Travel Bucket List: 11 Destinations I’d Like To Visit

Travel Bucket List: 11 Destinations I’d Like To Visit

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I think it’s always fun to set some travel goals, or at least keep a list of the places that you’d like to visit sooner rather than later. Earlier I shared some of the points hotels I’m hoping to eventually stay at, and in this post I wanted to share the destinations I’m most hoping to visit.

The travel destinations I most hope to visit

Before I share my list of top travel destinations I want to visit, let me note a few things:

  • I’m not in any way suggesting that the below are necessarily the most interesting places I’ve never been to, but rather they’re just places that pique my interest for one reason or another, and a visit is on my mind
  • Most of the places on the list are countries I haven’t been to, but in some cases they’ll be regions or territories of countries I’ve already visited in some capacity
  • In most cases there’s also an airline or hotel angle here (after all, that’s my business), so there are interesting airlines to try and hotels to stay at
  • I’m trying to keep a list of places that’s realistic to visit in the near future based on my current life situation, so I’m leaving off some places that really interest me but will take a lot of effort, like Antarctica, North Korea, the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena, etc.

With that out of the way, below are some of the places that I’d most like to visit, in no particular order.

Kyrgyzstan

In recent years I’ve visited Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and had an incredible time. There’s something so fun about visiting a place where you don’t really come in with any specific expectations. Logically Kyrgyzstan is next on that list for me.

There’s even a Hyatt Regency in Bishkek. It’s just too bad that Turkish Airlines no longer operates a fifth freedom flight from Bishkek to Ulaanbaatar.

Namibia

Ford and I were supposed to visit Namibia in April 2020, though of course that got canceled due to the pandemic. I’m still hoping to make this trip sometime, as Namibia has so much to offer, from amazing safari experiences to beautiful coastline.

AndBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

Greenland

Greenland has been on my travel bucket list for way too long. There’s even an interesting aviation angle, as Air Greenland has an A330 in its fleet, which it flies between Greenland and Copenhagen. I was planning this trip for the summer of 2020, but the pandemic ruined those plans. Of course a Greenland trip requires some planning, and with the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, I guess I should wait a bit longer on this.

I’ve only flown over Greenland until now

Faroe Islands

I love nature destinations, and I’ve heard great things about the Faroe Islands. This is pretty accessible from many points in Europe, and there’s now even a points hotel there (a Hilton Garden Inn), so I’m hoping to visit this summer.

Arctic Canada

The Canadian Arctic is surprisingly accessible by air, and I imagine it has absolutely gorgeous scenery. I’d love to visit in summer, and do a bunch of interesting flights. Now if only Canadian North would launch that flight from Canada to Greenland, then I could knock out two destinations with one easy trip.

I’ve only flown over Arctic Canada

Peru

I realize I’m way behind the curve on this one, but I’ve never visited Peru (aside from connecting at the airport). I think it’s time to finally visit Lima, Machu Picchu, etc.

Albania

Of countries in Europe I haven’t been to, Albania probably interests me most. The country is surrounded by other countries that I love (Greece, Montenegro, and Italy just across the sea), and I’ve heard good things from those who visited. I’ve also found Albanians around the world to consistently be friendly. If anyone has tips for what’s a “must-see” beyond Tirana, I’d love to learn.

Guatemala

A few months ago Guatemala really got on my radar, simply because it’s easy to get to, beautiful (from what I’ve seen), has some great points hotels I could review, and flights there are typically cheap. I’m still hoping to do this as a weekend trip in the near future, once the current surge slows down.

Bermuda

Okay, I’ve gotta be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever talked to someone and had them say Bermuda was their favorite destination. However, it’s a place that has been on my list for a very long time, I love the “Bermuda Triangle” intrigue, and now there’s even a St. Regis there, which is an awesome points option to have.

There’s now a St. Regis in Bermuda

Greece (new islands)

Greece is one of my favorite countries in the world, and I’ve been several times. However, I’m done visiting the same islands, but rather want to go somewhere new. The places that interest me most are Corfu, Milos, and Antiparos. If there are any other islands that absolutely should be on my list, please let me know (and if there’s a points hotel angle, all the better!).

White Coast Pool Suites in Milos, Greece (an SLH hotel)

Oman (outside of Muscat)

While I’ve been to Muscat, I haven’t explored the country outside of that, and I know I’m missing out there. Oman has beautiful coastline and mountains, and I really want to check that out. We’re even lucky to have two Alila properties in Oman where we can redeem points.

Alila Jabal Akhdar is in the mountains of Oman

Bottom line

It’s always fun to keep a list of the places you most want to visit, and the above is a list of the places that are front-of-mind for me when planning travel. I’m probably forgetting quite a few places I’ve been wanting to check out, but I think this list should keep me pretty busy.

If anyone has tips or experiences with any of these destinations, I’d welcome them. And I’d also love to hear what destinations OMAAT readers have on their lists?

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  1. Denisa Guest

    You MUST see Saranda,Vlora and Berat in Albania

  2. Poppy Marello Guest

    Peru is absolutely beautiful! Lima is a great city and Machu Picchu is obviously incredible, but put some time aside to spend in Cusco itself - it's a wonderful city. Huacachina is worth a visit too, for the views alone.

