Monday, August 29, 2011


Bengal Lounge – 721 Government Street (Victoria, at Empress Hotel); 250-384-8111;; tiger skins and ceiling fans.
Tofino Brewing Company – 681 Industrial Way Unit C&D (Tofino); 250-725-2899;; in enormous blue warehouse; tastings and tour; long wooden bar.
Tofino Tea Bar – 381 Main Street (Tofino); 250-725-8833;; serves tea milkshakes; try Hawaiian Cocktail.

Cape Breton – off Nanaimo; enormous.

Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa – 849 Verdier Avenue (Victoria); 250-544-2079 or 888-544-2079;; comfortably spare and elegant marina-side location; connects to Victoria by scenic ferry route.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort – P.O. Box 728, Bedwell River (Tofino); 250-726-8235 or 888-333-5405;; located in Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere; enclave of 20 great white canvas guest and family suite tents, spa tents, and lounge tents all decorated with luxurious bedding, handpicked antiques, and propane stoves; wide variety wilderness activites by land and sea; everything from horseback riding and hiking in old growth river valleys and mountainsides, river and ocean kayaking, wildlife safaris by zodiac on Pacific Ocean to view whales, bears, bird, and marine life, skeet/clay shooting and archery, rock climbing, and fresh water and ocean fishing; gourmet cuisine; spa treatments.
Fairburn Farm – 3310 Jackson Road (Duncan); 250-746-4637;; dinner served to overnight guests by reservation.
Fairmont Empress – 721 Government Street (Victoria); 250-384-8111 or 866-540-4429;; legendary, monumental, and opulent; next to legislative assembly building, 1908 landmark is regal but rooms dated; city views; average food.
Laurel Point Inn – 680 Montreal Street (Victoria); 250-386-8721 or 800-663-7667;
Magnolia Hotel & Spa – 623 Courtney Street (Victoria); 250-381-0999;; downtown setting 1 block from Inner Harbor; European-style property; Aveda spa.
Sooke Harbour House – 1528 Whiffen Spit Road (Sooke); 250-642-3421;; harbor views and local artists’ work; breakfast delivered to room; watch otters slide down nearby hillsides.
Wickaninnish Inn – 500 Osprey Lane (Tofino); 250-725-3100 or 800-333-4604;; built on promontory near Pacific Rim National Park, encircled by old-growth forest and ocean; divine setting; excellent restaurant from which can watch bears; rooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies, and binoculars.

Hilary’s Cheese Co. – 1282 Cherry Point Road (Cowichan Bay); 250-748-5992;; great imported and local cheeses and wonderful housemade soups.
Masthead – 1705 Cowichan Bay Road (Cowichan Bay); 250-748-3714;; roadhouse turned tackle shop turned restaurant; offers simple local food and excellent chowder.
Sooke Harbour House – 1528 Whiffen Spit Road (Sooke); 250-642-3421;; mothership of island’s “slow food” movement; impressive wine list.

Midnight Sun – 1027 Pandora Avenue (Victoria); 800-255-5057;; nature tours.
Sea Flora – Sooke; 250-642-5328 or 877-713-7464;; ask for Diane Bernard; nature walks that focus on seaweed; also sells seaweed-based products.
Tofino Bus Company – 346 Campbell Street; 250-725-2871 or 866-986-3466;; bicycle rentals.
Wild Pacific Trail –; skirts rocky, rugged shoreline, overlooking sandy coves lined with driftwood, tidepools, and Pacific; base at Ucluelet.

Hilary’s Cheese Co. – 1282 Cherry Point Road (Cowichan Bay); 250-748-5992; great imported and local cheeses and wonderful housemade soups.
Knits by Sea – 366 Campbell Street (Tofino); 250-725-3700;; made from hand-dyed, hand-spun, hand-woven yarns from British Columbia.
Lonsdale Quay Market – 123 Carrie Cates Court (North Vancouver); 604-985-2191;; right next door to Seabus dock; alll sorts of artisanal food products.
True Grain Bread – 1725 Cowichan Bay Road (Cowichan); 250-746-7664; delicious baked goods.

Butchart Gardens – 800 Benvenuto Avenue (Brentwood Bay); 250-652-7751;; 50 acres cultivated since 1904 in abandoned limestone quarry; premier, world floral site.
Deerholme Farm – Cowichan Valley; ask for Bill Jones); 250-748-7450;; cooking classes.
Fairburn Farm – 3310 Jackson Road (Duncan); 250-746-4637;; cooking classes.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada (Kwisitis Visitor Centre) – east end Arnett Road (Tofino); 250-726-3524;; overlooking Pacific Ocean; beautifully designed exhibits re Nuu-Chah-Nuith; end with walk around sprawling Wickaninnish Beach.
Tuff City Mountain Bike Park – 351 Arnett Road (Tofino, across from Tofino Community Hall, 352 Arnett Road);


Bulgarini Gelato – 749 East Altadena Drive; 626-627-7640;; in strip-mall; extremely unprepossessing; excellent yoghurt-based gelato.
Gourmet Cobbler Factory – 33 North Catalina Avenue; 626-795-1005;; best bakery.
Plow & Gun – 600 West Palm Street (Lomo Alta Park);
Zona Rosa – 15 South El Molino Avenue (Playhouse District); 626-793-2334;; decorated in Dia De Los Muertos garb; upstairs has couches and chairs to relax, hang out or study; excellent Mexican hot chocolate.

1886 – 1250 South Fair Oaks Avenue; 626-441-3136;; cocktail bar in back of Raymond Restaurant.

Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa – 1401 South Oak Knoll Avenue; 626-585-6218 or 800-588-9141; pasadena.langhamhotelscom; remote location with beautiful grounds and stream running through; elegantly designed rooms.

Elements Kitchen – 37 South El Molino Avenue; 626-440-0040;; light and roomy space beside Pasadena Playhouse courtyard; try crispy fried chicken liver appetizer.
Gourmet Cobbler Factory – 33 North Catalina Avenue; 626-795-1005;; best bakery.
Luggage Room Pizzeria – 260 South Raymond Avenue; 626-356-4440;; upscale pizzeria in onetime train station’s luggage room; wood-burned pizzas and salad.
Raymond Restaurant – 1250 South Fair Oaks Avenue; 626-441-3136;; among Pasadena’s hidden gems; contemporary menu in casual, historic setting; fresh local ingredients served in cozy dining rooms or on garden patio.

Altadena Farmer’s Market – 600 West Palm Street (Lomo Alta Park);
Rose Bowl Flea Market – 1001 Rose Bowl Drive (Pasadena); 323-560-7469;

Bass House – 2275 Santa Rosa Avenue (Altadena); also known as “Case Study House #20(2)”; designed in 1958 by Buff, Straub & Hensman with Saul Bass; based on experimental prefabricated Douglas Fir plywood product use.
Case Study House #2 – 857 Chapea Road; designed in 1947 by John Rex and Sumner Spaulding; carport and motor court separated from terrace and yard by long serpentine wall, which makes striking contrast to house’s straight lines.
Case Study House #10 – 711 South San Rafael Avenue; designed in 1947 by Kemper Nomland; built on several levels to mould into sloping site.
Gamble House – 4 Westmoreland Place; 626-793-3334;; American Arts & Crafts movement icon; built between 1907-1909 for George and Mary Gamble (of Procter & Gamble); carpets, furniture, and lighting all designed by architects.
Millard House (“La Miniatura”) – 645 Prospect Crescent;; recognized by Frank Lloyd Wright as his earliest “Usonian” house; also, 1st residence to utilize Wright’s “textile block” building system.
Norton Simon Museum – 411 West Colorado Boulevard; 626-449-6840;; various collections include: European paintings, sculptures, and tapestries; Asian sculptures, paintings, and woodblock prints; also, Sculpture gardens displaying many sculptors’ work in landscape setting around large pond; Norton Simon Theater shows film programs daily; core collection arose from 400 German-Expressionist pieces gathered by collector Galka E. Scheyer in 1953; in early 1970s, due to financial hardships, turned to industrialist Norton Simon, who had risen to become among world’s pre-eminent art collectors (and was searching for permanent location for his growing collection); museum thus renamed Norton Simon Museum; Simon died in 1993 and his widow, actress Jennifer Jones (board chair), repositioned museum and its 2 collections; in 1995, Museum began $5M renovation with longtime museum trustee and architect Frank Gehry.
Pacific Asia Museum – 46 North Los Robles Avenue; 626-449-2742;; founded in 1971 by Pacificulture Foundation, which purchased city's Grace Nicholson Treasure House of Oriental Art, which she had donated in 1943 for art and cultural purposes; houses some 15K rare and representative art examples from throughout Asia and Pacific Islands.
Zane Grey Estate (Mariposa Creamery) – 396 East Mariposa Street;; owned by Gloria Putnam and Stephen Rudice; urban food movement epicenter for Altadena; visit creamery and enjoy lovely grounds of former legendary estate.


(includes Calabasas)
Grom – 3886 Cross Creek Road (at Malibu Village); 310-456-9797;; gelateria.

El Matador State Beach – 32100 Pacific Coast Highway; 818-880-0363;; among Malibu’s most beautiful beaches; large rocks and sea caves; steep dirt trail goes down to some stairs; views from upper cliffs are incredible, looking down on large boulders and deep blue water filled with kelp forests; beach is long with plenty of sand for sunbathers; on busy weekends, lifeguard.
Malibu Lagoon State Beach – Cross Creek Road (Malibu); 310-457-8143;; from Santa Monica, follow PCH 13 miles west; from 101 Freeway, exit at Las Virgenes Road, proceed 10-miles west through Malibu Canyon, turn left at PCH, travel 1.5-miles east; where Malibu Creek meets Pacific Ocean; Surfrider Beach is premier surfing beach; on Malibu Creek Bridge’s east side, Malibu Pier allows for excellent saltwater fishing; on west side, nature area (excellent for bird watching); Adamson House is National Historic Site (Spanish-Moor revival residence features tile from Malibu Potteries and sits on overlook); adjacent Malibu Lagoon Museum; guided wetland tours; grunion, monarch butterfly, tidepools, and gray whale tours scheduled seasonally.
Point Dume State Beach – Westward Beach Road; 805-488-1827;; cliffs, headlands, rocky coves, and vast beach access; fishing, scuba, surfing, and swimming; watch for California gray whales December to mid-April; at Westward Beach Road’s end, access to Point Dume Natural Preserve begins; gradual ascending trail leads to ancient coastal bluff sand dune; incredible view encompassing entire Santa Monica Bay, north Malibu Coast, inland Santa Monica Mountains, and distant Catalina Island; boardwalk, just below summit, leads to viewing platform; stairway from bluff-top preserve’s east side allows access to more isolated beach and fine tidepooling opportunities.

