by Liberty Stembridge, Lifestyle Columnist
Published in Lifestyle on 12th March, 2019
Although it's becoming increasingly popular for tourists in Europe, Portugal is still relatively unknown but incredibly scenic - making it an excellent choice for a road trip.
Explore the stunning algarve by car, driving along up to 40 ft tall cliffs and indulging in traditional portuguese seafood, wine and pastries.
Relax by the beach, take a yoga class and learn to surf in some of the best conditions in the world. Alternatively, head down from Porto to Lisbon, to get your fill of both scenic beauty and city life, with some of the most beautiful architecture in europe to soak in.
It isn't every day you get to hop in a helicopter and fly over the biggest living thing on the planet - the great barrier reef. If snorkelling isn't your thing, explore from above. This exhilarating trip is well worth the nerves, since the views from above are breathtaking.
On a sunny day (which is most days) you can see right through the crystal blue water, with a birds eye view of the many coral reef formations and marine life milling about. With some incredible photo opportunities and an awesome panoramic view of the greatest coral formation on the planet, this is not an experience to be missed.
You've heard of the med, maybe you've even been to the med - but have you ever sailed the med? Even with no sailing experience you can now explore the crystal clear waters, sunny weather and stunning scenery of the mediterranean in a luxury catamaran.
Companies like MedSailors offer week long tours around the Greek islands, Croatia and more. Go with a friend or make friends as you go - it's not hard when you're spending a week on a boat with someone. Try Stand-Up-Paddleboard Yoga, freediving and snorkelling in the sea, and taste the local delicacies and vibrant way of life when on land.
The Philippines is one of the best spots to see a whale shark aka the largest fish in the sea. This gentle giant can grow anywhere up to 10 meters long and weigh up to 60 tons.
Diving with these incredible creatures is the experience of a lifetime and where better to do it than one of the most beautiful, naturally bountiful and culturally rich countries in the world. Head down to Donsol for an eco-tourism adventure to see the whale sharks in their natural habitat and don't forget the go pro.
How many times have you heard of Antarctica being on the top of a travel bucket list? I encourage you to consider it however. If you don't mind wrapping up warm, Antarctica can be one of the most incredible destinations to discover, and you'll certainly have some unique stories to come home with.
In Antarctica, there is no native human population, meaning that much of the wildlife has never come into contact with humans, and as such they are usually pretty friendly - especially the penguins. You can now visit antarctica on expedition voyages to see some of the incredible wildlife, and stunning scenery that you (quite literally) won't come close to anywhere else.
For those brave-hearted souls ready to risk the cold in exchange for a once in a lifetime experience, Iceland is the place to go. It's huge expanses of coastline dotted with fjords and a breathtaking scenery with icy intrigue will capture your heart - and if you time it right, you should be able to witness the epic Northern Lights too.
This phenomenon is caused by charged particles from the sun interacting with atoms in the upper atmosphere of very high latitude regions of the planet, creating an electric light display that's not to be missed.
Have you ever crossed the atlantic by sailboat? Well now you can, even with next to no sailing experiencing! Spend a life-changing month on board a high-tech yacht watching the sun rise and set over the Atlantic Ocean.
Several companies now offer trips across the atlantic, with all your food cooked for you, new friends on board and a chance to explore Barbados once you reach land. Leave behind the stress that life on solid ground brings with it and take the opportunity to disconnect with the outside world and reconnect with yourself.
If you're interested in sailing but never really got the chance to learn, you'll be taught how to understand the weather, steering and the mechanisms of a sailboat.
The Azores are technically a part of Portugal, but you wouldn't know that from looking at a map - they are actually a small archipelago in the middle of the atlantic and are the lucky hosts of some of the best dolphin-watching opportunities in the world.
This little community of islands are like a natural playground for dolphins, and what makes it unique is the opportunity to swim with the dolphins in their natural habitat, without any human interference harming them. In many places across the world, opportunities to swim with dolphins are a bit shady and you can't be sure whether the wellbeing of the animals is looked after properly.
In the Azores however, dolphin wellbeing is a high priority, which is why you're allowed to swim with five different species of dolphin. Join a small boat trip lead by an expert guide and you'll get to swim with these beautiful creatures in the middle of the Atlantic - on their terms.
Madagascar is a naturally rich island with a lot to see, do and eat. Whether you're looking for a rainforest trek, some pristine beachtime or a wildlife adventure - madagascar has it all. It's main pull is it's incredible biodiversity and native inhabitants - Madagascar is actually home to 5% of the world's wildlife, which is mind-blowing and lends itself to the adventure-discovery trip of a lifetime.
Despite being such a hub for nature exploration, Madagascar is still relatively unexplored and undeveloped for tourists, which means you won't have a huge range of options when it comes to hostels, hotels and tourist attractions, but you will have a chance at a more authentic, unsullied experience.
If you're not keen on the idea of trekking Madagascar by yourself, there are more and more adventure holidays popping up that will provide some peace of mind while you're exploring national parks or navigating thick jungle by horseback.
Venture in the wild west of Mongolia and join traditional Mongolian nomad families, stay in a Ger / Yurt and surrender yourself to the vast, desolate landscapes of western Mongolia. Alternatively, travel to the eastern capital city of Ulaanbaatar (home to the infamous Genghis Khan Square) and the Khustain Nuruu Nature Reserve for a taste of Mongolian culture, history and wildlife.
Copenhagen is the new up-and-coming european city break rival that everyone should visit at least once. It's cobbled streets and beautifully quaint european architecture rival that of Amsterdam. Enjoy the wide array of museums, incredible food and join a walking tour to take in everything that the city has to offer.
Once you've got you're cultural fill, head on up to the Faroe Islands and explore this ancient Viking territory. With dramatic landscapes, bountiful Fjords and plenty of incredible food to fill up on after a long day walking through the stunning scenery, it's a trip you'll be unlikely to forget.