December 2017 Travel Guide


Updated Tour Guide

Winter Vacation Deals

While many people want to be somewhere warm during the cold Winter months, there are real advantages to going to less popular, colder climate vacation spots in the Winter. Less people mean less line-ups for attractions and often prices will be lower during off season. Of course the popular and trendy ski resorts and ice hotels are at their peak season during the cold, snowy season but many Northern countries have some amazing geography and history worth seeing even if you have to wear trousers!

Click on the thumbnail images for some ideas of a Winter Excursion




Banff in Canada is an amazing place for a Winter vacation!

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Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips

This lavish volume reveals National Geographic’s top picks for the world’s most fabulous journeys, along with practical tips for your own travels. Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic’s travel writers, this inspirational book spans the globe to highlight the best of the world’s most famous and lesser known sojourns. It presents an incredible diversity of possibilities, from ocean cruises around Antarctica to horse treks in the Andes. Every continent and every possible form of transport is covered.

A timely resource for the burgeoning ranks of active travelers who crave adventurous and far-flung trips, Journeys of a Lifetime provides scores of creative ideas: trekking the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania… mountain biking in Transylvania… driving through the scenic highlands of Scotland… or rolling through the outback on Australia’s famous Ghan train… and dozens of other intriguing options all over the world.

Journeys of a Lifetime also features 22 fun Top 10 lists in all sorts of categories. What are the world’s top 10 elevator rides, bridges to walk across, trolley rides, ancient highways, or underground walking adventures? Readers will love evaluating and debating the selections.

Each chapter showcases stunning photography, full-color maps, evocative text, and expert advice—including how to get there, when to visit, and how to make the most of the journey—all packaged in a luxurious oversize volume to treasure for years to come.

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips


Features: Great book!
By (author): National Geographic

This lavish volume reveals National Geographic’s top picks for the world’s most fabulous journeys, along with practical tips for your own travels. Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic’s travel writers, this inspirational book spans the globe to highlight the best of the world’s most famous and lesser known sojourns. It presents an incredible diversity of possibilities, from ocean cruises around Antarctica to horse treks in the Andes. Every continent and every possible form of transport is covered.

A timely resource for the burgeoning ranks of active travelers who crave adventurous and far-flung trips, Journeys of a Lifetime provides scores of creative ideas: trekking the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania… mountain biking in Transylvania… driving through the scenic highlands of Scotland… or rolling through the outback on Australia’s famous Ghan train… and dozens of other intriguing options all over the world.

Journeys of a Lifetime also features 22 fun Top 10 lists in all sorts of categories. What are the world’s top 10 elevator rides, bridges to walk across, trolley rides, ancient highways, or underground walking adventures? Readers will love evaluating and debating the selections.

Each chapter showcases stunning photography, full-color maps, evocative text, and expert advice—including how to get there, when to visit, and how to make the most of the journey—all packaged in a luxurious oversize volume to treasure for years to come.

New From: $25.00 USD In Stock

Grottos of Betharram : An Underground Treasure of France

In all their diversity, the Bétharram Caves hold the key to the formation of nearly all caves, be they dead or living.
They consist of five levels stacked on top of each other like storeys of a house, with the levels having been hollowed out at different times.

Situated 15 km from Lourdes and 25 km from Pau in a scenic environment next to a river, visiting the Caves of Betharram could be combined with a picnic and even fishing. The caves comprise of five different levels similar to that of a building or house where extraordinary limestone formations can be viewed. The Grottos of Betharram were the first illuminated caves in France in an attempt to enhance tourist visits.

After descending about 400 steps to the lowest level a short boat cruise and train ride also form part of the tour. People who are on vacation in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France should include the Grottos of Betharram in their itinerary. This article looks at a short history of the caves, the different formations inside the caves as well as helpful practical information.

Short History of the Caves at Betharram

The caves were discovered in 1810 but were only explored 88 years later and in 1903 it was opened to the public. Leo Ross, a painter from St Malo solely undertook the challenge of making the caves presentable. Tourists currently enter the caves from the Basses Pyrénées department and exist in the Hautes-Pyrénées department.

