The Best Beaches in the World

Dreaming of sun and sand? Stuck in a cubicle with cold winds lashing against the frosty windows? Or do you just need a few tips to help you plan your next beach trip? We are putting together our ultimate “best beaches in the world” list. Unlike other lists out there, this is no mass-produced product thrown together with stock photos. We have personally been to (and totally loved) each of these extraordinary beach destinations and snapped the photos ourselves. Enjoy! Continue…

Luxury Yurt Camping in Lanzarote

As we drive north from Arrecife to the small coastal village of Arrieta, we immediately notice how different Lanzarote looks from the other Canary Islands we have visited. Most obvious is the lack of high-rise buildings and huge tourist complexes. The black scorched land along the coast is dotted with small white-washed villages and traditional windmills. We marvel at the bizarre landscape of terraced cones, squat craters, and soil that shimmers with onyx hues of the volcanic spectrum. It seems like a spectacular location for our glamping experience at Lanzarote Retreats. Continue…

Witnessing Legzira

Working our way south from Essaouira, we stopped in Agadir overnight to pick up a rental car for our explorations of southern Morocco’s Souss region. From Agadir, we drove south via the walled city of Tiznit. (Tiznit was where we suddenly realized we literally had no idea where or how to park in Morocco! We improvised.) After exploring the walls and checking out the town’s crazy minaret, which seems to be sprouting branches, we wound down the barren yet beautiful coast to our real destination Legzira Beach near the town of Mirleft Continue…

Praia do Tamariz and More

We are starting up a new collection of the world’s coolest beaches to help shake off those cloudy-day blues. So if you are pining for sun, sand and… a castle, here is our first entry:

Praia do Tamariz in Estoril, Portugal

Beach: Praia do Tamariz

Location: Estoril, Portugal (just outside Lisbon)

What’s Cool: Where else can you lie on the golden sand and gaze up at a castle sitting smack-dab on the beach. Also don’t miss the great coastal walk from Cascais all the way down to the cliffs of Praia da Azarujinha.

Not enough? We’ve chosen quite a few unique beach destinations to start our expanding list of the world’s most awesome beaches. >>> Take me to the List >>>

Mallorca Highlights for Adventurers

Palma cathedral, Mallorca

Twenty-five years after my first visit to Mallorca, I returned to the Mediterranean island in October with Tony in tow. Like many visitors, my first experience here was a rushed trip spent on the busy tourist beaches near Palma. It was only later, through a German magazine article, that I learnt just how many adventurous activities I had missed. So this time around, I wanted to do it right. During our two weeks on the island, Tony and I set out together to discover the best of what the largest Balearic island has to offer. Continue…

Hanging out in Rio de Janeiro

Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

After spending a year and a half in Latin America, Rio de Janeiro was our final stop in the Americas before heading back to Europe. Rio is one of those epic, world-famous cities we always knew we wanted to spend some time in. While it is neither the capital nor the biggest city in Brazil (that would be Brasilia and São Paulo), Rio attracts the highest number of visitors of any city in the country. And we wanted to be part of that.

In my tourist fantasy, Rio was all about caipirinhas on Copacabana Beach, rhythmic samba music, boundless zest for life, and gorgeous Brazilians strutting their stuff on the powdery sands. And – oh my god – it’s all true! Continue…

The Fantasy of Easter Island

Rapa Nui, known around the world as Easter Island, is one of those fantasy destinations that most people recognize from pictures, but few people actually get a chance to visit in their lifetime. The tiny speck of land is one of the most isolated inhabited islands on the planet. Located 3,687 km west of the already isolated coast of Chile and 4,230 km east of the equally isolated island of Tahiti, this literally is the middle of nowhere. Its closest inhabited neighbor is Pitcairn Island located 1,921 km to the east… yeah, that’s isolated.

So how did this tiny chunk of land thousands of kilometers from anywhere develop one of the most monumental and mysterious civilizations in the South Pacific? It’s a riddle which has baffled outsiders since the island was first visited by the Dutch on an Easter Sunday in 1722. These early explorers discovered Continue…

Trujillo – Pyramids, Plazas and Playas

Huaca Arco Iris

As we mentioned in our last post on Caral, much of northern Peru is gloriously neglected by the country’s mass tourism. It’s a vast area filled with colonial towns, great food and the crumbling remnants of unknown ancient cultures. It’s an adventurer’s paradise waiting to be explored.

As we bused north on the paved Pan-American highway to Trujillo, the number of seductive dirt tracks luring travelers off the road to remote archaeological sites was almost too much to bear. We passed a number of remote ruins which I would have loved to visit including Paramonga, the fortress of Chanquillo, and Sechin. Thank god for visa limitations, or Thomas and I would be here for another six months combing the desert, side valleys and mountains for hidden treasures.

But it’s just a fact of life, there is no way to see everything in Peru because this country is overwhelmed with world-class Continue…

Paracas and the Islas Ballestas

Paracas

If Dali designed a desert it would look a lot like Paracas. The surreal landscape of the Paracas Peninsula and the offshore Islas Ballestas are quite unlike anything we’ve encountered before. Where else do mustard yellow desert sands tumble down sheer cliffs onto rust red beaches. Green waters filled with white foam crash against a rainbow of rocks, the scene comes straight from an artist’s palette.

The fantastical environment is inhabited by a cast of weird and wonderful characters. Humboldt penguins waddle through stone arches past blood-red crabs and blue-footed boobies. Orange starfish and alien urchins cling to the rocks. Inca sterns with handle-bar mustaches and red-legged Continue…

Tulum’s Ruins and Beaches

Tulum ruins

The Tulum ruins, perched cliffside above a perfect white-sand beach, must be one of the most widely shown images of the Yucatan Peninsula. I would go as far as to say that it is one of the defining images of Mexico as a whole.

Although the Mayan site is not as grand as Chichen Itza or Uxmal, its picturesque location above bizarrely turquoise waters and the fact that is seems to double as an iguana reserve make it quite an attractive destination. Add to that the fact that Tulum is Continue…