T R A V E L
O F T E N . L I V E
W E L L
T R AV E L
M A G A Z I N E
HOLLYWOOD GOES HIKING
ACTRESS JULIE ANN EMERYâ€™S FAVORITE HIKING TRAILS AROUND THE WORLD
STREETS OF SINGAPORE
A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY THROUGH THE LION CITY
PUNTA MITA, MEXICO
WORLD CLASS GOLF, CUISINE AND BEACH AT FOUR SEASONS
A ROYAL SLEEPOVER
FIVE ENGLISH CASTLES THAT LOWERED THE DRAWBRIDGE FOR OVERNIGHT GUESTS
COME ALONG ON THE JOURNEY at DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
advertise you hotel, resort, destination or travel product email: email@example.com
BIG ON SCREEN PRESENTS
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BEAUTIFULLY REPRODUCE MAGAZINE FEATURES
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PUBLISHER GLOSSY MEDIA
CREATIVE DIRECTOR STEVE DRAKE
PRODUCTION/EDITORIAL RUSS WALSH, STEVE DRAKE, JULIE ANN EMERY, PETER ANTHONY SHEPHERD, JOSHUA THOMAS, ERIC HIMEL, RYAN CONNOLLY, LEA KOMITZKY, ZOEY GOTO, FOUR SEASONS ATHENS, BRITNEY HOPE
CREATIVE | PHOTOGRAPHY ADOBE STOCK, VINCE TRUPSIN, STEVE DRAKE, PIXABAY.COM, WIKIMEDIA, BEST BUY, UPSPLASH, HUAWEI, GALERIA PLAZA REFORMA, FOUR SEASONS PUNTA MITA, GOLF KITCHEN, JULIE ANN EMERY, PETER ANTHONY SHEPHERD, I PINI, HIDDEN ICELAND, RYAN CONNOLLY, ZOEY GOTO, FOUR SEASONS ATHENS
ADVERTISING & PUBLISHING RIGHTS INQUIRIES sales@DRIFTtravel.com | www.DRIFTtravel.com Published by: Glossy Media All rights reserved. No part of DRIFT magazine may be copied or reproduced without permission. Â© COPYRIGHT DRIFT TRAVEL MAGAZINE GLOSSY MEDIA 2015-2019
INSIDE this issue GEAR 4 TRAVEL Trending gadgets + packables
STAR GOLF + CULINARY 10 5Fours Seasons Punta Mita play host to Golf Kitchen
PLAZA REFORMA 16 STRAP ON A BACKPACK 8 GALERIA In the heart of Mecixo City Actor Julie Emery’s favorite hiking trails T R A V E L
O F T E N . L I V E
W E L L
T R A V E L
M A G A Z I N E
HOURS IN TORONTO 22 48 Family fun in the heart of T.O JOURNEY 56 BEYOND JERUSALEM 28 APeterPHOTOGRAPHIC Anthony Shepherd’s Singapore A new land of adventure
HOLLYWOOD GOES HIKING
ACTRESS JULIE ANN EMERY’S FAVORITE HIKING TRAILS AROUND THE WORLD
STREETS OF SINGAPORE
A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY THROUGH THE LION CITY
PUNTA MITA, MEXICO
IN TUSCANY 42 AGRIVILLA Vegan, organic and sustainable
CASTLE HOTELS 60 ENGLISH Sleep like royalty in England
OF TRAVEL FASHION 48 3Cool,C’scomfortable and chic attire
Food & Architecture 66 Art, Fall in love with Athens, Greece
WORLD CLASS GOLF, CUISINE AND BEACH AT FOUR SEASONS
A ROYAL SLEEPOVER
FIVE ENGLISH CASTLES THAT LOWERED THE DRAWBRIDGE FOR OVERNIGHT GUESTS
COME ALONG ON THE JOURNEY at DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
In this issue of DRIFT Travel magazine, tee off in sunny Punta Mita, set out on otherworldly hiking trails and search for the Northern Lights in Iceland. Join us on the journey to twelve exceptional countries and as always, no passport required.
GUIDE TO ICELAND 72 Ireland & Scotland 50 GUIDE’S Secrets of the Emerald Isle In search of the Northern Lights Scottish Highlands
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TRAVEL GEAR HOT NEW TRAVEL PRODUCTS
BY: RUSS WALSH
SWISSGEAR Powder King 20” Hard Side Carry-On Luggage Perfect for an extended weekend getaway, this SWISSGear Powder King 20” hard side suitcase is small enough to use as a carry-on but large enough to pack all of your necessary travel items. The suitcase features a 360-degree fourwheel system to allow you easy transport through the airport and our destination. Retractable push-button handle allows for easy transport and locks into place when extended. Zippered pocket on lid interior provides handy storage for items you don’t want lost among your clothes bestbuy.ca - one of the top luggage retailers offering a large selection of travel gear for every kind of traveler.
