It's the dream of many of us: to sail around the world alone, in pairs or with friends, putting work and everyday life aside for a given period of time, and then setting sail to a multitude of destinations around the globe! A round-the-world trip is the perfect opportunity to see a multitude of landscapes, to travel through cities steeped in history, to hear different languages and to taste a varied gastronomy. Of course, there are some must-see destinations and certain standards that are found in a "classic" world tour, from the United States to Chile, Vietnam and Thailand. Petit Futé offers you an original world tour by only visiting countries whose name starts with an "M"! No doubt that when the health situation allows it, many of us will be dreaming of taking a break and discovering new countries. So, ready to leave the "House" and start a journey that promises to be unforgettable?
1- Montenegro, a trendy Balkan destination
Once the door of the house is closed, direction South-East Europe and Montenegro. The country, independent since 2006, is a delight for lovers of charming cities, sea, mountains and breathtaking landscapes. A first stop leads to the superb city of Kotor, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A stroll through the old town is a perfect opportunity to observe beautiful old buildings. Petrovac is another authentic city, on the edge of a turquoise sea with mountains behind it. The beauty of nature in Montenegro can be seen in its many national parks, such as the Durmitor National Park, whose mountains and lakes are a delight for hikers in summer and skiers in winter
2- Moldova, Eastern Europe off the beaten track
Situated between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is a destination still unknown to many travellers. Yet it is a splendid country that offers multiple experiences. Starting with its capital, Chisinau, a dynamic city with surprising architecture and numerous quiet residential areas perfect for peaceful walks. For a more traditional and authentic setting, head to Orhei, only 1 hour from the capital. Its numerous parks make it a resourcing stopover, and the presence not far from the archaeological site of Orhei Veche fills history lovers with happiness. You should also not forget to take advantage of the soothing setting of the countryside, which reveals pearls such as the medieval city of Soroca. And still for lovers of old stones, Moldavia abounds in monasteries with orthodox architecture. They are mainly to be found in the south of the country, and their visit is an opportunity to stop and taste some great vintages
3- Myanmar, the splendour of Southeast Asia
Burma or Myanmar is a country that lies between China and Thailand, India, Bangladesh and Laos. Rich of a long history, it never ceases to surprise visitors with the richness of its typical Southeast Asian monuments. Some of them take place in the heart of a luxuriant nature, like the big Nat which is found at the top of the ancient volcanic chimney called Mount Popa. The temples of Mandalay Hill and those which with the pagodas constitute the archaeological site of the kingdom of Pagan are other treasures to be discovered and where the heart capsizes between architecture and nature. How not to mention also the Golden Rock and the Mingun Pahtodawgyi pagoda, the largest brick structure in the world! The visit of Myanmar also includes a plunge into the cosmopolitan and popular life of the city of Rangoon, and moments of idleness at the beach. The one of Ngapali, preserved from tourism, invites you to relax between its clear waters and white sand.
4- Malaysia, the meeting of various cultures
If for many people Malaysia is still an unknown country, it is nevertheless a territory of great beauty to be discovered absolutely on the occasion of a trip around the world to less frequented areas. A first stop is inevitably in its capital Kuala Lumpur, a surprising mix of traditional and modern architecture, so well symbolized by the Petronas towers for the latter trend. Another exceptional city: Malacca, where a stroll takes travellers to the heart of the many colonial influences that have marked the city, in addition to having the feeling of walking in the middle of a true "Venice of Asia". Later, after taking the time to visit the caves of Batu, the largest Hindu sanctuary outside of India, one reaches the green plateaus of the Cameron Highlands for tea cultivation. Finally, we head for the Perhentian Islands, a land of welcome for lovers of virgin forest treks and swimming on heavenly beaches
5- Mexico, a colourful country in Central America
Impossible to plan a world tour of countries starting with an "M" without making a stop in Mexico. We all then have in mind the beauty of the Mayan ruins. Chichén Itzá, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is the best known Mayan archaeological site in the world, but we must also mention Uxmal and Tulum, where the remains overlook a sea of striking beauty for the latter. For those who wish to escape the fervor of Mexico City, Guanajuato and its colorful houses and Cholula with its superb church Nuestra Señora de los Remedios that dominates the plain are interesting alternatives to enjoy the lively atmosphere of the cities. On the nature side, the waterfalls ofAgua Azul, the crater of the Nevado volcano and the lakes of the Lagunas de Montebello National Park are all wonders to be discovered
6- Martinique, a stop on the Isle of Flowers
In the French West Indies, Martinique is a choice stopover to enjoy tropical scenery, magnificent beaches and museums and monuments that bear witness to an eventful history. After strolling through the narrow streets of Fort-de-France, head for Mount Pelée to reach its summit and enjoy a breathtaking panorama. Hiking in the heart of the tropical forest is an activity not to be missed under any circumstances in Martinique and allows you to contemplate a remarkable fauna and flora. For history, direction the Slavery Memorial of Cap 110, then the remains of the town of Saint-Pierre, which suffered the vagaries of the volcano. Martinique is also moments of relaxation around a rum, a traditional dish, diving around the Diamond Rock and days to enjoy the sun and the translucent waters of the most beautiful beaches, such as the beach of Les Salines.
