More than 150 years ago, Georges Nagelmackers turned a dream into a reality when he launched the first luxury Orient Express train. Soon, Orient Express will head back on track to offer travellers an unforgettable journey through one of the world’s most beloved countries: Italy.
The Orient Express La Dolce Vita will welcome its first passengers in 2023. Six trains will embark through several iconic itineraries across 14 regions and beyond, including three international destinations from Rome to Paris, Istanbul and Split.
A magical stopover in Rome will feature the very first Orient Express Hotel, Minerva, scheduled to open in 2024.
The concept for the new Orient Express La Dolce Vita trains pay tribute to “La Dolce Vita”, a historical period of glamour, joie de vivre and artistic fervour in Italy during the 1960s.
With support from Accor, La Dolce Vita train’s official hospitality partner, and thanks to the partnership with Trenitalia and Fondazione FS Italiane, the journey invites passengers to travel through more than 16,000 kilometres of workable railway lines – 7,000 kilometres of which are not electrified and are vestiges of Italy’s storied history.
The Orient Express La Dolce Vita offers a new way of experiencing the country: an environmentally-friendly adventure where forgotten roads are explored, hidden treasures discovered and where architectural triumphs take centre stage.
Designed by Dimorestudio, the global architectural and design studio founded by Emiliano Salci and Britt Moran in 2003, the Orient Express La Dolce Vita train embodies the Italian art of living and all its beautiful traditions with a more contemporary spirit of travel.
The train’s sumptuous decor will adorn 12 Deluxe cabins, 18 Suites, and one Honour Suite and restaurant, all boldly celebrating the craftsmanship, design and creativity of the 1960s and 1970s.
In collaboration with renowned local and international chefs and sommeliers, travellers will experience five-star service on board, savouring the beauty and excellence of “Made in Italy” through award-winning Italian wines and exclusive haute cuisine.
Before departure at the Roma Termini station, the Orient Express executive lounge will welcome passengers offering them a selection of refreshments in a convivial and elegant space, complete with dedicated services and staff to assist them.
The itineraries have been chosen to create unique travel experiences, all capable of awakening our five senses. Most will start in Italy, revealing the wonders of the Alps, the bucolic countryside, or the paradisiacal beaches of southern Italy. In addition, three dedicated itineraries will take you through eight countries, linking Rome to Paris, Istanbul, and Split.
Travellers interested in booking the luxury adventure of a lifetime are invited to click here for a closer look at the exclusive journeys to some of the world’s most captivating destinations on offer.
With all-time high demand and unprecedented sellout pace, the expertly curated itineraries will allow Four Seasons passengers to seamlessly explore a collection of bucket-list destinations, removing the stress of multiple commercial flights, layovers and delays. More opportunities await as the full line-up of 2023 itineraries is announced in the coming months.
Experience the majestic landscapes of Africa on a magnificent 13-day family-friendly adventure, ideally timed over school breaks for a holiday to remember. From exhilarating wildlife excursions in Rwanda to the ancient pyramids of Egypt, travellers of all ages will experience an enriching blend of natural wonders and stunning city adventures.
Two African Wonders journeys are planned for 2023. The first is scheduled to take flight December 28, 2022 – January 9, 2023 and is currently wait list only, with the second departing in August 2023.
August 1 – 13, 2023 – Athens, Greece – The Pyramids, Egypt (day trip) – Serengeti, Tanzania – Mauritius – Rwanda – Victoria Falls, Zambia (day trip) – Johannesburg, South Africa
Begin the trip of a lifetime by exploring the historic heart of Athens on a private guided tour of the Acropolis and Parthenon. Next, visit the ancient Pyramids of Giza in Egypt to explore curiosities that have captured the imaginations of visitors for millennia. Celebrate magical moments with a torchlit dinner in the savannah, complete with sundowners and live entertainment in Serengeti National Park under the protection of Masai warriors.
In Mauritius, explore the island’s protected lagoons by kayak, snorkel through the coral reefs, or take a cooking class with an expert Four Seasons chef. In the lush forests of Rwanda, embark on a gorilla trek with local scientists and veterinarians caring for the country’s endangered primates. Enjoy a day trip to Zambia’s Victoria Falls, known to locals as “the smoke that thunders.” Conclude with a final stop and farewell brunch in Johannesburg before heading home, or continue on to another captivating destination.