Ranch at Live Oak Malibu – 12220 Cotharin Road; 310-457-8700 or 888-777-2177;; expensive; set on working ranch; acres of native grounds, hiking trails, and picturesque views; 3 miles above Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica Mountains; guest accommodations, great room, organic farm and kitchen, exercise pavilion, outdoor pool and spa, and private treatment rooms.

Café Habana – 939 Cross Creek Road; 310-317-0300;; Randy Gerber establishment Latin-style.
Geoffrey’s – 27400 Pacific Coast Highway; 310-457-1519;; beautiful, seaside location and view.
Grom – 3886 Cross Creek Road (at Malibu Village); 310-456-9797;; gelateria.
Malibu Farm Pier Cafe – 23000 Pacific Coast Highway; 310-456-1112;; menu features staples like Swedish pancakes, burrata salad, and quinoa oatmeal.
Nobu Malibu – 3835 Cross Creek Road, Suite 18A; 310-317-9140;
Plate – 22601 Pacific Coast Highway, #103; 310-317-6800;; earthy California cuisine; fresh ingredients; great chocolate cake.
Saddle Peak Lodge – 419 Cold Canyon Road (Calabasas); 818-222-3888;; old-school “occasion” restaurant; in historic lodge; Hemingway-esque scene; great foie gras.
Savory – 29169 Heathercliff Road (at Point Dume Village); 310-589-8997;; worth special trip; fish dishes are best.


Farm Shop – 225 26th Street (at Brentwood Country Mart); 310-566-2400;; great pastries in this shabby-chic (emphasis on latter) café.
Huckleberry Bakery & Café – 1014 Wilshire Boulevard; 310-451-2311;; great for breakfast and lunch; famous for Fridays’ Jidori chicken.

Chloe – 1449 2nd Street; 310-899-6999;; set behind towering doors with twisted iron handles, intimate oriental-themed bar.
Copa d’Oro – 217 Broadway Street; 310-576-3030;
High – 1697 Pacific Avenue (at Erwin Hotel); 310-452-1111;; rooftop lounge; among Santa Monica’s best views; reserve table 4 hours in advance off website; try Venice Vixen (pear-flavored Grey Goose, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and Graham Beck sparkling rose.
Hotel Casa del Mar – 1910 Ocean Way; 310-581-5533;; lobby bar.
Ocean & Vine – 1700 Ocean Avenue (at Loew’s Santa Monica’s lobby bar); 310-576-3180;; outdoor seating.
Penthouse at Huntley – 1111 2nd Stret (at Huntley Hotel); 310-393-8080;; Pacific panorama view; great cocktails; booths invoke beach cabanas; try bellinis and ground sirloin sliders; try to be there at sunset.
Salute Wine Bar – 2435 Main Street; 310-450-3434;
Suite 700 – 1301 Ocean Avenue (at Hotel Shangri-La); 310-394-2791;; roof-top with great ocean views.
Upper West – 3321 Pico Boulevard; 310-586-1111;; try Honey Rye.
Zanzibar – 1301 5th Street; 310-451-2221;; cavernous club-disco that manages to be casual and contemporary.

Ambrose Hotel – 1255 20th Street; 310-315-1555 or 877-426-2767;; upscale tranquility meets affordable boutique; highly regarded.
Hotel California – 1670 Ocean Avenue; 310-393-2363 or 866-571-0000;; surfer-style hotel with 35 rooms, all recently updated.
Hotel Casa del Mar – 1910 Ocean Way; 310-581-5533 or 800-898-6999;
Channel Road Inn – 219 West Channel Road; 310-459-1920 or 800-234-1425;; beautiful Arts & Crafts mansion, set deep in Santa Monica canyon; tasteful, not ritzy.
Oceana Hotel – 849 Ocean Avenue; 310-393-0486 or 800-777-0758;
Hotel Shangri-La – 1301 Ocean Avenue; 310-394-2791 or 877-999-1301;; great rooms; superbly renovated; ask for Room 409; great rooftop bar.
Viceroy – 1819 Ocean Avenue; 310-260-7500 or 800-439-3719;

Back on Beach – 445 Pacific Coast Highway; 310-393-8282;; sit on beach & eat.
Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery – 1517 Lincoln Boulevard; 310-395-8279;; try Caprese sub.
Blue Plate Oysterette – 1355 Ocean Avenue; 310-576-3474;; raw bar and daily specials with tremendous ocean views.
Buffalo Club – 1520 Olympic Boulevard; 310-450-6449;
La Cachette – 1733 Ocean Avenue; 310-434-9509;; bistro cooking with New American cuisine twist; try coffee-rubbed short ribs.
Chez Jays – 1657 Ocean Avenue; 310-395-1741;; seafood, steaks & stiff drinks served in nostalgic dining room known for celebrity sightings; featured in Goliath.
Drago Ristorante – 2628 Wilshire Boulevard; 310-828-1585;; most formal of Drago brothers’ Italian restaurants solid Italian cuisine.
Farm Shop – 225 26th Street (at Brentwood Country Mart); 310-566-2400;; great pastries in this shabby-chic (emphasis on latter) café.
Father’s Office – 3229 Helms Avenue; 310-736-2224;; brew-pub.
Fig – 101 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairmont Miramar Hotel); 310-319-3111;; indoor and terrace seating; inventive seafood (try halibut “chop”).
Fraiche – 312 Wilshire Boulevard; 310-451-7482;; Franco-Italian Cuisine; try chicken liver mousse; ask for sidewalk-side seat.
Hostaria del Piccolo – 606 Broadway; 310-393-6633;; cheerful Italian restaurant with extensive wine list and extensive cocktails.
Huckleberry Bakery & Café – 1014 Wilshire Boulevard; 310-451-2311;; great for breakfast and lunch; famous for Fridays’ Jidori chicken.
Josie – 2424 Pico Boulevard; 310-581-9888;; civilized and refined; non-trendy.
Lobster – 1602 Ocean Avenue; 310-458-9294;; right on beach; always packed & open & days weekly; tourist magnet; very good, notwithstanding tourist status.
Manchego – 2510 Main Street #B; 310-450-3900;; tapas in small space; try dates wrapped in bacon with blackberry reduction; worth special trip.
Melisse – 1104 Wilshire Boulevard; 310-395-0881;; good French food; among Santa Monica’s best restaurants; excellent wine list.
Michael’s – 1147 3rd Street; 310-451-0843;; farm-to-table cuisine; romantic; ask for back patio seating.
Rae’s Restaurant – 2901 Pico Boulevard; 310-828-7937; great diner food; very 1950s.
Il Ristorante Giorgio Baldi – 114 West Channel Road; 310-573-1660;; family-managed; famous for white truffle risotto.
Tar & Roses – 602 Santa Monica Boulevard; 310-587-0700;; casual, beach-chic; best roast chicken in town.
Upper West – 3321 Pico Boulevard; 310-586-1111;
Whist Restaurant – 1819 Ocean Avenue (at Viceroy hotel); 310-260-7514;

Blow – 1700 Ocean Avenue (Santa Monica, at Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel); 310-899-4040;; NY chain that started blow-out craze.
City Line – 800-447-2189; runs Monday through Saturday along Santa Monica and San Vicente Boulevards.

Beau & Aero – 2307 Main Street; 310-452-7700;; vintage accessories and clothing.
Bergamot Station – 2525 Michigan Avenue; 310-586-6488;; highlights include Santa Monica Museum of Art; houses 35 galleries.
Andrea Gutierrez Jewelry – 2108 21st Street (rear unit); 213-255-1339;; lovely, hand-crafted items; focus on beaded cuffs.
Kayne Griffin Corcoran – 1201 South La Brea Avenue; 310-586-6886;; art.
L&M Arts, Los Angeles – 660 Venice Boulevard; 310-821-6400;; branch of New York “blue chip” gallery; in former power station.
Rough Roses – 11859 Wilshire Boulevard; 424-248-3026; designer handbag products by Linea Pelle co-founder.
Santa Monica Place – 395 Santa Monica Place; 310-394-5451;; glassy, open-air complex; 3 stories; restaurants and stores.

Annenberg Community Beach House – 415 Pacific Coast Highway (at Santa Monica State Beach); 310-458-4904;; formerly Marion Davies’ private seaside retreat; open to public on 3-day advance request by telephone (100 accepted per day); no membership required.
Bergamot Station – 2525 Michigan Avenue; 310-829-5854;; industrial campus-like complex named for 1800s trolley stop; home to Santa Monica Museum of Art, cafe, shops, and 33 galleries.
California Heritage Museum – 2612 Main Street; 310-392-8537;; renovated house with period decorative arts.
Eames Office Gallery & Shop – 850 Pico Boulevard; 310-396-5991;; dedicated to works by Charles and Ray Eames, who designed some of 20th Century’s most important furniture, children’s toys, puzzles, films, exhibitions, and buildings (e.g., Eames House and Entenza House in Pacific Palisades).
Pacific Park – 380 Santa Monica Pier; 310-260-8744;; solar-powered amusement park.
Palisades Park – 851 Alma Real Drive (Ocean Avenue at Santa Monica Boulevard); 818-454-1412;
Santa Monica Museum of Art – 2525 Michigan Avenue (at Bergamot Station); 310-586-6488;
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area – 401 West Hillcrest Drive (Thousand Oaks, Topanga); 805-370-2300;; nation’s largest urban park.
Santa Monica Swim Center – 2225 16th Street; 310-458-8700;; open year-round; adults’ and children’s pools.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


(does not include Alentejo, Algarve, or Evora regions or city of Lisbon)

Heritage Tours Private Travel – 121 West 27th Street, Suite 1201; 212-206-8400 or 800-378-4555;; operated by Joel Zack; can arrange tours throughout country; can focus on Jewish heritage.
Pousadas –; government-supported Pousada (castles, manor houses, and monasteries now open for accommodations) network.

Bussaco Palace Hotel – Mato do Bussaco; 011-351-21-193-7970;; in natural woodland reserve; architecturally is Portuguese Manueline style; renowned destination for luxury and ornate decoration; lobby, saloons, and staircases adorned with paintings and stuccoes; landscaped gardens.

