Helping you decide where to go in Greenland: East or West.
After travelling from Tallinn to Vilnius, these are my picks for the best destinations to visit in the Baltics.
Discover Georgia's Svaneti Towers and other hidden wonders in this beautiful region. I wrote this after walking along a narrow street between ancient stone houses in the town of Mestia.
Towers built to resist the enemy rose around me. Not consecutively but scattered across the valley, each attached to a home built from the same worn blocks of stone. Time roughened their edges, rain nibbled their sandy grout and flashbacks of former raids hid between nooks and melted into shadows. Today, yellow flowers painted a tapestry at the foot of certain towers while white-blossomed trees soothed their memories, lifting troubles of past generations lightly in the breeze.
The towers stood for resilience. Resilience of the town’s ancestors and strength of community that still filters through neighbourly life. Koshkebi (“stone towers”) define the Svaneti region of northern Georgia, yet my eyes were transfixed by what lay lower to the ground.
For an urban vacation, here are three very different experiences to choose from:
The streets were deserted. Had we fallen into a fairy-tale city decorated like a fancy wedding cake but without any guests? The morning felt oddly serene as we wandered the cobblestoned lanes and wound our way to Vilnius’ central Cathedral Square." ...continued in the Fallen Kingdoms Chapter of Searching for Unique.
Favourite Cafe: Crustum Bakery and Café earned its place as our favourite coffee and bakery spot in Vilnius: crustum.lt.
Thinking of travelling to the Caucasus? These places were some of my favourite destinations in Azerbaijan and worth adding to your itinerary.
As far as things to do, this nation offers a diverse mix. Stroll through restored archeological palaces or step back in time at a Zoroastrian fire temple. View petroglyphs thousands of years old or stretch your hiking legs in the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. If you time it right, you can even catch the Formula One Grand Prix race through the streets of Baku.
“Stroll through a city where European comfort fuses with the medieval past to form a medley of arts, culture and contemporary urban venues", Searching for Unique
The Faroe Islands
“Like your moody aunt, the Faroe Islands display characteristics of cranky, wind-blown isolation in the most endearing manner, tempting visitors to chip away at her mysterious beauty”
Madeira, Portugal - This Atlantic Ocean Island just may be a travellers’ dream oasis.
- Hiking: Stupendously steep mountains with well-maintained trails winding through spiny ridges;
- Views: Rocky bluffs and clear Atlantic waters;
- Seaside towns: Red tiled roofs and pastel houses hang off sheer cliffs overlooking the sea;
- Sights: Museums, churches, wine-tasting, and child-friendly attractions scatter the island;
- Foodies: Aged sweet wine alongside ocean-fresh seafood and a hit of coffee; and
- Accommodation: Apartment style, boutique hotel or resort styles as you wish.
Portugal’s Madeira just might be the answer to your next vacation destination, no matter what your interest. The Visit Madeira website provides loads of info to help in your trip planning. For more click on the button below.
Here is a taste of my recent trekking trip through Iceland's remote eastern frontier. The tour operator, Icelandic Mountain Guides (IMG), ran a fantastic small-group expedition.
You can learn more in my interview posted via the link below.
More off-the-beaten-track destinations can be found in Dust in My Pack, available now at most online book retailers.
Nancy O'Hare has lived and worked across five continents and travelled to over eighty countries. Her writing shares insights from her travels and musings about the world around us.