  3. Sadiq Al Lawati Guest

    You are welcome to visit Oman. Weather is great these days and there are many places outside Muscat such as mountains, beaches and sand dunes

    1. nik Guest

      thanks! thinking of going in May, good time to go? Best beaches? Mountain? Any help is appreciated first time traveler to the area.

  4. Nik Guest

    planning a solo trip to Oman this year . Love off the beaten path true local experiences. As a single female traveler all tips are welcome and appreciated. Looking for best time of the year weather wise to go also.

  5. Vancouver - Char Gold

    Nice - I have enjoyed following your blog over the years

    Greenland (Air Greenland's A330), The Faroe Islands and Namibia are all intriguing. Other possible destinations might be Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Luxembourg (Luxair?), Senegal, Malawi and Uruguay. Have you ever travelled to Argentina?

  6. Eric P Anderson Guest

    I lived in Kyrgyzstan for a couple years and would happily give you as much advice as you want. I would love to see an OMAAT review of anything beyond Manas airport or the Hyatt! I don't think you and Ford actively seek out gay scenes when you travel but I would actively avoid it in KG and dont let on you are married. It's not illegal like some places you've been but I know some people who have been attacked (mostly in Bishkek but one person in a village.)

  7. Ivan Guest

    Yes - go to Albania and stay there, please.

  8. Welltravbrit Guest

    Been to a few of the places on your list but just to say if you do go to Guatemala I’d highly recommend Casa Palopo on Lake Atitlan. It’s a Relais et Chateau property so it would be a good one for Ford to check out too and I’m sure you’ll like it. We liked the newish Junior Suites at the Coppola property not far from Tikal. The name escapes me right now but it’s worth checking out too.

  9. Jared Guest

    I've been to all of the destinations with the exception of Bermuda. You are right - I haven't met anyone who has expressed their love for Bermuda either.

    We did an expedition across Greenland in 2017 - just be aware that it is a destination for outdoor explorers since much of the beauty is inaccessible except on foot. I wrote an article in Nat Geo in 2015 on this and you can find it. Explore...

    I've been to all of the destinations with the exception of Bermuda. You are right - I haven't met anyone who has expressed their love for Bermuda either.

    We did an expedition across Greenland in 2017 - just be aware that it is a destination for outdoor explorers since much of the beauty is inaccessible except on foot. I wrote an article in Nat Geo in 2015 on this and you can find it. Explore the Arctic train from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut if you can afford the time. It's easily one of the top ten memorable hikes in my book.

    The other destinations are frequented and written about so need no discussion. However, Albania is a gem. Take a drive along the coastlines for breathtaking views. Try Rakki! Tirana has many interesting Ottoman and Communist architecture. It is a hip city with a young-centric population. I enjoy frequenting the many cafes thronging with attractive and stylish locals. Visit the beautiful mosques!

    For Kyrgyzstan, I shall paste a comment from another forum where I uploaded.

    "A visit to the Al Archa Nat'l Park, Ala Kul and Altyn Arashan are highly recommended when visiting Kyrgyzstan. The remote natural attractions are the jewels of Kyrgyzstan and to be admired. I have led multiple hikes and treks across Central Asia, including a five month trek across the remotest areas in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is a country for remote nature lovers. I would love to share my pointers, if you're interested.

    Bishkek is just like any other post-Soviet city. I don't find it particularly note-worthy to spend much time in. There are a couple good restaurants you can try in Bishkek; Arzu and Vinoteka. For an authentic experience, I would suggest traveling to the remote settlements to try the flavorful steamed and boiled mutton dishes and other delicacies from the nomadic tribes. There are food tours, which attract tourists for a more palatable experience. Or you can get in touch with the likes of me for reliable local contacts."

    Happy Traveling!

  10. Miramar Guest

    I was at &beyond Sossusvlei last year for a week and thought it was spectacular. Be sure to take the helicopter flight all the way to the coast, and insist on summiting the largest dune near the dead vlei (“big daddy” if I remember correctly), the views are otherworldly. Hopefully they’ve installed pool heaters by now, the pools are otherwise unusable.

  11. Andy Guest

    I can highly recommend the ones from that list I have visited:

    - Kyrgistan: Bishkek is more quiet than othe capitals in the region, but the scenary is just breathtaking. And the mountains are easy to reach. The Hyatt is quite good (at least pre-pandemic) and the TK flight you are missing was so horribly timed I never took it ...
    - Peru: Yes, there is a lot to be seen, apart from MP....

