Travel bloggers are experts at getting the most out of their trips. They research, plan, and document everything related to their travels to share with their readers. They have been to many states, countries and continents, and they travel to popular destinations as well as those off the beaten path. Therefore, when such well-traveled people share their top vacation spots, we all should pay attention.
I’m very excited to present the favorite vacation destinations of 16 travel bloggers. You might be surprised at what they chose – I know I was!
Okinawa, Japan – Lessons Learned Abroad
Okinawa is often considered the Hawaii of Japan – and for a good reason. Gone is the fast-paced, hyper-urban visage of modern Japan. Here, time stands still. The subtropical climate offers up warm weather and picturesque beaches without all the nonsense of most tourist traps. Located in the East China Sea, Okinawa is actually a collection of islands – 150 in all. With ferries connecting you many of them, your island-hopping options are limitless. For the intrepid backpacker on a budget, hitchhiking is a cheap and easy way to get around. For shorter trips, most hostels offer bike rentals. For a truly unique trip, however, be sure to grab a ferry to Kumejima or Tokashikijima. Both islands offer some secluded camp grounds and are rarely visited by foreigners.
While gorgeous, it wont take long before you discover the true gem of Okinawa: it’s people. Never have I encountered more helpful, curious, and kind individuals. That alone makes any journey worthwhile.
Crete, Greece – Dave’s Travel Pages
My favorite vacation spot, is the Greek island of Crete. It seems to have that perfect combination of great food, warm weather, and endless beaches. From the pink sand beaches of Elafonisi, to the bronze age archaeological site of Knossos, it has something for everyone. Having recently returned from a 2 week road trip around Crete, I have quite a few tips. The main travel tip for Crete though, is to get off the tourist trail and visit some of those lesser known coastal villages and beaches. My particular favourite was Kedrodasos Beach.
You can actually reach this on foot from the more famous Elafonisi beach, but few people know it is even there. In a way, this is a great thing! It is something of a hidden gem, with its cedar trees growing out of the sand dunes, and blue waters lapping around the rocks. If we had more time, we might have joined some of the other wild campers there for a day or two. If you get the chance to visit Crete, be sure to make your way to Kedrodasos Beach!
Lisbon Barrio Alto, Portugal – Inguaribile Viaggiatore
Walking in Lisbon through the streets of Barrio Alto we found the Miraduro de São Pedro de Alcântara, spectacular terrace garden on one of the western hills of the city where you can enjoy a wonderful view over the Baixa, the Castle and the cathedral until you reach gaze at the river.
The ideal is to get there in the afternoon, so you have the sun behind him, but also the morning gave us some beautiful emotions. Light in Lisbon plays a crucial role, fills your eyes and cloaked the city of a particular gleam that makes it even more fascinating.
In this square as well as in most of the Lisbon sidewalks you can admire the particular pavement, wanted
Barrio alto Lisbon always by the Marquis of Pombal during the reconstruction after the earthquake, which is a paved with small white tiles of limestone alternating with dark stone tiles that trace geometric designs.
Also in Barrio Alto, near the square down towards the Carmo church we find the church of San Rocco with the adjoining convent of the Jesuits, built with medieval forms and mirroring the simple rules of the Counter, but inside it is revealed as a wonderful example of Baroque with rich decorations from precious woods, marbles and tiles.
Tokyo, Japan – You Could Travel
I’ve been to so many places all around the world, but to me, nothing quite compares to Tokyo, Japan. I first traveled to Tokyo in December 2015 and stayed there for over a month. I fell in love with the culture and the food, as well as the way the Japanese society operates. I usually like off the beaten path adventures as I am a nature lover, hence I expected Tokyo to be overwhelming and too busy for my liking. On the contrary, Tokyo was the most organised, clean and efficient city I’ve ever had the pleasure to visit. Trains run on time, food is always well crafted (no exception), the service is honestly, the best in the world. Tokyo is timeless and multidimensional. One minute you are in Shinjuku, the world’s busiest train station, and the next, you find yourself in a quiet alleyway leading to a zen temple right in the heart of Tokyo.
The best tip I could give a traveller going to Japan is to learn a few basic customs and manners. This will really make a difference, especially when you dine in a sushi bar or want to interact with the locals.
