Category Archives: Destination Guide

Ice Hotels – The Coolest Place To Ignite The Fires of Passion!

What better way to revel in romance than cosying up in an Ice Hotel! These ephemeral and magical places with an otherworldly feel are the perfect place for love

©ICEHOTEL. icehotel.com: ICEHOTEL 28, 2017-2018 Art Suite Daily Travellers. Design Alem Teklu & Anne Karin Krogevoll. Photo Asaf Kliger. 

ICEHOTEL, Sweden

This hotel has just opened its doors to its 29th incarnation! It is a hotel and art exhibition rolled into one, made of ice from the river Torne, created each year based on a new design. It’s billed as a place to discover silence, the northern lights, cloudberries, kettle coffee and we think it’s just the place for romance! Visit icehotel.com for more info.

©ICEHOTEL. Art Suite 2016. Love Capsule by Luc Voisin & Mathieu Brison. Photo Asaf Kliger icehotel.com 

The Ice Church next to the ICEHOTEL opens every year on 25thDecember. When it is formally handed over to the Swedish Church for weddings, renewal of vows and even baptisms!

 

©©ICEHOTEL. icehotel.com: Ice Church 2015 In the Glade Photo byline Design Tjåsa Lucia Gusfors, David Andrén, Johan Andrén & Erik Törner Photo. Paulina Holmgren. 

Hôtel de Glace, Canada

© Hôtel de Glace

This hotel is just 20 minutes north of Quebec City in Canada. It’s huge snow vaults and breath-taking ice sculptures are unique masterpieces created afresh every year by some of the best ice sculptors in the world. The hotel is open to visitors, guests, and for weddings. Head to Hotel de Glace for more info!

© Hôtel de Glace

Hotel of Ice, Romania 

Set in the Fagaras Mountains, Romania, this hotel is built every year in less than a month from snow and ice blocks that are extracted from Balea Lac, the largest glacial lake in the area. The hotel’s vision is to be somewhere couples can escape for a mix of romance and adventure – there is even an ice church for weddings. More over at Hotel of Ice.

©Hotel of Ice

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Chinese New Year Travel – Myths Busted and Tips Shared

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February 05th2019 welcomes in the Year of The Pig. Those in the know say that you should wear the year’s lucky colours – red, yellow, and green, and keep an image of a pig nearby – but what do they say about actually visiting China at this exciting time of year?

1. Everything is closed for weeks.

No, not everything. Yes, shops, schools, restaurants and factories can be closed for as long as three weeks as people travel far and wide to be with family. Businesses generally take a week off and banks and restaurants have a couple of days shut down – but it is rare that a closure will affect you if you are a tourist. Most places popular with tourists will be open, although some may have limited opening hours.

2. It is a really expensive time to travel in China.

Yes, it is and the trains and busses will be packed. Most city workers get a week off which they spend with family usually in rural areas, which they get to by public transport.

3. Don’t travel by train.

Unless you like the feeling of being packed into a sardine can! Travelling by train is the most popular form of transport because it is both cheap and efficient – an unusual concept here in the UK – seats will not be available, in fact you’ll be lucky if you find standing room.

4. Tourist attractions are empty.

Pretty much! Most people head home to be with family and eat, so are not focussed on day trips and excursions. Opening times may be limited.

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6. It’s a great time to observe local customs.

Yes! Chinese New Year is the best time to go and rub shoulders with locals. Not only are there loads of cultural activities taking place at this time of year, but generally the mood is far more jovial and inviting than at any other time of year.

7. It’s too cold for tourists at this time of year.

That all depends on what you wear and where you go! Yes, it is very cold in the northern parts of China at this time of year –15°C, but head to Shanghai, for example, and you could be experiencing relatively balmy temperatures of as much as 9°C!

8. It is more difficult to get a flight or hotel room compared to the height of the tourist season.

Totally true. Those in the know advise that if you want to experience Chinese New Year in China that you book all accommodation, flights, and other travel, and even restaurant bookings, many months in advance. If you are looking for a more relaxed experience of this magnificent country, even going in the height of the tourist season in summer is a better option!

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The Warmest Places in Europe To Visit This Winter

Done with the chilly weather already? Can’t wait until the warm winds of summer breeze over your newly tanned skin? How about fast-forwarding to blue skies and high temps by holidaying in the warmest places in Europe this winter!

