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john simoniello′s Wishlist
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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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Bådsmandsstræde 43, 1407 København, Denmark
In 1971, squatters moved into the barracks on an abandoned military base and established Freetown Christiania, an autonomous district in the middle of the city. Later, many dwellers built their own homes on the 86-acre property. Although the...
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Dioklecijanova ulica 1, Sredmanuška ul. 11, 21000, Split, Croatia
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 1,700-year-old palace sits on the Adriatic seafront, serving as the focal point of Split. It was built by Roman Emperor Diocletian as a seaside retirement home and has served as a refuge for many a conqueror over...
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Porto, Portugal
At the mouth of the Douro River, the medieval city of Porto, Portugal, is undergoing an architectural renaissance. Old World icons, such as the baroque Torre dos Clérigos bell tower that helped the city earn UNESCO status in 1996, contrast with...
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Stortorget, 111 29 Stockholm, Sweden
December in Stockholm is a great time to explore various Christmas markets (Julmarknader) around town. At Stortorget in Gamla stan (Old town), you'll find the city's most popular Christmas market where you can pick up a variety of porcelain...
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For a primer on Finnish style, head to Helsinki’s Design District and take this three-stop tour.

The Design Forum Finland Shop showcases the best of national design, from mid-century wooden sauna stools to stacking vessels by Finnish-German...

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Nēģu iela 7, Latgales priekšpilsēta, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
Jet lag had us in bed early and up early. With most of Riga just getting ready for the start of the work day, my travel partner and I headed out to explore Riga's Central Market, Europe's largest market and bazaar. By the time we arrived at the...
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RT 8, Morondava 619, Madagascar
Having driven from Morondava to this remote row of Baobabs 45 min out of town, I took this picture at sunset as the day came to an end. I thought why not come back tomorrow for sunrise so at 4 in the morning we arranged a driver to take us in the...
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Jomsom 33100, Nepal
Reporting live from Upper Mustang: We've successfully hiked in and out of this remote, inaccessible region in north-central Nepal over terrain that was variously bleak and spectacular. We traversed rocky, sandy trails (I use that word loosely)...
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Southern Asia
The Veerabhadra temple in Lepakshi, India (also simply known as the Lepakshi Temple), isn't the easiest place to get to. It's a 120 km journey north of Bangalore through rural villages. Your best bet for getting there is to hire a driver for the...
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East Asia
There aren't that many rivers in Mongolia but for some odd reason, every one of the handful of bridges we came across were crooked and in all the wrong directions. For some other odd reason, although every bridge was wide enough for us to drive...
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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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Tuamotus Islands, French Polynesia
The Tuamotu archipelago – 78 coral reef atolls spread north and east of Tahiti – are just remote enough they’ve not been spoiled by excessive tourism. There are a few high-end hotels, but just a few. Instead of tourism, the local economy is still...
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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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Easter Island is a strange, remote, and magical place. After a full day of wandering around this tiny island, we were fortunate enough to witness an absolutely breathtaking sunset over the Pacific. The "beach" here is made up of pitch black...
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Isle of Skye, Duntulm, Portree IV51 9UF, UK
At the very northern tip of the Isle of Skye, which is an island off of the upper north western shore of Scotland, are the ruins of Duntulm Castle. To get there, you have to drive for several hours on narrow dirt roads, but the sense of remoteness...
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Siggiewi, Malta
After braving the Blue Lagoon crowds, Ghar Lapsi is the ideal spot for swimming in Malta's pristine waters. A tiny inlet and small fishing village, this is the place to experience Maltese summer like a local. The calm waters and rocky shore are 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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The top wildlife viewing experience of my life. Hands-down. So wild, remote, unplanned...no other people, no other vehicles. Damaraland is my favorite region of Namibia - incredible scenery, geology, views, stars, and so few other travelers. Stay...
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This was my 2nd time in the Omo River Valley visiting the Surma, the Suri and the Nyangatom. These people are known for their amazing body decorations. They shave their heads into intricate designs, they pierce their lips and their earlobes, they...
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Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Climb the grand baroque staircase and pass the Jesuit church, cross Gundulić Square, and follow the COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW signs. Then, yes, walk through the walls. Buža translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” and a...
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Funenkade 7, 1018 AL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Unexpected surprises abound in Amsterdam. On the city's east side, you'll find one denoted by a tall windmill: Brouwerij 't IJ (the IJ Brewery), a small brewery and pub situated in the former Funen bathhouse, next to the De Gooyer windmill. Opened...
