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The Mediterranean draws summertime vacationers from around the globe. The region is synonymous with the beach, but it has an incredibly diverse range of sand. For every lively party scene in Ibiza and Mykonos, you’ll find a remote stretch of coast in Sardinia or Crete.

The best beaches on the Mediterranean are the ones that provide a picture-perfect setting mixed with a healthy dose of local culture, cuisine, and a relaxed pace of life. Aside from the beaches and warm water, this trait is what makes the Mediterranean an attractive destination to visit.

If you’re looking to plan a Mediterranean vacation, here’s where you should start your search.

Barcelona

Beach in Barcelona
The Balearic Islands draw beach lovers to Spain, but the best Mediterranean destination for urban sand is Barcelona. The star is Barceloneta Beach, which stretches for two miles along the Catalan coast. This isn’t a place for a quiet stroll. It’s buzzing and crowded, with plenty of energy, numerous sand-side restaurants, and excellent people watching.

The city has other beaches suiting different tastes. These range from the laid-back Bogatell and Llevant to the Zona de Banys del Fòrum, which is ideal for swimming.

Since many of the best restaurants and nightclubs are next to the waterfront, you’ll find plenty of nightlife once the sun sets.

Costa Rei, Sardinia


Costa Rei, once named the world’s best beach by Lonely Planet, is only an hour’s drive from Cagliari. While some of the beaches on this rugged Italian island require tedious treks, this one is easily accessible, even for families with young children.

Sardinia’s trademark rock formations are onshore and in the water, but you will also find fine white sand and warm, crystal-clear water. With 7.4 miles of coastline, you might never get past the main beach at Costa Rei. If you spend more than a few days, however, you can venture to nearby Santa Giusta and Cala Sinzias which offer similarly idyllic settings.

Bol, Brac, Croatia

Brac is the largest island off Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. Though the area’s profile as a Mediterranean vacation spot has grown over the past few decades, Brac remains relatively uncrowded. Much of the island features a rugged coastline, but you’ll find excellent beaches, including several near the town of Bol.

The picturesque Zlatni Rat Beach is easily recognizable because it comes to a sharp point with sand extending several hundred feet in each direction. The shape of the point changes depending on ocean currents. Zlatni Rat is the headliner, but Bol also offers secluded spots (Martinica Beach), and watersports (Borak Beach).

Mykonos

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Yes, Mykonos is an exceedingly popular Mediterranean tourist destination, but few places in the region can match its unique mix of beaches, scenery, and party scenes. The island gets its reputation from Paradise Beach and the neighboring sands, Paraga and Psarou, where the party atmosphere lasts all day and night.

Meanwhile, Myrsine and Fokos are secluded sections of the coast that display the other side of the island’s personality. Foodies will fall in love with the abundance of restaurant choices in Ornos. Mykonos Town (officially known as Hora) features shaded patios, restaurants, nightlife, and trademark whitewashed buildings that define Ionian island towns.

Mellieħa Bay, Malta

Mellieħa Bay, MaltaMellieħa Bay is on the north coast of Malta. The beach here is the longest in Malta, stretching for more than 2,500 feet. The water here is shallow and clean enough to earn Blue Flag status.

Hotels and restaurants are within walking distance of the waterfront, and you can also catch a ferry to nearby Gozo. While you can stay next to the bay, you can also visit on a day trip. Buses from elsewhere on the island operate routes with stops in Mellieħa.

Whether you prefer to enjoy your sunshine on an uncrowded coastline or want to step from the sand right into a nightclub, there is a Mediterranean destination to suit you. Let’s plan your next vacation to one of these island destinations today! 

Iceland has risen to fame over the last decade as a bucket list travel destination because of the sights and experiences that make it an impressive addition to your list of “been there” travel destinations and even your social media feed. Here are eight of Iceland’s all-inclusive private tours essential for an adventure-filled getaway peppered with lavish delights.

Soak in the Healing Waters of the Iconic Blue Lagoon

You cannot visit Iceland without a stop to its world-famous geothermal waters. While you can find several options for hot springs, perhaps none is more well-known or photographed than the retreat at the Blue Lagoon, which sits only 20 minutes from the airport and is a perfect beginning or end to your time in Iceland.

You can also find an incredible culinary setting at the Blue Lagoon, with the Moss Restaurant receiving Michelin acclaim for its masterpieces made from seasonal ingredients.

Take a Private All-Inclusive Tour of Iceland’s Golden Circle

So many travel from around the globe to visit Iceland because of the varied natural landscapes on the island, including volcanic activity, powerful waterfalls, and moss-covered greenery. One of the best ways to see these natural wonders is through an all-inclusive tour of the Golden Circle. Some of the highlights and landmarks you could visit along the full-day tour include the following:

•    Kerid Crate Lake
•    The Gullfoss Waterfall
•    Geysir Geothermal Area
•    Þingvellir National Park

Your driver will pick you up and drop you off in Reykjavik, guide you through each stopping point, and provide key amenities while riding in the van, such as Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and lunch service. You’ll also receive Icelandic staples like juicy tomatoes and savory rye bread that are perfect after trekking through the countryside.