    I can highly recommend the ones from that list I have visited:

    - Kyrgistan: Bishkek is more quiet than othe capitals in the region, but the scenary is just breathtaking. And the mountains are easy to reach. The Hyatt is quite good (at least pre-pandemic) and the TK flight you are missing was so horribly timed I never took it ...
    - Peru: Yes, there is a lot to be seen, apart from MP. Already Lima has some nice spots and Arequipa is really beautiful. You should also see Nazca, which is a bit hard to reach, but worth the early start.
    - Guatamala: As stated before in this forum, this is really beautiful. Antigua can be easily reached by Uber from Guatemala City. For Tikal I suggest a 2-3 day tour, flying to Flores. in GC stay at the iconic Westin Camino Real.
    - Oman: Well, there are few nice spots outside (but beware the speed control on their motorways, which is based on time spent between two points). Salalah is a nice resort with good climate, but otherwise nothing to write home about. In Salalah stay at the Hilton, which is ok, but certainly better than the other options.
    - Albania: It's interesting and worth a visit. I would combine it with some other country in the region, e.g. Montenegro. In Tirana, I suggest the Sheraton, which is very nice.

  12. Nathan Guest

    The Peloponnese is an underrated region of (mainland) Greece that you may want to explore. It has tons of history/ruins and some lovely small towns, including independence Greece's first capital: Nafplio. Very easy for roadtrips, starting in Athens and winding clockwise around the island through Corinth, Epidaurus, Nafplio, Methana, Mystras, Mani, Kalamata, Pilos, Olympia, Patras, and so many places in between. If you were to circle back to Athens via car, it can be done...

    The Peloponnese is an underrated region of (mainland) Greece that you may want to explore. It has tons of history/ruins and some lovely small towns, including independence Greece's first capital: Nafplio. Very easy for roadtrips, starting in Athens and winding clockwise around the island through Corinth, Epidaurus, Nafplio, Methana, Mystras, Mani, Kalamata, Pilos, Olympia, Patras, and so many places in between. If you were to circle back to Athens via car, it can be done via Delphi, a fantastic ruin site to visit.

    Pilos is particularly notable from a points perspective: it is home to two adjoining Marriott properties:
    1. The Romanos, a Luxury Collection Resort, Costa Navarino
    2. The Westin Resort, Costa Navarino

    The Romanos is a lovely property with villas facing the beach. Lovely area and typically passed over by Americans drawn to the islands.

    1. snic Diamond

      I second this. I visited the Nafplio region a few years ago in winter and it was spectacular. It reminded me of the California coast, but with olive groves in the hills above the sea and atmospheric ruins from thousands of years-old buildings. I'd love to spend more time exploring this region.

  13. dhouse Guest

    I 100% suggest going to the Faroes, especially if you like hiking. There are so many great day hikes you can do from Torshavn. One specific tip, don't miss a day trip to Mykines... but book the ferry as early as possible. It'll fill up a few days beforehand. G'luck with your travels. One bucket list I've already booked this year is Greenland. 100km trek over 7 days!!

  14. Clayton Guest

    If you're going to Guatemala, make it more than a weekend trip. Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Antigua is one of the most charming towns. There are no good points hotels, however, aside from the Holiday Inn or Intercontinental in Guatemala City.

    1. Andy Guest

      ... agree about Lake Atitlan and Antigua. But you forgot mentioning the Westin Camino Real, which is much nicer than the Intercontinental (no to mention the HI). It's really iconic.

  15. Alex Thld Guest

    Hi Ben. Long time reader, first time to post. Congrats for all the work you put into this blog.

    Milos and Antiparos are cool, Milos specifically offers lots of activities and sights. But the coolest Aegean islands right now are Astypalea (A3 and SkyExpress fly there) and Amorgos (short ferry ride from Astypalea). Astypalea is bliss.

    I could also recommend the island where I come from myself, Chios. Very different from the others,...

    Hi Ben. Long time reader, first time to post. Congrats for all the work you put into this blog.

    Milos and Antiparos are cool, Milos specifically offers lots of activities and sights. But the coolest Aegean islands right now are Astypalea (A3 and SkyExpress fly there) and Amorgos (short ferry ride from Astypalea). Astypalea is bliss.

    I could also recommend the island where I come from myself, Chios. Very different from the others, and not as touristy and upmarket, but it is in such off-the-track islands where you'll get the authentic greek experience.

  16. pstm91 Diamond

    Most of the recommended Greek islands in the comments are in the Ionians and while they are amazing, they're definitely more touristy. I saw some recommend Kastellorizo, great call. I'd also add Thasos - those will give you a truly local experience and way less tourists. You access it from Kavala - also very worth a stay. No points hotels though.

    Albania - the mountains in the north are insanely gorgeous and worth a few...

    Most of the recommended Greek islands in the comments are in the Ionians and while they are amazing, they're definitely more touristy. I saw some recommend Kastellorizo, great call. I'd also add Thasos - those will give you a truly local experience and way less tourists. You access it from Kavala - also very worth a stay. No points hotels though.

    Albania - the mountains in the north are insanely gorgeous and worth a few days of hiking. Serande in the south has amazing beaches and growing rapidly. I love Albania because it's Greece without the tourists. Amazing beaches and seafood meals that cost nothing. You can fly to Corfu (tons of flights from all over Europe), spend a few days there, and then ferry directly into Serande (very short ride - you can see Corfu from Serande). Also no points redemption opportunities though.

