cabin in Tennessee with a view

The Best Cabin Rentals in the United States

Spend your next getaway in the great outdoors by booking one of the best cabin rentals in the United States. With millions of vacation rentals, apartments, hotel rooms, and hostels to choose from, this summer one accommodation has stood out above the rest. Cabins. With their sturdy structure, spacious floor plans, and close access to nature, it’s no wonder why cabins are being picked time and time again as the number one type of vacation rental to book for an outdoor escape.

Whether you are looking to rough it with a more rustic vibe or have your eye on something high-end and luxurious, it’s no wonder everyone wants to rent cabins this year. With rentals that will fit your entire extended family, friends, and best pals, these destinations offer some of the best cabin escapes in the United States. Let’s start with the West Coast.

view from the best cabin rentals in the usa

West Coast Cabin Rentals

Whether you and your partner are looking to road trip from rainy Seattle to sunny Los Angeles, the entire West Coast boasts cabin rentals that will make the perfect homes away from home for you and your best pals. Check out some of the best rentals in Washington, Oregon, and California for your cabin vacation.

cabin rental in the woods in washington

Washington

From cabins with private hot tubs and fireplaces to cabins that allow your furry friend to tag along, Washington boasts some of the best cabin rentals in the USA. Pacific Northwest state has incredible access to some of the best hiking trails, ski lodges, and national parks. Visitors can spend their days exploring, trekking, and hitting the slopes, while spending the evening with a glass of wine or a cup of hot cocoa, enjoying the bliss of nature all around. Find your perfect Washington cabin rental to spend a getaway in the heart of the PNW.

cabin rental in oregon

Oregon

Change up your cabin in the woods for a beachfront cabin in Oregon. Up and down the stunning coastline, travelers can now book hundreds of beachside homes that offer the cozy comfort of a cabin. Spend your morning enjoying a fresh cup of coffee while enjoying the fresh sea breeze right from the balcony or deck of your cabin getaway. Guests can even take day trips to Oregon’s national parks allowing all visitors to experience both the woodsy wilderness and ocean landscapes. Escape to a dreamy coastal Oregon cabin for your fall trip. We’ll take one with a hot tub and a view!

cabin rental in california

California

Whether you get your thrills from exploring mountains and hiking trails or spend all day every day at the beach waiting for the perfect wave, there is no better place to stay than at one of the cabin vacation rentals in California. From spacious rentals for you and the whole gang to charming cabins that offer the most romantic oasis for you and your partner, you cannot go wrong by choosing California as your next road trip, long-distance, or even staycation destination.

Be sure to explore the great outdoors, as California is also home to some of the oldest national parks in the country. Visitors will love visiting outdoor locations including Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and more. Book one of the best California cabins for your outdoor vacation.


The Mountain States

From Rocky Mountain National Park to Glacier Peak to Yellowstone, the mountain states boast unforgettable excursions. Especially when you stay at one of the best cabin rentals in the region. Whether you are packing up the whole family for a winter getaway filled with activities and visit your favorite national park, or are looking for a quiet place to catch up on your rest and relaxation, the mountain states will offer the perfect cabin homes away from home. See for yourself!

cabin rental in montana

Montana

The fourth-largest state in the U.S. also happens to be home to some of the best cabin vacation rentals in the country. With their long and thick wood exteriors to keep visitors comfortable all year long to the open spaces to wander and explore, a visit to a cabin in Montana is just what everyone needs. Guests will love roaming over 28 million acres of public land to go hiking, biking, trekking, horseback riding, and more. Book your Montana getaway for a trip you will never want to end.

cabin rental in colorado

Colorado

The mile-high state does not disappoint when it comes to outdoor cabin accommodations. With some of the most remarkable natural escapes including the world’s largest natural hot springs, world’s deepest hot springs, 58 14,000 feet tall peaks, there’s an adventure just around every corner in this state. As well as the world-famous Four Corners, allowing travelers to stand where New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona meet. These Colorado cabins include hot tubs, epic views, king-sized beds, full entertainment systems, and of course excursions. Find your perfect Colorado cabin for your getaway.


The South

Explore the roots of America by taking an adventure to the South. From Florida to Tennessee, the southern states offer some of the most beautiful national parks, epic landscapes, and unbeatable views from every cabin rental. Check out the top states for a cabin stay in the South.

cabin in Tennessee with a view

Tennessee

Wake up with a view of the Great Smoky Mountains running for miles and miles. There is nowhere with quite as many stunning views as the cabins in Tennessee. From the geological wonders to the fairy-tale parks, get the good kind of lost in the heart of nature. With cities like Nashville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg nearby, travelers will love taking everything from Tennessee staycations to weekend stays at these cabins. With top amenities included at each, you can enjoy a dip in the hot tub or cozy up by the fireplace. You can even take your adventure to the next level by taking road trips through the South to visit the best cabins throughout the region.

cabin rental in texas

Texas

Take your adventure to Texas this year. With popular cities including Houston, Austin, and Dallas, there are just as many popular outdoor locations including Texas Hill Country, Galveston, and San Antonio. Each with their own unique cabins and vacation rental properties. Whether you are looking for a river retreat to go kayaking and swimming or a ranch where you can go horseback riding and tour the plains, there is something for everyone. Your Texas cabin retreat awaits you.

cabin rental in north carolina

North Carolina

Tennessee’s southern sister offers an experience unlike any other. With Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Appalachian Mountains off in the distance, North Carolina’s cabins will take you to let you get back to nature to enjoy the simple things in life. The many high-end amenities will give you the comfort you desire with the benefits of the great outdoors to make your stay that much better. Book your cabin in North Carolina today.


The East Coast

Escape the big city for something off the beaten path. From the Mid-Atlantic to New England, the east coast offers travelers a chance to reconnect with nature from the comfort of a one-of-a-kind cabin rental. With cabins everywhere from Woodstock to Boston to Acadia National Park, the right one for you, awaits. Your next great trip can turn into the best one yet.

cabin in virginia

Virginia

Take a drive from D.C. to find a secluded cabin stay in the woods of Virginia. Surrounded by forests galore, Virginia is the perfect place to sit back and relax while enjoying the fruits of nature. The “Big Valley” otherwise known as the Shenandoah Valley stretches across 200 miles and has 60 peaks. With cabins tucked into every nook, there are bounds of adventures to be had. Virginian cabins cannot be beaten.

cabin rental new hampshire

New Hampshire

Snuggled into the northernmost part of the U.S. are some of the East Coast’s best cabin rentals. Colorful cabins in remote locations and friendly neighborhoods will allow you to sit back and enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Your White Mountain National Forest boasts wilderness fun, especially during the winter when the snow allows for epic winter sports. You can find it all on your next trip to one of New Hampshire’s cabin rentals.

cabin rental in pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

Take a break from the woods to visit a beach cabin in Pennsylvania. While not technically a beach on the coast, the Great Lakes offer some of the best beach oases in the Northeast. With large cabins for the whole family and all your friends to romantic escapes, there is something for everyone to fall in love with. Discover Pennsylvania’s beach cabins this year.


Now that you have checked out some of the best places to visit for your next getaway, it’s time to book one of the best cabin rentals in the USA. Find your beachside, mountain, and desert cabins on CuddlyNest.

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the world's best national parks

10 of the World’s Best National Parks

Did you know there are over 4,000 national parks around the world? From underwater caves to verdant forests, the world’s best national parks are undeniable. Countries including Australia, China, and the United States have some of the most popular outdoor spaces in the world. These national parks consist of bodies of water, mountain ranges, wildlife, and more. For years, people have traveled to visit and experience the natural power of these sites.

As we begin to travel this summer, locations with close access to nature have become more popular than ever. This will continue to grow in 2021, as travelers embrace the great outdoors and open escapes. Mother Nature is getting ready to welcome visitors again. But how much do we know about these parks and why they are important to travelers and the planet?

