WASHINGTON (Aug. 24, 2011)—For people who crave unforgettable travel experiences in unexpected places, National Geographic’s new book, SECRET JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME: 500 of the World’s Best Hidden Travel Gems (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-0646-7; on sale Oct. 18, 2011; $40 hardcover), is the door to a host of deliciously different worlds. This lavishly illustrated book, with an introduction by National Geographic Traveler magazine Editor-in-Chief Keith Bellows, showcases hidden treasures and the best-kept travel secrets for those with endless curiosity and a fascination with the quirky, the unusual and the exotic.
The fifth book in National Geographic’s “Of a Lifetime” series, SECRET JOURNEYS will satisfy anybody’s wanderlust as it shares lesser-known travel gems from across the globe. Divided into nine chapters by type of location, such as wild places, idyllic islands, ancient sites, undiscovered villages, less traveled roads, spiritual retreats, mountain destinations, unspoiled corners of busy cities, the book offers a destination for every type of traveler — the remote Isla de Margarita in Venezuela for beach-lovers; the Pang Mapha Coffin Caves in Thailand for hiking enthusiasts; a forgotten castle in Lithuania for history buffs; frescoed churches hewn out of rock in Turkey for those in search of a spiritual getaway.
In addition to the vivid descriptions and beautiful photographs of vacation spots and adventures off the beaten path, SECRET JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME provides information on when and how to go, important planning advice and useful websites for all 500 trips. Insider tips, suggestions and recommendations, such as great local food or day trips to nearby locations, are included. Also featured are more than two dozen Top Ten lists — from the hiding places of Earth’s rarest wildflowers and the world’s most perfect beaches to the best ghost towns and weirdest small museums.
The book takes you “beyond conventional guidebooks to reveal an insider’s world,” writes Keith Bellows in his introduction. “You’ll find the Grand Canyon overlook few tourists visit; the best view of London; the place in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park where the wildlife gather; Belize’s Mayan ruins of Altun Ha; the breathtaking rail journey from Sarejevo to Mostar; the secret passage between the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence; the tastiest kebabs in Turkey; the lost-in-time Spanish villages south of Salamanca; the hidden Parisian garden of La Bagatelle; and the island that’s the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. Explore the places, tips, ideas, and insights in the book and you’ll unearth a lot of what the locals like to keep to themselves. It’s all here: hidden history, off-the-beaten track discoveries, little-known attractions and city secrets, obscure natural wonders, and forgotten cul-de-sacs. Welcome to a world truly less traveled.”
With its evocative and alluring images, insider information, practical advice and guidance, and tips on how to make the best of every trip, SECRET JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME will inspire everyone — from the seasoned explorer to the armchair traveler — to discover new places and experience their own secret journeys.