    Bermuda is great but not somewhere I would redeem points. That's an island you want to stay with someone local/friend. The beaches are beautiful though.

  17. YANNICK LANIEL Guest

    There’s no hotel points angle but my two favourite islands in Greece are Andros (easily accessible from Athens, lots of great boutique hotels) and Amorgos, which is remote but paradise!

  18. David C New Member

    What an awesome list! Greenland is definitely on the top of my list, along with Iceland! Bring on the travel!

    If you ever head down to Australia again, come visit Tasmania - beautiful and forgotten in most lists - don't let those Queenslanders tell you they have the best beaches! Tasmania has them - Wine Glass Bay for the win.

    Looking forward to seeing some reports on these places!

    DC

  19. Michael Guest

    Great list.

    Namibia is fantastic. Did it a long time ago when a friend of a friend was working on his PhD thesis there. Was definitely a more budget friendly trip as opposed to a &beyond trip! Was delayed a day returning to Windhoek for our flight home due to a sandstorm. Was a great adventure and may go back in November.

    Greenland has been on my list since flying over it in United First...

    Great list.

    Namibia is fantastic. Did it a long time ago when a friend of a friend was working on his PhD thesis there. Was definitely a more budget friendly trip as opposed to a &beyond trip! Was delayed a day returning to Windhoek for our flight home due to a sandstorm. Was a great adventure and may go back in November.

    Greenland has been on my list since flying over it in United First Class FRA-ORD drinking Dom (yeah, United used to board Dom for First) on a very clear day. The landscape was mesmerizing.

    Oman is also on our list. As are Tahiti, Maldives, Gorilla and Great Migration experiences.

  20. shoeguy Gold

    Great list. Not sure about Bermuda though. It's ok, I guess. But there are far more interesting places like it to visit and it has a reputation for being LGBTQ+ unfriendly.

  21. Nick Te Mata Guest

    Lived in Namibia for a year, working and travelling all over. A wonderful, fascinating country - that's also a little weird. So worth making the effort.

    Etosha probably isn't quite as picturesque as Kruger, but the viewing can be superb (and pricing is significantly better). Check out the Onguma range of lodges. The drive between Etosha and Swakopmund, a nice break from desert, gets you to the southern end of the breathtaking Skeleton Coast....

    Lived in Namibia for a year, working and travelling all over. A wonderful, fascinating country - that's also a little weird. So worth making the effort.

    Etosha probably isn't quite as picturesque as Kruger, but the viewing can be superb (and pricing is significantly better). Check out the Onguma range of lodges. The drive between Etosha and Swakopmund, a nice break from desert, gets you to the southern end of the breathtaking Skeleton Coast. Sossusvlei of course is magnificent, as is Fish River Canyon in the south (think an almost untouristed Grand Canyon). No matter where you go, night skies are like nowhere else on earth. The Sossus and NamibRand areas in particular are spectacular.

    It's a great place to self-drive as roads are very good by African standards. Highly recommend a 4x4 SUV for any driving. While possible to get to many places with a 2x2 - you'll come to value robustness and ground clearance. Distances can be significant and the going slow, depending on the road. A couple of unexpected gems are scattered around the country - like Solitaire roadhouse. Some great itineraries are possible in a relatively small time window - happy to give advice!

  22. Sam Guest

    Hello from Peru!
    You absolutely have to visit this country. Been here for almost 2wks and its amazing.

  23. West Coast Flyer Guest

    You're not really a cruise guy but it might be the best way to visit Arctic Canada (specifically Nunavut), though it could be some time before they start allowing those cruises again. If they ever start the YFB-GOH route again Iqaluit is okay for a day of sightseeing but no more. GOH is also prone to delays and cancellations as it's a short runway that often gets fogged out.

    Otherwise I'd highly recommend some kind...

    You're not really a cruise guy but it might be the best way to visit Arctic Canada (specifically Nunavut), though it could be some time before they start allowing those cruises again. If they ever start the YFB-GOH route again Iqaluit is okay for a day of sightseeing but no more. GOH is also prone to delays and cancellations as it's a short runway that often gets fogged out.

    Otherwise I'd highly recommend some kind of springtime (April-June) winter escapade up there organized by a reliable tour operator. Just "showing up" in these small fly-in communities can be problematic and you likely won't have anything to see or do.

    If you're looking at the NWT it's a bit more practical and one of the best spots to see the northern lights, plenty of options there but the hotel scene is pretty dowdy (though do try the elk steaks at the Explorer Hotel!).

  24. Tomas Guest

    If you are trekking all the way to Antarctica and The Falklands, then you MUST include South Georgia in the mix.
    S.Georgia has more incredible wildlife than Antarctica and is less visited, thus more exclusive.

  25. Jason Guest

    Absoluteky second the recommendations for Lima and Naxos. Lima is a great city with unreal food, and naxos is a beautiful island.

  26. Felix Guest

    Have you been on Kefalonia island?

    Myrtos Beach is exciting!

  27. Santastico Guest

    Zachyntos, Corfu and Kefalonia in Greece.