It is believed that the caves formed when subterranean faults allowed infiltration into the limestone. These crevices then, slowly but surely, attracted the flow of water from the ground above which later became caves as the mechanical and chemical erosion enlarged the crevices. The first three levels of the cave are now considered dead galleries as the river that shaped them had been diverted by external causes. Pofessor Carthaillac from Toulouse established that the upper area were already dry in remote ages. He also discovered claw marks of cave bears in the clay of numerous walls.

Train in the Grotto, amazing!

Different Formations at the Grottos of Betharram

There are a multitude of interesting formations in the caves, especially if one has an active imagination. One of the biggest formations is called the bell as it resembles a giant bell hanging from a high dome. This formation is a hollow stalactite which continues to build as drops of water can be seen on its edge. The vault is regarded as the most impressive formation on the upper level which was carved out by the river and reminds some people of a ceiling in an ancient English Cathedral.

Another fascinating formation on the upper level is the hall of chandeliers where many stalactites can be seen suspended from the ceiling. Underneath the supposed chandeliers one can see small ponds where streams of water had destroyed the stalagmites or upstanding columns. Many other shapes can also be seen in the rest of the caves reminding one of an elephant, an inverted mushroom, a Buddha, a human head and even a theater box.

Practical Information for Visiting the Betharram Caves

  • The first floor of the caves has been made wheelchair accessible by Albert and Marie-Noelle Ross. Tours for handicapped people must be booked and takes place during the mornings.
  • The Grotto has long been a popular tourist destination and this classic poster advertising the charm of the caves is a beautiful reminder of antique advertisements.

    February through March
    Monday afternoon – Tuesday afternoon – Wednesday afternoon – Thursday afternoon – Friday afternoon
    Sunday – Monday morning – Tuesday morning – Wednesday morning – Thursday morning – Friday morning – Saturday
    July & August
    From 09:00 to 18:00
    Sunday – Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday – Friday – Saturday
    March through October
    From 09:00 to 12:00
    From 13:30 to 17:00
    Sunday – Monday – Tuesday – Wednesday – Thursday – Friday – Saturday

  • Individual prices from 9 Euros for Children and from 14 Euros for adults while group visits cost slightly less.
  • No dogs or cameras are allowed in an attempt to preserve the site.
  • The temperatures in the caves remain constant throughout the year. The upper cave has a temperature of 14 degrees C  and the lower level 12 degrees C.
  • Even though it says that a visit takes about an hour and 20 minutes it can be much longer depending on the number of different language groups that one has to tour with.
  • It is also mentioned that the tour guide and the driver is free of charge but you will be prompted to voluntarily give a tip to the tour guide before you exit the caves.
  • For people who enjoy exploring sites on their own, this may not be the ideal option as one has to travel in a tour group. On the other hand it is ideal for people who enjoy being led by a tour guide.
  • People who have trouble with their knees or walking far might experience trouble descending 400 steps.

The Betharram Caves offers a unique view inside an ancient world considering that it takes one century for a limestone formation to advance a centimeter. Therefore, for those who undertakes a vacation in the Midi-Pyrénées, this is a fascinating tourist attraction that can be seen during all kinds of weather.

Visit the official tourism site of Lourdes

Free Beer! Brewery Tours Add Fizz To A Vacation

Brewery Tours are Great for Traveler’s Budgets

If you like a good brew, what’s better than free beer? How about learning how the brew is made, to give a better appreciation for the finished product? The stereotype of a brewery tour is schlepping through a factory to get the free samples at the end.

All aboard! Don’t fall of the wagon!!

While it is true there usually are free samples, one can actually learn a lot about the whole brewing process. It’s interesting to learn how the ingredients are blended together, how the product ferments and how the brew reaches the final drinking product.

Learning how a beer becomes what it is gives one a greater appreciation for the actual beverage.