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PolarPro FiftyFifty The PolarPro FiftyFifty was designed so you can capture creative split-level photos and videos. The FiftyFifty pushes water away from the camera lens so it can capture what is both above and beneath the water line. The latch system allows you to quickly and securely install your GoPro to the Dome. Designed using our same filter optics, you can be assured your footage will be crystal clear. The FiftyFifty comes with a grip that will also float your camera while using the dome, and the GoPro installs right into the port, eliminating the need for extra housings. Capture new and creative over/under shots with the FiftyFifty. polarprofilters.com
Loupedeck + Photo editing made easy. Pros or beginners, achieving the perfect edit quickly becomes second nature with loupedeck+â€™s intuitive buttons, dials and sliders. Compatible with Adobe Lightroom Classic, Lightroom 6, Photoshop CC with Camera Raw, Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Audition CC, Final Cut Pro X and Skylum Aurora HDR. Beta integration with Capture One. loupedeck.com
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ALLasleep Arrive rested with the new ALLasleep head and neck support. Sleep in a seated position - Holds the head in a neutral position - Adjustable to different seat sizes. Great for Planes, Trains, Buses & Cars allasleep.ca
Huawei P30 Pro This phone is all about the camera Zoom in to explore the mystery of the celestial at night, watch an eagle hovering over trees or examine the delicate details of crystal. Capture the best things in the moment and create your vision for the future. The HUAWEI P30 Pro is accentuating a new peak of smartphone photography. The Leica Quad Camera System accommodates your photography to help see the world in its entirety. This unmatched super camera system includes a SuperZoom Lens, a 40 MP Super Sensing Camera, a 20 MP Ultra Wide Angle Lens, and a HUAWEI TOF Camera, giving you the freedom to capture your incredible moments. AI HDR+ delivers clarity in your shots with the AI evaluating several frames and segmenting different parts of the photo to combine the best features. The light and color are balanced in different layers to bring your face into focus. huawei.com
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wayre - The Little Travel Dress Made from reclaimed plastic bottles, wayre’s innovation comes from eco-friendly manufacturing and its unique Like-Silk fabric. Each piece of wayre comes stank-proof, spill-proof, UV & wrinkle resistant, and 4-way stretch … without any harmful chemicals and it’s all sustainably derived! Wayre makes packing super easy and takes all the stress out of experiencing the world. The collection is body-positive and offers inclusive sizing ranging from XXS-3X. shopwayre.com
Photos shot on the Huawei P30 Pro
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Galeria Plaza Reforma Mexico City, Mexico
n the eve of Mexican Independence Day, Galeria Plaza Reforma invites you to become one with the locals and head to the city center, or Zócalo, for one of the country’s largest celebrations. The plaza fills with hundreds of people as the Mexican president initiates the Grito de Dolores, or Cry of the Doloros, from the balcony of the Palacio Nacional, ringing in the holiday and commemorating the country’s great victory.
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Centrally located with comfortable and luxurious amenities, Galeria Plaza Reforma is right in the heart of the Financial District. It offers stunning views of the nationâ€™s capital and features renovated rooms and a chic rooftop, making it the perfect base to explore the buzz worthy city. For travelers looking to experience the destination at a reasonable price, Galeria Plaza Reforma is the ideal hotel to immerse themselves in the history, culture and lifestyle of this vibrant destination.
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Sun, Sand & Greens Four Seasons Punta Mita, Mexico BY: STEVE DRAKE
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I recently had the pleasure of spending a weekend at Four Seasons Punta Mita, a 1,500acre private peninsula resort situated in the Riviera Nayarit, just north of Puerto Vallarta. I was invited to experience my first Golf Kitchen event which brings together some of the top chefs from golf clubs across the Americas, invites them play a little golf, and then asks them to create incredible dishes using fresh ingredients found in this region. Chefs hailed from as far away as New Jersey and Uruguay. Over the 3-day Golf Kitchen event, we were treated to some of the most enjoyable dishes Iâ€™ve tasted - especially on a golf course! Breakfast, lunch and dinner - each meal was a feast for all the senses.
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My host for this visit was famed golf instructor Tom F. Stickney II. Tom is the Director of Instruction and Business Development at Punta Mita. He is also a Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher, and has been honored as a Golf Digest Best Teacher and a Golf Tips Top25 Instructor.
“I’m proud to call Punta Mita my home.”
– Tom F. Stickney II.
Shortly after my arrival, Tom and I met up in the stunning open-air lobby of the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita. We jumped in a golf cart (as everyone seems to do here) and headed off for a quick tour of the golf facilities. Punta Mita features two immaculately kept Jack Nicklaus Signature 18hole courses, Bahia & Pacifico. The Pacifico championship course is a favorite for residents and guests alike and home to the famed “Tail of the Whale” – the world’s only natural island green. 12 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
This mostly level course offers views across the Sierra Madre Mountains, Bahía de Banderas and the Pacific Ocean. The Bahia course, in stark contrast to Pacifico, presents more undulating fairways and greens, making putting technique an important part of the playing experience. Bring your “A” game to Bahia and if you happen to have a local in your group, heed their advice on the greens. It just might save you from a 4 or 5 putt.
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In addition to the beautiful courses is the Punta Mita Golf Academy. This state-of-the-art teaching facility is serious learning center with all best instructional technologies. Programs are available for players of any level or age. Swing analysis, on course lesson, short game school and testing with Trackman, the cutting edge golf club and golf ball tracking system that gives you instant feedback on your golf shot. The work that Tom and the Punta Mita team have put into developing this facility has caught the eye of legendary short game teachers Dave Pelz, who is bringing his Dave Pelz 3-day Short Game School to Punta Mita. These 3-day schools are the best way to sharpen your short game skills - definitely worth a trip for the golf enthusiast. Three sets of dates are available starting in November with the last school in January 2020. Check the Punta Mita Facebook page for event details.
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WHEN You Go Punta Mita - a private gated community with 9.5 miles of Pacific Coast with Two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses, Tennis Center, Four Residents’ Beach Clubs, Home of the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita and St. Regis Punta Mita Resort. On the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands, Punta Mita offers a near-perfect climate – boasting more than 340 days of sunshine per year. Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita - Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is located in a picturesque fishing village nestled on the southwest point of the Riviera Nayarit region. The beachfront property is set on 400 acres and boasts incredible surf, lush jungles and endless adventure. In addition, 177 spacious, casita-style guest rooms, 31 suites and 32 residences and villas, three alfresco Richard Sandoval restaurants with ocean views, a serene spa, and world-class golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus offer guests an unrivaled Four Seasons luxury experience infused with an authentic taste of rural Mexico. The Riviera Nayarit - Located just minutes north of Puerto Vallarta’s International Airport, Riviera Nayarit is Mexico’s newest beach destination with 200 miles of pristine pacific coastline dotted with dozens of seaside coastal towns and pueblos boasting lush rugged mountain peaks, nature sanctuaries, golden sand, palm-fringed beaches, and luxurious resorts.