As part of the African Wonders journey, additional activities can be tailored to the interests and age of each guest in concert with Four Seasons concierge teams in each destination.
The longest-running Four Seasons Private Jet journey is back, featuring a showcase of spectacular natural beauty, enduring cultural traditions, inspiring urban experiences and iconic wonders.
April 17 – May 10, 2023 – Oahu, USA – Bora Bora – Sydney, Australia – Bali, Indonesia – Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, Thailand – Taj Mahal, India (day trip) – Dubai, UAE – Florence, Italy – London, England
Starting off in Hawaii, embark on a spiritual journey to the westernmost tip of Oahu to hear tales from a revered storyteller followed by a traditional hula. Enjoy a guided snorkel safari in Bora Bora before jetting off to Australia to go backstage at the Sydney Opera House.
Take a batik painting class or go rafting on Bali’s longest river and enjoy visiting Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, the former capitals of the ancient Lanna kingdom in Thailand, offering transcendent temples, jungle landscapes and a culture of enduring traditions. Enjoy a day trip to the Taj Mahal without long lines and airport transfers courtesy of a private airport in Agra.
In Dubai, savour spectacular sunset views over the Arabian Gulf from the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. In Florence, sample the region’s exquisite cuisine and enjoy a private viewing of Michelangelo’s David. Finally, celebrate a journey well-travelled in London by heading backstage for a show at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
March 3 to 26, 2023 – Seattle, USA – Kyoto, Japan – Hoi An, Vietnam – Maldives – Serengeti, Tanzania – Marrakech, Morocco – Budapest, Hungary – St. Petersburg, Russia – Paris, France
Experience cultural immersion on a spectacular voyage across four continents. From a glimpse inside Russia’s lavish imperial past to a samurai sword lesson in Kyoto, this is a journey designed to stimulate the senses.
It’s been literally forever since you’ve caught up with your besties over Mai Tais or manicures, hasn’t it? Well, now’s the time to start planning your reunion tour! Whether your girl group is into chilling, shopping, adventuring, eating, drinking, or a little bit of everything – let this list of luxurious locales inspire your next long weekend away with the ladies.
Pools and palm trees, what more does a girl need? Palm Springs is an oasis of quirk, kitsch, and cool in the California desert. Take a self-guided tour of some of PS’s most photogenic and colourful front doors. Sip on a famous date milkshake from the State Fare Bar + Kitchen at the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage. And don’t forget to pack a fun floaty for that perfect pool pic.
Photo by Visitgreaterpalmsprings.com
Calling all food and wine lovers! Perched on the Douro River, Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city and the world’s most famous producer of Port wine. Become a connoisseur with endless options for Port tastings and tours. Explore the labyrinthine cobbled streets of the Ribeira District, revel in the vibrant nightlife, and eat to your heart’s content with local dishes like Bacalhau, cod prepared every which way; Francesinha, a baked sandwich; and Queijo da Serra da Estrela, a regional cheese.
Of course, when visiting the Irish capital you have to hit the highlights like Temple Bar, Trinity College, and the Guinness Storehouse. But Dublin has a glamorous side too! Stroll Henry Street with its chic boutiques, shops, and Arnotts department store. Spend the day luxuriating at The Shelbourne Hotel’s spa before meeting for a lavish afternoon tea at The Merrion, or climb aboard the Vintage Tea Tour for a sweet ride that combines a guided tour of the city with high tea. At night, you can’t miss the live music and pub culture that Dublin is known for – Sláinte!
Canadian cottagers know that summer is for relaxing and reconnecting with friends and family in the forested countryside. But as temperatures drop, why not trade Canada’s snowy pines for the azure water and white sands of The Bahamas? To keep the cottage vibes alive well into the winter, we offer our picks for the properties that blend familiar cottage comfort with the warm splendour of the Caribbean.