Go for Dinner and a Show at Harpa Concert Hall

The center of Iceland’s social and cultural scene is the Harpa Concert Hall, which has won many awards for its awe-inspiring architecture and grandeur. Entertainers come to perform in the hall as part of a solo act or musical festival.

Clean up in your best black tie attire and treat your ears to the refined sounds of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra or the Múlinn Jazz Club. Make a complete experience of your show with dinner at La Primavera, an exclusive restaurant on the 4th floor that places Icelandic ingredients within the food traditions of Northern Italy. You can book a table from Thursday to Saturday.

See the Northern Lights from Iceland’s Countryside Resorts or with a Private Guide

Plan accordingly, and your all-inclusive Iceland adventure will likely involve several opportunities to admire the natural wonder of the Northern Lights, especially in the winter months (October to March). How’s that for a bucket list item?

Visit Magic Ice Reykjavik for a Unique Cocktail Experience

Since 2019, Iceland has been home to Magic Ice, a sub-zero temperature bar where you can view ice sculpture masterpieces while sipping your favorite cocktail from a glass of ice. Your admission ticket will get you a complimentary drink and a winter poncho with gloves to keep you warm.

Revisit Famous Settings from Game of Thrones in Þingvellir National Park

Fans of the HBO favorite Game of Thrones may want to return to the Golden Circle and Þingvellir National Park for a tour of the locations where the show’s filming took place. The guide brings the show to life as you walk through popular areas like Thorufoss and Hengill.

Take a Helicopter Tour of Iceland’s Impressive Landmarks

In addition to touring the glorious countryside by van, you can capture an aerial view of Iceland. The helicopter hovers over stunning landscapes, including the Landmannalaugar region, black sand coastlines, and monstrous Eyjafjallajökull. You’ll land atop the glacier for a brief snowmobile ride before flying to the highlands for lunch from your private chef while sitting amidst the lava fields.

Whatever you choose to do, Iceland offers many luxury tours and all-inclusive experiences for travelers to see this rugged island’s amazing natural wonders while enjoying life’s best pleasures. Let’s plan your trip to Iceland today!

We still recount the culture, marvel at the buildings, and read the stories that originated in ancient Greece. At the heart of many of these famous elements is Athens, Greece’s capital city. Today, Athens, is much more than ruins and history; it’s a thriving destination that seamlessly blends modernity with tradition in ways that continues to captivate travelers. 

 

CELEBRATING THE PAST

For many, the allure of Athens is in its rich history. Perhaps no symbol of the city is as prominent as the Acropolis. This rocky hill rising in the city’s center is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to several ancient buildings, including the famous Parthenon. The Parthenon’s precise construction remains a feat of engineering even today and ongoing restorations continue to preserve its legacy for future visitors.

Visitors to the Acropolis can walk amongst the ruins, but they should also visit the neighboring Acropolis Museum. This modern museum opened in 2009 and displays many artifacts from the site. The entire top floor is dedicated to the Parthenon and the sculptures are positioned to replicate their original placement on the structure. Excavations during the construction of this new museum revealed ancient walls and artifacts, which are now on view in the museum’s entrance.

The intricate details of the well-preserved Temple of Hephaestus, the Ancient Agora of Athens, and Hadrian’s Arch will inspire the imaginations of both history buffs and architecture lovers. They can take in the detail and skill of Greek culture’s early bronze works and mosaics at the National Archaeological Museum. The marble-laden Panathenaic Stadium, which hosted the first modern Olympic games in 1896, can also be found in the heart of the city.

 

NATURAL BEAUTY

Athens in a sprawling city that rests in the shadow of hills and covers a valley as it sweeps down to the Aegean Sea. Though the Acropolis is central and the most famous, Lycabettus Hill is taller and is the best spot for a panoramic view of Athens. Those up for a climb can take the stairs carved into the hillside to reach the top, while many opt to ride the cable car.

Visitors can explore Saint George’s church after a long climb or a short ride. Built in 1870, this small church is known for its white-washed exterior that contrasts with the richly colored murals inside. After a stroll around the church, visitors can sit back and enjoy the view at the hilltop’s restaurant, which serves traditional Greek dishes that vary by season. The view only gets better as the sun sets and the city lights appear. The cable car operates until midnight, meaning visitors can take in the city at night without fear of climbing back down in the dark.