History of National Parks

Every year, millions of visitors travel around the world to hike, swim, bike, and explore some of the world’s best national parks. But, did you know that the first national park in the world is not even 150 years old? In 1872, Yellowstone in the United States became the world’s first national park. Since then over 4,000 parks worldwide have been given this honorable status. Many of these national parks are even UNESCO World Heritage sites. According to Classzone.com, to become a national park, the natural location must meet the following criteria:

  • The natural, recreational, and or natural resources the area has must be unique in nature.
  • The outdoor location must be in need of protection. The National Park Service (NPS) is the only government body that can provide the right type of security and protection.
  • It must be possible to even protect the area. If the outdoor area is not accessible by the NPS to protect, then it cannot be claimed as an official national park.

Importance of Park Preservation

To continue enjoying the world’s national parks, they must be preserved and protected. They are vital for protecting the world’s population of flora and fauna. As well as beautiful places to visit. They are also important for sustaining renewable resources that can contribute to saving the planet. Organizations like the NPS, National Parks Conservation Association, and the National Park Foundation have created dozens of helpful programs about the national parks. Their goals are to educate and welcome the public to aid in the contribution, restoration, and preservation of the world’s parks.

The Best National Parks in the World

Now that you know national park history and why park preservation is so important, check out the world’s best national parks. You will want to add each of these to your bucket list.


Plivtice Lakes National Park

Plitviče Lakes National Park, Croatia

Croatia’s outdoor treasure is its largest national park, Plitviče Lakes. This park is located in central Croatia and spans over 73,350 acres (295 square kilometers). The park is famous for its 16 terraced lakes, that join by waterfalls that drop into a limestone canyon. This park, in particular, is so beautiful and untouched, that it is often compared to the Garden of Eden.

Not only was Plitviče Lakes one of Southeast Europe’s first national parks, but it is Croatia’s very first. It became a national park in 1949. In 1979 the lake became a UNESCO World Heritage site and welcomes over 1 million people a year. During a visit, you may even see some of the popular wildlife including brown bears, lynxes, and eagles. It is one of the most impressive and best national parks in the world.


Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park, South Africa

Visit South Africa’s Kruger National Park to see wildlife unlike ever before. This national park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. It is 7,523 square miles (19,485 square kilometers). The park itself belongs to two South African provinces, bordering Mozambique and Zimbabwe. This national park also has the largest species of mammals than any other game reserve in Africa. Including all big five game animals, lions, elephants, rhinoceros, cape buffalo, and leopards. Take an adventure to explore this African national park and marvel at the wonders of nature.


Dolomite National Park

Dolomite National Park, Italy

Formally known as the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, the Dolomites is an Italian wonder. The famous park is located in the Veneto region. It became an official national park in 1988, and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009. This Italian national park is 12 square miles (32 square kilometers) which makes it the smallest park on our list of the world’s best national parks. That does not take away from its beauty and sheer power. The Dolomites includes 15 municipalities, several alpine mountain ranges, and springs and streams. If you are looking to pair a trip to Italy’s beautiful towns with an epic outdoor escape, then this is one of the best national parks to visit.


Iguazú National Park

Iguaçu National Park, Brazil and Argentina

Iguaçu National Park in the Paraná State of Brazil is one of the largest national parks on this list. The park is about 457,794 acres, and 260 miles (420 kilometers). The park and its sister park in Argentina, often draw confusion, as Iguaçu park is located in Brazil, bordering Iguazú park in Argentina. Ultimately the same park, they are separated by the Iguaçu river which creates their border and drops into the Iguaçu Falls. The largest cataract in the park is named “The Devil’s Throat” which consists of 14 large falls over 350 feet deep.

The falls are the main sightseeing spot for both local and foreign visitors. This Brazilian park became a national park in 1939 and made the UNESCO World Heritage site list by 1986. Fun fact! The Iguaçu Falls are taller and twice the size of Niagra Falls in the United States. For natural wonders, it’s no surprise that this site makes the list for the world’s best national parks.


Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park, United States of America

The Grand Canyon National Park, in Arizona, is one of the world’s most famous and best national parks. Spanning over 277 miles in length (446 meters), and over 6,000 feet deep (1800 meters), the Grand Canyon is one of the largest national parks in the world. Fun fact! It is larger than the state of Rhode Island. It is the 17th oldest national park in the country, founded in 1919. Although there are 419 national park sites in the US, the official list consists of 62 national parks.

The Grand Canyon is a very important site for geologists who track the erosion of the canyon. This erosion is caused by both the climate and the Colorado River. For travelers looking to visit natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is the perfect spot. So much so that it too belongs to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. An estimated 5.9 million visitors travel far and wide to marvel at the beauty of this famous U.S. national park.


Göreme National Park

Göreme National Park, Turkey

Since 1986, Turkey has welcomed visitors to its jaw-dropping Göereme National Park. Located in Central Anatolia in the Cappadocia region, this national wonder is known for its rock formations, or “fairy chimneys.” Ancient volcanos are believed to have spewed ash all over this region. The remains then solidified into the famous rock formations. In the millions of years following, erosion from wind and rain began to carve these rocks into the cones you can see above.

The Turkish people began to carve homes, churches, businesses, and stores out of the rock to make this area liveable. Not only above Earth, but below as well, the park and region are famous for its underground cities. Göreme became an official national park and UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986. People around the globe travel from every end of the planet to visit this very unique national park. Also to experience a bucket list a hot air balloon ride above the city.


Zhangjiajie National Forest Park

Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

Found in the Hunan Province, Zhangjiajie, is China’s first national forest park since 1982. This specific forest park is part of a much larger park, the Wulingyuan Scenic Area, which is another UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992. There are over 3,000 peaks, spires, pinnacles, and skyscraper high rock formations.

One of the main peaks stretches over 3540 feet tall (1080 meters), and was renamed “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain” in 2010. In 2002, China opened the Bailong Elevator, also known as Hundred Dragons Elevator. It is the world’s largest outdoor elevator and is almost 2,000 feet tall (over 330 meters). The elevator can take park visitors from the foot of the mount to the top in under two minutes. It the best way for park-goers to see the entire forest and exploring the hiking trails.


Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park, New Zealand

The beautiful Fiordland National Park is located on New Zealand’s South Island. The park is 4867 square miles (12607 square kilometers). One can’t help but feel impressed by nature and its wonders after a visit to this pristine haven. The snow-capped peaks, breathtaking fjords, and cascading waterfalls are stunning. It truly is one of the world’s best national parks and most beautiful outdoor locations.

Fiordland became a national park in 1952. Although it is one of the country’s most popular sites, human activity in the area is limited. The largest and deepest fiord in the park is Doubtful Sound at 1381 feet deep (421 meters). This fiord is home to bottlenose dolphins, fur seals, and even penguins. When visiting New Zealand, this site is a must-visit.


Whitsunday Islands National Park

Whitsunday Islands National Park, Australia

Whitsunday Islands National Park is one of the most fascinating outdoor landscapes in the world. This national park is in Queensland, Australia. The group of 74 islands can be found right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Whitehaven Beach is often named one of the top beaches in the world. Its crystal blue waters, white sand which is made of 98% pure silica, and incredible views are hard to pass up. This beach can only be accessed by seaplane, helicopter, or boat. this makes the area remote, secluded, and difficult to visit regularly. A visit to Whitsunday Islands National Park is a once in a lifetime experience.


Arenal National Park

Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

The mighty Arenal Volcano and the surrounding national park are both a favorite for Costa Ricans and visiting tourists. The volcano itself was Costa Rica’s most active volcano, and it is roughly 5,358 feet tall (1,633 meters high). The park is located in the central region of Alajuela. Near the park, visitors from all over the world come to indulge in the spas and hotels, that offer natural hot springs on the volcano’s base.

While the volcano has not erupted in over 10 years, experts believe it is still active, ust in a “sleeping phase.” Other attractions near the park include ziplining, horseback riding, and hiking trails. If a visit to Costa Rica is on your bucket list, be sure to add Arenal National Park to the very top.


Now that you have explored the world’s best national parks, it’s time to plan your visit. Learn more about CuddlyNest’s incredible hotels and vacation rentals to stay at during your national park adventure. Discover endless staycation opportunities for your summer travels.

