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# T R AV E L DE E P E R

WHERE TO GO IN 2018 Your Year in Travel

THE REMOTE, REMARKABLE FAROE ISLANDS p.59

THE THREE BEST PLACES TO PLAY IN THE SNOW p.21

ASIA’S SURPRISING NEW CAPITAL OF COOL p.28

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W H E R E T R AV E L C A N TA K E YO U

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Winter + Spring

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JANUARY/ FEBRUARY WHERE TO GO

12 FROM THE EDITOR 16 WHERE TO CELEBRATE DARKNESS

Hello, darkness, our old friend, we’ve come to stargaze with you again.

21 WHERE TO PLAY IN THE SNOW Your annual ski trip just got 10 times cooler.

28 WHERE TO FIND INSPIRATION

These Kuala Lumpur neighborhoods fuel the city’s creative class.

38 WHERE TO TRAVEL THIS WINTER

Dream in Paris, parade in Malta, or jam in Panama.

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DESTINATION INDEX AUSTRALIA 38 AUSTRIA 16 BERMUDA 40 CALIFORNIA 16, 40 CANADA 16 CHILE 40 COLOMBIA 40 DENMARK 40 ENGLAND 40 FRANCE 38 GERMANY 16 ICELAND 25, 38 IDAHO 23 ILLINOIS 38 IRAN 16 ISRAEL 16 JAPAN 16 LOUISIANA 38 MALAYSIA 28 MALTA 38 NETHERLANDS 40 NEVADA 40 NICARAGUA 40 NORWAY 16 PANAMA 38 SHETLAND ISLANDS 16 SINGAPORE 40 SPAIN 40 SWITZERLAND 22 TANZANIA 38 TEXAS 40 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 40

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

ANDREW MILLER

WINTER


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JANUARY/ FEBRUARY WHERE TO GO

SPRING 45 WHERE TO PLAY OUTDOORS Climb every multicolored mountain; ford every alpine stream.

50 WHERE TO DRINK

Let the craft spirits move you in the Twin Cities.

59 WHERE TO EAT HYPER LOCAL The road not taken leads to the Faroe Islands. And perhaps to a plate of delicious seaweed.

64 WHERE TO TRAVEL THIS SPRING

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

ARGENTINA 64 BOTSWANA 66 CALIFORNIA 64 CAMBODIA 48 CHILE 48 CHINA 64, 66 COLORADO 64 ENGLAND 66 FAROE ISLANDS 59 FINLAND 46 FRANCE 64 ITALY 66 JAPAN 64 MINNESOTA 50 NEPAL 64 NEW YORK CITY 64 PERU 48 SCOTLAND 66 SEYCHELLES 64 SLOVENIA 64 SOUTH KOREA 66 SPAIN 46 THAILAND 64 ZIMBABWE 66

Safari in Botswana, fly a kite in France, and dig design in China.

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FROM THE EDITOR WHERE TO GO

This issue is a travel almanac for the year. The first half focuses on winter and spring; flip the magazine over for where to go in summer and autumn.

MAGAZINES DEVOTE A LOT OF

ink to the new, and at AFAR, a large part of our job is to inform you about the new experiences we think should be on your radar. This issue—our annual “Where to Go” issue—is full of deeply researched travel inspiration for the year ahead, and much of it is tied to a novel reason to visit a destination: a new national park in Finland, a new hotel near Argentina’s Iguazú Falls, a new route across Bhutan. But recently, as I neared the end of maternity leave, I found myself planning a trip built around a different set of requirements: an easy destination a direct flight away, and a hotel with a beach, a pool, and room service delicious enough to distract me from the restaurants 12

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

where I wouldn’t be dining with my four-month-old and twoyear-old. I wanted to relax and feel pampered before returning to work. Unlike many previous trips, this one wasn’t about chasing the new, but rather about chasing a vibe. After days of research and pondering, I booked a trip to Maui. A month later we arrived at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. The resort opened in 1990, and while its rooms underwent a topto-bottom renovation that was completed in November 2016, it retains a classic and refined aloha feel—exactly what I needed. We spent mornings splashing in the warm sea and afternoons lounging on our lanai. We ventured to the Mars-like summit of Haleakalā National Park while

the babies slept, we played hideand-seek in the resort’s plumeria gardens, and we sipped mai tais as we watched graceful hula dancers in the lobby lounge. We ate kid-friendly lunches at Star Noodle and Paia Fish Market, and learned how to crack open a coconut. Flying home, rejuvenated and ready to return to work, I thought a lot about what makes a destination or a hotel truly exceptional. When the newness is no longer new, what is that ineffable quality—the vibe—that makes travelers want to visit? I think it often comes down to triedand-true hospitality. Of the 400 original staff members who opened the Four Seasons, 75 still work there 28 years later. That number stuck with me. They

know what they’re doing. There aren’t kinks to be worked out. They can intuitively anticipate what guests need before the guest even knows. They know how to make your trip—and every guest’s trip— live up to the hopes and expectations we all pack along with our swimming suits. It’s something we travelers, even as we chase the new, should never take for granted. Enjoy the issue, and share with us via #traveldeeper on Instagram where travel takes you in 2018. TRAVEL WELL,

Julia Cosgrove Editor in Chief

COURTESY OF FOUR SEASONS MAUI AT WAILEA

In Praise of the Tried and True


THE DESERT IS WILD Absolutely spontaneous.

AbsolutelyScottsdale.com


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Bermuda Marathon in mid-January.

opportunities for outdoor activities.

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Start planning your winter getaway to Bermuda now at gotobermuda.com.


WINTER YOUR GUID E TO THE BE ST TRAVEL IDEAS OF THE SEASON

illustration by CÉCILE GARIÉPY

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

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CELEBRATE DARKNESS

There’s more to winter travel than slopes and sand. From the Nordic equivalent of Burning Man to a stargazing festival in Joshua Tree, here are the most surprising ways to embrace the dark season. by AISLYN GREENE

In Praise of Wintertime Stargazing An expert shares the best places to look up (while bundled up) this winter. You know that feeling you get when you’re far from a city, looking up at the night sky, and you think, wow, I almost forgot how 16

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many stars there are? Getting more travelers to have that experience is part of the mission of the Tucsonbased International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), a nearly 30-year-old nonprofit committed to preserving one of the world’s most overlooked and endangered resources: dark skies. “People want to get out of the city environments they’re in all the

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

time and into more natural spaces,” says John Barentine, program director for the IDA. “And it’s only when people get out of those brightly lit cities that they have a sense of what we have lost.” In 2018, IDA will announce its 100th dark-sky site, adding to a list that includes Exmoor National Park in southwest England, the NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia, and

places closer to home, such as California’s Joshua Tree National Park, designated a dark-sky park in the summer of 2017. (In November 2018, watch for the park’s Night Sky Festival featuring stargazing parties and astronomy demos.) If the northern lights are on your travel list, consider Bon Accord in Alberta, Canada, says Barentine. It was the first Canadian community

to earn a dark-sky classification in 2015, which means that when the aurora borealis appears, it isn’t diminished by artificial light. For a guided experience, book a dinner with Prairie Gardens & Adventure Farm. Every meal comes with an astronomy lesson, and—if you’re lucky—a light show. The newest addition to IDA’s list is Israel’s Ramon Crater Nature Reserve, designated

the first dark-sky park in the Middle East in late 2017. It’s a starkly beautiful place—especially if you’re sleeping under the stars in a Bedouin tent— but Barentine has higher hopes for the park. “Dark skies can be a form of diplomacy,” he says. “Even if people don’t speak the same language, if you get them together under a dark sky, they have the same sense of awe for what they see.”

SEAN PARKER

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Located beneath a palapa on Why-Not Island, three generations of the Rodriguez family still make drums the traditional way. They cut logs into concentric circles, smooth the wood, then apply the hide for the drum head, holding it down with a vine.

When the Garifuna people arrived on the shores of Belize, they brought with them a one-of-a-kind rhythm. Over generations this sound inspired countless musical off shoots, including punta rock: a genre started in southeastern Belize that added electric instrumentation to the traditional punta percussion.


Today, the musical culture of southeastern Belize is as strong as ever. You can find nightly jams throughout the Stann Creek region where musicians play songs inspired by their ancestors on instruments made by their neighbors. It’s an organic musical experience that you can only find in Belize. Learn more about this curious place at travelbelize.org


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Into the Night

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Dancing in the Dark

Three unusual ways to get through the winter Beginning

Yalda Night People throughout Iran celebrate the winter solstice by staying up all night, reading verses by the Persian poet Hafez, and feasting on pomegranates, nuts, and cookies. To join in, book a tour timed with the festivities.

Middle

Up Helly Aa In Scotland’s Shetland Islands, residents mark winter’s mid-point (January 30) with the Nordic version of Burning Man: Locals—some dressed as Vikings—march with torches to a Viking longship, light it on fire, and then party all night.

End

Mt. Takao Hiwatari Festival Come March 11 in Mount Takao, near the Tokyo suburb of Hachioji, practitioners of Japan’s Shugendo religion purify themselves by walking across hot coals. Watch from the stands—or sign up to take a little heat yourself.

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The Best-Ever Christmas Sail

Nuremberg

Romantischer Weihnachtsmarkt

Christkindlmarkt Passau

Christmas Market Schloß Schönbrunn

Xmas Factor

Only handmade goods are allowed in this Bavarian market, set in the city’s medieval square.

Every year, the courtyard of the Palais Thurn und Taxis is transformed into a Christmas market.

Don’t miss a holiday concert in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which hosts the market in its main square.

Held in front of the baroque Schönbrunn Palace, this is the most elegant of Vienna’s 14 markets.

Snack

Drei im weggla, three small bratwursts served on a roll

Heidelbeerglühwein (warm blueberry wine) and chestnuts

Sengzelten, a rye flatbread topped with ham and cheese

Baumkuchen, a coneshaped pastry rolled in nuts or sugar

Gift

Book AmaWaterways’ new Magical Christmas Markets river cruise down the Danube, and do all your holiday shopping during the seven-day sail.

A zwetschgenmännle, a figurine made from dried prunes and figs

A bottle of the spirit Karmelitengeist, from a recipe dating to 1721

A hand-carved wooden Bavarian nutcracker

A snow globe (They were invented in Vienna!)

Christkindlesmarkt

Regensburg

Vienna

“Tromsø is located 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The sun sets at the end of November and doesn’t rise again until the end of January, but even on the darkest days, it’s not pitch black. The light changes, all in shades of blue, these beautiful blues. “Winter travel in Tromsø has exploded. When I first moved to the city in 1993, the primary tourism was summerrelated, and the hotels were very quiet in the wintertime. Now our biggest surge of visitors comes in the winter— people see it as exotic. They come for the reindeer, for the skiing, and of course for the northern lights. The longer the sky is dark, the longer you get to see the lights when they appear. They might be whimsical and faint or they might be dramatic and swishing and swirling.”

FROM LEFT: JEFF J. MITCHELL/GETTY, OLE SALOMONSEN PHOTOGRAPHY

For two months of every year, the people of Tromsø, Norway, live in near total darkness. Tove Dahl, an educational psychologist who researches Arctic tourism at the University of Tromsø, explains why that’s the best reason to go.


ADVERTISEMENT

F I N D I N G Y O U R

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here’s a place so far from the tourist track that its ancient Japanese name meant land beyond roads.

Those who do make it to Tohoku—at the northern tip of Japan’s largest island, Honshu— uncover a series of lakes and forested mountains that unfurls from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Japan. As AFAR Ambassador Rachel Rudwall (@rachelroams) discovered, it’s a place where timeworn temples and trekking trails seem to exist solely for you. “Tohoku wraps you in its fold and presents you with landscapes and customs that feel unchanged by time,” says Rachel. She was enchanted by gardens dripping with autumn

light and discovered another side of Japan, far from the neon bustle of its cities. Seek out Tohoku’s charms with bike rides between ancient religious sites in Ichinoseki and visits to the cliffside Takkoku-no-Iwaya Temple and the Golden Hall at Chuson-ji. Soak up the fresh air while hiking through virgin beech forests at Shirakami Sanchi and alongside rushing waterfalls in the Oirase and Geibikei Gorges. And be invigorated as you speed across the glinting waters of Lake Towada and Matsushima Bay.

It’s your turn to explore the land beyond roads; it’s your turn to discover Tohoku. Learn more at us.jnto.go.jp/tohoku

I N


Fall in love with Cayman’s epic sunsets. Grace Byers

visitcaymanislands.com Photo credit: Rebecca Davidson


The Nantucket Project is about what matters most in a messy, noisy world. 4-days. 40 talks. Original short films. Music. Performances. Unforgettable experiences.

SEPTEMBER 13–16, 2018 NANTUCKET


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Three ways to dive into winter

GRANT GUNDERSON

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HROUGHOUT MOST of our history,

humans hunkered down during the cold, dark months of winter. Skis first appeared about 8,000 years ago, as indigenous peoples in China and Siberia sought better ways to travel over snow. But it would take another several thousand years before people perceived winter as a vacation opportunity. It wasn’t until 1864, when Johannes Badrutt, a hotelier in St. Moritz, Switzerland, placed a

bet with some of his British guests that they would enjoy winter in the Alps just as much as they did summer. He told them that if they couldn’t spend time outdoors in short-sleeve shirts during their stay in the Engadin Valley, he would pay their expenses. Badrutt won the bet, and winter travel was born, with St. Moritz becoming the world’s first bona fide winter destination. As those early travelers discovered, winter offers us a chance to see the world in a natural,

if formidable, state. Crisp air fills our lungs, snowflakes fall from the sky by the billions without making a sound, and stars blaze white across a night sky. Wine tastes better. Our beers get dark and hoppy. And it’s the only time of year when it’s perfectly acceptable to put melted cheese on everything. Winter travel ultimately allows us to find the unexpected and may even lead us to a place of warmth. Here are three activities worth braving the chill for. —MATT HANSEN JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

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Fright Night

Lötschental Valley, Switzerland

CHARLES FREGER

For centuries, a footpath was the only way in or out of Lötschental Valley in southern Switzerland. Today, you can drive on a two-lane road, which makes it much easier to experience the traditions of the “Magic Valley.” Known primarily as a skiing destination (the valley is less than two hours from Bern), Lötschental is also home to the peculiar Tschäggättä Festival (February 8). During this carnival, residents don ghoulish wooden masks and dress up in

elaborately hairy costumes. The outfits weigh up to 60 pounds, and those who wear them look like Yeti-Chewbacca hybrids. After the sun sets, hundreds of the monsters lurch through the town of Wiler, frightening locals and tourists alike. The origin of this custom is unclear, but people suspect it goes back to the 1800s, when less fortunate farmers would disguise themselves to steal from neighbors. Today, it’s like Halloween, but instead of candy, the treats are glühwein, beer, sausage, and cheese.

