Top 5 getaways in 5 minutes!
1. Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is the perfect destination for a combination of beautiful beaches, exquisite food and restaurants, exciting nightlife and interesting culture. If you travel south of the country you hit desert, but if you go north, you meet mountains and beautiful greenery. Despite the turmoil that you may hear on the news, Tel Aviv is known as a ‘young-persons city’ and has so much to offer. To the surprise of some, the city is incredibly secular and very accepting and welcoming of everybody.
The city holds one of the largest Gay Pride Parades in June of every year, it has a booming 7 nights a week club/ bar scene and has been named start-up nation; one of the most advanced cities in technological development.
If you prefer to stay clear from all the tourists whom choose to stay close to the sea front, some trendy boutique hotels in and around the city which are less hustle and bustle and more local include:
- The Norman
- Hotel Montefiore
- Boutique Hotel Neve Tzedek
-Day/ overnight trips to Jerusalem, The Dead Sea, Jaffa, and Eilat are highly recommended.
-You do not need to tip taxi drivers however restaurants normally expect a 10% tip
2. Marrakech, Morocco
The main square in Marrakech is called ‘Jemma el Fnaa’ and it’s totally crazy! You experience a sensory overload with all the bright colored spices and market goods, the delicious smell of street food, people shouting (or talking very loudly), men amusingly running after you with cobras to put around your neck, monkeys in diapers and lots of fresh fruit carts filled with oranges, grapefruits, nuts, dates and more. It is overwhelming to say the least, but it’s a wonderful experience.
There is lots to do including visiting Marrakech’s most famous symbol, The Koutoubia Mosque, explore the city through its museums, relax at a hammam (Turkish bath) and much more.
To live like Kings and Queens we recommend the following hotels:
1. La Mamounia
2. La Maison Arabe
3. Four Seasons Resort
-Don’t miss out on their tagine dishes filled with piping hot couscous, braised meat, fruit and veg…. D E L I C I O U S!
-But most importantly, don’t forget, whatever you buy in Marrakech… haggle! Chances are that more often than not, you will leave satisfied with half the asked price.
3. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is living a fantasy, a real life postcard. It’s the perfect location if you really want to sit back, relax and enjoy. To set the scene… soft white sand, tropical creatures in the ocean and plenty of healing and wellness retreats. This Indonesian paradise is perfect for a romantic break.
If you prefer being active, day tours are worth participating in. Things to do include visiting the Bali monkey forest, exploring the Temples, reef cruises, diving classes, cooking schools, yoga barns, biking, trekking and much more.
2. W Retreat & Spa, Seminyak
3. The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud
-Many hotels services include a 21% tax charge. 10% is a mandatory government tax and the other 11% an unenforceable service charge. Tipping is not mandatory, however if you want to, 5-10% of the total bill is very nice.
4. Portafino, Italy
Portofino is perched on Italy’s northwest coast and is one of the most photogenic fishing ports in the Mediterranean.
The town is full of boutiques and art galleries, with cafes and restaurants lining the tiny streets.
Diving, hiking, boating and sight-seeing are popular local pastimes. Portofino has been a magnet to the rich and famous for decades, including the likes of Elizabeth Taylor…
-World famous Hotel Splendido
-Visit the nearby town Camogli, a lovely fishing village with pastel houses and pebbly beaches.
5.The Northern Lights, Iceland
Also called Aurora Borealis, The Northern Lights are one of the most remarkable shows on earth and can regularly be seen in Iceland from September to March on clear nights. The lights are naturally created by electrically charged particles that make the thin air shine. The particles are trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field and begin to spiral back and forth along the magnetic lines of force. Don’t worry too much if the science behind this spectacle is beyond you, it’s the view that really counts! The lights occur high above the surface of the earth at an altitude of 100-250km, with white and green usually being the dominant colors. At extremely high altitudes however, a reddish glow appears produced by the oxygen molecules when they are hit by the particles of the solar wind.
There are many different tours and guiding treks available online, just make sure to do your research beforehand.
-Don’t forget to bring a camera as they are bright enough to photograph and you will see them move
-It’s incredibly cold, so make sure to wrap up by wearing extra layers, warm boots, hat, scarf and gloves.
-To see the Northern Lights the skies need to be clear. You can also see the lights in countries inland such as Sweden or Finland, rather than stay near the coast which can be foggy and cloudy like Norway and Iceland.