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Learn 5 Ways to Save the Rainforest on World Rainforest Day

One of the most prominent ecosystems on our planet is the rainforest. Although they only take up a small percentage of the Earth’s surface, there are many reasons why we need to put rainforest conversation at the top of our priorities. That’s why we are celebrating World Rainforest Day by sharing five easy ways to save the rainforest. Together as a community, it is our responsibility to promote sustainable travel and the health of our incredible flora and fauna. Unless the global community puts in a strong united effort, we won’t be able to enjoy them for much longer. After all, the rainforest is the oldest ecosystem in the world, and it is our duty to help them thrive.

world rainforest day amazon

Fun Facts About the Rainforest:

Before we dive in and add saving the rainforest to your 2020 goals, let’s go over everything you need to know about these verdant green habitats and World Rainforest Day.

  • Rainforests have existed for millions of years. Thriving in warm, humid regions, rainforests used to cover the majority of the world.
  • They are tall, hot, and are named for their continuous annual rainfall.
  • While they are one of the most important ecosystems in the world, they only cover 6% of the Earth’s surface.
  • The largest rainforest in the world is the Amazon Rainforest. It is over 5.5 million square kilometers, 1.4 billion acres, and extends over nine South American countries. The country with the largest part of the Amazon is Brazil with 60%, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and the remaining 17% split between Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname.
  • Rainforests compose over half the plants and animals found on Earth.
  • Indonesia, the Dominican Republic of Congo, Malaysia, and many more countries also have large amounts of the rainforest.
  • The first World Rainforest Day was launched on June 22, 2017, by the Rainforest Partnership. The environmental holiday has been celebrated every year since on the date, June 22.

How to Save the Rainforest:

Now that you know the facts, it’s time to learn how to save our beautiful green rainforests around the globe on World Rainforest Day. Here are the five easy steps that you can take to preserve them. The best way to start is by changing some of your everyday habits. 

Shop Local and Purchase Eco-Friendly Products

By shopping for local, organic, eco-friendly products you can reduce waste and use of harmful materials. While many global conglomerates make products that you may use regularly, try substituting those from major brands and opt for a boutique eco-friendly shop. Many local and eco-friendly based stores set amounts of their revenue aside to contribute to preserving the rainforest and other environmental causes. When you buy local, that also helps decrease the number of products that are shipped from remote locations. This also helps reduce your carbon footprint. Sources like Going Zero Waste can provide you with tips on what you need to know when it comes to shopping eco-friendly and organic.

indigenous communities in the rainforest

Support Indigenous Communities

The rainforest is home to thousands of indigenous people and communities. Building strong relationships with these communities is one of the best ways to help save the rainforest. You can also start by supporting their rights that help protect their land and their homes. This will prevent large corporations from entering their territories, taking all their resources, and depleting their land. Without rights and proper governance, it is incredibly difficult for them to survive and keep their communities safe. Spread awareness and educate yourself on organizations like the Amazon Aid Foundation, you can help conserve these communities and regions from deforestation and forced removal from their homes.

Reduce your Carbon Footprint

The rainforest is very efficient at storing carbon, however, this also means it is at risk of the effects of climate change. Changing your habits like driving less and relying on public transportation help reduce your carbon footprint. You can also avoid things at home like adjusting your thermostat and leaving your electronics plugged in when they are not being used. There are many businesses that let you know that their products are services that contribute to offsetting carbon usage. Look up your favorite services and businesses and inquire about what they are doing to help reduce their own carbon footprint. You will then know what brands and businesses to use and promote, while also helping out the rainforest.

view of the amazon rainforest

Promote Rainforest Sustainability and Ecotourism

Ecotourism is one of the best ways for countries to generate revenue to fund rainforest preservation. By choosing to visit locations and destinations that have a relatively low economy or low level of domestic tourism, you can help boost income for businesses and countries. Your travel spending can go directly into preservation reserves and organizations. The proceeds of those businesses then pay for things like national and natural park maintenance and conservation. But while everyone wants to help and visit every beautiful place around the world, do your homework and make sure that the areas you are visiting and places you choose to adventure to really do promote ecotourism and sustainable travel. You can contact the local governments in each area you visit to see what ways you can help during your stay.

Educate Your Community

Sharing what you have learned about preserving the rainforest can go a very long way in saving it. Check out the websites of wildlife and conversation organizations like the Rainforest Action Network,  Survival International, and more to see what you can do to support their missions and educate your own community. Tell your friend and have them share with one of theirs and so on until your network grows and grows. You as just one person can make a global and long-lasting impact in seconds.


Let’s take advantage of World Rainforest Day by learning more about sustainable travel by both land and sea. Find more information about ecotourism on our blog and social media channels.

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coral reef

7 Ways to Celebrate World Oceans Day

Did you know that oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface? And yet, only 5% of them have been explored. That’s why we are celebrating World Oceans Day, today, by sharing facts about our beautiful blue waters and what we can do to promote sustainable ocean travel. Let’s use this international celebration as a time to grow our awareness and understanding of the largest part of our planet.  In just seven easy steps, we can work together to create major change, so that we can continue to enjoy beaches and seas.

sunset at the beach

What Do We Know About The Big Blue?

  • There are five global oceans.
  • The oceans are nicknamed the “Seven Seas” as the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans can be divided by north and south.
  • The largest ocean on Planet Earth is the Pacific Ocean which covers more than 30% of the Earth’s surface. The smallest is the Arctic Ocean which covers 3%.
  • A little more than 94% of the Earth’s living things can be found in the ocean.
  • According to NOAA, the longest mountain range on earth is underwater. It is over 40,390 miles long (65,000 kilometers) and extends into the deepest parts of the ocean.
  • National Geographic says there are more artifacts underwater than in all the world’s museums combined.
  • The United Nations decreed June 8th as the official World Oceans Day in 2008. The first World Oceans Day was celebrated on June 8th, 2009. Every year, this international holiday has a different theme. The theme of 2020 is Innovation for a Sustainable Ocean. 

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What Can We Do To Protect The Ocean?

Now that you know that this year’s theme is Sustainable Ocean Innovation, let’s learn how to protect the oceans and make ecotourism and sustainable ocean tourism a priority as travelers. We can start here:

Eat Sustainable Seafood

One of the easiest and most effective ways to promote ocean sustainability is by eating sustainable seafood. By asking your local market and restaurants where they source their fresh seafood from you can know whether or not to purchase or consume it. The Marine Conservation Society regularly updates its site with fish to avoid purchasing or eating. Avoid purchasing seafood when it comes to fish-farming and commercial centers. Instead, buy organically sourced seafood from your local shops.

Reduce Consumption of Plastic

According to Surfers Against Sewage, there are over 50 trillion tiny pieces of plastic found in the ocean. Two-thirds of which come straight from the land. These pieces of plastic resemble food and are then consumed by marine life and can cause them to die. By reducing your consumption of plastic, you can contribute to less and less plastic pollution in the ocean. Along with recycling, reducing the use of single-use plastic is the best way to prevent the issue.

people biking on the beach

Reduce Our Carbon Footprint and Energy Consumption

Fossil fuels and burning carbon dioxide cause a tremendous amount of water pollution. This pollution and acid can destroy the coral that lies beneath the ocean’s surface. By riding bicycles, using public transportation, walking, and carpooling, you can reduce your carbon footprint and aid in reducing ocean pollution. Simple things at home can also make a large difference. Turn off your appliances when you are not using them, and check to make sure those appliances are energy efficient before purchasing them.

Participate and Organize Beach Clean-ups

Who doesn’t love a day at the beach? Next time you go bring a couple of reusable bags and some friends to do a beach clean up before you enjoy your day of sun and fun. You can even join and organize international cleans up through the Ocean Conversancy. These little steps will go a long way and allow you to have more beach days.

Travel Responsibly and Promote Coastal Tourism

When planning your future getaway with CuddlyNest, choose a destination that promotes ecotourism and sustainable travel. Visiting locations that are in a fragile state or condition rely on ecotourism to help boost their economy. Enquire with your local government and research affected areas in order to see if it is possible to visit, donate, or aid these regions.

coral reef

Use Eco-Friendly Products

Before purchasing a product or appliance, check the label to make sure it is eco-friendly. You can easily tell if it is an eco-friendly product because the label will state that it was made with organic and all-natural ingredients. This will also aid in reducing plastic and waste. Everything from cleaners to clothing can be eco-friendly as long as they are made with the right materials.