Located just off a massive barrier reef, KAMALAME CAY is a charming collective of cottages, bungalows, and beachside villas scattered across 97 acres of private island paradise. With proximity to jungle gardens, world-class beaches, and the resort’s own premier amenities, each of Kamalame Cay’s 20 properties offers a slice of Bahamian bliss infused with Caribbean flair and complete with modern amenities.
A stunning collection of luxury villas just minutes from downtown Nassau, the prestigious PALM CAY community boasts golf, spas, and its very own marina on 69 acres of immaculate tropical sprawl. Palm Cay Rentals has properties for families of all sizes, from cozy one- bedroom waterfront apartments to magnificently appointed four- bedroom colonial villas.
The island of Eleuthera is known for its sandbars, marvelous pink sand beaches,and quaint colonial architecture. Nothing showcases the soul of Eleuthera quite like the GOVERNOR’S HARBOUR COLLECTION, an assortment of lavish homes, apartments, and cottages nestled between the beach and town.
What’s better than spending time with your family-and-friend bubble in Muskoka?
Taking the Holiday of a lifetime with your bubble to that bucket-list destination you have always dreamed about!
The term “bubble travel,” referring to travellers who want the safety and security of travelling within their own trusted circle of family and friends, may have emerged from pandemic life, but Goway Travel, one of North America’s most experienced travel companies, has been specializing in private guided journeys, personalized vacations, and tailor-made tours to exotic destinations for more than 50 years.
“My best ever vacations have been with our family and close friends,” says Bruce Hodge, founder and president of Goway Travel. “When our children were teenagers, we did a private-guided, personalized safari with friends – just us, our two families – in Botswana. It was magical. Then there was the private villa in Tuscany, the jungles of Ecuador combined with a Galapagos cruise, and a river cruise in Myanmar where we were swarmed by locusts one evening. Just a few of the wonderful places and interesting experiences we have been fortunate to share with family and friends.”
After more than a year of lockdown and with an end to travel restrictions in sight, isn’t it time to start planning your ultimate pandemic payback trip? Well, when you’re ready to travel again, Goway is ready to help. Contact your favourite travel professional or a Destination Specialist at Goway (1-800-387-8850 or firstname.lastname@example.org) and be sure to mention “Muskoka challenge.”
Looking for a little inspiration? Visit goway.com for a list of all the world-wide destinations Goway offers. In the meantime, here are a few of our top travel ideas to whet your appetite for travel:
DESTINATIONS TO BRAG ABOUT
Like Easter Island, Chile; Papua New Guinea; Arnhemland, Australia; Komodo Island, Indonesia; and Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda.
ULTIMATE ISLANDS ESCAPES
To Tahiti, the Maldives, Bali, or the Greek islands.
BOUTIQUE & PRIVATE CRUISING
In the Fiji islands, Dalmatian Coast, Croatia, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, or the Galapagos Islands.
PRIVATE LUXURY SAFARIS
In east and southern Africa, in Australia’s Outback, or across India.
DIFFERENT RIVER CRUISES
On the Amazon, Mekong, and River Nile by Dahabiya.
LUXURY & UNIQUE TRAIN JOURNEYS
On the Venice Simplon Orient Express, Eastern & Oriental Express, Tsar’s Gold Trans Siberia, Pride of Africa, and the Indian Pacific.
Bruce, a young research economist from Australia, became a tour guide in Europe, where he met his future wife, Claire, from South Africa – soon after (1970), they immigrated to Canada and started Goway Travel. One of their ultimate highlight trips was personally escorting a 30-day luxury Cape-to-Cairo journey in 2016. The Hodge family owns a cottage on Lake Rosseau.
Splash a little Chablis in your glass and take a sip. Suddenly you’re in France. Same holds true for Champagne, Rioja, Barbaresco, and all the rest—wines that take you to these fabulous places. Pair the wine with food from the same region and things get really trippy. Enjoy a little European escape with these six smart summer sippers and suggested nibblies.
PROVENCE ROSÉ AND TAPENADE
Score: 90 | $19.15
For a taste of the South of France, enjoy the 2020 Carte Noire Rosé from Provence, France (Vintages Essential 319384). This pale coral blend of Grenache and Cinsault swirls with delicate flavours ofripe red fruit laced lightly with wet stones, dried herbs, and green olive.
