UNTRAMMELED, WITH AIR QUALITY reported among the best in the world, an Eden-like island where being a locavore was always in style, Tasmania — Australia’s southern state, located across the Strait of Bass from the mainland — may be overtaking Iceland’s reputation as the world’s most unspoiled destination. Nature buffs love its inner landscapes, composed of wallaby-brimming bushland, mountain peaks, verdant valleys, vineyards, meadows and farmland. Add in inviting beaches, olive groves and orchards, and this one-time penal colony reigns as an athlete’s playground.
But what to do after hiking, whale-watching, biking, food market perusing and treetop walking? Where do you go after you’ve visited distilleries, shorn sheep with farmers, taken a cooking course at highly touted Agrarian Kitchen or hobnobbed with locals at the island’s various festivals? Get thee to Hobart, a stylish port city which blends heritage with nature to manifest an urban translation of Tassie’s bucolic glory. You’ll find the outdoors continues to be glorified in this Georgian-style city with its happening waterfront bars, the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), parks galore and alfresco lifestyle.
A word of caution for those all-night partier types: Despite Tasmania’s history as home to convicts, it’s not a nefarious or bawdy place at all. Wholesome living, fresh air and outdoorsy days lead to early bedtimes for most Tasweigians. Their obsession with craft beer, locally made spirits, inspirational wine and field-to-table seasonal eating means playtime embraces a quality-over-quantity aspect. Eating with friends followed by a night cap, or happy hour by the water before dinner typifies most nights.
Begin early at Faro, a restaurant located at MONA, with the Art + Dinner program, a ticket that lets you peruse exhibits between courses. Try Grape Food and Wine Bar in Salamanca Place, a historic square, for Espresso Martini Happy Hour, or sophisticated Birdcage Bar in Sandy Bay at the Wrest Point Casino for legendary cocktails.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
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Alaska Airlines recently debuted its new Pixar-inspired, special-edition aircraft livery. On both sides of the Pixar-themed Boeing 737-800 aircraft, travelers spot recognizable faces from the Toy Story franchise, including Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Jessie. Rex the Tyrannosaurus appears on the boarding door and the little green aliens show up on the aircraft’s winglets.
TAP Air Portugal is adding 15 new weekly flights from the United States and Canada by summer 2020, a new record for the carrier of 71 weekly flights between North America and Portugal.