Luxury is its own escape, whether it is the simple luxury of being in a tranquil place or the five-star kind that soothes senses and indulges pleasures. A recent visit to a luxury heritage villa in Sinj, Croatia was an experience in both kinds of luxury.
Sinj is a pretty and tranquil place of escape from the larger, more crowded, and more commercialized tourist centers of wonderful Croatia (See our article about Sinj here).
Breaking from your travel habits is always rewarding, especially when you go against the crowd. Avoiding tourist crowds, though, is not a goal of most tourists, who choose to visit the familiar, recommended, or most popular places. They are often looking for certain comforts and attractions instead of thinking about the overall experience. People generally know that the most popular travel destinations are neither the most authentic nor the best value for their tourist money.
Arriving to the postcard city of Dubrovnik a few weeks ago, I saw a calm, tranquil community that was still enjoying a rest before the tourist crowds start arriving for another season of urban archaeological explorations and food/wine recreation, all served with old-world hospitality of a most gracious flavor. The hospitality of the Croatian people is exceptional, even by European standards.
A healing and history lesson at a modern bath house ---
Most tourists and locals in Athens, Greece discover the Hammam Baths by chance – only a relatively small (but growing) number of people are aware of hamam, either in word or concept. It is not something that people search for, but it should be.
A hamam combines the functionality and structural elements of the Roman baths with the Central Asian Turkic tradition of steam bathing, ritual cleansing and respect of water. Hamam is also known as a Turkish bath, and naturally so –
What is the difference between tourists and travelers? Tourists want an easy, relaxing trip focused on basic needs of accommodation, food, drink, and perhaps recreational activities. Travelers seek experiences and people that define a destination – they seek the essence of a place. Directly experiencing the traditions and rituals of the local culture is one of the best ways to learn about a place and its people. Such experiential travel is a luxury of its own whether you spend a lot or no money on a certain experience.