Bars & Nightclubs
Cerverjaria Martins – Largo do Toural 33-34; 011-351-25-341-6330; beer joint on Toural square.
Sao Mamede – Rua Dr. Jose Sampaio 17-25; 011-351-25-354-7028;; after-hours.
Pousada de Santa Marinha da Costa – Largo Domingos Leite de Castro; 011-351-25-351-1249;; among Portugal’s most noteworthy pousadas; immaculately preserved cloisters and fonts; lovely terrace with city views.
Hotel Toural – Largo Antonio Leite de Carvalho; 011-351-25-351-7184;; lovely, flower-filled courtyard; reasonable.
Adega dos Caquinhos – Rua Arrochela; 011-351-25-351-6917; try veal chop.
Historico – Rua de Val Donas; 011-351-91-542-9700;; in renovated 17th Century palace; live Fado; try bacalhau baked in potato casserole or alheira (crusty sausage made from bread, chicken, and partridge).
Restaurante DOP – Palacio das Artes, Largo Santo Domingos 18; 011-351-22-201-4313;; crisp minimalist space that offers working man’s snack, Francesinha (beef, cheese, ham, and sausage sandwich with beer-tomato sauce), remastered; also good are John Dory filets; good for dinner; substantial wine list.
Sao Giao – Rua Comendador Joaquim de Alameida Freitas 56 (outside Guimaraes, in Moreira de Conegos); 011-351-25-356-1853; panoramic windows over valley views; refined Portuguese food; elegant small plates.
Trams – Avenida Fernão de Magalhães, 1862-13 (run by Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto (STCP)); 011-351-22-507-1000;
Manteigaria do Bolhao – Rua Fernandes Tomas (at Mercado do Bolhao, Loja 2); 011-351-22-200-1196; cured meats.
Sights & Sites
Center for Arts & Architecture –
Centro Cultural Vila Flor – Avenida D. Afonso Henriques, 701; 011-351-25-342-4700;; cultural center with excellent restaurant; in converted, 18th Century palace.
Hard Club – Praca do Infante 95 (at former Mercado Ferreira Borges); 011-351-70-710-0021;; renovated glass-and-steel structure that houses art exhibits, bars, bookstore, concert halls, patio, and restaurants.
Mercado do Bolhao – Rua da Sa da Bandeira (at Rua Formosa);; open since 1914; acres of grand staircases, white tiles, and wrought iron; somewhat dilapidated; gourmet foodstuffs in stalls.
Paco dos Duques de Braganca – Rua Conde D. Henrique; 011-351-25-341-2273;; Braganza Dukes’ palace.
Projecto – Parque das Hortas; no telephone; music venue.
Sao Mamede – Rua Dr. Jose Sampaio 17-25; 011-351-25-354-7028;; after-hours arts spot.
Tram Line No. 1 – near Praca do Infante Square; 011-351-22-507-1000;; Tram Line No. 1 runs from Passeio Alegre to Infante Stations pick it up near Praca do Infante; makes for easy, scenic tour city west to Atlantic Ocean; drops you off in Foz do Douro district.

Guarda (includes Marialva & Vila Nova Foz Côa)
Casas do Coro – Largo do Coro (Marialva); 011-351-30-880-4922;; magical; only place to stay.
Sights & Sites
Côa Museum – Rua do Museu (Vila Nova Foz Côa); 011-351-27-976-8260 or 011-351-27-976-8261; or; magnificent architecture.
Marialva – picturesque village worth special trip; considered apparition of middle ages.
Prehistoric Rock-Art Site of Côa Valley & Siega Verde – Rua do Museu (Vila Nova Foz Côa); 011-351-27-976-8260;; 2 Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in Côa Valley (Portugal) & Siega Verde (Spain) are located on Agueda & Côa River banks (both are tributaries of Douro River); document continuous human occupation from Paleolithic Age’s end; 100s of panels with Ks of animal figures (5K in Foz Côa & around 440 in Siega Verde) carved over several millennia, representing most remarkable open-air Paleolithic art ensemble on Iberian Peninsula.
Quinta da Ervamoira Vineyard – Muxagata (Vila Nova de Foz Côa, within Archaeological Parque Zone); 011-351-27-975-9229;; houses museum of region’s history.
Serra da Estrela Natural Park – Seia-Covilha; 011-351-275-319-569;; make sure to see Albufeira da Barragem do Covão dos Conchos, perhaps loveliest waterhole in world; Covilha is ancient town dating back to 12th Century that flourished through woollen industry, mainly run by town’s Jewish population & town has been manufacturer leader since Moorish times; university town since 1979; Mangualde in Beiras surrounded by orchards & vineyards, on ridge between Dão & Mondego Rivers, little town of Mangualde is within striking distance of Serra da Estrela Mountains & lies only short distance from well-known & historic town of Viseu; few miles from Mangualde is Gouveia, virtually start of Serra da Estrela & protected national park; roads are narrow & winding with deep ravines & on clear day can see sea – almost 150 kms away; Torre Peak is tallest in Portugal at 1993 metres, with which Dom Joao VI dissatisfied, so he built tower on top raising height to 2K meters; halfway through descent from Serra da Estrela, you come to Manteigas; Alpine in looks, lying in deep tree-filled valley, with steep streets in town; leaving Manteigas, by very sharp hairpinned descent all way down to old town of Covilha.

COIMBRA (includes Alcobaça & Batalha)
Sights & Sites
Alcobaça Monastery – Praça 25 de Abril or 516 Mosteiro (Alcobaça); 011-351-26-258-3909; or; UNESCO World Heritage Site; Mediaeval Roman Catholic Monastery founded by 1st Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, in 1153; maintained close association with Portuguese Kings throughout its history; church and monastery were Portugal’s 1st Gothic buildings and, together with Santa Cruz Monastery (Coimbra), among Portugal’s most important medieval monasteries; was founded as gift to Bernard of Clairvaux and to commemorate royal victory over Moors at Santarém in March 1147; completed in 1252; its library among largest Portuguese medieval libraries, but French pillaged in 1810, and anti-clerical rioting took more volumes in 1834 (when Portuguese religious orders dissolved); many royals buried on-site in 13th-14th Centuries; Kings Afonso II, Afonso III, and their Queens Urraca of Castile (most remarkable tomb) and Beatrice of Castile, and Pedro I (and his mistress, Inês de Castro, who was murdered on Pedro’s father’s, King Afonso IV, orders); smaller tombs of unidentified princes; kitchen, commented upon by Patrick Leigh Fermor, built and covered with mid-18th Century tiles, contains enormous central chimney (supported by 8 iron columns); fresh fish and water diverted from Alcoa River to kitchen basin through specially-built canal still visible today.
Batalha Monastery – Praça Mouzinho de Albuquerque (Batalha); 011-351-24-476-5497; or; UNESCO World Heritage site; literally, “Battle Monastery”; originally, and officially, as Monastery of Saint Mary of Victory (Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitória); erected to commemorate 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota; served as 15th Century Portuguese Royalty Aviz Dynasty burial church; among Portugal’s best, original Late Gothic architecture examples, intermingled with Manueline style; took from 1386 to 1517 to build (spaned 7 kings’ reigns); 15 architects (Mestre das Obras da Batalha); 1755 earthquake did some damage, but much greater damage inflicted by Napoleonic troops, who burned and sacked complex in 1810-11; Dominicans expelled 1834 & church-convent abandoned and left to fall in ruins; in 1840, King Ferdinand II started restoration program; declared national monument in 1907; in 1980 turned into museum.
Biblioteca Joanina – Pátio das Escolas (Largo da Porta Férrea, at Universidade de Coimbra); 011-351-23-985-9841;; Baroque library built in 18th Century (under King João V & named after him); 3 great rooms divided by decorated arches in gilded or painted exotic woods; painted ceilings by Lisbon artists Simões Ribeiro & Vicente Nunes; 250K volumes, namely works of medicine, geography, history, humanistic studies, science, civil and canon law, philosophy and theology.
Quinta das Lagrimas Gardens – ; 011-351-91-246-4332;; 1 Rua José Vilarinho Raposo; forming grounds of Hotel Quinta das Lagrimas; beautiful & historic, dating back to 14thSe Velha de Coimbra – Largo da Se Velha; 011-351-23-982-5273; “old cathedral.”

Sights & Sites
Alcobaca Monastery – 516 Mosteiro Alcobaca; 011-351-26-258-3909;; medieval Roman Catholic monastery, founded by 1st Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques, in 1153; 1st Gothic buildings in Portugal; UNESCO World Heritage Site as of 1989.

Sights & Sites
Batalha Monastery – Praca Mouzinho de Albuquerque; 011-351-24-476-5497;; Portugal King Joao I vowed that if his outnumbered army defeated Castilians at Battle of Aljubarrota (1385), he would build magnificent monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary; king victorious, resulting in Portugal’s independence from Spain and this monastery’s construction; given to Dominicans; in Gothic and Manueline styles; UNESCO World Heritage List since 1983.

Sights & Sites
Church of Nossa Senhora da Nazare – imposing church located on O Sitio hilltop; legend that Porto de Mos sheriff (alcaide), Dom Fuas Roupinho (templar?) chasing on horseback deer up hill on misty September morning in 1182; deer jumps over edge into void, horse about to follow; knight invokes Madonna’s intervention, who makes horse turn away, saving knight; subsequently, chapel A Ermida da Memoria built over grotto where stands small Black Madonna statue, brought from Nazareth; church, founded in 14th Century, rebuilt in 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries; gilt coffer ceiling; on September 8th each year romaria (religious festival) draws many with bullfights, folk dancing, and processions.

Pousada do Castelo – Rua do Castela; 011-351-26-295-5080;; luxury hotel within centuries-old beautiful castle walls that encircle the village; 1st Pousada to be adapted and restored from a historical monument.

Guincho – dramatic dunes with view over Cabo da Roca, continental Europe’s westernmost point.
Oitavos – Rua da Oitavos (Quinta da Marinha); 011-351-21-486-0020;; hotel-spa.
Pousada de Cascais-Cidadela – Avenida Dom Carlos I; 011-351-21-040-1712;; situated along waterfront in upscale Lisbon suburb; former royal residence; 26 rooms.
Vivamarinha Hotel – Rua das Palmeiras Lote 5 (Quinta Da Marinha); 011-351-21-482-910;
Sights & Sites
Casa das Historias (Museu Paula Rego) – 300 Avenida República; 011-351-21-482-6970;; museum devoted to Paula Rego’s works, Portugal’s most famous contemporary painter.

Sights & Sites
Ribeira d’Ilhas Beach – widely regarded as Europe’s best surfing beach; ASP World Tour Surf Championship held here.

Palácio Estoril Hotel – Rua do Parque Natural (Estoril); 011-351-21-464-8000;; testament to understated 1930s elegance; surrounded by manicured gardens with magnificent sea views; sophisticated retreat offers elegant rooms & suites, holistic spa, refined dining & 18-hole golf course.
Sights & Sites
Complexo Museologico de San Miguel de Odrinhas – Avenida Professor Doutor Fernando de Almeid; 011-351-21-961-3574;; collection dates back to mid-16th Century, when Humanist scholar group begin to classify their archaeological findings; numerous Roman patios and other ruins; permanent exhibition includes Etruscan, Portuguese, Roman, and Visigoth inscriptions; also section containing mid-Palaeolithic period items; Roman villa and megalithic sanctuary (Monte da Barreira) part of complex; numerous cromlechs, menhirs, and tumuli; closed Mondays.

Sights & Sites
Museu da Lourinhã – 95 Rua João Luís de Moura; 011-351-26-141-4003;; complete exhibits of archaeology & ethnology, but main focus is palaeontology hall, which presents casts of famous dinosaurs, as well as fossils recovered from Late Jurassic Lourinhã Formation; among these is famous theropod nest found at Paimogo Beach, which contains eggs with embryos inside, probably belonging to Lourinhanosaurus.

