Although there is no substitute for actually being in a place, these guided virtual tours may be the next best thing in our time of isolation. Google Maps has compiled a resource of treks and trips from around the globe, from France to Kenya to the USA.
With these digital exploration tools, you can go at your own pace, move back and forth, and see the street view details. It does take a little practice getting used to the technology.
Here my top five choices to get those travel juices flowing!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rose City is one of those places that ticks all my boxes, with its beautiful rock-carved stone Treasury, tall cliffs and perennial stream. This is the best of the Google sites, and it makes me want to pack my hiking boots now! There is also a short video narrated by Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan as she carries the Google Maps gear on her back here.
Tanzania has been on my list since Pauline Frommer told me about it at the New York Times Travel Show. Jane Goodall travelled to this park in 1960 at age 26; her research changed how we think about chimpanzees. It’s quite remote and this may be the only way I’ll see it.
Off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos is one of the most unique and biodiverse places on Earth. During Charles Darwin’s nearly five-year circumnavigation of the globe aboard HMS Beagle, he spent five weeks on the Galapagos Islands in 1835. His discoveries on these islands were integral to the development of his Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.
If these images don’t inspire you, I don’t know what will! Enjoy the photography and the street views as you explore five temples including Banteay Srei, Beng Mealea, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm. Start with the video here and then move on to the Behind the Scenes section.
I was 18 the first time I went to Venice on a school trip and this brings back all the memories. Start with the video here, and then plan your trip by interest: adventure, history or romance.
Let us know what other virtual tours you’re enjoying in the comments below.