Pair it with tapenade — an olive and anchovy spread seasoned with capers, garlic, and lemon — spread on small pieces of toasted bread, and bring the Côte d’Azur to you.
CHABLIS AND OYSTERS
Score: 91 | $32.80
Staying in France, head north to Burgundy for the 2019 Joseph Drouhin Chablis Drouhin-Vaudon (LCBO 284026). In Chablis, the grapevines grow in soil rich in Kimmeridgean clay, which produces a stony, slightly saline-style Chardonnay, shimmering with crisp acidity. And this bottle is a prime example. Each sip is silky, seamless, and scented with seashells.
Pair this beautiful Chablis with oysters, lobster, or any fish dish at all. The match is pure perfection.
CHAMPAGNE AND SMOKED SALMON
Score: 92 | $57.50
For a brilliant bubbly, pour the NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne from France (LCBO 537605). Each glass shines straw-coloured with golden inflections, while tiny bubbles bead to the surface. The attack engages instantly with the fragrance and flavours of buttery brioche, baked apple, and a touch of almond. Elegant, quenching, and dry.
Serve this Champagne with smoked salmon on toast points for a little je ne sais quoi in the afternoon. Or add a salad and suddenly you’ve got lunch.
BARBARESCO AND MUSHROOM RISOTTO
Score: 90 | $29.95
Head to Piedmont in northern Italy with the 2017 Castello di Neive Barbaresco DOCG (Vintages Essential 160143). This pale expression of the Nebbiolo grape fans out with gorgeous, elegant complexity. It’s whispered with violet and earth, cherries and chocolate, and blackberries and olive, forming a sheer, allusive tapestry of flavour that is fabulously food friendly.
Pour this Italian classic with a bowl of mushroom risotto or kick it up a notch with shaved truffles, truffled cheese, or even a drizzle of good-quality truffle oil on top.
RIOJA RESERVA AND MANCHEGO
Score: 93 | $27.45
Skip over to Spain with a glass of the gorgeous 2015 Marques de Riscal Rioja Reserva (LCBO 32656). From the muted aromas of vanilla and cherry-cola to the generous sweep of smooth flavour, this wine offers immediate pleasure. It is a cashmere crush of black cherry, burnt sugar, and cola nut—but dry—before tapering to a long finish of rubbed oregano.
For a touch of Spanish charm, serve this Rioja Reserva with some slivers of Manchego cheese. Crackers optional.
AMONTILLADO WITH MARCONA ALMONDS
Score: 93 | $17.95
Or take a trip to southern Spain with a sip of Emilio Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado (Vintages Essential 375097). This fortified wine made in the sherry style, and is bone dry, amber toned, and complex. Expect aromas of roasted nut, caramel, coffee, and orange that echo on the palate.
Serve this Amontillado well-chilled with a handful of salted Marcona almonds from Spain. Magic.
So, stock your wine rack, pantry, and fridge with these European wines and foods and get ready to experience some exciting getaways from the comfort of your deck or dock.
It only took one glance out across the heated infinity pool overlooking Lake Lucerne to understand why this spot lives up to its reputation as a highly Instagrammable location. Here, the water blends into the sky, giving way to a captivating bird’s eye view of the entire scenic region below.
In its glory days the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Loren frequented this mountain-side locale. Today, it’s been reborn as Bürgenstock Resort, a destination in and of itself, home to multiple high-end resorts, mouthwatering restaurants, and the Bürgenstock Alpine Spa, an indoor and outdoor retreat featuring one-of-a-kind mountain and lake views.
More than $500 million and nine years in the making, Bürgenstock is just one example of how to soak up a memorable time in Switzerland. For anyone dreaming of visiting the European nation soon, here are some inspiring ideas, all chosen by locals.
RAISE A TOAST FROM THE TOP OF THE WORLD
Like the name suggests, Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe – offers sweeping views of the Swiss Alps from high above — 3,454 metres above sea level to be precise. But the highest train station in Europe, which is connected by rail to the scenic villages of Grindelwald, Lauterbrunnen, and Wengenis, is also home to some ice-cold experiences. In the middle of the glacier, there’s an Ice Bar to discover, where everything, even the bar, is made of ice.