Penha Longa Hotel Spa & Golf Resort – Estrada da Lagoa Azul; 011-351-21-924-9011;; palazzo-style property in World Heritage Site, surrounded by historical treasures; private balconies face mountains; good restaurant.
Sights & Sites
Parque da Pena Park Sintra – Estrada da Pena (São Pedro de Penaferrim); 011-351-21-923-7300;; vast forested area completely surrounding Pena Palace; worth special trip.
Pena Palace – Estrada da Pena (São Pedro de Penaferrim); 011-351-21-923-7300;; Romanticist castle; worth special trip.
Quinta da Regaleira – historic city center; 011-351-21-910-6656;; UNESCO World Heritage Site; chapel & palace; park features lakes, grottoes, wells, benches, fountains, & vast array constructions.

Reid’s Palace Hotel – 139, Estrada Monumental; 011-351-291-717-171;; opened in 1891; stately guestrooms surrounded by gardens; open-air terraces; no good beaches nearby; coat and tie required for dining room; on Madeira Island; set on cliff tops overlooking Funchal Bay and Atlantic Ocean; located on 10 acres subtropical gardens; sea access; within walking distance of Funchal’s shops, restaurants, and night-life.
Sights & Sites
Porto Santo – semi-deserted island, 2 hours away by ferry or 15 minutes by plane ($200); 5-mile long beach with golden, ultra-fine sand.

Oliveira de Azeméis
Sites & Sights
Casa do Professor, – Centro; abandoned home.

Bars & Nightclubs
Baixa Bar – Rua Candido dos Reis 52 (Clerigos); 011-351-226-165-000 or 011-351-91-701-2264;; modern and stylish in former fabric warehouse; boulder-size disco ball hangs over floor; try cocktail, Cosmo Porto (Cointreau, Port, and red fruit).
Galeria de Paris – Rua Galeria de Paris (Clerigos); 011-351-93-421-0792;; filled with vintage radios, old sewing machines, etc.; Jules Verne-ish.
Shis – Praia do Ourigo, Esplanada do Castelo (Foz do Douro); 011-351-22-618-9593;; stylish beachfront location; great for drinks on terrace.
4 Rooms – 1015 Rua Padre Luis Cabral (old Foz District); 011-351-92-919-0406;; affordable; seaside retreat hidden away in unmarked townhouse; best of 4 suites is white-on-white loft with floor-to-ceiling window that faces private courtyard.
Gallery Hostel – Rua Miguel 222; 011-351-22-496-4313;; townhouse-style space that features art exhibits, bar, cinema lounge, city tours, garden, and library.
Palacio do Freixo – Estrada Nacional 108; 011-351-22-531-1000;; magnificently restored Baroque palace and former factory next door.
Quinta do Vallado – Vilarinho dos Freires, Peso da Regua; 011-351-93-910-3591;; 5 colorful guestrooms in vineyard with pool and splendid views.
Yeatman – Rua do Choupelo (Vila Nova de Gaia); 011-351-22-013-3100;; “luxury wine hotel.”
Book – Rua de Aviz 10; 011-351-91-795-3387;; candlelit, cozy, and self-consciously literary; nouveau Portuguese cuisine; great fish soup; also, try sponge cake for dessert.
Bugo Art Burgers – Rua Miguel Bombarda 598; 011-351-22-606-2179;; try Porto e Serra burger (beef is port-soaked and topped with serra da estrela cheese) or Cod Burger (bacalhau patty).
Casa da Mariquinhas – Rua San Sebastiao 25; 011-351-91-561-3877; restaurant that also serves as fado music hall.
DOC – Estrada Nacional 222, Folgosa; 011-351-25-485-8123;; 1 of country’s most acclaimed chefs; creative riffs on Portuguese cooking.
Restaurante Casa Aleixo – Rua da Estacao 216; 011-351-22-537-0462; old world charm; terrific fried octopus.
Restaurante DOP – Palacio das Artes, Largo Santo Domingos 18; 011-351-22-201-4313;; crisp minimalist space that offers working man’s snack, Francesinha (beef, cheese, ham, and sausage sandwich with beer-tomato sauce), remastered; also good are John Dory filets; good for dinner; substantial wine list.
Shis – Praia do Ourigo, Esplanada do Castelo (Foz do Douro); 011-351-22-618-9593;; stylish beachfront location.
Torreão – Rua das Virtudes 37; 011-351-919-471-037;; unique classical building in city center of Porto with one of best views in Porto; seafood.
Trams – Avenida Fernão de Magalhaes, 1862-13 (run by Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto (STCP)); 011-351-22-507-1000;
Centro Comercial Bombarda – Rua Miguel Bombarda 283-285; 011-351-93-433-7703;; although technically “mall,” devoted largely to independent Portuguese designers.
Manteigaria do Bolhao – Rua Fernandes Tomas (at Mercado do Bolhao, Loja 2); 011-351-22-200-1196; cured meats.
Piurra – Rua Miguel Bombarda 283-285 (at Centro Comercial Bombarda); 011-351-22-201-6012;; minimalist cabinetry enlivened with colorful textiles.
Sandeman – Largo Miguel Bombarda 3 (Vila Nova de Gaia); 011-351-22-374-0534;; Port.
Storytailors – Rua Miguel Bombarda 283-285 (at Centro Comercial Bombarda); 011-351-22-201-7409;; cult, Portuguese label.
Sights & Sites
Casa da Mariquinhas – Rua San Sebastiao 25; 011-351-91-561-3877; fado music hall.
Casa de Musica – Avenida da Boavista 604-610; 011-351-22-012-0200;; designed by Rem Koolhaas; ask to see Orange and VIP rooms (take guided tour).
Fundacao Serralves – Rua Dom Joao de Castro 210; 011-351-80-820-0543;; art museum; lovely gardens.
Hard Club – Praca do Infante 95 (at former Mercado Ferreira Borges); 011-351-70-710-0021;; renovated glass-and-steel structure that houses art exhibits, bars, bookstore, concert halls, patio, and restaurants.
Mercado do Bolhao – Rua da Sa da Bandeira (at Rua Formosa);; open since 1914; acres of grand staircases, white tiles, and wrought iron; somewhat dilapidated; gourmet foodstuffs in stalls.
Tram Line #1 – near Praca do Infante Square; 011-351-22-507-1000;; Tram Line No. 1 runs from Passeio Alegre to Infante Stations pick it up near Praca do Infante; makes for easy, scenic tour city west to Atlantic Ocean; drops you off in Foz do Douro district.

Filha da Mãe Preta – 39 Cais da Ribeira; 011-351-22-205-5515;
D. Tonho – 13-15 Cais da Ribeira; 011-351-22-200-4307;

Vidago Palace Hotel – Parque de Vidago, Apartado 16; 011-351-27-699-0920;

Vila Nova de Gaia
Yeatman Hotel – Rua do Choupelo (Santa Marinha); 011-351-22-013-3100;; in port-wine country; 76 rooms; try to get Master Suite 008.

Sights & Sites
Lagoa Comprida – Regional Road 339; beautiful, old glacial lagoon in mountains.
Torre – Regional Road 339; 011-351-275-319-560 (tourism office in Covilhã);; monument that marks mainland Portugal’s highest point; 2nd-most elevated in Portuguese Republic (only Mount Pico, in Azores, is higher); not distinctive mountain summit, but rather highest point in mountain range; accessible by paved road; tower also gives name to locality where situated.

Pousada – Rua do Hospital; 011-351-29-172-1405;; former hospital, now hotel; spa.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


(includes Cook Islands & French Polynesia)


Pacific Resort – Amuri; 011-682-31720;; paradiselike; private suites and bungalows; spa.

(includes Marquesas, Society Islands, Tuamotus & Windward Islands)

Bora Bora
Muri Muri.
Tapu – just off Teavanui Pass; lemon shark viewing.]
Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa – Vaitape; 011-689-603-300 or 888-414-2018;
Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa – Vaitape (facing Mount Otemanu); 011-689-508-445 or 866-209-3901;; member Leading Small Hotels of World; beachfront rooms; some overwater bungalows.
Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora – Motu Tehotu; 011-689-603-130 (front desk), 011-689-603-170 (reservations) or 800-332-3442;; try to get overwater bungalow suite #231, which has plunge pool (expensive).
InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana – Motu Piti Aau; 011-689-607-6000;; 80 identical overwater villas, extending into warm lagoon like 2 claws; views include lagoons, beaches, and/or Mount Otemanu; floor-to-ceiling windows; Lucite ceiling fans; big tubs overlooking water; bathrooms with black slate floors; nice bar; infinity pool; excellent spa; May and June are cloud-free; best rooms are #s 122 and 221, both “Diamond Villas,” short walks from facilities and perfect view of Mount Otemanu.
Le Meridien – Motu Tape Bp 190; 011-689-605-151 or 800-543-4300;; overwater bungalows with fresco ceilings and doors inlaid with tiny seashells.
Sights & Sites
Mount Pahia – hike starts in Vaitape; Bora Bora’s iconic peak; 3-6 hour hike to top; recommended that take guide.

Hitiaa O Te Ra
Sights & Sites
Lava Tubes – east coast; underground galleries with water running through them; preferable to go with guide and 4-wheel drive vehicle and then by foot.

Stingray World.
Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa – Maharepa; 011-689-551-750;; 7-acre lagoon property has bungalows over water with coral and fish below; beach bungalows border gardens and coconut grove; food disappointing.
Sights & Sites
Pineapple Route – scenic drive that includes Cook Bay.

Nuku Hiva
Keikahanui Nuku Hiva Pearl Lodge – Taiohae; 011-689-920-710;; small rooms with great views; decorated with local art; take helicopter to hotel – drive is treacherous; take ear-plugs because noisy roosters are real problem.
Mooroa Utia – 011-689-920-168; Mooroa Utia is the man from whom to buy wood carvings.
Rosa Corser Boutique – 011-689-920-382; attached to museum.
Sights & Sites
Kamuihei – ancient temple complex ruins.
Taetae Tupuna Enana (Museum of Marquesan Culture) – 011-689-920-382; attached to Rosa Corser Boutique; local archaeological finds.
Taipivai Valley – ceremonial meeting places.
Vaipo Waterfall – awe-inspiring.

Nordby – Baie de Tepua (in front of Hawaiki Nui Hotel); 3-masted Danish schooner that sank in 1900.

Le Taha’a Private Island & Spa – Motu Tautau; 011-689-608-400;; 10-minute helicopter ride from Bora Bora; perfect scoring retreat.

Tetamanu Pass – coral-covered, south passage where 100s gray sharks roll, almost continuously.

