We have been on this Earth for a long time, but we have always been intrigued by tales of another world. We don’t know if we are the only ones living here or if Earth is occupied by otherworldly creatures.
Many places in the world are shrouded in mystery. These are said to be portals to another realm. They are also believed to be homes to these realms. Travelers can feel the lure of these places in their hearts.
It’s about time we dare to visit some of the most exciting destinations in the world.
A walk around this dark forest will pique your interest, You will wander around it. This piece of beauty, which is located in western Ireland is full of unsolved puzzles. Legends say that it is the home to the tomb of warrior queen Maeve. The hill on which Knockma woods rest is also thought to be the entrance to a fairy kingdom.
A traditional story says that once, the king of fairies Finnvara abducted the bride of a lord on the hill. He took her to his kingdom. The Lord followed his bride and started digging his way, but fairies would always repair the work.
This location even contains cairns which date back to 6,000 BC. Imagine fairies living there, all those centuries back! Many stories hide behind this moss covered hills. Want to unlock the gate to the fairy kingdom? This is your chance.
Achilles in Water of River Styx
The black waters of Styx are said to bring a painful death to whosoever drinks from them. Flowing through Greece, it’s thought that this river is a way to the most popular Greek netherworld. A sea nymph guards Styx. It runs down between two massive silver pillars.
Zeus used to set this as a test. If any Gods were lying to him then drinking the water from Styx would lead to a loss of their voice. This way of atonement was hard for Gods. When a human drank it, he met death, no matter how great he was. It’s rumored that this is the way Alexander the Great died.
Wouldn’t you want to have a glimpse of lethal waters of Styx? Maybe, we can find a path to Greek otherworld.
Gates Of Guinee
In voodoo language, Guinee is the place of dead. It’s where souls travel above the waters to meet their ancestors. After a person dies, his soul is to pass through seven gates of Guinee. Passage to Guinee is possible only then. It’s believed that the seven gates are present in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
The cemeteries form a circle canal street. The crossroad at Canal Street is the final gateway to Guinee. It’s perilous to open the portals because when you make one mistake, evil spirits could enter this world to possess humans. So you need to open it in the right sequence and also pay tribute to the guardians of gates.
Mardi Gras is the perfect time for you to travel to New Orleans and visit these spooky cemeteries. Good luck if you end up finding a zombie behind you.
Ales stenar, which simply means “stones”, is also known as Swedish Stonehenge. It is a megalithic monument in Scania in southern Sweden made up of gigantic stones in the shape of a ship.
You can’t quite tell the formation if you are standing at the ground but if you look at it from above, you can see the oval outline and the stones at each end markedly larger than the rest.
No one knows for certain what function the stones have had through the ages, or what the ship setting symbolized for the people who created it. Plus, the stones and materials used are roughly between 5,500 to 1,400 years old.
Now, go figure that out that how these early civilization managed to create this in the first place? Perhaps it was a sacred viking site with magical powers!
The Lost City Of Z
Nobody knows what haunts the dense forests of South America. Not a single soul was brave enough to venture into this thick woods. The mystery inside them tempted many, but only one person was brave to follow it.
Colonel Percy Fawcett explored the deep forests of South America when he went looking for a mythical city. Many of his speculations were misleading to other explorers. But Fawcett soon disappeared in the jungle.
What waits inside those trees is still a mystery. Satellite images have spotted an establishment around where Fawcett was last seen , dating back to AD 200. Legends tell that there is an entrance to The Lost City of Z between Xingu and Tapajos tributaries.
Are you brave enough to discover the unseen or would you want to just walk on fringes of this lost city?
With a tour guide, you can complete the hike in 7- 10 days. But if you want to do it by yourself, then you need careful planning. There are alternative routes which will take you to the destination faster.
Then Viola! You see the starry sky unfolding before you.
We included this in our list because it involves the highest mountain in the world. You will be filled with awe once you just have a glimpse of the tip. A 3-weeks trip will do, to make you climb the heights.
You can fly to Nepal during September to November. During this time the cold doesn’t hit in full force so that you can enjoy your cultural as well as historical hike.
Grand Canyon is one of the largest geographical features of the surface of the Earth. You can know the power of its sheer magnificence by the views it grants you.
Hiking from rim to rim will just take a week. But in that time, this 44 miles long hiking trail will offer you some of the best sceneries (that you can ever get on a long hike).
A 2180-miles of beauty and mountains is an adventure you will not want to miss. But hiking from Georgia to Maine is not for beginners with limited energy. You should undertake this task, if and only if you are passionate about it.
Completing this journey takes around three to six months depending on your fitness level and pace.
If you do not have that kind of time to dedicate, then you can do the Appalachian trail in smaller sections. There are several shorter and interesting trails within the Appalachian that will equally thrill your senses.
When we said about the snow-topped mountains we did not joke. Sweden abounds in the frozen landscape; you can have a look at the beauteous landscape.
It is 275-miles long hike. Hence it will neither take much of your time nor energy. From icy glaciers to alpine vegetation, you will see everything that makes Sweden the dream destination of many.
It does not end here; you will get to see Mount Kebnekaise (the highest peak in the country).
Those looking for short trails are in luck. This Canadian trail in Alberta became viral when Ansel Adams posted photos of it online. From then on, it is on the bucket list of many.