Canary Islands

It’s a bit of a cheat this one, as the Canary Islands are just off the coast of Africa, but still classed as Europe. As such, definitely the warmest place to go in Europe in January – 21°C? Yes please! The warmest (and less windy) of the four islands are Gran Canaria and Tenerife. Both islands are very similar, and offer way more than the presumed tourist hotspots, however – if you are looking for beach action, Gran Canaria trumps Tenerife, if you are looking for historical quarters, Tenerife is the place to go.

What to do in the Canary Islands: If you are in Tenerife, get yourself up Mount Teide, the world’s third tallest volcanic structure!In Gran Canaria, visit the epic Maspolomas Dunes, and maybe ride a camel while you are there.

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Madeira, Portugal

The warm subtropical climate of Madeira is an instant draw for throngs of tourists in the summer, but in the winter it is an equally delightful, and altogether quieter paradise. Visitors can expect temperatures of 16°C upwards, and it has been known to get as warm as 21°C in January! Word of warning though, January is probably the wettest month of the year here

What to do in Madeira: As an archipelago of four islands, the best things to do here include getting out on the water to enjoy some sports and watch the amazing marine life in action! The stunning coastlines make for some awesome hiking action too.

 

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Cyprus

Get out of the wind, and obviously down from the probably snow-capped mountains and you could be enjoying temps of 16°C to 20°C in Cyprus during January.The good news is that the sea is usually still quite warm too at this time of year, making a quick dip from an empty sandy beach could be a dream come true this time of year!

What to do in Cyprus: Fancy a bit of eternal youth, or maybe a pepped-up love life? Get yourself to Aphrodite’s Baths just near the quaint fishing village of Latchi. While you can’t bathe in them any more, you can splash yourself with the legendary waters, plus, the trails and gardens here offer amazing views. 

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Seville, Spain

Did you know that this city was awarded the accolade of being “Europe’s Greatest City in Winter”? Okay, that might not just be due to being an almost balmy 17°C in January, but it certainly helps! This is the place to go if you want to be seduced by cultural experiences and a mix of jaw-dropping architecture.

What to do in Seville: Go to the historic centre. This is where you’ll find a Moorish Castle next to a Gothic Cathedral, and Baroque churches – nestled amongst medieval lanes.

 

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Malta

Sightseeing, boat trips and al-fresco dining during the winter months in Malta is a tranquil and rejuvenating experience, thanks to blue skies and sunshine. Expect this Mediterranean gem to provide temps of around 16°C, often raised by warm winds blowing across from the Sahara. Do note that like Madeira, it can get pretty wet during January, but the bursts of rain are usually short.

What to do in Malta: Take a Grand Harbour Tour, it is a stunning way to see the historical sights and take in some spectacular views. The commentary during the trip is a great way to learn about the area too.

 

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Don’t forget your travel insurance! Even if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), it has its limitations and only offers a certain amount of help with costs of medical treatment abroad. The Government recommends that travellers take out private travel insurance too. To find out more, visit the EHIC advice page.

 

Life as a Digital Nomad in Chiang Mai, Thailand: Insider Tips

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Chiang Mai, Thailand’s fourth-biggest city, is arguably South-east Asia’s most desirable digital nomad location. Just as tourists find that the city covers most (if not all) bases, nomads have been similarly delighted: Cheap rents, great food, fantastic nightlife, rich culture, plenty of sunshine and, naturally, fast Wi-Fi – are among the top draws.

Wi-Fi and work locations

First up, if you need fast, reliable internet, Chiang Mai has you covered. Plus, if you prefer not to work in the same place as you live, there are lots of co-working spaces and Internet cafés where you can put in those long hours. Indeed, you’ll feel as if they’ve been expecting you!

Accommodation in Chiang Mai 

Chiang Mai has hostels, guest houses and hotels in abundance, ranging from £5-a-night dorm beds, to £10-a-night basic rooms, to £100-a-night top-end hotels. You can rent a room for as little as £80 a month, or your own small out-of-town house or condominium for £150-£200. If you want luxuries like swimming pool and gym access, you’ll of course pay more. You could also rent a large, modern house for £600-£800 a month and find a few fellow nomads to share the rent.

Social life

While many people come to Chiang Mai to enjoy Thai culture and the laid-back ‘sabai sabai’ way of life, you’ll doubtless meet plenty of other entrepreneurial Westerners while living here (many Brits among them). Locals, tourists and ex-pats mingle ardently of an evening, with a wide choice of bars and nightclubs to enjoy.