  28. Gary Pisel Guest

    Been to Greenland many times flying the C-135. Interesting approaches at Thule, need to be flown in GRID not magnetic
    headings. It can be COLD -40 is common and sometimes lower.

    Other place I visited was Sonderstrom. Much further South on
    the West coast. One must fly up the fijord and land uphill on the
    runway. Then you depart downhill and climb out.

  29. Jordan Guest

    We visited Namibia maybe 6-7 years ago. Sossusvlei is unmissable (though try and stay inside, as there are long lines to get through the gates for the morning sunrise). Perhaps also visit Swakopmund or Walvis Bay, especially given the former’s German history. We found Etosha to be less enjoyable than Kruger/Chobe/Serengeti, though.

  30. Tim Guest

    Used to want to visit Bermuda, but since they legislated an end to the recognition of same sex marriages, I'll spend my money elsewhere.

  31. Michael Hill Guest

    My wife and I visited the Faroe Islands as part of a transatlantic cruise. The people are very friendly and the island has many unique experiences.

    Take the water tour out to the many geological sites. The underwater bridge is a unique experience.

  32. Jamie Guest

    Ben. I loved Bermuda. It’s such a nice place. I’d recommend it 100%

    1. MFK Guest

      I agree. The pink sand beaches are the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

  33. Sean Guest

    I make a terrific +1. I know food, wine, and I'm tidy. Just sayin'.

    Safe travels -- will look forward to reading your reviews.

  34. JJ Guest

    I took a BA trip to Cyprus last year as part of a mileage run for AA status and really loved it. The people were really friendly - especially towards Americans (rare in many places!) Great food, weather, scenery, historic sites...

  35. Linda Guest

    There is a hydrofoil that takes about half an hour from Corfu to Albania

  36. Ernest Smith Guest

    We went to Thessaloniki, Greece in September 2021 for the first time. We were blown away. What a fabulous place to visit. We stayed for a week and could not get enough of the seafront and the nearly 2 mile strip of great restaurants and bars. If you haven't been, you should definitely give it a try. Normally we are in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. Prices in Thessaloniki are about 1/2 of Athens prices and...

    We went to Thessaloniki, Greece in September 2021 for the first time. We were blown away. What a fabulous place to visit. We stayed for a week and could not get enough of the seafront and the nearly 2 mile strip of great restaurants and bars. If you haven't been, you should definitely give it a try. Normally we are in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini. Prices in Thessaloniki are about 1/2 of Athens prices and 1/10 of Mykonos. Cant wait to go back. Don't miss Meteora on the way. Breathtaking.

    1. farnorthtrader Guest

      Would also strongly recommend Meteora and would throw in a recommendation for Rhodes if you haven't been. Much more laid back, greek kind of island, much less tourist jetset. Some language challenges, but not too bad. And points hotels options, although nothing fancy. Also, pretty easy access to Bodrum.

  37. Marisa Van Dorn Guest

    Samos and Thasos are often overlooked islands. They’re both very different from one another.
    Renting a house in a small village by Lake Atitlan in Guatemala might not be the Four Seasons but you enjoy a very different way of life, definitely life by slow boat.
    Try Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.

  38. Justin Guest

    Highly recommend the Musandam Peninsula (Al Khasab area) of Oman, AKA the Norway of Arabia, and doing a dowager boat excursion. Easily one of the most beautiful places I've been to in the world.

    1. MFK Guest

      I agree wholeheartedly. I enjoyed it so much, I’m planning a return for the end of the year. Knock on wood. :)

  39. Nunzio Guest

    Kastellorizo. small Greek island close Turkey, where Gabriele Salvatores filmed Oscar movie "Mediterraneo", still truly genuine Island unaffected by mass tourism.

  40. Stephanie Woods Guest

    I'd switch Guatemala to Belize if I were you. Belize has everything that Guatemala has, but it's safer-way too much crime in Guatemala. And if Ambergris Caye and Placencia are too developed for you, well, the rest of Belize certainly is not. I spent three weeks there this summer. Belize is one of the foremost places in the world to scuba dive and snorkel. There are amazing Mayan temples, and super cool caves. The people...

    I'd switch Guatemala to Belize if I were you. Belize has everything that Guatemala has, but it's safer-way too much crime in Guatemala. And if Ambergris Caye and Placencia are too developed for you, well, the rest of Belize certainly is not. I spent three weeks there this summer. Belize is one of the foremost places in the world to scuba dive and snorkel. There are amazing Mayan temples, and super cool caves. The people are wonderfully friendly, and the food is great! I've been to Guatemala twice, and much preferred Belize.

    1. Chris K Gold

      Why not do both? Last time I went to Belize you can do the forest/mountain terrain and stay near San Ignacio and do the various river/spelunking/rain forest activities as well as do a day trip into Guatamala to view the Mayan ruins (including Tikal aka the Yavin Base scene from Star Wars). Then take a 1 hour flight to San Pedro Ambergris Caye to finish on the coast.

  41. Willem Guest

    I did a road trip in Namibia last October: Not sure if it's true anymore but pre-COVID you had to book your lodging months in advance, as well as your rental car.

