Travelling is such an enjoyable activity because each trip combines such a wide variety of experiences into one.
The people we meet, the sights we see, and the smells, tastes, sounds and feelings we experience as we explore the world make every journey unforgettable. Sometimes, however, there are certain experiences that really make an impression. In celebration of the ‘sensual overload’ travel offers, here’s a few of our own sensory-themed travel highlights.
And what a view that is. Best experienced by hiking the 28-mile Inca Trail and really earning the incredible views offered by this ancient mountaintop city. No matter how many photos you’ve seen, the drama and scale of the real thing is breathtaking.
‘Grand’ doesn’t even begin to describe this stunning landscape. The largest canyon on earth, this geological wonder stretches up to 18 miles wide and over a mile deep in places.
Milford Sound, New Zealand
Described by Rudyard Kipling as the “eighth wonder of the world”, New Zealand’s tourism treasure Milford Sound offers an infinite number of amazing views. The Kiwi fjord boasts two permanent waterfalls to add to the scenery, as well as any number of temporary falls after heavy rainfall, as water cascades down the steep rock faces.
Snowdonia, Wales, UK
There is nothing quite like the sound of skylarks chirping their way up into the warm summer air of Snowdonia, joined by the soft bleating of sheep in the valleys, a light breeze whistling through the grasses and perhaps the soothing trickle of a nearby mountain stream. Perfect!
Southern United States
Nothing quite evokes the spirit of the southern states than the sound of country music. With its roots deeply implanted in the history of the Western cowboy and American folk music, the southern twang of harmonised vocals combine with acoustic guitars, steel guitars, banjoes, fiddles and maybe a harmonica, to evoke the true spirit of the south.
The original, indigenous name of Victoria Falls is ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – meaning ‘Smoke that Thunders’ – and is perhaps more evocative than Livingstone’s tribute to his Queen. Boasting the largest sheet of falling water in the world, the thunderous roar of this natural display, combined with the cool spray, rainbows and local wildlife, is not something you forget in a hurry.
Hyams Beach, Australia
Officially the ‘whitest sand in the world’, Hyams Beach in Australia sure provides some sights to remember. Howevwer the feel of the soft sand is also pretty memorable, as being so white it stays cool throughout the day by reflecting heat from the sun!
Jordan/Israel – Dead Sea
Anyone who’s been for a swim in the Dead Sea, or any salt lake for that matter, will know it’s a pretty remarkable sensation. Bobbing about on the top of the water, which is almost nine times saltier than the ocean, is great, and the thick layer of crusty salt all over your body once you get out and start to dry off also feels pretty unusual!
Nobody loves a sauna like the Finns! Much of the population owns a summer house out in the lakes, and the sensation of running from the blazing heat of the scented wood-fired sauna out through the trees and into the cool water of the nearby lake is truly special. After a series of these sauna warm-ups and cooling dips, an ice-cold beer and a snooze complete this glorious Finnish custom.
Yorkshire fish and chips are absolutely the best in the world, and for the best of the best you have to head to the coast for the freshest fish possible. Whitby, with its ancient abbey and harbour, is the perfect place to enjoy this English delicacy. Sat on the seafront with a pungent sea-breeze in your face, tucking into a piping-hot helping of golden chips and flaky, battered fish… too good.
Baklava is one of those things that once you’ve tasted it, you know you won’t find anything quite as glorious in a long time. Flaky pastry saturated with sweet honey and syrup, with a huge choice of nutty fillings – get booking your cheap holidays to Turkey now!
A real Greek salad is a beautifully simple affair, made perfect by the quality of ingredients used. In Greece and its islands, the fruity, salty local olives set off the freshest tomatoes and cucumber, perfectly complimenting the tangy feta cheese, all smothered in the richest olive oil you can imagine.
The distinctive tang of Gitanes and Gauloises cigarette smoke drifting through the streets of Paris combines with the scent of coffee from corner cafes and occasional blasts of freshly-baked pastry aromas from patisseries. This concoction of scents leaves you in no doubt where you are.
Geothermal power is available almost everywhere in Iceland – known as a geologically ‘young’ country – and the sulphurous effusions from the earth also give much of the country a distinctive ‘eggy’ smell. Some visitors even claim to notice the smell before even touching down at the airport!
in Good Will Hunting Sean asks Will, “I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that.” And that is what this post is all about… getting out there and experiencing it for yourself!