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47 Villiers St, London WC2N 6NE, UK
Cozy atmosphere and no electric lights, just candles in a cellar underground....
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Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beyond tulips, windmills, and weed, Amsterdam's global image is entwined with water. The Canal Ring (Grachtengordel) is made up of 165 fluid channels developed during the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age. In the ensuing years, the water network has...
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24442 Las Médulas, León, Spain
Las Medulas UNESCO World Heritage Site: A Roman gold mine dating back to the first century AD. The hill formations were all dug by hand!
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
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Bahnhofstrasse 25, 7002 Chur, Switzerland
I didn’t even realize that the Bernina Express scenic train journey was on the UNESCO World Heritage list until I arrived at the small northern Italian town of Tirano to start the trip. There are several different routes from which travelers may...
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The Galapagos Islands are known around the world for the famous, endemic wildlife found there. An amazing eighty-percent of all land-based animals on the archipelago are only found there, thanks to its isolation from the rest of the world. Of all...
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Misiones Province, Argentina
Certain things in life are simply impossible to adequately capture in a mere photograph. Iguazú Falls is definitely one of them, and above is my best effort to convey the epic expanse of 'The Devil's Throat.' Situated on the border of Brazil and...
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Beijing, China
The Great Wall of China runs more than 21,000 kilometers (over 13,000 miles), not as one continuous wall but rather as fortified wall sections. Some of the sections date back more than 2,500 years, though only 8.2 percent of the existing wall is...
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Croatia
Croatia’s oldest and biggest national park, Plitvice is a four-season playground known for its pristine forests, stunning waterfalls, and dozens of turquoise lakes. To see it all, trek along the wooden pathways that twist through...
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381 01 Český Krumlov, Czechia
Cesky Krumlov is located in southern Czech Republic and has a delightful town bound by an oxbow in the Vltava River. Opposite the town lies Cesky Krumlov Castle, which allows the visitor to experience an "on top of the world" view over the...
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50170 Mont Saint-Michel, France
It's safe to say there’s nothing in the world quite like this magical island, topped by a medieval monastery that rises out of the bay like a heavenly apparition. It’s said that, early in the 8th century, a bishop in nearby Avranches...
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Vrijdagmarkt 22-23, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
I'll be the first to admit, a museum of printing didn't sound terribly exciting to me, at first. Antwerp Belgium's Plantin-Moretus Museum certainly changed my mind. This is the only museum on the UNESCO World Heritage list and the recognition is...
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During our recent trip to Rome, we paid a visit to the incredible UNESCO World Heritage site of Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli. Minus the wooden fence in the photograph, you can almost envision how this gorgeous area of the property would have...
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Praza da Inmaculada, 3, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
This was the end of The Way for us. We booked a couple nights at old digs in the Hospedería San Martín Pinario, an converted monastery in the heart of Santiago's atmospheric old city. It was an excellent base for exploring the city, and a...
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566 Kōyasan, Kōya-chō, Ito-gun, Wakayama-ken 648-0211, Japan
By staying overnight at a Buddhist monastery in Koyasan (Mount Koya), I fulfilled a long held dream. It was quite a unique experience, and a peek behind the curtain to see how monks in a monastery actually live. It was quite something to see them,...
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The Hotel St. Francis lays claim to being Santa Fe’s oldest hotel. Rebuilt in its current location in 1924, after a fire left its predecessor completely ravaged (save the brick chimney), the property formerly known as the De Vargas Hotel...
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Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
Well not exactly, but pretty darn close. Paradors are government-run hotels in Spain, many located within historic buildings like monasteries and castles. The Granada Parador is the old monastery of the Alhambra Palace and is located within the...
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8447, 2499 Melru Ln, Escondido, CA 92026, USA
Deer Park Monastery is tucked away in the hills of Escondido and is based on the Buddhist traditions of the famous Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a sister monastery to Plum Village in France, where Thich Nhat Hanh resides....
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Como Hotels and Resorts has three Bhutan properties. In the rarely visited western part of the Punakha Valley, Uma Punakha's 10 rooms and two villas all have unobstructed views of the Mo Chu River. The river rocks that line the...