Some brewery tours are also interesting in that they give quite a bit of information on the history of the area and how the brewery played into it.

Costs for Brewery Tours

One of the reasons brewery tours are great for budget travelers, is that they are often free or very low cost. Granted, there are the exceptions, like the Anheuser Busch tour in St. Louis, Missouri, which charges upwards of $25 a person. But for the most part, if any fee is charged, it’s under $20.

Finding Brewery Tours

Local Convention and Visitor Bureaus will have information on any brewery tours in the area. Web searches using the terms “brewery tours” and the location name will also yield suggestions.

There are quite a few tours to choose from in North America. Some of the best are

  • Stone Brewing (Escondido, CA),
  • Samuel Adams Brewery (Boston, MA),
  • Coors Brewery (Golden, CO),
  • Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. (Chippewa Falls, WI), and
  • Keith’s Brewery (Halifax, NS), one the continent’s oldest breweries.
  • Sprecher Brewery (Milwaukee, WI) is great for all ages, as it also brews sodas.

There’s no shortage of European breweries to tour either. In Ireland, try the Guiness Brewery tour. In Belgium, visit the monastery where Chimay is brewed. Switzerland is home to the Monsteiner Bier brewery. Germany is famous for its beer, so it has many breweries to choose from, including Erdinger (Munich) and Beck’s (Bremen).

Other international breweries to try include Buller Pub and Brewery in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Kiuchi Brewery in Japan.

Keep in mind the country’s legal drinking age as most brewery tours are not open to those who are not of that age.

So next time travel plans take one to an area where there are great beers, consider taking a brewery tour as part of the itinerary. Tours can be educational, fun and low cost.

Taste the World one Stein at a Time!

Beer Bucket List


Amsterdam, Netherlands
It’s not just a brewery tour; Heineken offers an “experience” through the inner-workings of one of the world’s largest beer producers. Visitors line up for the main attraction, “Brew U,” a ride where guests feel what it is like to become a beer, as they are virtually shaken up like malts, sprayed with water and put over heat.

Leuven, Belgium
This home of Stella Artois, the famous Belgian lager, offers tours for various levels of beer enthusiasm. So if you’re the sort that wants a smattering of history before bee-lining to the tasting room, the “Classic Tour” is for you. Real beer geeks can opt for the “Beer Tour,” which leads visitors through each intricate step of the brewing process.

Boston, Massachusetts
One of the founding fathers of the USA, Samuel Adams was also the founder of one of America’s original craft breweries. The museum here relates all there is to tell about the brewer and patriot, as well as the history of brewing in the US. Now only used for test batches, this was the original site for brewing the famous Boston Lager.

Hokkaido, Japan
Snowy Hokkaido, the northernmost province of Japan, has been the hub of the country’s brewing since 1877. Bring an appetite when visiting Sapporo: the beer garden, with its two restaurants, are the real draw here, especially for the all-you-can-eat BBQ and all-you-can-drink beer options at the Genghis Khan Hall.

Warnemunde, Germany
Beer and college go hand-in-hand; so it’s no mystery that one of Germany’s best pilsners is brewed in one of the world’s oldest university towns. Though the school dates back to the 15th century, Rostocker has been made in Warnemunde since 1878. The tour is popular with Baltic Sea cruisers in port for the day.

Dublin, Ireland
The world’s largest pint glass (seven stories high, and capable of holding 14.3 million pints) welcomes visitors to this landmark of Irish stout; it also houses one of the world’s most elaborate and informative brewing-themed tours. Cap off the Guinness experience in one, or both, of two terrific bars: Arthur’s, which overlooks all the machinations of the working brewery, or the Gravity Bar, which showcases 360 views of Dublin.

Ceske Budjovice, Czech Republic
Some call Budvar the “real Budweiser,” because the city of its origin is often referred to as “Budweis.” And while the U.S. and Euro camps have been arguing about the rights of the name for over a century, visitors can hear the Czech side of the story via various halls along the tour, from a log cabin depicting medieval brewing processes to a room devoted to the Industrial Age, complete with a 3D movie.

