Travel & Leisure

Dreaming of Elsewhere: 9 Favorite Destinations

People are vaccinated, airlines are operating again, and countries are welcoming tourists back: we can start dreaming of travelling again. But where to go? Here’s an overview of dream trips that await

By Nathalie De Grandmont


A Mini Round-the-World Trip, in Dubai

If you’re in the mood for a little world tour all in one place, head to Dubai, which began hosting the first World’s Fair held in a long time in October, wrapping up at the end of March 2022. With 192 countries represented, as well as entertainment and pavilions, the 2021 expo (officially Expo 2020) thus far has been spectacular—as is Dubai, the United Arab Emirates city where opulent settings go hand in hand with the bewitching desert.;


Switzerland’s Fresh Mountain Air

Famous for being safe and orderly, Switzerland offers you nature on a silver platter. With more and more of the population now vaccinated, you don’t need to worry about going there once you’re fully vaccinated yourself. From the shores of Lake Geneva to mountains that soar to more than 13,000 feet (4,000 metres), there are trails for everyone and increasing numbers of routes designed for electric bikes. In addition to these environmental initiatives, Switzerland has an abundance of small villages nestled in alpine pastures, including some where cars aren’t permitted—in particular, Mürren and Zermatt, at the feet of the Jungfrau and the Matterhorn peaks, respectively. And let’s not forget the charming cogwheel railways, bracing fresh air, and Swiss cuisine.


The Beauty of the Greek Islands

With their natural beauty, whitewashed houses, and the blue of the Aegean Sea, the Greek Islands were blessed by the gods of ancient mythology. Since the islanders were vaccinated early on, the Cyclades islands were able to welcome back travellers and cruise passengers quickly. If you want to avoid the most popular islands, such as Santorini and Mykonos, consider Paros, Naxos, and Amorgos; with fewer tourists, these islands are still ideal for swimming, plus enjoying the Greek way of living and the country’s rich culture. Ferries to the Cyclades leave from Athens.


Portugal’s Well-Kept Secrets

Less well-known and less visited than Spain, Portugal has a more interesting history and a lot more fortresses and churches than you might think. The Algarve region’s seaside resorts, in the south, are already popular for long winter stays. In the north, the Douro Valley unfolds gently before your eyes, while in the centre of the country, the peaceful landscape of the Alentejo region features attractive farms, walled towns, and rugged beaches on the Atlantic Ocean. In Portugal, vaccination is going well, so don’t hesitate to visit, as long as the pandemic isn’t on the rise.


England’s Natural Side

Recently, popular TV series such as The Crown and Bridgerton have rekindled many people’s desire to visit and admire England’s royal palaces or spectacular English gardens. While cities offer culture and museums galore, the countryside conceals plenty of surprising villages and castles—as well as what will be when the longest signposted walking path in the world, the England Coast Path , is completed. Incorporating many existing National Trails, the Coast path will cover more than 2,800 miles (4,500 kilometres). On one of its loveliest stretches, it takes walkers to fishing villages, historic abbeys, and the incredible coastal landscapes of Yorkshire.


Memorable Times in France

Canadians already love the country for its rich history and its cuisine, but France also gives you the chance to enjoy a variety of unforgettable experiences. Whether you pay tribute to our veterans in Normandy, take traditional cooking classes, or visit vineyards or artisans’ studios, you’re sure to make memories. Many associations, such as Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages of France), can direct you to routes through the countryside. Add to that countless hiking trails and many largescale cycling routes, such as the ViaRhôna, in the Rhone region, and the Loire à Vélo. These give you the chance to enjoy nature, French heritage, and regional specialties in an ecologically sound and delightful way.


On the Road in Germany

Known for its organizational abilities, including during the pandemic, Germany inspires confidence, and its many scenic routes, a paradise of road trips, lead you to monuments, vineyards, and charming gardens. You can also attend a historic event in Oberammergau: a presentation of the Passion Play, which was performed for the first time during an outbreak of the Black Plague, in 1634. The village’s devout Catholics promised to present the play every 10 years if the epidemic abated. Against a backdrop that echoes the play’s origins, it will next be staged in May 2022, nearly 400 years later.


Aloha, Hawaii!

As of December, the incredible beaches and landscapes of Hawaii will become more accessible thanks to Air Canada’s new and resumed direct flights from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. After a single non-stop flight, you could find yourself on a pineapple or coffee plantation or enjoying the pleasures of golf and swimming combined with the charms of Hawaiian culture. There’s a host of options when it comes to accommodations, and it’s a thrill to drive or amble among all the greenery and tropical flowers during a stop at Pearl Harbor or a sunset on Waikiki Beach. You can also set sail for other islands, such as Kauai, also known as the Garden Island, and Molokai, both known for their natural beauty and their ecotourism potential. About 60 percent of the population was fully vaccinated as of November.


Dunes, Dromedaries, and a Change of Scene in Tunisia

Are you dreaming of an epic camel ride or a memorable sunrise among the sand dunes? From its desert landscapes to its Roman ruins, Turkish baths, and colourful souks, Tunisia offers a range of exotic experiences and enticing long-stay packages in quality hotels. For reasonable prices, tour operators such as Sultana Tours allow you to combine a seaside stay with semi-private or private tours in the desert, including outings by Jeep and one night spent in a tent. What could be better than experiencing the Sahara in pleasant and safe conditions?;


To learn more: If you’re looking for information about vaccination rates in each country, check out As conditions of entry can change quickly from one country to another, it’s best to consult the various countries’ official websites to find the most recent guidelines in effect.


Photo by Neora Aylon on Unsplash