From the hilltop, visitors can likely spot the National Gardens. These 38 sprawling acres bring lush greenery to one of the city’s busiest areas. Nestled between the Greek Parliament and the Panathenaic Stadium, the National Gardens offer an idyllic way to escape to nature’s beauty. Visitors can stroll the notoriously winding paths and visit the small zoo, playground, duck pond, and Botanical Museum.

 

CUISINE

Trying fresh olive oil in Greece is a must, with many restaurants serve it for dipping with bread. Gyro shops are around every corner and make the perfect on-the-go pitas for lunch, and visitors may be (pleasantly) surprised to find that along with typical gyro fillings, most Athens gyros also include French fries!

Many traditional Greek dishes rely on filo pastry, from savory spanakopita to delicate baklava. Be on the lookout for tiropites, which are filo dough filled with a mixture of Greek cheeses and feta me meli, or feta wrapped in dough and drizzled with honey.

Hundreds of eateries around Athens offer tasty dishes to try. The neighborhood of Plaka around Monastiraki Square and Syntagma Square is vibrant and open late into the evenings. Look for restaurants that offer rooftop or open-air dining with a view of the nearby Acropolis.

HOW TO GET TO ATHENS

Athens is home to an international airport that is connected to the city via the suburban railway, the Metro Line, and several bus routes. Taxis and cars are also available to take travelers on a 30 to 40-minute drive into the city.

Many popular cruise lines, such as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruises, also offer cruises with stops in Athens.

Let’s plan your trip to Athens today! 

Even before the invention of the airplane, travelers longed to see the world. Cruising has captured the hearts of vacationers for over 100 years. In fact, several cruise lines, like Cunard, launched in the 1800s. From the beginning, exciting innovations, thrilling journeys, and good times have defined cruising.

1844 — P&O Introduces Leisure Excursions

  • As a precursor to modern cruises, P&O Cruise Line began sailing small ships around the Mediterranean purely for the pleasure of sailing and seeing the sights. This was the first step in changing the sailing industry from its focus on mail and cargo to one about carrying passengers for travel and pleasure.
View From A Cruise Ship Balcony At Sunset

 

1900 — Prinzessin Victoria Luise is built in Germany

  • This was the first ship to be exclusively built for luxury cruising rather than for cargo transport, marking the beginning of cruising as we know it today.

1922 — The first world cruise set sail.

  • The Laconia of the British Cunard Line set sail on the first world cruise. This voyage lasted six months and took guests to the most popular and far-off destinations in the world.

1950 — Cunard held an all-American celebrity cruise.

  • Cruising was popular among the world’s biggest stars and was a social event complete with drinks, dancing music, and more. On one voyage, Cunard hosted special guests that included Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Walt Disney, and Rita Hayworth.

 

Mariner Of The Seas Royal Caribbean 2019

 

1960s and 1970s — Modern cruise lines are founded.

  • Though some cruise lines can trace their history back to 1800s, many of today’s modern cruise lines were founded in the 1960s and 1970s. Princess Cruises launched in 1965, Norwegian Cruise Line in 1966, and Royal Caribbean in 1968. Carnival Cruise Line followed soon after, launching in 1972.

1977 — The Love Boat premieres.

  • Set on a Princess Cruises ship, this television show tells the story of Captain Merrill Stubing, his crew, and passengers, often played by guest stars. The show frequently featured the Pacific cruise ports of Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco. Many credit The Love Boat for the rise in popularity of cruising.

 

1990s & 2000s — Bigger and Better

  • Ships grew bigger and got better. Cruise lines worked to incorporate unique onboard activities, exclusive shows, more dining options, and kid-friendly fun! These advancements paved the way for the technology-packed, incredible cruising experiences!

Cruise lines’ plans for ships in 2024 and beyond will usher a new chapter in cruising history. From even more mega-ships to ultra-luxury sailing ships and expedition cruising, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come and the options now available. Let’s start planning your next cruise today! 

My husband and I recently cruised in the Mediterranean for the first time, and it was fantastic! We have cruised with several different cruise lines over the years, but they were all in the Caribbean and Alaska. For this trip, we wanted to venture to some of the ports in Europe. We had never considered cruising in Europe because we thought the port times were too short and we would feel that we didn’t have time to see everything. However, we found an itinerary with Virgin Voyages that we liked and decided to go for it.

The name of the voyage was French Daze and Ibiza Nights, and we sailed on the Valiant Lady. The cruise started and ended in Barcelona, and our ports were Marseille, Cannes, Palma de Malorca and Ibiza. We decided that if we felt short on time in any of the ports, we would make a point to revisit some day. Two of the port stays were overnight – Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza – which was just icing on the cake. On those nights, we ate an early(ish) dinner on the ship and then went into town for the evening. We spent our time wandering the winding cobblestone streets and exploring the beautiful bars and restaurants in the old town. Then, the next day, we still had time to visit the landmarks. 