Cooperstown, New York
The town is commonly known for being the birthplace of baseball; but who knew this hamlet was historically a hotbed of U.S. hop production? The Ommegang brewery, built in 1997, has given upstate New York a little slice of Europe ever since, producing Belgian-style ales including a Witte, Rare Vos and Hennepin. The recently-opened café also focuses on Belgian fare.

Mexico City, Mexico
Since 1925, this brewery has been known for the biggest names in beer from South-of-the-Border. Corona, Pacifico, Negro Modelo and Estrella are just a few of the beers brewed at Cerveceria Modelo. The gift shop is an attraction in itself: brand loyalists make pilgrimages to pick up everything from dominoes to inflatable bottles.

Singapore
Born in 1932, this ferocious brand features a colorful, modern facility that touts the beer’s artistic packaging and clever advertising throughout the years. Tiger’s bottling and canning process is particularly mesmerizing, as are some of the items in the gift shop, including a Swarovski crystal tiger figurine, for the beer drinker who has everything.

Adelaide, Australia
There’s more than one brew from DownUnder, even if one brand claims to be “Australian for beer.” Coopers, which hails from the south, is famed for its signature effervescent sparkling ale. Coopers is also making its name as the brewery with a conscience: all proceeds from tours are distributed to local charities.

Copenhagen, Denmark
Founded in 1847, Carlsberg is synonymous with Danish brewing. Tours are self-guided, so be sure not to miss the world’s largest bottle collection, an assemblage of over 22,000 unopened beers from around the globe. True rarities include the most expensive beer sold at auction and the oldest bottle in the world.

London, UK
The picturesque neighborhood of Chiswick, right on the banks of the Thames, houses Fuller’s, the makers known for an “extra special bitter.” Brewing has taken place here for over 360 years; the gorgeous lilac wisteria creeping up the building’s stone facade is even over 180 years old, the oldest in England. An antique pub, the Mawson Arms, sits on-site, too, and history buffs will especially enjoy the “vintage ale” tour, which offers tastings of rare bottles.

Fodors has more on the delicious beer vacation destinations here: http://www.fodors.com/news/photos/worlds-15-best-brewery-visits

Discover the Best Vacation Spa in the World

The Wellness Travel Awards, presented by Spafinder  in association with World Travel Market London, honor spas, resorts, retreats and hotels that offer stellar experiences and programs to a growing number of consumers seeking healthy vacations and travel, leaving them healthier when they check out than when the checked in.

TOP 5 FINALISTS FOR EACH CRYSTAL AWARD
(in alphabetical order- updated 2017)

Best in Africa
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, South Africa (WINNER)
dusitD2 Nairobi, Kenya
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, Johannesburg, South Africa
La Mamounia, L’Hôtel De Marrakech, Morocco
North Island, Seychelles

Best in Asia
Ananda in the Himalayas, India
Chiva-Som International Health Resort, Thailand
COMO Shambhala Estate, Indonesia
Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary & Holistic Spa, Thailand (WINNER)
Vana Malsi Estate, Dehradun, India

Best in Australia, New Zealand & Oceania
Aro Hā, New Zealand
Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Australia
Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Australia (WINNER)
Laucala Island, Fiji
Peninsula Hot Springs, Australia

Best in Europe
Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa / Villa Stéphanie, Germany
Clinique La Prairie, Switzerland
Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
SHA Wellness Clinic, Spain (WINNER)

Best in North America
Canyon Ranch in Tucson, United States
Miraval Resort & Spa, United States
Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa, Canada
New Life Hiking Spa, United States
Rancho La Puerta, Mexico (WINNER)

Best in South & Central America
Blue Osa Yoga Retreat & Spa, Costa Rica
Kurotel – Longevity Medical Center and Spa, Brazil
Lapinha SPA, Brazil (WINNER)
Rio Perdido, Costa Rica
Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa, Costa Rica

Destination Spas in Canada: Luxury Spa Vacations in North America

The best website for spa travel is doubtlessly SpaFinder. Dedicated to worldwide spa travel, it locates spas in almost any country, assisting in the planning of a luxury spa vacation. When an internationally recognized website like SpaFinder holds an annual Readers’ Choice Awards, destination spa owners everywhere take notice. Now that the readers’ votes for best spas in the world have been tabulated.  Canada as a whole is ranked well in international Readers’ Choice Awards. Many spa vacation lovers’ favorite spas are in Canada, in terms of specific spa offerings.