Support Marine Protection Foundations and Organizations

Philanthropies and organizations including the Ocean Conservancy and the Ocean Foundation are dedicated to preserving and protecting our blue waters. By educating yourself on further ways to aid in their efforts and the efforts of so many more organizations, you can help pave the way to more sustainable ocean travel. Whether by donating, reading, learning, instructing, and more, we can commit to joining together as an international community to make the waters a safe and happy environment for everyone to enjoy.


We hope you join our efforts in protecting our oceans this World Oceans Day. Let us know what coastal getaway you have your heart set on, and at CuddlyNest will help you find the perfect sustainable accommodation.

Learn more about sustainable travel by both land and sea on our blog and social media channels.

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croatia beach

The Top 5 Beaches to Visit this Summer

It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, which means it’s time to enjoy the sun and sand, and welcome relaxation. Summer goes hand and hand with a good book, summer cocktail, and the beach. Which is why we are sharing with you the top 5 beaches to visit this summer. Hidden on all corners of the globe, these beaches offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you do not want to miss out on. Take a look at our list and let us know which you are adding to your summer travel itinerary. 

top 5 beaches in the world

7 Commandos Beach, Palawan, Philippines:

7 Commandos Beach is a must-visit for summer fun. Its name comes from the legend of seven soldiers who were trapped there during World War II. The Philippines is a true paradise. It ranks high as a popular tourist destination and boasts incredible views of the sea. In Palawan, specifically, there are many beautiful islands, from north to south. In fact, it is one of the most highly acclaimed destinations for an island getaway. You know where to find us! The Palawan area is known worldwide for the El Nido region, where the 7 Commandos beach is located. The palm trees metaphorically are the guards of the island, running down the coast for miles and miles. Tourists who visit this pristine location are welcomed by crystal blue waters, coconuts for days, and a relaxing getaway you’ll never want to end. 


noosa beach australia

Noosa Main Beach, Queensland, Australia:

Noosa Main Beach is the only north-facing beach on the entire coast of Australia. It is one of the most popular destinations for tourists looking to enjoy the perks of Australian life and enjoy the sunny climate. Whether you are visiting with your friends or family, you will surely want to book a holiday here for more than a few days. Noosa is about 62 miles, 100 kilometers, southeast of Queensland. Noosa’s unique enclave makes it an ideal place to go surfing. The orientation of the beach reduces the waves making them a calm place to learn and enjoy the experience. When in the area, take advantage of visiting Noosa National Park. It is surrounded by whitewater and beautiful scenery, creating the perfect place for exploration after a long day of sun and sand.  It definitely makes our list of the top 5 beaches to visit.


best beaches in thailand

Koh Samui and Koh Muk, Thailand:

From photos to movie scenes, brochures, and more, if there is a beach destination that makes the top of every list, it’s Thailand. Home to a fun, boisterous, and friendly culture, Thailand offers ravelers magnificent beauty and experiences. After all, it is called the Land of Smiles and has some of the friendliest people on the planet. From the famous beaches and islands like Maya Beach and Ko Samui to hidden nooks and coves, there is so much to do, see, and explore.

One of the small paradisiacal islands, Koh Muk, is located south of Krabi and near Trang and hides a treasure that all lovers of mysteries would be fascinated by. It even has a cave that leads to a small oasis within a rocky environment only accessible at low tide. According to legends, pirates used as a hiding place for their treasures. A group of explorers can access the site with a guide to take them through the cave while holding onto a rope. The rocky cliffs that surround the beach area and the green waters gave it its name: the Esmeralda Cave. We highly recommend a visit to adventurous travelers. 


havelock island

Havelock Island, Andaman Islands:

The Andaman Islands are a group of islands in the Bay of Bengal, which belongs to the territory of India. Port Blair is the main community of these islands and the administrative capital of the territory. Although the main island has its charm, it is best to take the ferry that takes you to Havelock. This island is a paradise for travelers thanks to its sublime silken beaches, twinkling teal shallows, and some of the best diving in South Asia.

There, you will find Radhanagar Beach, although many visitors commonly know it as Beach Number 7.  Its turquoise waters and white sand make this beach a perfect spot to bask in the midst of nature’s bounty. Radhanagar Beach is located just a few miles, seven kilometers away from Vijaynagar Beach and Dolphin Yatri Niwas. The lush and verdant trees on the side of the beach offer tourists the opportunity to unwind and indulge in serenity and nature’s charm. We recommend watching the sunset from the comfort of the shore. 


menorca beach in spain

Cala Macarella, Menorca, Spain:

Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands, in Spain, in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the smaller of the islands compared to its sister island, Mallorca. The whole island is beyond impressive with its coves, crystal blue waters, and hilly terrain. Visitors can rent a boat or take a ferry for the day to visit and tour the island. There is no better way to truly explore it. For those who enjoy water sports, this island boasts kayaking and paddle surfing. You can even explore the caves while paddle surfing from one to the next.

One of the most impressive beaches on the island is Cala Macarella. You can arrive at the beach by shuttle bus, as it does not permit access by car. Due to the massive influx this year you can not get there by car, so you have to take a shuttle bus, but you can walk and enjoy the wonderful scenery. Let us know how much you enjoyed this paradise after your visit.


Which of the top 5 beaches are on your bucket list? Let us know and we will give you more information on where to stay and how to get there.

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Where You Should Go for Thai New Year: Pattaya vs Chiang Mai According to Your Personality

From travelling to Thailand to visit Chiang Mia temples to going crazy with Thai food, the exotic travel destination offers everything for everyone. But where should you go to celebrate Thai New Year? Songkran 2020 in Thailand will start on Monday, April 13 and end on Wednesday, April 15, so you can pack in an adventurous and traditional vacation before or after celebrating Thai new year – completely according to your personality tastes and Myers-Briggs type. Do not get scared by the fact that Chiang Mia is located on the Northern Part of the country, and therefore is more prone to cold weather. You will stay warm, though, by getting some Thai tea!

Thailand Destinations Travel Inspiration

From Tha tropical beaches to royal palaces, to even ancient ruins, Thailand has a lot to offer to anyone looking for a vacation in South East Asia. Ancient ruins and temples are not just reserved for those looking for a spiritual journey, just as Thai beaches are not all rainbows and resorts – you can find wild and abandoned islands and get lost in the woods! 

From those seeking to visit the most diverse types of Buddha figures, to those deriving inspiration from ultramodern city landscapes, or just to sip on Thai Cha Yen on the quite canalside in Wat Arun, Here we, however, look at what Thailand strikes the first-time visitors the most – its beautiful and wild beaches, all the way from Pattaya to Hua Hin. Are you fascinated with cities? Chiang Mai is only one of the potential choices. 

Pattaya Travel Ideas

Pattaya is a bustling seaside town stretching 15 kilometres along the coast. Located just 150 kilometres from Bangkok, where Thai New Year celebrations take the stage on April 13 to April 15, Pattaya is one of the most popular destinations for those looking for a swim in Thailand.

What to do in Pattaya? Depending on whether you like to visit ancient monuments, temples, or rather choose to catch some adrenaline while shopping for groceries at Pattaya floating market, or want to improve your knowledge about the ocean by visiting Dolphin World, there is something to do for anyone.

7 Experiences You Cannot Miss in Pattaya:

  1. Shop traditional crafts and produce at Pattaya Floating Market
  2. Visit Sanctuary of Truth from Ayutthaya period
  3. Look at the city from above at Pattaya View Point
  4. Look at Thailand’s famous ladyboys at the Alcazar Cabaret
  5. Lose yourself partying at Walking Street
  6. Get your Adrenaline booming at the Coral Island
  7. Immerse yourself in make-believe world at Tuxedo Illusion Hall

Chiang Mai Travel Ideas

Chiang Mai, on the other hand, is one of the most history-packed travel destinations you can possibly imagine when visiting South East Asia cities. Located in mountainous Northern Thailand, the city itself dates back over 800 years. Visiting the New City will expose you to traces left by since its earliest history of the Lan Na Kingdom ages, and later golden ages achieved by the proximity and importance of the Ping River trading route.

