Top Travel Bloggers’ Favorite Places from 2015
After we wrote our annual year in review place and enjoyed reliving some of our favorite trips we wondered what some of our blogger friends had enjoyed the most in 2015. So, using our in-depth investigative techniques we sent them emails and asked them!
Without further ado (we were too lazy to edit) here are their interesting and wide-ranging (literally and figuratively) answers.
Rick Griffin of Midlife Road Trip
Without a doubt my favorite destination in 2015 was the Galapagos Islands. My adventure was with International Expeditions aboard a small, 32 passenger ship which was ideal for exploring the islands. Daily hiking and snorkeling excursions led by knowledgeable naturalists made for an unforgettable experience. Of course the unusual, exotic wildlife was the highlight of the trip. Due to the absence of natural predators on the islands, the animals seemed unafraid of humans. As a result, I was able to get some awesome up-close photos of iguanas, sea lions, crabs, frigates, sea turtles, penguins, giant tortoises, and boobies! In fact, I was even able to shoot a little video of two blue footed boobies going through a mating ritual. Any traveler who loves nature and wildlife should definitely add the Galapagos Islands to the top of their bucket list.
Here’s one of Rick’s terrific videos – (Spoiler Alert) this one is about is the Galapagos!
Evelyn Hannon of Journeywoman
I had to visit Japan three times in three different ways in order to come away feeling satisfied. The first time (1982) I travelled as a young wife accompanying her husband on a business trip. It was one week of ‘the wives’ being herded on to sightseeing buses while the men negotiated in boardrooms. It was totally isolating. The second time I arrived by ship and had a mere two days in a suburb of Osaka where I was the overnight guest of a young, English speaking Japanese couple. The time spent together was delightful as I shopped with them, cooked, talked and had meals with them. Our visit was short and sweet. My disappointment? I saw little of the country; I left wanting to come back and explore.
The third time I was invited to experience ‘Japan’s Cultural Treasures’ 13-days with Overseas Adventure Travel . Bingo! I hit the jackpot. This tour combined all three of the reasons I love to travel. Accompanied by a skilled guide we visited major landmarks in major cities, we learned about and experienced first-hand aspects of life in Japan, and we had interesting opportunities to interact with the locals. I was in Journeywoman travel heaven. If you are a solo woman traveller with an interest in Japan, this is the trip for you!
Read Evelyn’s full post about this “best of 2015: trip here.
Cailin O’Neil of TravelYourself
Vivienne Chapleo & Jill Hoelting of WaveJourney
Marilyn Jones of Travel with Marilyn
Families, couples and solo travelers from around the world visit Easter Island in search of its mysterious Moai carved by the Rapa Nui people. Here, on this Chilean Polynesian island, they can explore the quarries where the Moai were carved, learn their meaning and how these massive stone effigies — weighing up to 82 tons — were moved.
But the island also offers a serenity not found on other tourist-destination islands; it envelopes its visitors with glorious untouched beauty. Explora Rapa Nui Chile is an ideal resort option. Here, professional guides take guests to popular sites as well as lesser known ones offering a more in-depth look at the islands history and culture.
Mary Jo Manzanares of Traveling with MJ
Charles McCool of McCool Travel
My best travel moment of 2015 was being treated to a multi-course feast by Anthony, the head chef of Viking Cruises, and his team. Earlier that day, Anthony led our small group through the local farmers market in Ajaccio, Corsica, selecting high quality and super fresh ingredients for our special meal. After the morning market visit, my wife and I explored Corsica with a tour and then spent time on a Mediterranean Sea beach (in December!) before our world class dinner that evening. Each course was paired with a different local wine and I still dream of the local myrtle liqueur. The highlight entrée was a seafood bouillabaisse that was visually stunning and totally rocked my world.
Learn even more about this top experience of 2015 by clicking here.
Anda Galffy of Travel Notes and Beyond
If Interlaken is considered a little piece of paradise, Harder Klum Peak is part of the reason. Located at 1322 meters above sea level, Interlaken’s home mountain gives you the most breath-taking bird’s-eye view of the entire Jungfrau region. The panorama over the Lütschine Valley, the lakes of Thun and Brienz, and the summits of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau is absolutely stunning. The best time of the day to come to Harder Kulm is around sunset, when the sunlight shines at a lower angle reflecting shades of pink onto the white snowy peak of the Jungfrau range.
Cal Ford of Lido Deck Cruises
Although there is a wealth of information on this village and the domineering castle above it that is available online I am putting my on observations and spin on it. We have all seen the movie “The Land the Time Forgot” and using that would be a punishable cliché. But how about “The Village that was Simply By-Passed” …. Although it was a major regional center and Capital for several centuries it is just not an easy place to get to. The village sits on a somewhat flat area inside a horseshoe bend of the Vltava River and the Castle sits across the river on a hill. Because the main road never went through the town, just along one side, there was never any disruption of the streets or buildings due to the needs of modern traffic. The streets, alleys, and passageways are essentially the same as constructed many centuries ago.
When one wanders those passages on a cold and foggy night one can easily feel empathy with those who have walked that path before. Much the same for the Castle. It is one of the largest, and best preserved, castles in the Czech Republic primarily because of its remote location and because the families that had possession over the years were very well connected with whatever entities were in power at the time. All of the complex is in mint condition and still contains much of the original equipment, artwork, and furnishings. Somehow it was spared all the destructions and lootings of the two World Wars and the Communist years. Cesky Krumlov is one of those places that you will plan an overnight stop because it sounds interesting, then you decide you might as well plan on two nights, then once there you realize you should have planned at least four nights.
Thank you to the top travel bloggers who contributed to this post!