Some of The Best in Canada:

Ste. Anne’s Spa, in Grafton, Ontario – Ste. Anne’s won recognition as the Best Spa in Canada. This luxury destination spa makes for a wonderful, almost perfect spa vacation. Its guest houses are all unique, with different architectural styles as well as different luxury amenities. For example, the Sentosa Spa Cottage has views of Lake Ontario and the Northumberland hills, private deck with hot tub, whirlpool tubs and romantic fireplaces in each of the three separate suites. All the cottages offer the spa cottage night basket, delivered at turn down.

Ste Anne’s Spa recommends that guests traveling solo stay in the main inn. Spa services include different hydrotherapy styles (Eucalyptus Body Wrap, Caribbean Aqua Therapy, etc), massages such as Swedish, prenatal, and shiatsu massages, several different types of facials and body treatments, men’s favorite spa treatments, and something called Elemental Nature. This last service is based on Ayurvedic principles to customize spa treatments to each guest.

Several other destination spas in Canada received recognition for their outstanding qualities as well. Of the Readers’ Choice Awards, these are particularly notable.

Selected Canadian Spas in Specific Categories

  • Accommodations – Ancient Cedars at the Wickaninnish Inn, in Tofino, British Columbia
  • Medical Program – Sante Spa Bear Mountain at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort and Spa, in Victoria BC
  • Romance – Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs, Alberta, and Ste Anne’s Spa, in Grafton, Ontario
  • Urban Hotel Spa – Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt, in Toronto, Ontario
  • Winter Sports Spas – Deerhurst Resort, in Huntsville, Ontario, the Four Seasons Whistler Spa, in Whistler, British Columbia, and Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs, Alberta

 

Destination Maine: The Tranquil Beauty of Bailey Island

The beautiful Maine Coastline of Bailey Island.

Bailey Island draws summer visitors who already know or will discover its quiet solitude with ample opportunities to enjoy the uniqueness of Maine life.

The remote, tranquil setting of Bailey Island, Maine is far removed from boisterous vacation places, yet not enormously distant from more populous areas. Located on Casco Bay on the state’s mid-coast, some 15 miles south of Brunswick (home to Bowdoin College) and within easy drives to Boothbay Harbor or Camden, it is part of the Harpswell peninsula that also includes Great Island (whose formal name is Sebascodegan Island), Orr’s Island, and many small islands.

Once reachable only by steamship, Bailey Island is connected to the mainland by the historic Cribstone Bridge from Orr’s Island built in the late 1920s by joining granite bricks to withstand the daily tides. A new replacement bridge was constructed after the erosion of the old bridge.

Cribstone Bridge built to accommodate rushing tides

The Crib Stone Brudge of Bailey Island built in the 1920’s.

Of the original structure, local native Nancy Orr Johnson Jensen, in her book Bailey Island Memories Pictures & Lore, wrote: “The granite was quarried in Yarmouth and Pownal, Maine and brought to the site on a barge. A railway was used to bring a crane out onto the bridge as it was being built. No mortar or cement, no steel girders, no suspension cables, and no base pillars of concrete were needed. Only the weights of 10,000 tons and the positioning of the granite slabs, laid crosswire and then lengthwise, was necessary to hold the bridge together. The cribstone fashion allowed the rushing tides to flow through.”

