Why you should care
Because now you’ll be in the know when it comes to the best hidden holiday spots.
After you’ve been to a really amazing place — that secluded beach, that off-the-beaten-path mountain trek, that hidden city oasis — you want to share the experience. Many OZY writers have traveled all over the globe, and they’ve visited some weird, wild and wonderful locations. We’ve rounded up a few of their favorite places. Each week, for 25 weeks, we’ll share a vacation hideaway that an OZY writer found irresistible and post them here. Bon voyage!
Lake Baikal is a wonder of nature: huge, wild and beautiful. It’s delightfully dive-able (although frigid) and holds 20 percent of the world’s fresh water. The experience visiting this wild Siberian gem is so very Russian — and so worth it, writes Steve Butler.
Valparaíso, the gorgeous, undulating town just an hour from Chile’s capital, and SanFran are the loveliest of cousins. Valpo’s colorful hills are a funky, fun place to get lost in. But take care, warns Sanjena Sathian: You might get more lost than you mean to.
A place to experience an exotic environment, but with all of the modern conveniences? Steve Butler suggests the Damai Beach Resort, which sits ona peninsula jutting north into the South China Sea, on the edge of a long, curved sandy beach that blends seamlessly into the jungle. One overnight excursion: headhunter history.
There’s not a lot going on in Bandon, Oregon. After all, the ethereal coastal city is known for a big rock. But it may be the most blissful boredom you’ll ever experience, writes Meghan Walsh, with its lovely walking and sunsets. Unless you’re a golfer. Then you go to play unplayable golf.
Cyprus is one of the few places on Earth with active peacekeeping zones that you should visit. This Mediterranean island is circumscribed by a ring of hot, pebbly-yet-soft, white and black sand beaches. But beyond the beach, writes Sanjena Sathian, there is a deep and divided history waiting to be explored in the old city and on informal walking tours with locals. Not to mention the great gastronomy.
Sometimes a nothing vacation can be the perfect antidote for a hectic life. Rota is Steve Butler’s kind of nothing. With a slow and quiet pace, and beautiful deserted beaches with clear, warm water, it’s a minimalist oasis of calm. It’s even possible to get stranded there for a few days. But fear not: There’s spectacular snorkeling — with coral gardens and World War II wrecks to explore — and really great food.
Bern, the capital of Switzerland, doesn’t feel like a capital; there’s no hustle and bustle or swinging nightlife. So what does it feel like? Laura Secorun Palet tells us it’s akin to strolling onto a magical movie set or into a Disneyland-esque world full of warm fuzzies — which, also like a fairy tale, includes a family of bears living in a city park. Bern makes you feel as if you’ve stepped back in time and into an era when the world was safe and peaceful.
Most people visiting the Dominican Republic go for the all-inclusive high-rises and vacations seen from a golf cart. But there’s another, more delightful option, OZY’s Latin America correspondent, Shannon Sims, tell us. Samaná is a place where horses roam the beaches and fish are sold out of truck beds, where dirt roads lead past fruit stands to deserted turquoise waters. It’s easy to make friends in a place like this, and it’s easy not to leave. And that’s not even mentioning the spectacular whale watching or the diving.