Hiking the Valley takes a week. But you will have to struggle a bit to reach this place. Yes, its accessibility might not be up to the mark, but the scenic charms it exhibits will leave you spellbound.
Many tourists who visit the United Kingdom or Nordic countries ask where they can see real Vikings. However, no country or tribe has ever been called a Viking nation. ‘The Vikings’ is simply the word for “sailors” or “pirates” in Old Norse, a language spoken in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden during the Viking age.
The Nordic (literally “the North”) countries have an interesting history going as far back as to the end of the last Ice Age. Scandinavia was covered by an ice sheet around 10,000 BC.
As the ice melted, the north Germanic peoples populated southern coastal areas and Finns and Sami migrated from the Ural Mountains. Thus, the Nordic countries were among the last parts of Eurasia to be settled by humans.
The Vikings mainly came from three countries of Scandinavia: Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. These were primarily Norse seafarers who spoke the Old Norse language, and sailed, raided, and traded across wide areas of northern, central, eastern, and western Europe.
While overseas adventures were nothing new to the Norse peoples, their range, intensity, and frequency of travels became significantly high between the 8th to 11th centuries.
The Norse were the first people known to have crossed the Atlantic ocean. Iceland was settled during the 9th century, with Reykjavík as its first settlement. Shortly after, Greenland and parts of today’s United Kindom was also attacked and settled by the Vikings.
Note: It’s important to note that most of these Viking sites are only open from late Spring to start of Fall season. When planning your trip, just make sure that the place is open by simply Googling.
A Viking farm, north of Göteborg which is open every Sunday. Events throughout the year including feasts and markets in the spring (early May), autumn after harvest time in late October to early November and around Jul, a Norse pagan celebration at Christmas time.
Viking Age grave field at Birka archaeological site on Björkö Island, Sweden
Birka is a UNESCO World Heritage site near Ekerö, Stockholm. Birka was established in the 8th century and was an important trading center in the Viking Age. There is a museum on the island of Björkö, including a reconstructed Viking village. Roleplays, guided tours, craftsmen, and events are planned throughout the year.
An open-air Viking museum, south of Malmö, Foteviken Museum is centered around a large Viking settlement reconstruction. The area is an important archaeological site of the Viking Age and the naval Battle of Fotevik was fought around here in 1134. Experimental archaeology, roleplays and season program and engaging activities for the whole family.
Gamla Uppsala (aka the “Old Uppsala”) is a former settlement outside the modern day city of Uppsala, and was the political and religious center of Viking-era Sweden. It was once the site of a legendary Norse pagan temple, which brought visitors from all around Scandinavia.
The temple was however lost; no-one knows what it looked like, or where it stood exactly. The site also hosts some impressive burial mounds and a large museum.
Gamla Uppsala Museum
The Old Uppsala Museum is in Disavägen and houses many of the Viking era archeological findings from Old Uppsala.
Gotlands Museum is located in Visby, Gotland. Though Gotland’s Golden Age was during the Hanseatic League years from the 13th century, the island was a commercial center long before, possibly the home of the legendary Goths.
Gunnes gård, Ryttargatan
A reconstructed Viking Age farm, mostly open during summer.
Is the university museum of Uppsala University, and among other things they exhibit findings from Vendel- and Viking-era boat burial field in nearby “Valsgärde”. FREE entry for people under 19.
Järnåldershuset i Körunda
A reconstructed Viking Age longhouse, north of Nynäshamn.
In Visby, Gotland. While conversion to Christianity in the 11th century marked a divide between the Viking Age and the Middle Ages, Gotland remained an autonomous region of peaceful mariners and merchants until Sweden annexed the island in the 17th century.
While the people of Gotland were not true Vikings, this festival week creates a Viking-like (sailers, pirates, or mercenaries) atmosphere.
The world’s largest runestone, near Ödeshög, and also the oldest known written record in Sweden. The name of the village Rök has the same roots as rock or stone, which means that Rök Stone is a tautology.
Stallarholmen Viking Festival
Annually the first weekend of July, in a village near Strängnäs with plenty of runestones and other Viking-age artifacts.
A reconstructed Viking village situated on the shore of Lake Erken, north of Norrtälje. A small nature reserve of Norr Malma to the south, including a large graveyard from the Iron Age. The whole region – known as Roslagen – is steeped in history.
In the Viking Age, there trade with the East was important. There is a nice 18th-century inn and restaurant nearby and a child-friendly lakeside beach.
A reconstructed Viking village
Swedish History Museum
If you’re interested in older Scandinavian history, from the Stone Age to the Vikings, you will want to visit the Swedish History Museum. In the Gold Room, you’ll find gold treasures from the Bronze Age to the 16th century.
In the modern port town of Trelleborg in Scania, close to Foteviken Museum or a 20-minute drive from Malmö. One of only seven known Viking Ring Castles from the 980s.
“Trelleborg” is the name of the town, the castle and a general term for Viking Ring Castles. It is 143 meters in diameter and was largely reconstructed with palisades and houses in 1995.
Watch role plays and reenactments or engage in the Viking market, and Viking board games. Stories from Norse mythology are occasionally dramatized here, but only in Swedish. FREE for people under the age of 20.
Uppåkra Arkeologiska Center
Uppåkra Archaeological Centre is located south of Lund. A historical museum by and about the Viking-era archaeological site Uppåkra. This area was supposedly a cultural and religious center in Scania with a pagan temple but was abandoned in favor of modern-day Lund around year 990.
