When your travels take you close to an international border, it’s hard not to get excited about what’s on the other side. You don’t have to be a committed country counter to be curious. Often, you’ll encounter a very different culture, architecture, traditions or even pace of life. If you pick the right location, dipping a toe in for a day is super easy. Here’s where you might double up your country count with these holiday ideas from Mundana.
Buenos Aires, Argentina to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay
Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital is a captivating city. Its diverse neighbourhoods boast different vibes, from colourful La Boca to stylish Palermo. When you’re ready for a change of scenery, board the Buquebus ferry and chug across the River Plate to Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay. The pace palpably slows as you stroll through cobbled streets to cute cafés and elegant boutiques. Call in to one of several museums before catching the boat back to Argentina. With more time at your disposal, consider staying over and enjoying the place once all the day-trippers have departed.
Victoria Falls from Zambia and Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls sits right on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe in southern Africa. Get a different perspective on this, one of the world’s greatest waterfalls, by splitting your time between the two. Zimbabwe offers most viewpoints, including those overlooking Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls (which flows year round), Horseshoe Falls and Rainbow Falls. There are plenty of activities that can be arranged on either side, including bungee jumping, white-water rafting and helicopter flights. However, if you’re planning to take a dip in Devil’s Pool you’ll need to be o the Zambian side of the border.
Tallinn, Estonia with Helsinki, Finland
Tick off two of Europe’s most beautiful capitals with this Baltic city break combo. Begin in the Estonian capital Tallinn. Its medieval old town is bursting with churches and centuries old buildings. Tramp up Toompea Hill to visit Aleksander Nevsky Cathedral and the city’s landmark castle. Peer over the rooftops and spires to get a glimpse of the harbour. That’s where you’ll find the ferry that can take you to Helsinki in a little over two hours. Once there, amble along the Finnish capital’s charming waterfront or take a trip out to Suomenlinna fortress.
Antigua, Guatemala and Suchitoto, El Salvador
Central America is a great place to double up. Adventurous travellers should consider combining the characterful city of Antigua with the equally charming Suchitoto. Guatemala’s Mayan ruins and active volcanoes are major draws, as is its former capital is brimming with colourful colonial-era architecture. Highlights include the hard to miss yellow-painted arch of Santa Catalina and the always lively Plaza Mayor. Sleepy Suchitoto, over the border in El Salvador, is a six hour drive but well worth the long ride. Break your journey along the way with a detour along the pretty Ruta des Flores.
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Gibraltar across to Tangier
The Strait of Gibraltar is the narrow gap that almost encloses the western end of the Mediterranean. Begin with a trip to Gibraltar, a British dependent territory bordered by Spain, which is itself an easy add on to an Andalusia trip. Take a trip up to the top of the rock so that you can meet the Barbary apes, its most famous residents, and explore the military tunnels. Venture into Spain and from Algeciras catch the ferry to Tangier in Morocco. One of the country’s most beguiling cities, this coastal gem is a completely different experience. Sip a glass of mint tea before ducking into the souk for some retail therapy.
Hong Kong and Macau
Hong Kong is a perennial favourite among travellers. From ascending the Victoria Peak by tram to cruising the photogenic harbour in a vintage junk, there are myriad must-sees and must-dos. But Macau, with its Sino-Portuguese heritage is too close to ignore, and makes a great side trip – its historic centre was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2005. There are giant pandas to watch, lotus ponds and bamboo groves to admire and of course no shortage of shopping and dining opportunities. Try your luck in its legendary casinos, or push it with the world’s largest bungee jump off the MacauTower. Reach it by ferry – and if you win big, splurge on a helicopter ride for the return trip.
The UAE to Oman
Combine two beguiling destinations as you travel from the UAE to neighbouring Oman. Begin in dazzling Dubai, ascending the 828 metre high Burj Khalifa to marvel at the modern development that has transformed this Emirate. Back on the ground, wander around Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai and catch an abra to the souks across the creek. Shop, dine and relax in luxurious surroundings before setting off for the border. Make a pitstop in the ancient city of Nizwa to check out its 17th century fort before wrapping things up in the Omani capital Muscat.
Germany into Austria
Combine the Bavarian Alps with the beautiful Austrian Tirol as you capitalise on the ease of passing between these two enticing European countries no matter what your altitude. Fly into Munich; head south and in next to no time you’ll find yourself in delightful resorts such as Mittenwald, Garmisch-Partenkirchen or Füssen. During the colder months, make the most of the snow for skiing and other winter sports; in summer, hike through flower-strewn Alpine pastures under sunny skies. Catch the train across the border. Set your sights on Austria’s most elegant cities, Innsbruck and Salzburg, where there’s a rich cultural heritage in which to immerse yourself. Alternatively, hop on a gondola or chair lift in one of the nearby villages to reach craggy mountain peaks, limpid lakes and jaw-dropping panoramas.
Which pair will you choose first? Why not let Mundana help with your arrangements, including transportation options, accommodation and up to date visa information.
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