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Around the world with Leah Naomi

Pro­fes­sional jetsetter Leah Naomi takes us on a tour of her top 10 most ’grammable travel des­ti­na­tions


Vibe: An en­er­getic town with a lot of Euro­pean his­tory, it’s a great place for meet­ing other trav­ellers. Stay: Goli & Bosi De­sign Hos­tel is mod­ern, clean and spa­cious. Eat: Home­made pasta at Figa food bar. Do: Krka Falls (about an hour away) is great for swim­ming. Go: June to Au­gust. In July, the Ul­tra mu­sic fes­ti­val is a must. Pack: Walk­ing shoes for all the cob­ble­stone streets. ’Gram: The top of Split’s bell tower pro­vides the best views over the city.


Vibe: On the edge of the Sa­hara, Merzouga is one of the most re­mote places I’ve been. Stay: None of the ho­tels is ex­actly 5-star but the lo­ca­tion makes up for it. I like Kas­bah Ho­tel Tom­bouc­tou. Eat: Ta­jine, Morocco’s most fa­mous dish. Do: Ride a camel into the desert and camp overnight. The ex­pe­ri­ence never gets old. Go: Most peo­ple say not to visit in sum­mer (June to late Au­gust) be­cause of Ra­madan and be­cause it’s 40 de­grees by day. But if you can han­dle the heat, there are no tourists and ev­ery­thing is su­per cheap. Pack: A scarf to pro­tect your face from a pos­si­ble sand­storm. ’Gram: A beau­ti­ful sun­rise in the desert.


Vibe: Noth­ing like Can­cun with its high-rise apart­ments and night clubs. There’s a huge fo­cus on health in Tulum. Ex­pect yoga on the beach, juice bars and or­ganic food. Stay: The Pa­paya Playa ho­tel. Eat: Smoothie bowls at Raw Love res­tau­rant. Do: Chichen Itza is one of the won­ders of the world, so you have to see it to say you’ve been. Go: Try to avoid the Amer­i­can hol­i­day pe­ri­ods, be­cause the ac­com­mo­da­tion can get pretty ex­pen­sive. The weather’s warm all year around. Pack: Plenty of mosquito re­pel­lent. ’Gram: Un­der­ground swim­ming pool Cenote Ik Kil for sure, but the Tulum ru­ins are the best for beach pho­tos.


Vibe: A re­laxed lit­tle town with a lot of his­tory, and a great place for out­door ac­tiv­i­ties such as horse rid­ing, quad bik­ing and hik­ing. Stay: Sul­tan Cave Suites, a good mid-range ho­tel with lovely staff. Eat: Turk­ish ravi­oli at Old Cappadocia Café & Res­tau­rant. Do: A hot-air bal­loon ride at sun­rise. It’s ex­pen­sive, at around 100 eu­ros per per­son, but worth every cent. Go: Any­time but win­ter (De­cem­ber to Fe­bru­ary). The snow will pre­vent you do­ing any out­door ac­tiv­i­ties. Pack: En­ergy drinks or caf­feine pills to help you wake up at 4:30am to watch the bal­loons at sun­rise. ’Gram: Any­thing taken from the hot-air bal­loon is go­ing to be stun­ning, but if that’s not in your bud­get, don’t worry, you can also get great pho­tos from the ground.


Vibe: The most ro­man­tic Greek is­land, San­torini is un­be­liev­ably beau­ti­ful. Stay: Ac­com­mo­da­tion isn’t cheap, but if you’re look­ing to treat your­self to a ho­tel room with sea views, I like Fa­nari Vil­las. Eat: Gy­ros – like a ke­bab but they put fries in­side it too. ‘Nuff said. Do: Rent a quad bike for the day and go beach­hop­ping around the is­land. Make sure to stop off at Amoudi Bay for some cliff jump­ing. Go: June to late Au­gust bring the most crowds but have the best weather. The is­land ba­si­cally shuts down in the win­ter. Pack: A pretty dress – peo­ple tend to dress up in San­torini. ’Gram: Any­where in Oia. It’s the town at the north­ern­most point of the is­land. Sun­set is the best time for pho­tos.