Hiva Oa
Hanakee Hiva Oa Pearl Lodge – Atuona; 011-689-927-587;; small rooms with great views; decorated with local art; take helicopter to hotel – drive is treacherous; take ear-plugs because noisy roosters are real problem.
Jean Marie Otonini – 011-689-927-655; Jean Marie Otonini is the man from whom to buy wood carvings.
Sights & Sites
Calvary Cemetery – Atuona; where Paul Gauguin and Jacques Brel are buried.
Puamau Village – east of Atuona; where 7-foot tikis stand.

Tiputa Pass – great shark viewing.

Catalina Flying Boat.
Sights & Sites
Papenoo Valley.
Trois Cascades – waterfalls.
Trou du Souffleur – blowhole under coastal road.


(does not include Warsaw)

Hotel Zubrowka - Ulica Pałacowa 6; 011-48-85-682-9400;; located in the center of Białowieża Białowieża Forest; indoor swimming pool; best option for visit to forest.

GDANSK (Danzig)
Hilton Gdansk – 1 Targ Rybny; 011-48-58-778-7100;; boutique-style; in town center.

Sights & Sites
Gdansk History Museum – 46/47 Dluga; 011-48-58-767-9100;

GDYNIA (includes Sopot)
Sofitel Grand Sopot – 12/14 Powstancow Warszawy Street; 011-48-58-520-6000;; 5-star; on water, “Polish Riviera”; overlooks Baltic Sea’s longest pier; Vladimir Putin stays here.

Sights & Sites
Biskupin – 17 Biskupin (south of Żnin, in north-central (Wielkopolska) region, Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship); 011-48-523-025-055;; archaeological open air museum; life-size Iron Age fortified settlement model; Lusatian culture relic, situated on marshy peninsula in Lake Biskupin.

KRAKOW (includes Wieliczka)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Cupcake Corner – 4 Ulica Bracka; 011-48-12-341-4272;; assortment changes daily so hope for Red Velvets.

Bars & Nightclubs
Alchemia – 5 Ulica Estery (Kazimierz); 011-48-12-51-609-5863;; candlelit and shadowy; good for cool nights; stuffed crocodile hangs above bar.
Fabryka – 23 Ulica Zablocie (Podgorze);; waterfront artist hangout-nightclub.
Makaroniarnia – 3 Ulica Brodzinskiego (Podgorze); 011-48-12-430-0147;; casual bar with live jazz on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Mleczarnia – 20 Ulica Meiselsa (Kazimierz); 011-48-12-421-8532;; beer garden.
Singer – 20 Ulica Estery (Kazimierz, near Plac Nowy); 011-48-12-292-0622; ersatz tables lining sidewalks actually are sewing machines.
Wodka Café Bar – 5 Ulica Mikolajska; 011-48-12-422-3214;; 100 different vodkas; start with chilled glass hazelnut vodka then settle in with tatanka (apple juice and vodka mixture).

Hotel Copernicus – 16 Ulica Kanonicza; 011-48-12-424-3400;; luxe Relais & Chateaux property on cobblestone side street near Wawel Hill; 29 rooms tucked around glass-roofed patio; period furnishings and rustic wood-beams.
Hotel Unicus – 35 Ulica Florianska/20 Swietego Marka; 011-48-12-433-7111;; in Old Town’s heart; modern, quiet, spacious rooms; plush bedding and black-tiled bathroom.
Stary Hotel – 5 Ulica Szczepanska;; steps from Rynek Glowny, Old Town’s magnificent medieval square; created from 15th Century townhouse; choice between romantic rooms that retain original wall frescoes and racy new Euro urban rooms; all rooms have heated floors and Jacuzzi tubs; beautiful rooftop terrace serves drinks in good weather; May-September best; 5th floor doubles (#s 501-503) have splendid Rynek Glowny views.

Love Krove – 8 Ulica Jozefa; 011-48-12-422-1506; cool burger joint.
Makaroniarnia – 3 Ulica Brodzinskiego (Podgorze); 011-48-12-430-0147;; casual restaurant and bar.
Pierozki u Vincenta – 12 Ulica Bozego Ciala; 011-48-50-174-7407;; sunny pierogi restaurant that offers samplers.
Restauracja Pod Baranem – 21 Ulica Swietej Gertrudy; 011-48-12-429-4022;; hokey furnishings and moody oil paintings border on kitsch; but kitchen cranks out reliable, traditional Polish fare.
Shanti – 24 Ulica Dekerta (Podgorze); 011-48-12-290-0375;; Thai; try tamarind-flavored shrimp curry and sesame-fried bananas.

Art of Your Travel – 520/4 Melounová (Prague); 011-420-603-481-556; or; private tours; ask for Martina Gregorcova, who is fluent in English.

Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Gallery – 3a Plac Szczepanski; 011-48-12-422-1052;; multistory, experimental art space.
Galeria Plakatu Krakow – 8-10 Ulica Stolarska; 011-48-12-421-2640;; post-WWII graphic-art posters.
Galeria Starmach – 5 Ulica Wegierska (Podgorze); 011-48-12-656-4915;; celebrated, contemporary art gallery; in former synagogue.

Sights & Sites
Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art – 3 Rynek Glowny (Cloth Hall, upstairs); 011-48-12-424-4603;
Historical Museum of City of Krakow – 4 Ulica Lipowa (Podgorze); 011-48-12-257-1017;; in Oskar Schindler’s enamel-ware factory; permanent exhibition is “Krakow Under Nazi Occupation 1939-1945.”
Kazimierz – area surrounding Plac Nowy; former Jewish quarter.
Museum of Contemporary Art – 4 Ulica Lipowa (Podgorze); 011-48-12-263-4001;
Old Synagogue – 24 Szeroka (Kazimierz); 011-48-12-431-0545;; Orthodox Jewish synagogue; in Yiddish, Alta Shul; oldest synagogue building still standing in Poland; until German invasion in 1939, among most important synagogues in city, as well as main organizational, religious & social center.
Oskar Schindler Factory – 4 Ulica Lipowa; 011-48-12-257-1017;
Planty Park – encircles Stare Miasto; 52 and 2.5 miles around; 30 small gardens, designed in varied styles and adorned with numerous monuments and fountains, form chain; scenic walkway popular with Cracovians, sprinkled with ponds and refreshment stalls; most Krakow historic sites located inside Planty Park belt along Royal Road (Droga Krolewska), crossing park from medieval Kleparz suburb through Florian Gate at Old City walls’ northern flank; historic Wawel Castle at Wawel Hill, adjacent to Vistula River meander, forms southernmost border; make sure to see Laetus Bernatek Footbridge, linking Kazimierz and Podgorze districts.
St. Adalbert Church – 3 Rynek Glowny (Old Town, on Main Market Square’s southeast corner); 011-48-12-422-8352;; also Church of St. Wojciech; among Poland’s oldest stone churches; almost 1K year old history; built in 11th Century and named after martyred missionary whose body was bought back for its weight in gold from pagan Prussia and placed in Gniezno Cathedral by Poland King Boleslaus I; demarcated in 1257; floor level is situated under Square’s present level, which reflects subsequent plaza surfaces’ overlaying with pavement; partially reconstructed in Baroque style between 1611-1618.
St. Mary’s Basilica – Rynek Główny; 011-48-12-422-0521; also known as Church of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven; Brick Gothic church re-built in 14th Century on original 13th Century foundations, adjacent to Main Market Square; famous for wooden altarpiece carved by Veit Stoss; on every hour, trumpet signal (called Hejnał mariacki) played from taller of 2 towers; commemorates famous 13th Century trumpeter, who was shot in throat while sounding alarm before Mongol attack.
Sukiennice Museum (National Gallery of 19th Century Polish Art) – 1-3 Rynek Główny (Old Town, in Main Market Square Cloth Hall); 011-48-12-424-4603;; housed in Sukiennice Cloth Hall’a upper floor; largest permanent exhibit of 19th Century Polish painting and sculpture, in 4 grand rooms.
Wawel Royal Castle – 5 Wawel; 011-48-12-422-5155;; Poland’s national art collection; cultural museum.
Wieliczka Salt Mines – Ulica Danilowicza (Wieliczka); 011-48-12-278-7375;; among 1st UNESCO World Heritage Sites; 2.5 guided tour; includes full chapel carved out of salt.

Andel’s Hotel Lodz – 17 Ulica Ogrodowa; 011-48-42-279-1000;; red-brick monument to Polish textile industry’s 19th Century boom years; isolated; improbably grand; within walking distance of Ulica Piotrkowska, main boulevard; flat-screen tvs; onsite restaurant; modern spa and glass-domed swimming pool.

Manufaktura – 5 Jana Karskiego; 011-48-72-372-3567; in former 19th Century weaving mill.

Sights & Sites
Lodz Art Center – 3 Tymienieckiego; 011-48-42-684-2095;; art incubator in 19th Century industrial complex.
Ms2 – 19 Ogrodowa; 011-48-42-633-9790;; contemporary art museum.
Museum of Art – Ulica Wieckowskiego 36; 011-48-42-633-9790;; specializes in avant garde art.

LOWICZ (includes Nieborow)
Sights & Sites
Nieborow Palace – Nieborow (Lowicz, 50 miles west of Warsaw); 011-48-4638-5620;; built in 1694 for cardinal and owned by Radziwills in 1700s; long history as artists’ haven (where artists in residence stay); lovely park.

Hotel Marina – 1 Gryfa Pomorskiego; 011-48-9-1328-0449;; offering massage treatments & sauna; spacious rooms with private bathroom (shower); breakfast is served every morning at hotel restaurant, which specializes in Mediterranean & Polish dishes; in summer, enjoy terrace; 400 meters from beach.

Sights & Sites
Wolin National Park – 3A Niepodległości; 011-48-9-1328-0737;; situated on Wolin Island, in West Pomeranian Voivodeship; 42.23 sq miles; attractions include sea cliffs of Gosań & Kawcza Góra, and wisent (European bison) sanctuary.

Bars & Nightclubs
Graciarnia Pub & Café – 39 Ulica Kazimierza Wielkiego; 011-48-71-795-6688;; recreates Wroclaw’s glory days; bric-a-brac decorated rooms, each boasting vintage furniture.
Szajba – 2-4 Ulica Swietego Antoniewo; 011-48-60-611-6092;; hip and young.

Art Hotel – 20 Kielbasnicza; 011-48-71-787-7100;; charming boutique hotel in building dating back to 1520.
Hotel Monopol – 2 Modrzejewskiej; 011-48-71-772-3777;; top of line European luxury for half what would pay elsewhere.

Armine – 83 Wojciecha Boguslawskiego; 011-48-71-367-1531; great service and Armenian food; considered among city’s best restaurants.
Chatka at Jatkach – 7 Odrzanska; 011-48-71-342-7220; well-prepared Polish specialities served in fake thatch hut.
Graciarnia Pub & Café – 39 Ulica Kazimierza Wielkiego; 011-48-71-795-6688;; recreates Wroclaw’s glory days; bric-a-brac decorated rooms, each boasting vintage furniture.
Hotel Monopol – 2 Modrzejewskiej; 011-48-71-772-3777;; try foie gras with fried apple and rye toast.
Mleczarnia – 5 Wlodkowica; 011-48-71-788-2448;; in old Jewish Quarter; popular among students.
Sarah – 5 Wlodkowica; 011-48-71-792-4956; in old Jewish Quarter; traditional Jewish comfort food.