Seeing the region by water

The island, which is less than three miles long and under one mile wide, is quintessentially New England with its coves, bays, and inlets. It has one of the most commonly photographed spots in Maine – Mackerel Cove, with its many sailing, lobster, and other fishing vessels owing to the number of working lobster men there. Mackerel Cove was where visitors arrived by boat, sometimes coming from Portland, Boston, or New York in the summer, before the Cribstone Bridge was built.

Bailey Island also draws a number of artists who come to paint its landscape of vistas, sandy beaches, boats, rocky coastal shoreline, and views of the ocean from open fields.

Land’s End, at the southernmost tip of the island, has both a small rocky beach and an adjacent gift shop with Maine souvenirs. The location has a clear view of the ocean and offshore islands. By the gift shop is the Bronze Fisherman’s Statute, paying tribute to everyone who has ever earned their living on the sea.

For a seaside hike on the eastern edge of the island, one often taken trip is on the Giant Stairs Trail, a rock formation resembling a large flight of stairs. The steps are evenly cut by nature out of the solid cliff. It is possible there to view the surf breaking on the ledges below.

Efforts underway to secure public access to beach

Some information on Bailey Island cites Cedar Beach as being the best on the island, but difficult to reach for the general public. Only nearby houses have the easiest access. The directions to it from Route 24 that runs the length of the island are to take Robin Hood Road to the east and follow it to the juncture with Cedar Beach Road. Drivers must park on the right side of the road before this point and walk down Cedar Beach Road to take a small marked path to the beach.

Information on visiting Bailey Island: http://www.thedriftwoodinnmaine.com/bailey_island.html

Safest Countries in The Americas & Caribbean

The safest countries in North America, The Caribbean & South America for tourism and travel. These are rated out of 10.
Safest countries in the Caribbean, North America and South America are  based on crime/homicide rates and drugs and crime, likelihood of terrorism and terrorism casualties, police force effectiveness, costs of security within the country on business, reliability of protection services, rates of property crime and violence.

REGIONAL RANK COUNTRY 2017 2016
1 Canada 8.71 8.6
2 Chile 8.14 8.5
3 Barbados 8 8.2
4 Suriname 8 8
5 Uruguay 7.86 7.8
6 Costa Rica 7.71 8
7 Nicaragua 7.71 7.3
8 Panama 7.57 7.2
9 Ecuador 7.43 7.43
10 United States 7.43 7.6
11 Argentina 7.14 7.2
12 Bolivia 7.14 6.6
13 Puerto Rico 6.9 6.9
14 Haiti 6.8 6.8
15 Paraguay 6.71 6.6
16 Guyana 6.5 6.5
17 Brazil 6.43 6.7
18 Dominican Republic 6.43 6.1
19 Peru 6.43 6.3
20 Mexico 6 5.9
21 Trinidad and Tobago 5.86 5.9
22 Jamaica 5.71 5.5
23 Guatemala 5.29 5.1
 24 Honduras 5 5.2
 25 Venezuela 4.71 4.8
 26 El Salvador 4.29 5.2
 27 Colombia 3.71 4

Dangers can lurk in any city, park or town and being a safe vacationer means paying attention and keeping yourself out of harms way. Crimes and violence can happen in the lowest rated country in South America as it could happen in the safest rated country in the Caribbean so these figures should only be used as a guide to help compare a safe travel destination.

Data

Today’s travelers and tourists are more and more wanting to visit the natural beauty and remote regions of a country in order to discover more than just the big cities and commonly advertised attractions so now, more than ever, the safety and security of any particular destination is a key deciding factor of a the safety rating a country receives. These rankings presented here are based on the reliability of the police and legal protective system in a country as well as the rates of criminal activity and the potential for terrorism.

World Safety Rankings
Safest Countries in Europe
Safest Countries in Oceania & Asia
Safest Countries in the Middle East & Africa

Safest Countries in Europe

The safest countries in Europe for tourism and travel. These are rated out of 10.

Safest countries in Europe based on crime/homicide rates and drugs and crime, likelihood of terrorism and terrorism casualties, police force effectiveness, costs of security within the country on business, reliability of protection services, rates of property crime and violence.

