My 10 best travel experiences of 2021

Monday newsletters at all times characteristic prime 10 journey lists to encourage.

As we speak: My 10 finest journey experiences of 2021

Because the yr 2021 is coming to an finish, it’s a very good time to replicate on the headlines and tales that formed the previous yr. 2021 is a yr most of us wish to neglect as shortly as attainable. It’s a yr that we had been hoping for an finish to this pandemic, however greater than 5 million deaths later, it appears there isn’t any finish in sight. Even worse, it feels just like the emergence of the omnicron variant is pulling us again into this dreadful distress. I assume most of us are exhausted from the relentless restrictions which can be imposed on societies and from the fixed not realizing what the subsequent day will deliver.

2021 can also be the yr that worldwide journey tried to bounce again (and partly succeeded in doing so) after it collapsed in 2020. Ideas similar to “lockdowns,” “quarantines” and “vaccine mandates” are a part of our on a regular basis language because the coronavirus pandemic continues to impression all features of our lives, together with our (disrupted) journey plans and wanderlust. Nonetheless, since this can be a journey weblog that tries to provide you some enlightening journey inspiration, I wish to give attention to hope, positivity, and my private journey tales (making an attempt to make the perfect of the difficult journey scenario). I hereby share with you my very own journey highlights of 2021, most of them happening inside Europe (apart from one fabulous journey). Early 2022, I’ll share what to anticipate from me within the subsequent yr.

There may be extra info (with journey studies & YouTube movies) under the slideshow. You may share your individual ideas on 2021 or your individual 2021 journey highlights within the feedback part under.

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10. STAYCATION IN BELGIUM

From January until Could 2021, a journey ban was carried out by the federal government of Belgium – my dwelling nation – in an effort to curb the unfold of covid (on a private be aware, I feel journey bans do extra hurt than good). As a result of this journey ban and my very own covid an infection, I didn’t journey for nearly 6 months. To maintain my YouTube viewers (and myself) entertained throughout these irritating occasions, I created a number of movies that includes the highlights of Belgium, hereby re-discovering the allure of my dwelling nation. Situated within the coronary heart of Europe, Belgium is globally identified for indulgent candies and attractive beer. However my nation presents a lot greater than that in fact. Highlights embody attractive medieval cities displaying splendid gothic structure and fashionable cities boasting designer retailers and world-class museums. Watch my 4K movies of the cities of Bruges, Ghent and Brussels by clicking the hyperlinks.


9. MY FIRST POST-LOCKDOWN TRIP ABROAD TO MYKONOS, GREECE

I select the Greek island of Mykonos as my first journey vacation spot after Belgium lastly lifted its journey ban. Providing dream seashores, azure seawaters, and picturesque whitewashed villages, the small island attracts greater than 1,000,000 guests every summer time. Often known as an island that by no means sleeps, an countless grownup playground, and one of many world’s most wanted homosexual vacationer locations, Mykonos has righteously gained a spot among the many finest social gathering locations of Europe, attracting famend DJs and fashionistas. Since Brigitte Bardot, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Grace Kelly visited within the Sixties, Mykonos additionally grew to become a well-liked vacation spot for the wealthy and well-known, with hip new accommodations opening annually. Throughout my go to, I stayed at Grecotel Mykonos Blu, Aeonic Suites & Spa, and Myconian Imperial (all fabulous accommodations). And you’ll anticipate some extra Mykonos journey studies in 2022 as I’m going again!


8. A ROMANTIC BREAK IN PARIS

Monumental squares, centuries-old church buildings, well-known boulevards, romantic bridges, magnificent palaces, and Montmartre’s cobblestone streets make Paris one of many most lovely cities on the planet. The Metropolis of Gentle has not solely impressed painters, sculptors, writers, poets and composers but additionally virtually each main world capital, with each metropolis claiming its personal Champs-Elysèes. Cruise on the Seine or watch the world move by from a café terrace or and it’s simple to know why so many individuals fall in love with Paris. The French capital can also be dwelling to a few ultra-luxurious accommodations, and final summer time, I stayed at two of them: Shangri-La Paris – previously the house of Prince Roland Bonaparte (grand nephew of Napoleon) – and Hôtel de Crillon, a Rosewood Resort – a historic mansion, the place Queen Marie Antoinette used to spend her afternoons enjoyable and taking piano classes.


7. A STAY AT THE FOUR SEASONS MADRID, SPAIN

Final September 2021, I used to be purported to journey to French Polynesia for a vacation of a lifetime. Sadly, because of the ongoing pandemic, that journey was cancelled two weeks previous to departure, so I needed to search for a final minute vacation elsewhere. In the long run, I select Spain as a journey vacation spot, the place I loved a beautiful time in Ibiza, Barcelona and Madrid. I assumed the spotlight of my journey was going to be the brand new Six Senses Ibiza, however that turned out to be an enormous disappointment. On the contrary, I didn’t anticipate a lot from the brand new 4 Seasons Madrid (because it’s a metropolis resort), however boy, was I unsuitable! Housed in a historic constructing, this property blew me off my toes (I’ll publish my evaluation & video early 2022). With rooftop eating by Spanish movie star chef Dani García, a four-level world-class wellness heart, and a terrific design, 4 Seasons is bringing a brand new degree of luxurious and repair to Madrid.