The sunset in Mallorca from our balcony

Why did we choose Virgin Voyages? We have sailed with them previously, and really like what they have to offer. First and foremost, the food is the best that I have had on a cruise. Instead of packing everyone into the main dining room or specialty restaurants (with an upcharge), Virgin simply has six onboard restaurants. We made dinner reservations before our cruise, and also had brunch in two of the restaurants on our sea days. There are no additional charges for any of the restaurants unless you want a tower of crab legs or a 10-pound steak (something like that).

The entertainment is also very different. There are no Broadway-style productions or ice shows. Instead, they offer magicians, mentalists, comedians, a dance party, a crazy game show and a couple other shows that I really don’t know how to describe. And then there’s Scarlet Night, where the whole ship is transformed with red lighting and decor, and the guests are decked out in red. The party culminates with a pool party at 11pm, which gets a bit crazy, but we enjoyed it from the deck above, watching people jump into the pool, red cocktail dresses and all.

My favorite thing about Virgin Voyages is the laid-back vibe. There are no formal nights, and nobody cares what you wear to dinner, as long as it’s not your swimsuit! With that said, we found that most people still dressed nicely, just because they wanted to. For those who didn’t feel like it, they weren’t turned away at the restaurants or made to feel ashamed of their attire.

When we booked our cruise, it included some “bar tab” money, which is their version of a drink package. We don’t drink a whole lot, and since sodas are included with every cruise, we had a “0” balance due at the end of the week. What a great way to end a cruise!

If you’re still reading, let me give you just a few tidbits about the ports:

Marseille – Honestly, we weren’t overly impressed with it. We took a full-day ebike tour, and got to see some beautiful areas around the Calanques National Park, but it’s kind of a run-down city, especially considering it is the second largest city in France, after Paris.

Cannes – We spent our entire day in Monte Carlo, which is something I’ll never forget. It was an easy train ride to get there, and we enjoyed all the beautiful yachts, expensive sports cars, the Royal Casino (think James Bond Casino Royale), and the streets of Formula One. It was the perfect day, and since our ship didn’t leave until 7pm, we did not feel rushed to get back.

The harbor in Monte Carlo

Palma de Mallorca – This beautiful island of Spain is not to be missed. We spent our time wandering the old town, visiting the iconic La Seu Cathedral, and just taking in the beauty of the port city.

Ibiza – What can I say? Everyone needs to see Ibiza at some time in their life. The young people on the ship thoroughly enjoyed the overnight stay because they were able to go to the clubs and stay out until dawn. (Virgin provides a bus that goes back and forth to the ship the entire time.) That’s not our scene but we still loved wandering the area and enjoying a cocktail (ok, maybe more) as we watched the people living and loving life in Ibiza. 

Ibiza

I could easily write ten more pages about Virgin Voyages and the ports we visited but I know the only people who might read it would be my friends and family. 🙂 I’ll just leave it here – this was the trip of a lifetime and I highly recommend cruising in the Mediterranean with Virgin Voyages.

Book you Virgin Voyage HERE or CLICK HERE if you’d like us to help you plan your sailing!

I’m going to say from the start that this was my favorite day in Tanzania. It wasn’t one thing in particular but multiple really special moments. This was the day I fell in love with safari and Tanzania. I think you’ll see why. 

The day started with a fantastic sunrise. The sunrises in Africa are incredible and they never get old. There is really nothing better than sitting in total silence with a cup of coffee in your hand and watching the sunrise. This is life! 

Many of my safari mates went on a walking safari, but I was just too scared. The thought of walking through the bush filled with wild animals…like the lions from last night (read more about that HERE) was terrifying. I opted for a ride to breakfast in the bush from the safety of our safari vehicle. On our way, we spotted the cutest elephant – the first we saw on this trip.

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Breakfast was served on the bank next to the Grumeti River which provided the most beautiful backdrop and a great spot for some photos. 

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After breakfast, we headed to the Four Seasons Serengeti Safari Lodge. This was a personal request of mine since I’ve had clients ask about it. It didn’t disappoint. It’s a true lodge (not a tented camp) and the most luxurious property we saw in the Serengeti.
 
Every detail here was well thought out. The grounds are incredible. Every room has a view of the savannah and a great many also overlook a watering hole where you can often find elephants. The rooms are plush with all of the comforts of home. 
 
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Now that I’m home and have taken in the entire experience, it lacked some of the charm of the tented camps we stayed at. There is something exotic and a bit romantic about sleeping in a (luxury) tent in the middle of the bush. Maybe I’ve seen too many movies, but I’m kind of partial to the tented camps now. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but the luxury tents really add to the experience. That being said, I never turn down the opportunity to stay at the Four Seasons!!! 
 
