Favorite Trips of This Year

It is time to look back to 2022 in travel and the most impressive places that I have visited in my homeland as well as abroad! This was the first year when travel really started to be coming back for me, as I took 14 flights and stayed 25 nights at the hotels. While this was nowhere near the record years of 75 flights and 100 nights at the hotels, it was still good to be coming back to more travel!

6 of the flights that I took, where booked using loyalty points and we took those together with my husband, so a total of 12 points tickets, only paying the taxes! We also stayed 5 nights using the hotel points, which I personally think are some of the best redemptions in terms of miles. 

I didn’t visit any new countries in 2022 but I loved returning the places that I have been before and exploring a bit more of those! This year it was Germany, Spain, Portugal, United Arab Emirates and Seychelles! We also had a layover at the Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia, but since we didn’t leave the transit zone, I don’t count that as a new country, so our counter still remains at 58 countries visited (or 55-56, depending on conservative estimates and some other ways to count). 

The blog readership continued to be strong, with 175 thousand unique people reading my blog this year! 

What were the top places that I visited in the previous years?

If you are interested in seeing the lists from previous years, you can find them all here:









15. Madrid, Royal palace, Almudena cathedral, the market and cafe La Polleria, Spain

I was lucky to be visiting Madrid at the same time as the NATO summit took place, and I even stayed at the same hotel as Boris Johnson (I did see him one evening coming back from sightseeing!). The strong security measures and the little free time I had did not deter me from making the most of my visit, and I really enjoyed the city! Especially, the kinky La Polleria cafe! More on my visit here.

la polleria in madrid

14. Seabuckthorn garden ZELT, Latvia

Me, my mom and my grandmother have been taking these “girls trips” for the past few years, exploring the beautiful flower gardens and other agricultural locations, and this year we added the seabuckthorn garden “ZELT” to our list! We managed to see this beautiful place in August, just in the season of picking, the bushes full of amber colored berries!

Zelt seabuckthorn garden in Latvia

13. “Lavandu lejas” lavender fields, Latvia

I have been wanting to go to France to see the proper lavender fields for many years, but while that still remains a dream, I did manage to see something almost as beautiful – lavender fields in Latvia, in a place called “Lavandu lejas”! We visited in July and it was a fantastic olfactory experience! 

Lavandu lejas lavander garden in Latvia

12. “Dole” teas / “Svētku paviljons” pavillion, Latvia 

On the island of Dole in Latvia is a beautiful place called “Doles tējas”, where you can purchase tasty herbal teas. They also have a party pavilion to have a special celebration or master class. I visited this place twice during this year, as I liked it so much! 

Dole teas Dahlen pavillion

11. Cabo da Roca, Portugal

The westernmost point of the continental Europe is located in Portugal, Cabo da Roca, and was a place that I visited in September. It was a cloudy day, I missed sunset by a few minutes (but didn’t miss much, as it was all the same gray), and it wasn’t a cheap trip, as I had to take a taxi to get there, but nevertheless the power of the cliffs and the sea made this for a very special visit!

Cabo da Roca viewpoint in Portugal

10. Crocus garden of Jānis Rukšāns, Latvia 

It is the second spring that I visit Jānis Rukšāns crocus garden (he has the largest collection of crocus plants in the world!) in full bloom. It also makes my top visited places list already for the second time. 

largest crocus flower collection in the world Latvia

9. Botanical gardens – National and LU, Latvia 

When the soul is missing something green in the dead of winter or in early spring, the botanical gardens are the place to go! I visited both of the largest Latvian botanical gardens this spring, one for the azalea bloom and the other a bit later to see the beautiful greenhouses!