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Have a Mountain to Yourself

CHRIS FIGENSHAU

Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho

There are two defining characteristics of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains: They are pierced with steep gorges and they are hard to access, especially during the winter, when snow all but seals them off. You can experience them, however, by booking a couple of nights in the backcountry Williams Peak Hut (two yurts side by side), which was the first overnight shelter erected on the edge of the Sawtooth Wilderness. Built by Sawtooth

Mountain Guides, the yurts sleep up to eight people each and come equipped with a wood stove, a propane kitchen, and a wood-fired sauna. They offer access to 41 named ski routes, for skiers of all skill levels. The area is a protected wilderness, which means there are no snowmobiles, and it’s likely the only other people you’ll see are your friendly yurtmates. Guided trips start at $300 per person per day for groups of eight to 12. Private rentals are also available. sawtoothguides .com JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018


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Be the first person to ski (or snowboard) down a backcountry slope in Iceland’s remote Westfjords region.

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From Summit to Seaweed

The Westfjords, Iceland The Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is among the wildest places left in the North Atlantic. There are no roads. No electricity. No Wi-Fi. The best way to explore this region where the sea meets vertical cliffs? By boat—and skis. Aurora Arktika, a familyowned and -operated guide service based in nearby Íslafjörður, leads six-day trips. Travelers sleep aboard one of the company’s two expedition sailboats and spend their days climbing mountains and skiing down

them. After a breakfast of salami, cheese, and hot coffee, the adventurous take a Zodiac to shore and climb a snowfield in their skis. At about 1,000 feet, they’ll top out. There’s time to take in the expanse of Iceland’s Westfjords—and the total absence of other skiers— before dropping into a 40-degree slope that leads to the ocean. At the end of the day, the boat awaits, along with fresh mussels and clam chowder. And if travelers are lucky, they’ll dine beneath the aurora borealis. aurora-arktika .com

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where to f ind inspiration Malaysia’s capital has become a hotbed of art and design. Here, several of Kuala Lumpur’s most influential residents guide us through the city’s creatively charged neighborhoods.

as told to Ashlea Halpern photographs by Che’ Ahmad Azhar bin Che’ Fadzil


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w WHAT MAKES A CITY INSPIRING? FOR PHOTOGRAPHER

Che’ Ahmad Azhar bin Che’ Fadzil, it’s the richness of life on the streets. He has spent years documenting everyday people in the neighborhoods of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As you can see in the photographs that accompany this story, Fadzil has an eye for moments of unadorned humanity. We asked him, along with several other members of the city’s creative class, to share the places that stimulate their senses, spark their imaginations, and offer them room to think. “My place of inspiration in Kuala Lumpur is Kampung Baru, an old Malay settlement in the center of the city. Kampung means ‘village’ or ‘rural.’ I was a kampung boy myself; I grew up in a small town north of Penang. We did all the things small boys do—catch fish, climb trees, and play good-guys-bad-guys, just like in the cowboy movies. I moved to Kuala Lumpur in the early ’80s to further my studies, and after I graduated, I rented a room in Kampung Baru. It was very cheap, and its traditional Malay shop houses, small alleys, and coconut trees reminded me of my village. Even though modernization has started to dilute the place, Kampung Baru offers a slice of life that still brings back a lot of my childhood memories. That’s why I do photography here. I want to shoot the classic side of Kuala Lumpur—before it’s gone. “Saturday is my day for shooting. Because there’s no school, and the businessmen aren’t working, there’s a lot of leisure activity. Kids are playing soccer or riding bikes and skateboards; ladies are sitting and chatting; men are playing chess in the coffee shops. I try to be invisible. And I never ask people to pose for me. I just observe my surroundings and shoot whatever catches my eye. Along the way, I make a lot of friends. If I skip a week in Kampung Baru, the next week people will say, ‘Where’ve you been?’ “Because I shoot all day long, from dawn until dusk, I take breaks for lunch, tea, and dinner. Kampung Baru is a foodie paradise. In the morning, I have teh tarik [milk tea] and nasi lemak [coconut rice] or roti bakar [roasted bread]. At lunch, Indian fish-head curry. For dinner, maybe satay. Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot—whatever I want to eat, I can find it in Kampung Baru. Some stands serve food until 3 or 4 in the morning; it’s like a fiesta! You can’t even find parking, it’s so jammed. And then at 5 or 6 a.m., other shops open early for breakfast. The coming and going of people is continuous. If I find a composition with good light, I can set up my camera and just wait for the right moment.”

5 KL Neighborhoods Where Creativity Shines Farah Azizan and Adela Askandar Cofounders of Studio Bikin, a multidisciplinary design studio Askandar: “We draw a lot of inspiration from the pockets of greenery within our city. Lake Gardens was a park built by the British—it’s kind of like Kuala Lumpur’s Central Park.” Azizan: “The park is surrounded by historical buildings. The hills that overlook it are quite green, almost jungle-like, which is rare for an area so close to the central business district.” Askandar: “My favorite way to enter is to take the route that passes by our National Mosque, which is a modernist icon for the city, and past the new Islamic Arts Museum, which was built in the Ottoman style. When you get down to the park itself, there are lake trails, and much of the land is beautifully landscaped. The sense of arrival is quite special.”

Wei-Ling Lim Founder and director of Wei-Ling Gallery and WeiLing Contemporary gallery “I find inspiration in Brickfields, also called Little India, where my first gallery is. The area has the town’s highest concentration of places of worship— including one of the largest Buddhist temples and several important Hindu temples—and you’ve got people selling banana-leaf rice, dosas, saris, incense. But right across the street you’ve got the KL Sentral station, the St. Regis Hotel, and King Cole Bar. “Brickfields has gentrified a little bit, but the shops I grew up with are largely untouched. “My exhibitions aren’t necessarily influenced by the neighborhood, but showing in a private gallery, tucked away in Brickfields, allows artists to present more subversive work. “To experience Brickfields like I do, start at the Buddhist Maha Vihara temple. People come here to meditate and bring food to the monks. Follow this with Indian dance and superb vegetarian food at the Temple of Fine Arts. The chendol [an iced dessert] at the stand next to the 7-Eleven is the best in KL. Finally, at the Sree Veera Hanuman Temple, a 40-foot-tall monkey god peers down at you from the ceiling. It’ll take your breath away.”

Adeline Chong Owner of the store Snackfood “The core of my creative inspiration comes from a trio of neighborhoods with colorful old housing, eccentric vintage signage, and mom-and-pop shops. Lucky Garden is very homey, almost kitschy, and there’s a lively market. You still see grandmas bringing in carriages to buy fruit. Pudu is another neighborhood full of character. In the 1960s, there were clans of Chinese gangsters here. There are no gangsters now, but you can still feel the rowdiness and see some of the old men, tattooed, smoking, and drinking coffee. At Yung Kee, one of the best beef noodle spots in the city, you can order Wagyu for $25 or get a bowl of delicate beef intestines for $2. “I also like the inner part of Chinatown. If you meander into the back lanes off Petaling Street, there are barbershops and pop-up food vendors and even a few modern speakeasies, including PS150, the Berlin KL, and the Attic. “None of these neighborhoods are ‘to do’ neighborhoods; they’re places to wander without intention, to see how life was and how life is.”

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The Napa Valley came together as a community when wildfires struck this fall, and it’s ready to welcome travelersÑwhose support means more now than ever. To inspire your next visit, we’re bringing the destination to life through a series of video profiles that reflect the dynamic, resilient, and creative spirit of the Napa Valley. You’ll be fascinated by the stories of these local makers who work in art studios, kitchens, distilleries, and farms.

Get a sneak peek here and learn more at afar.com/napavalley.

visitnapavalley.com

ARTHUR AND LUSINE HARTUNIAN, Distillers Napa Valley Distillery Napa Valley counts about 400 wineries, but only a few distilleries. It’s a passion project for Arthur, a self-described “cocktail geek,” and Lusine, the master taster and marketer. Together, this husband-andwife team has built a business crafting seasonal small-batch spirits and cocktails made with local wines. Tours of their warehouse include tastings in an upstairs bar that channels the glamour of 1920s art deco and Prohibition era. CHRIS HALL, EVP & COO Long Meadow Ranch A vegetable garden was one of Chris Hall’s childhood projects, inspired by his parents, who were early adopters of organic farming. They launched Long Meadow Ranch to grow cabernet sauvignon, and Chris has increasingly led its expansion into diversified, 360-degree farming. Fruits, grass-fed cattle, poultry, honey, and more products are now cultivated across Long Meadow Ranch’s properties. This bounty turns up at the St. Helena Farmer’s Market and on the table at Farmstead restaurant. WENDY SHERWOOD, Chocolatier La Forêt It was love at first sight when Wendy Sherwood arrived in the Napa Valley; she canceled her return flight and accepted a job on the spot. While working as part of the pastry team at

The French Laundry, she was inspired to bring fine-dining quality chocolate to a larger audience. In 2010, La Forêt was born. Day in and out, you’ll find her at the shop, making artisanal chocolates and confections, often infused with fruits and herbs from her garden. DOUGLAS RENNIE, Master Cooper Seguin Moreau Napa Cooperage A fourth-generation cooper from Glasgow, Scotland, Douglas Rennie has been making oak barrels for the finest Napa Valley vineyards for more than 20 years. He describes the workspace as a fast-paced beehive, where he employs traditional methods, including smoke and fire, to craft beautiful and functional barrels. He adjusts the process to meet a given winemaker’s preferences, as the barrel itself contributes to a wine’s flavor profile. MELISSA AND MERCEDES BAKER, Artists The Ehlers Society The Baker sisters grew up in the Napa Valley and spent time outdoors, building things out of found objects. They’re still at it today, creating largescale art installations, as well as oil paintings, on a former cattle ranch. They’re part of a burgeoning arts community and founders of the Ehlers Society, a group of collaborative multidisciplinary artists. “Napa Valley has a very high aesthetic,” says Melissa Baker. “It’s constantly changing and evolving, so it’s stimulating.”


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TRAVEL IN WINTER

Book now or plan ahead to travel deeper in December, January, and February. by SARA BUTTON & GABE ULLA

Hotels Hôtel de Crillon Paris Sip champagne in the salon where Marie Antoinette took piano lessons or stroll directly onto the picturesque Place de la Concorde at this 18th-century hotel, newly restored by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. Open now, from $1,150. 38

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Ace Hotel Chicago Eat at the lobbylevel restaurant City Mouse, or sip a Sherry Colada at the rooftop bar, Waydown, named for a song by Illinois native John Prine. Open now, from $160. Roho Ya Selous Tanzania Look beyond the Serengeti’s grassy plains and venture south to Asilia’s

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

new eight-tent encampment in the Selous Game Reserve. Nearby lakes and rivers attract a vast diversity of wildlife. Open now, from $700. The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland Grindavík, Iceland The promise of puffins, towering waterfalls, and a glimpse of the ethereal northern lights beckon

you to Iceland. Now, so will this 62-suite hotel with a restaurant and private pools, the only lodging located at the popular Blue Lagoon geothermal spa southwest of Reykjavík. Opening 2018, from $1,355.

Culture Panama Jazz Festival Panama City, Panama The 15th annual festival features a week of shows (most free), jam sessions, and clinics with seasoned musicians, such as the Wayne Shorter

Quartet, and upand-comers from prestigious jazz schools including the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. Jan. 15–20, 2018 Carnival Valletta, Malta Whimsical floats and costumed performers make their way through the medieval streets of Valletta, UNESCO’s 2018 European City of Culture. Feb. 9–13, 2018 Luna Fête New Orleans Myriad events in 2018 will celebrate the Big Easy’s 300th birthday, but next December’s

Luna Fête is the fifth iteration (and culmination) of an outdoor art initiative promising to end the year in style. NOLA’s most iconic buildings become a canvas for this showcase of light and technology installations. Dec. 5–8, 2018 Woodford Folk Festival Woodfordia, Australia Song. Circus. Movement. Meditation. Experience these and more at Australia’s biggest assembly of artists and performers; tickets go on sale in spring. Dec. 27, 2018–Jan. 1, 2019

SANDY NOTO

where to


You’ll be moved, even while standing still.

You may never run out of ways to get out on the water in The Florida Keys. But sometimes, you’ll want to stop and soak up the atmosphere. It’s motion, and emotion, in perfect balance. fla-keys.com 1.800.fla.keys


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Where to Welcome the New Year

Celebrate renewal and hope for a brighter future at one of these five spots that always make staying up late and singing “Auld Lang Syne” worthwhile.

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ST. GEORGE’S, BERMUDA Gather in King’s Square for a giant street party with food, dancing, and live music. At midnight, a papier-mâché onion drops in homage to the island’s longtime association with the vegetable, which peaked in the 19th century when Bermuda exported more than 30,000 boxes of onions a week. 3

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS Two districts go head to head to see which can build the biggest bonfire leading up to December 31,

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when both are finally lit. Scheveningen currently holds the Guinness World Record; will Duindorp beat it? 4

SINGAPORE Watch explosions of color over Marina Bay from the Singapore Flyer, one of the world’s tallest Ferris wheels, or order a countdown cocktail at 1-Altitude, the highest alfresco bar on the planet. 5

CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA The Old Town’s 16th-century walls that once fended off pirates are among the best places to party on New Year’s Eve in this port city. Find an event atop las murallas themselves or wander the cobblestone streets within, where revelers dance the night away in Plaza de San Diego. —S.B.

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Art Hamilton London The award-winning blockbuster musical travels across the pond to open in the West End at the renovated Victoria Palace Theatre. Through June 30, 2018. The Spirit of Painting at the Museo Nacional del Prado Madrid Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang— who uses ignited gunpowder as a medium—is in residence at El Prado. The remodeled Hall of Realms is his studio, where he is creating a series inspired by the Old Masters, plus a monumental piece titled The Spirit of Painting. Through Mar. 4, 2018. A new Institute of Contemporary Art, and Jasper Johns at the Broad Los Angeles The Santa Monica Museum of Art

has a fresh name— the Institute of Contemporary Art— and a new home in downtown L.A., where its exhibits are free (open now). Nearby, the Broad and London’s Royal Academy of Arts present Something Resembling Truth, a special exhibition by American artist Jasper Johns. Feb. 10–May 13, 2018 Jameel Arts Centre Dubai The pioneer nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting Middle Eastern art and heritage will open its own multidisciplinary space (seen above) in the city’s Culture Village. Late 2018.

Dining Noma Copenhagen This is anything but a simple relocation for René Redzepi’s pioneering restaurant: architect Bjarke Ingels designed a lakeside

campus with room for research and farming. Early 2018. Theodore Rex Houston Chef Justin Yu closed Oxheart, his tasting menu restaurant, and opened Theodore Rex, where he applies his eye for detail to a modern bistro. People are already raving about the tomato toast (below). Open now.

Trips Nicaragua Social Impact Trip Journey Get out and give

back on this volunteer vacation. In conjunction with Glasswing International, travelers work on a two-day school renovation project before unwinding with yoga and outdoor adventures on the coast. Feb. 15–20, 2018 Chile Bicycling Tour Backroads This rugged sevenday itinerary takes active travelers past crystalline lakes and the snowtopped Andes, into the rain forest, and along the Trancura River. Dec. 14–20, 2018

FROM TOP: COURTESY OF JAMEEL ARTS CENTRE/SERIE ARCHITECTS, JONATHAN YOO

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LAS VEGAS Book early to watch the choreographed fireworks extravaganza on the Strip, or dine at one of nearly a dozen Michelinstarred restaurants in town.