Stare Jatki – street lined with boutiques and galleries.

Sights & Sites
Old Jewish Quarter – hippest town portion, currently.
Ostrow Tumski – oldest part of city; means “Cathedral Island.”
St. John Baptist Cathedral – 18 Plac Katedralny; 011-48-71-322-2574;
Stare Jatki – street lined with boutiques and galleries.
White Stork Synagogue – 5 Wlodkowica; 011-48-71-782-8123;; provides overview of local Jewish history.

Grand Hotel Stamary – 19 Tadeusza Kosciuszki; 011-48-18-202-4510;; situated in center, 300m from Krupowki Street; built in early 20th Century; inspired by Maria Budziszewska, singer, hotel owner, society patron, and politician; appeared under pseudonym Stamary; famous architect Eugeniusz Wesołowski’s work; grand opening in May 1905.
Villa Marilor Hotel – 18 Kosciuszki; 011-48-18-200-0670;

Sights & Sites
Karol Szymanowski Museum – Villa Atma, 19 Kasprusie; 011-48-18-201-3493;


(does not include Manila)

General – optimal dry season is November to June; typhoon season is July to October.

Donsol – near Legaspi City; world’s whale shark capital.

Sights & Sites
Chocolate Hills.

DIMAKAYA ISLAND – famous for dugong-viewing.

Beatrice – off Anilao; current-swept ridge.
Nudibranch Wall – off Anilao.
Secret Bay – off Anilao.
Sights & Sites
Sabang Harbor – off Anilao; 2 wrecks, reefs, seagrass beds.

Manta Rays –; among world’s premier manta-viewing locations.

Echo Valley
Sights & Sites
Sagada – “burial cave” and “hanging coffins.”

MALAPASCUA ISLAND – famous for thresher shark viewing in morning (approach cleaning stations).

Apo Reef – “model marine sanctuary to world.”

Angeles City
Bale Dutung – Paul Street (corner Francis Street, Villa Gloria Subdivision, Pampanga); 011-63-45-888-5163;; accomplished chef that will prepare meal for 10 or more by appointment only.

Sights & Sites
Sabang Beach.

Boracay Island
Sights & Sites
Bat Caves – bats erupt.

Apo Island – off Dauin.
Banca – off Dauin; old Philippines banca outrigger; seahorses and ghost pipefish.
Atlantis Dumaguete – National Road (Lipayo); 011-63-35-425-2327;; has open-air bar & restaurant, as well as onsite spa.
Sights & Sites
Masaplod Sanctuary – off Dauin;; corals and turtles.

Coron Island
Coron – WWII diving site; 18 Japanese vessels sunk here in September 1944.
Kogyo Maru – sunken, WWII 520' Japanese freighter.
Tangat – sunken, unidentified WWII freighter.
Sights & Sites
Barracuda Lake – crystal clear lake of both fresh and salt water with spectacular rock formations; gets hotter with depth; at 50', water is 95°.
Siete Pecados Marine Park – sloping reef and sandy bottom harboring all kinds reef life.
Subterranean River – world’s longest underground river.

SIARGAO – can take overnight ferry or fly (not reliable in terms of schedule); April to October is optimally season.
Dedon Island Resort – Malinao (General Luna); 011-49-040-307-086-690 or 011-63-0917-701-7820;; owned by soccer star turned furniture maven Bobby Dekeyser; 9 luxury villas on remote white-sand beached island, surrounded by small fishing villages and world-class surf breaks (“Cloud 9”); like impossibly chic catalog photo shoot; rattan chairs and swinging daybeds; open showers in bathroom center lined with beautiful local tiles and surrounded by white beach pebbles; doors and walls made from recycled wood turned into lattice; and local-wood headboards carved with coconut trees and birds; includes trampoline surrounded by installation-worthy lattice sculpture, outdoor cinema, and weathered-wood sea pavilion reached by leisurely swim.
Kalinaw Resort – General Luna; 011-63-921-320-0442;; comfortable but stylish villas with lagoon view; exquisite cuisine in beachfront restaurant; wireless throughout resort; run by 2 French guys who left Paris to live better life in tropics; both are designers and inspired by architecture, art & fashion, as well as skateboarding & street culture; Kalinaw means “peaceful” in local Visayan language.
Kawayan Resort – General Luna; 011-63-920-364-0663;; modern and native style cottages with terrace, high perched on wooden piles; discreet & intimate; surrounded by luxurious, peaceful tropical garden; open sky bathrooms with hot and cold rain showers under jungle sun or star-filled sky.

TUBBATAHA – World Heritage Site; 2 coral atolls; only open to divers from March to June; access only from live-aboard. Dives
Amos Rock – deep wall.
Lighthouse – south atoll; hard and soft corals wall.
Malayan Wreck.
Shark Airport/Bird Island.


(does not include Lima)

Aqua Expeditions – 1167 Calle Iquitos (Iquitos, Maynas, Loreto); 011-51-06-560-1053;; luxury ships that cruise Amazon River delta in Peru.

Las Casitas del Colca – Parque Curiña; 011-51-01-610-8300;; lovely.

Sights & Sites
Kuelap –; Macchu Picchu of north.

Hotel Monasterio – 136 Calle Palacios (on Plazoleta Nazarenas); 011-51-08-424-1777;; 1-time 16th Century mansion; good food.
Inkaterra La Casona – 113 Plazoleta Nazarenas; 011-51-08-423-4010;; 11-room boutique; Mick Jagger stayed here.
Palacio del Inka – 259 Plazoleta Santo Domingo; 011-51-08-423-1961;
Palacio Nazarenas – 136 Calle Palacio (on Plazoleta Nazarenas, next to Hotel Monasterio); 011-51-8-458-2222;; 55 suites; Orient-Express hotel; only heated, outdoor pool in Cusco.
Cicciolina – 393 Calle Triunfo; 011-51-08-423-9510;; contemporary and classic Andean; all meals.
LIMO – 236 Portal de Carnes; 011-51-08-424-0668;; Japanese-accented, Peruvian cuisine; all meals.
MAP Cafe – Casa Cabrera, 231 Plazoleta Nazarenas (in Museo de Arte Precolombino); 011-51-08-424-2476;; contemporary and classic Andean; name misleading; this is elegant, and authentic.
Senzo – 136 Calle Palacio (at Palacio Nazarenas Hotel); 011-51-08-458-2222;; finca-to-table.
Visit Cuzco – 011-51-08-426-1465;
Sights & Sites
Ausangate – Willkanuta Mountains; known as “Rainbow Mountains”; .
Museum of Pre-Columbian Art – Casa Cabrera, 231 Plazoleta Nazarenas; 011-51-08-423-3210;
UNSAAC-Yale International Center for Study of Machu Picchu & Inca Culture – 320 Calle Santa Catalina Ancha (in La Casa Concha);; artifacts and research center.

IQUITOS (includes Belen & Pedrococha; Iquitos is island in Peru’s northern Amazon rainforest on Ucayali River; city officially founded in 1864 by Peruvian Navy; Spanish conquistadors in area as early as 1542, though; famous rubber barons include Fitzcarrald (Fitzcarraldo).)
Bakeries, Coffee, Ice Cream, Juice & Tea
Ari’s Burguer – 127 Prospero (on corner Plaza de Armas); 011-51-06-523-1470; brightly lit, clean joint known locally as gringolandia; 2 walls open to street; great peoplewatching; ice cream.
Karma Cafe – 138 Calle Napo; 011-51-06-560-0576;; coffee shop in town center.
Bars & NightclubsYellow Rose of Texas – 180 Putumayo; 011-51-06-523-1353;; expat watering ole.
Amazon Reise Eco Lodge – Rio Yanayacu; 011-51-06-579-7219;
Casa Fitzcarraldo – 2153 Avenida la Marina (Carretera La Marina); 011-51-06-560-1138;; idyllic hotel compound in otherwise industrial, port section of town.
Maranon Hotel – 289 Fitzcarrald (Nauta); 011-51-06-524-2673;; conveniently located near Malecon and rubber baron houses; antiseptically clean; tiny pool.
Ari’s Burguer – 127 Prospero (on corner Plaza de Armas); 011-51-06-523-1470; brightly lit, clean joint known locally as gringolandia; 2 walls open to street; great peoplewatching; almost always open; American-style food, as well as local plates; desserts in Iquitos don’t get gooier.
Al Frio y Al Fuego – 138 Avenida La Marina; 011-51-06-560-7474;; seafood in upscale, floating restaurant.
Aqua Expeditions – 1167 Calle Iquitos; 011-51-06-560-1053;; luxury ships that cruise Amazon River delta in Peru.
Sights & Sites
Belen – just off Iquitos Market, hire boatmen for short ride through Belen, floating city (built on stilts).
Biblioteca Amazónica – 354 Malecon Tarapaca, 2nd floor; 011-51-06-524-2353;; handsome public space inhabiting old rubber baron mansion; features lots of carved wood and colorful tiles.
Casa Cohen – 401-437 Próspero; rubber baron mansion worth viewing from street.
Casa de Fierro (Iron House, Maison de Fer) – Plaza de Armas (between Próspero and Putumayo Streets); large residence built during rubber boom at 19th Century’s end; designed by Gustave Eiffel’s firm and built in Belgian workshops (Les Forges D’Aiseau); rubber baron Anselmo del Aguila bought at International Exposition of Paris in 1889; once dismantled, brought in pieces to Iquitos (metal sheets carried by 100s men through jungle), and assembled in 1890; since 1985, administered by Club Social de Iquitos, which has contributed in its restoration; 2nd floor now has restaurant; fully different story house’s origin told in Mario Vargas Llosa’s Captain Pantoja and Special Service (Pantaleón y las Visitadoras), comic novel.
Casa Fitzcarrald – 200-212 Napo; 011-51-06-560-1138;; adobe house once belonging to famed rubber baron.
Casa Morey – 200 Loreto (1st block off Malecón Tarapaca); 011-51-06-523-1913;; rubber baron mansion worth viewing from street.
Iquitos Market – Mercado Belen; in front, gazebo designed by Gustave Eiffel firm; can by everything here (and by everything, that means endangered animals, too).
Logia Unión Amazónica – 262 Nauta; rubber baron mansion worth viewing from street.
Malecon Tarapaca – 1 block back from Plaza de Armas (facing Amazon River); benches, fountains (including giant pink dolphin), and street lamps; lined with several exquisite 19th Century mansions, relics from rubber heyday, lined with Portuguese glazed tiles (azulejos, most spectacular being Casa Hernández (#302-308).
Municipal Museum of Natural Science – 333 Calle Tawara (on Plaza de Armas’ north-easterly side); 011-51-06-523-8681; stuffed animals, native to Peru, together with various handicrafts, historical photographs, and various artefacts.
Museo Amazonica - 386 Malecón Tarapacá; 011-51-06-523-1072; small museum with few exhibits; worth seeing are 76 fiberglass moldings (painted bronze) of indigenous peoples.
Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm - Padra Cocha (short ferry ride from Bellavista dock area); 011-51-06-323-2665;; animal shelter and butterfly farm; small operation; apart from butterflies, rare rescued species include Amazon manatee, giant anteater, jaguar, monkeys, & tapir.
Plaza de Armas – bounded by Fitzcarrald, Napo, Putumayo & Prospero Streets; most active square in northern Amazon.
Quistococha Lagoon & Tourist Park – 8 miles south of Iquitos; nearly 450 forests and lagoon hectares make up this National Tourist Park; nice beach and swimming area; paiche hatchery (Amazon’s largest fish), decent zoo, many extremely rare.