As we left the Four Seasons we came upon the sweetest elephant up on a rocky hill. He was my favorite elephant we saw on the trip. Curious by nature, when he saw us, he flapped his ears as if to wave. 
 

Then we came upon these sleeping lions. This picture is one of my favorites of the trip. I love the memory of me in the safari car with the lions right there. 
 
 
Lunch today was in the middle of the plain in the Serengeti. It was simply amazing and my most favorite lunch of the trip. The pictures don’t do it justice, but it was one of those moments that I know I will remember for the rest of my life. The food was delicious (per usual) and the company was excellent. I really enjoyed getting to know my safari mates and guides; they really made the trip special.
 
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After lunch, we received a geography/great migration lesson from our guides Elisha and George to help us better understand how the animals move across the Serengeti. This is particularly important to ensure we book clients in the right area, at the right time to ensure the best wildlife viewing. 
 
If you don’t know, The Great Migration refers to the remarkable annual journey of over a million animals within the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya. The procession is led by wildebeest, accompanied by a diverse array of fellow travelers, all in pursuit of sustenance and water.
 
This odyssey commences with calving in the southern Serengeti, near the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. From there, the animals embark on a clockwise trajectory through the Serengeti, ultimately reaching the Masai Mara in Kenya. Year after year, they retrace their steps. Along this journey, there is some high-stakes drama, with predators claiming thousands of prey and thousands more being born, a cycle that perpetuates the delicate balance of life.
 
Just after we headed out from our lunch, it was quite fitting that we saw the biggest herd of wildebeests I think we’d seen. They just crossed and crossed and crossed. We sat there for a while and finally started driving down the road where they stopped to let us cross. It was kind of amazing. 

 

From there we headed to another property. If you were on safari, this is where you’d head back to your accommodations for some R&R and maybe a swim, but this was a working trip for us and we were trying to see and do as much as we could! 

The Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp is a charming tented camp with all of the luxuries at home. It was rustic and charming and comfortable and a property I hope to stay at on a future safari! 

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Then we went on a little game drive as we headed to our accommodations for the evening. We soon saw the cutest elephant cross the road in front of us. We’d seen a few signs for Hippo Pools through our travels in the Serengeti and we finally stopped at one. It was crazy to see all of these hippos together. They are very territorial and showed their flex constantly by opening their giant mouths and pushing other hippos away. It was kind of comical. 
 
Below is another one of my favorite photos of the trip! I got to “drive” the safari vehicle. This is my ridicuous impression of our guide, Elisha, driving and talking on the radio to other guides, tipping each other off on where animals are. 

Just before we arrived at our accommodations for the evening, we came upon three cheetahs which would prove to be the only cheetahs we saw on the trip. They were amazing. 

When we arrived at our accommodations, our guide Elisha, drew this tent on the window to confirm we were in fact, sleeping in a mobile tented camp. I was mortified. A mobile tented camp? I had this idea in my head that I’d be sleeping in a tent on the ground, roughing it. Like a tent you’d pitch in your backyard or at a campsite. The reality is, that crazy idea in my head couldn’t be farther from the truth! 

 

Cherero Camp turned out to be my favorite accommodation on the trip, and many of my safari mates agreed. We arrived at sunset, and I didn’t get a picture of the camp or the outside of our tent, but I did film a video of the inside.  

A mobile tented camp is a camp erected in close proximity to the migration, wherever that may be at any given time of the year. They will move every six months or so, and it often takes a month or more to break down the camp and then re-erect it. If you watch the room tour, you will see that nothing about this tent feels mobile. 

Cherero Camp was remarkable for several reasons. Of course, I loved our room and the shower! The shower was GLORIOUS! The robes and slippers were also a nice touch. I was thoroughly impressed with the hot water bottle that was placed in our beds while we were at dinner so we didn’t get cold in the night. 

Speaking of dinner. The food was excellent and at the end of dinner, we were serenaded by the staff. They even got a few of us to join in on the fun. This was such a special moment and one I won’t soon forget. 

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It was the little touches here that made it so special – the rain boots by the door, the yoga mat, outlets galore, and even a ceiling fan! The staff was warm, kind, and welcoming. Everything about our stay here was perfect. My only regret is not being able to spend more time here. We had a 3am wake-up call the next morning. More about that in my next blog! 

All of the details of my trip are saved as highlights on my Instagram.

If you would like more information on going on safari, click here to get started! 

 

We started the day near Lake Manyara (read about my arrival and first few days in Tanzania HERE) and drove about two hours to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A couple of things to understand (because I didn’t). The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the entire area which includes Ngorongoro Crater which I’ll talk about in a minute. You’ll pass through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area if you are driving to the Serengeti. Unlike a National Park (like the Serengeti), in Conservation Areas wildlife and the Maasai, live together. The Maasai have lived in The Ngorongoro Conservation Area for over 100 years. They aren’t hunters – the Maasai are livestock farmers, mainly cows. In fact, the Maasai named Ngorongoro after the sound a cow bell makes “ngor ngor”.

