The Yemeni Island of Socotra is home to wildlife and plant life never found anywhere else in the world. The island is part of an archipelago in the Indian Ocean and a beloved symbol of the Arabian Sea. With the region rife with war at the moment, experts are beginning to wonder how much longer its unique topography will last.
That means there’s no time like the present to pay it a visit, before it’s potentially gone forever. Socotra has many names, from the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean to the Jewel of Arabia. The island is home to more than 700 endemic species, and boasts some of the most alien-like landscapes on Earth. Though it subsists on a tourism economy, the land mass is home to roughly 60,000 who are vastly isolated from the rest of the world.
The views of Socotra give an impression of paradise, and it is cited in several ancient texts as the original location of the Garden of Eden. The island’s legendary blood trees, pink desert roses and the towering teeth of the Hajhir Mountains have drawn famous explorers from throughout history to its shores to discover its wonders.
Travelers are often in awe of Socotra’s virgin beaches, stunning caves and abundance of shipwrecks just off the shore. With almost no roads on the island, visitors must hike to see much of what it has to offer. It’s truly one of the last greatest outdoor destinations left on Earth.
A series of cyclones tore through the island in 2015, leaving much of the civilization here in disarray. Now, the UAE has stepped in to revitalize the island, but locals fear they’re turning it into a military and hospitality complex, which could spoil Socotra’s untouched feel.
On Labor Day Weekend, I visited Blue Ridge Winery in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, for a bachelorette party. Not knowing anything about the winery prior, my breath was taken away the moment we arrived. It was stunning. The beautiful view of the evergreen farm could be enjoyed from seating above on a terrace, below on a ground floor, on a patch of turf or under a tent. Our group made our way through the crowds to find a seat. There were many tables with firepits and couch seating, but all were already occupied. We were able to find seating in the tent.
Prepare your taste buds for the trip of a lifetime in Greece. About 100 Greek products — from wines, cheese and fruits to honey and oils — earned a Protected Designation of Origin from the European Union, and the country’s most beloved dishes include Greek Choriatiki salad, tzatziki, souvlaki and moussaka, with its layers of eggplant, potato, minced meat and bechamel. And those are only a few of the many highlights.
On your next visit to the Finger Lakes, add Wagner Vineyards and Brewery to your list. Unlike other spots in the Finger Lakes, Wagner boasts an on-site winery and brewery, perfect for anyone getting wine-d out. Visitors also have access to Ginny Lee Café, across the parking lot from the winery.
Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida, home to 24 miles of vibrant, lucid waters and snow-white sand beaches made of pure quartz crystal, is the perfect destination for an end-of-the-summer getaway. The destination offers an impressive line-up of unique experiences and outdoor adventures, both in the emerald waters and on land.
With more than 6,000 islands total, with 227 inhabited, in Greece, the selection is overwhelming. Which one is perfect for your next vacation?
Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the debut of Thompson Hollywood, a luxury lifestyle hotel on Wilcox Avenue, near Hollywood and Vine. The 11-story hotel features 190 Mid Century-inspired guestrooms, 16 suites, a dining concept from Lincoln Carson, and Bar Lis, a rooftop lounge and pool with city views.