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illustration by ROBBIE SIMON

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South Africa PLAN YOUR SOUTH AFRICA ADVENTURE Starting December 18th, AFAR Journeys shines a spotlight on South Africa by featuring inspiring, easy-to-book itineraries curated by the AFAR Travel Advisory Council. They cover both iconic and under-the-radar experiences, from the wine lands outside Cape Town to the beaches of sunny Durban. Whatever your passion, be it the arts, food and wine, or the outdoors, you can pursue it in South Africa. Find the trip thatÕs right for you at:

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where to

PLAY OUTSIDE

MANU PRATS/GALLERY STOCK

Make 2018 the year you scale a new mountain or venture beyond your comfort zone to an under-the-radar wide-open space.

Spain’s first national park, Picos de Europa, is a craggy wonderland for walkers, hikers, and climbers.

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1 PEAK BEAUTY Picos de Europa, Spain With its alpine karsts, glacial lakes, and hilltop woods, it’s no wonder Picos de Europa was the first designated national park in Spain. Occupying a remote area on Spain’s northern coast, the park celebrates its centenary in 2018. Join avid mountaineers and head for the highest of its famous limestone picos (peaks), 8,688foot Torre de Cerredo, or chase butterflies and snap photos of fearless wild horses in the high valleys. The park’s main access towns are a few hours’ bus ride from regions such as Asturias, Cantabria, and Castilla y León.

2 WILD TRAILS Hossa National Park, Finland More than 50 miles of trails wind among pine forests, wild berry patches, and 130 or so lakes and ponds in Finland’s newest national park (pictured), which was inaugurated in late 2017 to celebrate Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence. In addition to natural wonders, visitors can take in rock paintings that date back 4,500 years. Overnight options include campgrounds, lodges, and rental huts such as PikkuHossa, which has a sauna and views of Lake Kenttäjärvi. —JILL K. ROBINSON

MARJAANA TASALA

—MAGGIE FULLER

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3 FROM RAIN FORESTS TO GLACIERS Parque Pumalín, Chile In the northern part of Chilean Patagonia, Parque Pumalín stretches from Andean peaks to Pacific fjords, with dense rain forest, hidden lakes, waterfalls, and volcanoes in between. Expected to be named a national park this spring, Pumalín is already open to the public and free to visit. Hike to glacial faces or trek up Volcán Chaitén, which lay dormant for 9,000 years before erupting in 2008. Book early to snag a cozy waterfront cabin at Caleta Gonzalo.

INTO THE MIST Botum Sakor, Cambodia Miles of jungle footpaths make southwestern Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains a hiker’s heaven. One of the last strongholds of the Khmer Rouge regime, the area opened to travelers only two decades ago, and the tropical landscapes of Botum Sakor National Park feel almost unexplored. Conservation groups protect the forests by replanting trees and through aggressive antilogging efforts. From Phnom Penh, a threeand-a-half-hour bus trip and twohour boat ride brings you to Chi Phat, where local outfitters offer trekking and kayaking. —M.F.

5 OVER THE RAINBOW Vinicunca, Peru The multicolored mountain of Vinicunca (pictured) is not terribly far from the mobbed pathways of Machu Picchu, but until a few years ago, it was virtually unknown to U.S. travelers. Today, more visitors are braving the three-and-a-halfhour drive from Cuzco (and the three-hour hike) to feast their eyes on its crayon-box colors—burnt umber, periwinkle blue, mustard yellow. Instead of rushing through a day’s outing, take in the mountain’s hues on a two-day trek with Ayni Peru Expeditions. —M.F.

CHRISTOPHER SIMPSON/GALLERY STOCK

—SARAH FELDBERG

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W H E RE TO

Clockwise from top left: Marvel Bar; the dining room bar at Young Joni; cocktails at Tattersall Distilling, the Avenida and a dill-spiked Bad Hunter; Spoon and Stable bartenders; Spoon and Stable cocktails; stills at Tattersall Distilling.

D R I N K How the Twin Cities—land of lakes, ice, and Minnesota Nice—became the next great place to raise a glass. by Megan Krigbaum photographs by Matthew Hintz


W WHEN IT COMES TO THE INDUSTRIAL

parks of Minneapolis, I won’t go so far as to say I’m an expert, but having visited a half-dozen or so of them in a matter of days, I do know that, right now, they are some of the best places in town to get a drink. A burgeoning beer culture has been manifest in the Twin Cities for more than a decade— to say there’s a microbrewery on nearly every corner in both Minneapolis and St. Paul is not an exaggeration—but its cocktail counterpart took longer to arrive. Now, thanks to some real bartender talent, the drinks that are shaken and stirred in this Midwestern metropolis rival those served in New York, San Francisco, or Chicago. What makes the Twin Cities unique, however, is their equally impressive young distilling scene: More than a dozen craft distilleries now straddle the Mississippi. I had three days—and Lyft at the ready—to drink it all in. There weren’t always distilleries hidden in anonymous buildings around town. Following the passage of the Surly Bill in 2011, the annual operating license fee for a distillery in the state of Minnesota dropped from $30,000 to $1,000, clearing the way for smaller startups. Once that was in place, Shanelle and Chris Montana of Du Nord Craft Spirits led the effort to legalize on-premises cocktail rooms, something you aren’t likely to find in New York, San 52

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Francisco, or Chicago. The Montanas succeeded, and opened the first distillery bar in Minneapolis at the end of 2015. When I met up with the Montanas, their young sons, Elijah and Ashley, were playing a game of table shuffleboard that didn’t have much to do with the table. Between plunks of a metal puck on the bar’s floors, Chris shared his story: An attorney looking for a change of pace, he taught himself how to make booze using a jerry-rigged still set up in the space we were standing in, a former motorcycle shop. “I had to learn the science,” he said, “so I could be my own repair guy.” The still was so slow that he spent most of those early days lying on an old couch, watching The Big Lebowski and Super Troopers on repeat as he waited for his vodka or gin (both made with corn from Shanelle’s family farm) or Minnesota apple brandy to drip through. Today, a warm, casual cocktail room occupies half of the industrial space. Every weekend, the bar is packed with people drinking pretty, piney gin and tonics made with Chris’s Fitzgerald Gin, peering through the window that separates the bar from the distillery. “Transparency is our thing,” Chris told me as he pointed out his new artisan still from Canada. “The whole thing is a fishbowl.” The legalization of cocktail rooms came with a caveat: Only spirits made on-site can

be used behind the bars. This means that you won’t find margaritas in any of them—tequila can only be made in certain districts in Mexico—and distilleries that want to serve a range of drinks have been forced to get creative. At Tattersall Distilling, for instance, you’ll find more than two dozen different spirits and liqueurs, including aquavit, a caraway-flavored spirit with Scandinavian roots; liqueurs made with grapefruit, sour cherries, or bitter orange; and gin crafted with 22 botanicals, all made on site. Tattersall occupies 28,000 square feet of an old brick warehouse that once housed the Mechanical Division of General Mills. These days, the building is all labyrinthine hallways that branch off into artist studios and climbing gyms—and Tattersall, a sunny space with 27-foot-tall ceilings and an outdoor patio. When I arrived, the crew was distilling rye for whiskey, and the whole place smelled malty and sweet. “If we’re making rum, it smells like gingerbread,” co-owner Dan Oskey told me as I sipped a habanero-infused Southside. While all seats have views of the enormous distillation room, it’s clear that the focal point of the operation is the horseshoe-shaped bar. Friends since childhood, Oskey, a pioneer in the local craft cocktail movement, and Jon Kreidler, a finance guy turned distiller, started Tattersall in 2015 with one goal. “Distilleries aren’t known for having great bars; we wanted a great bar. We have the end drink in mind,” Oskey said. Their plan worked—by 5 p.m. on a Thursday, the bar and patio were full. Certainly, not all the good drinking in Minneapolis is happening in industrial parks. The Twin Cities have always had a strong bar culture, but two temples of craft cocktails—the Town Talk Diner & Gastropub and Bradstreet Crafthouse—launched a new generation of bartenders who led the next stage of evolution. Marvel Bar was one of the first big players in the new wave. I’d been corresponding with its general manager, Peder Schweigert, about his drinks for years. He has an avant-garde way of thinking about drinks, changing their balance, using obscure spirits, and bringing unexpected flavors to the glass. I wanted to meet him in person. I wedged my way into the far end of the outlandishly long and intensely packed bar. Schweigert, with his blond beard and rectangular professorial glasses, was frenetically working the center station but made his way over to me shaking a cocktail above his head as he walked. He delivered a Good Witch, a low-alcohol cocktail that includes dry French vermouth, an herbal liqueur called Strega, lime, and tamari (Japanese soy sauce).


Left to right, from top left: Marvel’s The Old Man and the Sea; Chris Montana of Du Nord Craft Spirits; Spoon and Stable; Spoon and Stable bartender Elliot Manthey; Tattersall’s Avenida; Hola Arepa; Du Nord; Tattersall distiller Dan Oskey; Young Joni’s Purple Tape.


5 MORE PLACES RAISING THE . . . YOU KNOW 1. Spoon and Stable The drinks menu at this French-inspired restaurant reads like any cocktail list anywhere, belying the alchemy behind every ingredient. Beverage director Robb Jones’s Pimm’s Cup is made with strawberries that are cryovaced (hermetically sealed) with Pimm’s liqueur, and he intensifies a caipirinha with clarified cantaloupe juice. spoonandstable.com 2. Hola Arepa With its outdoor bar and deck filled with colorful chairs, Hola Arepa could easily fit into Miami’s Design District or Venice Beach—really, any place with palm trees. Matching the aesthetic: The Aviso, a fizzy, slightly herbaceous cocktail made with gin, sparkling wine, Alpine génépy, and house-made mango-tonka-bean bitters. In 2018, watch for Hai Hai, a Southeast Asian spot from owners Birk Stefan Grudem and Christina Nguyen that will also highlight Grudem’s drinks. holaarepa.com

The herbs blended with the salty tamari in a savory and refreshing blur. More drinks followed, including one called the Strongwater (aged whiskey, cognac, herbal liqueurs), which Schweigert introduced by telling me that, these days, he is experimenting with dilution in cocktails—adding water instead of shaking or stirring with ice. The water opens up the spirits more dramatically, he explained. This braininess is what I’ve long admired about Schweigert; by messing with the rules, he’s able to alter the character of a drink. As my trip neared its end, I sat for dinner with my friend Natalie at Young Joni, a yearold restaurant with leather-strapped chairs and a wood-fired hearth. The restaurant has attracted national attention not only for the food and ambience, but also for the thoughtful cocktails from bar director Adam Gorski, the face of the new new wave. In an effort to stave off preconceptions, Gorski’s menu lists the flavors of a drink, rather than listing the brand-name spirits. A drink made with bitter, polarizing Fernet, say, might just be listed as having white clove or eucalyptus flavors, inviting even Fernet-haters to give it a chance. Between bites of a pizza topped with stringy Gruyère-laden potatoes (both Yukon and sweet), I drank a seasonal negroni in which Salers, a colorless French aperitif, stood in for Campari; the cocktail was clear, not flame red. 54

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Natalie’s old-fashioned was based on cognac, not bourbon, and included chamomile syrup. The drinks were unexpected yet delicious versions of drinks we thought we knew. We needed a nightcap, which was conveniently available just down the alley behind Young Joni at its Back Bar. There, in typical speakeasy fashion, sat a guy in a folding chair, reading Salinger in the glow of a red neon light. He let us into the rabbit hole of a bar, decorated with fanciful floral wallpaper, vintage furniture, and a reel-to-reel player with music mixes designed to match the cocktail list, which is presented in an old photo album. This is where Gorski, free from the pressures of the busy restaurant, really flexes his creativity. I ordered The In Crowd, an absinthe-dipped take on a Manhattan. It was a gentle end to the night, even though I would have gladly stayed for a second round—maybe the pisco-based Purple Tape, a tribute to the Twin Cities’ beloved Prince. But I knew I’d be back to duck down more alleys, to wedge into crowded basement bars, and to strut up loading docks on the outskirts of town—all in pursuit of a good drink. Wine writer Megan Krigbaum is a contributing editor at Punch and editor of The Essential Cocktail Book. This is photographer Matthew Hintz’s first assignment for AFAR.

3. Norseman Distillery Located in a warehouse, the distillery and cocktail room has a cool-kid vibe and a restaurant, too. Distiller Scott Ervin and bartender Keith Mrotek have created an ever-growing selection of unusually flavored spirits (38 at last count). So far, the department of agriculture has only nixed a leather-infused aquavit and a spirit aged with taconite, a low-grade iron ore. norsemandistillery.com 4. Lawless Distilling Company Jeffrey Fricke, a member of the bartending collective Bittercube, manages the dark, dive-y bar at this distillery in south Minneapolis. One excellent cocktail, the Garden Sling, requires bar guests to go outside (weather permitting) and harvest herbs and leaves from pots in front of the warehouse, which Fricke will then turn into a bespoke drink. lawlessdistillingcompany.com 5. Dampfwerk Distilling Using Minnesota fruit and a German copper still, Ralf and Mary Loeffelholz make apple brandies (plus a gin, Mary’s favorite). Ralf, originally from Bavaria, also makes a number of botanical liqueurs from vintage recipes, including the Helgolander, which includes cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and citrus—a mix that, according to Ralf, tastes like “a Christmas cookie, but bitter.” thedampfwerk.com


Three times a year, bar director Adam Gorski (pictured) chooses a new theme and overhauls the entire cocktail menu at Young Joni’s Back Bar.


N O RWE G IAN FJORDS


BY R I V ER, BY SE A.

Only with Viking

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Cultural enrichment from ship to shore. The Thinking Person’s Cruise.¨

Visit vikingcruises.com, see your Travel Agent or call 1-888-307-6790.

CST: #2052644-40 From Travel + Leisure Magazine, August 2017 © Time Inc. Affluent Media Group. Travel + Leisure ® and ‘World’s Best Awards’ are trademarks of Time Inc. Affluent Media Group and are used under license. Travel + Leisure and Time Inc. Affluent Media Group are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, Viking Cruises.


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LATIN AMERICAN LUXURY ILTM Latin America in São Paulo (May 8 - 11, 2018) showcases some of the world’s best luxury travel experiences to those representing the continent’s most wealthy travelers. If you represent a luxury travel brand and this is your target market, find out more at iltmlatinamerica.com.

EXPLORING WHAT MATTERS MOST Each fall, The Nantucket Project gathers a select group of people under a big tent by the sea to discuss what matters most in our messy, noisy world. The four-day event features 40 talks, original short films, music, performances, and unforgettable experiences. This is a movement that is changing the world. Join us at nantucketproject.com/attend.

WORLD IN FOCUS PHOTO EXPEDITIONS Experience the world’s most scenic destinations while receiving mentoring from leading photographers and access to the latest Nikon equipment. Departing January - March 2018. Register now at afar.com/worldinfocus.

