October might be the month of choice for spooky digs, but if you’re up for a site combining history and beauty with a few thousand spine-tingling details, add Chapel of the Bones (Capela dos Ossos) to your travel list. Located in Evora, southeast of Lisbon in Portugal’s Alentejo region, Chapel of the Bones is a tiny, ornate, 16th-century chapel holding more than 5,000 skulls and bones once belonging to monks.
The chapel itself is contained within the larger Church of São Francisco, a structure commissioned by two Portuguese kings: Dom João II and Dom Manuel I. Architectural details of
the church include a single nave and a ribbed, vaulted ceiling. Altogether, there are 12 chapels within. Decorations include a late Renaissance doorway with decorative features that change depending upon the point of view from which they’re viewed, as well as carved woodwork and azulejo tiles.
The bone details are embedded in the walls and ceiling of the chapel, and can also be seen in the stone columns. Two complete skeletons are also displayed. While recognized as the largest of this type of chapel, Evora’s Chapel of the Bones is actually one of six in the Algarve and Alentejo regions.
Others are located close by, including the Baroque-style Capela dos Ossos, located at Parish Church of Campo Maior. This church was constructed in 1776 following a devastating explosion in the powder magazine of the castle, killing more than two-thirds of the local population. The bones in this chapel belonged to the victims of the explosion.
Also close by is Capela dos Ossos de Monforte, the smallest bone chapel in Portugal and attached to the 18th-century Igreja Matriz de Monforte. Skulls are the theme here, including one displayed prominently above the chapel’s access door.
There is something magical about sipping a glass of local wine while watching the sun slip into the Aegean Sea as the afterglow tinges traditional, white-washed Cycladic houses with glorious shades of rose, purple and gold. Ancient Greeks believed Helios, the Sun God, caused sunsets by driving his fiery chariot into the sea. Standing at water’s edge in Mykonos, watching the sky slowly turn from purple to inky black, you almost believe it.
The Islands of Tahiti are among the most beautiful and sought-after vacation destinations in the world. The endless images of overwater bungalows with Bora Bora’s majestic peak towering over waters of every shade of blue have an intrinsic pull. But with 118 islands and atolls to explore, there is so much more to this spectacular region of the Pacific.
I hadn’t even made it to my first cup of coffee when I got an early phone call from my sister, who lives two time zones away. “OMG, Kristy, Patsy Cline came on twice while I was driving the kids to school today,” she laughed. “You know what that means, right?” We both gasped and then instantly began singing the lyrics to “La Bamba,” an inside joke we’d shared since our family’s Alaskan cruise decades ago when we, unintentionally, won the ship’s karaoke contest among a sea of Patsy Cline tributes.
Located in the heart of Houston’s Theatre District, the recently renovated Lancaster Hotel originally opened in 1926. The classic interior with an abundance of natural light floods the two-story lobby. A shimmering chandelier and elegant marble floors juxtapose nicely with the contemporary art displayed on the salon staircase wall.
From the moment you step onboard Air Tahiti Nui’s Tahitian Dreamliner, you will be transported to The Islands of Tahiti. The French Polynesian carrier considered every detail to awaken its passengers’ senses, creating the feeling you are already on the Islands while 30,000 feet in the air.
The Woodward Geneva and Swiss International Air Lines recently launched a new collaboration to transport passengers to the counter of Michelin-starred restaurant L’Atelier Robuchon. As part of the SWISS Taste of Switzerland inflight culinary program, the partnership provides Business and first-class travelers on SWISS long-haul flights departing from Geneva and Zürich carefully curated menus inspired by the restaurant.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Tirana, Albania, with us.
Midway Atoll is the end of the Hawai‘ian Islands, literally. This is the ultimate fate of these low, sandy islets ringing a lagoon: Eventually these last remnants of a once large volcanic island will sink beneath the waves, completing a story that began 1,500 miles away. Midway, though not easy to get to, occasionally features in cruise itineraries. Holland America Line’s Westerdam offers a rare chance to glimpse the remotest of all the Hawai‘ian Islands with a scheduled stop in October 2024. You can still see the relics of the famous World War II battle here as well as a million nesting albatrosses and other seabirds.