    Roads are largely gravel. Don't rent anything less than a Toyota Rav4 (some insist on a 4x4 but it's not necessary unless you plan to take questionable roads). Do allocate the entire day driving between your destinations, to account for fixing flat tires,...

    I did a road trip in Namibia last October: Not sure if it's true anymore but pre-COVID you had to book your lodging months in advance, as well as your rental car.

    Roads are largely gravel. Don't rent anything less than a Toyota Rav4 (some insist on a 4x4 but it's not necessary unless you plan to take questionable roads). Do allocate the entire day driving between your destinations, to account for fixing flat tires, and making sure that you do NOT drive at night (not allowed, and not safe besides).

    Spend at least 10 days, preferably 2 weeks. Book the lodges INSIDE the park at Etosha (especially Dolomite, the only one on the western side). Book the lodge inside the Sossusvlei gates as well, it really does make a difference if you're there close to sunrise, before the shadows no longer percolate the dunes.

    Happy to share more about my experience there, you'll have my email from the comment!

  42. DENDAVE Guest

    I finally had a chance to visit the Faroe Islands this past fall, which were on my bucket list for years.

    Flew in from Reykjavik on Atlantic Airways. Definitely get a window seat, probably on the left, though either side would have its merits depending on the approach. Coming from Iceland we didn't pass through immigration and therefore didn't receive a passport stamp, which I was bummed about. Apparently, though, you can go to the...

    I finally had a chance to visit the Faroe Islands this past fall, which were on my bucket list for years.

    Flew in from Reykjavik on Atlantic Airways. Definitely get a window seat, probably on the left, though either side would have its merits depending on the approach. Coming from Iceland we didn't pass through immigration and therefore didn't receive a passport stamp, which I was bummed about. Apparently, though, you can go to the police station at the airport and they'll do it, though when I went upon departure they weren't open early enough.

    We were there a week (flights were only weekly at the time to Iceland) and glad we had the time. Two of the days we were stuck inside due to strong rain and we hiked/explored in the rain another two. Probably only had two days with great weather.

    We stayed at two different AirBnBs outside of Tórshavn, where the main hotels are. It's small enough that you can drive everywhere from the main town, but we wanted to avoid the back and forth. While distances are small, winding roads around fjords add considerable time.

    Only other top-of-mind note: Most of the land there is private and hiking trails sometimes either have a fee or outright need a guide (like the one to Drangarnar). Definitely do your research ahead of time for any hikes you want to do.

  43. Bob Guest

    So you want to visit these countries or chain hotels that just happen to be located in these countries?

    The Hilton in the Faroes is an eyesore, and ruins the vibe of the whole place. Luckily it's far out of the way.

  44. Yreal Guest

    Milos and corfu are lovely. If taking a boat to milos, serifos is a lovely stopover.

  45. Alonzo Adams Guest

    You're def behind on the Lima bit. Great food, drinks and activities. It's the Los Angeles of South America.

  46. EthaninSF Member

    Combine Albania and Corfu! I took the short ferry ride from Corfu to Sarande in Albania. Only saw the southernmost town in the country (and the ruins of Butrint) but enjoyed my day in Albania.

  47. Jerry Diamond

    Kyrgyzstan theoretically has a neat Community Based Tourism (CBT) system where guesthouses in villages sort of work in a communal fashion to facilitate lodging, meals, trekking, horses etc. It's not luxurious, but it makes it easy to get services for trekking in fairly remote areas. However, I felt very unwelcome the entire time I was in Kyrgyzstan. I found folks to be unhappy, pushy, and I was generally treated as if I were a nuisance...

    Kyrgyzstan theoretically has a neat Community Based Tourism (CBT) system where guesthouses in villages sort of work in a communal fashion to facilitate lodging, meals, trekking, horses etc. It's not luxurious, but it makes it easy to get services for trekking in fairly remote areas. However, I felt very unwelcome the entire time I was in Kyrgyzstan. I found folks to be unhappy, pushy, and I was generally treated as if I were a nuisance the whole time I was there. I did get to fly out on the TK flight to ULN, so that was cool.

    The natural beauty was probably the sole redeeming quality, and while it's a fairly popular destination among Europeans, I consider it one of my least favorite place I've ever visited.

    1. MFK Guest

      Sorry to hear you had a bad experience there. I only spent three days in Bishkek, with a day trip into the mountains, but found the people to be quite nice, from the staff at the Hyatt and various restaurants to a few people on the street who stopped to speak with me to my trekking guide/driver and some locals who shared some kumis with me (for a small fee). I would happily return one day.

    2. Eric P Anderson Guest

      You probably have a more realistic experience than most would share. I speak the language (Kyrgyz, not Russian) and if most people I see raving about their experience in KG knew what people were saying about them I think their opinions would change dramatically.

  48. J.Weiss Guest

    Spent a month in Guatemala in December 2020-January 2021. Beautiful country with amazing people, its worth visiting for more than a weekend! Willing to suggest places and must DO's. Feel free to pm

  49. Yoesdamy Aguilera Guest

    Guatemala THe intercontinental and the Westin are good hotels to stay. The room at the intercontinental are better but the pool at Westin is a plus.
    Peru the hilton resort Pacara is a must. I did travel from Lima to Pacara by bus. The bus had like flat seat for only 18 usd.