Vibe: A na­ture lover’s par­adise, about an hour north of Bali’s crazy beaches. Stay: Most of the ho­tels are buried deep in the for­est – per­fect if you are seek­ing peace and quiet. It doesn’t get much more pho­to­genic than the Ubud Hang­ing Gar­dens ho­tel. Eat: Any­thing from Moksa, a cheap, plant-based café great for

ve­g­ans and veg­e­tar­i­ans. Do: A bike tour on Mount Agung (sign up for the tour go­ing down, not up!) and the mon­key for­est. Go: June to Septem­ber brings the best weather, while Jan­uary has the most rain­fall. Pack: Mosquito re­pel­lent and a loose skirt or pants for cov­er­ing up be­fore en­ter­ing the tem­ples. ’Gram: Ubud’s Ele­phant Sa­fari Park Lodge, where you can ride and swim with ele­phants.


Vibe: Lux­u­ri­ous and ro­man­tic, it’s a pop­u­lar hon­ey­moon des­ti­na­tion. Don’t ex­pect to do any par­ty­ing here though. Most of the re­sorts are on their own is­lands and have only small bars. Stay: Gili Lankan­fushi. The rooms are like lit­tle wooden tree­houses sus­pended over the wa­ter. Sharks of­ten swim right up to your doorstep. Eat: As each ho­tel is on its own is­land, you’re re­stricted to eat­ing ho­tel food. The sushi was re­ally good at our ho­tel be­cause the fish was so fresh. Do: Scuba div­ing with manta rays. Go: Novem­ber to April. May to Oc­to­ber is still warm, but the weather can be a lit­tle bit un­pre­dictable. Pack: Sun­screen. The sun is harsh even on cloudy days. ’Gram: Sun­set on the beach. Every night the sky was a deep pink colour.


Vibe: A fun, beachside city known for hav­ing some of the best nightlife in Europe. Stay: Casa Gra­cia Barcelona is a su­per cheap and so­cial hos­tel, dec­o­rated beau­ti­fully. Eat: La Bo­que­ria food mar­ket has the best fruit and fresh juices. The co­conut straw­berry juice was my fa­vorite. Do: Visit Parc Guell, a Unesco World Her­itage Site, de­signed by Gaudi, with the most beau­ti­ful views of the city. Go: Sum­mer for sure. Don’t visit in win­ter. The vibe is com­pletely dif­fer­ent and not as much fun. Pack: Biki­nis. And a hand­bag or back­pack that zips closed, be­cause Barcelona is known for pick­pock­ets. ’Gram: Any­thing from the W Barcelona ho­tel. It’s ex­pen­sive to stay there, but any­one can visit the bar/night­club.


Vibe: It’s any­thing but bor­ing. Stay: The Stan­dard High Line ho­tel: floor to ceil­ing win­dows equal in­cred­i­ble views, and it’s lo­cated right in the mid­dle of the club­bing district. Eat: Speakeasy res­tau­rant Beauty & Es­sex (it looks like a jew­ellery store from the front). Do: See the city from the Top of the Rock ob­ser­va­tion deck. Although the Em­pire State Build­ing is more fa­mous, the aw­ful net­ting around the ob­ser­va­tion deck makes it dif­fi­cult to take good pho­tos. Go: Spring is the ul­ti­mate (es­pe­cially late March to early April). Sum­mer is ex­tremely hot and win­ter is ex­tremely cold. Pack: An ex­tra suit­case for all the in­cred­i­ble shop­ping you’re go­ing to do. ’Gram: Top of the Rock.


Vibe: An ex­tremely glam­ourous town. Stay: Le Sirenuse ho­tel. It’s ex­pen­sive but fa­mous and worth the splurge. Eat: I lived off pani­nis from Del­i­catessen. Do: A day-trip to Capri by boat, stop­ping off at all the lit­tle caves along the way. Go: Prices sky­rocket be­tween June and late Au­gust, so plan your trip around the be­gin­ning or end of sum­mer. Pack: The main beach is made up of tiny lit­tle stones which can be painful on your feet even in jan­dals. Walk­ing shoes are es­sen­tial. ’Gram: The colour­ful houses on the hill, taken from the main beach.


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