CELEBRATING THE 2017 AFAR TRAVEL VANGUARD On September 29th we gathered at Little Owl The Townhouse to honor the 2017 AFAR Travel Vanguard, visionaries shaping the future of travel. From the hotelier connecting with local communities to the entrepreneur bridging the gap between education and exploration, these leaders are harnessing the power of travel to incite change. Guests helped raise money for Learning AFAR, our travel scholarship program, which aims to ensure that all youth, regardless of background, have opportunities to experience the world and realize their potential. Thank you to our partners at Intrepid Travel, Emirates, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, and Elite Island Resorts for their generous donations.

Top left: Greg Sullivan, AFAR CEO & cofounder; Helen Hill, CEO of the Charleston Area CVB; Glen Fu and Zoey Zuo, founders of 54Traveler; Ruben Caldwell, Leigh Salem, Brian Smith, and Jou-Yie Chou, partners at Studio Tack; Abby Falik, founder of Global Citizen Year; Pam Codispoti, president of Chase Branded Cards; Ellen Asmodeo-Giglio, AFAR EVP & CRO; Jenn Flowers, AFAR deputy editor; and Joe Diaz, AFAR cofounder. Bottom left: Greg Sullivan, AFAR CEO & cofounder with Glen Fu and Zoey Zuo, founders of 54Traveler.


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EAT HYPER LOCAL

In the Faroe Islands, where sheep outnumber people and extreme weather has dictated the diet for centuries, an unlikely food star is born. by JAMIE FELDMAR

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LANK LOOKS. I got a lot of them when I said I was going to the Faroe Islands. “Where’s that?” my furrow-browed friends asked. The Faroe Islands are a tiny volcanic archipelago in the choppy North Atlantic, nearly equidistant from Iceland and Scotland, and a bit farther from Norway. Technically a self-governing region of the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroes have their own prime minister, language, and soccer team. The islands depend largely on fishing exports for income and contain more sheep (70,000) than people (50,700). And even though they have gotten easier to reach (the national airline, Atlantic Airways, runs flights out of 12 European cities), the Faroes are still—for now, at least—off the radar of most travelers, who are perhaps put off by the gale-force winds

and rain that pummel the dramatic terrain for much of the year. But if you’re into mindboggling landscapes, unique culture, and food unlike anything you’ve ever tasted, they’re worth the trip. So quiet are the Faroes that when I arrived at the only airport, on the island of Vágar, there was no one at the car rental desk. A few phone calls and 20 minutes later, a young man appeared with keys and immediately started deflecting my questions about where to go: “Really, there’s only one road. It’s impossible to get lost,” he said. I snorted—o ye of undue faith—but soon realized he was right. There is essentially one large, well-maintained road that traverses most of the 18 islands, linking them via bridges, tunnels, and car ferries, with a few spokes leading off to villages often with populations numbering in the teens.

I did take his one piece of advice and detoured onto the old mountain road, Oyggjarvegur, a scenic route from Vágar into the capital city of Tórshavn. The drive gave me my first glimpses of the epic nature that would come to define the next five days: layer-cake mountains in shades of green; deep-blue inlets slicing through craggy sea cliffs; thousands of unimpressed sheep loitering in the road. And this was just on the way out from the airport. Tórshavn, often described as the smallest capital in the world, is ringed by a pretty harbor and holds the densest concentration of hotels and restaurants in the Faroes. You can base yourself here and day-trip out in any direction. Head west to the puffin-watching paradise of Mykines Island (if the ferries are running in the notoriously testy weather); northeast to slender Kalsoy for a hike to the

With its traditional grassroofed houses, the village of Saksun, home to just 40 people, melds into the Faroese countryside.

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Kallur lighthouse and its stunning panoramas; or north to the picturesque village of Gjógv, set in a deep valley between soaring mountains on the island of Eysturoy. Staying in Tórshavn also puts you within a 10-minute drive of Koks, the islands’ first Michelin-starred restaurant. It’s overseen by 27-year-old Faroese chef Poul Andrias Ziska and Swiss-born manager Karin Visth. Ziska, like many Nordic chefs, champions the use of local ingredients, and he employs traditional Faroese techniques such as drying, fermenting, smoking, and salting. “Faroese food culture was created in order for us to survive,” Ziska explained when we met later in my trip. “Fishing, foraging, preserving, and so on—all of these things come from what nature gives us. But over time, they have become a part of our palate. Today, we don’t do these things because we need to—we do them because we love the flavors, and we love the traditions.” 60

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Ziska has constructed a series of “mobile fermentation houses” to experiment with various preservation techniques, and he works with local fishermen and farmers during the restaurant’s seasonal run (April through September). On his 17-course tasting menu, the dishes—which are often deeply earthy, funky, briny, or otherwise unsubtle—might include things such as skerpikjøt, a prosciuttoesque, wind-dried fermented mutton that’s been a staple on the islands for centuries, served with fried reindeer lichen and a baggie of truffle-scented seaweed. Or cured whale blubber and shaved eggs—laid by seabirds called fulmars and collected by rappelling down the side of a cliff during their one-day season—sandwiched between thin sheets of crispy cod skin. Sea urchins are kept alive in a wooden crate in the tide pools just below the restaurant until moments before they are served. Giant mahogany clams are accompa-

nied by a succulent sea herb called sandwort. Ziska isn’t trying to appeal to foodies by being outré—he is working, quite viscerally, with what nature has provided. This theme repeated itself throughout my visit. I saw sheepskin throws in the lobby of the Gjáargarður guesthouse in Gjógv; $400 wool sweaters on the racks at Gudrun & Gudrun, a chic boutique in Tórshavn; colorful houses topped with grass roofs to shield against rain. Every Faroese person I spoke to seemed almost supernaturally in tune with the subtle shifts in the weather; I was warned several times about the possibility of fog rolling in before I embarked on my daily hikes. It is an elemental existence in the Faroes, tied deeply to forces beyond human control. “We Faroese are nature people,” Ziska told me. He gestured at the sublime ocean view from his kitchen as if to say, go outside and see for yourself.

PREVIOUS PAGE: TOBIAS HÄGG; THIS PAGE FROM LEFT: CLAES BECH-POULSEN, INGRID HOFSTRA

At Koks, the Faroe Islands’ first and only Michelin-starred restaurant, chef Poul Andrias Ziska uses local produce in dishes such as the seaweed-blueberry-chocolate dessert søl og bláber, one of his innovative riffs on traditional Faroese cuisine.


THAT LUGGAGE

WON’T PAY FOR ITSELF. Switch to GEICO and save money for the things you love. Maybe it’s impeccably designed matched luggage. Or the upgrade to First Class. Travel is what you love – and it doesn’t come cheap. So switch to GEICO, because you could save 15% or more on car insurance. And that would help make the things you love that much easier to get.

Auto • Home • Rent • Cycle • Boat geico.com | 1-800-947-AUTO (2886) | local office Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. Homeowners and renters coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Boat and PWC coverages are underwritten by GEICO Marine Insurance Company. Motorcycle and ATV coverages are underwritten by GEICO Indemnity Company. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. © 2017 GEICO


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The historic site of Tinganes dates to around 900, when the Viking government met there. Today, it houses the prime minister’s office.

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INGRID HOFSTRA

Every Faroese person I spoke to seemed almost supernaturally in tune with the subtle shifts in the weather.


A CRY FOR HELP IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS.

AWELL,TEXT FOR HELP THAT’S JUST SMART TECHNOLOGY.

INREACH ® Send and receive messages, track and share your location, and trigger an SOS anywhere in the world 24/7. Wherever your adventures take you, the inReach satellite network will follow. ©2017 Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries.


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describes as a living room in which to drink natural wines and eat rustic French classics.

where to

TRAVEL IN SPRING Seventeen ideas to fill your travel agenda from March through May. by SARA BUTTON & GABE ULLA

Hotels Awasi Iguazú Misiones, Argentina A private guide and four-wheel-drive vehicle come with the room at Awasi’s new 14-villa lodge, so you can experience the world’s largest waterfalls at your own pace. From $1,520 per person, two-night minimum. The Middle House Shanghai The hotel group behind the Upper House in Hong Kong arrives in Shanghai’s bustling commercial

district. Here, minimalist Italian design blends with traditional Chinese craftsmanship. Rates unavailable at press time. The Ramble Denver The rugged mountain west meets exposed Brooklyn brick at this boutique hotel in the River North Art District. Famed New York City cocktail bar Death & Co launches its first outpost in the lobby. From $209. Four Seasons Resort Desroches Island, Seychelles The only resort on

this island (shown at right) features a private pool for every room, an interactive educational center that teaches guests about local flora and fauna, and a sanctuary for Aldabra giant tortoises, which are endemic to the Seychelles. Opening Mar. 1, 2018, from $850.

Dining Bar Crenn San Francisco Dominique Crenn, the first female chef in the U.S. to earn two Michelin stars, launches a casual eatery she

Gaa Bangkok Mumbai-born chef Garima Arora cut her teeth at Noma before moving to Bangkok to serve as sous chef at Gaggan. Her new venture highlights tasting menus that bring together her cross-cultural culinary background.

Culture Pruning of the Vine Maribor, Slovenia The world’s oldest fruit-bearing vine grows in Slovenia, and every year it is ceremonially pruned to ensure its health and the quality of its grapes. Shoots from the vine are sent to partner communities around the world, and attendees get to keep

grafts as a souvenir. Mar. 2, 2018 Oceans New York City Learn about plankton from data gathered by tiny floating robots or go beneath the waves in a virtual submersible theater in this exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. The exhibit will use 21st-century technology to answer questions about our mysterious, life-giving oceans. Mar. 12, 2018– Jan. 6, 2019 Lunar New Year Nepal Nepal is so ethnically and religiously diverse that it celebrates nine different New Years. If you have to choose, pick the national lunar calendar date: See processions with traditional music in Kathmandu, play tug-of-war in Bhaktapur, or get doused in festive red powder in Thimi. Apr. 14, 2018

Taste flavors such as tamarind and betel leaf in the Four Elements of Chocolate, a dish at Gaa meant to be eaten clockwise. 64

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International Kite Festival Berck-sur-Mer, France Dragons take flight—as do fish and teddy bears— at the annual International Kite

Festival. Team competitions, kite battles, a night flight, and fireworks are highlights of the nine-day event in this coastal town two-and-a-half hours north of Paris. Apr. 14–22, 2018 Onsen Festival Kinosaki, Japan Every 33 years this sleepy town unveils a shrine with an 11-headed Buddha that stands nearly seven feet high. Ride the aerial tram up the mountain for a glimpse, then take advantage of free entry to some of the town’s famous bathhouses and hot springs for the duration of the festival. Apr. 23–24, 2018

Art European Museum Night Europe Want to see the Mona Lisa for free? On European Museum Night, you can. Thousands of participating museums across the continent keep their doors open late—and gratis— in celebration of International Museum Day.

FROM TOP: COURTESY OF FOUR SEASONS SEYCHELLES AT DESROCHES ISLAND, COURTESY OF GAA

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Sources: MPA, Total (Duplicated) Magazine Media 360° Audience, Jan-May YTD 2017, Brand Audience Report; Simmons Research, Multi-Media Engagement Study, Spring 2016.

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Check specific museums for details. May 19, 2018 Nureyev Evening Milan Twenty-five years after the death of acclaimed ballet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, audiences and artists at La Scala (including guests Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nuñez, both principal dancers at London’s Royal Ballet) will pay homage to his legacy. May 25–29, 2018

Trips Australia to the Philippines Cruise Ponant Stand on the northernmost tip 66

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Locals gather in Bhaktapur’s Durbar Square in Nepal for New Year festivities, which last for eight days in that town.

of Australia, steep yourself in history on the “Spice Islands” of the ancient world, and search for the spectral tarsier, one of the world’s tiniest primates, on a new cruise with Ponant. Mar. 15–31, 2018 Japan and Korea Cruise Silversea Cruises See some of Asia’s most beautiful sights on this itinerary. Stop and smell the cherry blossoms, stroll through a Samurai quarter, and marvel at the Itsukushima Shrine’s torii gate, which seems to float at high tide. Mar. 25–Apr. 5, 2018 Botswana and Zimbabwe Safari G Adventures Meet with conser-

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

vationists and researchers, perhaps encounter elephant herds or rare painted dogs in Hwange National Park, and explore Botswana’s Okavango Delta on this new safari in partnership with National Geographic Expeditions. Regular departures starting May 2018 Rome to Barcelona Cruise Azamara Club Cruises Rub shoulders with the glitterati as you depart from the Eternal City and make your way through the Mediterranean, with stops at Cannes for the renowned film festival and in Monaco to coincide with the Grand Prix. May 21–29, 2018

V&A Conquers the World

The leading design museum expands. The Victoria & Albert Museum was the world’s first museum with an eatery and evening hours. Now the groundbreaking institution is racking up a few more firsts as it spreads within and beyond its borders. Photography Centre The V&A’s expansive photography collection grew by almost half with the recent acquisition of the Royal Photographic Society’s holdings. Come fall, a stateof-the-art Photography Centre at the flagship V&A will store and display the thousands of RPS images, library items, and pieces of equipment. Watch for announcements of a museum-wide photography festival, too.

V&A Dundee In 2018, the U.K.’s only UNESCO City of Design will be home to Scotland’s first dedicated design museum—and the world’s first V&A outside London. Items from the V&A and across Scotland will tell the story of Scottish design over three floors and 17,000 square feet of gallery space. Design Society China’s first design museum just opened its doors in Shenzhen thanks to V&A support. Located in a new arts center designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect Fumihiko Maki, the museum promotes China’s burgeoning design scene. —S.B.

LUIS FERNANDO DAÍOS/MAXX IMAGES

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DAYS LAST LONGER HERE

MEMORIES LAST A LIFETIME

DELIGHT IN THE CASUAL ELEGANCE OF OUR RESORTS AND BE TREATED

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BIKE THE BEACH, AND BEGIN YOUR SHARK’S TEETH COLLECTION. TAKE IN A ROUND OF GOLF, GAME OF TENNIS ON HAR-TRU COURTS,

OR GET PAMPERED IN OUR SPLENDID SPA. AND IF YOU MUST, THE FITNESS CENTER AWAITS.

DINE WITH OCEAN VIEWS AND SAVOR THE DAY WITH A COCKTAIL BY THE SEA.

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Silversea’s intimate luxury ships enable travelers to enjoy every comfort while exploring the world’s most captivating — and often most remote — places. Among its 900-plus ports of call, we’re spotlighting four that illustrate the varied ways Silversea unlocks immersive local experiences. Read on, and book your 2018 adventure with Silversea’s preferred travel advisors for exclusive sailing benefits.

BORDEAUX

TOKYO

Though the name of both a region and large port city in southwestern France, the word “Bordeaux” is — for many — synonymous with wine, instantly evoking images of lush vineyards and glasses of refined vintages. You’ll experience all that and more on Silversea’s 13-day Lisbon to London voyage departing on June 20, 2018; it overnights in Bordeaux to give you two full days to soak up the destination.

