A veteran adventure traveler, motojournalist and Cuba specialist, Christopher P. Baker—the Lowell Thomas Award 2008 'Travel Journalist of the Year'—has written and photographed almost 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Moon, National Geographic, etc.; been published worldwide, from CNN Travel to National Geographic Traveler and Playboy; and has led more than 100 tours for such companies as Lindblad Expeditions, National Geographic Expeditions, and Edelweiss Bike Travel.
What places and activities do you specialize in?
"Cuba foremost. But also Costa Rica, Colombia, and California."
How did you get involved in travel?
"I participated in two Sahara research expeditions and an exchange program in Krakow, Poland, while studying geography at University College London. That gave me the travel bug. I made frequent visits to the Greek Islands and in 1978 taught summer camp in the USA before spending six months hitchhiking around North America. In 1980 I settled in Berkeley, California, and began work in the adventure travel business. Two years later I launched my career as a full-time freelance travel journalist and tour leader."
Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.
"In 1996 I shipped my BMW R100GS motorcycle to Cuba and traveled more than 7,000 miles over several months while researching the Moon Cuba handbook. It was my christening in the world of adventure motorcycle touring--now one of my absolute passions. Adventure motorcycling lets you explore parts of the world that are virtually inaccessible by any other means, and with absolute freedom. "
Featured trips & expertise
In two weeks, you can experience the highlights of several Greek islands for a variety of relaxing, educational, and exciting experiences. Consider pairing Rhodes with Crete and Corfu, or touring a few lesser-known Cycladic isles like Tinos, Ios, and Syros. You can also choose a more immersive experience by sticking to only two islands—Naxos and Santorini, for example, offer more than enough active adventures and cultural experiences to fill 14 extraordinary days.
With 10 days, you can easily hop between three of Greece's distinct islands—Tinos, Naxos, and Ios in the Cyclades, for example—if you're looking for a variety of experiences. Or, immerse yourself fully in the culture and archaeological sites of one or two larger isles, such as Rhodes and Crete. Let these five itineraries inspire you.
In seven days, it’s easy to combine Athens or other mainland sightseeing with one or more Greek isles and experiences. You can wind through the medieval ruins of Rhodes, immerse yourself in the local lifestyle and cuisine of Crete, or be a sybarite as you ferry-hop the Cyclades Islands. Let this diverse collection of 7-day itineraries inspire you.
The Greek Islands may number in the hundreds, but with less than a week, it’s possible to sample a variety of isles and experiences. You can rummage among the medieval ruins of Rhodes, immerse yourself in the local lifestyle and cuisine of Crete, or visit the filming locations of the movie Mamma Mia on Skopelos. Let this diverse collection of 5-day itineraries inspire you.
December is peak season, especially during Christmas week, as Canadians and Europeans flood in droves. But the weather is as perfect as any month of the year. And three of Cuba’s premier festivals occur, including an unforgettable religious procession and the equally memorable fireworks “battle” (or parranda) of Remedios. But expect higher prices, and plenty of other visitors crowding your pictures.
The dry season finally arrives in November, bringing heaps of sunshine and agreeable temperatures. Plus, this month Cuba hosts some of the most popular festivals of the year. The tourist floodgates begin to open also, but not so much than Cuba feels crowded, and expect higher hotel and other rates than in prior months.