6. A VISIT TO THE SAGRADA FAMILIA IN BARCELONA, SPAIN

The spotlight of my journey to Spain was a go to to the Sagrada Familia, one of many world’s most well-known church buildings. The large Roman Catholic basilica is thé landmark constructing of Barcelona and, although incomplete, a UNESCO World Heritage Website attracting roughly 2.5 million vacationers yearly. Designed by genius architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), the venture that has been beneath building since 1882. At Gaudi’s demise, lower than 1 / 4 of the venture had been accomplished. The development is progressing slowly – because it depends on non-public donations – and is now anticipated to be accomplished by 2028. When completed, the basilica will characteristic 18 towers and be the tallest church on the planet. Whereas the intricate exteriors of the Sagrada Familia draw loads of consideration, the interiors are simply as spectacular. I’ll publish a 4K video of the Sagrada Familia this Saturday on my YouTube channel.


5. A HELICOPTER FLIGHT OVER SANTORINI

The Greek island of Santorini is arguably one of many world’s most idyllic islands and ranks amongst my favourite locations on earth. Perched excessive above the deep blue Aegean Sea, Santorini’s whitewashed villages are clustered atop dramatic cliffs, with black sand seashores resting on the backside. The island was formed some 3,600 years in the past by one of many largest volcanic eruptions in recorded historical past, which left a large water-filled crater measuring about 12 by 7 km (7.5 by 4 mi) and surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) excessive cliffs on all sides. Probably the greatest methods to understand the island’s pure splendor is to fly over the world-renowned caldera by helicopter, particularly round sundown time. Peak Helicopter Service presents a selection between two helicopter excursions, the usual 20 minute or the prolonged 30 minute tour. Under, you possibly can watch a video documenting my expertise (the helicopter tour begins at 41:39).


4. TRYING OUT THE NEW ONE&ONLY PORTONOVI IN MONTENEGRO

In June 2021, I traveled to the Adriatic Sea’s latest nautical playground: the ultraluxurious One&Solely Portonovi Resort in Montenegro, some of the lovely however nonetheless largely undiscovered journey locations in Europe. The property sits on the entrance of Boka Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Website typically dubbed “the southern-most fjord in Europe.” With its spacious rooms, suites, and villas, and Riviera-style eating helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Giorgio Locatelli, One&Solely Portonovi retreat is a must-stay for discerning vacationers. The resort’s world-class services embody a non-public artifical seashore, eleven swimming swimming pools, and a wonderful Chenot Espace wellness heart. One of many highlights throughout my keep was a non-public boat tour to Boka Bay, which is dwelling to numerous hidden lagoons and coves, in addition to century-old moated walled cities like Kotor.


3. A LONG WEEKEND AT THE FOUR SEASONS CAP FERRAT ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA

Final summer time, I loved a wonderful lengthy weekend on the French Riviera, the place I stayed at two well-known accommodations: Le Negresco and 4 Seasons Cap Ferrat, with particularly the latter one making an incredible impression. Situated between Good and Monaco, on a peninsula dealing with the Mediterranean, Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a 4 Seasons Resort is a French Riviera icon on the bucket checklist of many discerning vacationers. This award-winning legend has hosted many heads of state, celebrities, and artists since 1908. Company can settle into certainly one of 49 visitor rooms, 24 suites, or a villa with views of the ocean or lush pine forest. World-class services embody an expensive spa, an infinity-edge swimming pool at Membership Dauphin, and Michelin-starred delicacies at Le Cap. With none doubt, Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a 4 Seasons Resort is certainly one of my favourite 4 Seasons resort on the planet.


2. A HOLIDAY AT CALILO ON IOS ISLAND, GREECE

The honour of my favourite seashore resort of 2021 – and certainly one of my most phenomenal resort stays ever – goes to Calilo. In a distant nook of unspoilt Ios, within the coronary heart of the Cyclades, and only a pebble’s throw from social gathering islands Mykonos and Santorini, this 30-suite sanctuary presents an escape from the crowds. Rising out of, and carved from, the native rock, Calilo is cradled by 1,000 acres of protected land and fringed by a lovely golden sand seashore, lapped by a cerulean sea. Suppose sun-drenched seclusion surrounded by an historical olive-pricked panorama – nature and artwork at its coronary heart. From its structure and inside design to the placing artworks and installations, Calilo – an acronym for “create a life you possibly can fall in love with” – is the creation the Michalopoulos household whose purpose is to protect, defend and nurture this tantalizing land and to share the island’s mesmerizing magic.


1. A ROAD TRIP IN NAMIBIA

Final month, I loved a tremendous street journey within the southern African nation of Namibia, certainly one of my finest holidays ever. Few international locations on the planet can match Namibia’s sheer pure magnificence. Not solely is the nation well-known for its distinctive wildlife, recreation reserves and safari lodges, however the landscapes of its shoreline and deserts are a few of the most photographed and gasped over on the planet. Highlights of my journey included recognizing wildlife in Etosha Nationwide Park and watching the solar rise over the world’s highest dunes in Sossusvlei within the Namib Desert. En route, I stayed in a few of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife lodges, together with the ultraluxe Zannier lodges, the not too long ago revamped &Past Sossuvlei Desert lodge, and the fabulous Hoanib Skeleton Coast Lodge (managed by Wilderness Safaris) in Namibia’s distant space of the Kaokoveld. I’ll publish my opinions and movies of that unbelievable journey early 2022.


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