The most alien-looking place on Earth
This archipelago belonging to Yemen is difficult to access and is geared for the true adventurers among you. But once you get there, prepare for one of the most unique experiences a plane ticket can buy. This heaven of biodiversity features rare trees and birds, along with the wildest coral reef you’ll likely ever see. In 2008, Socotra was designated as a UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) World Heritage Site. Keep in mind that Socotra is an eco-tourism destination, so luxury-seekers, WiFi, and AC lovers need not apply.
The jewel of the Islamic world
One of our favorite short trips from the Middle East is the breathtaking Istanbul. Enjoy some of the most beautiful mosques in the world, dine on the Bosphorus, and shop at the seemingly endless Grand Bazaar. Istanbul is great for history and shopping buffs, so immerse yourself in the life of the sultans and furnish your house with beautiful handcrafted goods.
After a month of spirituality, nothing beats a relaxing retreat to Bali to refresh and re-energize before the pace of life picks up again. Pack your suitcase with your favorite kaftans and swimwear and unwind on the island of Gods. Take part in colorful ceremonies hosted by friendly Balinese inhabitants at night and practice yoga or relax at the spa during the day.
A sunny time capsule
Lay down at a luxurious hotel in Paros and enjoy the Aegean sea breeze. The white villas and blue windows are a charming site for families or couples looking for total relaxation. Enjoy delicious Greek food, and soak up the cultural patrimony of this island known for its white marble. If you can, take a boat trip and visit the nearby island of Antiparos.
Diving and dining
Imagine some of the most serene beaches in the world, outstanding food, and African culture mixed with Arab heritage and you have Zanzibar. The former Omani colony boasts incredible snorkeling spots around its coral reefs, where tourists are often greeted by dolphins. Walk around the small streets of Stone Town, the capital of Zanzibar, and buy some beautiful Tanzanite stones and Maasai jewelry before heading to one of the many luxury resorts this island offers.