Did 2015 leave you begging for some “me time”? Check out out top 6 destinations for recharging the mind and body in 2016.
Whether it’s the sand between your toes, some serious pampering, a walk on the wild side or a cultural discovery you’re craving, there’s no better time to pack your bags and set off on a holiday of a lifetime.
Candace Warner from Gypsian Boutique Tours, the experts in soul-satisfying Mediterranean travel, is counting down her top 6 destinations, and has even revealed her insider tips, shh!
6. The Greek Islands, Greece
This one is a no brainer – you can’t argue with the sunshine and salt water which makes the Greek Islands the perfect destination to let your hair down. Spend your getaway taking in the breathtaking views, basking in the Greek culture, or dive into the crystal clear waters of one of the secluded bays of the Mediterranean for some snorkelling. While you’re in the region, take a trip to Crete and explore what is believed to be Europe’s oldest city – the Minoan palace of Knossos, before heading to Milia Mountain Retreat for an authentic Cretan cooking class.
Insider tip: There is so much more to explore in the Greek Islands beyond the highly populated shores of Mykonos and Santorini. For utter relaxation and a hint of adventure, add some extra stops to your trip and visit Crete, Naxos, Elafonisi or Zakynthos. Take your camera and bikinis and prepare for a relaxation adventure you will never forget!
The Greek Islands
5. Dalmatia, Croatia
If your idea of wellness is getting active, then Dalmatia should be at the top of your travel list for 2016. Sporting one of the most dramatic shorelines in Europe, the Dalmatian Coast is home to 79 individual islands and an abundance of white sand beaches and serene pebble coves. If yoga is your activity of choice, you can take it to the next level with stand-up-paddleboard yoga –test your balance as you float serenely on the turquoise waters!
Insider tip: Once you’ve perfected your balance, leave some time to explore (and get lost within) the endless lavender and rosemary fields on the picturesque island of Hvar. Trust us, you won’t have seen anything like this before!
4. Cappadocia, Turkey
Sunrise yoga overlooking marshmallow rock formations? Yes please! Long walks through lunar-like landscapes, discovering secret Byzantine churches? Absolutely! Taste-testing some of the most delicious, heart-warming, home-cooked fare you’ll ever experience? Yum! And finishing it all off with a traditional Turkish bath before you retire to your hotel amongst the fairy chimneys? Perfection! If that hasn’t got you packing your bags then I can’t imagine what will!
Insider tip: For some serious R&R, avoid the well trotted tourist track and visit the epitome of Cappadocia’s rustic agricultural soul, Ortahisar. This will drop you right in the heart of this spectacular region.
3. Marrakech, Morocco
Does your idea of soul satisfying travel include steam rooms glittering with arabesque tile-work and authentic cultural experiences which open your mind and spike curiosity? Then Marrakech needs to be pulled to the top of your travel list for 2016. Despite the chaos that gives Marrakech its charm, it really is the cultural heartland of Morocco and the ultimate exotic spa destination. When your hair and skin have received the R&R they deserve, take some time to live out your Arabian Nights fantasy by exploring the world of kasbahs, imperial cities and cinnamon-coloured sands.
Insider tip: For a truly authentic Moroccan experience, take a trip just outside the city to an organic farm for an authentic Moroccan cuisine cooking class. While you’re there, bypass one of the argan co-operatives and learn how argan oil is produced (yes, the same argan oil that is used in Moroccan Oil!).
2. Kabak, Turkish Coast
One of Turkey’s best kept secrets has been well and truly let out the bag and we want in! This hidden gem located on the Turkish Coast, is a little slice of heaven, boasting crystal clear waters, and pine-clad forests. Kabak is the perfect place to recharge for yogis, campers and hiking enthusiasts who are constantly craving a little adventure. In our mind, it ticks all the boxes as an amazing place to relax and refresh in 2016!
Insider tip: If you’re up for some tough physical exercise, hike the Lycian Way from Kabak to Faralyn and make the steep climb down to the picturesque Butterfly Valley. The panoramic views of the Mediterranean will leave you speechless.
Kabak, Turkish Coast
1. Sahara Desert, Morocco
Waking up in a luxury camp and falling asleep beneath the stars sounds like absolute bliss, right? The Sahara Desert is second to none in soul satisfying travel. Each morning welcome the day by reconnecting with your inner yogi for a sunrise yoga class overlooking the golden sand dunes of the Sahara. Then spend your night beneath the stars taste-testing authentic Moroccan cuisine while listening to local storytellers.
Insider tip: While on your desert encampment, leave the 4X4s behind and take some time out to really explore the scenery of the Sahara atop a camel. With nothing but vast blue skies and golden sands ahead, the sound of camel footsteps on the soft sand beneath you will be all you hear. If you’re looking for the number one spot to recharge in 2016, this is it!
Sahara Desert, Morocco
For more expert travel advice from Gypsian Boutique Tours, check out @gypsianboutiquetours on Instagram and Facebook, or visit www.gypsianboutiquetours.com.au.