Today, Chiang Mai, enclosed by its Old City historical walls and moats, is bustling from both locals and tourists, who mingle to raise the spirits of Thai culture, cuisine and visit some of the most important temples, such as 14th century Wat Phra Singh and the later Wat Chedi Luang. However, temples and city history is just a part of what you can see in the destination. For those seeking adrenaline, there are options for kayaking or visiting caves, but those looking for a relaxing vacation to release stress and become more productive can opt for nuat phaen thai, a Thai massage including acupressure, Indian Ayurvedic principles, and assisted yoga.

7 Experiences You Cannot Miss in Chiang Mai:

  1. Taking a cooking class in Chiang Mai
  2. Eat kantoke dinner watching traditional Thai and Northern dances from a safe place at the dinner table
  3. Go whitewater rafting at Mafeteng River
  4. Eat the Khao Soi, a coconut and curry soup with yellow egg noodles. Sounds happy? 
  5. Get fancy fancy at the trendiest part ig Chiang Mai Nimmanhaemin Road
  6. Take a Green Tour to Sticky Waterfalls and Navigate Circuit like Spiderman
  7. Visit the granite grey Inthanon National Park with Shan Hills

Thailand Travel According to Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type

Precisely because each of us travels so differently, it is important to know exactly what are you expecting from your travel. From mingling with crowds and debate world issues with locals, to letting your senses go wild by trying all the exotic fruit cocktails in local markets, to quietly wander the streets and appreciate architectural wonders from past and present, there are millions of ways to discover a new destination every time you go on a vacation. CuddlyNest is all about giving people ideas – and today, we present Thai destinations, according to travel experiences you strive for.

The Inspector – ISTJ Personality

If you travel and seem to absorb each and every piece of information, placing it with your pre-developed logistician framework of world functioning, the history-packed excursion with a close friend will be just right for you.

INTJ in Pattaya: Visit Sanctuary of Truth from the Ayutthaya period, which was made entirely from wood Mai Daeng and teakwood. The unique design goes to Mr. Lek Viriyahphan. However, recent discoveries have shown the architecture being from Myanmar.

INTJ in Chiang Mai: Visit the ruins of Wat Chedi Luang, Temple of the Big Stupa. For those trying to get a glimpse of Thai culture and history, visiting the Emerald Buddha, the holiest religious object in all of Thailand is a must.

The Counselor – INFJ Personality

Certainly, travel is more than seeing the sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. –Miriam Beard

Can you relate? Taking travel slowly, counsellors are inquisitive thinkers and will go long lengths to understand the historical arrangements related to their travel.

Just as logisticians, they seek to educate themselves while taking a vacation and visiting a new country. Far from being all about museums, counsellors will find joy visiting conferences or diving into antique book stores.

INFJ in Pattaya: Rubber Land – a museum all about rubber production, from harvesting to your childhood rubber ball machine 

INFJ in Chiang Mai: Visit Tribal Museum. Open on weekdays, the museum hosts a monthly handmade good market

The Mastermind – INTJ Personality

The masterminds or Architects will enjoy solitude. The most satisfied when on solo travel to some historical location, they will surely abide by learning and improving, and finding a  friend – mentor to source a new knowledge from.

INTJ Pattaya: Buddhist art museum  พิพิธภัณฑ์พุทธศิลปะ หนองปรือ

INTJ Chiang Mai: Museum of World Insects and Natural wonders

The Giver – ENFJ Personality

Protagonists or ENFJ givers are all about going offbeat places and taking their travel discovery seriously. People-focused and at the same time seeking new experiences, ideas and non-traditional approach, these travellers will strive in hostels and Couchsurfing gatherings when meeting locals on their solo trips and bars. After all, as Tim Cahill put it, ”A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” 

ENFJ Pattaya: Feel yourself a spider and hitchhike to the closest beach!

ENFJ Chiang Mai: Meet locals (and travelling musicians) at The North Gate Jazz Co-Op

The Craftsman – ISTP Personality

Craftsmen all about gaining hands-on cultural experience, these virtuosos will enjoy the experience given by opportunity to do and make, and cheer up others by their good-natured spirits.

ISTP Pattaya: Take a cooking class at Pattaya and learn to make Green Curry and Pad Thai

ISTP Chiang Mai: Visit Baan On-Tai Sustainable Village and Make Something Yourself

The Performer – ESFP Personality

Looking for a luxurious getaway? Make a great trip Thai resorts, and stay in the luxurious resort towns. Visit the best places in Thailand for beach holiday.

ESFP Pattaya: Relax at Sattahip District, Ravindra Beach 

ESFP Chiang Mai: Enjoy ayurvedic therapies at Dhara Dheva

The Champion – ENFP Personality

Mingle with crowds in the bustling city and joys of discovering other people.

ENFP Pattaya: play some bar games at Hot Tuna Bar

ENFP Chiang Mai: Visit Saturday Night Market Chiangmai

The Doer – ESTP Personality

Adrenaline, mountain climbing, adventure? You will get enough of when in Thailand.

ESTP Pattaya: Catch some sun while flyboarding in the river

ESTP Chiang Mai: Feel yourself like a Spiderman in red climbing up to the fluffy clouds for waterfall! You may also stick around for lunch and eat some 

The Provider – ESFJ Personality

The consul – or provider – the ESFJ is all about the picture-perfect travel. From the curiosity of living of locals, to knocking on doors and getting to know the differences of people, provider will strive for a picture-perfect destination.

ESFJ Pattaya: Get the perfect Instagram shot from the sea while canoeing along with the stalactite caves.

ESFJ Chiang Mai: The topmost photo-worthy, Instagrammable spots in the country- and indeed in Chiang Mai has the most beautiful temples you can imagine. Travel to White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) in Chiang Rai for a one-of-a-lifetime-experience.

The Idealist – INFP Personality

Mediators will look for the idealistic ad value a creative and inspiring getaway with couple of friends or family.

INFP Pattaya: Volunteer At Pattaya Orphanage

INFP Chiang Mai: Get creative at Bor Sang Village crafting an umbrella by yourself

The Supervisor – ESTJ Personality

A social city trip with a big group of friends, anybody?

ESTJ Pattaya: Club Insomnia must be on your list

ESTJ Chiang Mai: Enjoy one of the Japanese inspired localities of the city, and go for a shopping trip, like Maya Shopping Mall, and One Nimman!

The Commander – ENTJ Personality

Backpacking journeys, crazy places and late-night conversations to discover the other side of the city? Make sure to enjoy the best of the backpacker life with great sunsets and crazy backpacking trips to traditional neighbourhoods.

ENTJ Pattaya: Visit the Hard Rock Cafe – or, do not go that hard and Rock Around the Clock! 

ENTJ Chiang Mai: Cabbages and Condoms restaurant. Crazy name and wonderful sunsets, anyone?

The Thinker – INTP Personality

Logicians will find their best when travelling to a secluded nature retreat.

INTP Pattaya: Go to Jomtien Beach for a long beach and water sports and great food

INTP Chiang Mai: Go to Doi Suthep–Pui National Park and see Bhubing Palace, wildlife, waterfalls and everything else

The Nurturer – ISFJ Personality

Defender, go on an organized camping trip!

ISFJ Pattaya: Go on an organized  botanical garden visit to Asian Spicy Garden

ISFJ Chiang Mai: Go to Taboo Club on the main Walking Street

The Visionary – ENTP Personality

Debaters there – go on a lively city trip and chat with both locals and other travelers.

ENTP Pattaya: Go to The Marquee – Lambretta cafe (don’t worry, no French or Thai language skills needed) 

ENTP Chiang Mai: Chat with monks at Wat Dok Suthep temple on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1pm-3pm to exchange views and discuss the religious and cultural practices

The Composer – ISFP Personality

Go on a road trip, and enjoy an adventure with friends!

ISFP Pattaya: Go Ziplining At Flight Of The Gibbon

ISFP Chiang Mai: Visit the Wat Phra Yai Temple features an 18m-tall golden Buddha

 

Pattaya or Chiang Mai New Year, anyone?
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CuddlyNest winter destinations

Winter Wonderland: European Destinations

Christmas is all about snow, Santa Claus, red ribbons, bells, gingerbread, and decorated Christmas trees. And we mean spruces here. Although you may or may not agree, one of the best spots to celebrate the winter solstice is where there is the least light, the lowest temperature, and the most snow. If you are in the US, you may go up to Canada or Maine, Minnesota or Wyoming, but if you happen to travel around Europe in winter, there are some must-visits for tapping into the winter wonderland. So hold tight, because we are going on a sleigh ride all around Europe.

