By Mariam Nihal
Summer has arrived and everybody is gearing up for the best part of the year. Summer break is usually spent with family and while most Saudis love to visit their favorite spots like London, Paris, Los Angeles and perhaps their summer homes, we are going to help you think out of the box and get you ready for a memorable vacation with your loved ones. We are here to explore the most desirable tourism destination and in a series of feature stories we will introduce you to a few significant ones. See the world beyond the usual choices. Here is to a new summer and new beginnings.
Angra dos Reis, Brazil
Angra dos Reis which also means “Bay of the Kings” implies that when it was discovered, even kings fell under the spell of its beauty. If you are planning to go to Brazil do not miss the golden opportunity to see the hidden treasures between cities. One such destination is Angra dos Reis, between Rio and São Paulo. Made up of 365 islands and a small port surrounded by steep, forested coastline, the region has pristine beaches and lush green forests.
If you are looking for some outdoor fun, then get ready for a place that offers it all including hiking, deep-sea diving and water sports. If you want to convince the kids, tell them about the stunning instagram photos they can take because for millennials it is all about social media.
Chile, South America
If you are headed for South America, you might as well experience this desired destination. If you are stopping over or vacationing in London, you can catch a direct flight from Heathrow. Packed with ecosystems, biodiversity and topographies, it has 36 national parks and an incredible landscape with deserts to fjords to subpolar islands. If you love photography and the outdoors, this is one beautiful destination you cannot miss.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
We just saw Morgan Freeman strolling through the streets of the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. Belfast still remains strong in the industry of arts, business, law and education. In fact it used to be the center of shipbuilding industries and in the early 20th century, Harland and Wolff, which built the RMS Titanic, was the world’s biggest and most productive shipyard. Cut to the present there is a lot more to do. To begin with you can visit the Titanic Belfast with hands-on displays, including dark ride, underwater exploration theatre and re-created decks.
Visit the Opera that was restored in 1895 that stages touring musicals, comedy, dance, theatre and drama. The Ulster museum is a classical Renaissance-style setting for displays on art, furniture, ceramics, costume and industry.
Enjoy the botanical gardens dating to 1828, featuring tropical species and a domed conservatory. The Belfast castle within the country park offers an adventure for families with a playground, ntiques shop and restaurant.
Cape Town, South Africa
Not only is Cape Town buzzing with art and design, it is only getting bigger and better with new additions like the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary African Art at the V&A Waterfront. The MOCAA—is known as South Africa’s answer to the MoMA or the Tate Modern. The Silo, a luxury hotel from the Royal Portfolio sits on top of the museum. Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast beneath the Table Mountain. Cable car rides are a great way to enjoy the beautiful views overlooking the city. From the sea to the skies, Cape Town is a marvel you need time to discover, appreciate and savor. A lot of history, buzzing bazaars and restaurants add life to the city. Start off with City Bowl, Bo-Kaap and De Waterkant, where business, fashion, history and nightlife thrive. Visit Robben Island, which was used as the prison but is now the Unesco World Heritage site which serves as a memorial to those such as Nelson Mandela who spent many years incarcerated here. Spend an afternoon at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Around 9000 of Southern Africa’s 22,000 plant species are grown here. So get ready to plan a family vacation where this is something for everyone.