At the village of Löddeköpinge near Lund. An archaeological Viking-themed open-air museum and landscape with Viking houses and farms. Engage in everyday activities of the Vikings at the farm or in the workshops.
Guided tours (in English) of the settlement and surrounding landscape and special events throughout the year, including re-enactments, craft shops, and markets.
At the lakeside village of Årsunda, south of Sandviken. An open-air museum centered around a reconstructed Viking farm in the midst of a historic region known as Järnriket (The Iron Realm). Experimental archaeology and occasional role plays, re-enactments, feasts, music, and crafts.
Learn more about the cultural history of this area, in particular, the Viking Age. The Sörby grave-fields with 90 burial mounds and stone settings are nearby, as are the popular lakeside bathing site of Strandbaden at the lake of Storsjön, locally known as “Gästriklands riviera”. At Strandbaden you will find a camping site and restaurant.
A Viking museum opened in 2017. Does not exhibit any archaeological findings, but rather showcases information about the era and a Viking themed-train ride, as well as replicas of Viking craft.
Lofotr Viking Museum
Located on the island of Vestvågøya in the Lofoten archipelago, is a huge reconstructed Viking Chieftains hall situated in a dramatic landscape. The hall holds exhibitions and there are walking paths in the surrounding landscape.
In the summer it is possible to sail with a Viking ship replica nearby. There are seasonal events and programs with roleplays, Viking feasts, Viking Festival and more.
The Viking Ship Museum
Located in the University of Oslo, the main attractions here are the all original Viking ships such as Gokstad, Oseberg, and Tune. The Viking Ship Museum is part of Museum of Cultural History, a department of Oslo University.
Museum of Cultural History also houses Historical Museum with a permanent exhibition themed around the Norse and Vikings in particular. Tickets include admission to both museums within 48 hours. The Bygdøy island can be reached by road or ferry (in the summer).
Gokstad Mound (Gokstadhaugen)
Gokstad is in Sandefjord. The burial mound at Gokstad where the Gokstad ship was discovered in 1880. The ship is the largest found in Norway and is now on display in the Viking ship museum, Oslo. The Norwegian government has asked UNESCO to include the mound on the world heritage list.
The site of the battle in the year 1030 where King Olav died.
Trondenes historical center, Trondenesveien
Displaying more than 2,000 years of history in the region, which was a Viking power center (Tore Hund from Bjarkøy just north of Harstad killed St Olav at the Battle of Stiklestad, according to the saga).
Sverd i fjell, (literally “Sword in Mountain”), is a monument outside the center of Stavanger, beside the Hafrsfjord. The swords themselves are massive and in the background is the fjord. The monument commemorates the battle of Hafrsfjord in the late 800’s where Harald Hårfagre beat his eastern opposition and became the first King of Norway.
New museum in Birkelyveien about history, religion, and wars of the Vikings, next to Borrehaugen, the Viking cemetery.
Around 800 AD, a Viking trade post was established here, and today it is both an archaeological site and a venue for Viking events in the summer.
Open May to September. Reconstructed houses from the Bronze Age and Viking times and is located in Høvåg, approx. 15 km west of Lillesand. There are also bark boats, labyrinth, offering space and cemetery.
A former Viking settlement, nowadays featuring a Viking farm, a history center, burial mounds and archaeological excavations.
Gulen Assembly, Eivindvik
Gulating was the Viking era legislative assembly and high court (þing) for West Norway. The site had a central location along the shipping lane (the highway of the time). The assembly may have been established by Harald Hairfair around year 900 (perhaps older) and existed until 1300.
Originally Gulating was a “common assembly” where all “free men” joined for the annual meeting, later only delegates from each district.
Two ancient stone crosses mark the original site, and new monument marks a later site nearby. Similar assemblies and laws existed for Trøndelag and for Eastern Norway. When Norway’s modern constitution was crafted in 1814 the name Storting (grand assembly) was adopted.
Frosta assembly, Trøndelag
Frostating was the Viking era court and general assembly for the Trøndelag area, similar to Gulating for Western Norway. The “Thing hill” is marked and can be visited.
In the village of Bork near Skjern and Ringkøbing, at the bottom of a large lagoon. A Viking village and harbor area with Viking ship replicas and a town market. Re-enactments and roleplays that varies throughout the year. Great for kids.
Viking Ring Castle and re-constructed Viking houses. Sometimes roleplays and craftsmen. FREE to the public.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Jelling, a Viking Royal residence. Enormous stone ship monument, burial mounds, runestones and 10th-century church. Newly built exploratorium bringing the site’s rich history to life. Good for all ages. Free.
Pagan Iron Age and Viking Age burial grounds with hundreds of stone-set grave sites. There is a museum building.
A large Viking Center and open-air town museum reconstructed at the former site of a large Viking town. Re-enactments, craftsmen, roleplays and experimental archeology of varying themes throughout the year. Ride Icelandic horses, help the farmers, watch the falconry displays, shoot with bows or learn to fight like the Vikings; there are many activities here suited for all ages and interests.
March – December. Large open-air Viking and pre-historic center with themes reaching back to the Stone Age as it unfolded in Scandinavia. Located in Lejre, a former royal homeland in the Nordic Iron Age and early Viking Age. Engaging activities for all ages.
A Viking Ring Castle, one of the only seven known of its kind. A small museum and some reconstructed Viking buildings.
