If there’s one thing we’ve learned from talking to yachtcrew over the years, it’s that many unabashedly joined yachting for tworeasons: the money and the opportunity to see places around the world theywouldn’t see otherwise. And if there’s another thing we’ve learned, it’s thatsome crew find that the travel isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, often findingthemselves stuck on board and unable to explore the latest locale. So, we’reembarking on a mini travel series to quench your wanderlust the next time youhave some downtime off the boat. To kick things off, we’ve scoured major travelpublications for their take on the best places to travel to this year — andselected the best six for yacht crew.
6 Places Crew Need to Visit This Year
Croatia and Montenegro often steal the limelight foryachties in the Balkan Peninsula, but Serbia isn’t without its delights. Takethe recently reopened railway from Bar in Montenegro to Belgrade, Serbia, thecountry’s capital and the heart of the Balkans, where a gloomy past is givingway to a more vibrant future. Explore the Kalemegdan Fortress, the city’scentral park, and street art by day before taking on its well-renowned Europeannightlife. During the summer, you can’t miss its splavlovi, barges turnednightclubs moored to the banks of the Danube and Sava. Outside of Belgrade, thecountry’s national parks are worth a visit — Tara National Park has amazingscenery and Zlatibor National Park is perfect for both winter and summersports.
Thanks to Pyeongchang playing host to the 2018 WinterOlympics, South Korea is now on every wanderluster’s radar. A new high-speedtrain will help you make the most of your time in Pyeongchang and Seoul, thecountry’s vibrant, trendy capital. Here, you can indulge in delicious streetfood, take the cable car up Mount Nassam for sweeping city views, and explorethe picturesque historical district of Bukchon Hanok Village — perfect for anInstagram photo op and for sipping on some bittersweet omija in one of the teahouses. While the Olympics are over, Pyeongchang is still worth a visit for itssnowy Alpensia ski slopes, 2:30 a.m. night skiing, and Ocean 700 indoor waterpark.
Malta is no stranger to yacht crew, but the nation’scapital, Valletta, is worth a second look. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it wasdubbed the 2018 European Capital of Culture and has a number of celebrations plannedthroughout the year to prove it — more than 400, in fact. June is prime time toget a taste of these, when the city plays host to both the Valletta FilmFestival and Malta International Arts Festival. With a Mediterranean meetsMiddle East vibe, the 450-year-old city is steeped in history and a diverseheritage — get a taste of it at St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Upper and LowerBarrakka Gardens, and Casa Rocco Piccola.
Snug between coastal Thailand and Vietnam, landlocked Laosoften gets overlooked by crew with its lack of access to the water. However,its quieter appeal is exactly why you should make a trip there. Luckily, theWattay International Airport in Vientane is expanding, so it’ll be easier thanever to fly in. The sleepy city has been waking up recently, filled withnatural beauty, from the Mekong Riverfront to the Tad Moun Waterfall, andbuzzing activities, such as the Night Market and Patuxai, a historic gate thatoffers city views. In northern Laos, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of LuangPrabang is a must. Filled with French-colonial architecture, golden Buddhisttemples, elephant sanctuaries, and hiking trails, it’s perfect for those seekingadventure.
Machu Picchu has been home to so much foot traffic andoff-the-path exploration that the government implemented restrictions tovisitors last year. While you can still visit the famous Incan ruins, it’slikely that the travel restrictions will help the northern part of the countrysurge in popularity. And why not? Northern Peru’s jungle-lined trails andSpanish colonial towns have their own bit of underrated magic. In Trujillo,explore the colorful Temple of the Moon, and in Leymebamba, discover 15th-centuryIncan mummies. Make time for a stopover in the cultural hotspot of Cajamarca,filled with natural hot springs, baroque churches, and scenic Andean backdrops.Here, hike to the crest of Cerro Santa Apolonia, a hilltop shrine with aspectacular bird’s eye view of the city.
If you’re tired of the Caribbean and you’re looking for somebeachside relaxation and island vibes, you’ll find it in the Indian Ocean. No,we’re not talking the Seychelles or the Maldives, where you may have been atime or two with the vessel. We’re referring to overlooked Mauritius. Thisremote and idyllic place has just opened up a number of new airline services,so get to its quiet beauty before everyone else does. The island is a dream forexplorers, from the Seven Coloured Earths, a rainbow of sand dunes, to Le MorneBrabant, which offers excellent waters for kitesurfing and windsurfing. Take ahike through the lush rainforest in Black River Gorges National Park or to theTrou aux Cerfs, a dormant volcano in Curepipe.