Inkaterra Machu Picchu – Railroad km 110 (in Aguas Calientes); 011-51-01-610-0400;; 12 garden acres; ask for recently renovated suite (#s 39, 40, 48, 49, 83, or 84); staying here means waiting on long lines at day’s beginning and end because of half-hour shuttle bus up and down mountain.
Sanctuary Lodge Carretera Hiram Bingham; 011-51-01-610-8300;; slightly run-down and right at park entrance.

OLLANTAYTAMBO – on train ride from Cuzco to Macchu Picchu.
Hotel Pakaritampu – main square and rail station; 011-51-08-420-4020;; 39 rooms and 1 suite; impeccably groomed gardens.
Hotel Rio Sagrado – Km. 75.8, Carretera Urubamba (Sacred Valley); 011-51-08-420-1631 or 011-51-01-610-8300 (reservations);
Hearts Café – Avenida Ventiderio; 011-51-08-443-6726;; combination outreach organization and restaurant; excellent espresso and wide range teas.
Tapas Bar Cactus – Calle Principal; 011-51-08-479-7162; bar with limited menu; open until 2 a.m.
Visit Cuzco – 011-51-08-426-1465;
Sights & Sites
Pinkuylluna – hill that overlooks village; food storage structures; Tunupa is rock visage named for Aymara deity; dizzying climb.
Pumamarca – ancient settlement just beyond village; dramatically perched on mountain.

Hotel Paracas – 173 Avenida Paracas; 011-51-05-658-1333;

Titilaka Hotel – Chucuito, Peninsula Titilaka,; 011-51-01-700-5100 or 866-628-1777;; unbelievably beautiful.
Aqua Expeditions – 1167 Calle Iquitos (Iquitos, Maynas, Loreto); 011-51-06-560-1053;; luxury ships that cruise Amazon River delta in Peru.

Sol y Luna – Fundo Huincho; 011-51-08-420-1620;; 15 deluxe casitas on 25 gardened acres; fireplaces, hand-frescoed walls, and private patios.
Tambo del Inka – Ferrocaril Avenida; 011-51-08-458-1777;; 128 rooms in “Sacred Valley”; beloved; near Inca ruins and hiking-kayaking areas.
Hacienda Huayoccari – Carretera Cusco-Urubamba, Km 64; 011-51-08-4962-2224 or 011-51-8-422-6241 (in Cusco); several miles southeast of Urubamba; exceedingly elegant farmhouse high above valley.


(does not include Panama City)

Panama Travel Unlimited – Calle 1era; 011-507-395-5014;; offers San Blas trips and can act as middleman.

Sights & Sites
Humedal de San-San Pond Sak – wetland reserve.
Isla Bastimentos – main settlement is historic West Indian town, Old Bank (origins in banana industry); Gali-Gali, Bocas del Toro Province’s distinct Creole language, spoken here, combining Afro-Antillean English, Ngobe-Bugle, and Spanish; home to Ngobe-Bugle village, Quebrada Sal, separated from Old Bank by huge jungle swath.
Isla Carenero – few 100 meters from Isla Colon; takes name from "careening," meaning to lean ship on 1 side for cleaning or repairing; on Careening Cay in October 1502 that ships under Christopher Columbus’ command were careened and cleaned while he recovered from bellyache.
Isla Colon – archipelago’s largest and most developed island; home to provincial capital; colorful, wooden house town by United Fruit Company in early 20th Century.
Parque Internacional La Amistad – huge park; largest single protected area in Costa Rica that continues across border into Panama, where managed separately; Panamanian side is 2070 square kms; backbone is Cordillera de Talamanca, including Chirripo massif peaks; combined with 2 adjoining national parks and various biological and indigenous reserves; huge biological corridor part, protecting tropical habitats; UNESCO-declared Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site; nation’s largest population Baird’s tapirs, as well as giant anteaters and all 6 species neotropical cats (jaguar, puma (mountain lion), margay, ocelot, oncilla (tiger cat), and jaguarundi); over 500 bird species sighted (more than half Costa Rica’s total); 49 exist only within biosphere reserve; also 115 species fish and 215 different amphibians and reptiles; also home to 5 different indigenous reservations for Bribri and Cabecar groups.
Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos – Isla Bastimentos; Panama’s oldest marine park.

Coral Lodge – Escribano Bay, Santa Isabel; 011-507-232-0200;; comfortable yet ecosensitive resort on undeveloped coast just north of Kuna Yala (also known as San Blas); 6 thatch-roof bungalows; beautiful ocean views; rooms spare; whirlpool tubs; small crescent beach; good food; January-April (driest but windiest time of year); book room 6 is most private.

Isla Palenque – 45 minutes by boat from David; 011-507-777-9260 or 855-777-9260;; 400-acre private island; boutique 10-room resort.

Hacienda del Mar – Isla San Jose; 011-507-269-6634;; boutique resort flanks 2 palm-laced beaches; 17 rustic wooden cottages.

Cabanas Coco Blanco – Kuna Yala; 011-507-6700-9427 or 011-507-6702-7842; very rustic setting; as if you were on Gilligan’s Island.
Coral Lodge – Miramar; 011-507-317-6754;; set on secluded cove on Caribbean coast near San Blas Islands; 6 overwater accommodations constructed in native Kuna Indian style; octagonal with towering thatched roofs; adequately comfortable but not luxurious, with rattan furniture, air-conditioning, walk-in showers and whirlpool tubs; rays, large groupers, nurse sharks and innumerable tropical fish; manager is licensed diving instructor; tours into virgin forest behind lodge (birds & monkeys), as well as to San Blas Islands, 30 minutes away.


Big Drop Off.
Blue Corner –; manta rays and sharks.
Blue Holes – cathedral-like space with “windows” that exit onto outer reef.
Chandelier Cave – otherwordly cave dive with no training required; 4 chambers filled with massive towers & more delicate formations.
Chuyo Maru (Lion Fish Wreck) – West Malakal Anchorage;; medium-sized costal freighter bombed during Operation Desecrate One in March-April 1944; large number lionfish reside in and on ship.
German Channel – hard corals on sandy bottom; mantas’ gill-cleaning station.
Helmet Wreck – Malakal Harbor (west of Koror); 189', submerged WWII Japanese ship.
Nikko Bay – ask to be taken by kayak to Disney Lake (1 of Palau’s 72 marine lakes, fed by seawater flowing through tunnel and seeping through limestone island); bizarre coral formations.
Peleliu Express – ripping currents make vertical wall among world’s most exciting drift dives; Napoleon wrasse, rays, and sharks; one of WWII’s worst battles fought here.
Rock Islands – access hidden marine lakes (such as Jellyfish Lake (see below) or Mandarin Fish Lake) and ancient coral colonies; make sure to visit Ngeremdiu Beach.
Ulong Channel – gray reef sharks and schooling jacks at channel mouth; coral walls.
USS Perry – in 240' water; sunk by mine in 1944.

Dragon Tei – Main Street (Koror, Ngeruktabel Island); 011-680-488-5429; Japanese.
Kramer’s Café – Pirate’s Cove (Koror, at Malakai Harbor); 011-680-488-8448.
Taj – Koror (next to Palau Community College); 011-680-488-2227;; Indian; frequented by Palau’s President.

Palau Aggressor II& Tropic Dancer – 209 Hudson Trace (Augusta, Georgia); 706-993-2531 or 800-348-2628; or; live-aboard dive accommodations that are luxurious and perfect for dive vacations.
Jungle River Boat Cruise – Shimizu River; 011-680-488-1188;
Sam’s Tours – Koror; 011-680-488-7267;; diving; also, tours (such as “must see” Babeldaob Island).

Babeldaob Island – all day land tour is must; takes you to ancient stone monoliths and WWII sites; Palau’s largest waterfall, Ngardmau.
German Lighthouse – Koror Harbor (Ngeruktabel Island);‎; built in 1903 & inactive since 1941; round stone tower, in ruins; tower top accessible via rusty exterior ladder; excellent views for photography.
Jellyfish Lake – Eil Malk Island (Rock Islands);
Mandarin Fish Lake – Risong Bay (south of Koror); secluded lagoon hidden between several of Rock Islands; in cove are 2 large coral heads rising off sandy bottom where beautiful Mandarin Fish (Synchiropus splendidus) reside; extremely shy & seen usually only at dusk or on very cloudy days.
Palau International Coral Reef Center – Koror; 011-680-488-6950;
Rock Islands WWII Shelter – Nikko Bay; ammunition shed built by Japanese during WWII up sheer limestone face; messages written in Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, and Palauan.


Chedi Muscat – 32 North Ghubra; 011-968-2-452-4400;; really, only place to stay.
Sights & Sites
Al-Mirani Fort – Harbor (west of Old Muscat).

Six Senses – Zighy Bay; 011-968-2-673-5555;; remarkable engineering feat; 82 villa resort.

Sights & Sites
Al-Baleed Archaeological Park (Visitor Centre of Land of Frankincense) – Sultan Qaboos Street (next to Crowne Plaza Hotel);; early Bronze & Iron Ages; earliest settlement here dates to 2K BCE; significant structures include Citadel, City Wall & Grand Mosque; illuminated with flood lights at dusk; best time to visit is in late afternoon, then staying until sunset.
Hasik – 200 km drive from Salalah-Mirbat-Sadh-Hadbeen-Hasik; considered among most beautiful beaches in world.
Job’s Tomb – Jabal Ittin (Jabal Qara); next to mosque; tomb underwhelming but trip worth effort, just for along way sightseeing.
Queen of Sheba’s Palace (Sumharam) – Khor Rori (Dhoafar);; archaeological park with ruined fort & palace.
Shisr – 2 hours south; “Atlantis of Sands”; sink-hole, well, Arab fort, and ancient structure.