    1. farnorthtrader Guest

      I think you are talking about Paracas and, if so, I would definitely second a trip to Paracas and I think there are two points options there. A trip out to Islas Ballestas (the poor man's Galapagos) and dune surfing nearby.

  50. gpb_croppers63 New Member

    Check out Rhodes in Greece. While it is very touristy, there are some great beaches that are off the beaten track and in Prassonissi, you can see where the Med and Aegean seas meet. It's always cool to see how different they are in one place. There's even a Sheraton that you can check out ;-) (although the location is not the best). You would definitely need a car there though, especially if you want...

    Check out Rhodes in Greece. While it is very touristy, there are some great beaches that are off the beaten track and in Prassonissi, you can see where the Med and Aegean seas meet. It's always cool to see how different they are in one place. There's even a Sheraton that you can check out ;-) (although the location is not the best). You would definitely need a car there though, especially if you want to go to Prassonissi. Rhodes Old Town is very pleasant to stroll around too. Feel free to shout if you'd like any further tips on Rhodes, as I've been there more than a few times. ;-)

    1. farnorthtrader Guest

      Hmm, we didn't find Rhodes nearly as touristy as the islands Lucky has been to or Athens or any of the close in Athens islands. You can actually enter the ancient sites rather than just looking at them.

    2. gpb_croppers63 New Member

      That's very true as long as you avoid Faliraki. ;-) You're right about being able to enter the ancient sites. The old lady selling "drinkies" instead of charging an entrance fee to Kritinia Castle was always a highlight of our trips. :D

      Forgot to mention in my first post too: you can also take a day trip to Symi by boat which is a really lovely day out. As someone else mentioned, Kastellorizo is a...

      That's very true as long as you avoid Faliraki. ;-) You're right about being able to enter the ancient sites. The old lady selling "drinkies" instead of charging an entrance fee to Kritinia Castle was always a highlight of our trips. :D

      Forgot to mention in my first post too: you can also take a day trip to Symi by boat which is a really lovely day out. As someone else mentioned, Kastellorizo is a supposed to be a cute place to visit and even has direct flights on OA from RHO a few times per week on a Dash 8-100. I've never managed to do this myself but it's on my list for future trips.

  51. Liam Guest

    My wife and I just spent two weeks in Albania and it was truly incredible. The food and hospitality were spectacular and there were rock bottom prices. It is a little rough around the edges, but a beautiful country. We stayed in Tirana, Ksamil, Vlore and Sarande, the latter 3 are part of the Riviera. There are picturesque beaches dotted all along the coast, and a road trip was the best way to explore. Afterwards...

    My wife and I just spent two weeks in Albania and it was truly incredible. The food and hospitality were spectacular and there were rock bottom prices. It is a little rough around the edges, but a beautiful country. We stayed in Tirana, Ksamil, Vlore and Sarande, the latter 3 are part of the Riviera. There are picturesque beaches dotted all along the coast, and a road trip was the best way to explore. Afterwards we drove to Ohrid in Macedonia for 4 days. Next time I go I'll to visit the northern parts like Shkodra to see the Albanian Alps. Let me know if I can point you in the right direction.

    1. MFK Guest

      Ben, I also would recommend visiting Berat, a quaint Ottoman town that is a reasonable drive from Tirana. If you don’t mind going further afield (and crossing borders), Ohrid, North Macedonia and Prizren, Kosovo were the loviest and most relaxing towns I visited in the region (note: I was traveling off-season).

    2. TCCQuest Guest

      Agree on this thread. Italy, Greece, and Croatia are all huge tourist draws; Albania is a combination of the three with a crazy communist history sprinkled in, and a great value for travel dollars to boot.

      I agree on the Ohrid recomendation on the North Macedonian side of the lake, border crossing was easy with a vaccine card. You can stay on the Pogradec/Tushemisht Albanian side of the lake, absolutely gorgeous.

      Prizren (Kosovo) is like...

      Agree on this thread. Italy, Greece, and Croatia are all huge tourist draws; Albania is a combination of the three with a crazy communist history sprinkled in, and a great value for travel dollars to boot.

      I agree on the Ohrid recomendation on the North Macedonian side of the lake, border crossing was easy with a vaccine card. You can stay on the Pogradec/Tushemisht Albanian side of the lake, absolutely gorgeous.

      Prizren (Kosovo) is like a mini-Mostar (Bosnia), and is a very pleasant place to spend a day or two.

      From Lake Ohrid go to Korce "the Paris of Albania".

      UNESCO Gjirokaster is amazing, walkable, great view, great history. I regret that I missed Berat on my trip, I think that would have been fabulous for a couple of days.

      And I agree that the Albanian Riviera (Sarande, Himare, Vlore), particularly in off-season like September (still warm, no crowds) is wonderful.