The French Alps

French are famous for their fashion mecca Paris, their patisserie and champagne. But did you know that the French Alps is one of the best spots to dive into winter activities?  Val d’Isère near Tignes may be just your next place to go if you have a soft spot for large ski resorts and prefer many ski tracks of different experience levels. From black to red, to large network of blue tracks, the remote valley captures what’ s beautiful about French Alps, namely the diversity and extensive choice for everyone, both snowboarders and skiers. If you are just starting out, yet want some glitz and sparkle, then Courchevel is the place to be. Multi-million properties and high-class are the specials for this luxurious ski resort, and why not? Winter is always fun, and more so if you have a dollar to spare.

Finland

If you seek to catch the glimpse of nature and truly white winter, then Finland is a shortcut to the absolute whiteness. They even have Santa Claus living just behind the polar circle! And if you go high enough to the very Northern areas of Finland, you will surely see all the colors of Northern Lights.

Being home to various winter sports and crazy activities, Finland will not leave you wondering what is the essence of winter vibes. And if you are crazy enough to go full in, you will see how people master wintertime. From saunas to winter swimming to ski jumping and nordic combined discipline, there is a wide range of activities you can do. And – did we mention raindeers? If you want to catch a vibe before going, a recommended movie is “Sami Blood” showing the harsh lives of reindeer-breeding Sámi peoples. The movie is set in neighboring Sweden in 1930s, and it may also be wise to visit Sweden if you are traveling from afar. Fun fact? Finland used to be ruled by Swedes for centuries and still has two national languages. If you go more to the west, you will definitely encounter Swedish more, and if you are a  Dane or Estonian, you may very well get by using your mother tongue – Danish and Swedish are very similar, just as Estonian and Finnish.

Norway

If going outside of the European Union is not a dealbreaker, then Norway should also be on your travel list. It is wild (and expensive), yet going to mountains and seeing the views of mountain lakes and fjords will definitely be worth it. You may also ski downhill or do cross-country skiing. If you are more up for a laid-back atmosphere, you may want to go for dogsledding. Just get ready for a cold breeze and adrenaline! Ice fishing and ice skating are also popular wintertime activities, and you may do them anywhere you wish. For ice fishing, you do not need to obtain a license either, but better go prepared and in a company, especially if you are a first-timer. How often do you get a chance to slide over ice clearly seeing every single water green right under you?

Iceland

Of course, Iceland. No wonder, huh? Not that much of an ice cube anymore, yet full of breathtaking landscapes and views. You can cross-country ski, get into the sauna or even do mountain climbing here. Or, alternatively, you can ‘cuddly’ up with a cup of hot chocolate in an igloo or far-away farmhouses to relax from the busy city streets and finally enjoy freedom from all the responsibilities. If you are a photographer, there is no limit of your wandering photo walks, as the landscape colors change with every hour of the day. From rosy to green to burning yellow, nature presents itself at its best here. Be prepared for extreme weather though, just like in any other Northern country.

 

If you want to go from fairy tale to reality without losing the adventure and beauty, then you must visit Northern Europe whilst it is winter. From truly laid-back wintertime activities, like shopping in Christmas markets and dog sledding, to sports such as skiing and snowboarding for more active travelers, winter shall not be a threat but an opportunity to see the countries in their real light. Nature is breathtaking, but so are people, welcoming at houses with glogg and egg liqueur, or hot tea after a cold, crisp winter day outdoors.

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balkan trip

The Balkans: Health and Wellness Getaways from Croatia to Greece

In our previous blog post, nature travels took us to Croatia and Montenegro. From the beaches and 19th-century spas to the islands with legendary sites, there is so much to do, see, and enjoy during a Balkan getaway. Visits to Albanian and Greek natural parks offer so much to indulge in. From the freshwater to the smells of olive trees, you will want to soak up all the health and wellness benefits forever. When taking your trip off the beaten path, you too can find luxurious hideaways with less populated areas to explore and discover freely. First, start planning where to go! 

balkan getaway in croatia

Albania and Greece Wellness and Health Itinerary:

Albania is well known for its lush nature, green woods, and blue pristine sea. The country has so much to offer when it comes to pampering visitors with massages and world-class spa experiences. The best part is, you can indulge in a fraction of the cost you would spend elsewhere in Europe. As for Greece, the best way to take care of your mind and body is to soak up all the Vitamin D on the beaches, and diving in the pristine blue Ionian Sea. If there is one thing we know if your health can benefit immensely from an outdoor getaway. 

Best Spas and Wellness Centers in Albania:

As for the best spa and wellness centers in Albania, tourists have a wide selection to choose from. While many are located in Albania’s capital city, Tirana, there are several locations offering the same wellness experience in areas near the sea. Make a trip out of it and book an overnight spa to give you an extra dose of relaxation.

As for other retreat options, visitors can find several near the natural parks. Senior-friendly and accessible tourist wellness and spiritual meditation retreats are growing in this region. There are even Italian and English-speaking beachfront yoga retreats in Durres you won’t want to miss. Daily organic meals and yoga meditation can seriously up your tranquillity and help you hit the reset button. Are you looking to stay within your budget? Go and volunteer in Albania to enjoy the luxurious nature without spending anything on accommodation in exchange for lending a helping hand.

Best Yoga and Spiritual Retreats in Greece:

Greece offers just as many experiences if not more. We suggest doing your research to find the offbeat locations. Many websites will direct you to Greece’s more populated touristic cities upon first glance. However, there are so many secluded areas you will want to see first. Several yogini ashrams host retreats every summer with travelers and yogis coming to achieve spiritual awakening from all over the world. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will work wonders for your soul.

 

balkan getaway

Greek Health and Wellness History:

 Therapeutical bathing and wellness retreats date back to prehistoric times starting with the Babylonians and Egyptians. However, the earliest Western descriptions of these health and wellness retreats come from Greece. Public baths and showers were meant for relaxation and personal hygiene. However, the Greeks believed the natural springs and tidal pools had a sacred power of healing, as told in Greek mythology. People come from all over the world to take a dive into these natural springs. You will leave feeling healed and rejuvenated. Where do we sign up?

Now that you know everything from the history of wellness retreats to the best places for a massage, it’s time to hit the road. 

Buna River-Velipoja Protected Landscape in Albania, Velipojë:

The Buna River, or Bojana, of the South Western Balkans, is an important river containing the most important wetlands in the Eastern Meditteranean. To get the best views, we recommend hiking on the coastal wetlands. Not only you will gaze upon the relaxing waters of the river, but also the estuary of Drin, and the lagoon of Villani. The gulf of Viluni runs across the city of Velipojë alongside the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most beautiful sights one will see in their lifetime. To get from Skadar to Velipojë, it will take 40 minutes by car. There is no public transport, as the area is far from the main cities. Thus, CuddlyNest experts suggest renting a car in Albania to allow you to experience one of the best views and peaceful road trips during your vacation.

beautiful beaches in croatia

Kunë-Vain-Tale Nature Park

You do not want to miss taking a drive through the nature reserve Rezervati Kunë-Vain-Tale on your way to Greece. From the beautiful Illyrian forests to Mediterranean woodlands, the nature reserve is one of the most biologically diverse areas in Albania. With more than 277 species of plants, 23 species of mammals, 196 species of birds, and many more insects and fish, flora and fauna are abundant. Take your yoga mat, hiking boots, a warm sweater, and a hammock, and go explore the beautiful nature with lakes. The walking paths are so secluded that you will feel like the only people there. Your mind will thank you for the peace and serenity. 

Durrës, Albania:

Durres, Albania is one of the most beautiful and historically rich cities. As the second-largest city and a summertime resort paradise, it also has the largest port in the Adriatic Sea, connecting well with Italy and Greece. No matter your destination, when coming to Durrës, you should visit the ancient remains. Although there are not many left from the Ancient Roman times, the Durrës Amphitheatre built in the 2nd century AD is definitely a must-visit. You will find all types of architecture in Durres. From Illyrian to Greek, Roman, and even Italian architecture, Durres is definitely worth a stay for a day or two. Make sure to go to the Royal Villa of Durrës, among other museums for an extra cultural experience.