Puglia, Italy – LooknWalk
Located in Southern Italy , Puglia (Apulia) is home to the beautiful Gargano Coast and Alberobello, to name just two of its major attractions. Its capital is Bari and you can use it as an entry point, as it gets quite a bit of traffic, both from low cost airlines and full service ones. It is also connected to the rest of Italy by trains and buses.
Over the past four years, I’ve started to explore bits and pieces of this superb region. Gargano coast is where you can indulge in fresh sea food but you are also steps away from amazing hiking trails and interesting medieval castles. Focus on Bari with its old city and then take a day trip to Alberobello, my all time favorite place in the region. The UNESCO World Heritage Site looks like a fairy tale place and is worth every single second of your time.
Tip: If you plan to visit Alberobello on a Sunday, get your bus tickets from Bari on Saturday. The trains only run Mon to Sat and the ticket office is closed on Sunday. In Bari Central, take the underpass until past binario (platform) 10 and then look for Ferovie del Sud Est. Go in, get a ticket (return). On Sunday, just show up in the same place. The bus departs from the stop opposite the train station.
Gocek Islands, Turkey – 50 Shades Of Age
My favorite vacation spot was on a yacht cruise of the Gocek Islands out of Fethiye in Turkey, where I spend four perfect days and three balmy nights aboard a yacht called “Ros” with Before Lunch Cruises.
We sailed around Gocek’s 12 islands seeking shelter in the island’s small bays of an evening. We experienced very comfortable conditions on the yacht with well appointed cabins with private ensuites, although most nights we spent sleeping on deck on sunbeds as it was extremely hot at that time of year – early September.
Our days were filled with diving off the side of the yacht into the clear turquoise water, lying on “noodles” and sometimes snorkelling in caves and amongst ruins in the sea. On two of the islands we trudged through amber forests up to the summit to explore some ancient ruins.
I would highly recommend this yacht cruise for travelers to Turkey. It was an amazing four days of relaxing, devouring delicious food, enjoying the company of other guests aboard, swimming and snorkeling in the pristine Mediterranean Sea and exploring ruins and caves. When I dream about the perfect holiday this is where I go!
My travel tip is to get aboard the yacht cruise early so that you can grab one of the cabins at the front of the yacht.
Indonesia – A World To Travel
I am unsure there is a nicer place on earth to just disconnect and chill for weeks or months than this country. Indonesia blew my mind last year when I had the chance of visiting some of its islands and main highlights such as Bandung, Borobudur, Yogyakarta, Bali, Gili islands and Komodo. And it has been on my mind ever since. So much that I cannot wait to go back and continue exploring places like Borneo, Raja Ampat or Lombok. Would you like to come along?
Israel – A World To Travel
Back from this Middle Eastern country, and free from all the prejudices and fears I faced before visiting it, I’d like to share with you everything I learnt in Israel wandering across it. From Tel Aviv to the Dead sea, the Kibbutzs and Palestine, there is no shortage of stunning spots to visit or great people to meet in this country, what makes Israel a great place to go on your next vacation indeed!
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – A World To Travel
Skipping the hotter hours, and trying to put it into simply words, I had the time of my life there. Seriously fun times that took me into numerous and fairly diverse city explorations. Here’re my most cherished Dubai memories. The ones that I would repeat right now hands down. And the same ones I would recommend you had a look into if Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are on your list.
Bagan, Myanmar – Family In Faraway Places
We have visited the temples of Angkor Wat, Borobudur and Bagan over the past few years and there was something uniquely special about Bagan, Myanmar. With less tourists and commercialization than the Angkor complex in Cambodia, a visit to Bagan just seems more authentic. There are more than 2000 temples still standing spread out across the desert landscape and some can even be found tucked in the backyards of homes! It is easy to find a quiet little spot to freely explore but remember these are still active places of worship for many. If you decide to enter a temple or to climb up one, remember to leave your shoes off out of respect and to help preserve the monuments! Bagan city is less developed than other tourist sites in the region but we found the slower pace of Bagan a welcome retreat. There are plenty of good restaurants and affordable hotels to be found with more being built. We felt like we were visiting friends when in Bagan and this was largely due to the local people who welcomed us. Most tourist books recommend that you spend around two days in Bagan but this really isn’t enough to get a feel of the place and to see all the sites. We stayed for 5 and were left wishing for more time!
