My 10 best travel experiences of 2021

Monday newsletters all the time characteristic high 10 journey lists to encourage.

As we speak: My 10 finest journey experiences of 2021

Because the yr 2021 is coming to an finish, it’s a very good time to replicate on the headlines and tales that formed the previous yr. 2021 is a yr most of us need to neglect as rapidly as potential. It’s a yr that we had been hoping for an finish to this pandemic, however greater than 5 million deaths later, it appears there is no such thing as a finish in sight. Even worse, it feels just like the emergence of the omnicron variant is pulling us again into this dreadful distress. I assume most of us are exhausted from the relentless restrictions which might be imposed on societies and from the fixed not understanding what the subsequent day will carry.

2021 can also be the yr that worldwide journey tried to bounce again (and partly succeeded in doing so) after it collapsed in 2020. Ideas similar to “lockdowns,” “quarantines” and “vaccine mandates” are a part of our on a regular basis language because the coronavirus pandemic continues to impression all points of our lives, together with our (disrupted) journey plans and wanderlust. Nonetheless, since it is a journey weblog that tries to present you some enlightening journey inspiration, I need to concentrate on hope, positivity, and my private journey tales (attempting to make one of the best of the difficult journey state of affairs). I hereby share with you my very own journey highlights of 2021, most of them happening inside Europe (aside from one fabulous journey). Early 2022, I’ll share what to anticipate from me within the subsequent yr.

There may be extra data (with journey experiences & YouTube movies) beneath the slideshow. You’ll be able to share your personal ideas on 2021 or your personal 2021 journey highlights within the feedback part beneath.

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From January until Might 2021, a journey ban was carried out by the federal government of Belgium – my house nation – in an effort to curb the unfold of covid (on a private observe, I feel journey bans do extra hurt than good). As a consequence of this journey ban and my very own covid an infection, I didn’t journey for nearly 6 months. To maintain my YouTube viewers (and myself) entertained throughout these irritating instances, I created a number of movies that includes the highlights of Belgium, hereby re-discovering the appeal of my house nation. Positioned within the coronary heart of Europe, Belgium is globally identified for indulgent candies and attractive beer. However my nation provides a lot greater than that in fact. Highlights embrace attractive medieval cities displaying splendid gothic structure and fashionable cities boasting designer outlets and world-class museums. Watch my 4K movies of the cities of Bruges, Ghent and Brussels by clicking the hyperlinks.


I select the Greek island of Mykonos as my first journey vacation spot after Belgium lastly lifted its journey ban. Providing dream seashores, azure seawaters, and picturesque whitewashed villages, the small island attracts greater than 1,000,000 guests every summer time. Often known as an island that by no means sleeps, an limitless grownup playground, and one of many world’s most wanted homosexual vacationer locations, Mykonos has righteously gained a spot among the many finest celebration locations of Europe, attracting famend DJs and fashionistas. Since Brigitte Bardot, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Grace Kelly visited within the Sixties, Mykonos additionally turned a popular vacation spot for the wealthy and well-known, with hip new lodges opening every year. Throughout my go to, I stayed at Grecotel Mykonos Blu, Aeonic Suites & Spa, and Myconian Imperial (all fabulous lodges). And you’ll count on some extra Mykonos journey experiences in 2022 as I’m going again!


Monumental squares, centuries-old church buildings, well-known boulevards, romantic bridges, magnificent palaces, and Montmartre’s cobblestone streets make Paris one of many most stunning cities on the earth. The Metropolis of Gentle has not solely impressed painters, sculptors, writers, poets and composers but in addition virtually each main world capital, with each metropolis claiming its personal Champs-Elysèes. Cruise on the Seine or watch the world move by from a café terrace or and it’s simple to grasp why so many individuals fall in love with Paris. The French capital can also be house to a few ultra-luxurious lodges, and final summer time, I stayed at two of them: Shangri-La Paris – previously the house of Prince Roland Bonaparte (grand nephew of Napoleon) – and Hôtel de Crillon, a Rosewood Lodge – a historic mansion, the place Queen Marie Antoinette used to spend her afternoons stress-free and taking piano classes.


Final September 2021, I used to be purported to journey to French Polynesia for a vacation of a lifetime. Sadly, because of the ongoing pandemic, that journey was cancelled two weeks previous to departure, so I needed to search for a final minute vacation elsewhere. Ultimately, I select Spain as a journey vacation spot, the place I loved an exquisite time in Ibiza, Barcelona and Madrid. I assumed the spotlight of my journey was going to be the brand new Six Senses Ibiza, however that turned out to be an enormous disappointment. On the contrary, I didn’t count on a lot from the brand new 4 Seasons Madrid (because it’s a metropolis lodge), however boy, was I unsuitable! Housed in a historic constructing, this property blew me off my ft (I’ll publish my evaluate & video early 2022). With rooftop eating by Spanish celeb chef Dani García, a four-level world-class wellness middle, and a terrific design, 4 Seasons is bringing a brand new stage of luxurious and repair to Madrid.


