The amazing people at National Geographic have compiled their Best Trips of 2015! Some very interesting destinations! Here’s a our favorite picks from their list, you can read the full list here.
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…most of the island’s three million annual visitors come for the undeniable pleasures of the coast or for the thrill of visiting historic La Maison Bonaparte, in the city of Ajaccio. All of which leaves the island’s mountainous interior largely untouched. “Go inland and you will find the soul of Corsica,” advises Jean-Sébastien Orsini, director of a traditional Corsican polyphonic choir in the foothill town of Calanzana.
Olive groves and quiet villages dot the slopes and isolated valleys of the interior, vast swaths of which are protected by the Parc Naturel Régionale de Corse, which covers more than 40 percent of the island. Hiking trails lace forests of oak and pine. In the villages here, you encounter Corsicans who still feel passionately the adage “Una lingua si cheta, un populu si more—A language is silenced, a people die.”
The city’s layered charms are something that many pre-revolution visitors missed entirely, on their way to the Sahara or the Mediterranean beach resorts of Hammamet and Sousse. These sun-holiday tribes all but abandoned Tunisia after 2011, but with a relaxation of most travel warnings to the country, a new breed of traveler has replaced them. They come to discover Tunis’s past, yes, and now also its cultural energy, what Ahmed Loubiri, the organizer of international electronic music festival Ephemere, sees as a widespread “urge to be creative.” Loubiri says this ranges from “random jam sessions in garages and coffee shops to humongous festivals.” Galleries such as Selma Feriani and Hope Contemporary continue to thrive in the neighborhoods of La Marsa and Sidi Bou Said, and Tunis’s antiquities museum, the Bardo, has reopened with an ambitious new wing.
“It’s a Tunisian habit to know how to receive guests. We get back as much as we give,” says Marouane ben Miled, who runs La Chambre Bleue, a medina B&B, suggesting that this fresh popularity might also mark the beginning of a fertile conversation.
Stories of Hyderabad’s poetic past weave amid strings of programming code in this southeastern India city that was home to one of the richest men in the world, Mir Osman Ali Khan, the last ruling nizam of Hyderabad. Now a seedbed for many global IT brands, Cyberabad (as it’s dubbed) is where you can hear the muezzin’s call above the trafffic din generated by aging Urdu scholars and young software engineers alike. Here, ancient boulders guard the peripheries of HITEC City, while new rooftop bars hem in lakes and gardens. The opulent Taj Falaknuma Palace hotel perches atop a hill overlooking the Old City, where Irani cafés thrive alongside fifth-generation pearl merchants and the finest fountain pen makers. Prone to exaggeration, the Hyderabadis’ conversations within these cafés often linger over three cups of chai and four hours.
Port Antonio, Jamaica
When a hurricane blew his yacht off course in 1942, Hollywood heartthrob Errol Flynn discovered paradise in Jamaica’s Port Antonio, purportedly proclaiming it “more beautiful than any woman I have ever known.” This haven on the island’s northeast coast first boomed when American millionaires such as Alfred Mitchell and his heiress wife, Annie Tiffany, built estates in the early 1900s. Flynn’s arrival cued a second swell, drawing Noel Coward and Katharine Hepburn.
Now a new generation has discovered Portie’s pleasures, from the smoke-fogged jerk grills lining Boston Beach to the log rafts that drift down the lazy Rio Grande. British music producer Jon Baker opened Geejam, a seven-room boutique hideaway. And with Portie-born, Toronto-based financier Michael Lee-Chin, he has relaunched two formerly faded properties, the Trident Hotel and the Castle. Together they are reviving the Blue Lagoon, the famed swimming hole.
Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Though Sydney might argue the point, Melbourne has established itself as Australia’s food capital, home to innovative culinary ideas such as micro coffee roasters, nonprofit cafés, and expat pop-ups (British chef Heston Blumenthal is moving his Fat Duck from England to Melbourne for six months next year). Melbourne’s chief wine region is the nearby Yarra Valley, but an emerging source of bounty is the rugged Mornington Peninsula, about an hour’s drive south from downtown via a recently opened roadway. The peninsula distills the flavors of down under in one boot-shaped cape: paddock-to-plate restaurants, down-to-earth wineries where the vintners themselves work the tasting rooms, and small sustainable farms such as 2 Macs and Green Olive at Red Hill that each offer cooking classes.
But the region isn’t just about food. In fact, “it has always been Melbourne’s playground, with people flocking to the beaches over summer,” says Danielle Field, who, with her brother Max, guides MP Experience food tours of the Hinterland Region of Pinot Noir growers, apple orchards, and strawberry farms. Snorkelers come to encounter leafy sea dragons. Terrestrial wildlife lovers seek out nocturnal pademelons and bettongs. Says Field, “Now the Mornington Peninsula really has something for everyone.”
Cover photograph by Ron Niebrugge, Mira Images