What does a memory contain that makes you fall in love with a place? What qualities make you bottle it up and put it on a shelf in your heart as a favorite travel destination? My own recipe for a perfect getaway includes a dash of small town charm, pleasant people and the mountains or sea nearby to explore or relax into. I’ve compiled a list of six favorite places I’ve encountered in my six months of solo travel. I hope you find them as captivating as I did.
6. Pučišća, Croatia
I adored this picturesque tiny town with its white washed stone buildings, crystal clear water and orange tiled roofs. The Adriatic Sea was perfect for swimming in every day and the fresh baked donuts in the harbor made me quite content during my stay here.
5. South Tyrol, Italy
Fresh mountain air, turquoise lakes, flower baskets in every window and quaint small towns made my stay here seem as if I was in a living postcard or playing a part in the Sound of Music. This area of northern Italy is almost unreal in its pristine beauty.
4. Isle of Skye and the Highlands, Scotland
Though the weather was freezing and it rained almost constantly, I still have a special place in my heart for Scotland. Driving for the first time in the Highlands was something I’ll never forget. The vastness of the seemingly endless green hills and valleys almost made me veer off the road. The locals were some of the friendliest I’ve met and made me feel right at home.
3. Perast, Montenegro
Perast is one of my favorite travel destinations because of its location on the Bay of Kotor and almost mystical view of Our Lady of the Rocks. I floated my days away here in the sea and ate all my meals on the shore looking out at some of the most beautiful views in my life. Sunsets are supreme here, and with a population of around 350 you have the town pretty much to yourself.
2. The Seven Sisters, England
The white cliffs of England have long been a draw for me. I was told to skip them, that there were better parks to visit, yet I still went and am so thankful I did. The bright white chalk contrasting against blue skies combined with great weather in June made this destination perfect for me. I loved it so much, I visited the cliffs multiple times and stayed in the nearby seaside city of Brighton which was a great base for my explorations.
1. Oia, Santorini
Oia is the crown jewel of Greece and you can easily see why. Around every corner is something to leave you with your mouth open in awe. I was fortunate to have my sister join me in Greece and we were both floored by the beauty in Oia. The Greek people are very friendly, the food full of flavor and even the tiniest alley in the farthest corner of town was photo worthy. It’s picture perfect, full of contrasting colors set upon cliffs and is the number one favorite place I’ve visited during my first six months of solo travel.