The spotlight of my journey to Spain was a go to to the Sagrada Familia, one of many world’s most well-known church buildings. The large Roman Catholic basilica is thé landmark constructing of Barcelona and, although incomplete, a UNESCO World Heritage Web site attracting roughly 2.5 million vacationers yearly. Designed by genius architect Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), the mission that has been below building since 1882. At Gaudi’s loss of life, lower than 1 / 4 of the mission had been accomplished. The development is progressing slowly – because it depends on personal donations – and is now anticipated to be accomplished by 2028. When completed, the basilica will characteristic 18 towers and be the tallest church on the earth. Whereas the intricate exteriors of the Sagrada Familia draw loads of consideration, the interiors are simply as spectacular. I’ll publish a 4K video of the Sagrada Familia this Saturday on my YouTube channel.


The Greek island of Santorini is arguably one of many world’s most idyllic islands and ranks amongst my favourite locations on earth. Perched excessive above the deep blue Aegean Sea, Santorini’s whitewashed villages are clustered atop dramatic cliffs, with black sand seashores resting on the backside. The island was formed some 3,600 years in the past by one of many largest volcanic eruptions in recorded historical past, which left a large water-filled crater measuring about 12 by 7 km (7.5 by 4 mi) and surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) excessive cliffs on all sides. Probably the greatest methods to understand the island’s pure splendor is to fly over the world-renowned caldera by helicopter, particularly round sundown time. Peak Helicopter Service provides a selection between two helicopter excursions, the usual 20 minute or the prolonged 30 minute tour. Under, you’ll be able to watch a video documenting my expertise (the helicopter tour begins at 41:39).


In June 2021, I traveled to the Adriatic Sea’s latest nautical playground: the ultraluxurious One&Solely Portonovi Resort in Montenegro, probably the most stunning however nonetheless largely undiscovered journey locations in Europe. The property sits on the entrance of Boka Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Web site typically dubbed “the southern-most fjord in Europe.” With its spacious rooms, suites, and villas, and Riviera-style eating helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Giorgio Locatelli, One&Solely Portonovi retreat is a must-stay for discerning vacationers. The resort’s world-class amenities embrace a non-public artifical seaside, eleven swimming swimming pools, and a superb Chenot Espace wellness middle. One of many highlights throughout my keep was a non-public boat tour to Boka Bay, which is house to numerous hidden lagoons and coves, in addition to century-old moated walled cities like Kotor.


Final summer time, I loved a superb lengthy weekend on the French Riviera, the place I stayed at two well-known lodges: Le Negresco and 4 Seasons Cap Ferrat, with particularly the latter one making an amazing impression. Positioned between Good and Monaco, on a peninsula dealing with the Mediterranean, Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a 4 Seasons Lodge is a French Riviera icon on the bucket checklist of many discerning vacationers. This award-winning legend has hosted many heads of state, celebrities, and artists since 1908. Friends can settle into one in all 49 visitor rooms, 24 suites, or a villa with views of the ocean or lush pine forest. World-class amenities embrace an expensive spa, an infinity-edge swimming pool at Membership Dauphin, and Michelin-starred delicacies at Le Cap. With none doubt, Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a 4 Seasons Lodge is one in all my favourite 4 Seasons lodge on the earth.


The distinction of my favourite seaside resort of 2021 – and one in all my most phenomenal lodge stays ever – goes to Calilo. In a distant nook of unspoilt Ios, within the coronary heart of the Cyclades, and only a pebble’s throw from celebration islands Mykonos and Santorini, this 30-suite sanctuary provides an escape from the crowds. Rising out of, and carved from, the native rock, Calilo is cradled by 1,000 acres of protected land and fringed by a fantastic golden sand seaside, lapped by a cerulean sea. Suppose sun-drenched seclusion surrounded by an historic olive-pricked panorama – nature and artwork at its coronary heart. From its structure and inside design to the placing artworks and installations, Calilo – an acronym for “create a life you’ll be able to fall in love with” – is the creation the Michalopoulos household whose intention is to protect, defend and nurture this tantalizing land and to share the island’s mesmerizing magic.


Final month, I loved an incredible highway journey within the southern African nation of Namibia, one in all my finest holidays ever. Few international locations on the earth can match Namibia’s sheer pure magnificence. Not solely is the nation well-known for its distinctive wildlife, recreation reserves and safari lodges, however the landscapes of its shoreline and deserts are a number of the most photographed and gasped over on the earth. Highlights of my journey included recognizing wildlife in Etosha Nationwide Park and watching the solar rise over the world’s highest dunes in Sossusvlei within the Namib Desert. En route, I stayed in a few of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife lodges, together with the ultraluxe Zannier lodges, the lately revamped &Past Sossuvlei Desert lodge, and the fabulous Hoanib Skeleton Coast Lodge (managed by Wilderness Safaris) in Namibia’s distant space of the Kaokoveld. I’ll publish my opinions and movies of that unimaginable journey early 2022.

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