“The Ice Bar is an exclusive experience in the Swiss glacier on Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe,” says Dario Gross, Sales Manager for Jungfrau Railways. “Be sure to taste some Swiss single malt whiskey, which is stored in the glaciers!”
If you’re short on time, it’s now possible to reach the Top of Europe in 15 minutes — 47 minutes faster than before — on the new Eiger Express tricable aerial cableway.
TRAVERSE AN ENTIRE COUNTRY BY FOOT
Switzerland borders Liechtenstein, one of the smallest countries in the world.the world at a mere 25 kilometres in length. Matthias Kramer, Head of Tourism & Economy, Liechtenstein Marketing, suggests those looking for a bucket-list–worthy adventure consider “crossing a whole country by foot.” Packages are available along the Liechtenstein Trail to arrange luggage transfers, overnight stays, and meals along the route.
“The unique Principality of Liechtenstein is the sixth smallest country in the world. It is easily accessible from Switzerland, Germany, and Austria and lies about a two-hour drive from the Italian border,” he says. “It is easy to discover several experiences during your visit, since distances are close: looking at artwork by Picasso or Monet at the Museum of Fine Arts in the capitol, Vaduz, and then heading up to the mountain resort of Malbun in only 20 minutes by car, where hiking trails, and pristine Alpine nature are waiting and a chairlift brings you up to the panoramic restaurant of Sareis.”
Wine enthusiasts should pay a visit to the Prince of Liechtenstein Winery, where travellers can walk through the vineyards and sample excellent wines.
TAKE YOUR GOLF GAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Those who have their sights set on visiting the UNESCO-recognized Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn region, known for being the most glaciated part of the European Alps, can also play a round of golf at Europe’s highest 9-hole golf course.
“Aletsch Arena is the home of the highest 9-hole golf course in Europe — 2,000 metres above sea level,” says Jasmine Noti, Product and Market Management, Aletsch Arena AG, home of the 14 miles-long Aletsch Glacier. “The idyllic golf course with its breathtaking panorama of the Valais peaks is a joy for beginners and experienced golfers alike.”
First-time visitors should embark on a guided glacier tour of the 23-km Aletsch Glacier. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you can feel the effects global warming will have and how it will change our world as the guides also tell fascinating facts about glaciers, the ice ages, and the flora and fauna of the Aletsch Arena,” she says. “For me, it was like walking on the moon. Something magical.”
FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JULIE ANDREWS
Acting legend Julie Andrews, who notably starred in The Sound of Music, once said: “Gstaad is the last paradise in a crazy world.”
This charming town has as many residents as it has cows — 7,000 — and is known for producing some top-quality cheese.
“It’s true, the number of people and cows are the same in the destination Gstaad,” muses Thomas Schetty, Head of Markets and Sales at Destination Gstaad. “And we have no traffic lights in the whole destination. Furthermore, we have only chalet-style architecture, because it’s a law since the 1960s that every construction has to be made in a very strict way and form. It feels like a fairy tale!”
One unique thing to do here is order a Fondue Backpack, which contains all the fixings to have a fondue in the wild, including crusty bread made fresh by local bakeries and a fondue pot to use on the go. Simply decide between a traditional thick fondue or a truffle fondue, and indulge wherever you desire. “It’s a unique and unforgettable experience out in the nature,” Schetty says. “You prepare your own fondue in summer or winter and enjoy the local sustainable products in incredible ambiance.”
When you think of Rome, art and history come to mind, sure, but the Eternal City is a hub of glamour, fashion, refinement, and sophistication, too. Rome offers even the most demanding travellers a rich panorama of high-quality lifestyle experiences, making a trip to the Italian capital truly unforgettable.
WHERE TO START
Start your trip at the top, Rome’s famous Terrazza del Pincio. Take in views of the city while strolling these magnificent gardens that retain much of their 16th-century appearance and character. Caffè Colbert deserves a stop among its ancient statues, coloured cushions, and wrought iron sofas. A little further on, Casina Valadier, the masterpiece designed by the neoclassical architect of the same name, houses a renowned restaurant.
