Eleanor Keymer, a CD Traveller reader and jet-setter par excellence – the 28 year old has traveled to more than 70 countries – takes us on a tour of her five favourite destinations
The Galapagos Islands
For anyone who loves nature and wildlife as I do, the Galapagos Islands are a must visit destination. Situated off the coast of Ecuador, this isolated Island group was the inspiration for Darwin’s theory of evolution and is where you come to get up close and personal with God’s creatures – the animals are all so tame and truly know no fear.
Of course, such an experience costs and cruising The Galapagos Islands certainly isn’t cheap. It is however unforgettable – the stuff that dreams are surely made of.
Sarajevo (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Lonely Planet named Sarajevo as one of the top 10 cities for 2010 and for good reason. This scarred city has shrugged off its recent trauma and is ready to party. As such Sarajevo stages, a whole host of festivals but the highlight is the fab film festival, featuring short and documentary film competitions, which takes place every August.
Factor in street side cafes, culture (in the form of synagogues, churches, cathedrals, mosques, museums and municipal buildings) and a low crime rate and you’ve got one of the most appealing and accessible cities in Europe.
Ilha Grande (Brazil)
It’s a bold boast, I know, but Ilha Grande (one of the 65 islands that make up this part of Brazil’s coastline) is home to the best beach in the world: Lopes Mendes. This stunning stretch of sand, fringed by crystal and frequented by neon blue butterflies is reached by ferry making getting there something of a mini-adventure. I ‘m not going to gush – words can’t even begin to do this piece of paradise justice – but believe me when I say that this is the most romantic place on earth. If you can’t rekindle a romance here, consider it over.
Most Brits make for Malaysia. Leave them to it and make a beeline for Borneo instead. Malaysia’s next door neighbor remains relatively untouched by tourism meaning you can meet the original ‘wild men of Borneo’, the lovely orang-utans, in peace. Unfortunately, these little tykes are fast dying out as forest habitat is cleared to make way for plantations of oil, palm and paper: there are now only about half the number of orang-utans left in the wild compared with 10 years ago. Tourists can help by adopting one of these irresistible animals – the WWF website tells you all you need to know.
Another must do is to journey along the Kinabatangan River on a beautiful riverboat: keep your eyes peeled for elephants, boars, and otters as well as orang-utans.
Le Touquet (France)
Ah, Le Touquet. I have been holidaying here with my family for as long as I can remember and, like a good wine, Le Touquet only gets better with age. Chic boutiques? Check. Quirky markets? Check. A beach whiter than a dentist’s chair? Check. What more could you want of week-end getaway? Fabulous food? Well since you ask there’s that too; don’t dare leave without indulging in the excellent moule et frite. Throw into the mix the fact that this chi chi French town is only three hours from central London door to door and you’ve got a well placed and relaxing week-end escape. Just don’t all rush at once!
Thanks, Eleanor! Fancy sharing your top travel experiences with fellow CD-Traveller readers? We’d love to hear them. Email: [email protected]