Regional Rank Country 2017 2016
1 Finland 9.57 9.6
2 Iceland 9.43 9.3
3 Norway 9.14 8.7
4 Switzerland 9.14 9
5 Austria 9 9.2
6 Estonia 9 8.6
7 Luxembourg 9 9.2
8 Portugal 9 9
9 Slovenia 8.86 8.9
10 Spain 8.86 8.5
11 Sweden 8.86 8.7
12 Croatia 8.71 8.6
13 Denmark 8.71 8.4
14 Ireland 8.71 8.8
15 Netherlands 8.71 8.8
16 Georgia 8.57 8.57
17 Armenia 8.43 8.43
18 Belgium 8.43 8.8
19 Czech Republic 8.43 8.2
20 Malta 8.43 8.6
21 Azerbaijan 8.29 8.29
22 Cyprus 8.29 8.6
23 Latvia 8.29 8.3
24 Romania 8.29 7.7
25 Albania 8.14 7.6
26 Hungary 8.14 8.3
27 Lithuania 8.14 7.9
28 Poland 8.14 8.4
29 Tajikistan 8.14 8.14
30 Germany 8 8.7
31 Greece 8 7.8
32 Macedonia, FYR 8 8.2
33 Slovak Republic 8 7.9
34 Kazakhstan 7.86 7.86
35 Bosnia and Herzegovina 7.71 7.71
36 France 7.71 7.8
37 Italy 7.71 8.1
38 Moldova 7.71 7.8
39 Montenegro 7.71 8.1
40 Serbia 7.71 7.8
41 United Kingdom 7.57 7.57
42 Bulgaria 7.29 7.5
43 Kyrgyz Republic 7.14 7.14
44 Russian Federation 6.14 5.6
45 Turkey 5.86 5.86
46 Ukraine 5 5

Dangers can lurk in any city, park or town and being a safe vacationer means paying attention and keeping yourself out of harms way. Crimes and violence can happen in the lowest rated European Country as it could happen in the safest rated country so these figures should only be used as a guide to help compare a safe travel destination.

To compare, the safety scores of the USA, Australia & Canada are:

Canada 8.71
(Safer than 31 countries / Less safe than 11 countries in this region)

Australia 8.71
(Safer than 31 countries / Less safe than 11 countries in this region)

United States 7.43
(Safer than 5 countries / Less safe than 41 countries in this region)

 

Data

Today’s travelers and tourists are more and more wanting to visit the natural beauty and remote regions of a country in order to discover more than just the big cities and commonly advertised attractions so now, more than ever, the safety and security of any particular destination is a key deciding factor of a the safety rating a country receives. These rankings presented here are based on the reliability of the police and legal protective system in a country as well as the rates of criminal activity and the potential for terrorism.

World Safety Rankings
Safest Countries in The Americas & Caribbean
Safest Countries in Oceania & Asia
Safest Countries in the Middle East & Africa

2017 Top Ten Countries For Safety & Peace

The ranking of the world’s safest and most peaceful countries is based on the statistical global data rankings for safety and peace. These rankings are based on crime/homicide rates and drugs and crime, likelihood of terrorism and terrorism casualties, police force effectiveness, costs of security within the country on business, reliability of protection services, rates of property crime and violence. They also incorporate data on the number of victims of intentional homicide per 100,000 population, by sex and age, levels of perceived criminality in society and the nation’s actions to promote well-being for all at all ages.

Rank Country 2017 Safety/Peace Ratio Score
1 Iceland 9.298
2 Austria 9.114
3 Finland 9.108
4 New Zealand 8.992
5 Portugal 8.83
6 Switzerland 8.736
7 Slovenia 8.44
8 Ireland 8.326
9 Denmark 8.316
10 Canada 8.304

Dangers can lurk in any city, park or town and being a safe vacationer means paying attention and keeping yourself out of harms way. Crimes and violence can happen in the lowest rated European Country as it could happen in the safest rated country so these figures should only be used as a guide to help compare a safe travel destination.