Japan’s capital pulses with energy rooted in a rich history and inspired by a limitless future — which means whether you want to wander ancient temples and gardens or shop for cutting-edge fashions and tech gear, this is your place.

Take a walking tour to visit the 18th-century Grand Theatre, Cathedral Saint Andre, and the “Triangle” shopping district, tasting delicacies along the way, or head to the countryside for a bike ride through the Saint-Emilion vineyards, followed by a tasting at Chateau La Dominique. Guided jogs, hikes up Europe’s highest sand dune followed by a tasting at an oyster farm, visits to markets and orchards, and lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant round out the excursions choices. Special sailings such as the Culinary Expedition departing on April 27, 2018, and led by Silversea culinary director Rudi Sholdis, feature onboard food and wine talks, cooking demos, and regional menus, plus a market tour to discover the best local Bordeaux products.

Silversea’s 15-day journeys between Hong Kong and Tokyo in October 2018 either begin or end in Tokyo, affording guests time to spend a day and night in the city, as well as the convenient option to extend their stay. Excursion options include city tours during which you’ll visit the tranquil Meiji Shrine, 7th-century Asakusa Senso-ji Temple, the street stalls of Nakamise-Dori, and the lively Ginza shopping district. Cuisine is a big part of the Tokyo experience, and during a dedicated Peninsula Collection sailing departing on October 14, 2018, local flavors will be highlighted in four-course dinners as well as market tours, cooking demos, and tastings led by chefs from The Peninsula Tokyo. EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT: Choice of a private car and driver sightseeing experience in select ports of call or a $500 shipboard credit per couple on select sailings when you visit cruiseafar.com or call 800-410-4825 to book with a travel advisor.


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The dramatic beauty of Chile’s Patagonia region comes from its diversity, as mountains dotted with waterfalls and fields awash in flowers and grazing cattle give way to icy peaks and massive glaciers. There’s no better way to take it all in than with a cruise like Silversea Expeditions’s 16-day Callao to Punta Arenas itinerary departing on October 26, 2018. It brings you to the heart of the region via guided Zodiac and land excursions.

Centuries of sailors and explorers braved North America’s northernmost waterways in search of a connection between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans—and now Silversea passengers are able to traverse those same hard-to-access routes while enjoying comforts such as butler service, gourmet cuisine, and expert lectures.

Set out on adventures like horseback riding in the Torreones Valley, trekking in the Magallanes Nature Reserve, catamaran rides to ancient glaciers, and day trips to Torres del Paine National Park, where a drive through the pampas will bring you to the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In between filling up your camera’s SD card with shots of turquoise blue lakes, soaring birds, and epic landscapes featuring glaciers and traditional Chiloe villages, there will be plenty of time to savor the culture and flavors of the area, with picnic lunches, wine tastings, and visits to a local home for a traditional Patagonian barbecue.

On the 16-day Kangerlussuaq round-trip expedition itinerary, you’ll depart from Greenland on August 18, 2018, and sail across Baffin Bay and along the Arctic edges of Canada. Along the way, you’ll explore Inuit archeological sites in Pond Inlet; spot narwhal, walruses, and polar bears in Buchan Gulf; cruise Peel Sound to follow in the footsteps of two famous 19th-century expeditions; and pay homage to the ill-fated Franklin Expedition on Beechey Island. In protected areas like Sirmilik National Park and Quttinirpaaq National Park, you may spy beluga or killer whales, arctic wolves, and a wealth of birdlife, including black-legged kittiwakes and greater snow geese.

EXCLUSIVE BENEFIT: Up to $500 shipboard credit per couple on select sailings when you visit cruiseafar.com or call 800-410-4825 to book with a travel advisor.

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“This experience has opened many doors for me.”

Learning AFAR has been an integral part of my high school experience because it showed me how to be a leader and a shaker, and how to take my future into my own hands. I can only hope that this program will continue transforming the lives of my peers because it immensely revitalized my life. Thank you for changing my life. —Nora, Learning AFAR Chicago

Imagine a world where one million students travel to discover and realize their full potential. With your help, we’ve provided Learning AFAR scholarships for 900 underserved students since 2009. To find out how you can help support this important initiative, visit:

learningafar.org


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travel journal

From high above, the Charleston area resembles a beautiful tea-stained tapestry woven with shades of indigo, marshgrass and oyster shell. Etched with barrier islands and bodies of water, the landscape has a poetic shape. With the perfect combination of beautiful beaches, world-class cuisine, antebellum architecture, and an endless supply of engaging things to see and do, it’s no wonder the Charleston area is consistently named a top U.S. destination. In Charleston, daily life is accompanied by a gentle harmony of church bells, rustling palmetto fronds, and lyrical sea island accents. Church steeples—not skyscrapers—dot the skyline, and a tangible connection to the past permeates the community. Copper gas-lit lanterns and hitching posts hint at a bygone era and heirloom varieties of grits and rice are mainstays on the menus of local James Beard Foundation award winning chefs. Discover the people, places, and traditions found only in Charleston, South Carolina. Come, let this special destination enliven your senses. EXPLORECHARLESTON.COM

@EX PLORECH ARL E STO N

@ E X P LO R E C H S


JANUARY/ FEBRUARY

SUMMER 10 FOUNDER’S NOTE 15 WHERE TO PLAY IN THE OCEAN Dive in to explore these still-vibrant reefs.

WHERE TO GO

20 WHERE TO FIND HOPE

Sparked by solidarity, Athens makes a creative comeback.

30 WHERE TO TRAVEL IN SUMMER

Feed sea turtles in the Bahamas, perfect your ocho with Argentina’s best tango dancers, or sail the Black Sea.

DESTINATION INDEX ARGENTINA 30 AUSTRALIA 16, 33 BAHAMAS 33 CANADA 30 ENGLAND 33 FIJI 16 FRANCE 30 GERMANY 33 GREECE 20 ILLINOIS 30 INDIA 30 INDONESIA 16, 33 IRELAND 33 ISRAEL 30 ITALY 33 KENYA 30 LATVIA 30 MADAGASCAR 16 MALAYSIA 30 MEXICO 33 NEW ZEALAND 33 PALAU 15 RUSSIA 33 SOUTH AFRICA 30 SOUTH KOREA 33 UKRAINE 30

Cut off for months by a landslide, Big Sur, a rugged stretch of California coast, is welcoming travelers in search of tranquility. Photograph by Justin Kaneps 4

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MARCO ARGÜELLO

ON THE COVER


IT’S N OT TH AT YO U’ R E LO S T. YO U JU ST D O N’ T C A R E TO B E F O UND .

GoToBermuda.com


CAT H E DR A L CAV E


JANUARY/ FEBRUARY WHERE TO GO

AUTUMN 38 WHERE TO FIND PEACE

Enjoy big waves, big trees, and big calm in Big Sur.

43 WHERE TO SHOP

Know where to go in these three burgeoning African design hubs.

50 WHERE TO CONNECT

Off the coast of British Columbia, the Haida keep their traditions alive.

60 WHERE TO TRAVEL IN AUTUMN

See art in Arles, eat in L.A., and cruise the Antarctic.

DESTINATION INDEX ANTARCTICA 60 ARIZONA 60 BHUTAN 60 BRAZIL 60 CALIFORNIA 38, 65 CANADA 50, 60 CHILE 64 FIJI 65 FRANCE 60, 64 FRENCH POLYNESIA 64 GHANA 44 HAWAII 65 JAPAN 65 KENYA 46 MEXICO 60, 64 MICHIGAN 60 SOUTH AFRICA 48, 65 SPAIN 60, 65 SOUTH SHETLAND ISLANDS 60 SWITZERLAND 65 TEXAS 65 THAILAND 60 TURKS AND CAICOS 64

64 TRAVELERS’ CHOICE AWARDS

For more inspiration, travel news, and guides to some of your favorite destinations, visit us online at afar.com

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JIM MC AULEY

AFAR readers pick their 2018 dream destinations.


Savor the experience at www.ponant.com


FOUNDER’S NOTE WHERE TO GO

Travel Where You’re Needed

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area in central California where highway access was cut off for months because of a landslide. Our hearts go out to the people who have been affected by these events, and we encourage you to give to charities to support those in need. But I’d also like to encourage you to help in another way: travel. Headline events like these can often cause people to stay home. Even destinations that weren’t directly affected get written off because they’re loosely associated with whatever trouble has happened. But travel is one of the world’s biggest industries, providing a livelihood to millions. In the aftermath of tragedy, what

people in these communities need is more visitors, not fewer. If you’re unsure about destinations, consult a professional. For instance, the members of the AFAR Travel Advisory Council, some of the world’s most informed travel planners, can give you upto-the-minute information about what’s open and how to get the most out of your trip. (You’ll find them at afar.com/tac.) Obviously, no trip is completely free of risk. But nothing we do is. Let’s make sure fear doesn’t stop us from exploring the world and supporting the people—the taxi drivers, the winemakers, the hotel bellhops, the buskers—who make travel the great experience it is.

As a traveler, you will form even more meaningful bonds with the people in these places. So please give extra consideration this year to Texas, the Caribbean, Florida, Mexico, Las Vegas, and Northern California. Now to plan your year of travel! GOOD TRAVELS,

Greg Sullivan Cofounder & CEO

Tell me about your trips to places that need visitors. Email me at greg@afar.com.

COURTESY OF RUTHERFORD RANCH WINERY

OUR “WHERE TO GO” issue is always an exciting one. What’s more fun for us travelers than thinking about where to go next? In this year’s edition, we’re offering ideas for all seasons. (You’ll find summer and autumn inspiration in this half of the issue—flip the magazine over for winter and spring.) As you plan your travels for the year ahead, I’d also invite you to think about going to places that need you the most. In recent months, we’ve seen devastating hurricanes hit Texas, the Caribbean, and Florida; an earthquake in Mexico; a mass shooting in Las Vegas; and wildfires in California. On one of our covers, you’ll see a shot of Big Sur, an


Until 1949, women were only allowed in the Roosevelt Hotel’s renowned Sazerac Bar on Mardi Gras Day. Thankfully, this changed one September afternoon when owner Seymour Weiss opened his doors to a group of women who demanded the right to a stiff drink whenever they damn well felt like it.

The “Storming of the Sazerac” continues to be celebrated – fancy hats and all – every September, now at The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Visit New Orleans and start your story with #OneTimeInNOLA.

OneTimeInNOLA.com

– September 26th, 1949

Women stormed a bar meant just for men.


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In Palau’s Jellyfish Lake, when populations of its eponymous residents are healthy, snorkelers can swim among millions of the stingless creatures.

where to

PLAY IN THE OCEAN

The tiny nation of Palau fights to protect the world’s most astonishing sea creatures and the reefs they call home. See them while you can.

BENJAMIN LOWY/GETTY IMAGES

by ANNA VODICKA

On our first dive outing, my husband and I repeated, “We live here,” dumbfounded, as the boat’s captain steered us through the Rock Islands, which from a distance had looked like prehistoric elephants fossilized in a turquoise lagoon. We had just moved to Palau, an island nation in western Micronesia. Up close, we could see how eons of erosion and algaegrazing mollusks had chiseled the islands’ limestone bases so that they erupted from the surface like massive toadstools, dense with palm trees and starry elilai flowers. The psychedelic experience was heightened underwater. We

dropped anchor and slid down into the Big Drop-Off. Here was a 900-foot vertical reef wall that buckled and curved with colonies of soft and hard coral—which are animals! my inner fifth grader shouted. As we drifted 60 feet below the surface, our guide pointed out nurse sharks with pups down below, and hawksbill turtles foraging in the coral overhead. Palau has long been a diver’s and snorkeler’s fantasy destination. Its Southern Lagoon, a cluster of reefs and marine lakes, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jellyfish Lake, on Eil Malk Island, offers travelers the chance to float among

millions of stingless jellies. Blue Corner, near Ngemelis Island, often ranked among the world’s best dives, promises sea turtles and schools of barracuda swirling past rays and sharks. My first sighting of barrel-rolling mantas at German Channel reduced me to awestruck tears. But Palau’s reefs, like all reefs, are endangered— threatened by commercial fishing, illegal shark finning, and climate change. It may be one of the tiniest countries on Earth, but Palau’s efforts to combat this Goliath of forces are outsize. In 2009, Palau designated the world’s first “Shark Sanctuary.” To protect the predators, which play a key role in reef ecosystems, shark finning and other fishing practices that threaten sharks were banned. In 2015, Palau declared an area nearly the size of France a Marine Protected Area where fishing and drilling are prohibited. Islanders will tell you it’s a version of a Palauan tradition called bul, in which clan chiefs call a

moratorium on fishing when certain species or reefs need regeneration. Research shows the measures are working. Fish stocks and predator populations are up. But Goliath roars back. In the 2016 El Niño heat wave, the jellyfish vanished from their lake. When the same thing happened in 1999, it took almost two years for the population to recover. For now, the lake is closed to visitors. Now, in addition to imploring other countries to take up the Paris Climate Accord, Palau’s president has focused on human impact, limiting flights from China, Palau’s largest source of visitors, and proposing rules that would restrict tourist development to five-star hotels only. It’s a Bhutanstyle measure he hopes will mean fewer visitors and thus healthier reefs. So you may have to save for it, or wait your turn, but do experience this wonderinducing corner of our planet. And realize this: We all live here. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

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1 THE GREAT ASTROLABE REEF Fiji Go to this pristine barrier reef to swim with manta rays and see gardens of coral in a riot of colors. The reef has both deep waters and shallow lagoons, which makes it ideal for divers and snorkelers alike. How to see it: Stay at Kokomo Island, a new sustainabilityminded resort mere 16

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feet from the reef. From $1,995. koko moislandfiji.com

2 NINGALOO REEF Australia Australia’s “other reef” is the world’s largest fringing reef, which means it’s close to shore— no seasicknessinducing boat ride needed to reach it. Recently, outfitters have begun leading snorkel experiences that offer the chance to see whales and

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

whale sharks up close. How to see it: Swim with whale sharks from March to July (from $191) and with humpback whales from August to October (from $142) with Ningaloo Discovery. ningaloodiscovery .com.au

3 RAJA AMPAT Indonesia The reefs of Raja Ampat are the most biodiverse on the planet, so expect

rare sights, including the dugong, a manatee-like sea mammal, and five species of sea turtles. (Plus, you can see 5,000-year-old cave paintings that are accessible only by boat.) Indonesian officials have plans to restore the part of the reef damaged by a 2017 cruise ship collision. How to see it: Board Aman Voyages’ traditional Indonesian two-masted yacht Amandira and you can learn to

scuba dive with a certified instructor. Five- or seven-night itineraries for groups of up to 10, from $9,150 per night. aman.com

