I’ve had a bucket list as long as my arm since I was 10 years old, adding photos and newspaper cut outs to my travel scrapbook, and it wasn’t until recently I decided to go digital and start a new list, including some of those places I’ve been adding to my bucket list over the past eight years since I began blogging. Here five trips I’ve added to my Bucket List, which I am eager to visit in the next five years.
Canada was made for the intrepid. Its vibrant cities are connected to breathtaking nature, promising unique adventures, new discoveries and an incredible tailor-made holiday. To the west you’ll find a plethora of national parks, incorporating a wealth of soaring mountains and tranquil mirror lakes, as well as Vancouver – a laid-back metropolis that sits in the shadow of forest-clad peaks, witnessing humpback whales and orcas breaching along its coastline.
Canada has been on my bucket list for years, but I was overwhelmed by the choices on offer. Until recently I wouldn’t have known where to start, but after seeing an array of friends visit in 2018, and the country get even more publicity, I have decided that a road trip along the West Coast is where I would begin. On a trip down the West Coast, you can discover the great outdoors in the wilds, home to mile upon mile of enchanting scenery, world-class skiing and mesmerising national parks. On the trip I would journey from easy-going Vancouver to vibrant Calgary, exploring the turquoise lakes, snow-covered forests and rugged gorges of the spectacular Rocky Mountains along the way. The perfect trip!
BARRIER REEF RESERVE, BELIZE
This amazing natural reef, second only to the Great Barrier Reef, straddles the coast of Belize. It is estimated that 90% of its inhabitants haven’t even been discovered yet. It is the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries. The system’s seven sites illustrate the evolutionary history of reef development and are a significant habitat for threatened species, including marine turtles, manatees and the American marine crocodile.
The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, is comprised of seven protected areas; Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, Blue Hole Natural Monument, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye National Park and Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve. The largest reef complex in the Atlantic-Caribbean region it represents the second largest reef system in the world. The seven protected areas that constitute the BBRRS comprise 12% of the entire Reef Complex. Just watching The Bucket List visit there in spring 2018 made me want to visit RIGHT NOW.
I had always known Albania was beautiful, and this was concreted in my mind since Where’s Mollie visited there last month. Albania is beautiful and I especially want to visit the Albanian Riviera. If this is the first time you’ve heard the words ‘Albanian Riviera’ then you’re in for a treat. As you head west towards the coast from Berat in central Albania, you’ll discover some of Europe’s best beaches. Head to Himara, a popular backpacker town with a bohemian vibe full of fish shacks and beach bars. Spile Beach is the main beach adjacent to the town, where you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, or pedal boats to explore nearby coves and secluded hidden beaches. This is the place to enjoy surf, sand, and sun on a budget.
Starting from Spile you can reach the popular white stone paradise of Livadah Beach on foot by walking west along the coast through lush forest. From here, another hike will take you to the infamously hard to find Gjiri I Akuariumit beach. Trust us, it’s worth getting lost for and you’ll likely have this idyllic swimming hole all to yourself. The last beach within hiking distance from downtown Himara is Jale Beach. This is the party beach where you’ll find many beach clubs, restaurants, and large crowds. It’s also the best spot to watch the sunset.
Another country that’s been on the list, but again I didn’t know where to start… this was until I saw a friend of mine visit Split this summer and I realised I needed to visit this stunning place ASAP. Croatia’s second-largest city, Split is a great place to see Dalmatian life as it’s really lived. Always buzzing, this exuberant city has just the right balance of tradition and modernity. Step inside Diocletian’s Palace (a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments) and you’ll see dozens of bars, restaurants and shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split life has been humming along for thousands of years.
To top it off, Split has a unique setting. Its dramatic coastal mountains act as the perfect backdrop to the turquoise waters of the Adriatic and help divert attention from the dozens of shabby high-rise apartment blocks that fill its suburbs. It’s this thoroughly lived-in aspect of Split that means it will never be a fantasy land like Dubrovnik, but you could argue that it’s all the better for that.
LAKE POWELL, ARIZONA
Firstly, Lake Powell isn’t actually a lake, it’s a reservoir. But you (and the other 2,999,999 annual visitors) can do so many lake activities in it, won’t care about Lake Powell’s unorthodoxies. Head toward the Arizona border for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area’s otherworldly boating, beaches and endless network of canyons.
Encompassing over 1.25 million acres, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area offers unparalleled opportunities for water-based & backcountry recreation. The recreation area stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a vast panorama of human history.
What makes the lake so memorable is the contrast between the deep clear blue waters and the surrounding landscape – stark red sandstone rocks with little or no vegetation, the innumerable steep remote side canyons, and the spires, ridges and buttes that once stood high above the Colorado, but now form cliffs at the lakeside or are semi-submerged as small islands. Lake Powell has become a major center for many leisure activities, principally fishing, water sports, hiking and houseboating.
*This is a sponsored post with Flight Centre.