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
True, the weather can be cold and rainy—but when the sun shines, it's simply glorious. Above all, December is a month to experience the Greek Islands alongside the Greeks, and at its most authentic. In fact, many islands are perfect wintertime venues, especially for culture vultures, nature lovers, gourmands, and travelers who love road trips.
Yes, winter is coming—but no, it’s not yet too cold for the Greek Islands. Expect a mix of mild to warm sunny days and plenty of rain mixed in. The weather may be less than ideal, but crowds are gone, prices are low, nature is magical, and you can experience the best of Greece like a local.
October offers the best of all worlds: Mild to warm, sunny weather, low shoulder season rates, and fewer visitors to compete with. Win-win-win. By month’s end, however, the chillier autumn has officially arrived, and you’ll most likely encounter prolonged clouds and rain. While September would be a better option for a beach vacation, sea temps are still warm enough for swimming, and this is also a great month for sightseeing.
September is a great month to experience the Greek Islands, as the weather and sea temperatures are perfect as can be. Whether you’re keen on an active adventure, cultural immersion, or simply fun in the sun, late September is an especially good bet, when most other travelers begin to return home and prices are starting to fall.
August is the hottest month of the year, and with Greeks enjoying their holidays as well, it’s also the busiest and the most expensive. But the sea is a perfect temperature for swimming, and Mykonos, Santorini, and other “party islands” are, well, partying as if there’s no tomorrow.
July is high season in Greece, with gloriously sunny weather, azure skies, and warm seas. It's the perfect month for swimming and sunbathing—but you'll be sharing the beaches with lots and lots of visitors, and prices are at their highest. The hottest days can be really toasty, so bring lots of sunscreen plus a shade hat and swimwear. Adding to the appeal, Greece’s music and arts festivals (and nightlife) are in full swing in mid-summer.