Category archives for Costas Christ

Thirty-two years ago, I set out on an around-the-world journey to find, well, paradise—a pristine island no tourist had ever seen, where the locals still lived off the land. Naive? Sure it was. Even the most “offbeat” islands were crawling with backpackers and hawkers pitching cheap bungalows. But then I glimpsed a speck of land…

The eastern Mediterranean is a land so steeped in history (Phoenician, Babylonian, Persian—the list goes on) that nearly every rock-strewn trail reveals a story of trade, conquest, and religion. Slip into the past at Yunak Evleri in Turkey’s Cappadocia region, once a crossroads for more than a dozen civilizations. Dating back to the fifth century,…

Ever since ecotourism took off in the early 1990s, European travelers have helped to spread the movement across the savannas of Africa and the jungles of Central America. Today they’re starting to look closer to home, and with good reason. Some of the most sustainable lodges on the planet are rooted in Old World ways.…

Just because you're visiting the Coral Triangle doesn't mean you have to spend the whole time underwater—at least not if you go to the Solomon Islands. One of the world's ten most biologically diverse countries, the archipelago is loaded with rare and endemic species onshore and off. For the best of both worlds, make the…

Miniloc Island Resort just might be the greenest lodge in the entire Coral Triangle, the richest ecosystem on Earth found between the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands. The buildings themselves hit all the right eco-notes, with recycled hardwood walls and roofs crafted from local thatch, but that's not the half of it. Since opening…

Who better to follow in 140 characters or less than our favorite explorers? We've put together a roster of tweeters, from eco-activist David de Rothschild to alpinist Ed Viesturs, to keep an eye on the ever-changing world of adventure.  This list is by no means final, so keep checking back to see who's been added.…

Beyond Green Travel is a blog written by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ. Read more NGA travel news in First In.  If Noah’s ark had off-loaded into a massive version of Yankee Stadium, the result would have looked a lot like the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. The 102-square-mile caldera corrals great herds of zebras and gazelles…

Beyond Green Travel is a blog written by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ What Donald Trump wants, he gets–but maybe not all of it this time.  Since I first blogged last year about the struggle between environmentalists and local residents opposed to Trump’s plans to build a mass tourism development on an unspoiled stretch of Scottish…

Beyond Green Travel is a blog written by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ The travel media seems filled these days with articles about the economic crisis and "tips" on how to take a budget holiday, usually mentioning some tour company that is offering a great 50 percent discount. Well, here is a budget travel tip that…

Beyond Green Travel is a blog written by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ Photo courtesy of Black Sheep Inn Over the last 12 months, a lot of progress has been made in sustainable travel: The World Travel & Tourism Council has issued a ten-point action plan to combat climate change; four international airlines have tested…

Text by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ Last week, Dubai issued new behavior guidelines for travelers. Since one of the tenants of sustainable tourism is to be respectful of the local culture, this announcement got me thinking about what happens when the local culture tells tourists to respect their way of life, a way of life that…

Text by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ Albania’s isolation from the rest of the world for decades during the Cold War had an unintended consequence: The country today retains its wild landscapes, uncrowded historical sites, and traditional villages in a region that is one of the most crowded tourism destinations on the planet—the Mediterranean. I…

“We cannot solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them…” – Albert Einstein When Heathrow Airport opened its new Terminal 5, well-meaning environmental protestors tried to shut it down by chaining themselves to the building and calling for an end to air travel to stop global warming before it…

With 2009 already rushing in, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on your favorite online stories over the past 370 days. So here they are, the most popular stories of 2008. (Over the last year we also revamped our magazine site's RSS feed to include photos, illustrations, and more text to read.) 10.…

Text by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ When NBC's TODAY Show Travel Editor Peter Greenberg asked me to contribute a list of the top 10 places people should avoid when they travel, to include in his new book, Don't Go There! (www.PeterGreenberg.com), I was a little reluctant at first. I am a firm believer that…

Move over, Dubai—Oman's rugged riches are catching on. Text by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ; Photograph Courtesy of Six Senses Resorts and Spas Oman When I asked the late explorer Wilfred Thesiger how to retrace his 1949 route across Oman, he recommended setting out during the same month he did, in December. It was sound…

For the green-minded traveler, it’s easy to get lost in the jungle of new terms. Ecotourism, geotourism, voluntourism, sustainable tourism—more names keep popping up all the time, threatening to confuse even the most savvy globetrotter. By focusing on the well-established terms listed below, you can understand what really matters in the global movement to make…

Kenyan-born landscape architect and ecolodge expert Hitesh Mehta has a Zen take on design: No lodge is perfect, he says—there is always room to evolve and improve. Here, Mehta describes key ingredients of the ideal ecolodge. 1) LOCATIONFirst and foremost, the lodge must be set in or near a natural area that it is helping…

Text and photographs by Costas Christ Finding a beach that is not covered with umbrellas and lounge chairs is no small task in the Greek Isles. I found one on Patmos, where a friend of a friend led me as if I was being taken to a secret hideout. It was small and rocky, the…

Text by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ Photograph by Jim and Sheila Glavine During hard economic times, how do you convince rural communities living next to unspoiled natural areas to see a brighter future? If you are Donald Trump, who wants to build the world’s "best" gold course on wild sand dunes along the coast…

American travelers’ current reluctance to travel to the Middle East, egged on by media hype about danger and Islamic fear-mongering, has left Oman almost entirely to the young Europeans now flocking there. Our loss is their big gain. I just spent seven days kayaking the along the Straights of Hormuz, some 20 miles from the…

Text by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ Some deserts bloom with flowers. Dubai’s desert blooms with outrageous tourism attractions. With air-conditioned indoor ski slopes, lush golf courses, giant man-made islands shaped like palm trees, and plans to recreate the Seven Wonders of the World, Dubai wants to become the tourism center of the planet. And,…

Text and photograph by Global Travel Editor Costas Christ The pioneering ecotourism company CC Africa, whose mission is to “care for the land, care for the people, care for the animals,” hosted a summit in New York City this week to discuss if luxury travel can be a responsible form of tourism. Halfway around the…

By Global Travel Editor Costas Christ To get a glimpse of what Angkor was like before mass tourism arrived, head to Koh Ker, a group of mostly unexcavated temples dating back over 1,000 years, including Prasat Thom, the highest temple pyramid in Cambodia. There is no place to overnight, so you have to day-trip it…

Wandering around the temples of Angkor, arguably the most spectacular archeological site on the planet, I could not help but wonder to what degree the economically impoverished Cambodian people, who survived years of civil war, are benefiting from the tourism boom now underway in their country. It would take a detailed investigation to determine the…