At the foot of the Spanish Steps – between Via Condotti, Via Borgognona, and Via Frattina – is Rome’s luxury shopping destination. Here you will find a succession of elegant jewellers, ateliers, artisans, and boutiques, both Italian and international. Don’t miss Peppino Capuano jewellery or Atelier Maria Fiorello before taking a break at Caffè Greco, the second oldest Italian café and favourite meeting place of intellectuals and artists from the 18th century. Bespoke shoe brand Marini crafts each hand-made pair from personalized measurements. Find art galleries along Via Margutta before heading to Atelier Cristina Bomba with a knitwear collection designed in-house from a selection of noble natural yarns. Moving towards Via di Monserrato, you’ll find Maison Halaby, a fashion and accessories workshop, the Soledad Twombly atelier featuring mini kimono-style jackets and tunics of antique ikat, creative jewellery by Fabio Salini, and Chez Dede’s exclusive collections of accessories, fashion, and furnishings.
Rome abounds with ancient ruins around every corner, but along the Tiber River you’ll find two of the most important monuments celebrating the great Emperor Augustus. Under his rule, Rome was enriched with numerous new and splendid buildings that transformed the city into an imperial capital that can still be admired today. The Ara Pacis celebrates the Augustan peace with scenes carved into the marble depicting sacrifices of magistrates, priests, and vestal virgins. And the Mausoleum of Augustus, having just been brought back to life by an excellent restoration, bears witness to the Emperor’s desire to bind himself to the city and its people in perpetuity.
EXCLUSIVE DINING TERRACES
Set on seven hills, Rome is a city of panoramas, and you’ll find many of the most incredible vantage points at Rome’s famed hotels and their luxurious restaurants. Lunch and dinner options abound. Enjoy a dinner of seasonal Mediterranean cuisine at La Terrazza Restaurant at Hotel Eden. Or Hotel de la Ville welcomes guests throughout the day with a variety of delicious menus and one of the most spectacular views from their Cielo Terrace. Located on a quiet street in the epicenter of Rome, the Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese is within walking distance of some of the city’s best-known monuments like the Trevi Fountain, Villa Medici, and the Spanish Steps, but the pride of this hotel is Settimo, an elegant restaurant and bar and one of the highest rooftop restaurants in the city. For dinner, try La Pergola at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel, the only three-star restaurant in the capital or the Michelin-starred Restaurant Imago, on the sixth floor of the Hotel Hassler, which guarantees impeccable service and views.
WHERE TO FINISH
No need to languish at the airport, instead, immerse yourself in the glossy world of famous Italian high fashion houses. The Tax Free Mall, located at International Boarding Area E of Fiumicino Airport, boasts more than 50 shops, from haute couture brands to exclusive perfumes to fine dining. For a personalized experience, let a personal shopper assist you, but be sure to book in advance.
DID SOMEONE SAY Aperitif?
Like so many southern Europeans, after a long day of work or shopping, Italians love to indulge in an aperitif before dinner. Here are a few favourites…
CHECK IN Downtown Reykjavik’s imposing Hotel Borg By Keahotels (keahotels.is/en) is an elegantly styled lodging in the centre of it all, boasting modern amenities and a relaxing spa. Or for the ultimate in luxury and spectacular views, stay at one of only eight suites at the Tower Suites Reykjavik (towersuites.is). Large groups can book the entire floor of suites for up to 27 guests.
LOBSTER SOUP Reykjavik’s cafes may be famous for their selection of sandwiches but skip this in favour of a walk down to the Old Harbour district for a hearty bowl of lobster soup at either Sægreifinn (saegreifinn.is/en) or Verbúð 11.
SHOP For a taste of Iceland to bring back home, find hand-harvested salts in flavours like licorice and smoked birch, by Saltverk (saltverk.com). For something sweeter, Omnom (omnom.is) creates small-batch chocolate bars in creative flavours like sea salted almonds and coffee + milk. Both sweet and salty souvenirs can be found at shops around town.
