If you want to experience all the eye-widening intellectual havoc of culture shock, with none of the physical discomfort, visit Japan. A trip here delivers plenty of topsy-turvy difference, from the food to the etiquette to the way residents shop and consume—but in an atmosphere that’s hyper-civilized. Everything in Japan is spotlessly clean. The cuisine is exquisite (and not just the sushi; they do everything well). Crime is pretty much unheard of. Personal interactions can be baffling, but the Japanese are ultimately friendly and eager to show you their country. Their culture seems like our own in many ways, but beneath the surface you’ll realize it’s very, very different—in ways that are a joy to discover.
The itinerary here is one we typically use for clients on their first trip to Japan. It includes the main highlights, but it’s also infinitely adaptable, and there are plenty of add-ons not shown here. Use it as an inspiration and foundation for your own trip. As always, our advisors are happy to help you plan your exploration!
Deserted white beaches, charming Mediterranean architecture, cuisine and wine to rival Italy’s—but with fewer crowds and lower prices. Croatia’s appeals are many, and recently we’re seeing a lot of interest from our clients. (It might also have to do with some little show called Game of Thrones that’s filmed there).
But with its attractions spread along a rugged coastline and countless islands, it can be a tricky vacation to plan. We usually recommend exploring the country in a luxury chartered gulet—a traditional wooden sailing yacht—but those need to be reserved well in advance and can be pricey. Here’s an alternative that takes in the highlights and also gets you off the beaten path.
What would macaroni be without cheese? Beavis without Butthead? Some things not only naturally go together, they make each other better. The same is true for traveling. Like Bogey and Bacall, there are destinations that bring out one another’s nuances and make the whole experience so much richer. Here are a couple of our favorite places and their better(ing) halves.
We keep seeing more and more interest from clients about visiting Portugal, and it’s easy to see the reason why. Make that reasons, plural: It’s one of Europe’s most easy-going and affordable destinations. Lisbon’s old-world charm is intact but there’s also an exciting contemporary design scene. The food is fantastic (exceptional seafood, succulent, Alentejo pork, sweet custard tarts called pasteis de nata) and the wine even better. Abundant sunshine warms Portugal’s many beaches—Lisbon has more sunny days per year than Athens.
So how to do it right? Here’s what we usually recommend:
Effortlessly sexy and elegant, the Amalfi Coast summons all the sepia-tinged nostalgia we have for the days of Federico Fellini and Sophia Loren. It’s Italy at its most joyfully Italian—think colorful buildings, twisting cliffside roads, bronzed Italians basking under bright yellow umbrellas. With designer sunglasses on your face and an aperol spritz in your hand, you'll fit right in.