      I think in the next 5-10 years Albania will become a wildly popular tourist destination: natural beauty, the similarity to the triple play of current tourist hot spots, Ottoman history, Roman history, Communist history, mountains, and Mediterranean Riviera.

  52. Ryan Guest

    Greece: We stayed at the White Coast Milos in September. The island was great and the hotel was awesome. The staff were fabulous and the food excellent, we actually ate there every night because it was delicious and we had no desire to wait 2.5 hours at O Hamos. The private pool in September was not warm enough for me. Definitely rent a car.

    We also ferried to Folegandros island where we stayed at...

    Greece: We stayed at the White Coast Milos in September. The island was great and the hotel was awesome. The staff were fabulous and the food excellent, we actually ate there every night because it was delicious and we had no desire to wait 2.5 hours at O Hamos. The private pool in September was not warm enough for me. Definitely rent a car.

    We also ferried to Folegandros island where we stayed at Provalma, which is a small family run group of suites with a spectacular view over the island. The island is very quaint and quiet, though it's getting picked up by more travel mags lately. Would definitely recommend it and would go again. Also rented a car to easily get to the various beaches, which you will have to hike to.

  53. Clem Diamond

    Fun list! In terms of Greek islands, if you haven't been I would recommend Naxos. It's stunningly beautiful, and a great mix of beach/sea, hiking and mountains. The food is also absolutely incredible. There are some points hotel options (including with Hyatt), but I decided against it when I went since they have a good amount of cheap and great hotels - granted I was visiting during shoulder season.

    1. Stan P Guest

      I second Naxos - absolutely loved it. . Went there for four nights after Mykonos and ended up staying another five nights. The nine nights total went in a flash, absolutely amazing place , nice beaches and great food.After Santorini , Naxos is absolutely a must amongst all the Greek islands.

    2. shoeguy Gold

      Naxos is awesome. Spent 5 nights there in 2018 and rented a two bedroom villa overlooking the harbor. Great vibe. Nice restaurants and just enough nightlife if you want that, otherwise very relaxing, serene, and beautiful beaches.

  54. Nik A. Guest

    Thoughts -

    Guatemala - Definitely looks interesting for a weekend trip and am planning to go there myself in April if the situation improves. The only concern I have is that the accommodations and infrastructure might not be the highest quality. Hoping the culture and nature make up for it.

    Oman - Have had a lot of friends from India (its a cheap flight for them) who have been exploring the wider country this winter...

    Thoughts -

    Guatemala - Definitely looks interesting for a weekend trip and am planning to go there myself in April if the situation improves. The only concern I have is that the accommodations and infrastructure might not be the highest quality. Hoping the culture and nature make up for it.

    Oman - Have had a lot of friends from India (its a cheap flight for them) who have been exploring the wider country this winter and it definitely looks beautiful with some really luxurious accommodations.

    Bermuda - Has some of the best beaches I have been to. The trick is to find secluded secret beaches. A bit pricey but worth the visit given how close it is.

    Peru - Amazing in one word. There are endless articles about the favorite touristy places. However, Lima is the most underrated place I believe. Its worth spending a day or two in Lima to just experience the food scene. Book multiple restaurants and sample food at all of them. There is a reason why its the culinary capital of South America.

    1. Jon Y Member

      Re Lima: you could easily spend 5 days there and still feel like you missed out on the city!

    2. Lynda Abenchiker Guest

      Interesting... I hated Lima but absolutely loved La Paz and which I found way more interesting and friendly.

  55. James Saunders Guest

    Message me about Peru. Spent a few winters there and traveled all over for work and fun

  56. Francisco C Guest

    Fascinating list. I hope/know you will check each of these off your list!

    Also, the Albanians in Taken were not friendly.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Justin Guest

Highly recommend the Musandam Peninsula (Al Khasab area) of Oman, AKA the Norway of Arabia, and doing a dowager boat excursion. Easily one of the most beautiful places I've been to in the world.

3
Nick Te Mata Guest

Lived in Namibia for a year, working and travelling all over. A wonderful, fascinating country - that's also a little weird. So worth making the effort. Etosha probably isn't quite as picturesque as Kruger, but the viewing can be superb (and pricing is significantly better). Check out the Onguma range of lodges. The drive between Etosha and Swakopmund, a nice break from desert, gets you to the southern end of the breathtaking Skeleton Coast. Sossusvlei of course is magnificent, as is Fish River Canyon in the south (think an almost untouristed Grand Canyon). No matter where you go, night skies are like nowhere else on earth. The Sossus and NamibRand areas in particular are spectacular. It's a great place to self-drive as roads are very good by African standards. Highly recommend a 4x4 SUV for any driving. While possible to get to many places with a 2x2 - you'll come to value robustness and ground clearance. Distances can be significant and the going slow, depending on the road. A couple of unexpected gems are scattered around the country - like Solitaire roadhouse. Some great itineraries are possible in a relatively small time window - happy to give advice!

2
Tomas Guest

If you are trekking all the way to Antarctica and The Falklands, then you MUST include South Georgia in the mix. S.Georgia has more incredible wildlife than Antarctica and is less visited, thus more exclusive.

2
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