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From Cambodia to California: Zara’s 5 gorgeous getaways

From Cambodia to California: Zara’s 5 gorgeous getaways

These top 5 Gorgeous Getaways, chosen by Zara, one of the most well-travelled people I know, will transport you to stunning landscapes across the globe.

1. Krakow, Poland

Krakow Poland

Photo by Ostap Senyuk via

This city combines history, beautiful architecture (often described as something out of a fairy tale) and fantastic food. Zara feels it represents excellent value with so many good, affordable bars and restaurants. It is also good for coffee lovers with plenty of hipster and artisan coffee shops on every corner.

From Churches to Wawel Royal Castle, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town, Stare Miasto, there is plenty to explore within the city. Auschwitz-Birkenau is a half-day or day trip (43 miles outside the city centre).

Zara’s recommendation: visit a traditional Polish restaurant to try pierogi (dumplings) and homemade vodka.

2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Photo by Florian Hahn via

Angkor in Cambodia is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the temple of Angkor Wat is said to be one of the world’s largest religious buildings. Zara describes Angkor Wat as the most stunning place she has ever visited. Visit the main temple for sunrise - yes, it will be very early, but you won’t regret it. You could spend days exploring the site as it's so vast with fascinating architecture.

More information through Lonely Planet and National Geographic.

3. Toronto, Canada

Photo by Rowana Mallett

Toronto is a large city with lots to see and do - for Zara, it felt like the best of North America, and a cheaper alternative to New York. Things you can see and do include visiting the Distillery District & St Lawrence market for food and drink, see amazing aerial views of the city and surrounding area from the top of the CN Tower, get your art fix at the Art Gallery of Ontario, visit Canada’s largest museum in the Royal Ontario Museum (art, culture and nature).

Must-do: Take a short ferry ride to the Toronto islands and hire a bike - it’s a great way to get around.

My thoughts on how to spend 5 days in Toronto.

4. Iceland

Photo by Freysteinn G Jonsson- via

Iceland is a geologist’s paradise, you can literally see how the island was formed, volcanic activity and how it continues to change today.

A must-visit is the Strokkur Geyser, which frequently erupts due to geothermal activity. Located in the Geysir Hot Spring Area in South Iceland, the jet of water and steam can reach up to 80m high! It’s often included as part of ‘Golden Circle’ itineraries - a circular route of famous landmarks, such as the Gullfoss waterfall.

Find out more:

The history of the Strokkur Geyser:

5. California, USA

Photos by Josh Carter, Mariana Surniene and Tim Peterson via

California really does have something for everyone, with an incredible variety of environments. There are vibrant cities like San Francisco for the city hoppers, the beauty and calm of Lake Tahoe and sunny beaches for those wanting a more chilled break, vineyards for wine tasting and the extremes of Death Valley.

Don’t miss: Sequoia National Park to marvel at the giant redwood trees thousands of years old.

My Gorgeous Getaways series is a collection of destination highlights from different members of the South Island Art community. Each person shares their unique viewpoints on their top 5 places. See the full series of posts.

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