4 LOKY MANAMBATO PROTECTED AREA Madagascar Head to this reserve off Madagascar’s north coast to bask in one of the world’s richest marine environments. The reef is home to critically endangered hawksbill turtles as well as

green sea turtles, manta rays, and whale sharks. How to see it: Stay at Time + Tide’s Miavana, Madagascar’s premiere conservationfocused luxury resort. The lodge, located on the remote island of Nosy Ankao, is surrounded by more than 50 square miles of protected waters. From $2,500 per person. timeand tideafrica.com —SARAH BUDER AND DANIELLE WALSH

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: BRIAN MAYES, RAYMOND PATRICK, AARON RAYMOND, ETHAN DANIELS/GETTY IMAGES, AARON RAYMOND, BRENT DURAND

Four Other Reefs to Explore


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where to find During a stay in Athens, a traveler discovers how the Greek people’s kindness to strangers, youthful creative energy, and renewed enthusiasm for traditional cuisine add up to an indomitable zest for life. by

anya von bremzen

hope photographs by

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marco argĂźello


it

was our first walk around Pangrati, the genteel-shabby Athens neighborhood where my boyfriend, Barry, and I rented a flat last spring. I was there researching a book. Orange blossoms and car fumes scented the air. In one of those cozy squares called plateias that give a village-like feel to this sprawling metropolis, we came upon a small group of women and men cheerfully tending a vast simmering pot of fasolada (a traditional bean soup). We were greeted, offered a pour from a plastic bottle of tsipouro, the throatsearing Greek pomace brandy. Street party? we asked. Someone’s birthday? “No,” a woman replied, “we’re here each weekend cooking for the hungry. Refugees, pensioners. Whoever’s in need.” Oh, a government program? “No government,” a guy smiled. “Just us. Just write . . . philoxenia.” Philoxenia. Greek for kindness to strangers. That night, Pangrati did resemble a street party. The laughter could

have shaken plaster off the blocky white apartment buildings where balconies burbled with family gatherings. At street level, grandmas in housedresses munched loukoumades (honey-drenched doughnuts) on benches. Fairy lights festooned café facades. And every ouzeri and kafeneío, every taverna and mezedopoleío (meze spot), seemed jampacked with Athenians ignoring the smoking ban, swiping bread into garlicky dips, and spinning political conspiracy theories over wine and Fix Hellas lager. This was Athens? Had our flight landed in some Brigadoon instead of the urban dystopia that, according to all press reports, was ravaged by decay and despair? How to reconcile the difficult facts about Greece—more than 20 percent unemployment, brain drain, crippling debt, a refugee influx—with this vision of kefi, a word that encapsulates the Greek zest for life. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

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Later that night, squeezed into a boho bar called Hotel Chelsea on still another plateia, we shouted our ouzo order over the live jazz. “Athens is, umm, fun,” I mumbled to a woman in big clunky jewelry. She shot me a look. “You were expecting Caracas? Aleppo? Sure, Schäuble wants us all committing mass suicide on Syntagma Square,” she snorted, invoking the ruthless outgoing German finance minister, Greece’s arch-tormentor. “But here we are—completely alive!” She unfurled a manicured middle finger—“To Schäuble!” The kefi, the gritty defiance, the renewed flame of philoxenia are why you should rush to Athens—right now. Our month there unfolded as a sometimes chaotic but always inspiring case study of how a society refuses to give in to despair. Shorn of their welfare state, deceived by their boyish prime minister, choked by international creditors, Athenians are taking matters into their own hands through bottomup solidarity actions, community activism, grassroots initiatives, and feats of DIY improvisation. The energy here is loud, young, 24

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creative, urgent, and profoundly human. Another reason to come is the food—and not just the Good Samaritan soup kitchens. Call it Greek Revival Cuisine: the renewed embrace of everything homegrown and Hellenic following the pre-crisis era of Eurotrashy international dining. Me? I’m still daydreaming about chickpeas—the chickpeas gone exalted at Papadakis, a chic Aegean restaurant in the Kolonaki district. Nutty, creamy, faintly smoky from 15 hours of simmering, these garbanzos were the handiwork of Argiro Barbarigou, the salt-ofthe-earth Greek cooking goddess who runs Papadakis with her ingredient-obsessed husband, Manolis. Barry and I shared the chickpeas—along with diaphanous fresh mullet and shrimp—one evening with our friend Mariana, a sharp-eyed political journalist. “Can’t the foreign press drop that damn word crisis?” she sighed, dabbing bread into a pool of grassy green olive oil. “We’ve had a severe eight-year recession—and a newly developing civil society that’s learning to cope and adapt.”

“Ten years ago,” chuckled Barbarigou, stopping by our table, “the chickpeas on my menu got me called—” She made a “crazy” sign. “Athenians back then only wanted sushi. Truffles!” She let out the exuberant laugh adored by the myriad fans of her TV show celebrating traditional home cooking. “Us Greeks! Took a catastrophe for us to appreciate our roots.” Bolstering her point, a rootsy deli had recently opened right near her restaurant. Before dinner I’d browsed its prettily packaged legumes, cheeses from island cooperatives, and artisanal yogurts and jams. A cute organic boutique would seem counterintuitive during a fiscal collapse, but such tiny hubs of patriotic consumerism now thrive in Athenian neighborhoods. “Lost my job, decided to do something inspiring,” the owner’s story always begins. And customers happily pay for belly-filling heirloom phake (lentils), favas, and ancient grains such as the earthy star of the current austerity diet, zea (emmer). “Understand, Greeks suffered terribly during the 20th century,” explained Dimitrios


Antonopoulos, the nattily dressed editor of the influential Athinorama city guide; we met for sensuous Chios sea urchins and pink curls of bottarga (salted fish roe) at Vezené, a sleek New Hellenic bistro across from the Hilton Hotel. Here in the birthplace of the Mediterranean Diet, the staples of global locavorism—grains, greens, pulses—had been shunned because they brought back memories of hunger and war. “Now they’re . . .” He grinned. “The new black?” Our dinner, outrageously good, also featured trachana (dried clumps of wheat and fermented milk) moistened with smoked lamb broth; and fish grilled in fig leaves, straight out of the works of Archestratus, the 4th century b.c.e. poet-gastronome. Born and raised in the States, Ari Vezené, the Greek American chef-owner, repatriated to his roots in the aughts and is one of the most exciting chefs in the region. He’s a selfless champion of philoxenia who every day cooks 150 meals for the poor in his vast basement kitchen. “What’s your career dream?” I asked him one day, over

grilled sardines at Diporto, his favorite oldschool taverna near the Central Market. “To give away everything I earn to the needy,” he replied softly, then ordered another tin pitcher of rustic retsina wine. Each day in Athens brought a flavor surprise, a hospitality gesture, a lesson in social responsibility. We discovered a “Suspended Cofee” initiative in cafés—buy your cup, and another for someone less fortunate—and sweet nonprofits such as Wise Greece, which donates proceeds from its artisanal chutneys and jams to the poor. We came across volunteerrun health clinics, parking lots transformed into guerrilla gardens by neighborhood associations, street demonstrations blazing slogans like “Refugees Welcome.” Every night, it seemed, brought us to another funky big-hearted neo-taverna in another burgeoning arts district. “They say Greeks are lazy?” scofed chef Fotis Fotinoglu, after plying us with cured tuna and onions plump with a stuffing of bulgur and oxtails. The fortyish Fotinoglu runs Seychelles, a

cult spot surrounded by Chinese wholesale shops in the grungy-boho Metaxourgeio district. “But our doctors work 18 hours a day at decimated hospitals,” he exclaimed. “Our chefs work triple shifts to make something super delicious to justify people spending their money.” His own Herculean overtime pays of: Athenian cool kids pack his loud, rustic space where an open kitchen churns out black-eyed pea and smoked eel salad, and brawny veal cheeks served with eggplant purée. Cheap house rosé and vintage reggae on the sound system fuel a nonstop party vibe. “Pre-crisis, food was conspicuous consumption,” Fotinoglu reflected, looking completely exhausted. “Now it’s a social force that brings us together.” En route to Seychelles we had explored the Metaxourgeio-Kerameikos district with former chef Carolina Doriti, who guides Culinary Backstreets tours of Athens. On scrappy plateias, immigrant children kicked soccer balls. Graffitied alleys led to ramshackle avant-garde theaters, ad hoc bars, and major art galleries JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

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such as Breeder. A progressive arts hub for over a decade, the neighborhood still retains that scruffy on-the-verge energy that took me back to Berlin in the 1990s, or Manhattan’s East Village in the 1980s. “What Parthenon?” laughed Doriti. “This is Athens.” In fact, the Athenian cultural scene is more exciting than ever. On the edge of Koukaki, the unselfconsciously charming district under the Acropolis hill, the National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) finally opened, in a 1950s former Fix brewery building, after 19 years of delays and Greek dramas. Fifteen minutes southwest by taxi, on a hill above 42 acres of parkland, rises the recently launched Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, a Renzo Piano–designed lollapalooza containing the national library and opera house. Northeast of EMST, we explored the loud, feral street art in the Exarcheia neighborhood—a bastion of anarchist activism—before savoring Cretan sausages and ouzo-spiked meatballs in the garden of the modern Ama LaChei taverna. Philologika kafeneia (literary cafés) and secondhand bookstores keep company here with migrant aid centers. Farther north still, past the vast, neoclassical National Archaeological Museum, lies Victoria Square, the hardscrabble symbol of refugee Athens. Over the last three years, more than a million asylum-seekers have entered debt-stricken Greece; many are still here in anxious limbo while Europe tightens its borders. In 2015, at the height of the migrant influx, hundreds of souls fleeing Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere camped on cardboard under flimsy blankets in Victoria Square. I spent much time in this neighborhood with Nadina Christopoulou. A dynamo visionary with a PhD from Cambridge and inspirational reserves of compassion and energy, Christopoulou cofounded Melissa Network, a community center for women where established immigrants help newer arrivals. Housed in a graceful 20th-century mansion a block from Victoria Square, Melissa (“honeybee” in Greek) is one of the city’s most uplifting spaces: a light-filled sanctuary of empowerment and empathy for 100-plus women and children who come daily from refugee camps outside Athens. It offers poetry workshops, yoga, and art classes on a sundappled terrace, and luscious cakes baked by Nigerian cofounder Maria Ohilebo, a former actress turned chef. “Culture and cakes aren’t luxuries,” Christopoulou insisted to me. “Our aim is to humanize the dehumanizing journey our women endure.” The twin crises of refugees and austerity 28

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have brought out the best and the worst in their society, Greeks often told me. The district around Victoria Square also happens to be a stronghold of the xenophobic neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. And yet Christopoulou was overwhelmed by support when Melissa opened at the peak of the troubles. Struggling tavernas and bakeries donated provisions. Old people came to offer 10 euros from their slashed pensions. Such philoxenia, such kindness to strangers, she mused, isn’t philan-

thropy. It is human solidarity in pure, basic form—a society faced with its own hardships offering what little it has to those who are even worse off. Compassion and generosity: values that Athens is rediscovering, and reclaiming, today. Writer Anya Von Bremzen is the author of Paladares, a book about Cuba recently published by Abrams. Photographer Marco Argüello lives in Athens.

where to find the new athens Eight ways to tap the energy of the Greek capital

eat Seychelles This neo-taverna in the Metaxourgeio district is a favorite for its reinvented Greek classics, such as slowcooked octopus with pickled okra and sardines grilled in grape leaves, paired with affordable wines and party beats. 49 Kerameikou St., 104 36. seycheles .gr/en Fabrika tou Efrosinou Located in the Koukaki neighborhood, rustic Fabrika tou Efrosinou is all about tradition and simplicity. Fine wines—many made by the chef’s wife—accompany savory pies, plump cracked wheat meatballs, and other seasonal dishes that nod to various regions in Greece. An. Zinni 34

Ama LaChei A school-turnedmezedopoleío serves delicious meze including bakalyaro (walnutcrusted fish fillets) and pita topped with yogurt and smoked eggplant. Bonus: a patio surrounded by bougainvillea. Kallidromiou 69 Vezené Local ingredients take center stage at Vezené, a bistro in central Athens, where chef-owner Ari Vezené ages his own meats, sources the best seafood in Greece, and cooks 150 meals a day for people in need. 11 Vrassida St. vezene.gr Papadakis Celebrity chef Argiro Barbarigou carries on her

family’s tradition of hospitality and meals made from locally sourced produce and seafood. 47 Voukourestiou St. and Fokilidou St.

stay Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens Later this year, Greece will get its first Four Seasons. Slated to open in the spring of 2018 on a pine-covered peninsula 16 miles from central Athens, the 300-room hotel will have private beaches, three pools, and a taverna that looks out on the Saronic Gulf. fourseasons .com

do National Museum of Contemporary Art Nineteen years in the making, the eight-floor museum (formerly a

Fix Brewery) opened its doors to the public in 2016. Enjoy the best of the Athens art scene and works from international artists. Kallirrois Ave. and Amvr. Frantzi St., 11743. emst.gr Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center: Some of the city’s most important institutions can now be found in one place: the SNFCC, located in the Athens suburb Kallithea. Stavros Niarchos Park stretches up to form a green roof for the new homes of the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera. Leof. Andrea Syggrou 364. snfcc.org —DANA BRINDLE


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tival at a specially renovated open-air venue that will hold nearly 100,000 people. June 30–July 8, 2018

TEEKAY SLUG

Buenos Aires International Tango Festival Buenos Aires, Argentina The globe’s greatest tangueros convene in the dance’s heartland for two weeks of free events. Learn, dance, or watch them compete and perform at venues throughout the city, culminating in the World Championship. Aug. 2018

TRAVEL IN SUMMER Your plans for June, July, and August? Check, check, check. by SARA BUTTON & GABE ULLA

Dining Pacific Standard Time Chicago Two protégés of legendary chef Paul Kahan aim to deliver levity and lightness in both design and cuisine with their West Coast–inspired menu, replete with fresh produce sourced from California farms. Le Clarence Paris Chef Christophe Pelé, formerly of the informal restaurant La Bigarrade, has 30

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already earned two Michelin stars at his new post in wine company Domaine Clarence Dillon’s swanky new headquarters near the Champs Élysées.

Trips Kenya and South Africa Art Tour GeoEx Want a curator-led tour of Cape Town’s new Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art? How about access to a private collection housed in a Kenyan safari lodge? Take advantage of the cool, dry

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

months and see it all on a customizable itinerary. Personalized trips available now. Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival & Jungle Tour Intrepid Go behind the scenes of an internationally acclaimed music festival in Malaysia. Meet local musicians and see performers from all over the globe for three days before traipsing through the jungle, visiting an orangutan sanctuary, wandering through

a cave system, and more. July 12–22, 2018 Ukraine River Cruise Viking River Cruises Admire the gilded domes of St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev (bottom right), take in a timeless aria in Odessa, or applaud the acrobatic athleticism of Cossack horsemen in Zaporozhye on this new itinerary with one of AFAR readers’ favorite cruise lines. Regular sailings throughout summer.

