Fancy a visit to the most important landmark of the ancient world? In this week’s 123RF World Travel Guide series, we start by uncovering fertility legends in Gambia’s croc infested waters in Kachikally. Next, we visit the Lord of The Rings-like setting in Georgia’s remarkable Vardzia. Then, we make our way to Greece and set sights on the Acropolis, the world’s most famous archaeological site. Finally, we call it a day amid magical Mayan ruins in Guatemala’s Tikal complex and temples.
Barra beach offers calming views while having a dose of the local life.
Gambia is an eco traveler’s dream. Nature reserves, lush forests and stunning wildlife make up a large part of this tiny country. The Abuko Nature Reserve is home to diverse wildlife. But the best of the bunch in Abuko is its bird watching activity. Over 250 species of birds call Abuko home. The guided tours are perhaps the best way to see as many of them. In addition, The Bijilo Forest Park is another gem to Gambia’s charm. This park is home to a series of well maintained walking trails that’s well worth exploring.
Interestingly, crocodiles represent fertility in Gambia. The sacred crocodile pools in Kachikally are a must visit for any traveler. Local women take a dip in its waters. Next, any child successfully conceived from this, is named Kachikally. For best of the both worlds, the 123RF World Travel Guide recommends Makasutu Culture Forest. Here, set your sights to tranquil surroundings. Then, lend your ears and body to the rhythmic beats of the traditional drum. For a dose of city life, head over to Albert Market in Banjul. The maid hub of the city accommodates anything from vegetables to hair extensions.
Svaneti, Georgia. How do you beat a view like this? Image via radututa@123RF.
From beautiful churches, to picturesque vineyards and stunning mountains, Georgia is the road less traveled waiting to be explored. And Tbilisi is the beating heart of Georgia. An evolving arts and culture scene has transformed this capital city into a thriving metropolis. However, Tbilisi does brilliantly well to retain its medieval charm. Its Narikala Fortress is a former Persian citadel that now offers breathtaking views from the top. Therefore, opt to ride the cable car for the best experience. Meanwhile, the Metekhi Church is one of the city’s most popular sights. Built in the 1200s, this church is also one of Tbilisi’s most historic places.
Georgia’s beautiful landscapes is best explored in Svaneti. Wild and mysterious, this region is home to tiny villages, snow-capped mountain peaks, deep gorgeous and pristine rivers. Sitting in the southern Caucasus mountain range, this stunning landscape offers the best views in the country. Alternatively, for those looking to step into the country’s past, head over to Vardzia. This cave monastery looks fresh from a set of Lord of The Rings. This underground sanctuary was constructed as Georgians sought refuge from the Mongol forces. However, this massive cave city could not be saved from the earthquake. Despite that, the 123RF World Travel Guide believes this stunning site deserves more attention from the rest of the world.
Stuttgart’s Hohenzollern Castle promises to fulfill your fairytale desires.
The 123RF World Travel Guide picks out Germany as a perfect blend of history, culture, architecture and nature. It’s where medieval meets modernity. Above all, when in Germany, there is no escaping Berlin. This metropolis is the birthplace of ideas. The Sony Center is the perfect embodiment of this. Meanwhile, the Gemaldegalerie homes one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of European art. Additionally, the Pergamon Museum offers a fascinating insight into the past with classic works of art from ancient Babylon, Greece and Middle East.
Bavaria’s charm also takes us to Munich. After all, it’s impossible to say no the ‘City of Art and Beer’. For the latter, just waltz in any one of the city’s pub for the perfect pint. As for the former, head over to the BMW Welt. For petrolheads, this sexy showroom is a mecca for the latest products in the automobile industry. For the complete German experience, make your way to the famed Black Forest. This expanse of hills, lakes and forests is as enchanting as it gets. Therefore, just remember to give yourself a pinch when heading for a stroll. Or else, you might find yourself at crossroads with a witch, troll or whatever else that satisfies your bedtime story narrative.
Cape Coast Castle serves a timely reminder to the brutal slave trade. Image via Felix Lipov@123RF.
The 123RF World Travel Guide highlights this West African nation as one of Africa’s best success stories. A combination of political stability and well planned development, Ghana now combines the best of the modern world, while maintaining its insightful history and tradition. Above all, Accra bears testament to the nation’s rise. The capital city is no Cape Town, however, it has a thriving nightlife and an evolving culinary scene. No trip to Accra is complete without a visit to Makola. This market has everything from clothes and shoes to a variety of food. And it’s without doubt, the best way to experience Accra.
