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CROATIA
RIVIERA MAYA
SOUTH AFRICA
VIENNA

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CROATIA

Best time of year to visit

Those in the know visit in June and September. The weather is still beautifully warm and the beaches are uncrowded. Pro tip: the sea is warmer in September than June.

Key Experiences

  • Beach day in Dalmatia

  • Episcopal Complex of the Euphasian Basilica

  • Dubrovnik old town

  • Wine tasting

  • Olive oil tasting

 

Things to do

  • Island hop

  • Charter a sailboat

  • See the waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes

  • Hike one of 8 national parks

 

Regional culinary delights

Croatia is home to a variety of culinary styles. Continental areas tend to show European influence and favor meats and heavy sauces, while coastal cuisine is very Mediterranean, based on fish, seafood, olive oil and greens. Family-run wineries craft good quality vintages using indigenous grape varieties, and some of the best extra virgin olive oil is produced here. 

 

Off the beaten path

Tisno on the island of Murter, Novalja on the island of Pag, and the town of Hvar offer 24/7 partying for the young who are up to the challenge.

 

RIVIERA MAYA

Best time of year to visit

The best time of year for your Riviera Maya vacation is during the dry season, from November to February. Avoid traveling from March to May, when the heat and humidity are oppressive.

 

Key Experiences

  • The Alma Libre bookstore

  • The caves at Xel-Há park

  • Explore the Tulum ruins

  • Visit Aktun-Chen (Mayan for “the cave with centoes inside”)

  • Zipline through the jungle

 

Things to do

  • Day trip to Cozumel island to snorkel

  • The Punta Venado Caribbean Eco-Park

  • The scuba diving cavern Cenote Dos Ojos

  • Check out Xcaret Eco-park

  • Take a guided tour of Sian Ka’an wildlife preserve

  • Relax at Rosewood’s Sense Spa

  • Spend a day at Nacional Beach Club

  • Ride an ATV through the Mayan jungle

 

Regional culinary delights

Riviera Maya draws residents from all over Mexico to work in the tourism industry, bringing with them culinary influences from their home regions. For authentic sampling, look for local eateries offering empanadas, cochina pibil, ceviche, and habanero salsa.

 

Off the beaten path

Take a journey though Mexican traditions and recipes in Lina’s cooking class, where you will learn about the ancient preparation of Mexican meals and how to combine them with modern cuisine. Her class is perfect for those looking to learn about culture, and she can accommodate vegan, vegetarian and gluten free students.

 

SOUTH AFRICA

Best time of year to visit

There is no bad time to visit South Africa, depending on where you plan to go and what you want to do. Game viewing is generally best between May and September, and Cape Town is most pleasant from November to April.

Key Experiences

  • View Table Mountain from Cape Town

  • Wine and food pairing

  • The Garden Route

  • Take a beach break in Durban

 

Things to do

  • Dinner at Indochine 

  • Walking tour of Kayamandi

  • Whale-watching

  • Jump off the world’s highest bridge bungee

  • Stay in a luxury camp and safari

  • Hike the Drakensberg Mountains

 

Regional culinary delights

Be sure to try traditional maize, minced ostrich, intensely sweet koeksisters, and braai (grilled meat). “Having a braai” is basically having a barbecue. Vegetarians can be catered to, but South African cuisine relies heavily on meat. The “Banting” diet (similar to Keto) is super popular and many establishments have a special Banting Menu. South Africa is the seventh-largest wine producer in the world, with over 200 wine producers in the Stellenbosch Valley alone.

 

Off the beaten path

From hiking to safari to free diving with sharks to throwing yourself off the world’s highest bridge bungee, there’s no shortage of adrenaline in South Africa.

 

VIENNA

Best time of year to visit

To avoid crowds and still take advantage of nice weather, plan your visit for April, May, September or October. To visit the famed Christmas markets, travel between mid-November and Christmas Day.

 

Key Experiences

  • Schloss Schönbrunn

  • Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna

  • Riesenrad ferris wheel

  • Schloss Belvedere

 

Things to do

  • Visit the Mozarthaus, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and Karlskirche

  • Take a tour of the Vienna State Opera House

  • Stroll through the Naschmarkt

  • View the entire city from the Danube Tower

  • Museums- Natural History Museum, Sigmund Freud Museum, Time Travel Vienna

  • Take in a performance- The Opera, Vienna Boys Choir, or the Spanish Riding School

 

Regional culinary delights

Viennese food specialties include Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet), Tafelspitz (boiled beef), and Apfelstrudel (apple strudel). Restaurant reservations are highly recommended. Visit a coffeehouse for a cup of mélange. If you have a sweet tooth, try a slice of sachertorte or powidltascherl.

 

Off the beaten path

Vienna is the only metropolis with significant vineyard operations within city limits. Wine taverns called “Heurige” are found in charming villages bordering the Vienna Woods. Feeling adventurous? Work up an appetite first with a hike to Kahlenberg- the hills offer enchanting vistas over the city and Danube basin.

 

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