Asia is an enormous swath of the world, its influence extending out to every corner of the globe and permeating nearly every conceivable human endeavor. How do you begin to plan a trip to Asia? How do you decide where to go, what to do or where to stay? Backroads Trip Development Experts have spent years researching and traveling through the nooks and crannies of the Asian continent and in doing so have identified some special places we’d like to share with you. Out of all the places to stay in Asia, these are our picks for hotels that accentuate local traditions, exude world charm or simply cannot be matched anywhere else.
"Wow, these tomatoes actually taste like something." The vibrant produce grown in gardens mere steps from where we dine during our Backroads trips through Croatia often garners this reaction. Leaders often jokingly respond, "Because it's grown with love," but, in all seriousness, that's the simple truth. After leading Backroads trips here for the past two years, I've been lucky enough to dine on some of the most delicious, fresh and original meals in all of Croatia, in some of the most undiscovered places. More than just great meals in the homes of our local hosts, these are experiences that offer a window to the genuine culture, passions and real day-to-day world of the people who call this place home.
February is the time of year when most people are relaxing, recovering from the holidays and getting back into the swing of their daily routine. But if you can’t wait to get back out there, February is the perfect month for a unique adventure. From hiking in far-off New Zealand to cycling in Cuba to enjoying a winter wonderland closer to home, adventurous travelers can find something to satisfy their wanderlust, even in the off-season.
The sights and sounds of waterfalls have always captivated me. Whether it's due to the security my brain feels near a clean freshwater source or the aesthetic beauty of the surrounding ecosystem, I just feel so invigorated. I've chased waterfalls from Western Canada to South America to Asia and have marveled at them all. But there's a place, right in the heart of the Western United States, that might be the best kept secret of all the cascading sheets of water. It's called "Waterfall Alley" and it's nestled in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge.
In 1921, British explorer and politician Charles Howard-Bury spotted massive footprints while on an expedition to Mount Everest. His Sherpa guide informed him that they must be those of the “metoh-kangmi,” the rough English translation being, “man-bear snowman.” From this, the world first heard of the abominable snowman, or yeti, one of the most persistent and widely known legends of our time. But where did this folklore originate before being introduced to the West? And why does it persist today among the people who call the mighty Himalayas home?
January: the perfect month to curl up at home with a book and a cup of hot chocolate, right? Maybe for some people, but for the rest of us, it's is the perfect time to get off the beaten path. At Backroads we believe that the traveling season is year-round, and January is the perfect example. From snowy adventures in the northern hemisphere to jungle or desert treks down south, every traveler can find something to surprise, stimulate and challenge them in January.
Nothing beats traveling with your family - experiencing new things through the fresh eyes of your kids, while instilling in them a sense of adventure and new perspectives. Europe is full of ideal family trip destinations that are close enough to be accessible, yet far enough away to be new and exciting.
Bright green moss and dewy ferns filled the understory, while a thick fog engulfed the treetops. Through the mist, I could make out craggy mountains, with over a dozen waterfalls cascading down the sides. Farther ahead, the deep azure blue of a glacier peaked out from the summit of a rocky pass.
In a spectacular explosion of froth and spray, the Zambezi River plunges abruptly into a crack in the earth, like spilled water disappearing between two paving stones. Hitting the rocky bottom of the gorge, the water kicks vertically upwards, as though the shock of the river's sudden disappearance has flipped the world upside down, making rain fall from the ground. This soft mist drenches everything deeply and completely, showering tiny pinpricks on the skin like blood rushing back into sleepy limbs.
It has all the makings of a fairy tale. Storybook castles. Towers, flying buttresses and flawless gardens. Fertile fields, graceful rivers and idyllic biking routes. Exquisite treats at patisseries and gourmet meals. The Loire Valley—a family getaway that ends with "happily ever after."