A short stroll through the streets of Oia in Santorini before the sunset and you’ll experience the (very literal) crush of overtourism. The Greek island is just one of the places suffering from a mass tourist onslaught, with a recent index listing Croatia, Iceland, Hungary and Denmark as the countries who have experienced the starkest increase in tourists recently. Cheap flights, the rise in home booking services and cruise ships have all been a factor in the rise of overtourism in recent years, with many destinations seeing the problems tourist cause outweighing the benefits, according to Responsible Travel. The other issue with overtourism, from a purely selfish point of view, is it's impossible to relax when you’re surrounded by hordes of people all scrambling for the same photo. So, we've curated a guide to the alternative islands to head to this summer. Inject money into smaller local economies while experiencing peak relaxation, it's a … [Read more...] about 12 unsung alternative European islands to head to this summer
Some visitors consider the Azores a warm Iceland, which is only partly true. But as I hiked a rocky beach path on São Miguel Island, I briefly thought I was back in that subarctic country. All around me lay the kind of black and green landscape I had loved in Iceland: lunar fields of volcanic rock, covered in lichens. On one side, the azure Atlantic; on the other, a mossy cliff wall soared high above. Steam rose from the chunky ground. A faint scent of sulfur wafted in the air. Below me, people waded in a natural tidal pool. I climbed down a ladder to join them, bracing for a chill. Instead, the brackish water was soothingly warm — hot in places. Here at Ponta da Ferraria, a hot spring blends with ocean water at low tide, for a thrilling swimming experience. I frog-stroked my way to the mouth of the lagoon, where cool waves crashed into the rocks. Then I let the surf carry me back to the heat, past others clinging to ropes for safety. I was body surfing on ocean waves in a … [Read more...] about Portugal’s wild Azores isles are geothermal wonders — and relatively close to the U.S.
Where to visit: Teeny-tiny riverside capital Santo António has a faded charm, with peely-paint mint and pink façades of colonial buildings and a busy church (about the only place you’ll see anything approaching a crowd). Combine a stroll at Praia Abade, a sleepy village where fishermen unload the day’s catch from wooden canoes, with a trip to Porto Real where eco-entrepreneur Bella Prina upcycles bottles into striking jewellery. For serious Indiana Jones vibes visit the overgrown ruins of abandoned church Ribeira Izé. If you can, time your visit in February to coincide with Carnival, when locals parade in the streets and a jubilant party vibe takes over. What to see: The entire island is a Unesco reserve and scenery is land-that-time-forgot sensational. Think rainforest filled with African grey parrots, colossal, vine-draped trees and other-worldly rock towers. Trek through the wilderness (hotels can arrange guides, which you will need — … [Read more...] about Treasure Island: Exploring Príncipe Island
52 Places To Go 2019 (Tag bylines with individual items.), New York Times Published 8:47 pm CST, Tuesday, January 8, 2019 Here are some of the places The New York Times thinks you should travel this year. Read the article for the full list. Here are some of the places The New York Times thinks you should travel this year. Read the article for the full list. Photo: Louise Denton Photography/Getty Images Photo: Louise Denton Photography/Getty Images Image 1 of / 39 Caption Close Image 1 of 39 Here are some of the places The New York Times thinks you should travel this year. Read the article for the full list. Here are some of the places The New York Times thinks you should travel this year. Read the article for the full list. … [Read more...] about The New York Times picks 52 places to go in 2019
Suddenly they are there: three wolves at the tree line, their sharp-eared silhouettes unmistakable in the gloaming. The bear has seen them too. It sits up on its hefty haunches to face the intruders who trot forward, hackles raised. A sea eagle flaps heavily away. Sat in our hide, hardly daring to breathe, we brace ourselves for action. Such wildlife drama may suggest the wilds of Alaska. In fact, it took place during my visit last summer to eastern Finland, just a three-hour flight from London. Today, with the likes of Africa and Antarctica monopolising our TV screens, it is easy to forget that a serious wildlife holiday need not be long-haul. Europe is home to its fair share of impressive beasts: there are flamingoes in the sunny Camargue, lynxes stalking the hillsides of Andalusia and, at the Continent’s Arctic limits, polar bears pacing the pack ice of Svalbard. Add to that a marine pageant that ranges from the turtles of the eastern Mediterranean to the … [Read more...] about 10 incredible (and surprising) European wildlife holidays