Viking Ship Museum
A museum with several original Viking ships, a Viking research center, a harbor with copies of Viking ships, and a shipyard making new ships. Study the originals, watch how archaeologists preserve them and engage on a small sea-voyage with replica ships in the summer months. FREE for children under the age of 5.
Norse settlements in Greenland
Vikings settled parts of Southern Greenland, starting with Erik the Red, who gave the landmass its name to make it sound appealing to travelers. Remains and reconstructions of the Norse settlements can still be visited, some of them forming a world heritage site.
The Settlement Exhibition
Run by the Reykjavík City Museum, this exhibition in central Reykjavík was built around the oldest archaeological ruins in Iceland. As the name indicates, these ruins date to around the year 870. This interactive exhibition brings you the early history of the area that today forms central Reykjavík. FREE for children under 18.
A Viking Ship in Reykjavík, Iceland
National Museum of Iceland
This museum, located right by the University of Iceland campus, takes the visitor through the history of a nation from settlement to today. Includes a café and a museum shop. FREE for children under 18.
Reykjavík City Museum
In the suburb of Árbær, and frequently called Árbæjarsafn (Árbær museum), this open-air museum contains both the old farm of Árbær and many buildings from central Reykjavík that were moved there to make way for construction.
The result is a village of old buildings where the staff takes you through the story of a city. The staffs are dressed in old Icelandic clothing styles and trained in various traditional techniques, for example in making dairy products or preparing wool. FREE for children under 18.
Also spelled as Thingvellir in English, it’s the place where the Icelandic parliament (Alþing) met for a few days every year from 930 until 1798. This yearly event also served as a supreme court and a huge market and meeting place for people from all over Iceland.
Vikings landing in Iceland
The Settlement Centre, Brákarbraut
A media center showcasing the Viking sagas, stories or descriptions of their everyday life.
Around 150 km north of Reykjavik, Eiríksstaðir is an open-air museum centered around the recreation of the homestead of Erik the Red and his son Leif Eriksson (considered to be the first European to set foot in America).
In Hvolsvöllur, 15 km to the southeast of Hella. A museum showcasing Njals Saga, the main saga of the Icelanders.
A museum and research center showcasing Snorri’s Saga, written by the 12th and 13th-century writer Snorri Strulasson.
Viking World, Keflavík
A museum with five Viking exhibitions, including a replica of a ship.
Located at the southern end of the Jutland peninsula, Haithabu was once the site of the largest Viking town in Scandinavia. Now an open-air town museum with reconstructed Viking houses. Experimental archeology, craftsmen and engaging roleplay and reenactments of the former life in the Viking Age town.
Grobiņa Viking Settlement
The west coast of Latvia has Viking heritage, where there was once a settlement named Seeburg (now in Grobiņa city).
Jorvik Viking Centre, England
The world famous Jorvik Viking Centre is a must-see for visitors to the city of York and is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the UK outside London. Welcoming over 16 million visitors since 1984, Jorvik Viking Centre invites visitors to journey through the reconstruction of Viking-Age streets as they would have looked 1000 years ago.
An early Christian monastery at the Northsea rocky shore. The Norse raid at Lindisfarne in AD 793 usually marks the beginning of the Viking Age.
Up Helly Aa (Shetland Islands)
Europe’s largest and most famous fire festival. It takes place on the last Tuesday in January. Over the year the ‘Guizer Jarl’ or Viking Chief and his squad prepare costumes, weapons, and a replica heraldic style Viking Galley and torches.
There is a torchlight procession of over 800 participants and then the Galley is ceremoniously burned. Tickets to the halls are by invitation only, but public tickets are available for the Town Hall from the committee. Although the Lerwick festival is the largest and most famous, eleven other fire festivals are held across the islands.
Battle Abbey and Battlefield
The Abbey was established after 1070 on the site of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the Pope has decreed that the Norman conquerors should do practical penance for the deaths inflicted in their conquest of England. William the Conqueror initiated the building, but it was only completed and consecrated in 1094 in the reign of his son William II (Rufus).
The Abbey is in an incomplete, partly ruinous state, having been dissolved during the Reformation, then re-used as a private home. Visitors can stand on the reputed site where Harold was slain on 14 October 1066.
A cathedral town which features the Bayeux tapestry, which chronicles the Norman invasion of England, culminating in William’s victory over Harold in 1066.
L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
A UNESCO heritage and archaeological site in Great Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland. It features the remains of the North American Viking settlements described in the Vinland Sagas: depressions in the ground that were once the foundations of houses, a sod longhouse reconstructed according to Viking-era building methods, plus some unearthed artifacts displayed in the museum contained in the visitors’ center.
Located just down the road from the L’Anse aux Meadows UNESCO site, Norstead takes a more interactive, living-history approach to the subject of the Norse incursion into North America, with a “village” of reconstructed longhouses populated by costumed interpreters reenacting daily life in a 12th-century “Viking port of trade” with a respectable degree of historical accuracy.
The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis is a phenomenon that can be seen with the naked eye from late-August to mid-April when the sky turns dark around 6 PM to 6 AM. The colorful light display is highly visible in the Auroral Zone, which is between latitude 65 degrees and latitude 72 degrees.
In this post, we will provide you with the list of 15 best places from where you can experience one of the most sought-after bucket list worthy destinations to view the Northern Lights. Auroral displays can appear in many colors although as you’ll notice, pale green and light pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, blue, and violet can also be in the mix.