Healthcare

Thailand offers excellent private healthcare and decent public hospitals. Reputable private organisations such as the Bangkok Hospital operate locations across the country, including Chiang Mai. Much cheaper than say, Singapore, but with similarly high standards, it’s no wonder people from across South-East Asia come to Thailand to have their healthcare needs met. Many medicines which require prescriptions in the UK can be bought over the counter.

Getting around Chiang Mai 

While tuk-tuks and songthaews (modified pick-up trucks with covered seating) are great when you first arrive, you may soon want the freedom of your own wheels. You can rent a scooter for £40-£60 a month. Just make sure you have an up-to-date International Driving Licence and never be tempted to leave your helmet at home (as many locals do). Also be aware that Thais like to merge with traffic without even a glance at their mirrors, and love nothing more than to get out of their cars without checking for approaching traffic!

Food

From low-cost, tasty street food to excellent Western dishes – your tummy will always be happy in Chiang Mai. Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for, but meat lovers won’t be disappointed either. You could cut your food bills by cooking for yourself, but eating like a local – i.e. in the street – will keep you comfortably on-budget.

Culture and things to do in Chiang Mai 

You’ll probably explore the main temples in your first few weeks, but there’s plenty more to see. Enjoy a swim in the ‘Grand Canyon’ – a flooded former limestone quarry – just out of town, or, further afield you might explore the hippy-hangout of Pai, with its numerous hot springs, or take a motorcycle trip up to Mai Hong Son. And if you ever feel the need for a weekend in the Big Smoke, you can jet down to Bangkok in 75 minutes – before deciding that life in laid-back Chiang Mai will do you just fine, thank you very much!

Visas for Chiang Mai 

As a UK citizen, you can apply for a two month tourist visa (£25) in the UK, and extend it for another month (about £45) in Thailand. You could then apply for another tourist visa in a neighbouring country. Most nomads can repeat this process several times before Immigration officials start asking questions.

 

DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE! With worldwideinsure.com you can get longstay travel insurance to suit your digital nomad lifestyle, including insurance while you are already travelling.  Get a quick online quote or speak to one of our advisors.

New Year New You – 5 Amazing Places to be a Digital Nomad

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take the plunge and make a living remotely. You’ve given the 9 to 5 – and its associated commute – the heave-ho. You can work as and when you want: all you need is a laptop and a passport. But there’s one small snag: You’ll need somewhere inspiring to live while you tap away at your computer – somewhere conducive to work – and to play.

Globally, there are of course thousands of towns and cities to choose from. So where to begin? Will you choose a buzzing metropolis with dazzling night-life? Or will you opt for a sleepy town with friendly natives? Will you go urban or rural? Tropical or temperate?

Here are five of the best places to enjoy life as a digital nomad, balancing living costs, food, culture, weather, Wi-Fi access and transport.

1. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Image by Mariamichelle CC0

It may be the fourth-biggest city in Thailand, but Chiang Mai has an engagingly sleepy vibe, perfect for the laid-back digital nomad. It attracts thousands of nomads with its old-world atmosphere, augmented with a vast choice of co-working spaces and cafés for getting some work done. Wi-Fi is super-fast, and finding accommodation – both long and short term – is easy and low-cost. The perfect city to enjoy Thai culture (temples are abundant) while meeting plenty of other nomads from around the world – so you can find  collaborators and inspirational entrepreneurs with ease. Chiang Mai is safe, friendly and boasts superb night-life, fantastic food, and if you ever needed it, high quality healthcare.

Cost: Around £700 a month, but you could spend much more if you wanted. Equally, you could get by on £300.

2. Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

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Yoga, meditation, massage, health foods… Ubud, in the heart of Bali, is ideal if you want revitalise body and soul. It’s also surrounded by stunning rice terraces and is a stone’s throw from volcanoes, waterfalls and top surfing spots. Food is delicious and cheap, with plenty of vegetarian options. The centre of Ubud can get rather busy in high season, so we recommend finding somewhere to live on the outskirts. If super-fast broadband is an absolute must for your work, then Ubud might be a little disappointing, since the Internet can get rather laggy. The tropical climate delivers plenty of sunshine, with torrential downpours in rainy season. Friendly locals complete the picture.

Cost: Around £800 a month, but more if you indulge in massages, yoga retreats and Western food on a regular basis.