On the other side of the spectrum, is the Cape Coast Castle. This imposing castle which overlooks the sea has a harrowing past. The castle was a vital part of the booming slave trade. A walk inside will reveal rather disturbing facts about the industry. The dark dungeons were never fit to hold any human, let alone groups of them. This was in stark contrast to the airy, ocean view rooms of the British officers. Meanwhile, Ghana’s Mole National Park is another interesting destination. A lack of predators here ensures visitors can walk side by side with elephants. An exhilarating experience indeed.
The heavenly Acropolis is a must visit for every traveler.
Greece is home to the a pair of the world’s most famous landmarks and islands. The Acropolis and Santorini are the pinnacle of Greek beauty. The former, which refers to a hill city, is crowned by the famed Parthenon. Dubbed the greatest archaeological site, the Acropolis is one place you can wander away all day long. This Greek jewel is also known to be the safest place in the city. Therefore, sacred buildings like the Parthenon were built here. The best time to visit this iconic site is during late winter or spring. This is when wildflowers seem to pierce through every brick, only adding to the appeal of this enchanting building. For those looking to dive deeper into the rich Greek history, the 123RF World Travel Guide recommends a visit to Ancient Delphi. This World Heritage Site is believed to be the center of the world. Zeus released two eagles at opposite ends of the world, only for them to meet here. Ironically, if Delphi is the center of the world then Santorini is in the middle of every travel list. Part of the Cyclades archipelago, this is perfect for a luxurious romantic getaway. After all, how many couples would resist the chance to take a dip in a private infinity pool at the top of the cliff?
The St George harbor is one of the most significant landmarks in Grenada. Image via Peter Etchells@123RF.
This Caribbean nation perfumes the air with the lovely aroma of nutmegs. Dubbed the ‘Spice Isle’, Grenada perfectly embodies the ultimate laid back life amid swaying palms and turquoise waters. And for the 123RF World Travel Guide, Grand Anse is the best fit for this. Situated on the southwest coast, this is by far the most popular beach for locals and travelers. Accommodating a series of backpacker lodges, mini resorts and world class hotels, this beach has something for every wallet. There’s also plenty of activities here. This includes kayaking, snorkeling, parasailing and of course sunbathing with a cocktail or two. Meanwhile, the capital city of St George is also a short drive away. The town’s harbor is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Above all, the weekend markets are the best way to eat your way into the local culture. For an unique experience, look no further than the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park. This exhibition is situated north of St George in Moliniere Bay. Here, around 80 unique sculptures are slowly being encrusted with coral growth. Therefore, making it a truly fascinating experience for any traveler.
How can one resist the beautiful natural pools of Semuc Champey.
Central America’s gem is one of the most diverse places in the world. In Guatemala, ancient Mayan ruins meet colonial Spanish architecture and mountains meet a volcano-ringed lake. Therefore, for the 123RF World Travel Guide, Guatemala is an adventure. Begin your journey in the nation’s prized possession, the Tikal ruins. This ancient citadel is home to towering temple ruins and massive complexes. The Pyramid IV and the El Mundo Perdido are the most notable structures of this timeless city. Meanwhile, the twisting vines and abundance of wildlife gives it a remarkable Tomb Raider-like feel. The nation’s intoxicating vibe then takes us to the vibrant Antigua. This former capital city bathes in history and color, thanks to its Spanish colonial influence. Its churches, plazas and markets are the best way to explore this fantastic city.
For more of a local affair, check out the soaring Chichicastenango. Situated in the highlands, the town oozes with indigenous Mayan culture. This is best explored from its magical markets and maze of cobbled lanes and alleys. Additionally, Guatemala’s stunning natural beauty is highly evident in Lake Atitlan. The lake’s aquamarine waters are surrounded by steep hills, picturesque villages and cone-shaped volcanoes.
Next up on our 123RF World Travel Guide, join us as we uncover remote hills and virgin rainforests in Guinea and uncover Nordic mythology in magical Iceland. Alternatively, catch up on our previous 123RF World Travel Guide series which explored one of Europe’s most beautiful towns in Estonia’s Tallinn and watched surfing hippos in Gabon’s national park.