Cook Islands

The stunning Cook Islands are a tropical paradise located deep in the South Pacific Ocean. The Cook Islands are self-governing and are in free association with New Zealand which lies to the southwest. Also nearby are French Polynesia (including the islands of Moorea and Bora Bora) and American Samoa. Within the Cook Islands are 15 major islands divided into two groups: the Northern Cook Islands and the Southern Cook Islands. The Northern Cook Islands consist of six coral atolls. The capital of the Cook Islands is the city of Avarua, on the most populous island Rarotonga. The island of Aitutaki is also a popular destination for tourists. Visitors to the Cook Islands can enjoy swimming in the crystal blue ocean waters, sunbathing on the spectacular white sand beaches, or snorkeling over the fertile reef. The Cook Islands are also popular for weddings and honeymoons.

Cook Islands

Cook Islands

TeManga, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Cook Islands

Aitutaki Island, Cook Islands

Aitutaki Island, Cook Islands

Cook Islands

Aitutaki Island, Cook Islands

Aitutaki Lagoon, Cook Islands

Aitutaki Island, Cook Islands

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Spirit Island Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

 

The picturesque Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada is known for its breathtaking mountain scenery with calm clear lakes framed by jagged snow covered peaks. The national park is the largest of its kind in the Canadian Rockies, covering a total area of over 10,878 square kilometers (4,200 square miles). Within Jasper National Park lies an amazing collection of lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, glaciers, and massive mountains. Visitors to the park can enjoy a vast array of activities, including hiking and mountain biking on extensive trails, skiing at Marmot Basin, fishing, swimming, kayaking, whitewater rafting and boating on many of the lakes and rivers, plus camping in numerous areas. For those looking for some quiet relaxation, Miette Hot Springs is the perfect place to go. Tourists can visit the park via car or motorcycle, or by train. The closest international airport is in Edmonton, the capital of Alberta. Also nearby is Lake Louise in Banff National Park.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Patricia Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Talbot Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Spirit Island on Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Tangle Creek Falls, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Edith Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Falls, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

 

Lake Bled is a glacial lake that lies in the municipality of Bled, located in northwestern Slovenia. The picture perfect lake features a small island in the middle which is home to the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church. You can often hear the bell of the church ringing, as it is believed that visiting the church to ring its bell brings good luck. The romantic church is a popular place to have a weeding, as is the nearby Bled Castle. Visitors to Lake Bled can enjoy a walk around the lake, try their hand at fishing, or take a swim in its lovely emerald waters in the summer months. There are also ample opportunities for hiking in the nearby Triglav National Park. The closest airport to Bled is the Airport Joze Pucnik Ljubljana, just outside the city of Kranj.

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Credit: Rainer

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Lake Bled, Slovenia

Credit: Pilar Azaña

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

 

The breathtaking paradise of the nearly 1000 islands that make up the sovereign state of the Solomon Islands is a haven for divers, snorkelers, and beach loungers alike. The Solomon Islands are located in the Oceania region of the Pacific Ocean, East of Papua New Guinea, and are home to just over half a million people. The ancient peoples of the Solomon Islands first arrived an estimated 32,000 years ago, and were known for headhunting and cannibalism before the arrival of Europeans in the late 1500s. Today, the Solomon Islands area has been rising in popularity as a destination for scuba divers, though the growth of tourism has been slowed due to lack of infrastructure and transportation difficulties. But for those who can get there, the Solomon Islands are an unmatched slice of heaven on Earth.

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

Solomon Islands

Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza, Spain

Credit: Muchilu

Nestled in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain, Ibiza is a stunningly beautiful island paradise. Known for its gorgeous white sand beaches and lively nightclubs. The three largest cities on the island are Ibiza Town (also called Vila), Santa Eulària des Riu, and Sant Antoni de Portmany. Ibiza isn’t all partying though, it is also home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Benirràs Bay’s “God’s Finger”. After checking out the tourist stops, most visitors opt to sunbathe on the beautiful beaches before hitting the towns for all night clubbing.

Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza, Spain

Credit: Kenogara

Ibiza, Spain

Credit: Joseeivissa

Ibiza, Spain

Credit: ibzsierra

Ibiza, Spain

Ibiza, Spain

Credit: Joseeivissa

Ibiza, Spain

Credit: Wondertubs

Vernal Falls, Yosemite, California, USA

Vernal Falls - Yosemite National Park, California

Credit: God of War

One of the most popular waterfalls in Yosemite National Park of California in the United States, Vernal fall measures 97 meters (317 feet) high. A hike along the Mist Trail to the fall takes visitors very close to the fall where they become shrouded in its mist. The hike to Vernal Fall is short at only 2.1 km (1.3 miles) long. At the top of the fall hikers enjoy a rest at the Emerald Pool, named for its deep green color, which is a small lake where some visitors choose to swim, though it is against the park rules and can be dangerous if care is not taken. Travelers who wish to visit Vernal Fall should make it a part of a greater trip to the awe-inspiring Yosemite National Park where many other spectacular natural sights can be enjoyed. Accommodation is plentiful at the park and includes hotels as well as campgrounds. There is a $20 fee to enter Yosemite National Park.

Vernal Falls - Yosemite National Park, California

Credit: Eli Weiss

Vernal Falls - Yosemite National Park, California

Vernal Falls - Yosemite National Park, California

Vernal Falls - Yosemite National Park, California

Vernal Falls - Yosemite National Park, California

Credit: Jacquie Winter

Santorini, Greece

Southeast of mainland Greece in the southern Aegean Sea lies the stunning island of Santorini. A volcanic island, Santorini is an arid environment with a hot desert climate and very little rainfall, one of the only two environments of its kind in Europe. Fira, the capital, and Oia are the two main cities to visit on the island. The buildings and home of Santorini are the island’s most striking feature, consisting of whitewashed cube shaped houses, many with beautiful blue domed roofs. The hot climate and lovely black sand beaches make lounging on the beach with a delicious drink a favorite activity for visitors. Santorini is also home to wine vineyards, and a variety of world renowned vegetables, including tomatoes, white eggplants, and cucumbers. The island also has an airport which receives flights from Olympic Air, Aegean Airlines and Athens Airways. Fantastic accommodation for any budget can be found on this magnificent unique island.

Santorini, Greece

Credit: Clint Baker

Santorini, Greece

Credit: Vince Arno

Santorini, Greece

Credit: Georgio R.

Santorini, Greece

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada, USA

Beautiful Lake Tahoe lies in the Sierra Nevada mountain range along the border of California and Nevada in the United States. With 496 square kilometers (192 sq miles) of surface area and lovely mountain scenery, the lake is a major tourist destination year round. There are over 12 ski resorts at Lake Tahoe and visitors can find all manner of winter activities here including snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snow tubing, and more. Many water sports are also enjoyed here, such as swimming, boating, water skiing, and scuba diving. A large variety of accommodation can be found on the lake, from ritzy expensive resorts to backpacker style hostels.

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada, USA

Credit: Mike

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada, USA

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada, USA

Credit: Ace Sierra

Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada, USA