Kyoto, Japan – Années De Pèlerinage
My favorite vacation spot in the world has to be Kyoto in Japan. No matter how often I come back to the city, it never ceases to surprise me. The ancient city literally sits on almost two thousand years of history and boasts a staggering amount of UNESCO World Heritage sites. 17 outstanding temples, shrines, and castles made it to the famous list. But walk around the corner, and you could be sitting in a fancy robot café or shopping the newest designer trends people in Europe or the US will discover two years later. And then, of course, there is the famous Japanese food. And I am not only talking about sushi. Did you know that Kyoto is home to 95 (!!) Michelin-starred restaurants? Not into luxury? Pick up some green tea flavored ice cream or honey dripping rice balls on the street.
Or how about hiking through the seemingly endless red tunnels of the Fushimi Inari Shrine. But don’t just take one picture and be gone. Instead, walk all the way to the top, enjoy a breathtaking view of Kyoto, and stop at one of the many inns waiting for you on the way down. Believe me, you won’t regret it, as you will never regret visiting Kyoto either.
Seoul, South Korea – Kuaby
My favorite vacation spot is Seoul, South Korea because of its young, modern and hip vibes. Everywhere you go, you will find chic cafés, as well as cute-looking shops selling fashion accessories and cosmetics.
I love the diversity of its attractions too. Even though the city is known for shopping and food, it has a lot of historical and cultural attractions to offer.
You will love Seoul if you are someone who is into technology. As the capital of the country with the fastest average Internet connection speeds, it feels like it is a city that is one or two years ahead of the rest.
Also, the capital of South Korea is just beside one of the most dangerous borders in the world, the Korean Demilitarized Zone, which is a unique attraction to visit and to learn about the Korean War.
If you are planning to visit Seoul, the Korean Demilitarized Zone is the only attraction that requires you to join a tour. Other than that, most attractions are accessible by train or within walking distance from train stations.
The Visit Korea app developed by the Korea Tourism Organization is all you need to plan for a trip to Seoul. One cool thing that the app does is that it states the nearest train stations and exits to the attraction you intend to visit. With this app, it is very hard to get lost in the city. Even if you do, the friendly locals will not hesitate to help you out.
Faroe Islands, Territory of Denmark – Melissa Major
The Faroe Islands, my favorite vacation spot, is a country steeped in folklore. It has twice as many sheep as people, luscious rolling greenery, and winding one-lane roads leading to seaside villages with grass-roofed houses. Part of what gives the 545-square-mile Danish Territory such a mystical feel is is that it’s both the ideal place to relish in peaceful solitude and to partake in an array of adventurous activities. The regional tourist centers scattered throughout the islands are valuable resources for discovering and booking excursions, such as a boat ride through the bird cliffs of Vestmanna.
Driving in the Faroe Islands is an adventure within itself. Many of the roads are cliffside or along the water, with sudden and sharp hairpin turns. The Buttercup Trails are particularly scenic one-lane roads leading to the most remote and idyllic locations on the islands, such as the quaint village of Saksun. I recommend renting a car in the Faroe Islands and driving as much as possible. The infrastructure is amazing, with sub-sea tunnels, bridges and ferry boats connecting the islands. Due to the climate and sea-level of the islands, you may even find yourself driving through clouds.
For a fitting introduction to the natural beauty of the Faroes Islands, as well as its proud citizens, check out SheepView 360.
Sorsogon Province, Philippines – Tara Lets Anywhere
Our favorite vacation spot in the Philippines is definitely the whole of Sorsogon Province. As of this writing, it remains off the main tourist radar compared to more promoted sites like El Nido or Boracay. It has a lot of features for vacationers. In Matnog alone, you can find quiet beaches with at least two featuring pinkish sands, a lagoon and a protected marine sanctuary. Bulusan has an emerald lake beside an active volcano. Gubat has beaches especially for surfing enthusiasts. Donsol is home to perhaps the world’s largest school of whale sharks. And that’s just some of the places we’ve explored.
Aside from these fascinating places, what we loved most about Sorsogon is the warmth and hospitality of the people during our visits. Our designated boatman and his family were very friendly and accommodating, everybody was really nice.
If you’re going to visit Sorsogon, the best time is during summer, from March to May. If you want guaranteed solitude from other tourists, visit from June onwards, which is its off-peak season, which also coincides with the rainy season. The best time to visit Donsol for snorkeling or diving with the whale sharks is from December to May.
