See the historic and tantalizing cities of Barcelona, Cartagena, Casablanca, and Lisbon, as well as Gibraltar, Ibiza, and the charming fishing port of Portimão, Portugal, on this one-time 20th Anniversary Cruise with Coastal Living. Sailing with Crystal Cruises, Coastal Living’s editors will join with featured writer/photographer Jad Davenport for a custom itinerary with special cocktail parties and receptions; talks on design, travel, and style, and workshops on travel photography. With the expertise that only journalists and photographers have, Coastal’s editors and Davenport will also lead custom shore excursions with hand-selected guides, taking you off the beaten tourist path into the true, hidden corners of these intoxicating destinations, where you'll meet locals and create memories for a lifetime.
Trip: Coastal Living’s 20th Anniversary Cruise
Dates: October 3-10, 2017
Rates and Booking: coastallivingcruise.com or 877-651-7447 for more information
Shown here: Ibiza, Spain
The best way to see Italy’s spectacular Amalfi coast is slowly, and that means both walking and then lingering over Aperol Spritzes and fresh seafood and pasta in cliffside restaurants. Butterfield & Robinson understands this, which is why its six-day, Amalfi Coast Walking trip is a superb way to see this bucket-list destination. From Capri’s rugged cliff tops, Ravello’s mountain trails scented with wild rosemary, and the renowned Path of the Gods above Positano, you’ll see Italy the way it should be seen. And in the wise company of B&R’s excellent guides, you’ll debrief on private boats, stretched out next to luxury hotel pools, and in a delicious string of restaurants. Join an already-scheduled excursion or have B&R arrange a private trip for you, or customize an itinerary just for you in its Go Bespoke program.
Trip: Amalfi Coast Walking
Dates: May 28-June 2, June 25-June 30, September 24-29, 2017
Price: Rates start at $7,795 per person
Book it: www.butterfield.com or 866-551-9090
Shown here: Spiaggia Grande beach in Positano
Is there a better gift that getting off the grid together and getting back to sanity? There isn’t, which is why Rolling Meadows Yoga & Meditation Retreats’ special Costa Rica retreat is the perfect experience to share with your beloved. The Blue Osa Yoga and Retreat Center, a lush, eco-chic resort on the gorgeous Osa Peninsula, is the perfect getaway destination for seven days of calm, focused renewal. There’s two and a half hours of yoga/meditation practice twice a day, along with vegetarian meals sourced from local farms. Plus, the magic of that Osa coastline.
Trip: Yoga and Meditation Retreat at Blue Osa Yoga and Retreat Center
Dates: March 11-18, 2017
Price: Rates start at $1,395 (not including airfare)
Book it: rollingmeadowsretreat.com or 888-666-6412
Shown here: Blue Osa Yoga and Retreat Center
Iceland is the Cuba of 2017. Arguably the world’s hottest destination overall, Iceland is also home to a super-trending culinary scene. It’s also home to mind-blowing scenery and a crop of beautiful design hotels. Give your most discerning food- (and geyser-) lover the ultimate gift this year: a culinary tour of Iceland. Your guide will be chef/cookbook author Jody Eddy, who has traveled more than 50 times to Iceland and co-wrote the sumptuous North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland cookbook with Gunnar Karl Gíslason (the acclaimed chef/owner of Reykjavik’s Restaurant Dill). Eddy will customize your trip based on your time and inclinations.
Shown here: Icelandic delicacies enjoyed picnic-style on one of Eddy’s tours
A quick hop from easy-to-get-to Cancun in Mexico, Isla Holbox is the dreamy little Yucatan island where you’ll retreat for seven days of SUP, yoga, and of course, SUP yoga with SUP Yoga Tulum. Based at the eco-chic Casa del Viento Holbox, you’ll open your day with morning meditation at the beach and close with sunset paddle sessions, and have the chance to do some boat touring and snorkeling in addition to daily studio yoga, SUP classes, and SUP yoga classes. Heaven, in other words. Which is another name for Isla Holbox anyway.