Botanical garden in Salaspils

8. Lilacs of Dobele, Latvia 

Visiting lilac garden in Dobele also has become an annual tradition for us! This year we were lucky to get there before the crowds, and while the day was windy and cold, we really enjoyed our visit, marveling at the stunning blossoms! 

largest lilac garden in Latvia in Dobele

7. Restaurant Le Marrakech, City park, Hamburg, Germany

After a break of few years I really enjoyed coming back to my second home, Hamburg, in early summer, taking walks in the city park on a rainy day, surrounded by stunning rhododendron blossoms! Of course, I also visited one of my favorite restaurants Le Marrakech! More on Hamburg here.

6. Peonies of Daugmale, Latvia

I love peonies, so I was absolutely thrilled to finally be visiting “Daugmale peonies”, one of the largest peony gardens in the Baltics! I have been to this garden before for daffodils and tulips, also this year, but peonies hold a special place in my heart!  

Daugmale peony garden in Latvia

5. Pena palace, Sintra, Portugal

Using every free minuted that I had in Portugal, I figured I’d better see a bit of Pena palace, if even just on the outside, than none, so I grabbed a taxi from my hotel and got to Sintra just before the palace closes! I really enjoyed the stunning views of the garden, which looked like something out of a fairytale, since it was all covered in mossy green! 

Sintra palace views in Portugal

4. Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue island and day trip around it, Seychelles

Anse Source d’Argent on La Digue island is considered to be one of the most beautiful and the most photographed beaches in the world. It was our second time in this amazing destination and I can see that it is getting even more popular than before! As previously, as soon as the tide was low enough, we went on an overwater hike to the furthest side of the beach to see the stunning scenery – crystal blue water, granite boulders and beautiful greenery with white coral sand.  

On another day, we took a day trip from La Digue to the nearby islands of Felicite, Coco and Grande Seour islands, marveling at the secluded beaches, snorkeling and eating a feast of kings! 

Our previous trip to Seychelles can be found here.

3.Copolia trail and Beau Vallon beach, Mahe island, Seychelles

After a very steep climb on the Copolia trail, visitors are treated to a stunning view overlooking the entire island – airport in the distance, the artificial Eden island underneath and even a sheik’s villa in the distance!

Copolia trail top views Mahe Seychelles

This was our first time properly exploring Mahe, as previously we had only stayed here overnight before our flight, so this time around we spent entire 5 days here! The most memorable sites were definitely Copolia trail as well as the beautiful Beau Vallon beach with thousands of little fish getting stuck in your swimsuit, when swarming, as well as lovely fruit bats in the trees! We even ticket off a major item off our bucket list, seeing a whale shark during a dive!

Our previous trip to Seychelles can be found here.

Beau Vallon beach Seychelles Mahe

2. Aura pool, Museum of the Future, Ras al Khor, fountain and the view to Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

On our way to Seychelles and back we were transiting through Dubai and spend a couple days on each of the trips, these making my fourth and fifth trips to Dubai, and the first one for my husband!

Ras al khor reserve Dubai flamingos

So I wanted to be sure to show him some of my favorite places as well as explore something new for me! So we visited Ras Al Khor reserve, seeing flamingos right in front of skyscrapers, the famous Museum of the Future, dining in Dubai Mall right in front of the dancing fountains and Burj Khalifa and Aura pool, the highest infinity pool in the world. You can read about our previous trips to Dubai here and here.

Sheik Zayed road view of museum of the future
Museum of the Future in Dubai, Amazon diversity exhibit
Aura pool in Dubai, Ain view

1. Silhouette island, Seychelles

My heart is in Silhouette. It is the island where we got married in 2014 and this year we cam back for our wedding anniversary and it was absolutely spectacular! I had tears of happiness, when arriving to the island, and I was crying, when it was time to leave, as it just isn’t enough time in paradise! Soft, white coral sand, unreal blue water, majestic mountains covered in cloud. This is my absolutely favorite place in the world and I know that if before I dreamt of coming back here, now it is my plan to return for the third visit! Our previous trip to Seychelles can be found here.

Silhouette Island Hilton Labriz Spa Resort
The best beach in Seychelles

How was your year in travel?

If you are interested in seeing the lists from previous years, you can find them all here:









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