Culture Festival of Lights Jerusalem This annual festival features innovative light artistry projected on the

Old Town’s ancient walls. With the opening of hotels Villa Brown and Orient Jerusalem, there are plenty of chic places to stay. June 1–30, 2018 XXVI Latvian Nationwide Song & XI Dance Festival Riga, Latvia For the country’s centenary, listen to more than 11,000 voices from across the nation unite in song as choirs gather for the fes-

Art Tonga Lumina Mont-Tremblant, Canada Follow the clues as you seek the fabled giant of Mont-Tremblant

JAYANTA ROY, IVAN NESTEROV/ALAMY

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Pulikali Kerala, India For more than 200 years, men from the Thrissur District of Kerala in southwest India have painted their faces and bodies to look like tigers for a wild procession during the Onam harvest festival. In 2016, for the first time, women dressed up. Aug. 24–27, 2018


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Where to Watch the World Cup

The world’s largest sporting event returns June 14 to July 15, uniting billions of soccer fans. Russia hosts in upgraded or brand-new stadiums across the country. If you have tickets to the June 26 match in St. Petersburg, arrive in style on a 12-Night Baltic & World Cup Voyage with Azamara. While the ship is docked, you can spend a day at the Hermitage and then cheer from the stands. Can’t make it to Russia? Watch from one of these alternative locales. 1

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BERLIN Catch the big matches in the capital city of the defending World Cup champions. A massive screen mounted at the Brandenburg Gate and more along “Fan Mile” will show Germany’s games, as well as the quarters, semis, and finals. Plus, hospitable resi-

who has awoken from his slumber in this mile-long interactive, illuminated night walk, produced by the visionary multimedia company Moment Factory. May 19–Oct. 8, 2018

dents may relocate their TVs to the streets. 2

MEXICO CITY Though the country has seen massive tragedy this year, that hasn’t dampened the Mexican passion for fútbol. Join thousands of onlookers in Plaza de la Constitución to see how El Tricolor fares. 3

SEOUL One of Asia’s most successful teams hopes to recapture its 2010 form, when it advanced to the quarterfinals. Cheer with the official support squad, the Red Devils, at Seoul’s City Hall, or catch the action at Sam Ryan’s Pub in Itaewon. —S.B.

Michael Jackson: On the Wall London Since the 1980s, the King of Pop has become the most oft-depicted cultural figure in contemporary visual art. In honor of what would have been his

Take your afternoon tea in the Gallery at Adare Manor, which was inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.

60th birthday, curators at the National Portrait Gallery examine his impact in an exhibit of works by more than 40 artists, including Andy Warhol and David LaChapelle. June 28–Oct. 21, 2018 Rigoletto Sydney If you’ve ever dreamed of hearing a performance at the Sydney Opera House, the time to go is now. Legendary Italian baritone Leo Nucci makes his Australian debut to kick off the production of Verdi’s tragic classic. July 6–Aug. 24, 2018

Te Papa Art Gallery Wellington, New Zealand New Zealand’s national museum completes an ambitious expansion of its art gallery. With 35 percent more space, curators will exhibit new commissioned works and have more room to display items from the national collection by New Zealand artists such as Rita Angus and Ralph Hotere.

Hotels Castello di Ugento Puglia, Italy The d’Amore family has owned this

castle since its construction in the 17th century. Today it’s a newly renovated boutique hotel with a culinary school and a contemporary art museum. From $390. Adare Manor Limerick, Ireland Adare’s original owner, the second Earl of Dunraven, had a motto: quae sursum volo videre (“What is heavenly I would see”). The five-star hotel reopens firmly committed to the motto, with a movie theater, a ballroom, a pool, an entire wing of new rooms, and a redesigned golf course. From $384.

Baha Mar Nassau, Bahamas Help feed sea turtles at the animal sanctuary, view one of the largest collections of local art in the Bahamas, and choose to sleep at the Grand Hyatt, the SLS, or the Rosewood—all at one resort. From $275. Moro Ma Doto Morotai, Indonesia Tucked away in the Maluku Archipelago amid palm-lined beaches and clear waters is a resort dedicated to sustainably blending into its island community. Snorkel or strike a yoga pose in this remote paradise. From $220.

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Guests at the recently reopened Ventana Big Sur resort can sleep in the forest while enjoying the comforts of a hotel. (Dog not included.)

where to

FIND PEACE

On California’s central coast, towering redwood forests stand atop cliffs that plunge into the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. This is Big Sur, where travelers remember that sometimes it feels good to feel small. photographs by JUSTIN K ANEPS

ART CREDIT

by JULIA COSGROVE

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SCOTTSDALE: AN UNEXPECTED URBAN ADVENTURE After an exhilarating hike on the Gateway Loop at Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve you don’t need to go far to reward yourself: Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary at the artsy Andaz Scottsdale is ready to oblige with treatments rich in healing Sonoran Desert botanicals. It’s this juxtaposition of rugged outdoor adventure with sophisticated wellness and urban flair that gives Scottsdale its unique appeal. The city’s backdrop is a playground of craggy mountains and blooming desert cacti, blessed

with 330 annual days of sunshine. Adventurers of all levels can roll out of their room and saddle-up for a Western-style horseback ride. Or start the day with a kayaking excursion along the surprisingly lush Verde River. Scottsdale also features the cultural and culinary thrills you’d expect from a dynamic city. In the walkable downtown, you’ll encounter public art, wine-tasting rooms, lauded restaurants, museums, and independent boutiques. Pop by the beautifully restored Hotel Valley Ho for a frozen passionfruit margarita,

or take a short drive to Talking Stick Resort where you can dance the night away at Degree 270. This 14th-floor rooftop bar boasts sweeping views of the desertscape and both twinkling stars and city lights. For a more tranquil base not too far from downtown, curl up in an adobe casita or lounge by the heated year-round pool at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale. It’s conveniently located in the rolling foothills of Pinnacle Peak . . . should the urge for adventure arise.

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IG SUR IS ONCE AGAIN OPEN

for business following last spring’s debilitating mud slides, and autumn is an especially luminous time to explore this legendary stretch of central California coast, some 20 miles south of Carmel. Big Sur’s magic lies in its untamed wilderness: redwood groves, chaparral-covered hills, and iconic rocky cliffs that sprout improbably from the ocean. Condors circle overhead and sea otters float just offshore. For many, the isolation—and peace and quiet—that Big Sur offers is the reason to return again and again.

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For travelers seeking a soft landing, the Ventana Big Sur resort recently reopened under new ownership and after a massive renovation. New glamping cabins have been added to the 59 rooms, suites, and villas spread throughout the resort’s 160 acres. Shaded by redwoods, the 15 safari-style canvas tents come equipped with hickory walking sticks, portable lanterns, and access to a bathhouse with teaklined showers and heated floors. Guests can enjoy nightly turndown service and the use of fire pits for making s’mores in the evening. As part of the renovation, the Ventana also built an on-site gallery to showcase paintings,

sculptures, jewelry, ceramics, and photography by Big Sur’s most renowned artists. And the new Sur House restaurant—helmed by executive chef Paul Corsentino (pictured above), who worked in New York and Chicago before heading west—houses a 10,000-bottle wine cellar that highlights small-production central coast wineries. Guests eager to embrace the region’s backto-nature philosophy might appreciate a soak in the heated, clothing-optional Mountain Pool; it’s undoubtedly more pleasant to ease into than the roiling, frigid Pacific Ocean just down the hill.


Beautiful, elegant, well-appointed, small ships. Unique voyages to hidden harbors. There are many reasons why a Windstar cruise is memorable. But it’s the experiences you aren’t expecting that make it magical. Call your travel professional or Windstar Cruises at 888-749-3906. WindstarCruises.com


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where to shop Throughout Africa, young designers are using traditional techniques and local materials to create fresh looks now seen everywhere from international runways to your Instagram feed. Hannah Azieb Pool, the editor of Fashion Cities Africa, introduces us to three of the most creative cities to watch in 2018. photographs by Grant Cornett

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The inspiration for MONAA’s leather sandals? The shoes worn by royal men of the Ashanti, the largest tribe in Ghana. Princess sandals (top), $88; Empress sandals, $85. monaaonline.com

Accra, Ghana The scene “There has been a real resurgence of creative expression in Accra,” says Nana Dabanka, who, along with her sister, launched MONAA, a line of leather sandals inspired by the sisters’ Ashanti heritage. The city’s creative hub is the Osu neighborhood, where the busy main streets are lined with craft booths and high-

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end boutiques. “Osu and its surrounding areas are bursting with so much style and culture,” says Makeba Boateng, founder of Fashion Forum Africa, a lecture series that promotes African designers. Where to shop In Osu, look for shops such as Studio 189, a label launched by former Bottega Veneta executive Abrima Erwiah and film star Rosario Dawson, and Elle Lokko, devoted to African brands

(including MONAA and AAKS). For contemporary updates on Ghanaian jewelry—think intricately beaded necklaces and gold rings with designs inspired by nature—visit stores beyond Osu: Sun Trade Beads in the Asylum Down neighborhood and Budding Tree Jewelry in South La Estate.

STYLING BY REBECCA BARTOSHESKY

AAKS bags are all woven by hand in Ghana using locally sourced raffia and classic techniques. Baw Pot, $164. aaksonline.com


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Nairobi, Kenya The scene Everything you need to know about Nairobi’s style you can glean from siblings Velma Rossa and Oliver “Papa Petit” Asike. The sister and brother are the architects of 2ManySiblings, a Tumblr blog that chronicles Nairobi’s mitumba (or “thrifting”) culture. They also run their own clothing label as well as “Thrift Social,” a combination swap meet, music event, and fashion fair. Where to shop Nairobi has a smaller scene than Accra, so successful shopping is all about knowing where to go. To explore mitumba culture, time your visit with Thrift Social or try Gikomba,

Africa’s secondlargest market for secondhand clothes. The city’s locavore ethos extends to jewelry too: Designers Ami Doshi Shah (visits by appointment only) and Adèle Dejak (who has a shop in Nairobi’s Village Market) both use local materials such as leather and Ankole horn to make exquisite handcrafted jewelry.

Pieces in accessory designer Adèle Dejak’s 99.9% Collection are made entirely from recycled materials. K-Daki ring, $55; Margaret bracelet, $190. adeledejak.com

The pearls in these gold-leaf and sterling-silver earrings from designer Ami Doshi Shah were sourced from Mauritius. Two Face hoop earrings, $230. amidoshishah.com

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Johannesburg, South Africa

Simon and Mary is a fourth-generation milliner who specializes in wool felt hats. Raw Roberto hat, $44. simonandmary.co.za

The scene For years, Johannesburg’s style scene remained in the shadow of Cape Town’s. But as the city emerges from decades of decline, a new batch of radical young designers has arrived. There are the more glamorous brands—David Tlale, Marianne Fassler, Thula Sindi, and others —but some of the city’s biggest influencers are multidisciplinary groups such as the Sartists, a fashion collective that collaborates with major brands including Adidas

and Levi’s. Where to shop Much of Johannesburg’s fashion energy is in the city center and Newtown, the cultural precinct, where you’ll find Simon and Mary hats at Guillotine and Maxhosa by Laduma sweaters at the brand’s showroom in the Newtown Junction Mall. Find the city’s edgiest fashion at markets in nearby precincts: Both the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein and Market on Main in Maboneng offer up weekends of food, fiery Bloody Marys, DJs playing Afrobeats, and, of course, clothing from forward-thinking designers.

The patterns in designer Laduma Ngxokolo’s sweaters nod to the vibrant traditional dress of the Xhosa people. Women’s Nomkhitha sweater, $287. maxhosa.co.za

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ONE VISIT AND NORFOLK WILL BE YOUR FAVORITE CITY, TOO. From a revitalized waterfront to a burgeoning culinary and craft beer scene, there’s a lot to love about Norfolk, Virginia. So much, in fact, that it took the #1 spot on the America’s Favorite Cities list! Plan your Norfolk getaway today at visitnorfolk.com!

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BENEATH THE MIGHTY CEDARS OF CANADA’S HAIDA GWAII ARCHIPELAGO, AN INDIGENOUS CULTURE THRIVES. by Marcello Di Cintio photographs by Jim McAuley


STOOD ON THE SHORELINE OF HLK’YAH

GawGa, just as the late morning sun was freeing mist from the damp driftwood, and stared up at the “Legacy Pole.” Carved from the trunk of a cedar tree, the pole stands 42 feet high. I craned my neck to see the three figures just below the eagle at the top. The front figure faces the ocean; the others face right and left. These are the Watchmen. According to the oral histories of the Haida, the indigenous people who have long populated the archipelago off the British Columbia coast called Haida Gwaii, the Watchmen once served their villages by looking out over the water to spy advancing canoes. In times of conflict, boats approaching stern first were deemed friendly. Bow first meant war. These are the sorts of stories I learned growing up in Canada during the 1980s, when First Nations culture was taught only as ancient history. We learned about wigwams and buffalo jumps back then and tried on feathered headdresses in replica tepees on museum field

trips. For us, Canada’s first peoples were akin to the Aztecs or the ancient Romans—their civilizations were captivating, but bygone. Decades later, I came to Haida Gwaii because I wanted to see the line from those old stories to the modern day. By spending a week here with the Haida—exploring their islands, hearing their stories—I hoped to gain an understanding of their culture as it exists today. The Haida first settled here on this collection of islands, about 50 miles from the southern tip of Alaska, at least 8,000 years ago. The first European explorers to arrive in Haida Gwaii in the 1700s found a rich and complex culture divided into two main clans, the Raven and the Eagle, dispersed across dozens of villages throughout the archipelago. The

Clockwise from top left: Haida Watchman Guut ’iiwaans David Dixon; the Queen Charlotte Harbour; a carving at the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate; Iiljuwaas Leonard Arens points out fishing spots on his expedition boat’s map. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

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Europeans traded iron tools for sea otter pelts, and—as is sadly too common in such stories— left disease behind. Smallpox, measles, and typhoid decimated the Haida, dropping the population from tens of thousands at the time of contact to about 600. The Haida have never rebounded to pre-contact levels. These days, about 2,500 Haida live in Haida Gwaii. I’d arrived on the shore of Hlk’yah GawGa aboard a boat helmed by Sk’aal Ts’iid James Cowpar and his cousin Iiljuwaas Leonard Arens. The wind and rain that had shaken my flight from Vancouver the previous day had unexpectedly eased, and a clear sky had blessed our four-and-a-half-hour sail from the docks of Queen Charlotte, Haida Gwaii’s largest village. En route, we had sailed past wave-washed Skedans Rocks, where 50 sea lions sunned themselves under the snorting authority of an enormous alpha bull. Then we had crossed into Gwaii Haanas, the protected southernmost third of the archipelago that bears the multibarreled title “National Park 54

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Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site.” While Cowpar cooked venison and grilled salmon for our lunch, Arens led our group into the forest of Sitka spruce, western hemlock, and—most important to the Haida—red cedar. As we walked, Arens told us the Haida have lived on these islands longer than the trees, but ever since the spirit of the Raven gave the Haida the ts’uu, or red cedar, Haida culture has been enmeshed with the towering evergreens. The Haida carve cedar into massive poles, weave its bark into baskets, and build longhouses (traditional dwellings) of cedar logs. In the centuries before European contact, the Haida fashioned the trees into massive canoes used for trade and war. Only the Haida possessed such fearsome vessels—canoes were another gift from the spirit world—and would visit (or raid) mainland villages on the other side of the Hecate Strait and up the Fraser River Delta for blankets, copper shields, and, primarily, slaves. I would see one of these old

canoes a few days later, lying unfinished in a forest in the north part of Haida Gwaii. In the 19th century, whenever one of the canoe carvers succumbed to smallpox, his fellow workmen gathered their tools and walked away. The sight of the abandoned and unhollowed canoe made me shiver. The Haida’s contemporary history is also connected to the cedars. As we made our way through the forest, Arens told us about the 1985 blockade, when activists obstructed a road on the island of Athlii Gwaay to prevent logging companies from clear-cutting the oldgrowth forests and to demand that the government recognize Haida law. Seventy-two Haida were arrested on that road and 11 charged with contempt. Arens was there, too. He was only four years old at the time, but he spent six This page, from left: The “Unity Pole” in Skidegate; a meal of Dungeness crab at a home in the Haida village of Gaaw. Opposite page: Lakes within the SGaay Taw Siiwaay K’adjuu Heritage Site.


