Collected by Sean
Lake Bled, 4260 Bled, Slovenia
Bled (and the lake by the same moniker) is the most Fairytale-esque town I've ever experienced. The people are almost jarringly friendly by American standards, the island church is as beautiful as it is quaint, and the castle perched on the cliffs...
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,...
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...
Mostar 88000, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Thanks to reading recommendations here on Afar.com, I picked up a copy of Sarajevo Marlboro at a bookstore, just as we crossed the famous, historic bridge in Mostar, Bosnia. At the bookstore, a short film played over and over, documenting the...
46000 Cahors, France
In the limestone gorge country of SW France, this bridge is a medieval monument to a legendary pact: a man wagered his soul to the Devil, and the Devil lost. While living in Paris, a friend of mine asked if I would like to visit his childhood home...
Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4, 1118 Hungary
Throughout Budapest are a whopping 123 therapeutic hot springs, but these, in the stately, slightly dusty Hotel Gellért (built in 1918) might be the most famous. The communal bath in the center of the hotel spa is for everyone, but the most...
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...
Kaihalulu Beach, Hana, HI 96713, USA
This was the end of the Hana Highway in Maui. Our guidebook told of a red sand beach, but it specifically left out information on how to get there, in an effort to keep people from spoiling it. Before our trip, I printed out some instructions from...
2520 Peniche, Portugal
Hire a boat out of Peniche, Portugal, when available, and travel six miles offshore to the pristine Berlenga Islands. Then hike, kayak, snorkel, and swim the day away. Pack a picnic lunch and feast on the beach. The perfect day in paradise.
Av. Ezequiel Bustillo Km. 25, R8401 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina
Yellowstone National Park is no secret by any stretch of the imagination. Yellowstone is one of America's most popular tourist destinations, and with good reason; there few places in the country where you can rub shoulders with grizzlies, smack...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
Mt Shuksan, Washington 98244, USA
In the South of France and in South America, I've come across images of this Pacific NW peak being used as a stand-in for Switzerland. Buying breakfast food in a Peruvian supermarket, I saw a box of "Swiss Muesli" graced with the image of Mt....
Mürren, 3825 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
More so than most places, Switzerland offers serious skiers the chance to fly down unblemished mountainsides—especially in Mürren. The town is blessed with powder-packed bowls that maintain fresh snow for days after a big fall, drawing...
84220 Gordes, France
In the early hours of a summer morning I visited the Cistercian Abbey of Sénanque in Provence near the crumbling hill town of Gordes. It was completely silent, with not a soul about. A purple swathe of lavender cut a dash as it graced the old...
Le Lautaret, 05480 Villar-d'Arène, France
At an altitude of 2100 meters, the Alpine Botanical Gardens at the Lautaret Pass in the Dauphiné Alps are a breathtaking (literally!) experience. If you love glaciers, fresh air, and botany, a visit to this paradise-like garden is a must.
During a recent destination wedding shoot in the Caribbean, our boat tour guide took us to a shipwreck off the coast of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands. La Famille Express, a general cargo ship, ran aground during Hurricane Frances in 2004...
Aiguille du Midi, 74400 Chamonix, France
France's Chamonix Valley is one of the most scenic places on the European continent. It's a narrow river valley which houses everything from rock-climbing centers to pulsing bars and pubs, and on both sides of the river the peaks of the French...
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...
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...
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...
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...
E Ring Rd, Xianggelila Shi, Diqing Zangzuzizhizhou, Yunnan Sheng, China
At 18,000 ft a 2 day trek through the Tiger Leaping Gorge is no easy task (at least not for sea level people like us.) With the rest of China running full steam ahead the gorge was a nice respite from the swarms of tourists. The remote location...
Hāmoa Beach, Hawaii 96713, USA
Legendary travels scribes from Michener to Twain have written of the beauty of lonely Hamoa. Sandy, sheltered, and dripping in palms, this remote stretch of shoreline on the eastern tip of Maui can make a case for Maui's best beach. Nevertheless,...
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