BLUE LAGOON A rite of passage for any visitor, the Blue Lagoon (bluelagoon.com) offers a multitude of geothermal experiences in their milky blue waters. The ultimate in rejuvenation is the five-hour Retreat Spa package that includes access to the Blue Lagoon, eight subterranean spaces, and private Retreat Lagoon, plus skin care amenities, a ritual treatment, refreshments, and more.
GOLDEN CIRCLE All around the island, Iceland boasts incredible nature: waterfalls, hot pots, black sand beaches, glacier hiking, and more. It’s worth a longer stay to travel the famous Ring Road navigating the circumference of the nation. But if you’re only in town for a few days, don’t miss the Golden Circle, a trifecta of natural treasures just outside the city limits, including Thingvellir National Park, Geyser, and Gullfoss Waterfall (visiticeland.com). Join a tour or rent a car for a self-guided day trip.
VIEW Standing guard over the city is Hallgrimskrikja Church (en.hallgrimskirkja.is), still one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country. A visit to the church is free, but a $10 admission fee will give you access to the tower and some of the city’s most incredible views.
DINNER Dining options abound in Iceland’s capital. For a quiet night in, grab a pizza at Eldsmidjan (eldsmidjan.is). Try the Rustico with cream cheese, ground beef, and pepper cheese. See and be seen at the lively Tapas Barinn (tapas.is/is) serving small plates of adventurous Icelandic delicacies like puffin, lamb with wild berry sauce, minke whale, and skyr for dessert. Wash it all down with a bottle of house- made sangria. For an haute- cuisine experience, Icelandic-style, there’s no place better than Dill (dillrestaurant.is/en). The tasting menu is ever-changing and an expression of traditional and sustainable ingredients and preparations. Wine pairings highly recommended. Reservations required.
HARPA Reykjavik’s centrepiece, Harpa (en.harpa.is) is a glass goddess located at the foot of downtown. The facility is home to Iceland’s finest productions, concerts, theatre works, events, and more. If you’re not into live theatre, roam the beautiful building on the weekend when it hosts a market of local crafts, foods, and goods.
AURORA During the darkest part of night, between September and April, visitors to Iceland have a good chance of spotting the elusive beauty of the northern lights (visiticeland.com). Join a tour group with skilled excursion leaders who know how to “hunt” down the lights.
Here comes the sun – in a major way. The Northwest Territories is now basking in long, sunny days, with summertime hikers, paddlers, and adventurers enjoying the midnight sun and exploring the Great Outdoors.
But take note, winter also brings advantages for outdoor enthusiasts, including spectacular viewings of the Northern Lights, with the celestial show available on average 240 nights a year, thanks to a combination of generally clear nights, low humidity, and the Northwest Territories being ideally located for maximal Aurora activity.
And all that underscores how the Northwest Territories is a dream location for those seeking a pristine part of the planet.
The sprawling territory is home to only 42,000 people, nearly half of whom are Indigenous. Topography includes Arctic islands, huge swaths of forest, the barrenlands, and rugged mountain ranges. The Northwest Territories has six national parks and national park reserves, including Nahanni, home to towering Virginia Falls, and Thaidene Nene, Canada’s newest national park.
Nahanni is steeped in legend, home to the likes of Deadman Valley, so named for two brothers who set off in 1905 in hopes of gold, but were later found dead, minus their heads, fueling all kinds of speculation about their fate. Another draw is Wood Buffalo National Park, which straddles the NWT-Alberta border and is a summer home to endangered whooping cranes, bison, and other intriguing wildlife. Both Wood Buffalo and Nahanni have UNESCO World Heritage Status.
One option for exploring the North is road tripping the Dempster Highway, a 737-kilometre-long journey that begins just outside Dawson City, Yukon Territory, and works its way over rugged mountain ranges, crossing the Yukon-Northwest Territories border and the Arctic Circle before arriving in the Arctic community of Inuvik, NWT From Inuvik, you can continue onto the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk where you can dip your toes in the Arctic Ocean. This road is the only highway to the top of the world and connects Canada from coast to coast to coast.
With wide-open spaces, spooky stories, the world’s best Aurora, fantastic fishing, a world of waterways, and rich Indigenous cultural experiences, the Northwest Territories is nothing short of spectacular.