Vjosë-Nartë:

To go further from Durres to Vjose Narte, you will ride through the beautiful Divjaka-Karavasta National Park. The natural park has the largest lagoon in Albania, and one of the largest in the Mediterranean Sea. The Karavasta Lagoon, in Albanian, Laguna e Karavastasë is also a very popular location for bird-watching and camping. Once in Vjose Narte, though, you will need to find the Narta Lagoon and the famous “Land of Eagles and Castles.” Ecotourism is very important in Albania and the Balkans. This region is the best place to go for eco-tourism enthusiasts and slow travel supporters.

balkan getaway by the coast

Vlorë:

Without Vlora or Vlorë, the Albania travel destination guide would not be complete. Lying on the foothills of the mountains at the Strait of Otranto, the city belonged to ancient Greece. Tourists can indulge at the beach in the Gijpe Canyon, Zvërnec Island, and House if Ismail Bej Vlora. It will add to your experience of Vlora. The bay of Vlora is also considered the frontier between Adriatic and Ionian Seas. The island of Sazan so close, it is a good idea to go there for a couple of hours. Vlora weather is one of the best in Albania, and you cannot really go wrong when there are 300 sunny days per year.

Sarandë:

Sarande offers a historical sightseeing experience unlike any other. There are plenty of medieval areas to explore around the Albanian Riviera. Start by visiting Lëkurësi Castle and Monastery of 40 Saints. Book a boat tour in the afternoon to enjoy a leisurely ride around the sea. The best ways to travel around is by bus and ferry boat. You can get to Patras from Sarande in a 4-hour drive. If you are traveling with a group consider travel by bus. Patras city is quite large, therefore it is safer to have some backup options. You can’t miss exploring the entire metropolis.


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Lobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tips

Sojourn to Lobos Island, Spain: Why is it the New Mallorca for Nature Holidays in Spain

Lobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tipsLobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tips Cuddlynest blog

Lobos Island, or Isla de Lobos, is a small island you probably have not heard much about, apart from the fact that it is a part of the Canary island archipelago just about 100 km west of Morocco. But more interesting about the warm climate, the famous Playa de la Concha beach with its clear waters and hornitos is the nature preserve with one of the most diverse flora and fauna found in Europe. The uninhabited island, therefore, makes just about the perfect sojourn destination for those seeking to swim the pristine blue waters together with dolphins and wander around the Martiño lighthouse for sunset. Read on to understand what makes the island the perfect destination for couple weekend getaway and Spain island holidays.

Lobos Island – What to Expect

While Spain islands are well known for their playas, blue waters and crowded tourist attractions, and especially so are the Canaries, Lobos island differs in the offering quite a lot for those seeking natural beauty. From pristine blue beaches with white sand to rocky cliffs for those who seek for more adventure, to loads of fish and yellow-legged gulls, you can observe around 130 plant species in less than 5 km2 area. If you fancy some fairy-tale beauty, be ready to spot the Shearwater Cinderella, and climb mountainous trails. The natural beauty, interesting geology, and huge biodiversity make the island a great tourist destination.

Lobos Island History

Lobos Island was named after a large number of sea wolves, or monk seals, that once lived there. The island has preserved its natural beauty throughout the centuries, only recently attracting inhabitants, mostly nature lovers, and geologists from all over the world.

Located just around 100 km from Morocco, it was once a temporary part of the Roman Empire. However, Romans were here only seasonally, establishing a seasonal settlement to obtain the purple dye. In the 15th century, the island served as a base for the French explorer Jean de Béthencourt in his conquest of the near Canary Island Fuerteventura. However, the only inhabitants of the island in modern times up until 1968 were the lighthouse keeper and his family, who were operating Faro de Lobos lighthouse at the Northern tip of the island. In 1982, the island was the first of the Canaries which has a special park designed as a nature area.

When Spanish discovered the island, these were the only inhabitants. A lot has changed since, but nature is still dominating. The best part of being a visitor to Lobos Island is the fact that nature is not commercialized yet, and you can hike the trails and watch sunsets right from the cliff without hordes of tourists behind you. So – catch it while you can! 

Lobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tipsLobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tips Cuddlynest blog

The Canaries, in Isla de Lobos style

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria municipality, under which the Isla de Lobos lies, is scientifically enjoying the “best climate in the world”, sporting the hot desert climate which is well balanced with the cool Canary current.  Lobos Island, however, with its mix between the white sand and volcanic origin is one of the most amazing destinations for sojourning couples for a weekend.

What makes it different from other surrounding islands, like Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Palma, or La Gomera, is the fact that the islet of Lobos is one of the flattest ones, with the highest peak on Caldera de Lobos raising only 126 meters above the sea level. Compared to Teide in Tenerife, or Roque de Los Muchachos in La Palma, it is much easier for visitors to climb.

As for hotels, hostels and tourist infrastructure, you can stop worrying about crowds. Not entirely abandoned, the island is also not overcrowded, lying in the middle of the perfect balance of tourist-friendly infrastructure and transport connections, tours and fun activities to do, and the wanderlust abandoned vibe.

What to Do on the Isla de Lobos, Fuerteventura

Keeping one entertained on Lobos Island is no harder than taking a walk to the mountaintop. However, there is much more to Lobos to do. From tours of dolphin watching to local music concerts, to even day trips to surrounding islands, Lobos deserves more than just a mere 1-day visit.

Best Hiking Trail: What to See in Lobos

The island is a good option for those seeking an easy-to-hike route with the relatively new (2 million) volcano being the highest point at 127 meters. We would still suggest you bringing some extra water bottles in your bag, as the sun and desert climate is especially tiring if you are not from the South. You can explore the island form an easy and largely flat path with stairs going around the island, and reaching the peak of Montana de Caldera, you will get to know the whole island. Remember that for the efforts of its biodiversity maintenance, it is forbidden to step off the walking path, so keep on the road!

The path will guide you through the whole island. From the Greek-looking El Puerterito houses with white-washed walls and romantic, narrow streets. The trail takes you further to 8-meter high agave plants. If you wish to lay down and just enjoy the views, catch some sun, stop at the Faro de Martino beach with white sand and hornitos, small pointy hills that were once crater pipes. It is located at the Northern tip on the island, but when returning to the main path, you can reach the sand dunes at the Playa de la Concha beach, with its sandy dunes and blue waters. Before returning to

Some practical information:

  •         Free toilets are available at the Centro de Visitantes (tourist information center)
  •         It is forbidden to step off the walking pathway
  •         You can learn more about history at the visitor center
  •         If you are on wheelchair or with a stroller, the Montana de Caldera is not accessible

Best Mountain Biking Activities to Do in Lobos Island

To get around the small island faster, you can also rent a bike (or take one with you on your ferry when you come to the island) and cycle around and explore the island with less effort.

Easy Riders offer 5 types of bikes, from heavy-duty, mountain X-trail to road bikes, so you can choose one yourself for €10 per day. You can cycle the same China Cove Trail on  Lobos Island to save time getting around and choose the place you want to spend the day at. Cycling around te island is the perfect option if you are just visiting the island for a day.

Best Culture Events and Festivals

As the isle of Lobos is hardly inhibited and specializes in nature preservation, the only concerts and music festivals nearby are held on the 2 kilometer-close Fuerteventura island. If you happen to visit in June or July, make sure not to miss the Canarian fiestas and festivals, such as Fiesta de San Juan (read: Hogueras de San Juan in Spain) on the last week of June to celebrate the Midsummer solstice or the Fiesta de Nuestra Señora del Carmen, held on seaside towns on the week of July 16th. If you are coming to Fuerteventura on other seasons, make sure not to miss out by visiting the visitor website of the island.

Best Paid Tours to Lobos Island

Best tours in Lobos island include a day tour from Lanzarote to on Tuesdays and Thursdays, picking up travelers in Costa Teguise, Arrecife, Playa Honda, Puerto del Carmen, Puerto Calero, and Playa Blanca. 5 hours of wonders of the Canary Islands will cost you around €55.00 for adults and €38.00 for children up to 11 years.

