[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Amanda Keeley-Thurman
The love of cigars is more than just a hobby. For many, it is a lifestyle; a lifestyle with a rich history in culture and exploration. The first cigars can be traced back to the ancient Mayans, but it wasn’t until Christopher Columbus and his crew discovered tobacco in the Americas that cigars gained widespread popularity. The world fell in love with this rolled, sweet smelling tobacco; a timeless love that is worth traveling for.
The passion for cigars and travel go hand in hand. Travel, as well as cigars allows us to relax, learn and indulge. So, where should a cigar lover like you travel?
From Europe to the Caribbean, there are fabulous destinations around the world that will have cigar fans booking flights and leaving town. Some destinations are obvious, but others might be a bit surprising. See for yourself!
Honduras is known for fantastic landscapes and thriving ecosystems, like the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve. Honduras has adventure, such as kayaking, diving and snorkeling at Roatan, or rafting at the Rio Cangrejal. There is history at the Mayan ruins of Copan. Most importantly, there are cigars. Be sure to visit Carretera al Paraiso and take the Rocky Patel Cigar Factory tour and see the breathtaking Jamastran Valley tobacco fields.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
France is home to the Quai d’Orsay cigar line. Although, Quai d’Orsay is produced in Cuba, it is rather hard to find outside of France. So, it looks like a trip to Paris is in order. While you are there, have a cigar in the oldest cigar shop in Paris a La Civette du Palais-Royal, where Napoleon and Casanova were said to be customers. For a truly unique experience, stop by Art Tabac and try the owner’s specialty made cigars in the smoking room.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Switzerland and cigars, you say? Yes, Switzerland is a great destination for those who love cigars. For starters, they have the Davidoff-Schiff ship.
Holding numerous cigar events such as the Smoke on the Water event held once a month, this floating party cruises along on Lake Zurich providing cigar connoisseurs with a magical evening filled with cigars and even a few Swiss celebrities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
#7 Las Vegas
Okay, so Las Vegas doesn’t have historical tobacco fields, but is a great place to travel if you love to smoke cigars. Why? Because it is one of the few places anywhere, that you can enjoy
a cigar indoors and sometimes for free when you are gambling!
Plus, Las Vegas is home to some of the biggest tobacco conventions. A night cap at Casa Fuente isn’t a bad idea either. Located inside the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace, it has a
great selection of Arturo Fuente cigars.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
#6 Nassau, Bahamas
Nassau is home to Graycliff cigars, but visiting the Bahamas offers way more than just a factory tour. Stay at the family owned Graycliff Hotel for a complete cigar travel experience. Built in 1740, the Graycliff Hotel is Nassau’s first hotel and has made the National Register of Historic Places. The Graycliff boutique brand cigars use the complex entubado method and accommodations include a different Graycliff cigar each evening for turndown service. Talk about sweet dreams.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Say what? Not as sexy sounding as Miami, but Tampa used to be the cigar capital of the world! Ybor City, a neighborhood in Tampa, holds the annual Cigar Heritage Festival and is home to many famous cigar makers, including Arturo Fuente and J.C. Newman families. Considered a National Historic District, Ybor City is deeply rooted in cigar history, but this town is very much in the present with a happening nightlife and hub of fantastic Latin American restaurants.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Want Cuban culture in the U.S? Then get to Miami. Little Havana is home to the oldest cigar factory in the U.S, the El Credito Cigar Factory. Although you can’t get real Cuban Cigars in the U.S, they do offer pretty close contenders. The cigars sold in Little Havana are grown in Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, but grown from Cuban tobacco seeds. Plus, Miami has great beaches and a hot night life![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Increasingly popular among travelers, Nicaragua has a ton to offer from volcanoes to explore like Cerro Negro, gorgeous beaches and great surf, and let’s not forget the amazing coffee. For the cigar lover a visit to the cigar capital, Esteli, is a must.
Sign up for Drew Estate’s Cigar Safari for a full hands-on cigar experience. Esteli Cigarros, is a recommended stop for those who love cigars as it includes a free factory tour along with a tour of the tobacco fields. At Plasencia Cigars, where Casa Magna, Rocky Patel and Alec Bradley cigars are made, visitors get a chance to create their own blend. Also, don’t miss seeing the Perdomo tobacco
fields and factory.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
#2 Dominican Republic
Whether you like to keep it low-key with a leisurely round of golf on the La Cana Golf Course or want to seek some excitement on the Jarabacoa Adventure, all cigar lovers will agree that Dominican Republic is a must. In Santo Domingo, visit the Tabacalera De Garcia Factory, the largest in the world! Also in the Dominican Republic are La Aurora Cigar World, Davidoff Factory, Tabacalera Palma Field and factory, Quesada Cigars Factory, Tabacalera La Alianza EP Carrillo Factory, La Flor Dominicana tobacco field and factory, Don Lucas Cigars, and the De Los Reyes Cigar field and factory.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
It is no surprise that Cuba would make the top destination when it comes to loving cigars. Not only are Cuban cigars considered (by many-not all) to be the best, thanks to Cuba’s perfect environment for growing high-quality leaves and the Cuban’s expertise in cigar making, but it is also a very exciting time for travel! The recent changes with travel allowances have made it easier for U.S citizens to visit Cuba. Cigar lovers will want to set up a tour of Havana cigar factories such as the Partagas Cigar Factory, the oldest in Cuba. Get out to the countryside and visit the tobacco plantations such as the Vuelta Abajo region where the finest Habano tobaccos are harvested. Don’t forget to enjoy every cigar with Cuban Rum like Havana Club. Tastings and pairings are readily available in Cuba! Plan your trip for February and enjoy the formal Habanos Festival celebrating Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Amanda Keeley-Thurman is a freelance writer, blogger and bartender with a passion for fine cigars, stiff drinks and great adventures. She has been sharing her stories in Cigar & Spirits Magazine since 2011, and regularly provides hot travel advice on her blog HotMamaTravel.com[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]