As the largest city in the interior region of Alaska, the city lights may distract you so you may want to go farther into the northeast to Chena Resort from where you can view the Aurora while relaxing in a hot spring. You do not need to be observant at all times because they provide an Aurora alarm service which alerts guests when the light show starts.
Located above the Arctic Circle in northwest Russia, be prepared because temperatures can drop to as low as -40 degrees Celsius in the Russian winter. This season also brings polar nights where the sun is constantly below the horizon. During this period, the sky will be completely dark, increasing your chances of viewing the Northern Lights.
Located in the northwest of Canada, Yellowknife is just 250 miles from the Arctic Circle. A half-hour drive will bring you to Aurora Village, a teepee campground where you can view the Northern Lights from the comfort of warm and cozy viewing chairs.
Found in the eastern part of Canada, the forbidding terrain and extreme climate keep the region pristine. The top of the ski trail at the Birch Brook Nordic Ski Club, located near central Labrador, will provide you with a view of the Northern Lights reflecting on vast snow-covered trails.
You do not need to be on land to be able to view the Northern Lights. The partnership between Tourism Yukon, Air North, and the Yukon Astronomical Society now offers flights from Whitehorse, Yukon that specifically flies over the Auroral zone to allow viewers to see the Aurora from the air. You can now enjoy the beautiful northern lights from 36,000 feet above the Yukon.
Abisko National Park, Sweden
Surrounding mountains and prevailing winds create an atmospheric effect that clears the sky over this region found on the center of the Swedish Lapland. The cloudless winter night creates an excellent viewing condition of the sky along with the view of the mountains and alpine meadows.
Located above the Arctic Circle, this city in northern Norway is a famous site for viewing the Northern Lights. You can make the viewing more special by boarding the Hurtigruten, the Norwegian coastal steamer, so you can view the Aurora in a fjord. Don’t worry if you fall asleep, the ship provides wake up calls when the Aurora is visible.
A remote archipelago located north of Norway known for glaciers and frozen tundra, the islands here have long, dark, cloudless nights with dry weather – ideal conditions for viewing the Northern Lights. Although you will find more polar bears than people, there will be no shortage of attractions, from dog-sledding to backcountry skiing.
Santa’s Hotel Aurora glass igloos provide visitors with a different experience as they view not just the Northern Lights, but the whole arctic scenery from inside a Lapland hut-styled room with glass roof and walls. Here you can view the Aurora from the comfort of a fully equipped hotel room just a few steps from the reception and other services.
Oulanka National Park, Finland
Located in the Lapland regions of Finland, Oulanka National Park is one of the best places to go to see beautiful scenery backdropped by the Northern Lights. Comprised of pine forests and river valleys, you can find various camping areas from where you can view the Aurora.
A region close to the Arctic Circle, this town in western Greenland is the main air transport hub so getting here will be easier than the other locations. Having clear skies 300 days a year also makes this a prime location for viewing the Northern Lights.
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
The Northern Lights are visible from the whole of Iceland but you can improve the experience by viewing it from Thingvellir National Park, located in a rift valley that marks the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is a popular tourist destination because of its history and geology.
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
The largest national park in Britain, located in the Scottish Highlands, where you can perform daytime activities like skiing and hiking. Once night falls, one of the best places to view the Northern Lights is in Glenlivet Estate. Awarded a Dark Sky status, this location ensures that there are no artificial lights that prevent you from seeing the Aurora.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
The British Isles frequently have cloudy skies, but when the cloud cover breaks during the winter, the low light pollution paired with the breathtaking view of jagged mountain ranges, sea cliffs, pools, and moors makes for a beautiful scene backdropped by the Northern Lights.
On an Alaskan Crusie Ship
When you book a cruise ship going to Alaska during September, you would probably think that the highlight of the trip would be on one of the cruise shore excursions in the rugged outdoors, but you may be pleasantly surprised when the Northern Lights suddenly presents itself at sea.
That’s it! These top 15 places offer unique perspective and view of the Northern Lights.
One tip in general: for those planning a visit to these areas, don’t make it a trip just for the Aurora Borealis because this phenomenon is elusive and you might be disappointed when you don’t see it. Clouds, weather, light pollution, time in hand, things that are not in your control can affect your viewing experience.
Having other activities planned will ensure that you will enjoy your trip whether you see the dancing Aurora Borealis or not.
Also, these aren’t the only places where you can view the Northern Lights. Sometimes, the Aurora presents itself in unexpected locations. So if you find yourself in the auroral zone in the evening, just face north, look up, and you just might get lucky.
Let us know in the comments below if you have experienced the mystical dance of the northern lights. What do you think? Please do share if you have any special moment or thought that came to you while viewing and experiencing the Aurora Borealis.
“Winter is coming” – No, winter has already arrived and we bring you some unique winter travel destinations. These 10 amazing destinations beat winter blues like no other.
Come out of your comfy shell and explore the wonders of this world.
Just near the Arctic Circle lies a quaint village in Sweden. Trains run to Abisko Village, so it is not a problem to travel here. But winters get brutal here and thus challenging the hikers who decide on conquering peaks of Abisko National Park (like Nuolija).
The heavy snow provides a great opportunity for winter sports like Cross-country skiing, Freeriding, and Back- Country Skiing. Winter is not only about snow but also about darkness, and the long dark nights offer bright starry skies and Aurora Borealis.
