ADVENTURE / EXPLORE / RELAX
With its unsurpassed natural beauty, blissful weather, magnificent marine life and plethora of outdoor adventures it is easy to see why Hawaii is such a popular destination for travellers.
So which heavenly Hawaiian island should you visit? Whilst all offering the spirit of aloha each island has its own distinct personality. Whether its majestic overlooks of volcanic landscapes, laidback surf towns, diverse Hawaiian marine life or epic hikes, Hawaii has you covered!
The Big Island's biggest draw is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park which "protects some of the most unique geological, biological, and cherished cultural landscapes in the world"(NPS). The park is home to Kīlauea and Mauna, two of the world's most active volcanoes! The solidified lava landscape is a surreal and fascinating sight to behold.
Maui, 'The Valley Isle.' is the second largest Hawaiian island. It is beloved for its world-famous beaches, the 'Road to Hana' and sacred Haleakalā National Park. The sunrise and sunset at the summit of Haleakalā is breath-taking. - take it from us! Don't forget to grab some refreshing shave ice whilst on your travels - the more colourful the better!
With its lush green valleys, cascading waterfalls and tropical rainforest it is clear to see why Kauai is known as the ‘Garden Island’. Want views beyond your imagination? The Nāpali Coast is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
Oahu, 'The Gathering Place', is home to Honolulu and legendary surf towns! The island is carved into five distinct regions. From iconic beaches, world-class hotels and must-try restaurants in Honolulu, to the lush valleys of the Windward Coast, you'll be spoilt for choice.
For those with an interest in understanding the history and culture of Hawaii, a visit to Iolani Palace, the former residence of the Hawaiian monarchs and a registered National Historic Landmark, will be of interest. Oahu is also the island home to the Pearl Harbour National Memorial where you can learn about one of the most pivotal moments in US history.
Lanai is the smallest inhabited island. If you are looking for secluded beaches and luxury resorts, Lanai is the island for you.
Molokai remains true to its island roots with a high percentage of its population being of Native Hawaiian ancestry. Molokai is an island for adventure seekers! The island is also home to one of Hawaii’s greatest hikes, the Pepe‘opae Trail, and Kalaupapa National Historical Park. If you’re looking for a more authentic Hawaiian islands experience, Molokai is for you.
By respecting Hawaiian flora, fauna and cultural sites, we can all continue to make unforgettable memories. Now choose your adventure and let the memories begin!
Best time to visit Hawaii (weather): The wettest months are generally from November to March, however Hawaii's warm weather makes it a great destination at any time of year.
Get your itinerary started! If you need a little inspiration, or just a helping hand to get your Hawaii itinerary started, check out TripMapper's interactive itinerary below. Simply click the 'Copy this Itinerary' button to take it into your TripMapper account and then customise it to make your own!
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CITY SIGHTS / CULTURE
Rome & Vatican City, Italy
When it comes to reasons to visit, Italy’s capital does not fall short: food, culture, and an incredibly rich history are just the start of a much longer list. It’s not hard to see why in the days of the Roman Empire it was known as caput mundi (capital of the world). So where to start? Whether you decide you want to take on as many sights as you can, or opt to take things a little easier, using a travel planning app like TripMapper will make sure you’re able to make the most of the time you have to discover this fantastic city.
One great way to get to know a place is of course to simply walk around it. Stroll through the city’s grand avenues and you’ll pass beautiful Mediterranean piazzas, ornate fountains and monumental basilicas. Despite its many worthy contenders, The Vatican Museum stands out as one in particular not to be missed; its collection of art spans across numerous historical and artistic periods, and is so wonderfully extensive that you may not be able to see it all in one go.
The picturesque streets of Monti, a suburb not far from the Colosseum, are a perfect place to start your day. Why not pick up a coffee to go and browse the independent shops and trendy boutiques while you soak up the morning sunshine, before heading over to the ancient stadium itself? Or pay a visit to the bustling Testaccio market for lunch, where you’ll be spoilt for choice; here you’ll find authentic stalls offering everything from Roman sandwiches to fresh bread and seasonal vegetables, with options to suit every travel budget.