Save the date GOLF KITCHEN Punta Mita 2020 Apr 30th – May 3rd Punta Mita is set to host the third edition of Golf Kitchen Punta Mita event April 30 to May 3, 2020. Golf Kitchen Magazine and Punta Mita developer DINE co-host this special four-day, three-night event that blends the best of the region’s destination golf and gastronomic experiences with the help of a crew of visiting chefs from esteemed golf clubs in the US and Latin America. “The second edition was a hit from start to finish with a great crowd of locals and visitors creating many memorable moments and flavors on the golf courses and off ” said Carl Emberson, Director of Marketing and Operations at Punta Mita.
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Escaping the Hollywood Grind
BY: JULIE ANN EMERY
My husband and I love nothing more on our travels than strapping on a backpack and climbing a mountain, following a river, or generally going places less touched by the hustle of day to day life.
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Actress Julie Ann Emery shares her love and enthusiasm of the outdoors with this roundup of great hiking locations. These are five of here favorite treks Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA If it's not on your bucket list, it should be. It is a beast to hike out, but entirely worthy of the effort. You can take Bright Angel Trail to Indian Wells and back for a day hike. If you want to go all the way to the bottom, look into lodging at Phantom Ranch, or stay at the campground at the bottom like we did. Follow all water and food recommendations listed on the park web site. As they say in the canyon "Down is optional, up is mandatory." (*And maybe take some duct tape, I blew out my boots on my last visit and climbed out of the Canyon with them duct taped to my feet) The Grand Canyon always stirs something in my soul and I see my life more clearly by the time I make it out.
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West Highland Way, Scotland The West Highland Way was our first long distance hike. I have never seen greener greens or bluer blues. 96 miles from the trail head just North of Glasgow up along Loch Lomond and into the Scottish Highlands ending at Fort William. There are campgrounds and some areas that still allow free camping, but we didn't drag our gear across the ocean so we stayed at BnBs or little Inns in the villages off the trail. Seems like a cheat at first, but you get to know the locals and sample an awful lot of traditional Scottish breakfast (including blood pudding). You also meet "walkers" from all over the world as you leap frog each other during the day.
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Roy's Peak Lake Wanaka, New Zealand New Zealand has some of the most gorgeous hiking anywhere in the world, but our favorite was the half day hike we took up to Roy's Peak on the South Island overlooking Lake Wanaka. I highly recommend leaving at day break and watching the clouds break up over the lake as you hike; it is nothing short of magical.
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The Monte Grona, Lake Como, Italy If you find yourself in the Northern Italy lakes region, take a day off from all the ferry rides on Lake Como and hike Monte Grona just outside Menaggio up to Rifugio Menaggio. The Rifugio is an oasis near the top where you can get coffee, snacks, chat with the owner who brings up supplies on a tiny funicular, and it has spectacular views of Lake Como itself.
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Zion National Park Utah, USA Toss up between Angel's Landing and The Narrows (Bottom Up) Zion National Park is worth a visit no matter your physical fitness or experience level. There are hikes and nature walks to fit almost any visitor. My two favorites are Angel's Landing (Only do the last third if you are confident; in spots you are hanging on to a chain on the cliff side while reaching for your next foot hold!) and The Narrows. We did bottom up. Top down requires some canyoneering. Angel's Landing hosts stunning views. The Narrows is almost entirely hiked in the river. You can rent gear for that in the park. Definitely bring your walking sticks. Both are one of a kind experiences.
Julie Ann Emery, known for her roles in "Better Call Saul" and "Preacher" can also be seen in her latest project, Hulu’s “Catch-22,” opposite George Clooney and Christopher Abbott. TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 21
T o ronto CA NA DA
s d i k th i w BY: STEVE DRAKE
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When you are taking the kids on vacation, choosing a location that will make everyone happy can be a challenge. Toronto, Ontario is one of the most interesting cities in Canada to vacation with young children; offering endless options for entertainment, amusement and cultural adventure for the whole family. Surprisingly, for a city of 3 million people, it is very easy to get around.
WHERE TO STAY Recently renovated, Fairmont Royal York is a historic hotel in the center of it all. The lobby has been transformed into a vibrant spot for parents to have a drink and the breakfast buffet in Reign Restaurant was perfectly delicious for hungry travelers of all ages. Families checking in can expect fluffy Fairmont robes for everyone, including the kids and the swimming pool is a popular place to cool off at the end of a long day of sightseeing.
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WHAT TO DO One of the best things about the Fairmont Royal York Hotel was its location. It was right across from Union Station so getting to the airport was a quick train ride on the UP Express - just 26 minutes from hotel to Pearson International Airport. The hotel was walking distance to the CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ripleyâ€™s Aquarium of Canada and of course Rogers Center, the home of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team - and we did it all. Toronto has a bike share program that is very popular. All the bikes are adult size, so great if your kids are teenagers. $7 gets you a day pass or opt for a $15 three-day unlimited ride pass.
All photos in this edition of 48 hrs were take with the new Huawei P30 Pro Smartphone. See Travel Gear for details page 6 24 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
Blue Jays were playing at home while we were visiting the city, and we bought last minute tickets online to a game versus the Boston Red Sox. Turns out, these cheap seats are perfect when you have a fidgety seven year old who is more interested in how many people are in the grandstands, than whatâ€™s actually taking place on the baseball field. Lucky day - the Blue Jays won the game! The next day we headed to Ripleyâ€™s Aquarium of Canada and this was a delight for kids of all ages. The overhead aquariums filled with beautiful coral, massive sharks, giant sea turtles and an endless number of fish species was fascinating. Our favorite areas were Dangerous Lagoon (sharks), Rainbow Reef (clown fish), and Planet Jellies (giant back-lit glowing jellyfish tanks). Allow 2-3 hours.
