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Saturday June 21, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
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Laguna Quuilatoa is a volcano crater lake in the Andes of Ecuador. - Photo: VIRTUAL TOURIST/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
There are many places in the world yet to be explored, even if simply for the view itself. Here are some highly recommended destinations.
WHETHER you like to take pictures on your vacation or simply soak in the sites without a lens, members of travel website and community VirtualTourist.com (www.virtualtourist.com) have recommendations on great spots that are not to be missed.
Swiss Alps in Kandersteg, Switzerland
Hotel Bernerhof in Kandersteg, Switzerland, is a family-run hotel that offers friendly and romantic vibes in one of the most picturesque and conveniently located villages in the Swiss Alps. Single rooms are of a modest size but have all the requisite comforts. Double rooms range from spacious to enormous, with double sinks, full tubs, and balconies with jaw-dropping views. VirtualTourist members say they doubt you’ll regret a stay here.
Makasutu Forest and Mangroves in The Gambia, Africa
Known for its “floating lodges”, Mandina River & Jungle Lodges in The Gambia is a luxury eco-hotel that consists of lodges set amongst the mangroves in the Makasutu Cultural Forest, while some are tucked amongst the trees with a roof terrace that looks out over the forest. Every lodge is assigned a private guide who consults you each day about your plans. The bird-watching is especially good in this area and, of course, the views are like no other.
Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, the United States
Oxbow Bend is one of the most scenic areas of the park and overlooks the entire range of the Tetons with Mt Moran having the starring role. Canoeing, wildlife-watching and ranger talks are all popular in this area. Bring binoculars and stay awhile as you may spot moose, swans or white pelicans all enjoying the lake. Accessible via a short hike from many of the nearby hotels.
Laguna Quilotoa in Ecuadorian Andes
Laguna Quilotoa is a beautiful volcanic crater lake situated high in the Andes at an altitude of 3,900m. Because of the breathtaking views, many visitors enjoy long hikes and stand on the rim of the crater to look down the steep surrounding cliffs. The colour of the lake changes, depending on how cloudy it is, but often it’s a greenish hue due to the high content of dissolved minerals. VirtualTourist members recommend staying at the nearby Hostal Cabanas Quilotoa where getting to the crater is a short walk away.
Wave Rock in Hyden, Western Australia
If you’re looking for a unique Australian outback experience, you need look no further than Wave Rock. A natural rock formation in the shape of a breaking wave, it is about 14m high and 110m long. Members recommend staying at Wave Rock Resort close by and enjoying the walk from the lodging to the site where you’ll traipse through low-lying shrubs and mud flats.
Lynmouth Harbour in North Devon, England
Indulge the senses at the luxurious Millers at the Tors hotel in Lynmouth, North Devon, and soak in the sunset over Lynmouth harbour. Take a stroll on the hotel grounds, which are nestled against a beautiful coastline and five acres of woodland, and you may just spot the “Sunset Tree”, a tree situated perfectly that it catches the last sunlight and almost appears to be on fire.
Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy
Lined with shops on both sides, Ponte Vecchio is the oldest and most famous bridge in Florence. Most people trek up to Piazzele Michelangelo to get a good view. But VirtualTourist members recommend popping into the Uffizi Gallery and peering out the top floor window for a different perspective. Many hotels and apartments are in close proximity, making it easy to get to.
The Mittens in Monument Valley National Park, Utah, the United States
The View Hotel is Navajo-owned and the only hotel inside Monument Valley. It is carefully designed to blend with the environment. Each room provides an eastern-facing balcony offering a spectacular view of the valley, including “The Mittens”. The hotel is adjacent to the Wildcat Trail, the only hiking trail inside the park that visitors can hike along without an escort.
High Atlas Mountain Range in Boumalne Dades, Morocco
The Hotel Xaluca Dades in Boumalne Dades is a converted kasbah that retains the aspects of being in an ancient castle with modern and contemporary additions such as a swimming pool, rooftop restaurant and wine bar. Rooms offer panoramic views of the Dades Valley and snowy peaks of High Atlas Mountain Range in the background.
Vista Do Rei to Sete Cidades in the Azores, Portugal
The Azores, just to the west of Portugal in the North Atlantic Ocean, is made up of nine volcanic islands and unbelievable landscape. Vista do Rei, or King’s View lookout point, offers a breathtaking look at twin crater lakes – Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Verde, so named because of their colour.
It’s a steep drive up from the coast, where there are a number of hotels, but well worth the trek. – McClatchy-Tribune Information Service
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Travel, Lifestyle, travel, Vitual Tourist, Swiss Alps, Makasutu Forest, Oxbow Bend
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