When you think of the ultimate luxury vacation or honeymoon destinations, there is no doubt that the Maldives jumps to the top of the list. While the main appeal of the archipelagic state is to lay back on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and indulge in some rest and relaxation at your chosen paradise resort, the country still offers the potential to have an active, cultural, and immersive experience.
Diving & Snorkeling
Blessed with the warm, shallow, and calm waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a prime diving and snorkeling destination. If you are not a qualified Open Water diver then you can opt to get certified during your vacation or book a discovery dive. Even if diving is not for you, the snorkeling conditions are phenomenal.
One of the country’s premier destinations for getting in the water is the Baa Atoll, a recognized UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This is where you can glide among one of the largest collections of coral reefs in the Indian Ocean alongside the manta rays who travel here to feast on the plankton. If you would rather swim with whale sharks, then you can book an excursion to the Dhigurah and Dhangethi islands which are the base of the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme. Although these marine giants reach lengths of 40 feet (12 meters) they are harmless.
For the final installment of my series about traveling in Croatia, let’s turn our attention to the country’s gastronomy. Croatia is still a relatively new international destination and it is unusual to find Croatian cuisine outside the Balkan region. My guide is going to help you navigate what to eat and how to experience the food scene in Croatia.
Croatian dishes that you must try
As you travel along the Croatian coast, you are likely to encounter seafood dishes such as black risotto (crni rižo). The rice is tinted with squid ink and cooked with fresh shellfish, garlic, and a dash of red wine.
Peka is a unique dish that you can only find in Croatia and neighboring nations. Meat or seafood (octopus is typical), potatoes, and vegetables are mixed with spices in a special tray topped with a domed lid before being slow-cooked over embers for a couple of hours. Some chefs will stir a splash of cognac or brandy into the mix halfway through.
Štrukli is a pastry filled with cottage cheese and sour cream that has its origins in Slovenia. Modern chefs create their own signature versions paired with such delicacies as truffles or berries.
St. Petersburg is the second-biggest city in the country of Russia. With that being said, there isn’t a shortage of things to do and see in this city full of rich history, beautiful architecture, luscious gardens, Russian art, and stunning views overlooking the Baltic Sea. So take a look at these ten unforgettable adventures in the city.
1. Hermitage Museum
As one of the oldest museums in the world, you must visit the Hermitage Museum. Situated in the Winter Palace of Empress Catherine, this museum contains more than 1,500 breathtaking rooms. Wandering around, you will see the works of some of the most magnificent artists of all time, including Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet, Thomas Couture, and more.
2. Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood
This is the site where Alexander II of Russia was assassinated on March 13, 1881. It is one of St. Petersburg’s most ideal places to visit. With unbelievable multi-colored mosaics and a vibrantly colored, palace-like design, you can’t miss out on the opportunity to visit this beautiful museum.
3. Peterhof Palace
Constructed by Tsar Peter, this palace was an attempt to exceed the Palace of Versailles created by Louis XIV of France. Outside of the Peterhof Palace, you will get to walk through charming water gardens filled with luscious greenery and gold statues. Inside the palace, you will find gold detailing, chandeliers, and sightly artworks.
4. Peter and Paul Fortress
Playing a significant role in the Russian revolution and being the very spot that St. Petersburg was founded, make sure you visit the Peter and Paul Fortress. Take a tour of the fortress for some incredible views of the Winter Palace and River Neva.
Situated just over 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) off the coast of Ecuador, the remote setting of the Galápagos Islands makes them one of the most coveted travel destinations in South America. If you are considering adding this wildlife-rich archipelago to your bucket list, here are 10 things to know before you travel to the Galápagos Islands.
1. The Galápagos Islands were one of the first of the 12 sites to make the original UNESCO World Heritage Site list when it was first drawn up in 1978. They also sparked the beginning of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection.
2. Around 2,000 species of wildlife found in the Galápagos Islands are endemic which means this is the only place on the planet you can observe them in their natural habitat. Such include the Galápagos fur seal, the Galápagos land iguana, the Galápagos sea lion, the Galápagos land tortoise, and the marine iguana.
Other species that you are likely to see include blue-footed boobies, penguins, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and flamingos.
3. The Galápagos Islands comprises 127 isles and islets of which only four are inhabited. Santa Cruz, Isabela, and San Cristobal each offer a roster of luxury hotels, guest houses, and eco-lodges.
4. There are several ways to visit the Galápagos Islands. You may opt to either join a liveaboard cruise or base yourself on one of the inhabited islands and plan day trips and excursions from there.
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