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A perennial favorite in Toronto is a trip up the massive CN Tower. A word of advice - get in line early. In mid summer, you can wait upwards of two hours to get up the elevators. Built in 1976, the CN Tower is 1,815.2 feet tall and the ninth tallest freestanding structure in the world (it held the record as #1 for 32 years) and remains the tallest free-standing structure on land in the Western Hemisphere. A general admission ticket takes you up to two observations levels at 1,136 feet, and the +Skypod ticket takes you to the third at 1,465 feet. Be sure to walk on the world famous glass floor, looking 1,122 feet below and if you dare, try the EdgeWalk LIVE!
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HOP ON HOP OFF A fun way to see many sights without tiring little legs is the Hop On Hop Off bus. In Toronto, it is well run, the historical information is interesting and they stop at some of the cityâ€™s best attraction. When the kids are tired, stay on the bus and take in the sights. When they are ready for adventure, hop off at Casa Loma or AGO/Kensington/ China Town stops, or get off at the Eaton Center on Dundas
for world class shopping. When everyone is hungry, be sure to hop off at St. Lawrence Market. This was our favorite stop. St. Lawrence Market is a nod to the cityâ€™s past with generations-old vendors, local artwork and so much incredible food. So good in fact that National Geographic ranked St. Lawrence the best market in the world. It is worthy of a family visit. TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 27
The Helix Bridge with the iconic Marina Bay Sands in the background 28 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
SINGAPORE A Photographic Journey Featured Photographer: Peter Anthony Shepherd Shepherd is an amateur photographer who states that: “Since coming late to photography a holiday is not just a holiday anymore. The camera and the passion that comes with it opens up a unique perspective of the locations and cultures experienced.”
The Marina Bay Sands Light and Water show is free and can be watched every night at either 8pm or 9.30pm which is intended to showcase Singapore’s journey as a multicultural society.
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The Botanical Gardens are the country’s first UNESCO Heritage Site famous for the world’s largest orchid display and the reportedly over 150 year old Tembusu trees. Pictured is the Walkway in the Skies between the tree like structures. 30 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
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Above: Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall - Built in the Neoclassical architectural style the Victoria Theatre and Concert hall is a performing arts center in the central area of Singapore. Below: â€˜People of the Riverâ€™ bronze statue by Chong Fah Cheong of children jumping into the Singapore river in Downtown Singapore.
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Giant Silver Balls sculptures on the esplanade in front of the Asian Civilisations Museum.
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Cavenagh Bridge - Opened in 1870 and original known as â€˜Edinburgh Bridgeâ€™ to commemorate the visit of the Duke of Edinburgh. It is the oldest bridge in Singapore that exists in its original form.
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Within the Marina Bay Sands Hotel complex is its very own shopping mall containing many of the high end retail brands as well as a unique â€˜Hurricane Waterâ€™ feature.
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Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore which boasts many restaurants and landmarks but is equally well-known for its vibrant nightlife.
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Embedded in the footpaths are commemorative plaques celebrating fifty years of Independence after being ejected from the Federation of Malaysia.
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Above: Suntec City is a multi-use development in a sub zone of downtown Singapore which opened in 1997 and houses many foreign diplomatic / non-diplomatic missions that reside in Singapore. Below: Sentosa is a small island resort off Singaporeâ€™s southern coast housing an array of attractions, beaches, nature and dining opportunities.
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Marina Bay Sands swimming pool - relax in the worldâ€™s largest rooftop infinity pool which offers up amazing views of Singapore from 57 levels up.
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V E G A N
A G R I V I L L A
Italy's first vegan, organic, and sustainable Agrivilla in Tuscany BY: JOSHUA THOMAS
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Nestled on a hill amongst Mediterranean cypresses, olive groves, and vineyards in the heart of Tuscany between Florence and Siena, you will find a petite organic haven. The ecologically renovated 15th century i pini Agrivilla situated off the beaten track of the medieval town of San Gimignano, a UNESCO world heritage site. You will find yourselves carried away to a sanctuary graced with exquisitely beautiful Tuscan landscapes and wonderfully interesting flora and fauna. The splendors of nature that will surround you will present the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life whilst consciously enjoying our peaceful and tranquil environment. You will be greeted and served by our caring, energetic, and friendly team who will endeavor to look after you with positive energy and kindness and meet your every need truly a warm and heartfelt hospitality experience. TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 43
On site they have a zero-waste restaurant and wellness bar which is apologetically organic, vegan, and sustainable. Their experienced and talented plant-based chefs create delicious culinary delights with the focus on fresh and clean ingredients whilst staying true to our Italian roots. Specializing in foraged wild herbs and handpicked treasures from our own food forest. Local, organic, and seasonal produce, raw food, gluten and sugar free fare. The creative and delectable vegan cuisine will inspire and satiate your every need for both breakfast and dinner. This is what you can expect - innovative, healthy, natural, and wholesome food. In the rooms you will be immersed in a pleasant and relaxing silence giving them the opportunity to admire the artistic and ecologically friendly elements in your abode. Using natural and sustainable materials; such as: chalk, clay, hemp, wood, and linen, they create an elegant interior and rely on the simplicity of nature to do the rest. The rooms feature recycled materials which are carefully selected to bring nature, charm, and history into each room. Handmade terracotta tiles fired in a wood stove using traditional methods and restored antique furniture from the 18th century bestow
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beautiful accents from the past. A high-quality, biodegradable, and plant-based mattress combined with a temperature-equalizing Tencel duvet and organic cotton fair-trade pillows provide guests with a unique harmonious sleeping experience. They have really gone the extra mile to consider every detail. It is extremely important to them to offer you a detoxifying and healing oasis; they do this not only through our food and beverages but also the environment through which we interact. The swimming pool is free from harmful chemicals; such as chlorine, and instead they use saltwater, which additionally is environmentally friendly. All soaps in the rooms are vegan and organic for your additional well-being. They also realized the need when on vacation to have a digital detox to truly disconnect, therefore, wifi is not available in rooms. However, it is available in the dining room and outside on our terrace which overlooks the majestic town of San Gimignano. TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 45
They offer a range of engaging and interesting classes for you; including wine and cheese tasting with their qualified expert. Cooking classes with their native Italian Head Chef who has over 14 years of plant-based culinary experience. And a tour of the premises giving you the opportunity to interact with our permaculture specialist and try a selection of the hand-made items that they produce at i pini; which include: natural wines, olive oil, breads, activated and raw vegan cheeses, dehydrated crackers, and homemade chutneys and jams. It is their mission at i pini to protect the wondrous planet and one of the means by which they do this is through championing sustainability in some of the following ways: the water for the villa is heated solely by solar energy, electricity on the other hand is 100% provided by renewable energy sources and is guaranteed nuclear free. All cleaning products at i pini are biodegradable, vegan, and organic, whilst the laundry is air dried. They gather precious water for the organic garden from rainfall and have created hotels for insects and shelter for bees, bats and butterflies, since all of them are very important for us human beings. They practice composting to create a nutrient rich soil conditioner for the gardens and farming. Not to mention that they are also in the process of creating a permaculture food forest which will allow your five senses to be engaged as you interact with the beauties of nature.
