10. Lanzarote, Spain
Do: Head to the white sand beaches in the south for swimming and to the coastal villages of Famara and La Santa in the wilder north for a surf day (or to take your first surf lesson).
Eat: In Arietta enjoy a casual meal overlooking the water at El Pasito for tapas and fresh fish.
Explore: Subterranean lava rooms and gardens while absorbing a hometown hero’s land art and activism at Fundacion César Manrique in Tahíche.
9. Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
Do: Head to this chic beach town for a second summer during winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Sandy streets are lined with cute shops and delicious restaurants. A few kilometers outside town in Punta Ballena, Casa Pueblo is a small museum complex that was constructed by the Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró. If you arrive right before sunset you can witness the Ceremony of the Sun, performed daily.
Eat: On the sands of Playa Mansa in Jose Ignacio, La Susana is a casual beach club and restaurant with fresh, local, and organic fare served on simple wooden tables overlooking the ocean. Join locals and travelers alike at the bamboo bar and near firepits on the beach at night.
Explore: Drive through rolling green ranchlands and vineyards, and over a unique circular bridge on the Laguna Garzon and inland to explore tiny Garzon, a revitalized ghost town with a restaurant and hotel created by legendary chef Francis Mallman.
8. Hvar, Croatia
Do: Rent a boat and explore the nearby Paklinski Islands. Hike to Pokonij Dol Beach and have lunch at Restaurant Mustaco.
Eat: Eat at Fig Cafe, where the menu is inspired by its owner’s travels. Definitely worth the wait.
Explore: Spend the day in Stari Grad, a small town on the northern side of the island also known to locals as “little Venice”.
7. Teahupo’o + Mo’orea, French Polynesia
Do: An hour-long ferry ride from the main airport in Tahiti is the tiny island of Mo’orea. A quiet road circles the island, dotted with small resorts filled with honeymooning couples. Mo'orea is famous for some of the clearest water in the world and it is a snorkeler and diver’s paradise with warm water alive with corals, mantas, sharks, and abundant fish.
Eat: A little outside of Teahupo’o, La Plage de Maui is a delicious and casual French fusion restaurant overlooking the ocean.
Explore: Teahupo’o is a remote hamlet and tropical paradise an hour and a half drive from the French Polynesian capital Pape’ete. Teahupo’o is mostly known by the surfers who come to ride one of the world’s most famous waves just offshore. It is a stunning location best explored by boat and local expeditions.
6. Hokkaido, Japan
Do: A quick flight from Tokyo gets you to Sapporo, your main hub to explore this northern island in Japan. Drive or ride the trains and ferries to accessible destinations around the island, all ranging from 3-5 hours travel time. Head to Daisetsuzan National Park to stay in a traditional ryokan and soak in geothermal springs.
Eat: Otaru is a small northern town famous for seafood (especially crab) and fish markets. Four hours south via car is Hakodate, nicknamed Squid City, known for squid sashimi paired with ginger soy sauce.
Explore: Hokkaido is fast becoming the powder capital of the world. Asahidake is a quieter resort with a landmark mountain where you can snowboard past steam vents. If you’re looking for even more off the beaten trail, take a ferry to remote Rishiri Island for backcountry only powder.
5. Muscat, Oman
Do: Oman is a camper’s paradise as it is basically legal to pitch a tent anywhere you like, as long as you’re not too close to someone’s property or a river. The country seems to be made to explore on a 4x4 with a rooftop tent, enjoying the many adventurous gravel roads along the way and stopping at stunning natural spots wherever you please.
Eat: Dates! Served with a light rose-flavoured coffee, dates are the perfect afternoon snack. “Khubz” the traditional Omani bread is incredible and made fresh everywhere.
Explore: A favorite photo hike is in Wahiba sands at sunrise (a sunrise by the dunes is like no other). Another fun all around hike is Wadi Shab, with a surprise hidden cave and waterfall toward the end.
4. Pioneertown, California
Do: Head to Hidden Valley Nature Trail inside Joshua Tree National Park at golden hour for a scramble among the famous boulders and to capture images of this wild landscape and the rare spiky trees for which the park is named.
Eat: Thursday through Sundays (when most visitors arrive in the area via Los Angeles or nearby Palm Springs) storied western themed music venue and restaurant Pappy and Harriet’s serves delicious barbeque both inside and out. Steak and vegetarian chilis are both delicious.
Explore: Reserve time (or drive out early and put your name on the waitlist) for a sound bath at the Integratron in Landers or pick up activated crystals while shopping for vintage and locally made products on your way in and out of town via Yucca Valley.
3. Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Do: Visit the turtle sanctuary La Tortuga Viva run by volunteers in Juluchuca at sunrise for baby turtle releases. Just outside Zihua (as locals call it) you can experience the sweat lodge, Temazcal Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Ba’duhuiini, presided over by matron Lupita for a deeply cleansing and spiritual treat for new visitors and local regulars alike.
Eat: Nearby boutique hotel Playa Viva’s restaurant is a gem. Cooks prepare meals in a beautiful open-air adobe and tile kitchen that sits directly on the beach, sourcing many of the ingredients from the onsite biodynamic farm.
Explore: Take a boat trip out to the bird sanctuary and rock formations off the coast of Playa Blanca. Find both boats and drivers for the excursion via the street entrance of Barra de Potosí. In the afternoon head to one of the many simple palm-roofed restaurants lining the water for a relaxed meal and then spend golden hour on a stand up paddleboard in the lagoon.
2. Azores, Portugal
Do: Hike in Sao Miguel, the largest and most populous island in the Azores. Recommendations are all for this island, but see as many as you can! Sete Cidades (seven cities) is a famous view point and starting spot for a short walk, incredible at sunset. Volcanic activity and its aftermath have carved out a wild landscape of verdant craters and lagoons.
Eat: In Furnas a favorite dish, cozido, is a hearty stew of meats, sausages, and vegetables. Large pots are buried underground to slow-cook the stew in steam from nearby hot springs. If you arrive around 11am you can see the pots retrieved from the earth before lunch is served.
Explore: Visit the Centro de Interpretação Ambiental da Caldeira Velha, a hot spring just a ten-minute drive from Lagoa de Fogo. You’ll find a subtropical jungle, where thermal pools are built into lush, plant covered stone walls. The waterfall spring at the end of the park is epic.
1. Aysen Patagonia, Chile
Do: The Jenimeni National Reserve, 57 km and a short detour Southwest of Chile Chico along the famous dirt Carretera Austral highway, is a gem. Hike through valleys and up small peaks to visit ancient cave paintings from the Tehuelche people at Pedregoso River Hand Cave and reach stunner lake and valley views at the rock formations of the Lunar Valley.
Eat: Head just outside adventure town Coyhaique to hospitable Belgian family owned La Taberna Dolbek for craft beers and simple tasty sandwiches in a cozy log cabin setting.
Explore: Parque Patagonia is a brand new bi-national park with entrances in both Chile and Argentina. Hike this pristine re-wilding landscape with guanacos just out of reach and incredible views of the vivid blue General Carrera Lake.