Between Cristina and I, we have been to over 120 countries around the world so, deciding on our favourite is really difficult.
Turks and Caicos – Grace Bay
Right now, our favourite beach getaway destination is Turks and Caicos. It has been our go-to beach vacation destination for three or four years running. That says a lot for us to continue going back to a place over and over again. We like Turks for so many reasons.
Turks is very easy to get to. We first visited Grace Bay because, during the winter months, Air Canada has a weekly direct flight from Ottawa to Providenciales. We we do not have many direct flights anywhere outside of Canada other than the typical all inclusive type resorts. So when we came across Turks, we gave it a try, loved it and have been back at least once a year ever since.
What drew us to Turks and Caicos? For a start, the beach at Grace Bay is beautiful. It really does look like it does in all of the photos you see! I know that many tourist destinations claim that there beach has been voted “best beach in the world” but Grace Bay is the real thing. We have seen a lot of beaches all around the world and we agree that it is the best beach that we have seen – hands-down.
Also, for us, Turks and Caicos is just so easy to get to and it is safe. Neither one of us enjoy driving but for some reason, we actually enjoy driving (on the left side of the road) in Turks. Drivers are fairly courteous and, let’s face it, the island is not that big so there is not much road.
Another thing that we like about Turks is the style of accommodations. There are only 2 or 3 all inclusive resorts on the island and most of the resorts are more like condo apartment blocks with all the amenities of a proper resort. This means that most rooms on the island come with a full kitchen. We really like the freedom that this provides. You can cook your own food in the well-equipped kitchens that most resorts provide or get out and sample the local fare.
Then you have the restaurants. Turks has something for everyone’s palate. From seaside shacks to dress-up fine dining, it has it all. We discus our restaurant experiences in depth in our many Turks and Caicos posts. Do yourself a favour and eat where the locals eat – the food very tasty and the portions are huge!
Further a field, we really enjoy Asia. I especially enjoy Malaysia. This is mostly due to having very good friends there so it always feels like home. The dollar goes really far there and Asian hospitality is second to none. So, we can stay at very nice hotels but not pay huge sums of money.
On previous trips, we would usually spend some time in Kuala Lumpur and then head up North to Langkawi. This island is Malaysia ‘s answer to Thailand’s Phuket. We much prefer the Malaysian version without the drunken sailors, drugs and prostitutes. My favourite place to stay on Langkawi is the Tanjung Rhu. This is one of the best hotels I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy!!! It is peaceful and luxurious and very out of the way.
They provide a traditional afternoon high tea service in the library – that looks out over the Andaman Sea (Western coast to Malaysia, just South of Thailand) Google maps. They also offer private beach barbecues for two under a white tent on the beach. You have your own waiter serving you a four course meal while you watch the sun go down, Let me tell you, this is as close to perfection as it gets.
On a recent winter vacation to Malaysia and Australia, we fell in love with Singapore and we plan to return very soon.
We both love Europe. Luckily, we have friends spread out all over so we have no shortage of reasons for visiting. My favourite is the United Kingdom and Italy. Someday I would like to take a train trip from Scandinavia to the Southern tip of Italy – stopping often to explore along the way. We would need at least a couple of months for a trip like that (and a bag of money) so it is still just a dream.
One rule we have about visiting Europe is to never visit in August! In my opinion, the best time to go is in late April, early May as the season is just starting, all of the infrastructure is in place, people are happy to see you and there are no crowds of tourists.
Cristina has been very patient because I know that she would love to rent a villa in Tuscany or Italy and cook and eat and sight-see. That is probably our next favourite place…
I think that we would like to see more of Europe together – we have both travelled there quite a bit but not together…