1000 Nights Camp – Wahiba Sands; 011-968-9-944-8158;; tents in desert; camels.

Sights & Sites
Ras al-Jinz Turtle Reserve – Ras Al Jinz (on beach); 011-968-9-655-0606 or 011-968-9-655-0707;; each night, sea turtles come ashore to lay eggs; 14 rooms and restaurant; can stay night and enjoy guided night tour.


62° Nord – Skansekaia (Alesund); 011-47-7011-4430;; delivers off-beaten-track experiences (even by boat or helicopter); historic locations or modern facilities; day trips, half-day tours, or evening trips; destinations include Alesund (voted Norway’s most beautiful town both by Norwegian people and London Times, with Art Nouveau architecture nestled between sea and surrounding mountains, facing open ocean), fjords (on west coast, acclaimed by National Geographic as world’s best destination), Geirangerfjord (UNESCO World Heritage list, with s-shaped fjord that winds through sheer mountain walls, with tiny farms clinging impossibly to mountain ledges, and magnificent waterfalls cascading down from above), Hjorundfjord (mighty fjords cut through Sunnmore Alps, with Oye and Hotel Union as must-see experience), Ona (out in open ocean, inspiring Ingebrigt Steen Jensen to write his successful book Ona lighthouse), Runde (Norway’s southernmost bird cliff – sanctuary with most numerous species in Scandinavia, and Jostedal ice-field with outlet glaciers that cover over 487 square kilometers, creating largest ice-field in mainland Europe).
Ziniry – 6 Johannes Bruns (Oslo); 011-47-41-82-3150 or 011-47-9952-2990;; tours; excels at getting visitors deep into scenery.

Oslo to Bergen – “Bergen Railway” (from Oslo Central Station at Jernbanetorget); 011-472-315-1515;; from Oslo, scenic, 7-hour journey ascends to mountain resort towns (Geilo, Gol, and Nesbyen) and across vast Hardanger plateau on way to charming port city, Bergen.

Hotel Brosundet – 5 Apotekergata; 011-47-7011-4500;; room #47 is in tiny Molja Lighthouse, located in Alesund’s harbor.

Kviknes Hotel – 8 Kviknevegen (on Sognefjord); 011-47-5769-4200;; extensive art collection worth enquiring about.

Sights & Sites
Balestrand Village – Sognefjorden north shore (Sogn og Fjordane); or; see Kvamsøy Church on Kvamsøy island, serpentine County Road 13, St. Olaf Anglican Church (1897), Kvikne Hotel, Songnefjord Aquarium, Museum of Tourism, Balejazz (summer jazz festival) & Balestrand Art Village.
Gaupne – Sogn og Fjordane;; for glacier walking.
Myrdal Station & Train – Sogn og Fjordane; mountain railway station & junction on Bergen Line regional mainline.
Nærøyfjord – Sogn og Fjordane;; UNESCO World Heritage site.

FARSUND (includes Evje, Lista, Lysefjord & Vest-Agder)
Lista beaches – Havikstranda, Hauestranda og Bausje, Kviljosanden & Lomsesanden;; 10 kms beautiful, clean beaches; white sand dunes.

Farsund Resort – Bjørnevåg; 011-47-3839-2930;; clean & lovely; waterfront property, offering free Wi-Fi & modern accommodation with North Sea views, washing machine, fully equipped kitchen, flat-screen TV, dishwasher & spacious seating areas; each room has either private balcony or patio.

Sights & Sites
Flekkefjord (Hollenderbyen) – Vest-Agder;; old town gaining name following busy trade years with Holland between 1500-1700; whitewashed houses line narrow streets & picket fences frame beautiful gardens.
Hidra Island – Flekkefjord (Vest-Agder);; where Southern Norway meets Western Norway; canal divides island in half.
Knaben Mines – Kvinesdal;; tiny community was busy mining town between 1885-1973; situated in high mountains of Kvinesdal county; fantastic hiking.
Kristiansand Zoo – Kardemomme By; 011-47-8153-3900;; 150 acres; Siberian tiger, African lions, Nordic wilderness forest & Monkey jungle.
Lindesnes Lighthouse Museum – Lindesnes Fyr; 011-47-3825-5420;; most southerly point in Norway; this is Norway’s oldest lighthouse (1655); marked walking trails, war fort & art gallery.
Lista Lighthouse – Fyrveien; 011-47-3839-7776;; 38 m tall stone tower lit for 1st time in 1836; 132 steps to top, where spectacular views over Lista peninsula & sea beyond; next door is art gallery, information center & ornithology center.
Lysebotn – Lysefjord;; hair bend road is only 1.1 km long but has 27 switchbacks, including 3 inside tunnel; once you reach bottom & fjord mouth, take car ferry through Lysefjorden fjord to Lauvvik to see awesome fjord landscape.
Setesdal Valley Mineral Park – 1Mineralvegen (Evje); 011-47-3793-1310;; Europe’s largest mineral collection.

Dr. Holms Hotel – 2 Timrehaugveien; 011-47-32-095-700;; Geilo’s grande dame, overlooking slopes in back and Estedalen valley.
Thon Hotel Highland – 11 Lienvegen; 011-47-32-096-100;; big and rustic with fireside lounge; large conference hotel.
Thon Hotel Vestlia – 81 Bakkestolvegen; 011-47-32-087-200;; luxurious, smart, and stylish.

Hallingstuene – 56 Gellovegen; 011-47-32-091-250; decked out like mountain cottage; overseen by Norwegian celebrity chef; wild lamb and reindeer carpaccio.
Sofias Café & Bar – 33 Bardolavegen (at Bardola Hotel); 011-47-32-094-530; charming lunch and dinner spot with homemade bread and pastries.

Sights & Sites
Finse – highest railway station on Hardangervidda.
Flam – fishing valley on Auslandsfjord, surrounded by mountains and great hiking in summer.
Flam Railway – one of steepest railways in world, winding past remote hamlets and roaring waterfalls.
Hardangervidda – largest eroded plain in Europe.

Hotel Union – Geiranger Road; 011-47-7026-8300;; overlooks fjord.

Sights & Sites
Knut Hamsun Centre – Glimma River banks (Presteid); 011-47-7550-3450;; museum and educational center dedicated to writer Knut Hamsun's life and work.

Sights & Sites
Trolltunga – Odda;; rock that hangs out of mountain about 2K' in air; available to hikers from mid-June to about mid-September; worth special trip.

Sights & Sites
Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (HOK) – 31 Sonja Henies Vei (Høvikodden, about 5 miles south of Oslo); 011-47-6780-4880;; art museum on headland jutting into Oslofjord; founded in 1968 by World and Olympic champion figure skater Sonja Henie (1912-1969) and her husband, shipping magnate and art collector Niels Onstad (1909-1978); their private collection of contemporary art, total 110 images, as well as funds for center construction and operation donated in 1961; designed by Norwegian architects Jon Eikvar and Sven Erik Engebretsen.

Hotel Ullensvang – 5787 Lofthus i Hardanger; 011-47-5367-0000;; composer Edvard Grieg chose this hotel for his summer vacation in 1878 & came back over many summers, finding inspiration for his music such as Springtime, Hoberg Suite & Peer Gynt Suite; original piano still kept in cottage on grounds; garden opens onto shoreline & views over Folgefonna glacier.

Sights & Sites
Romsdal Museum – 4 Per Amdams Veg; 011-47-7120-2460; founded by Peter Tønder Solemdal (1876-1963) in 1912; among country’s largest and most extensive folk museums (also several archives/libraries for photographs, prints, and text); in 1928, opened to public; in field’s middle, old Isdammen, previously used for ice production; area contains also idyllic lake, popular with birders, and stage space (used during Moldejazz, Molde International Jazz Festival); several houses included in guided tour: Hammervoll House, Holt Cottage, Erik Pålgarden Garden, and Tresfjord Cottage; includes Fishing Museum (Hjertøya Island) and Schwitters’ Merzbau (Hjertøya Island), both serviced by water taxi from Molde.

Lyngen Lodge – Djupvik; 011-47-627-853;; in stunning Lyngen Alps.

ORSTA (includes Oye)
Hotel Union Oye – 6196 Norangsfjorden (Oye); 011-47-7006-2100;; “Blue Room” is “haunted”; grand hotel in dramatic setting.

Sights & Sites
Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) – Forsand;; popular hiking destination.

Sights & Sites
Kjeragbolten – Lysefjord;; boulder wedged in mountain crevasse by edge of Kjerag mountain; 5 cubic meter stone block suspended above 984-meter deep abyss; despite its impressive appearance, easily accessible on foot without any special equipment; take E39 out of Stavanger; head for Ålgård; after passing Ålgård, turn left to Sirdalen via Oltedal, Dirdal & Byrkjedal (Route 43); at toll station at Øvstabø, turn left for Sinnes, pass Fidjeland & turn left again for Lysebotn.

Basecamp Spitsbergen – Longyearbye (Spitsbergen Island); 011-47-7902-4600;; large portfolio of adventure trips; mainly offers winter activities, including stay aboard Noorderlicht, Dutch sailing vessel set into fjord ice as long freeze begins each autumn; also offers summer & winter stays at Isfjord Radio, ultimate remote getaway on upgraded, one-time radio station at western tip of Spitsbergen.
Nordenskiöld Lodge – Billefjorden (Spitsbergen Island); 011-47-7902-4600;; northernmost cabin for commercial trips on Spitsbergen; located far away from any civilization; offers excellent possibilities for longer expeditions; no electricity & running water; wood heats up cabin; drinking water from melting glacier; 5 bedrooms with fantastic arctic view, 10 comfortable beds, indoor toilet & traditional Finnish sauna; laying in glacier moraine; well-hidden.
Trapper’s Hotel – Longyearbye (Spitsbergen Island); 011-47-7902-4600;; family rooms, 24-hour reception & bicycle rental; ideally situated in town centre; non-smoking; 16 individually-decorated rooms offering all essentials; private bathrooms have shower.

Huset – Longyearbye; 011-47-7902-5002;; something of walk up here but worth it; dining in cafe-bar is casual, with well-priced pasta, pizza & reindeer stew; signature dish is hamburger med alt – meaty burger with all trimmings.

Sights & Sites
Svalbard Museum – Longyearbyen; 011-47-7902-6490;; Artic museum.

Ersfjordbotn Kystferie – 93 Nisevegen (Kvaloysletta); 011-47-9087-4190;; aurora-viewing above Arctic Circle; mid-September to late March; 3 cottages to let.

Utne Hotel – 5779 Utne; 011-47-5366-6400;; mountains & Hardangerfjord surround, this, 1 of oldest hotels in Norway, opening its doors to guests in 1722; intricate decorative details & antiques; fruit trees blossom in spring.

Sights & Sites
Vennesla Library & Cultural House – 19 Venneslamoen; 011-47-3813-7285;; library structure that includes café, open meeting places, and small scene; main building material is wood; building dominated by 27, glue-laminated timber arcs that support roof and give associations to whale rib skeleton.