Susan B. Barnes
With its meandering canals, world-class museums, exceptional dining experiences and a reputation for a progressive and liberal spirit, it’s no wonder Amsterdam continues to be a top destination for travelers from around the world. In fact, the Dutch city expects an estimated 20 million visitors this year, greatly outnumbering its population of just less than 1 million residents. Even with a smaller-than-expected population, Amsterdam is one of the most multicultural cities in the world — people from 180 nationalities call it home.
The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips. From Piraeus port, you can access Hydra, Spetses, Aegina and Poros directly. Come explore these stunning islands with us and find the inspiration to plan your next trip to these islands. Hydra Hydra town curves around a slope overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf like an amphitheater and is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Most unique to the island is its lack of vehicles. People on the island get around on mules and donkeys as well as water taxis, making for a peaceful and laid-back day. Hydra lies a two-hour ferry ride from Piraeus port in Athens.
The islands of the South Pacific have long drawn travelers and explorers, starting around 4000 B.C. when the seafaring people of the Solomon Islands sailed across the ocean to settle Tonga and Samoa, followed by Fiji, Vanuatu, Hawai‘i and Tahiti. In the mid-1500s, European explorers made their way to the islands of the South Pacific; French artist Paul Gaugin arrived in Tahiti in 1891 for a self-imposed creative exile. American novelist James Michener was inspired by his time in the Solomon Islands during World War II to write Tales of the South Pacific, adapted into the musical South Pacific.