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Whatever you are looking for, whether it be relaxation and serenity, detox, healing, and rejuvenation, or a place to feel one with nature and to be inspired, i pini is the perfect place for you â€Ś For more information visit ipinitoscana.com. TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 47
Eric Himel’s LIFE+STYLE
THE THREE C’S OF SUMMER: COOL COMFORT CHIC Summer’s hot days and languid nights call for light fabrics that breathe and silhouettes that move without sacrificing comfort - no need to swap one for the other.
#Hairgoals: Keep your hair up and your neck cool with a hair piece that is as beautiful as any piece of jewelry.
SOPHIE BILLE BRAHE ‘CROISSANT GRACE’ 10-KARAT GOLD & PEARL HAIRCLIP $860 net-a-porter.com
Not You Grandmother’s Sweaters: Loose knit dresses breathe and move with your body. MISSONI MARE $995 net-a-porter.com
ERIC HIMEL (erichimel.com)
is a widely known celebrity stylist, fashion expert and media personality. Himel attended Parson’s School of Design and trained under Project Runway’s Tim Gunn. Now based in Los Angeles, Himel’s roster of celebrity clientele has included Jenny McCarthy, Giuliana Rancic, Pete Wentz, Gabby Douglas and more. Eric is best known for his signature Closet Purge™ and now offers Virtual Styling Sessions.
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The Chain Event: Transparent loose resin accessories look and feel light in hot sticky weather. ROSANTICA GOLD TONE & RESIN CHAIN BRACELET $310 net-a-porter.com
Don’t Be Color Blind: Choose a white hat to reﬂect the sun, not absorb it as darker colors do. CLYDE ‘GAMBLER’ STRAW HAT $266 clyde.world
Air Conditioning For Your Feet: Choose a sandal that lets your feet breathe. REGINA PYO STRAPPY BLOCK HEEL SANDALS $578 farfetch.com
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A Guideâ€™s Guide to...
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BY: RYAN CONNOLLY
It’s early morning on December 21st in Iceland. The darkest day of the year, with only around 4 hours of direct sunlight. The landscape is covered in snow. I’m about to embark on a 2 day trip with my small group of customers along the south coast of Iceland. Despite the fresh snow the roads are clear, the wind is low and there’s not a cloud in the sky. Unusual for Iceland. The potential to see northern lights tonight are good. My guests have chosen to join me on this journey because they want to do the ‘must see spots’, like walking along the Reynisfjara Black Sand Beach and the towering Seljalandsfoss waterfall. But they also want to go a little further than most and experience some, dare I say, adventure. And adventure is what they will get as we hike across a glacier, discover ice caves, and hunt for the northern lights.
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We do most of the scenic picture stops on day 1 which also includes the Skógafoss waterfall, and a short hike along the Fjaðrárgljúfur gorge. Everyone is in high spirits as we drive towards the UNESCO protected Vatnajökull National Park. The drive on day 1 is punctuated by regular stops, fun facts and stories. My group has opted for location over luxury for accommodation tonight. The newly built Lilja Guesthouse, on a working farm, combines comfort with tradition perfectly. It’s also in the middle of nowhere, completely isolated from unnatural light. Open fields and the occasional passing car are all that stands between you and the sky. I teach my guests camera techniques and what to look out for at dinner. Luck is in our favor! The solar winds are strong and the clouds are non-existent. We’re treated to a rare dancing curtain of bright green northern lights across the night sky. Mesmerizing. I’ve seen it many times before, but sharing this natural wonder with first timers always gives me goosebumps. Or maybe that’s the crisp cold winter air. I’d love to say northern lights are visible every time we’re here, but there’s a reason many people call it ‘hunting for the northern lights.’