Ngorongoro Crater is a large volcanic caldera – the largest in the world! The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago, is 2,000 feet deep and its floor covers 100 square miles. I’ll share more about The Ngorongoro Crater in a later post – we will actually descend into the crater later in our trip!

Our first stop in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area was the lookout. As we took in the view I was overcome with emotion.  The incredible beauty brought me to tears. The picture below doesn’t do it justice. It was a little overcast this morning which wasn’t as evident to the naked eye. 

My safari mates Denise, Vlado and Erin at the lookout

We headed closer to the Serengeti and stopped at Olduvai Gorge – The Cradle of Humankind

I was once again crying at what I saw. To see what I learned in school so many years ago and the profound piece of our history and creation was very emotional. This is where humankind began! 

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We had a picnic lunch overlooking Olduvai Gorge. I loved this lunch. The food was excellent, the views were incredible and the company was fantastic! 

My safari mate Vlado and our other guide George

Then we headed on to the Serengeti!  We saw so many animals up close and personal. The first animal we saw upon officially entering the Serengeti was the Thompson Gazelles. It was so exciting we stopped for a picture. Little did we know that over the next week, we’d see no less than 2,000 of them! 

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It had rained on that day Serengeti, and we came across a truck that was stuck in the mud. Our guide Elisha being the helpful person that he is, tried to help. We backed up in front of the truck and they attached a chain to our Land Cruiser. Sadly we didn’t get very far as the chain snapped, but Elisha said he once pulled a bus out of the mud. 

We had a long way to go on this day and covered a lot of ground across the Serengeti. I was struck by the beauty of the landscape and how rapidly it would change. It was dry season so I wasn’t expecting much greenery or thick brush, but it was there. 

On our drive, we saw wildebeests and zebras (more animals we would literally see thousands of over the next several days!), giraffes and even a little turtle on the road!

After a very fun, bumpy, and muddy drive arrived at our tented camp for the evening which was beautiful! Ikoma Hills is located just outside of the Serengeti in the Grumeti Wildlife Management Area. Perched on a hill this luxury tented camp provided us with outstanding views and very comfortable accommodations. You can watch a room tour HERE.

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Ikoma Hills offers night safaris in specially equipped battery-powered safari jeeps. This gave us an opportunity to see animals a little more active and close up.
 

The vehicles didn’t have doors and were a little too ‘open air’ for my comfort. We saw quite a few lions including this guy who I will never forget. Shortly after this picture he stood up and got just a few feet from us. 

My safari mate Vlado took this picture. You can just make out the fact that he is missing one paw. He likely lost it in some sort of fight. Our guide told us a beautiful story about it though. Since he’s injured, his pride will hunt and leave a portion for him since he can’t hunt for himself, so he won’t go hungry. 

We covered a lot of ground on this day. More than you would on a typical safari. I went to bed this night exhausted from the day but also exhilarated by what I’d seen. 

We once again heard the flapping of the tent for most of the night. We were old pros now and that didn’t concern us that much. What did was the lions roaring not too far away from us.

As I mentioned before, the Maasai have lived in this area for over a hundred years. They are well-versed in the behavior of all of the animals who live here. Maasai Warriors were guards at every resort that we stayed at. Once the sun goes down they escort you around the property and even stand guard all night watching for those lions. We never saw or heard those lions again. 

All of the details of my trip are saved as highlights on my Instagram.

If you would like more information on going on safari, click here to get started! 

With mountains, beaches, and rainforests, Costa Rica is one of the most diverse vacation destinations in Central America. It is known for eco-tourism, but it also has plenty of options for relaxation, romance, and adventure.

More all-inclusive accommodations are also popping up to match the demand for stays in this scenic, alluring country. These resorts are among the top places to stay in style and comfort when visiting Costa Rica.

The Westin Reserva Conchal

This massiave property on Costa Rica’s Northern-Pacific coast is situated between lush green forests and brilliantly blue waters. With so many amenities – including 15 dining options, a championship golf course, and one of Central America’s largest freshwater pools – just exploring the resort could take days!

The Westin Reserva Conchal


Dreams Las Mareas

Located on the northern coast of Guanacaste, Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica is a gorgeous beachfront resort with shimmering white beaches and lush tropical jungles. Dreams Las Mareas boasts a contemporary design with tasteful authentic décor and offers 447 spacious guest suites with spectacular ocean, jungle or mountain views.

Dreams Las Mareas


Occidental Papagayo

Occidental Grand Papagayo Resort is an all-inclusive, adults-only resort in Guanacaste, ideal for those seeking rest and relaxation. The resort is situated on a hillside offering spectacular views of the sea. Unwind in unmatched seclusion, surrounded by the wild, natural beauty characteristic of Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast.

