All posts by Vago Damitio

Vago Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. He jumped ship from a sinking dotcom in 2000 and decided to reclaim his most valuable commodity, time. He bought a VW bus for $100, moved into it and set out on a journey to show the world that it was possible to live life on your own terms. That journey took him from waking up under icy blankets in  the Pacific Northwest to waking up under palm tress in Southeast Asia. Three years later, his first book, Rough Living: Tips and Tales of a Vagabond was published. After diving into the Anthropology of Tourism and Electronic Anthropology at the University of Hawaii (with undeclared minors in film and surf) he hit the road again in 2008. Since that time,he's lived primarily in Morocco and Turkey, married a Moroccan girl he couchsurfed with, and become a proud father. He's been to more than 40 countries, founded a successful online travel magazine (this one!), and still doesn't have a boss. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook
uk roadtrip

The Best UK Road Trips

Going on a road trip is one of the best adventures, and the cheapest, you can have to break up the everyday routine of university life or work life. Just hop in your car, fuel up and drive towards the different sights UK has to offer. Whether you are in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, there are a number of trip routes that offer interesting sceneries.

England road trips

Take the M5 from Bridgwater and head west to A39 to start your Atlantic Highway road trip. Take in the watercolour sceneries of Somerset and feast your eyes on the wild hills on the east or the Atlantic coastline to the west. Pack your surfboard and head on to Newquay in Bude, Cornwall. Watch out for the rocky shores of Combe Martin or the charming villages of Brendon Hills and Selworthy village.

uk roadtrip

From Bude, drive on to Mousehole, at the tip of Cornwall. Take Route B3306 to Land’s End and experience the rolling green plains dotted with grazing cattle. Have a hearty dinner of fresh fish and potatoes at the Gurnard’s Head and treat yourself to some Cornish tea. However, if you only have half a day to spare in your busy schedule, there are other road trips available. From London, another route takes you from the A23 to Brighton, which has superb shopping, a buzzing nightlife scene, and a glorious stretch of coastline.

Wales

Wales is a small country but with a variety of vistas. Drive across the Denbigh Moors through the EVO Triangle composed of the A543, the A5, and the B4501, three roads forming a triangle. It was called such as it is EVO magazine’s favourite car testing grounds. Drive through the smooth winding roads and enjoy the peaceful scenery of the moors.

Take the A493 and see the sweeping vista of jagged cliffs lining the Atlantic coast. Visit the Church of St. Cadfan in Tywin or the Dysynni Valley beyond it. Wales is so small you can go from the north coast to the south coast in half a day.

Scotland

Explore the Highlands from Invergarry to the Isle of Skye and enjoy a view of the mountains. Check for snow-capped peaks during the cold season, and some lambs enjoying the grass at the foot of the mountains. Visit Loch Ness in Inverness on your way from Glasgow, Scotland’s capital city. Take the scenic coastal route from Edinburgh to Berwick-Upon-Tweed which takes just under two hours. North Berwick features two medieval castles open to the public—Tantallon Castle and Dirleton Castle.

Northern Ireland

Aching to escape the busy city life of Belfast? Put your car in gear and drive out through the A2 towards Northern Ireland’s coastal route. Just follow the brown road signs saying “Causeway coastal route” and the road will take you through the coastal towns. Visit Carrickfergus Castle in the town of Carrickfergus. Built in 1777, this Norman castle is open to visitors from 10am to 4pm daily. Explore the Giant’s Causeway and decide for yourself whether to believe the legends portraying giants as the builders of the causeway, as stepping stones towards the sea. However, scientific theories suggest that these unusually-shaped stones were actually created by violent volcanic eruptions from 60 million years ago. Whatever the truth, it’s a splendid sight to behold.

 

Copper Canyon Mexico by Eli Duke

Mexico: spectacular blend of science and nature

Many people head to Mexico for sun and sand – but not me. Well, not entirely anyway! What most excites me about Mexico is its amazing natural attractions, from its rainforests and cenotes to gigantic canyons and dazzling marine life. I think that discovering these is an essential part of making sure your trip to Mexico is the holiday of a lifetime.

To give you an indication of just how wonderful the landscape here is, scientists have long been flocking to the destination for research purposes. You see, the sheer variety of environments and life here is truly staggering – think volcanoes, reefs, deserts, caves, 50 national parks, nearly 30,000 species of flowering plants, 1,000 species of birds… I could go on. Of course, while all this is great in terms of scientific learning, it also creates the perfect basis for a luxurious holiday of discovery and adventure! Below, I’m going to give you a few useful tips on things to do and see during your stay.

Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon Mexico by Eli Duke

Let’s start with one of my personal favourites, Copper Canyon. You’ll find this in the state of Chihuahua, tucked away in the Tarahumara Mountains. Also known as Las Barrancas del Cobre, Copper Canyon is so-named for the greenish copper colour of its canyon walls – but this somewhat unusual hue is hardly the only amazing thing about the place.

What really strikes me about the canyon is its size. Spanning some 59,545 km in total, this network is actually longer than the Grand Canyon in the US, which should give you a pretty clear picture of just how incredible it is. Plus, the whole area is not only awash with stunning natural attractions, but it’s also the home to several indigenous peoples who have made the canyons their home.

You can get here via a train line called the Chihuahua al Pacifico, which covers 628 km in total. The best way to explore the area is, without doubt, by taking a guided tour. The beauty of doing so is that you can select one that’s relevant to your interests. For example, you could opt to go horse riding, or instead pay a visit to the second tallest falls in Mexico, the Basaseachi Waterfalls at 245 m high.

Scuba diving…

One of my favourite things about Mexico is that it’s just as beautiful below the water as it is above. Whether you’re an experienced diver, would like to learn or would prefer to stick to snorkelling, you simply can’t miss the landscape beneath the waterline. And, since there is an absolutely huge range of dive sites to choose from, you should have plenty of opportunity to go exploring. As an example, the ever-popular holiday resort of Cancun has 24 diving spots alone .

If you fancy seeing sunken shipwrecks, though, you should take a trip to either the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic coast, where there are many. Personally, I think the Parques Marino Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel is a pretty unbeatable place to go, being home to part of the second largest coral reef system in the world.

… and other attractions in Cozumel

An added advantage of going to Cozumel is that it features lots of other spectacular landscapes that are just waiting to be discovered. For instance, it is where you’ll find Chankanaab Park, where you can meet sea lions, dolphins and manatees. Plus, this park also has spectacular botanical gardens. Take a stroll through these and you can see plants from more than 20 countries – a truly amazing display.

 

Travel to Antalya

Antalya: the king of Turkish tourism?

Pristine seas, cultural assets, gorgeous beaches and history galore… it’s no wonder ten million tourists book flights to Antalya every year. Antalya has long been hailed by tourists as the jewel of Turkey’s crown, capable of satisfying the desires of sun worshippers and cultural fanatics alike. Its rugged countryside and host of coves also make it ideal for the explorers and the wanderers, with endless possibilities on offer to guests.

Antalya, Turkey
Antalya, Turkey

With that in mind, we present a perfect day in Antalya for every possible holidaymaker.

For the Sun Worshipper

You’re more than happy to lie like a beached whale until the sun goes down, before expending all that energy in the evening. But even sun worshippers have their preferences.

For a quiet lie-down, head to Konyaalti beach as it’s less popular with tourists. If you prefer a gossip with the person on the sunbed next to you, you’re likely to be happier at Lara beach. Got watersports on the mind? Get yourself over to Cleopatra beach and hire out a windsurf board or jetski.

Then when the sun starts going down, get back to the hotel and start readying yourself for a night on the town. Club Ally in Antalya town centre is highly recommended, particularly as the venue is served by seven individual bars that cater for all tastes on the nightclub scene. Great for dancing the night away.

For the Culture Vulture

On the prowl for temples, museums and ruins? You won’t be disappointed. Antalya was once a hub for the Byzantine empire and is steeped in heritage and history. Start the day at Hadrian’s Gate, constructed in honour of the emperor himself. From there, wander round to Hidirlik Tower, thought to have been erected by the Romans as a fortification or lighthouse. Note the restoration work carried out by the Ottomans and the Seljuks.

From there, head to the Tekeli Mehmet Pasa mosque to experience original Ottoman architecture. Considered one of the most important places of worship in the city, its three domes stand proud against the horizon. The Antalya Archaeological Museum is also worth a visit. With 13 exhibition halls and thousands of artefacts on display, you’re certainly getting your money’s worth.

In the evening? Head to one of Antalya’s many restaurants for traditional Turkish cuisine. The Sunset Restaurant and Bar is particularly revered among tourists.

For the Explorer

The explorer likes a challenge and is prepared to go to whatever means necessary to discover something new. A world away from the souvenir shops and luxury hotels, you’ll discover the carved and rugged landscape that surrounds the city. If you’re staying near Lara, get away from the busy beach and meander along the Lower Duden Fall – a truly beautiful location full of lush vegetation and spurting waterfalls. More serious adventurers might wish to tackle the Taurus mountains, which are often scaled by hikers.

For the evening? You’ll surely be too knackered from all that walking to go out, so order from room service and flop out in front of the telly!