The historic town of Samarkand is a crossroad and melting pot of the world's cultures. Founded in the 7th century B.C. as ancient Afrasiab, Samarkand had its most significant development in the Timurid period from the 14th to the 15th centuries. The major monuments include the Registan Mosque and madrasas, Bibi-Khanum Mosque, the Shakhi-Zinda compound and the Gur-Emir ensemble, as well as Ulugh-Beg's Observatory.
The Basilica of San Marco overlooks one of the most beautiful squares in the world, a real marble salon, the city center for centuries. Next to both the Basilica and the Doge's Palace, all the most important religious and civil ceremonies have always been held there and now the Piazza San Marco is considered the city's main symbol and tourist attraction. This great square overlooking the water is a mixture of spaces, volumes and styles: the Procurator's residence, the bell tower, the Doge's Palace and the Sansoviniana Bookshop.
Bora Bora is a small South Pacific island northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia. Surrounded by sand-fringed motus (islets) and a turquoise lagoon protected by a coral reef, it’s known for its scuba diving. It's also a popular luxury resort destination where some guest bungalows are perched over the water on stilts. At the island's center rises Mt. Otemanu, a 727m dormant volcano.
The Cradle of Humankind region in South Africa, which is approximately 90 minutes' drive from the Johannesburg city centre, offers visitors the opportunity to learn about stones and bones, wine and dine in tranquil surroundings, try out a range of adrenalin-pumping activities, have a beautiful wedding, discover a range of wonderful wildlife and experience culture and craft. The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site is one of eight in the country. It's the world's richest hominin site, home to around 40% of the world's human ancestor fossils. The area is also home to a diversity of birds, animals and plants, some of which are rare or endangered.
The varied beauty of the architecture and the magical atmosphere belie the square's often brutal and bloody history, but the combination makes Red Square a truly fascinating place that you'll want to come back to again and again.
Patagonia is a region encompassing the vast southernmost tip of South America, shared by Argentina and Chile, with the Andes Mountains as its dividing line. The Argentine side features arid steppes, grasslands and deserts, while the Chilean has glacial fjords and temperate rainforest. Argentina’s famed RN-40 highway passes the pinnacles of Monte Fitz Roy and Perito Moreno Glacier in Los Glaciares National Park.
Machu Picchu stands 2,430 m above sea-level, in the middle of a tropical mountain forest, in an extraordinarily beautiful setting. It was probably the most amazing urban creation of the Inca Empire at its height; its giant walls, terraces and ramps seem as if they have been cut naturally in the continuous rock escarpments. The natural setting, on the eastern slopes of the Andes, encompasses the upper Amazon basin with its rich diversity of flora and fauna.
Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid "Red Centre". The nearest large town is Alice Springs, 450km away. Uluru is sacred to indigenous Australians, Aborigens, and is thought to have started forming around 550 million years ago. It’s within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also includes the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta (colloquially “The Olgas”) formation.
The Galápagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. It's considered one of the world's foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing. A province of Ecuador, it lies about 1,000km off its coast. Its isolated terrain shelters a diversity of plant and animal species, many found nowhere else. Charles Darwin visited in 1835, and his observation of Galápagos' species later inspired his theory of evolution.