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2600 Wolgan Rd, Newnes NSW 2790, Australia
Set on a 7,000-acre reserve between Wollemi National Park and the Gardens of Stone National Park, Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa is a luxury ecolodge backed by the dramatic canyons of the Blue Mountains World Heritage area. Roughly a...
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Phaknam Bay, Phi Phi Island Tambon Ao Nang, Muang Chang Wat Krabi 81210, Thailand
On the island of Kho Phi Phi, there is the usual town that greets you with bars, restaurant and easy-to-get lodging if you didn't plan ahead. However, if you are so inclined, on the far side of the island there is a veritable Smurf village that...
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2114, 3238 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405, USA
After three weeks of eating fried and greasy foods while traveling up and down the eastern coast, this little gem was just what the doctor ordered. A delectable menu that includes vegan salads and sandwiches, and, more importantly, fresh, organic...
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90/3 Sridonchai Rd, Tambon Chang Khlan, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, 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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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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Pamalican Island, Sulu Archipelago, Agutaya, Palawan, Philippines
Occupying its own island in the Cyuo Archipelago—where members of the animal kingdom outnumber humans by some comical order of magnitude—Amanpulo is the consummate artist’s escape. Adding to the resort’s castaway cred is...
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Playa Maderas Maderas, Nicaragua
We had an unforgettable experience staying at Buena Vista Surf Club, while visiting San Juan del Sur. The eco-lodge is set into a hill overlooking the jungle and Playa Maderas with a giant sundeck where guests could enjoy the view. It was a great...
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Km5 Route d'Amizmiz، Marrakesh 40160, Morocco
It took four years to build this hotel at the base of the Atlas Mountains. French designer Jacques Garcia included black-and-white zellij tile work and other intricate Moorish details. Each of the hotel’s five guest riads (typical Moroccan...
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See our full list of Where to Go in 2015. A trip through the Coffee Triangle, the coffee- growing region of central Colombia, takes you into the small towns and wildlife-rich mountains of the Caldas, Quindio, and Risaralda departments. Base...
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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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Zurriola Ibilbidea, s/n, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Zurriola beach is slightly off the radar, or at least as much off the radar as one of a city's three beaches can be. The only tourists that typically venture over are of the surfing persuasion, and sitting to watch the sunset on the wall that...
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Located across the Tiber River from the Centro Storico, Trastevere is a kaleidoscope of ivy-covered buildings, complicated Italian history, and bombastic nightlife. The heart of the neighborhood is Piazza Santa Maria, a large square where street...
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Faro District, Portugal
Few people think of Portugal as a surf destination, but the tiny country has miles of coast for surfers to explore. I visited the Algarve, Portugal's southern most region, and based myself at Aldeia da Pedralva. The owner, António Ferreira, has a...
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29400 Ronda, Málaga, Spain
The town of Ronda is small but beautiful. It is set on top of a ravine giving it beautiful views of the nearby country side, and a very unique bridge connecting the town across this rocky divide.While Ronda's fame may have been connected to...
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Southern Europe
Ponza is an island destination mostly frequented by Italians (especially Romans and Neapolitans, as it's just a hop, skip, and a jump away by boat) that is largely undiscovered by foreign tourists. A must-do in Ponza: rent a motorboat on your own,...
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Machu Pichu, Peru
This month marks the hundred-year-anniversary of the "re-discovery" of this Inca citadel by Hiram Bingham. Machu Picchu deserves its clichés--'place of a lifetime,' 'bucket-list destination'...'mystical'...'amazing'... Sometimes, it's okay...
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Kyushu, Japan
For the utmost elegance and style on the railway, look no further than the Seven Stars train in Kyushu, Japan. Each room is a suite in this decadent fusion of Japanese and Western design, incorporating polished wood, intricate fabric designs, and...
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Chur, Switzerland
Make your way from Switzerland to Italy via the Bernina Express, the highest railway across the Alps. On this journey, passengers traverse a variety of landscapes, cultures, and altitudes, whirring past alpine vistas and charming fishing villages...
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Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
If you’re looking for a Wes Anderson recreation, this is no Darjeeling Limited. With lavish decor and plush amenities, Maharajas’ Express instills a sense of grandeur in each passenger. From fine dining to memborable views, the royal ride does not...
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Cover 994 miles in style on this 27-hour ride across South Africa. Running a regular route between Cape Town and Pretoria, the speakeasy-like train includes cushy suites with goose-down duvets and a lounge where you can take in the view with other...