Occidental Papagayo


RIU Palace Costa Rica

Find balance during yoga on the RIU Palace’s beautiful beach, or during a massage at the Renova Spa’s garden pavilion. With four pools, 24-hour dining, and activities like snorkeling, kayaking and windsurfing included, this is also a favorite for high-energy families.

RIU Place Costa Rica


Secrets Papagayo

This intimate, serene adults-only oasis is just a short 20-minute transfer from the airport, but seems a million miles away from everything. With three gourmet a la carte restaurants, regular beach parties, rum tastings, and live music nightly, a getaway here will invigorate all the senses.

Secrets Papagayo

Now that you’re dreaming of a Costa Rican adventure, contact me today to turn that dream into a reality!

The Caribbean, a treasure trove of natural wonders, from cascading waterfalls to pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, beckons with its unparalleled beauty. If you’re seeking a beach getaway that’s not only stunning but easily accessible from the US, allow us to whisk you away to some of the most captivating beach destinations that promise to leave you awe-struck and rejuvenated.

1. Exuma, The Bahamas: An Oasis of Natural Beauty 🏝️

Nestled within the paradisiacal embrace of The Bahamas lies Exuma, a jewel to the south of New Providence. With its iridescent waters and silky beaches, Exuma showcases the undeniable allure of this island nation. Imagine strolling along the enchanting Coco Plum Beach or sinking your toes into the powdery sands of Tropic of Cancer Beach. These are nature’s canvas, untouched and magnificent.

Yet, the magic doesn’t end there. Venture to the renowned Pig Beach on Big Major Cay, a surreal experience where you can frolic with the famous swimming pigs of The Bahamas. It’s an unforgettable twist on your typical beach day. And for those seeking the pinnacle of luxury, consider indulging in an all-inclusive beachfront resort like Sandals Emerald Bay, complete with an award-winning golf course for added thrill.

Exuma

2. Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos: A Tranquil Haven of Luxury 🌊

The Turks & Caicos Islands beckon with Grace Bay, a mesmerizing stretch of coastline that promises paradise in its purest form. Only a short flight away from major US cities, this oasis boasts the perfect blend of tranquility and luxury. Grace Bay Beach, a three-mile-long stretch of powdery white sands and tranquil azure waters, has captured hearts worldwide, earning it a well-deserved spot among Trip Advisor’s World’s Best Beaches.

The calm and clear seas, complemented by stunning coral reefs just offshore, create an ideal environment for snorkeling and diving adventures. Immerse yourself in the embrace of this natural wonder while staying at beachfront accommodations, including the luxurious all-inclusive resorts that dot this Caribbean gem.

Grace Bay Resort Turks & Caicos

3. Dickenson Bay, Antigua: Where Serenity Meets Adventure 🌅

Seeking a picturesque, sheltered bay that effortlessly blends tranquility with adventure? Look no further than Dickenson Bay in Antigua, just a few hours away from major US cities. The pristine white sand, calm waters, and availability of water sports make it an ideal destination for families and those seeking a perfect beach day.

Picture yourself lounging on the beach, book in hand, while enjoying the warm Caribbean breeze. When hunger calls, step into one of the beachfront restaurants like Coconut Grove Restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or simply for drinks. Elevate your beach vacation by staying at one of the all-inclusive resorts in Antigua, where luxury meets the shoreline, creating unforgettable memories.

Sandals Grande Antigua

4. Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica: A Caribbean Gem of Endless Beauty 🏖️

Travel west to Jamaica, where the captivating Seven Mile Beach awaits in the charming town of Negril. True to its name, this Caribbean gem offers an extensive four-mile stretch of pristine shoreline, often hailed as one of the best beaches in the world. The enchanting combination of clear, cool seas and perfect water sports conditions makes it a haven for beach enthusiasts.

Choose from an array of beachfront restaurants and bars, ensuring a delightful experience with every moment. Embrace this tropical paradise fully by staying at one of the all-inclusive resorts in Negril, allowing you to indulge in the beauty of the Caribbean while enjoying all the comforts of a luxurious getaway.

Sandals Negril

5. Pigeon Island Beach, St. Lucia: Nature’s Canvas Unveiled 🌴

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Pigeon Island, nestled in the stunning landscapes of Saint Lucia. Here, the beauty of nature unfolds, presenting you with captivating beaches and natural wonders. Pigeon Island Beach, divided into different areas by rocks and unique features, offers a range of beach experiences.

Spend your days swimming, snorkeling, and soaking up the sun, all while surrounded by pristine beauty. Take time to explore Fort Rodney, hike the trails, and admire the mesmerizing scenery within the Pigeon Island National Park. Enhance your vacation by visiting the award-winning Sandals St. Lucia Golf & Country Club, a paradise for both beginners and advanced divers.

