You might have been to Philippines in the past, but it’s quite likely that you have missed on a paradise! Zambales, from the outside might look just like any other average island in the Philippines but most of its treasures are well kept secrets. Zambales is in fact, one of the most picturesque tourist destinations in the Philippines. Let’s talk about where you need to go and the things to do in Zambales.
Lake Bled is Slovenia's most popular tourist attraction and although it's getting more and more famous, it's still relatively unknown comparing to other European landmarks. And, in contrast to other places flooded by masses of visitors, the beautiful Bled is not overrated at all. In fact, it is way better in real life than in the photos. The images cannot really convey the clear, deep blue color of water, pristine natural surroundings and charming architecture, all combined together.
The town of Bled is best visited in the summer when you can swim, kayak, hike and use it as a base to explore the amazing, hidden treasures of Slovenian Julian Alps.
Before exploring Skopje deeper, we caught a glimpse of this city while on the way from Belgrade to the beautiful Ohrid – a lakeside town boasting unique architecture, clear waters and nice, calm beaches. It was such a pleasure to be there on a sunny, summer day.
Skopje was a different story. It wasn’t very welcoming at first. The grey, gloomy facade that consisted of communist era blocks defined its borders. At first, I thought the two days we had there were going to be a waste of time. However, I couldn’t be more mistaken. Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t say that Skopje is the most beautiful city in Europe, because it isn’t. But its charm was hidden in the fact that I have never seen such a diverse, crazy and chaotic city anywhere else in Europe.
Serbia’s candidacy for European Union membership has created added interest in the numerous attractions of this geographically diverse country and is expected to lead to increased tourism in the area. Visitors to this scenic region will enjoy the picturesque villages and resorts located in the mountainous areas of Serbia, the beautiful Danube River and the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the capital city of Belgrade. From cycling tours along the Danube Bike Trail to the picturesque wine routes in rural Serbia, destination holidays in Serbia are an ideal way to explore this historic area.
Ireland is best known for spectacular cliffs, endless green meadows, hundreds of sheep, ubiquitous pubs and of course, above all - Guinness. A beach is something that never comes to mind when you think about things to see in the Emerald Island. However, it’s good to know some nice place where you can relax and enjoy your time when the sun actually appears and chases away the gray cloud cover. During such a rare event, when you visit Dublin, you'll probably notice the masses escaping to Howth, Bray or the city beaches such as Portmarnock. They are all nice locations, however there are no sandy beaches in Howth and Bray and the ones in the north of the capital are long and endless with unimaginable crowds and murky water.
But what if we told you that we discovered a hidden little beach that is mostly known only among locals and it’s not worse than the beaches surrounded by cliffs in countries like Portugal?
Charyn Canyon, although completely unknown in the west, is probably the biggest attraction of Almaty region and maybe the whole country of Kazakhstan. It is way smaller than its famous counterpart – the Grand Canyon, however this fact doesn’t make it a less exciting place to visit. The canyon is located where two huge climate zones clash - between the barren Altyn Emel desert and the massive, lush green Tien Shan mountain range. From the red rocky cliffs of the canyon, you can spot the snow-covered peaks in the distance.
Scotland is the second largest country in the United Kingdom coalition formed in 1707 and is located north of England. Scotland is endowed with natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, making it a very popular tourist destination. It is known for friendly and lively cities and millions of people world wide have Scottish roots as their ancestors migrated from Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries due to conflicts. The famous game of golf was created by Scots and Scotland boasts of owning some world class golf courses.Scotland has three different types of terrain, the highlands, the lowlands and the flat lands.
Everyone comes to Pisa to see one of the world's most famous attractions - the Leaning Tower. While it's an extremely popular destination, we didn't choose Pisa because we wanted to visit the tower. We went there because it turned out to be the best (and cheapest) gateway to the beautiful region of Italy - Tuscany, where you can find: Cinque Terre, Florence and other, less known destinations like Siena and a charming medieval town built on a steep cliff - Pitigliano. But as we already were in Pisa, we decided to give it a go and find out if this little town had anything else in its offer.
Visiting Monaco can be an appealing idea at a glance. It’s a gorgeous little country combining top-notch European luxury with the idyllic splendor of the Mediterranean. It’s also a tiny destination, and it would be fair to wonder if you can experience it by looking at a few postcards, rather than going out of your way to make a trip. This is why we’ve asked the question before of if Monaco is really worth a visit.
Dhermi and Llogara Pass all the way to the town of Vlora were the last points on our itinerary along the Albanian riviera. Going North, we left behind Ksamil, Blue Eye Spring, Himare and my favorite, hidden beaches in Albania - Jala and Ghipe. We already knew Albania is a paradise for those who love unspoiled nature and we just wanted to relax for the last part of the journey. And once more, this little unknown country had another surprise for us - the unbelievable mountainous views all the way to the turquoise, tropical looking Ionian Sea.
Salvador city is the capital of the Bahia state in the North East of Brazil. While it's nothing less attractive than Rio, it gets way fewer tourists and thanks to that, it's easier to feel the local, Brazilian mixed with African influences way of life there. It's one of the oldest colonial cities in South America, founded by the Portuguese in he 16th century. With the spectacular carnivals, it's also believed to be the birthplace of Brazilian culture. You can experience that while strolling down the beautiful, charming streets of the old historical center - Salvador, no doubt has one of the most beautiful old historical centers in Brazil!