Trip and Dates: SUP Yoga Tulum’s one-week retreats occur once a month, on slightly different dates, from October-June
Price: Rates start at $1,799 for shared accommodation, $2,299 for private accommodation
Book it: supyogatulum.com or 52-1-984-134-9721
Shown here: Yoga meets SUP on the waters of Isla Holbox
Do Hawaii actively with your whole clan on this six-day active getaway that’s designed for families by the longtime experts at Backroads. Get everyone walking, hiking, biking, kayaking, and snorkeling at levels that work for them, plus let the kids discover traditional Hawaiian culture by learning some hula and making fresh-flower leis. Highlights include pedaling Maui’s western coastline and scanning for whales, kayaking and snorkeling in search of dolphins and sea turtles in Makena Bay, tropical wine tasting (sparkling pineapple dessert wines, and yes, for adults only!), and coming together every night over dinner to share stories.
Trip: Maui & Lanai Family Multisport Adventure Tour
Dates: March 12-17 and 26-31, April 9-14, 2017
Rates and Booking: backroads.com or 800-462-2848
Shown here: Makena Bay, Maui
With the US dollar strong overseas, there’s never been a better time to travel to Canada, and the Gulf Islands off British Columbia’s coast will captivate you with their riches both aesthetic and culinary (local and organic produce, cheese, and lamb; wild salmon; and BC wines, for example). You can island hop via BC’s ferry system, or do them up in soft-adventure style with Island Escapades’ kayak expeditions. Popular trips include the two-day “A Taste of the Gulf Islands” and the four-day “Rum Expedition.” Get ready to fall in love with the islands you may have never heard of… until now. Island Escapades also offers day trips and will customize excursions.
Trip: Island Escapades kayak excursions
Dates: June-September 2017
Price: Rates start at $450 for A Taste of the Gulf Islands
Book it: islandescapades.com or 888-529-2567
Shown here: Kayaking off of Salt Spring Island
Help the Earthwatch Institute help several endangered species of sea turtle by taking part in ongoing research trips in the beautiful Bahamas. Your base will be slender Eleuthera Island, where you’ll work alongside research scientists as you track and monitor green and hawksbill sea turtles by swimming with them and actually helping to temporarily catch them for assessment and release. At night you’ll help analyze data and sit in on research talks. And you’ll sleep the sleep of the noble, knowing you’re helping protect some of the most fascinating and threatened animals on the planet.
Trip and Dates: Earthwatch Institute’s Tracking Sea Turtles in the Bahamas expeditions are nine days, and run six times from February through November in 2017.
Price: Rates start at $2,895
Book it: earthwatch.org or 800-776-0188
Shown here: Up close and personal with a sea turtle in the Bahamas
Because this is your (gift recipient’s) bucket list we’re talking about here: a three-day “Stoked on the Southern Cape” Surf Roadtrip with Stoked School of Surf based in Cape Town, South Africa. It’s your own Endless Summer on one of the most beautiful and fascinating coasts in the world. You’ll road trip to digs in a seaside village and sightsee between surf lessons for three sun-and-surf-filled days. Highlights include seeing the southernmost tip of the African continent, a session of sunset sand-boarding, and a South African braai (barbecue). Don’t worry if you’ve never surfed: Stoked stocks special, softer boards for beginners.
Trip and Dates: Stoked School of Surf’s “Stoked on the Southern Cape” Surf Roadtrip runs from June-December, 2017.
Price: Rates start at $266
Book it: stokedsurfschool.com or 27-82-412-8781
Shown here: Stoked’s road to the surf, in South Africa
Sometimes the best getaway is the simplest getaway: a great beach, a great hotel or resort, maybe a great pool for good measure, and lots of free time. Book a long weekend escape to Puerto Rico’s Dorado Beach, Mexico’s Belmond Maroma on the Riviera Maya, or Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Or consider making a whole week of it, heading to Jade Mountain on Saint Lucia, Amanyara on Turks & Caicos, or Cap Juluca on Antigua? Or get out your bucket list and head to Laucala in Fiji? No matter where you land, there’s sand, water, and a chance to enjoy that potent chemistry together. Mission accomplished, in other words. For more great beach hotel inspiration, check out our Top 10 Best Beach Hotels in the World.
Shown here: Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, in Dorado, Puerto Rico