Barbados – My View From The Middle Seat
Barbados, a dot of land in the Caribbean Sea just north of South America, retains all of the charm of its British history combined with the laid back attitude of the Caribbean. Having been to the island 8 times while my father lived there as an ex-pat for 4.5 years, I’ve become intimately familiar with every boulder, beach and Banks stand (the local beer). While most tourists will head to the crowded west coast, where the large resorts and hotels sprawl along the sand, for a more authentic experience head to the south or east coast. The Bathsheba area looks more like the rolling green hills of Kentucky than the Caribbean and the south, especially Worthing, is full of rum shacks and beach bars along long stretches of white sand. Catch a polo match at Apes Hill, enjoy dinner (after 9pm!) at Oistin’s Fish Fry or just enjoy the view of the northern cliffs from the Animal Flower Cave. Make sure to enjoy the local delicacies of flying fish, macaroni pie, cou cou (like mashed potatoes) and fried plantains. And, most of all, enjoy some liming with local Bajans – you’ll find them to be well-educated, well-spoken and very opinionated!
Iceland – Trip Creator
Iceland is truly unlike any other place on earth. It packs an incredibly diverse array of scenery into an island the size of Kentucky, with black sand beaches, multi-colored mountains, glacial lagoons, towering cliffs, and fields of moss-covered lava. It also feels like a very “alive” place; water shoots from geysers and bubbles in hot springs and flows in rivers and waterfalls. The Northern Lights dance in the sky in winter, volcanic eruptions are a not-so-uncommon occurrence, and minor earthquakes happen almost every day thanks to Iceland’s position on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It’s also totally modern, with a great capital city, but there’s so much space that it’s easy to get away from everyone else.
While people often say it’s expensive, there are way so reduce the cost. Going in off-season (Nov-Feb) will definitely save you money on accommodation and car rentals, and you’ll encounter fewer crowds. Staying slightly outside the city center and choosing self-catering accommodation will also help you save. If you’re a drinker, be sure to stop by the airport duty-free at baggage claim upon arrival to grab some Icelandic beer or vodka at a steep discount. And if you can, arrange your trip so that any day trips from Reykjavik are clustered together so you can ditch the rental car for your time in the city, when a car isn’t needed to get around.
Laguna Bacalar, Mexico – Travel Hysteria
Laguna Bacalar is a less touristic spot in the south of the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico. In Maya language, the name means “lake of the seven colors”: the legend says that some days you can see seven different colors in the water of the lagoon. We didn’t manage to count them all, but we can guarantee that the different shades of blue and green are simply marvelous.
If you like to relax, you must go to Bacalar. You can rent a kayak and explore the lagoon, you will not regret it. The water is fresh and clean, and the place is absolutely peaceful.
Then, take an evening stroll in the enchanting pueblo. The atmosphere is placid end everyone is easygoing. There are often musical events taking place in the breezy little square. In Bacalar we found and a little special restaurant, called “Orizaba”. There is no menu, but the waitress is there to help you. The food is delicious: simple, tasty and really homemade and cheap. And when we say cheap, we mean c-h-e-a-p: a dinner made up of four dishes and drinks for 4 USD. That’s the local place you are looking for!
New Orleans, United States – Mags On The Move
Being a travel blogger is an amazing job, but sometime it is just that… a job. When I want to go somewhere that I’m guaranteed to have an amazing time and not feel like I’m “working”, New Orleans is it for me. It’s a town that really knows how to cut loose and “laissez les bon temps rouler!” I still remember the moment I arrived in New Orleans for the first time. I immediately thought, “these are my people.” The whole place is just drenched in culture, from the jazz music on every street corner, to the colorful locals, to the heavenly cajun/creole cooking.
There’s a real love of life there that’s completely contagious. The people there are some of the friendliest you’ll find anywhere. I’ve never met a stranger in New Orleans. My one bit of advice for a trip to New Orleans is that Bourbon Street is something everyone should experience at least once, but Frenchman Street is the place to go for a real New Orleans experience. The whole street is full of live jazz clubs and you can just walk around until you hear something that strikes your fancy. The same tip holds true for Mardi Gras; it’s certainly an experience, but New Orleans is a lot more fun without all of the crowds of tourists and drunk college kids and there’s no shortage of party spots year-round. So go to Mardi Gras once, but then come back when it’s a bit slower to get a real feel for the city.