7- Mozambique, active tourism in Southern Africa
Situated in the south-east of the African continent, Mozambique is a country still protected from mass tourism. In Africa, it is a country not to be missed to laze for hours on paradisiacal beaches, as you can see in the seaside resort of Tofo. During the day, it is a perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling, then in the evening, it is time for a hectic nightlife and breaks in bars and restaurants. Maputo, the capital, is worth a visit for its historic centre and fish market! For nature walks, head north to its plateaus which rise from 200 to 600 m. The only mountainous part is on the border with Zimbabwe, in the Chimanimani mountain range, where Mount Binga is 2,436 m high. Back on the coast, the dunes and lagoons form landscapes of great beauty, still preserved from tourist infrastructures. Finally, one should not leave without having gone to the island of Inhaca, a preserved site where you can make superb hikes
8- Mauritius, an air of paradise on earth
Located in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a sunny stopover full of pleasant surprises. The walks take place on a volcanic island where the coasts reveal simply heavenly beaches. To plunge into the daily life of Mauritius, it reminds one to stop in its capital Port-Louis. The monuments and museums allow a better understanding of its history and influences. Later, one can enjoy the flavours of the island by taking the Tea Route and stopping in the Bois Chéri area. There you will discover a plantation, a museum and a factory still in operation. Lovers of tropical forests, waterfalls, tall trees, rivers and animals? Then head to Black River Gorges National Park for breathtaking hikes! For the sea, it's the open door to paradise. From the beach with a view of the Morne Brabant, via the beaches of Flic en Flac and Belle Mare, there are plenty of opportunities to swim in translucent waters and sunbathe in complete tranquillity.
9- Madagascar, island with red earth
Also located in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is an ideal destination to participate in cultural and leisure activities, to relax on the beach and to meet a very welcoming population. First of all, we take advantage of the dynamism of the capital Antananarivo to contemplate the architecture, go see the Queen's hat and its gardens, then take a break around Lake Anosy in the city centre. On the nature side, the Isalo National Park reveals sandstone formations from the Jurassic period, lush vegetation and surprising animal species. National parks are also numerous in Madagascar, and that of Marojejy is another opportunity to realize the richness of local biodiversity. Ankazobe and its red earth streets are another urban stopover where you can discover places full of charm, before reaching the most beautiful beaches such as Belo sur Mer, the ideal place to swim and watch the sailors leaving or returning from fishing in dugout canoes.
10- Morocco, an essential stopover in the Maghreb
In the north-west of the African continent, Morocco is a country that offers an unforgettable journey amidst stunning architecture, remarkable nature and smells that make you want to sit around a table to enjoy a gastronomy recognized throughout the world. Marrakech, its souks and the lively atmosphere of the Jemaa el-Fna square, Fez and its medina, Essaouira and its harbour atmosphere are all experiences to be lived absolutely. And how not to want to go and photograph the blue streets and alleys of Chefchaouen? A unique moment in the world. Morocco is also a country that attracts travelers by the beauty of its landscapes. You start by hiking to the exceptional Ouzoud waterfalls, before reaching the oases of the Paradise Valley. It is also difficult not to go and see the dunes of the Sahara, and not to make a stop at Aït-Ben-Haddou, a fortified village typical of the Maghreb, on a hillside. With the last stage of the world tour of countries starting with the letter "M" over, it's time to get back to the "House", and then to resume a more normal life, but full of wonderful memories