Likewise, you can take a catamaran trip from Fuerteventura, or watch dolphins on a Lobos half-day dolphin watching trip. The dolphin route includes the shuttle to the port, a boat tour on the super-fast Biosfera Jet, picnic-lunch and drinks while looking for dolphins. The tour starts at Lanzarote where the shuttle bus picks you up in the center of the city, traveling to the Marina Puerto del Carmen. The 1.5-hour boat ride will take you to Lobos, to explore the small village and its natural pool, serving you drinks and picnic, and taking you back to the Marina Rubica in Playa Blanca where a shuttle takes you back to the hotel.

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Lobos Island Hotels and Places to Stay

Staying in Lobos island is impossible, but the closest stays in Lanzarote will make it easy to go and visit Lobos island taking a shuttle bus and hopping on a tour ride. There are several sustainable nature and eco-conscious sustainable hotels near Lobos island to choose from, among more generic ones.

Where to stay – Nature Sustainable Hotels

Finding a sustainable stay on the nearby Lanzarote or Fuerteventura islands is not much of a hard task. You can book camping and spend a warm night under the blue sky, or booking an apartment in Canary Islands just for yourselves.  To travel more sustainably while at the hotel, we suggest going by the simple tips for sustainable travel.

What to Eat in Isla de Lobos

On the Isla de Lobos, there are no restaurants, but we suggest going all natural and picking your own fruits in the morning before you go on a day trip to Lobos island. Some Canary-specific fruits are bananas, or papaya. We also suggest that you eat gofio for breakfast to keep the hunger at bay until your daytime snacks.

We also suggest you try out all almond-based desserts – make sure not to miss Principe Alberto!

What to Drink in the Canary Islands?

What to order when you are visiting the Canary Islands? Go for the local wine, or get a Barraquito,  condense milk with liquor. Sometimes, it is served as a coffee with liquor, but to try the real thing, go for the sweet Canarian tooth.

Also, when you finish your meal, do not skip the Ron con Miel. Most places will serve you this rum with honey after a meal. Made from liquor or cane molasses, it is a typical drink from the Canary Islands. What makes Ron con Miel to be served as a dessert after meals is its sweetness – the drink has at least 2% of the honey in it! 

Best Romantic Restaurants for Lunch in Fuerteventura

Are you starving but want to make the right choice for lunching out? Fuerteventura offers some good restaurants for those looking for a light, inexpensive but nevertheless great meal. To make the most of the natural Canary vibe, we suggest you visit Casa de la Naturaleza for lunch.  Operating from 10 am to 5 pm, this restaurant is housed at a fantastic old farmhouse, serving everything from beer to Canary island wine, to almond cakes and Canarian – not Spanish tapas. Overlooking the valley, you will surely have a good rest and meal here during a day.

Lobos island ferry hotels and travel permit Travel tips

How to Get to Lobos Island, Spain

As for practical matters, the most sustainable (and surely most romantic way) to get from the mainland to Lobos island is by taking a ferry. If you are used to kayaking in the sea, you can get from Fuerteventura to Lobos with no problem.

To get to Fuerteventura, you have several options. We suggest taking a  train or driving a car to Huelva, and then taking a ferry to Arrecerife (ferries go once a week) and then to Fuerteventura Puerto del Rosario. However, if you are very tight on budget, direct flights may turn out to be a better choice, saving you over €100 one way.

Visiting Lanzarote is slightly cheaper if you go by train and ferry via Cordoba, but flights from Sevilla and Malaga cost around the same as to Fuerteventura. In the low season, you can get to Lanzarote for as little as €75, but the best time to travel for the cheapest tickets in October.

How to Get a Permit to Visit Lobos Island

To visit Lobos island, you will have to get a permit through an online system to save the island from crowds. The capacity of the island is limited to 200 simultaneous visitors. Therefore, before planning to go to Lobos, go to Cabildo and Fuerteventura online page and obtain a permit to visit Los Lobos.

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Vatican Smallest City States Ministates Microstates in Europe

The Smallest Country in Europe to Visit

July 29, 2019/in EuropeNature

Ever wondered what the tiniest country in Europe is? We’ve got you covered! Countries like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom get all the glory, but even the least sizable countries have something big to offer. So if you find yourself asking questions like “What are the European countries with the smallest land area?”, you’re in the right place.

The Smallest Countries in Europe

There are 6 microstates in Europe: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City. They are all small countries, but not necessarily states as we know it. In fact, Malta is a traditional example of a sovereign entity under international law, and not technically a state.

But before you try locating these countries on the map, read further and see what the tiniest countries in Europe have to offer! Andorra and Liechtenstein sit in the mountains in the heart of Europe, while Monaco and Malta enjoy the Medditarean beaches.

Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when 1. Vatican City

Vatican City State is considered the smallest country in Europe. Sitting in the center of Rome, the capital city of the country of Italy, this city-state has an area of just 0.17 sq mi. Ruled directly by the Pope of the Catholic Church, it is one of the papal states that once constituted medieval Italy. After unification in the 19th century, it is formally a part of the Kingdom of Italy, although politically ruled by the Pope. Enclosed entirely by Rome, there are 600 to 700 people living in the Vatican.

When to go to Vatican City? It is one of the top destinations all year round, but to beat the crowds, try going to the Vatican from Tuesday to Friday from 12:00 to 18:00. Make sure to allocate around 4 hours for your visit.

What to do in Vatican City for free? Visit St. Peter’s Basilica and walk around St. Peter’s Square for free. Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Dome are paid-entrance only.

Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when2. Monaco

The Principality of Monaco, with a territory of 0.78 sq mi, comes in second for the smallest country in Europe. Not only does this tiny country hold the highest population density in Europe (16,403 people per sq km), it also has the lowest unemployment rate at nearly zero percent! Despite its small size, it boasts one of the world’s chicest beaches – a slice of the Côte d’Azur between Nice and the Italian border. Monaco-Ville is its capital, and you can learn more about it by watching the famous 2014 Hollywood production, “Grace of Monaco”, directed by Olivier Dahan and starring Nicole Kidman.

When to go to Monaco? April and October are the best months; the room rates are reduced and the weather is just spot-on.

What to do in Monaco for free? Visit the legendary Monte Carlo casino and walk in the Saint-Martin gardens.

Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when3. San Marino

The Republic of San Marino comes in third by area, with the country being only 23.5 sq mi. What’ s more, it is is the oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world! It was founded in 301 A.D. and is the last survivor of self-governing Italian communes from the Middle Ages. Located in the Valley of the Apennines, it has a population of 30,000 people.

When to go? Visit this country in September to get to the Feast of San Marino (September 3, 2019) and walk the mountain terrains, spotting wild rabbits, hedgehogs, and other animals.

What to do in San Marino for free? Hiking is for free – and we definitely recommend it!

Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when4. Liechtenstein

Principality of Liechtenstein houses over 35,000 people. Located between Switzerland and Austria, it is a popular travel destination for winter sports and summer walks in the Alpine resort of Malbun.

When to go to Liechtenstein? It is that simple: you should go in the winter for skiing, and in summer for hiking in the Alps.

What to do in Liechtenstein for free? Walk around the quiet capital Vaduz and visit Liechtenstein Museums for free.

Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when5. Andorra

The country of Andorra boasts an area of just 181 sq mi. It has some of the finest skiing and hiking in the Pyrenees, plus a wealth of duty-free shopping.

When to go to Andorra? Unless you want to go skiing (the ski season in December and ends in April), the best time to visit Andorra is from May to September.

What to do in Andorra for free? You can go hiking! It is a unique experience with breathtaking views of the Pyrenees.

Smallest Countries Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when6. The Republic of Malta

The Republic of Malta is an archipelago of 7 islands. No wonder the country has a much larger population than other ministates (446,000) – it sits in the very middle of the Mediterranean Sea where the sun shines most of the year and people are happy.Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when

When to go to Malta? Go to Malta in October to avoid the crowds.

What to do in Malta for free? Lay on the beach in Fomm ir-Riħ and walk the Valetta coastline from a group of boathouses to the city walls and bastions of Fort St. Elmo. Destinations Monaco Liechtenstein Malta Andorra Where to Go What to Visit for free and when

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