To compare, the safety & peace ratio scores of the USA & The UK are:

United Kingdom: 5.796
United States:  4.326

Data

Today’s travelers and tourists are more and more wanting to visit the natural beauty and remote regions of a country in order to discover more than just the big cities and commonly advertised attractions so now, more than ever, the safety and security of any particular destination is a key deciding factor of a the safety rating a country receives. These rankings presented here are based on the reliability of the police and legal protective system in a country as well as the rates of criminal activity and the potential for terrorism.

World Safety Rankings

Safest Countries in the Middle East & Africa

The safest countries in The Middle East and Africa for tourism and travel. These are rated out of 10. Safest countries in Africa & The Middle East are based on crime/homicide rates and drugs and crime, likelihood of terrorism and terrorism casualties, police force effectiveness, costs of security within the country on business, reliability of protection services, rates of property crime and violence.

Regional Rank Country 2017 2016
 1 United Arab Emirates 9.43 9.4
 2 Oman 9.29 3.8
 3 Rwanda 9.14 9.4
 4 Qatar 9 9.1
 5 Morocco 8.71 8.4
 6 Mauritius 8.43 7.2
 7 Jordan 8.29 8.3
 8 Bahrain 8.14 7.6
 9 Kuwait 8.14 8.2
 10 Gambia, The 8 7.5
 11 Ghana 7.86 7.1
 12 Saudi Arabia 7.86 8
 13 Zimbabwe 7.86 7.6
 14 Lesotho 7.71 6.3
 15 Malawi 7.71 7.7
 16 Senegal 7.71 8.6
 17 Zambia 7.71 7.7
 18 Algeria 7.57 7.57
 19 Botswana 7.57 7.4
 20 Gabon 7.57 7.5
 21 Benin 7.43 7.43
 22 Cape Verde 7.43 7.4
 23 Iran, Islamic Rep. 7.43 7
 24 Namibia 7.43 6.4
 25 Sierra Leone 7.29 7.7
 26 Tanzania 7.29 6.9
 27 Côte d’Ivoire 7.14 6.7
 28 Madagascar 7.14 6.7
 29 Ethiopia 7 7.4
 30 Angola 6.8 6.8
 31 Tunisia 6.71 6.9
 32 Swaziland 6.6 6.6
 33 Israel 6.57 6.9
 34 Mozambique 6.57 8.3
 35 Uganda 6.57 6.6
 36 Cameroon 6.14 7.6
 37 Burundi 6 6.5
 38 Mauritania 6 7.2
 39 Congo, Democratic Rep. 5.71 5.71
 40 South Africa 5.57 6.1
 41 Chad 5.29 6.2
 42 Lebanon 5.14 5.4
 43 Mali 5.14 5.9
 45 Kenya 4.86 5.4
 46 Egypt 4.71 4.9
47 Nigeria 4.43 7.2
48 Yemen 4 4.1

Dangers can lurk in any city, park or town and being a safe vacationer means paying attention and keeping yourself out of harms way. Crimes and violence can happen in the lowest rated Middle Eastern as it could happen in the safest rated country in South-Africa so these figures should only be used as a guide to help compare a safe travel destination.

To compare, the safety scores of the USA & Canada are:

Canada 8.71
(Safer than 41 countries / Less safe than 4 countries in this region)

United States 7.43
(Safer than 22 countries / Less safe than 20 countries in this region)

 

Data

Today’s travelers and tourists are more and more wanting to visit the natural beauty and remote regions of a country in order to discover more than just the big cities and commonly advertised attractions so now, more than ever, the safety and security of any particular destination is a key deciding factor of a the safety rating a country receives. These rankings presented here are based on the reliability of the police and legal protective system in a country as well as the rates of criminal activity and the potential for terrorism.

World Safety Rankings
Safest Countries in Europe
Safest Countries in The Americas & Caribbean
Safest Countries in Oceania & Asia