Tahoe straddles both Nevada and California, which names its largest resort Heavenly Mountain Resort as the largest in both Nevada and California.
Other areas for winter sports include Squaw Valley, Kirkwood Mountain Resort, and Northstar. Skiing is not the only thing to do here, Tahoe has a fair number of casinos. Gamble and spoil yourself at Crystal Bay Club or the Calvena.
When the wind blows through the columns of Acropolis and the wintry light shines upon the marbles – there is magic in that moment.
There are many places where the winter is beautiful. But Greece has Mediterranean climate and winter brings not the freezing winds but pleasant weather. The days are short, which gives you time to roam the streets in the evening.
Usually, the winter season is low on tourists (which is a good thing if you prefer avoiding the crowd). You can enjoy the monuments and landmarks in a relaxed way, and hotel prices are half of what they are in peak season.
Go outdoors during the day, visit Acropolis, various museums, and boutiques and have a leisurely coffee at cafés in the evening.
Did you know? There are 6000 exotic islands to choose from in Greece and a myriad of ancient ruins to explore and ponder on the meaning of life. Have it all at your disposal during winter.
Once upon a time, 1000 residents inhabited the Mayan Port in Caribbean Coast of Mexico. Tulum attracts tourists from around the world to witness the Tulum Ruins. If you reach here via the road of Playa del Carmen, then it feels like you are at a bus stop.
But later when you discover the pristine Coba ruins, secluded Caribbean beaches, and a biosphere reserve, your mind takes a U-turn. It is not a truck stop- uhh no! It is an ancient Caribbean wonder!
Winter brings out the best in it- cheap hotels, inexpensive street food, and lazy sugar sandy beaches.
November to February are the winter months in Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark. The dark and gloomy time brings less daylight. From 8 am to 4 pm, you have the time to explore all the fun. Then it is time to hygge!
Do not worry, in these few hours there are tons of things to do. Do Ice Skating at Frederiksberg, take a dip in Vinterbad Bryggen, shop at a discount in Christmas Markets (discounts last until January end), and taste the warming glogg snaps (season special).
Perched on the slopes of Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Aspen turns into skiing heaven during winters. The snow-laden valleys become great areas for winter sports.
For skiing, there are four major areas: Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, Snowmass, and Aspen Mountains. Other than skiing, try your hands at Sleigh rides and sledding. Snowmobiling is also a fantastic way to enjoy winter glory.
Jasna is a tiny village in the interior of Slovakia (and maybe, just maybe it is a prospective host of 2022 winter Olympics). If so, why not try what the upcoming winter Olympics host looks like?
Jasna boasts of many of the best skiing resorts. Low Tatras is the greatest among them all. It has four cable cars and eight chairlifts, and a 6 km long home run. Besides that, the new terrain park supports night skiing as well. You can head to Jasna without a second thought!
Ski-lovers, if you are wondering how to how to choose the best ski poles, check out: 10 Best Ski Poles.
Winter gifts the mountains in British Columbia with chunks of snow, which become useful for snow-sports. Those who did not know that Whistler is home to the largest ski resort in America, now perk your ears.
The Whistler Blackcomb has a snowcross track, four terrain parks, and a superpipe. No matter what kind of snow fun you desire, Whistler caters to it all.
This quaint village also has a lot to offer for non-skiers – like just soak up the serene frozen landscape. Well, another reason to love Canada.
The mighty fortresses surrounded by blooming orchids amidst the misty mountains give Transylvania a fairy-tale charm. It’s located in central Romania. It is here that the Dracula story was set.
Step into the wintry magic of the Carpathian Mountains, by riding carriages and spotting bears.
Visit the famous medieval castles like Bran Castle (but meeting a vampire is hardly a chance). Skiing in the Carpathian Mountains is an experience like no other. Save it for the best day!
Unlike the Icy Paradises, Costa Rica is a welcome change in winter. The months from December to April sees a throng of tourists, flocking to have a warm winter vacation. Personally speaking, December is my favorite month of Costa Rica vacation!
Beach-seekers who enjoy the sultry sunshine and vibrant wildlife will love it during the wintertime. During the winter season, many lively fiestas include wild dancing, live concerts, and bullfights take place. Plan ahead and go have a blast!
Our planet is a multicultural place. That means that people around the world celebrate many different holidays at the end of the year, from Hanukkah to Kwanzaa, among many others.
However, with Christianity being followed by one-third of the global population, Christmas is celebrated by many nations and in many countries. Still, these Christmas traditions vary greatly, both from country to country and from continent to continent.
Here are our top 10 most exciting traditions from different countries:
The Philippines is the third largest Catholic nation in the world. No other country’s celebrations come even close to Philippine style celebrations. Filipinos have the longest celebration in the world, starting in September.
There are nine days of Christmas masses in a row, which have the name of Simbang Gabi. On the last day of Simbang Gabi, which is Christmas Eve, the mass service is actually called “Misa de Gallo.” That’s Spanish for “The rooster’s mass”.
And there are also festive of parols, star-shaped ornaments traditional to the country, which brighten the windows of the houses during the entire holiday season. These are the lights which reflect the Star of Bethlehem in design. Their name comes from the Spanish word “farol”, which means lantern.
In the Philippines, Merry Christmas is “Maligayang Pasko”. Try to remember this if you plan to spend the holiday season in this magnificent country!
