed, there are advantages to doing so and in some areas no other choice – but the Alaska Railroad is a comfortable way to pass through tucked-away towns and see wilderness where no roads appear to wind...
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Via Roma, 51, 19018 Vernazza SP, Italy
There's not much that can improve upon this view, except maybe a cappuccino and a slice of focaccia bread. Lucky for me, I had both of those things with me. This is the view at the very beginning of the Vernazza-Monterosso hiking trail in the...
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8355 Giethoorn, Netherlands
Giethoorn is the most amazing village I have ever seen. Canals go through the entire village making it a little Venice of the Netherlands. You park your car at the boat dock and then you walk or rent a boat to see the entire place. Giethoorn is a...
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Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland
Adare is known as Ireland's most beautiful village and I saw why when we got there. There are such beautiful houses there. I adore thatches! It is absolutely charming. If you do not believe them or me, check for yourself :)
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R. da Fortaleza, 8650-111 Luz, Portugal
On the edge of Costa Vicentina lies Burgau, a picturesque fisher village on the southwest coast of the Alagarve. A lot of brits have settled down here, making it their all-year-home. You can understand why when you’ve visited the place: Rough...
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4 Rue de la Herse, 68000 Colmar, France
An incredible French restaurant called Les Bateliers lies over the water just near the Rue Turenne Bridge in Colmar, France, providing a one of a kind view of the colorful historical architecture. If you had to choose one place to eat in Colmar,...
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Acceso A Aeropuerto Internacional Tte. L. Candelar S/N, San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Argentina’s Lakes District is all alpine meadows, granite-ringed lakes, and jagged, snow-capped peaks. A four-day trek with Andes Cross includes several challenging summits but also meals and microbrews in a mountain hutand, for the brave, a...
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Alps
As dawn breaks in the Swiss Alps, you’re savoring fresh pastries, local cheeses, and views that give a preview of the day’s plan: wandering along mountain paths and through high green meadows. The seven-day village-to-village Alpinehikers trek...
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Near Kuenga Chhoeling Palace, Thimphu, Bhutan
The forests, mountains, and temples in the high-altitude country of Bhutan deserve to be seen at a walking pace. With five elegant lodges spread across the kingdom, Amankora leads made-for-you treks that thread through the bamboo forests of...