How to Visit Haida Gwaii

Separated from mainland Canada by the stormy Hecate Strait, the 150-island archipelago of Haida Gwaii is tough to reach but rich in rewards. Most of the activities are concentrated on the two largest islands: Graham in the north—home to Queen Charlotte, the main village—and Moresby, the gateway to Gwaii Haanas, in the south. Here’s what you need to know before you go.

HOW TO GET THERE

Haida Gwaii is accessible only by plane or ferry. The islands are most easily approached via a two-hour flight from Vancouver. (Air Canada is the only airline with connecting international flights.) You can also ride an eight-hour ferry (cars allowed) from Prince Rupert, B.C., to Skidegate, a Haida village located five miles east of Queen Charlotte.

WHERE TO STAY

Haida House, a 10-room cedar lodge on the eastern coast of Graham emphasizes cultural tourism and serves food inspired by traditional Haida dishes (from $2,290 for a fournight minimum stay). Its new sister property, slated to open in May, is the Ocean House at Stads K’uns GawGa, a remote, fly-in lodge in the Peel Inlet with a focus on ecotourism (from $3,425 for a three-night minimum stay). haidahouse.com

WHAT TO DO

Haida is dotted with small villages, each worthy of exploration. Learn about Haida specialties such as woodcarving and canoe making at the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate, dig into some of the island’s best local seafood (wild prawns, freshly caught halibut) at Charters Restaurant in Masset, or hike through mossy forests and across driftwood-strewn beaches in the coastal Naikoon Provincial Park. Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve—part national park, part marine conservation area, part Haida heritage site—is one of the archipelago’s biggest draws. A guided tour with Moresby Explorers or Haida Style Expeditions can help you get the most out of the park’s 1,930 square miles, which are filled with wildlife, including orcas and black bears, and home to ancient Haida village sites.

weeks on the blockade with his grandmother and earned his Haida name: “Sitting Big.” The protesters’ actions eventually prodded the Canadian government to designate Gwaii Haanas a national park reserve. While forestry remains a key economic driver in Haida Gwaii, companies are subject to strict laws developed by the Haida Nation in collaboration with the government. As a result, the Haida consider the Athlii Gwaay activists heroes. When Arens led us out of the forest and back to the foot of the Legacy Pole, he pointed out the images of five people— four of them wearing gumboots—linking arms on the lower half of the pole. These were carved in honor of the protesters who first stood arm in arm and held the line in 1985. Arens was quiet for a moment as he looked up at the pole. “This is a tear-jerking place for me,” he said. After lunch on Athlii Gwaay, and after Arens burned a few pieces of salmon on the fire as an offering for a funeral he was missing in town, we sailed north. On our way back to Queen Charlotte, Cowpar stopped at the historical village site at K’uuna Llnagaay, once a vibrant settlement consisting of some 30 longhouses. Little remains of the village today. We followed Arens along a trail marked with clamshells, past mortuary poles that still stand. Niches cut into the poles once cradled bentwood boxes containing the remains of Haida chiefs and Haida women held in high esteem. Most of the boxes, fashioned by steaming and bending a single plank of cedar, sit on shelves in faraway museums now, and the poles themselves lean at angles that warn of an inevitable fall. The Haida see no tragedy in this. Mortuary poles were meant to eventually come down. When they topple, these monuments to death will nurse and nourish new life: A little farther down the path, we came upon a spruce tree growing straight and strong out of a fallen pole. The spruce roots wrapped around the carved cedar in an intimate embrace I found both beautiful and strangely reassuring. On our way back to Queen Charlotte, we also passed by the historical village site of T’aanuu Llnagaay. Cowpar, though, wouldn’t land there that day. The site stands near a mass grave for 19th-century smallpox victims, and Haida speak of feeling their ancestors’ presence there. Strange things happen on T’aanuu Llnagaay. I had no supernatural experiences anywhere in Gwaii Haanas. No restless spirits appeared to me. Why would they, after all? But I did sense the presence of something

transcendent as I wandered its forests. I felt a biological greatness, if not a spiritual one. These islands throb and thrum with life. The centuries-old trees. The rain forest’s constant drip. The hungry seals waiting for the salmon runs at the river mouths. The soft underbrush that yielded like flesh beneath my boots. Everything inspired reverence. The next day, at the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate, a village just east of Queen Charlotte, I met with 23-year-old Sgaas Sgwaansing Shyla Cross. I had wanted to meet Cross because she is a Haida Watchman—the modern-day incarnation of the figures rendered on Haida poles like the one I’d first seen in Hlk’yah GawGa. Instead of watching for advancing war parties as their predecessors did, today’s Watchmen care for all that remains of the Haida villages in Gwaii Haanas. From May through the end of August, around 20 Watchmen—men and women both, ranging in age from teens to septuagenarians—spend two weeks to a month at a time at five old village sites. They trim the grass around the sites, clip the salal berry saplings that grow on the old poles, and ensure that guests don’t touch what they should not touch. Most of all, they act as Haida cultural ambassadors. The Watchmen guide visitors through the sites and the nearby rain forests. They explain the significance of the poles, point out the lightning-struck cedars, and answer questions about Haida history and beliefs. Their job is to welcome all who make the effort to visit, whether they land bow or stern first. But the Watchmen are no mere park rangers. What I found most compelling about the Watchmen was that their personal histories are as deeply rooted in Gwaii Haanas as the cedar and spruce. Cross grew up hearing Clockwise from top left: Floatplane pilot Peter Grundmann; the modern tools of the pole-carving trade; a cabin on the north coast; carving a cedar pole at the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

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stories about her family’s secret fishing spots in distant inlets of Gwaii Haanas, about where they’d find the best abalone, say, or the most herring. Her Watchman service allows her to connect with these old stories. And even though she confesses to being attached to her cell phone, Cross says the low-tech quiet of Gwaii Haanas rejuvenates and relaxes her. In the evenings, after all the visitors are gone, Cross weaves bracelets out of bark she strips from the cedar and takes walks in the forests. “It’s such a simple way of life,” she said. “To have the ability to run around barefoot and no one scolds me to put my shoes on.” I met another Watchman at the Centre: Gid yahk’ii Sean Young. He, too, can link his family history to the old villages in Haida Gwaii. Young’s great-great chinai, or grandThis page: A colony of Northern sea lions on Skedans Rocks, near Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. Opposite page: A rental cabin on the north coast of Haida Gwaii, near the village of Gaaw. 58

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father, was born in a chief ’s longhouse on K’uuna Llnagaay whose foundations Arens had pointed out during our tour. Young is 44 years old, and like many Haida men of his generation, had to decide between fishing and logging after high school. “When you turned 18, you ended up in the bush or on the water,” Young said. “I chose the bush because my father was a logger.” Young eventually left the forest to study archaeology and now works at the Centre’s Haida Gwaii Museum as a curator. The Watchmen program connects Young to his family’s past and serves his family’s future. Last year, Young “watched” with his girlfriend, Dall sgii Helen Engelbert—also a Watchman— and their two-year-old daughter, Saandlaans Thora. The summer sun sets late in Gwaii Haanas, and after their daily duties, Young, Engelbert, and Thora would spend their evenings exploring the islands and gathering food. They picked blackberries and huckleberries; they fished for salmon, halibut, and prawns; and they trapped crabs and culled mussels and

sea urchins. “Thora caught her first fish this summer,” Young said. “Her first solid food was sockeye salmon.” The Watchmen program not only grants Young the opportunity to share his culture with visitors but also allows his family to live in accordance with that culture. And this is what I’d come to Haida Gwaii to find: Canadian First Nations culture in the here and now. Haida anglers may fish from Zodiacs rather than canoes, but they ply the same waters for salmon and halibut. Old beliefs endure. Haida traditions were shared with me, not staged. “The core root of the whole Watchmen program is to tell people that ‘We are Haida. We are alive. We’re still thriving. We’re vibrant,’ ” Young said. For the Haida, Gwaii Haanas is not a park. It is home. Marcello Di Cintio is the author of Walls: Travels Along the Barricades and the forthcoming Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense. This is photographer Jim McAuley’s first assignment for AFAR.


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and Paphos, and visit historic and religious spots such as Jerusalem and Jaffa on a recently revived itinerary. Sails Sept. 9–23, 2018. Fall Cruise Seabourn Leaf-peep in luxury on a 12-night Canadian cruise from Montreal around Newfoundland and back. Sails Sept. 19–Oct. 1, 2018.

Four of the world’s 18 species of penguin roam icy Antarctica: Adélie, emperor, chinstrap, and gentoo.

where to

TRAVEL IN AUTUMN

Places to go and things to do around the globe from September through November. by SARA BUTTON & GABE ULLA

Hotels Six Senses Bhutan Enjoy Bhutan’s clear fall skies as you cross the kingdom and stay at five luxury lodges. Each is designed to highlight the local landscape: one incorporates its surrounding forest; another reuses the site’s stone ruins. From $1,200. Shinola Detroit Proud Detroit-based companies Shinola (maker of upscale watches and bikes) and Bedrock (a real estate firm focusing on urban renewal) joined forces to open a boutique hotel that will add 130 rooms and 60

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16,000 square feet of dining and retail space to the Motor City. Opening fall 2018.

Culture Concurs de Castells Tarragona, Spain People climb onto each other’s shoulders to build human towers up to four stories tall during a biennial feat of teamwork and engineering. Oct. 6–7, 2018 Oktoberfest Blumenau, Brazil German immigrants founded the southern Brazilian city in 1850, and their descendants now celebrate the annual bierfest with

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

Brazilian style: a big parade, a beauty pageant, and a beer-by-the-meter drinking contest. Oct. 2018 All Souls Procession Tucson, Arizona What began nearly 30 years ago as a single performance piece by a local artist to memorialize her father has transformed into an annual arts procession with more than 150,000 participants and attendees. The finale culminates in the burning of a giant urn holding wishes and offerings for those who have died. Nov. 4, 2018 Loi Krathong Thailand Celebrants craft

lanterns from banana leaves, then decorate them with flowers, incense, and candles before floating them downstream. Go to Sukhothai, Bangkok, or Chiang Mai to observe the holiday focused on renewal and giving thanks. Nov. 23, 2018

Trips Rome to Israel Cruise Crystal Cruises Consider the pagan past of ancient civilizations at Pompeii

South Shetland Islands and Antarctica Expedition Cruise Quark Expeditions Onboard photography pros will help you capture the Antarctic Peninsula’s stark landscapes and iconic wildlife during Quark’s new Photography Series cruise. Sails Nov. 13–23, 2018. Portugal to Cape Town Cruise Regent Seven Seas A new route allows cruisers to experience the unique mix of Portuguese and Creole cultures in São Tomé, admire the orchid gardens in Tenerife, and spot thousands of migrating birds in

Walvis Bay. Sails Nov. 28–Dec. 22, 2018.

Dining Taiyo Mexico City Since spawning Mexico’s restaurant resurgence with Pujol, Enrique Olvera has built an empire of effortlessly cool, reliably delicious restaurants, including Cosme and Atla in New York. In 2018, he returns home to open a cantinastyle establishment that builds on his recent shift from formality to boisterousness. Expect a taqueria in the front and plenty of agavedriven drinks.

Art LUMA Arles Arles, France Though displays of photography, dance, and art have been available to the public during construction, late 2018 should see the completion of the new museum, including a tower designed by visionary architect Frank Gehry. FROM TOP: EASTCOTT MOMAITUK/GETTY, C. ELLIOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

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WINE REGION

BORDEAUX, FRANCE The historic grape-growing region isn’t living in the past. The dynamic city of Bordeaux—and its La Cité du Vin museum and cultural center—is a mustvisit for oenophiles. FOOD DESTINATION

PARIS ADVENTURE

HIKING TORRES DEL PAINE IN PATAGONIA, CHILE

Top Destinations

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

Whether they travel to taste a classic dish or relax on a perfect beach, AFAR readers are always planning their next trip. So we asked them to vote for the top spots on their travel wish lists for 2018: the cities they want to wander, the roads they yearn to drive, the mountains they long to climb. Read on to meet the award winners and get inspired yourself.

STAY IN AN OVERWATER BUNGALOW IN FRENCH POLYNESIA

CARIBBEAN BEACH

TURKS AND CAICOS The archipelago recovered from hurricane season and is ready for visitors. There’s no better place to stroll white-sand beaches or try kitesurfing for the first time.

GLOBAL FESTIVAL

DAY OF THE DEAD, MEXICO

ART CREDIT

EPIC TRIP


U.S. CITY

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U.S. BEACH

Music festivals (Austin City Limits, South by Southwest) and local food (breakfast tacos) are among the reasons AFAR readers rank Austin their favorite U.S. city. Another reason arrives in fall 2018: Austin Proper Hotel & Residences will open in the city’s bustling Second Street district.

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WATER SPORTS DESTINATION

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ASIAN CITY

22 2 222 SPORTS EVENT

It’s nearly impossible to travel to Fiji and not get wet. The island country’s deep, clear blue waters, soft sands, and healthy reefs are, according to AFAR readers, the world’s best water park for game fishing, snorkeling, diving, jetskiing, and much more.

EUROPEAN CITY

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2018 WINTER2 22222222 AFAR readers are excited for the 2018 games, as athletes compete for a record 102 gold medals in the intimate resort town of Pyeongchang, South Korea.

OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: CÉLINE CLANET, MARCO GRASSI, BEN PIPE, COURTESY OF FOUR SEASONS RESORT BORA BORA. THIS PAGE, LEFT TO RIGHT FROM TOP: TOM ANDERSON, LANDON NORDEMAN, TINA DUAN, SIMON LEDDER/GALLERY STOCK, COURTESY OF CAVALLI ESTATE

ART AND CULTURE

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2222222222 SKI DESTINATION

2222222222 Two-time winter Olympics host St. Moritz is the birthplace of the luxury ski trip, one of the many reasons the Swiss mountain hideaway is a natural choice for best ski destination. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018

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