The Yule Log is the traditional Christmas in Sweden. It greatly differs from both European and American traditional celebrations. For example, instead of wood, the Swedish go with a goat. The Yule Goat, or the Julbok, isn’t a live animal. It is made almost entirely of straw and originates from mythology. The Swedes have adopted it as part of the modern Christmas tradition warmly. However, not everybody in Sweden is happy with this holiday symbol.
For example, the town of Gävle has set up a giant Julbok annually since 1966. Since that very same year, people in the town have tried to torch, kidnap or vandalize the symbol in one way or another. Over the half of the goats have fallen victim to what the town authorities call vandalism.
By the way, Merry Christmas in Swedish is “God Jul”. Memorize this congratulation, if you are going to celebrate Christmas in Sweden.
In Australia, the holiday season falls in the summer. In fact, these might be the hottest weeks in the whole year. So Christmas in Australia is more often characterized with electrical storms and brush fires than with snowstorms.
However, that doesn’t prevent Australians from getting into the Christmas spirit. One family from Canberra even broke a world record by decorating their property with 31 miles of lights.
Some Australians try to follow British traditions. In these families, you will surely see a roast turkey, a steamed pudding, and gingerbread on the Christmas dinner table. However, most people in Australia head towards beaches during Christmas for barbecues. Plum pudding with ice cream is also served traditionally, in an attempt to tolerate the Australian Christmas temperatures.
Finland is the perfect place for Christmas. Joulupukki, the Finnish Santa Claus, waits for visitors in Rovaniemi, the hometown of Santa in Lapland. However, Christmas in Finland is not all about snow, Santa, and reindeer.
There are several traditions, which you won’t find in any other place in the world.
For example, in South Finland, a formal ceremony takes place at noon, with reading the Declaration of Christmas Peace. With some changes, the document has been read annually since the 13th century. It states that the holiday “shall under aggravating circumstances be guilty and punished according to what the law and statutes prescribe for each and every offense separately”.
It means to never mess with Finnish Christmas! The declaration also wishes the inhabitants of the country a joyous Christmas holidays.
In Finland, people wish each other “Hyvää Joulua” on Christmas!
In the Czech Republic, single girls and women perform an unusual ritual on Christmas to find out if they will get married next year or not. With her back to the house door, a woman throws a shoe over her shoulder. If the shoe lands with its heel towards the door, the woman will stay single. However, if the front of the shoe faces the door, she can start wedding preparations.
If you want to wish somebody Merry Christmas in the Czech Republic, you should say “Veselé Vánoce”!
In Slovakia, during Christmas dinner, the head of the family takes a full spoon of Loksa (a traditional Christmas dish, made of bread, poppy seed filling and water), and throws it up onto the ceiling. There is a belief that the more that sticks to the ceiling, the richer that the family will be next year.
The traditional Christmas Eve dinner must contain 12 dishes, relating to the number of the Disciples of Christ.
Christmas dinner doesn’t start until the first star appears in the sky – it is a symbol of a Christmas Star, which showed the way to the Kings when Christ was born.
Also, on Christmas, people gather in groups and perform a unique Christmas performance, called vertep. It usually tells the story of Christmas, reminds the popular of national traditions or pays attention to the modern social problems. Traditionally, vertep includes Maria and Joseph with baby Jesus, Shepherds, which were first to greet the birth of Christ, Kings with presents for the Savior, an Angel, a demon, a Jew and a goat. People go from house to house, performing vertep, singing carols and wishing the hosts all the best in the new year.
In Ukraine, people congratulate each other, saying “Shchastlyvogo Rizdva” (Merry Christmas) or “Khrystos narodyvsya” (Christ was born).
In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, people go to Mass on roller skates on Christmas morning! The local authorities even close the main city roads for this matter.
To wish Merry Christmas to somebody in Venezuela, say “Feliz Navidad”.
In Ethiopia, people also celebrate Christmas on January 7th. People traditionally dress in white clothes on this day. Men also play ganna, a fast-paced game with sticks and wooden balls.
“Melkam Genna” is how they say Merry Christmas in Ethiopia.
Every December, the Cuban city Remedios hosts the Parrandas festival. The city is divided into two halves, each building a sculpture from light bulbs. These sculptures then compete against each other.
“Feliz Navidad” works for Cuba too, if you want to say “Merry Christmas”, as Spanish is country’s language as well.
Female travelers choose to journey solo more and more frequently. With times changing, this is not a surprise.
Women opt to travel alone due to many reasons; to enjoy their freedom or to have a quiet time in solitude for peace of mind. Traveling alone has many perks; it is something we all love to do from time to time.
However, there are also several things to keep in mind before traveling alone. The number of assaults on female travelers keeps increasing. In addition, theft is a significant problem related to tourism. Women are often perceived as easy targets and therefore they can be more vulnerable to such attacks.
How can a woman avoid these threats? If you want your trip to be without headaches, then you ought to choose a safe destination. Here is a list of a few places which are voted safe for women.
Canada is voted the safest country in the world. How can you not feel safe in a place where people are so friendly? The atmosphere is metropolitan in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.
English and French are the main languages spoken here. So if you are fluent in one of those, you’ll have no problem communicating.
If you want to go on a shopping spree, you should start with ByWard market. Here, you will find different kinds of goods such as handmade clothes, funky jewelry, and all kinds of cheeses. No shopping spree is complete without food. When your arms begin to tire from holding all the shopping bags, head to one of the many great restaurants. Have a happy and secure stay in Ottawa.