A "Blue Cave" is a popular attraction in many countries - I visited one in Greece, in Malta or Brazil (click on the links to see my posts). Montenegro is less known in the West and not as famous as other popular destinations but it's good to know that this tiny Balkan country also has its own, beautiful Blue Cave. Although the most visited attractions of Montenegro are the spectacular Kotor Bay and the peculiar (and extremely expensive) St. Stephan's Island, the Blue Cave is also a cool place to see, especially when combined with the charming town of Herceg Novi (take a look at my post about it) and the nearby Zanjice beach.
Tropical nature - this is what attracts. Costa Rica, unfortunately, lacks the old, colorful colonial towns like those in Nicaragua, Mexico or Brazil. Therefore, its capital - San Jose, although being the only metropolitan area in the country, is the least visited spot on Costa Rica's tourist map. San Jose is also a jungle, but in a different sense of the word. It's a concrete jungle - and not too pleasant for visitors who are used to beautiful architecture, pristine European old towns or other colonial, vibrant villages.
San Jose is also dirty, and I mean, really dirty. The rubbish rot in between the streets, the plastic bags fly grabbed by the wind - pollution is obvious everywhere, even in the very city center. So why on Earth would anyone want to visit this city? Is there really nothing that it can offer?
Cape Town, South Africa's most famous city is extremely popular among visitors flocking to this beautiful country - especially that it's surrounded by nice beaches from one side, and from the other - spectacular (although not too high) mountains offering some amazing hike opportunities.
However, what I've noticed is that many of the Westerners tend to see mostly the "posh" places around the city, such as the lavish waterfront, luxurious coastline or the most recognizable landmark - the table mountain. These spots are amazing indeed, but what about the very center of Cape Town? What's it like there? Why is it often omitted? How do the ordinary locals get by with their lives? And - the most important thing - is it safe to visit?
Mandalay is the second largest city (after Yangon) in Myanmar. Similarly to Yangon, it also used to be the country's capital and has retained the royal splendor until this day. Surprisingly, although Mandalay feels way older than Yangon, it was established as late as the 19th century. Nevertheless, even though the most popular pagoda in Myanmar (the Shwedagon Pagoda) is located in Yangon, I preferred the authentic feeling and the overall Burmese atmosphere of Mandalay. Less modern high-rise blocks, more spectacular temples, palaces and piece-of-art wooden buildings. Less organized, more messy, chaotic and hectic - but in the positive sense of the word.
At first, Qadisha Valley wasn't in our itinerary of places to see in Lebanon. Apart from the obvious sites of this fascinatingly diverse country, like Beirut, Byblos or the ancient Roman ruins at Baalbek, we wanted to see the Lebanese cedar forests in their natural environment as well as the spectacular Baatara sinkhole waterfall which is one of the most unique natural phenomenons I've seen.
However, after we organized a trip to Baatara/Cedar Forest Natural Reserve, our guides recommended we also see the magnificent yet way less known Qadisha Valley. And it was such a great piece of advice! Although the other two natural wonders are spectacular, it takes only a very short tome to visit them. Qadisha Valley, in turn, proved to be an amazing journey into the past where history of hermits and monks who had lived in the cave dwellings intertwines with the breathtaking views of the gorges and high mountainous peaks covered with white blanket of snow.
Visualize your first day entering into your classroom. Desks are neatly arranged, it’s quiet, and then the bell rings. Your new students begin to pile into your classroom and things change drastically.
Your students are chatting loudly, tossing paper balls back and forth, and glued to their phones. To you it looks like chaos and you have no idea how you’re going to get them focused on the task at hand.
I’ll show you how to avoid feeling overwhelmed on your first day by making good preparation, role-playing with other teachers, and taking in some meditative practices to calm your nerves.
Bratislava, the Slovakian capital, is rarely on the itinerary of the visitors traveling through Europe. Comparing to its famous neighbor - Prague, Bratislava is virtually non-existent in the eyes of a typical western tourist.
But because we love to go against the grain and discover the places which are less popular, during the long weekend in Prague, we jumped on the night bus and decided to spend a day in the capital of Slovakia. What did Bratislava turn out to be like? Was it worth visiting? Is it a good alternative to overrun by tourists, often overrated and expensive famous capitals?
Jamaica - the home of Bob Marley and the third largest island of the Greater Antilles. Located south of Cuba, among turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica is a well known beach destination where everyone can find something to their liking. You love the sea? - Jamaica boasts beautiful coast. You prefer nature or hiking? - you can admire tropical forests and unique, terraced waterfalls. Take a look at the list of 5 amazing natural wonders on this paradise island and get enchanted!
Although Skellig Islands may be the most impressive attraction in Ireland, only few know about their existence. While places like the Cliffs of Moher or the Ring of Kerry are known world-wide, Skellig islands remain in the shadow of the most popular sites in Ireland. For me, Skellig is probably the best of all I've seen in Ireland. This tiny speck of land combines all you need for a perfect tourist destination into one: spectacular scenery, amazing wildlife with multiple sea birds and historical, unique, beehive-like monastery. So why is this magnificent site virtually unknown and less popular than, say, the Cliffs of Moher?