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The following day we set off after a scrumptious local breakfast. When we arrive at the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon it’s still dark. The numerous icebergs floating in the lagoon groan and crack in the darkness. The excitement continues to grow as we meet a local ice cave explorer from Local Guides who will be assisting us on the glacier. They are the ones who find the winter ice cave and monitor its safety. We’re in good hands. After twenty minutes of bumpy driving off-road we get to the base of the glacier that runs along the edge of lagoon. Once everyone is briefed and wearing their glacier gear we are on our way. The first step onto the blue ice of the glacier is scary for some, but they know they're in safe hands. I also confirm that the crampons (spikes for your boots) make glacier walking as easy as normal hiking. After all, we’ve created the trip with first timers in mind. We keep a steady pace as we traverse the glacier, stopping regularly to inspect blue crevasses and deep holes. The sun has now risen to its peak, though barely above the horizon, forcing our eyes out towards the lagoon to see icebergs light up in the low golden light.
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Itâ€™s not long before we get to the big reveal, the ice cave! The gasps are audible. The guests cant believe their eyes. I explain that each season a new ice cave must be discovered as they only last one short winter before melting or collapsing. Each ice cave season is truly unique. The clarity of the blue ice inside this building-sized cave is something to behold. Pictures are plentiful and stories abound as we spend time enjoying our surroundings. By the time weâ€™ve explored every inch of the cave our bellies begin to rumble. For lunch we decide to venture beyond the ice cave and find the black diamond beach at the front of the glacier. We make sure to keep a safe distance from the calving section where new icebergs are created, and sit on the warm black sand nearby enjoying a snack as the sun begins to set over the lagoon. A few curious seals pop their head out of the water to say hello before I announce that we need to make the journey back before dark. What a day.
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We arrive at the vehicle just as the last few minutes of usable light disappear, itâ€™s barely 4pm. Everyone is exhausted but ecstatic from the experience. Time to go home. After stopping at a local restaurant for dinner the drive home is relaxed and soothing. I play Icelandic music in the background while my elated guests recline in their seats, use the Wifi and gaze at the full moon lighting the tops of the mountains. That night, back in Reykjavik I say my farewells feeling more like Iâ€™m saying goodbye to new friends than my customers. It really was a perfect two days in Iceland. Ryan Connolly is co-founder and guide of Hidden Iceland (hiddenicelance.is) who runs personalized trips all year round, but the ice cave and Northern Lights guided trips are only possible for a short window between November and March.
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Israel is a Land of Adventure
BY: LEA KOMITZKY
Beyond Israel’s most popular tourist attractions – such as Jerusalem’s Old City, the Dead Sea and Tel Aviv’s White City – is a diverse country with lush forests to the north and vibrant desert to the south, offering ample opportunities for adventure travelers to explore. Whether visitors are looking to rappel off an arch into a great and beautiful abyss, hike cross country or swim among the dolphins, adventure tourism in Israel is booming. Spanning only 263 miles, adventure-seekers will appreciate Israel’s offerings for adventurers of every level and interest, whether they are traveling north, south, east or west. 56 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
In the North »» Rappelling at Keshet Cave: Keshet Cave, one of the lesser known rappelling sites in Israel, offers a beautiful view of Israel from the highest point in the Western Galilee, with a vista that extends from the Mediterranean Sea to Akko, Haifa and the entire Galilee. Travelers will rappel off the high natural stone arch through the air and down 130 – 165 feet with an amazing panoramic view. »» Skiing in Golan Heights: Israel isn’t known for having snow, but during the winter months, avid skiers have the opportunity to enjoy their favorite sport and jump slopes at the Mount Hermon Ski Resort in the Golan Heights. Mount Hermon has 14 ski runs and 5 chair lifts attracting about 300,000 visitors between January and March. »» Bird Watching: Bird-watching enthusiasts will love this nature reserve, as 500 million of migrating birds pass through Hula Valley Nature Reserve wetlands each year. In the springtime you can find more than 390 different species of birds passing through and stopping in this valley, which truly makes for a magical site to see.
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In the South »» Sand Boarding: With a significant part of Israel being covered by desert, travelers can jeep across the dunes in the Negev Desert. Throughout the area are a variety of clear and suitable sand dunes that are perfect for sand surfing. »» Swimming with Dolphins: The famous Dolphin Reef Eilat is an ecological site that is a natural habitat for dolphins, allowing animal-lovers to get up close and swim along with the dolphins as they enjoy the beautiful coral reef. »» Snorkeling and Scuba Diving: Known for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant marine life, Eilat’s coral reef is one of Israel’s most popular areas for snorkeling and scuba diving. Home to over 250 coral species and more than 1,200 fish species, travelers can expect to see a variety of turtles, rays, butterfly fish, parrot fish, octopus, lionfish and more. Perfect for families with kids, the Underwater Observatory Park allows visitors to explore its marine life 40 feet below the surface with two submerged observation decks.
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Cross-Country »» Hiking the Israel National Trail: Covering Israel from top to bottom, hikers will traverse a wide range of landscapes as they trek roughly 683 miles from north to south and east to west. From the green hills of the Galilee to the orange desert in the Negev, backpackers will enjoy all the beauty Israel has to offer. »» ATV or Jeep Tours: ATV and Jeep tours offer thrill-seekers the opportunity to explore Israel in style, whether they want to explore the Golan, the Galilee, the Judean or Negev deserts. Each tour is custom tailored to leave every traveler speechless as they explore the adventurous side of Israel. »» Windsurfing and Kitesurfing: A popular activity in Tel Aviv, Eilat and the Sea of Galilee, travelers have the opportunity to experience this favorite sport in different conditions. Beginners can take a course at the prestigious windsurfing and kitesurfing school north of Tel Aviv.
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England is a land dotted with magnificent castles, many of which have recently thrown down their drawbridges to allow overnight guests. I took a tour around England, looking for the best regal sleepovers within driving distance of London.