Who does not love beaches? If you want to bathe in the sun or take a dip in the sea, Hilo is for you. The USA has a variety of safe cities for women, but none can beat Hilo. This city is also known as the “Big Island.” Even though it is called the big island, the population here is small. Thus, you are sure to find peace and quiet here.
The Akaka Falls state park is worth a visit. Plus, the beautiful landscape which surrounds a 400 ft high waterfall is a must-see. If you have a sweet tooth, then head over to Macadamia Nut Corporation to sample some mouth-watering chocolate and macadamia nuts. This is a safe, tasty and tranquil destination for female travelers.
Norway is a feminist country through and through. It has always ranked in the top ten for equal treatment of women throughout the world. How can a woman not be safe here?
The lively city of Oslo is the capital of Norway. A trip to Oslo should always begin with a visit to the Vigeland sculpture park. If you are artsy, you are going to fall in love with this place. Gustav Vigeland made 200 pieces of art from granite, iron, and bronze. He is a very fine and accomplished artist. The trip will definitely open your creative mind. Oslo also has some crazy nightclubs, if you are more of a night owl. You can have the vacay of your life here.
Not only does Sweden have a wonderful culture, but the citizens are also welcoming and warm.
Malmo is the third largest city in the country and it is a perfect shopping hub. Whether you are looking for just a few chic and classy outfits or a total makeover, Malmo is the city for you.
Some women love a shot of adrenaline. If that is you, then you may want to explore the hiking or boating options. The scenery in Sweden is perfect for adventure sports. Plus, Malmo is very environmentally friendly. It shows in their food choices as well as their clothing. Thus, you can enjoy guilt-free eating and shopping in Malmo.
New girl in the city? Don’t be afraid, you’ll enjoy your experience here. Copenhagen has a population of around two million people. You’ll be lost in the crowd. The bustling streets and Norse architecture are a joy to see.
Plus, you can shop here at dream prices. So gear up and make your wish lists. When you visit Copenhagen you must stop by the fountain of Goddess Gefjun, which tells the tale of how Denmark was established.
At night you can watch how the water lights up in a blue hue. The contrast between the past and present in this city is striking.
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
If a woman wants to pamper herself, then what better place can she go than a spa?
You guessed right, Auckland is spa heaven. It is the largest city in New Zealand and a safe place for a woman to travel alone. The white beaches are sunny and breezy.
You can walk along the three kilometers of white sand and revel in the beauty of nature. The sunbathing alone is enough to give you a lovely golden tan. After that, you can go and have a spa session at Waiwera Thermal Resort.
Sounds like a relaxing day, doesn’t it?
Many want a secluded vacation, away from the crowds. Setubal is a small city with a population of only 80,000. Nature will soothe your soul here. Plus, your stay will be filled with delicious seafood and warm wine.
If you want to just enjoy nature, go to Serra da Arrabida National Park. This park is where the land meets the sea. From the park, you can observe the still waters, which are simply stunning. But a holiday without a beach day is not complete. To get your allotment of sand and sun, visit Portinho da Arrabida Beach, which is a perfect getaway.Fuerte de San Felipe, Setúbal, Portugal by Diego Delso CC BY-SA 3.0
Sweden is a friendly country to visit and Swedish warm-hearted people. You can have a peaceful time in Sweden. Sweden is a beautiful place to visit during winter. The frozen landscape is a bit gloomy. But you can visit it in other months if you are not a winter lover.
Every nation has got something we can learn from them. Sweden has a lot to teach. Before you go to Sweden, here are few things to know (& also learn from the Swedish people).
YOU CAN SPEAK ENGLISH ANYWHERE
We know English is a global language. But if you are traveling to Sweden and are worried about Swedish, don’t be. Sweden is the second country speaking English, next to united kingdom. You can get around anywhere by talking English.
OPEN YOUR SHOES
It is a belief in Sweden that you should not enter a house wearing shoes. Because the dirt from outside should not enter the house. It is a show of respect to the family. While going to any private residence it is customary to take off your footwear. So ,when you make a friend in Sweden make sure you don’t enter with shoes on. Avoid wearing lacy shoes.
It means “in moderation.” Swedish are not overwhelmed by anything. They believe in controlling their emotions. Public display of emotion is not encouraged in Sweden. So before you scream out in excitement, Remember Lagom! Your behavior in society should not be questioned on. Swedish like to be in control. Stay calm and composed. You will blend in just fine.
While in Sweden don’t be surprised by food in tubes. You will have to squeeze out almost everything out of a tube. May it be caviar or mustard. You will have to use these tubes to eat. When you go a grocery store, you will find frozen foods. That is where you will find an array of toothpaste shaped tubes. Eat and squeeze.
Sweden is a clean country. They try every possible method to recycle waste. When you go for shopping, you will have to pay extra for a plastic bag. Don’t throw it elsewhere. Mainly every store will try to lower the plastic bags. Sweden believes in a clean and green city.
Sweden is a very punctual country. Everyone completes their work at around five. That is why you will find a rush in this hours. During weekends most of the stores will close early. People here are well learned. They follow a queue for getting to everything.
That means if you have to shop too. You need to be on time in the shops, or you will be in a hurry while the shops close. Nothing here is open at around ten except the emergency services.