Best time to visit Rome: Rome is a year round destination, however, autumn is a good time to visit when there are far fewer tourists exploring this great city.
Get your itinerary started! If you need a little inspiration, or just a helping hand to get your Rome and Vatican City itinerary started, check out TripMapper's interactive itinerary below. Simply click the 'Copy this Itinerary' button to take it into your TripMapper account and then customise it to make your own!
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EXPLORE / RELAX
If the turquoise water and medieval towns aren’t enough to entice you, the tens of islands scattered along its Adriatic coastline and national parks packed with towering, cascading waterfalls might just do it. What’s particularly magical about Croatia is the ease with which you can travel between them all - one moment you might be meandering through the cobbled streets of Dubrovnik, the next you’re hopping from island to island, exploring each one’s totally unique feel.
Hvar is the fourth largest of Croatia’s island. As well as its rolling fields of lavender and craggy mountain peaks, if you’re in the mood to party, it’s known for its busy, vibrant nightlife. For those on the hunt for something a little more tranquil, Bol and Vis are smaller and both offer gorgeous, quiet beaches, quaint restaurants full of locals and delicious ice cream.
Krka National Park and the Plitvice Lakes are two of the most beautiful natural attractions throughout the country, and really do have an almost ethereal quality to them. Plitvice opens at 7am, and visitors can spend the whole day exploring the secret pathways and fairytale bridges made of wood that connect the massive network of lakes and waterfalls.
Back in the city, Split strikes the perfect balance between the traditional and the contemporary. For a fantastic view over the metropolis below, make your way up the winding staircase that leads to Marjan Hill. Despite its particularly unusual sounding name, The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb is well worth a visit for a unique, moving and strangely uplifting museum experience.
If sunsets are your thing, the island of Mljet is a must, where you can sit and watch the oranges and deep pinks on the horizon slowly melt into the huge lake below.
Best time to visit Croatia (weather): April to June and September to October
CITY SIGHTS / RELAX / EXPLORE
Also known as Ilha Formosa, or Beautiful Island, the breathtaking scenery and rich natural ecology certainly ensure that it lives up to the name. But Taiwan’s charm goes far beyond looks alone. Travellers can lose themselves in its classic twinkling cityscape, or put on their hiking boots and explore its endless collection of trails and routes that stretch all the way up into the mountains. Taiwan boasts an impressive selection of incredible temples, all of which are worth including in your TripMapper travel itinerary; one particular highlight is Longshan Temple in Tapei City.
Perhaps one of the most striking, and quite lovely, features of Taiwan is its wonderfully friendly people, who are in fact well known for their kindness and generosity. It makes sense, then, that the common greeting across the island is ‘have you eaten?’ This is charming both in theory and in practice, as Taiwanese cuisine is excellent - check out the local night markets to enjoy some of the best street food in the world.
You’re never far from the beach here. The dramatic view of craggy mountains lining the horizon over at Qixingtan beach is something really special, and makes for quite a sight while you sunbathe. Waiao is ideal for surfing for both beginners and pros, and you can even hire all the equipment you’ll need right on the beach.
If you’re an early riser (or even if you’re not), getting yourself up to witness the sunrise over the distant peaks in Alishan, and watch the sun beams light up Sun Moon Lake as the day begins, is absolutely worth the early start.
And in order to compensate for the abrupt start to your day, perhaps something a little more laid back. Nestled in the western foothill of Mount Shamao, located in Yangmingshan National Park, are four major natural hot springs - the perfect, travel-budget friendly location to relax after a busy week of exploring.
Best time to visit Taipei: September to November
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Editor's note: There are still some restrictions on travel due to COVID-19. Please check the latest guidance before booking and departing and always follow local health guidance. TripMapper is not affiliated to any third party mentioned or linked to in this blog. Linked third party websites are not under TripMapper’s control, and TripMapper is not responsible for their content.