3. Barcelona, Spain

Image by violetta

If you want to start your new digital nomad life a little closer to home, Barcelona could be perfect. While not as cheap as Thailand or Indonesia, you can still find affordable flat shares, and if you cook for yourself, your dining bills will be low. Famed for its dazzling architecture (Gaudi’s incredible Sagrada Familia is here), amazing theatre, art exhibitions, comedy and cabaret, Barca is a culture vulture’s dream city. And don’t forget the football team or the fact the city has its own beach. Delicious tapas, a vibrant night life and a truly cosmopolitan (and friendly) population, Barcelona is a winner among digital nomads. WiFi is fast and good, with numerous free public hotspots available. EU citizens can stay for as long as they like.

Cost: A comfortable lifestyle would cost a minimum of £1,300 per month, but as with so many cities, you could spend a lot more.

4. Berlin, Germany

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Germany’s moody capital is a mecca for artists and bohemians of all stripes – and is a wonderful place for the digital nomad with an urban bent. Fast Internet, reasonably-priced accommodation, and a plethora of Internet cafés and co-working locations make this a fantastic city in which to get your digital head down. Winters can be very cold, but you’ll never be starved of culture or interesting company in the cafés and bars of this eclectic city. Another big bonus is you can stay for as long as you like – so long as the UK is part of the EU.

Cost: Around £1,400 a month, although some nomads manage it for much less by sharing accommodation. Equally, you could spend much more

5. Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

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This relaxed surfer town offers lush green jungle and long sandy beaches, together with a range of adventure activities – chief among which is of course surfing. Located in a rainforest, you can expect high temperatures – and some serious downpours. The Internet is pretty slow, so if you need fast access, Puerto Viejo might not be for you. However, for the laid back digital nomad who loves the outdoors, this town could be perfect.

Cost: Around £900 per month as a minimum – but much would depend on your chosen accommodation and how often you like to party.

 

DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE! With worldwideinsure.com you can get longstay travel insurance to suit your digital nomad lifestyle, including insurance while you are already travelling.  Get a quick online quote or speak to one of our advisors.

Dream Destinations Where You Can (probably) Escape Christmas

If you are looking for an alternative Christmas getaway without a hint of festive jumpers, tinsel and chart-topping Christmas hits, you could try these tantalising destinations.

Laos

Image by MamMam CC0

This is one of the few destinations where the commercial chaos that surrounds Christmas just doesn’t feature, unless you are in one of the big cities. This is partly because Laos doesn’t have a large Christian community, but also because it is still a relatively “untouristy” place and hasn’t taken on western traditions to please throngs of holiday-makers. As such, the big day passes by just like any other day here.

Morocco

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Unless you check into a hotel that is catering for holiday-makers who want to celebrate Christmas in the sun, Morocco is a great place to avoid the festivities due to it being a Muslim country.  While the tinsel and turkey won’t feature, do be mindful that shopping might, as tourists flock to the souks in search of something different to take home and gift at Christmas.

Maldives

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This is one destination where you can guarantee yourself a white Christmas – in the form of sand instead of snow. And while there may be a splattering of festive decoration in some resorts, it is nothing more than an acknowledgement of the time of year and is not a precursor to a day of festivities. There is the added benefit that the more secluded your tropical oasis the easier it is to forget it is Christmas altogether.

Russia

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This is one for those who want to get away from Christmas without getting away from winter, just make sure you don’t stay long past the 25th! The catch here is that Russia does in fact celebrate Christmas, but on the 07thof January – which means there is a chance that festive lights and the like will be on display, but the day itself will just about pass by with out the usual festive fuss.

The Best Things To Do For Free In New York City

As one of the most expensive cities in the United States, it makes sense that travellers would enjoy things to do for free during their stay. After all, the more money you save, the more money you have to spend on something else!

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  1. Guided Tours of Central Park – Free tours by Central Park Conservancy.
  2. Catch the Staten Island Ferry – Unlike the East River Ferry, this is absolutely free!
  3. Visit the Federal Bank Gold Vault – Free tours available on weekday afternoons.
  4. Brooklyn Brewery Beer Tour – Free tours every half hour during weekends.
  5. Visit an Art Gallery – Head to Chelsea for a huge choice of places to visit.
  6. Get Fit at Bryant Park – Loads of free activities to join in during the summer.
  7. Relax in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden – Free entry on Tuesdays only.
  8. MoMA – The admission fee is waived on a Friday night, so you get on for FREE!
  9. Grand Central Whispering Gallery – Part of a 90 min free walking tour every Friday.
  10. Take The High Line – An elevated park 30 ft in the air, often host to art and events.
  11. Kayak the Hudson – Free kayak hire on a first come, first served basis in Queens.
  12. Socrates Sculpture Park – Films and art on Wednesdays during the summer.
  13. American Museum of Natural History – Free for the last hour of opening.
  14. Brooklyn Museum – Free on the first Saturday of the Month.

