Discover nine fascinating experiences that shouldn’t be missing from your travel wish list
Have you ever dreamed of jumping from one continent to another in the blink of an eye? Do you often fantasize about getting lost on a Caribbean island or a bustling bazaar? If so, know that you are not alone… The world is full of wonderful places and discovering them little by little is one of life’s greatest gifts.
Since we know you love to travel as much as we do, today we bring you 9 unique and unforgettable experiences that deserve a place on your travel wish list.
Walk through a cotton castle
Pamukkale, which means “cotton castle” in Turkish, is one of the most photographed places in all of Turkey. This natural beauty, declared a World Heritage Site in 1988, is located in the southwest of the country, in Denizli Province. The striking white hillside, whose terraces resemble a frozen waterfall, attracts millions of visitors every year. Over time, water has accumulated in many of these terraces, creating natural thermal pools of intense sky-blue color. The result… a breathtakingly unforgettable landscape!
Once you get tired of strolling through this amazing place, don’t go too far, as the remains of the Hierapolis Ancient City await you at the top of the hill. Here, you will find the very well-preserved Roman theatre of Hierapolis and much more. You can even give yourself some time to take a refreshing dip in Cleopatra’s pool, where you can swim (literally) among ancient ruins.
Recommended activity: Pamukkale and Lake Salda Private Tour
Travel to the Moon in Timanfaya National Park
At the moment, space travel is not yet within everyone’s reach… but time will tell. In the meantime, if you are one of those who fantasize about traveling to the moon or outer space, making your dreams come true (or almost) is easier than you think. Just take a flight to Lanzarote! Yes, you heard right. The intense volcanic eruptions that hit this Canary Island between 1730 and 1736 gave rise to what today is the Timanfaya National Park, one of the most interesting places in the entire archipelago. The area of the Fire Mountains, with its striking rock formations with its reddish and orange tones of the landscape, looks like something out of a science fiction movie.
And if you are in the mood for more “extraterrestrial” experiences, make a stop at El Golfo’s Charco Verde to see the charming colour of its water up close, or visit the wine region of La Geria, whose landscape will leave you speechless.
Recommended activity: Lanzarote Tour with Timanfaya National Park & El Golfo
Lose yourself in the labyrinth of the Minotaur at the Palace of Knossos
If you like Greek mythology, the labyrinth of the Minotaur was most likely already on your list of pending plans. Just a few kilometers from Heraklion, you can get the chance to visit the heart of one of the oldest settlements in Europe: the Palace of Knossos, center of the Minoan civilization. Archaeologist Arthur Evans discovered its ruins at the beginning of the 20th century and seeing its enormous size and the many palace’s intricate rooms, he assumed that it was the labyrinth of the Minotaur. During your visit, you can learn more about the myth and the mighty beast who had the body of a man and the head of a bull that was imprisoned in the labyrinth by order of King Mino; and find out how Theseus, son of the king of Athens, managed to defeat the Minotaur and find his way out of the labyrinth.
In addition to the interesting legend of Minotaur, the Knossos Palace is an essential visit to discover the Minoan civilization in depth. Some of the most fascinating rooms are the Throne Room and the chambers of the royal family, as well as the impressive decorative frescoes.
Recommended activity: Knossos Palace and Heraklion Guided Tour with Transport
Discover the dark secrets of an abandoned island in Greece
Few things arouse curiosity more than abandoned places…right? That’s why we’ve included one on our list: Spinalonga, an uninhabited island off the coast of Crete, small in size, but with a long and tragic history. The huge fortress that can still be seen today was the work of the Venetian, who occupied the island until 1715, when the Ottomans took over. But in addition to having been the scene of battles and struggles, Spinalonga also went down in history for having housed a leper colony from 1903 to 1957. Walking through its streets you can see the abandoned houses of the old settlement, the old hospital, the church and the cemetery.
If you want to learn more about the island before your visit, we recommend the novel The Island, by the author Victoria Hislop, as it is set in Spinalonga.
Recommended activity: Spinalonga Island Guided Tour with Lunch
Visit one of the new 7 Wonders of the World
In addition to being part of the UNESCO World Heritage list, in 2007, Chichén Itzá was also chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The spectacular archaeological site located on the Yucatan Peninsula is probably the most famous Mayan city in the world. The gem of this place is without a doubt the Temple of Kukulkan. Did you know that every spring equinox, thousands of people gather here to see the curious effect of light and shadow known as the “Descent of Kukulcan” or “Descent of the feathered serpent”? Other places you should not miss during your visit are the Temple of the Skulls and the Temple of the Warriors.
If swimming in a cenote is also on your travel wish list, you are in luck, as many tours combine both activities in the same day.
Recommended activity: Chichén Itzá Private Tour with Transport and Local Guide
Travel back in time to the ancient Roman city where time stood still in 79 A.D.
The huge eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. buried the thriving port city of Pompeii, located near Naples, under a great blanket of volcanic material. Today, strolling through the ash-preserved streets is like travelling back in time, as the intact archaeological site transports you to another era. The site is huge and there are many points of interest, such as the Forum, the Pompeii Amphitheatre, the theatres, basilica and even a brothel. Also, one of the most remarkable things are the frescoes and mosaics that decorate the most luxurious houses, whose beauty can still be appreciated today. On the other hand, the plaster casts of the inhabitants who were surprised by the eruption gives us insight details of the tragedy that occurred here.
Recommended activity: Archaeological site of Pompeii small-group tour with a local guide
Turn the water a phosphorescent blue in the Luminous Lagoon
What would you think if we told you there was a place where the water magically lights up when you touch it? No, it’s not a trick…. we are talking about the Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica! The lagoon is located very close to the city of Falmouth, where the Martha Brae River merges with the Caribbean Sea. It is one of the few places in the world where you can see, crystal-clear, the phenomenon of bioluminescence. The microscopic organisms that inhabit the lagoon emit a fluorescent blue light as they move, creating an unparalleled spectacle.
Recommended activity: Martha Brae Rafting & Luminous Lagoon Tour with Dinner
Change continents in the blink of an eye
Very few cities in the world can claim to straddle two continents, and Istanbul is one of them. The Bosphorus Strait separates the European part of the city from the Asian part; and crossing from one side to the other, either by bus, car or ferry, is a highly recommended experience. Enjoying a boat ride on the Bosphorus also allows you to see Istanbul’s historic monuments and distinctive skyline from a unique perspective. Although many of the city’s most popular attractions, such as the Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Rüstem Paşa Mosque are located on the European side, be sure to make time to discover the other side of the city. One of the must-sees on the Asian side is Kadikoy, the “coolest” residential neighborhood of the moment.
Recommended activity: Hidden Treasures of Istanbul Private Walking Tour
Find your paradise on a Caribbean island
This gorgeous 40 km long and 2 km wide strip of paradise is located the Caribbean Sea, north of the Yucatan Peninsula. Yes, we are talking about Holbox, of course! To get here you need to take a ferry or boat from the port of Chiquilá. The trip takes about 30 minutes, and the journey is quite an experience. Once on the island, you should know that cars are not allowed, so the most popular means of transportation to explore the island are golf carts or bicycles. Here you will not find huge hotels, no paved roads, no hustle and bustle of a lively city…. It is a place to relax, disconnect from the world, to get lost and to find yourself. And the best places to do so are Punta Mosquito, Punta Coco and Passion Island.
Recommended activity: Holbox Island Boat and Buggy Tour from Chiquilá