Sandals Grande St Lucian

These Caribbean beach destinations are more than just picturesque postcards; they’re invitations to create lasting memories. The allure of these idyllic beaches, coupled with the exclusivity of all-inclusive resorts, awaits you. Make your dream vacation a reality, where stunning landscapes, pristine sands, and turquoise waters paint the perfect backdrop for your Caribbean escape.

Let us be your guide to the ultimate beach adventure. Contact me today to curate a personalized itinerary, ensuring your journey to these captivating Caribbean beach destinations is nothing short of spectacular. Your paradise awaits. 🌏✈️🏖️

Nestled on the serene and captivating Isla Mujeres, Mexico, Secrets Impression stands as a testament to the epitome of opulence and exclusivity. This boutique haven redefines luxury and reimagines personalized hospitality, inviting discerning travelers to embark on an immersive journey unlike any other.

Drenched in the philosophy of Endless Privileges®, Secrets Impression goes beyond conventional extravagance to offer an elevated experience characterized by personalized services, tailored amenities, and unforgettable moments that linger long after your departure.

Embark on an Arrival of Grandeur

Begin your journey in a manner befitting of royalty as you gracefully glide across the cerulean blue expanse from Cancun aboard a private catamaran. The gentle sea breeze and the mesmerizing hues of the Caribbean serve as an enchanting prologue to the splendors that await you on Isla Mujeres.

Secrets Impressions Isla Mujeras

Personalized Perfection: Your Dedicated Butler

Upon arrival, immerse yourself in a world where every aspect of your stay is meticulously curated to your desires. A dedicated butler becomes your guide, attuned to your preferences and poised to cater to your every whim. From orchestrating your daily itinerary to ensuring your comfort and convenience, this personalized touch sets the stage for a truly bespoke experience.

Culinary Artistry: A Gastronomic Voyage

The culinary offerings at Secrets Impression transcend the ordinary, guided by the deft hands of world-renowned master chefs. Delight in an array of artisanal dishes that transcend mere sustenance, inviting you to embark on a gastronomic odyssey. Each plate is a masterpiece, a fusion of flavors and textures meticulously crafted to tantalize even the most discerning palate.

Exploration in Elegance: Your Personal Golf Cart Awaits

Venture forth to explore the enchanting Isla Mujeres in style and sophistication. Awaiting your command is a personal golf cart, your chariot for navigating the island’s hidden gems and breathtaking vistas. Roam at your leisure, discovering local culture, pristine beaches, and vibrant markets, all while relishing the unparalleled freedom of your own private transportation.

Secrets Impression Isla Mujeras

Tranquility Redefined: The Spa Experience

For those seeking serenity, the spa at Secrets Impression beckons with the promise of rejuvenation and restoration. Immerse yourself in a sanctuary of well-being, where ancient healing techniques meld seamlessly with modern innovations. The spa’s repertoire of treatments is a symphony of relaxation, catering to your body’s every need and revitalizing your spirit.

Unprecedented Thrills: Tiered Infinity Pools and Waterslides

Adventure awaits those with an appetite for exhilaration. Plunge into the crystal-clear waters from the pinnacle of tiered infinity pools, an adrenaline rush unlike any other. Descend through a waterslide that seamlessly merges with the horizon, offering a thrilling transition from poolside repose to the embrace of the ocean’s embrace.

Secrets Impression Isla Mujeras

Romantic Escapades: Overwater Cabanas and Sunset Spectacles

As the sun gracefully dips beneath the horizon, kindling the sky with hues of amber and rose, indulge in intimate moments that linger forever. Bask in the glow of twilight while ensconced in your private overwater cabana, an idyllic setting illuminated by the soft flicker of romantic torches. The shared experience of witnessing a mesmerizing sunset becomes a cherished memory, a testament to the enchantment of Secrets Impression.

A Commitment to Conservation: Sustainable Luxury

Secrets Impression is more than a sanctuary of indulgence; it’s a steward of sustainability. The resort holds steadfast to practices that safeguard the island’s natural splendor and uplift the local community. Your sojourn here leaves a positive imprint, as you contribute to the preservation of the environment and the well-being of those who call Isla Mujeres home.

In Closing: A Symphony of Splendor

Secrets Impression transcends the boundaries of luxury, crafting an experience that resonates deeply within your soul. From the moment you step foot on the island, you’re embraced by a world where opulence, intimacy, and innovation converge. It’s a symphony of splendor that invites you to partake in the extraordinary and create memories that will forever adorn the tapestry of your life. Your sojourn here is an invitation to embrace the allure of Secrets Impression, where every moment is a masterpiece of indulgence and inspiration.

Interested in staying at this stunning resort? Book your incredible getaway today.