 

Wilderness City Breaks in the USA

This oxymoronic idea of a city break is surprisingly achievable. Here are some of the city breaks to book if you want a slice of adventure within easy reach of 5-star comfort and a cold beer at the end of the day.

San Diego where surfing and city life goes hand in hand. Image by skeeze CC0

Salt Lake City

Wilderness fun: skiing. City fun: Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.

Ski season runs from November through to April, and while there are a number of world-class resorts less than an hour’s drive away, there is fun to be had on a number of lesser-known trails and runs within just 3 miles of the city itself. The top to-do in Salt Lake City is a visit to Temple Square, the headquarters of the Mormon community and home to a majestic 19thcentury Temple. Time your visit right and you’ll get to hear the Tabernacle Choir perform in the neo-gothic assembly hall. Salt Lake City in a nutshell!

Seattle

Wilderness fun: scuba diving. City fun: live music.

Seattle is known for a pretty decent night-diving scene. The harbour lights in the distance make for a beautiful backdrop, and the diving lights are known to attract harbour seals who want to come to play. Keeping with the evening theme, Seattle is well known for being the birthplace of grunge music, and today it still boasts an impressive music scene. There are plenty of live music venues around the city, which makes having a post-dive beer and boogie easy.

Washington D.C

Wilderness fun: kayaking. City fun: craft brewery tours.

The Potomac River, which starts in the heart of Washington DC, is a veritable theme park for kayakers. It has flatwater, class 2 and 3 white water rafting, slalom sections and falls reserved for only the most adept of paddlers. Back on dry land, you can experience the joys of a different type of liquid altogether – beer! The city has a serious up and coming craft brewing scene, all of which are open to enjoy, or you can get in on one of the local brewery tours and make sure you don’t miss a drop.

San Diego

Wilderness fun: surfing. City fun: Gaslamp Quarter.

From August to November, San Diego’s 70 miles of glorious sandy beaches have the best surfing action. Jolla Shores is one of the most popular, a more gentle and safe place to enjoy the autumnal swells.  Head to Black Beach if you want something a bit more challenging! After a day of sun, sand and sea, head to the Gaslamp Quarter, the historic heart of San Diego. The old town has a young vibrant scene, plenty of laid-back bars, clubs and eateries all wrapped up in rich Victorian architecture.

Phoenix

Wilderness fun: mountain biking. City fun: dark bars.

Arizona is right on the edge of the biggest patch of wilderness in the Southwest, and within that is seemingly endless miles of trails to explore. If you’d like to be back from the middle of nowhere before bedtime, and of course experience the most fun possible on these trails, then go by mountain bike! Residents of Phoenix like to escape the long days of intense sunshine by frequenting places known as Dark Bars. These watering holes have lighting so low that you’ll struggle to see your drink, and the air con so high you may wish you’d packed a jumper. This is exactly what’s needed after a day in the desert!

DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE! With worldwideinsure.com you can get a whole heap of activities and sports covered as standard. Get a quick online quote or speak to one of our advisors.

Three of The Best Halloween Holiday Destinations for 2018

Looking to put some spook into your October holiday? Check out these freakish and frankly quite terrifying Halloween themed breaks happening this year!

New York City, USA

© Joe Buglewicz courtesy of nygco.com

Deja Voodoo at the Annual Village Halloween Parade

In October, New York goes all out to celebrate Halloween with as many as 50,000 people joining in the annual Village Halloween Parade on 31stOctober. This year the parade is celebrating 45 years of spooktastic fun! It gets rolling at 7pm and heads north up Sixth Avenue to 16th Street featuring a wealth of wacky costumes and the sounds of numerous live bands. If you want to join in the parade, a creative costume is a must!

Gothenburg, Sweden

© Liseberg Amusement Park

Cirkus Bisarr at Liseberg Amusement Park

A trip to this Swedish theme park in October holds an extra eerie treat as around 200 actors scare visitors in specially constructed horror houses and alfresco horror areas! Visitors are warned to expect the deeply unsettling, involving creepy clowns, zombies, monsters and blood-splattered surgery rooms and prisons. What we love about this event is that the experiences have been divided up into Horror Experiences and Terror areas of which there are 4 horror houses and 1 horror attraction in the former, and 2 horror areas and several mysterious, wonderfully cosy areas for the younger ones in the latter. Open days: 12-14, 19-21 and 26-31 Oct, and 1-4 Nov.