Sleep Like Royalty in Five Luxury English Castles BY: ZOEY GOTO
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Hever Castle, Kent Although smaller in size than some of it’s English castle contemporaries, Hever Castle really punches above its weight in the history stakes, as the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, England’s short-lived queen. The Medieval stronghold has everything you would desire from a castle, with swans gliding across the impressive moat, a dramatic wooden drawbridge and crenelated walls with flags flying high. Once the public leave at the end of the day, that’s when the magic really begins, as overnight guests get sole access to the beautiful walled grounds. Retire for the night to the Astor bed and breakfast wing, added onto the back of the original castle and consisting of 28 Tudor style rooms, many with roll-top baths and four-poster beds. At daybreak, feast on salmon and scrambled eggs in the grand breakfast room, overlooked by noble portraits of Tudor forbearers. It’s quite possibly the most fun living history lesson you’ll ever have! Best for: Bringing history to life Drive time from London: 1 hour hevercastle.co.uk
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Warwick Castle, Warwick For a truly unique sleepover straight out of the pages of a fairy tale, visit Warwick Castle to bed-down in the oldest tower in the world that you can still sleep in. The castle boasts two Rapunzel style suites in its 14th century tower, each with carved four-poster beds, vaulted ceilings and leaded windows overlooking the beautiful Capability Brown designed gardens. Guests staying at the tower’s Rose Suite or Peacock Suite are given the red carpet treatment, with champagne on arrival, a private tour of the castle from the resident history specialist, plus 24-hour concierge access. Breakfast is a seriously regal affair, taken in one of the castle’s private staterooms, fulfilling all these lord of the manor desires! Included in your stay is a two-day pass to the immense castle, which was originally founded by William the Conqueror and boasts an impressive great hall decorated with shining armour. Warwick Castle is big on daytime entertainment, including hosting the U.K’s biggest birds of prey show, plus a spectacular jousting display featuring fireworks. The castle is also in the middle of Shakespeare’s England, so there’s plenty of picturesque historic towns to explore locally. Best for: Medieval themed daytime entertainment Drive time from London: 1 hour 30 minutes warwick-castle.com
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Leeds Castle, Kent Leeds Castle has had a long habit of attracting famous overnight guests, ranging from Henry VIII to Charlie Chaplin. Situated in Kent (not Leeds, slightly confusingly) Leeds Castle is often referred to as the loveliest castle in the world, as the picture perfect castle sits on its own island, surrounded by a reflective moat. It’s had many reincarnations – starting life as a Norman fortress, then a royal Tudor palace, before being taken over by the glamorous American socialite Lady Baillie in the ‘30s, who hosted Hollywood stars and British prime ministers. A visit to Leeds Castle will satisfy design enthusiasts, as the interiors showcase many of Lady Baillie’s eclectic antiques and paintings, giving it an air of old school glamour. Whilst Leeds Castle continues to be a hugely popular daytime attraction, few people know that you can now actually stay overnight. Sleepovers happen in the 16th century maiden’s tower or the stable courtyard house, both offering luxury bed and breakfast en-suite rooms with views across the ‘Garden of England’ landscape. Best for: A sophisticated castle sleepover Drive time from London: 1 hour 15 minutes https://www.leeds-castle.com/
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Boringdon Hall, Devon This enchanting 16th century manor house is a castle in every way but name – from its crenulated skyline and the imposing coat of arms above the entrance, to the fact that Queen Elizabeth has bedded down here, Boringdon Hall’s walls are seeped in history. It’s recent renaissance is as a foodie-destination, since award-winning chef Scott Paton took over the kitchen, where he’s won three AA rosettes and is currently angling for a forth. The evening tasting menu draws diners from near and far, showcasing locally sourced ingredients, many of which are grown on the grounds. Alongside fine dining, Boringdon Hall is also home to the fantastic state of the art Gaia spa, which uses its own natural skincare products that have been handmade in Britain. Opt for a four-poster bedroom in the main house, or the royal suite, complete with its own hot tub. This historical home makes a great escape for a serious dose of rest and relaxation. Best for: A gastro-getaway Drive time from London: 4 hours boringdonhall.co.uk
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Bovey Castle, Devon For a castle stay with a serious dose of five-star luxury, head to Devon’s Bovey Castle, situated right in the heart of the beautiful Dartmoor National Park – think rolling moors with wild horses grazing and a manor house with Hogwarts style interiors. Originally built in 1907 for the son of stationary giant WH Smith, the vast hotel now includes 60 generously sized guestrooms, 22 lodges, an 18-hole golf course and an Elan Spa. Friendly, tweed-clad staff are on hand to help you pick from the hotel’s jampacked schedule of country pursuit activities, which includes clay pigeon shooting, fishing, sloe gin making and an adrenaline-pumping 4x4 off road experience through the estate. As evening falls, dine at one of Bovey Castle’s two award winning restaurants, which include the exclusive Great Western bistro, before having a nightcap in the Art Deco panelled bar and retiring to your guest room within the main castle. Note that the suites at the front of the castle offer uninterrupted views across the valley. The next morning, revive body and mind with a bespoke treatment at the tranquil spa, watch the daily falconry show out on the terrace or try your hand at crolf (golf meets croquet, if you haven’t yet given it a swing) out on the lawn. Best for: A five-star luxe experience Drive time from London: 3 hours and 35 minutes boveycastle.com
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Reasons to Fall in Love with Athens The capital of Greece has hit a new stride thanks to a glorious revival in art, food and architecture that has been underway for the last decade.
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An Epic Heritage: The Parthenon is visible from almost every street corner in central Athens and must be seen up close to appreciate just how imposing these famous and majestic columns are. Fast forward a few millennia and you will find yourself at the Panathenaic Stadium, also made entirely of marble and the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. A City by the Sea: Bon vivants know that you can experience almost everything the Greek islands have to offer in Athens. With some of the most beautiful beaches found along a 31 mile (50 kilometer) coastline, you can enjoy life just as the ancients did, with fresh seafood all year round, while swimming in the crystal blue waters of the Aegean Sea for the majority of the year.
