Take a trip to wonderland
In the course of a lifetime of travel, some destinations leave memories that last forever. Whether in the air, underground or on the water, some places promise a one-of-a-kind adventure. Here are five unmissable destinations that you simply must experience at least once to know what ‘change of scenery’ and ‘wonder’ really mean.
1. Journey to the heart of the Thrihnukagigur volcano in Iceland
Just a stone’s throw from Reykjavik, the Thrihnukagagur volcano houses one of the world’s most unusual lifts: it takes you two hundred metres underground, where you can marvel at the site’s spectacular magma chamber. No seismic activity has been recorded here for four thousand years. The rocks are covered with different colours ranging from ochre to fuchsia, offering a chromatic spectacle worthy of Klimt. On your journey through this large cavity, you can observe the traces of erosion lit up by projectors and contemplate the dizzying panorama offered by the only place on earth to showcase this kind of geological phenomenon.
2. Return to the Middle Ages for one night at the Alhambra palace in Spain
Time stands still as you discover the Alhambra palace at nightfall. At the crossroads of civilisations and eras, this Andalusian citadel overlooks the city of Granada and offers a panoramic backdrop that you can contemplate from a distance and walk along guided by the ramparts, admiring the illuminated monuments one by one. Amidst the Nasrid Palaces with their famous arabesques and the lush gardens of the Generalife palace, the Parta or the Medina, the district’s rich architectural heritage transforms any evening stroll through these historical streets into an unforgettable, enchanting experience.
3. Observe bears in the Ketchikan Reserve in Alaska
Between the emerald forests and the waters of the Inner Passage lies Ketchikan, a former salmon fishing capital that is home to many captivating animal species, including sea eagles, whales and seals. Majestic black bears also live in the heart of the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary. From a distance, you can watch them perform their daily rituals, including fishing for prey in local rivers. The reserve located near Ketchikan is a true virgin forest, and is one of the only places on the planet where you can glimpse so many legendary species in such an easily accessible area.
4. Canoeing and kayaking amidst icebergs in Antarctica
Located between the Weddell Sea, Deception Island and Neko Harbour, Antarctica features a plethora of truly extraordinary landscapes. This land of ice and sea, with its specific fauna and ice floes, is best explored on a sea kayak trip, where you can admire drifting blocks of frozen fresh water better known as icebergs. Their colossal size and mysterious appearance feed in to their magical, legendary aura: no one can gauge the shape of the submerged part of an iceberg from merely looking at its tip. However, armed with a paddle, you can easily approach them and take in the full extent of their majestic beauty.
5. Drifting over Cappadocia in a hot air balloon on a trip to Turkey
You have to get up early, but waking up at dawn is well worth the effort: watching the day break over Cappadocia as the sun illuminates the rolling hills is undeniably a unique experience. Troglodyte temples, caves and mountainside villages make up the human landscape of this fabulous Turkish region, which features an equally breathtaking natural landscape. Volcanic rocks – or tuffs – projected during volcanic eruptions millions of years ago have left a lasting impression on the earth, constituting countless sculptures such as hoodoos etched by erosion. Gently rocked inside a hot air balloon, your views over Cappadocia are sure to leave you with a wealth of lasting impressions.
Whether from the air, underground or on the water, and from one continent to the next, the wonders of the world continue to appeal to travellers inspired to contemplate their beauty.
Embark on an adventure with PONANT
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