Tarragona, Spain

© PortAventura

Halloween at Port Aventura World

This resort is host to one of the biggest and best Halloween parties in the world staged over a whopping eight weeks! Promising everything from absolute terror to spooky family fun visitors can experience terrorific shows, creatures from the beyond, passages of terror, clusters of monsters roaming freely around the resort, blood-thirsty menus, and a fantastic parade that will take over the streets as night falls.All the parks, hotels and restaurants will be decorated with giant pumpkins, bats, ghosts and other terrifying creatures that take visitors to “another world” and a realm of fun. Two special nights will also be held during this new season: “Night of the Vampires” on 13th October and “The Great Night of Halloween” on 31st October.

X Marks The Spot – Lost Treasure Holidays

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Bored with your regular package holiday? Why not go on an altogether different kind of adventure where you could hunt for lost treasure during your break!

Destination: New Orleans

The lost treasure: The loot of pirate Jean Lafitte

Jean Lafitte was known for plundering merchant ships in the Gulf of Mexico and stashing the loot to retrieve later. It comes as no surprise then that, following his sudden death in the 1820s, word got out of treasure to be found. Two locations have been identified – Lake Borgne off the coast of New Orleans, and 5km east of the Old Spanish Trail near the Sabine River in a gum tree grove!

The best time to head to New Orleans is in April when the music festival season starts. The weather is pleasant at this time of year, but there are likely to be hints of the extremely hot days in store during the summer months. October is another key time to visit, not only has the weather cooled off a little, but there is a great carnival atmosphere around Halloween. 

Mardi Gras Image by skeeze CC0

Destination: France

The lost treasure: A golden owl originally to be exchanged for a 1 million francs

In 1993 Max Valentin hid a golden owl somewhere in the French countryside. His aim was to inspire everyone in France to become a professional treasure hunter and his carrot on a stick, so to speak, was for what would have originally been a 1 million franc reward, in the form of a more valuable replica owl, to whoever found it. Max – not his real name by the way, he was actually author Regis Hauser – went on to dish out 11 clues, apparently one person came very close to finding it in 1999. Max Valentin died in a car crash in 2009 taking the precise location with him, but it has been announced that the reward will be honoured to whoever finds the owl.

France is huge – so where should you go if it is your first visit to the country? Paris is top of the bill, followed by the Loire Valley; Provence, and the French Rivera are also absolute musts! The Alps! Got to squeeze the Alps in, and it would be an absolute shame if you missed some key winemaking regions such as Champagne, Burgundy, or Bordeaux.

Provence Image by kirkandmimi CC0

Destination: New Mexico

The lost treasure: 16 tonnes of gold

While you might have trouble getting the gold back in your suitcase, finding the buried treasure of Leon Trabuco and co. in the New Mexico Desert will certainly spice up your Instagram stream! Story goes that in the Great Depression Leon and his associates predicted that the price of gold would explode sometime soon, so they decided to keep hold of as much as they could by burying it in the desert. While Leon was right, gold became worth LOADS, he didn’t foresee the Gold Reserve Act coming into force, which basically made private ownership of gold illegal and they were unable to sell their stash. When he died Leon took the exact location of the gold with him.

New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment, but there is even a place within this land that stands out from its neighbours – Taos. The landscape here is powerful,  behind the town are snow-capped mountain peaks, volcanic plateaux that spill dramatically into the Rio Grande Gorge, and the skies are HUGE. Expect magnificent sunsets, dreamy blue skies, and spectacular storm clouds capable of dwarfing these epic vistas.

New Mexico Image by mdherren CC0

Destination: Key West

The lost treasure: $200 million+ of gold and silver.

Raging hurricanes are fairly common in this part of the world, and back in 1622 they sealed the fate of a number of cargo ships passing through. It is said that these ships were in fact carrying an unusual cargo – gold and silver, to the tune of $700 million no less in today’s money. In 1985 a whopping $500 million worth of this treasure was found buried less than 160 kilometers off the coast of Key West leaving experts convinced that there is still plenty left to find!

Key West, AKA the pathway to paradise, is billed as a tropical oasis ideal for diving – made all the more enticing at the thought of finding $200 million worth of treasure! Lionfish, angelfish and stingrays are just some of the fish you’ll find in the reefs here, plus dolphins and turtles make the Keys their home too. The crystal clear water, along with occasionally turbulent weather, also makes this the place to be for wreck diving, presently tours take in the newly sunken Vandenberg, a 520-foot U.S. military missile-tracking ship.

Key West Image by nextvoyage CC0