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Music and Theatre Beneath the Acropolis: From majestic ballets and arias to ancient Greek tragedies, witnessing a performance at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Juneâ€“October) is something youâ€™ll unlikely forget. Despite being nearly 2,000 years old, the theatre is heralded for its exemplary acoustics. Temple of Poseidon: Erected in the middle of the 5th century BC and located at the end of the Sounion peninsula, this ancient temple was built to honor Poseidon, god of the sea. A sunset here is one of the most magical in Greece, blanketed by vivid reds and oranges. 68 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
Evzones: Rain, hail or shine, the Greek Presidential Guards or Evzones march towards Hellenic Parliament every Sunday morning in a spectacular ceremonial parade that has become synonymous with Athens. Wines of Athens: As a city surrounded by small historical vineyards, Attica is the largest wine region in Greece, touting talented winemakers who are producing award-winning wines using the indigenous savatiano grape.
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An Athenian Way of Life: The weekly farmers markets or laiki agora are an inherent part of Athenian society. Setting up in neighborhoods all around the city, these food markets allow locals to stock up on fresh produce while socializing within their community. The largest, known as the Varvakeios Markets in downtown Athens, operates daily and offers seasonal harvests and local delicacies. Byzantine Churches: For anyone that appreciates beauty, the churches in Athens are among the most special in Greece, hailing from the Byzantine era and defined by their tall domes with arched windows. The Church of Panagia Kapnikarea is one of the oldest in Athens, built around 1050 AD. All are welcome to enter and appreciate the rare frescoes and beautiful iconography inside. 70 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
Art and Culture go hand in hand in Athens beginning with the Acropolis Museum. With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the ancient city, thousands of sculptures and artifacts found around the Acropolis are displayed and bathed in natural light. At the Museum of Cycladic Art, a stunning collection of Cycladic figurines and ceramics from the 3rd millennium BC can be seen. Over at the National Archaeological Museum, a treasure trove of antiquities await including the gold mask of Agamemnon and the Antikythera Mechanism. Athensâ€™ New Agora: Athenians received a contemporary agora at the newly opened Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. The Agora, emblematic of the central gathering spaces in ancient Greece, upholds this tradition with regular events held throughout the year. The entire building is a significant addition to modern day Athens and an architectural feat by architect Renzo Piano.
Thank you to the concierge team at Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens for suggesting these ten reasons to fall in love with this flourishing metropolis. TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 71
The Secret Sides of Ireland & Scotland BY: BRITNEY HOPE
The Emerald Isle and Scottish Highlands are brimming with iconic landmarks (a.k.a tourist traps). But what about those who want more than a pint of Guinness or a bite of haggis? Here are some getaway ideas designed by locals and delivered by local legends, through Wilderness Ireland and Wilderness Scotland - a great way to discover the essence of a place in a way that few visitors have access to.
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Go Glamping in Yeats Country On a camping expedition in Sligo, Ireland, hike the breathtaking lakes, mountains, beaches and waterfalls that once inspired many of the great works of the Nobel Prize winning writer, W. B. Yeats. As the sun sets, hop in a kayak for a nighttime paddle on the “Lake Isle of Inisfree” to a private island. Leap onto the sand where a forested paradise awaits, along with a night of glamping in one of the world’s premier stargazing destinations. But first, enjoy wood-fired pizzas al fresco, while a local expert shares in the tales and legends of the area.
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Hunt for Nessie with a Career Monster Tracker While Scotland is known for its legends and fables, none are quite as famous as the Loch Ness Monster. While considered by some as folklore, the storied creature has been likened by scientists to a plesiosaur that dates back to the end of the last ice age. To unearth the history of the mystical creature, meet Adrian Shine, a naturalist and researcher, for a private boat ride as he shares his insider knowledge after years of studying Nessie. Youâ€™ll fly across the waters of Loch Ness, one of the largest and deepest expanses of water in the UK, as you search for this elusive creature.
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Spend the Night in Your Own Private Castle Nestled in the countryside on 500-acres lies a palace straight out of a fairytale—Aldourie Castle—and it’s easily bookable for a private rental for you and your closest 20 friends with Wilderness Scotland. This rare experience is set on the shores of Loch Ness, where well-tended courtyards, 16th-century gardens and horseback riding can be found as you stroll vast woodland grounds. For a closer look at the garden’s soaring pergolas, meet with your private guide for a tour, while keeping eyes peeled for deer, sea eagles and even basking sharks—the world’s second-largest fish. Stop for a tour at a world-famous malt whisky distillery to sip the Scottish ‘Water of Life,’ or hop in a sea kayak to observe the ruins of nearby Urquhart Castle from the water.
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Climb a Sea Stack High Above the Atlantic Head to what Ireland’s Donegal County calls “the most climbable rocks in Ireland” to unearth a secret spot where you’ll be suspended above the Atlantic waves for an adrenaline-fueled climb. But first, visit one of the area’s most remote spots to meet the local Gaelic-speaking characters who call the area home. They’ll guide you through the history of the separation between Northern and Southern Ireland, the basic knowledge of the Gaelic language and their local traditions. Then, you’ll be whisked away to a tiny island, where you’ll climb to the top of a sea stack, then rappel down the steep cliff side high above ocean waves.
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Forage for Juniper to Make Your Own Gin While whisky may be the official drink of Ireland, gin is also a popular local tipple. In Irelandâ€™s Ancient East, you can learn the complicated science behind every bottle of Irish-made gin. Head into the forest with a naturalist guide to forage for fresh ingredients, such as juniper and other herbs. Then, head to an exclusive gin school to distill a bottle with your own herbsâ€” making for a memorable souvenir.
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Discover the unsearchable Discover the forest
Find a trail near you at TheForest.org 78 . Discover DRIFTTRAVEL.COM