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Archive for adventure travel

Head-to-Toe in Kent

By Linda Tancs

If you’re longing for a safari-like experience outside Africa, then a visit to Kent, England, might just be the ticket. Yes, that’s right. Kent, the “Garden of England,” offers an enviable wildlife experience at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve. The park is home to over 760 animals across 90 species, including spectacled bears, Kent’s only giraffe and the largest herd of black rhino in the UK. For added excitement, stay at one of their special lodges where floor-to-ceiling windows in each guest room afford head-to-toe views of wolves, tigers, lions, bears and giraffes in special enclosures. You can even hand-feed the giraffes at the Giraffe Lodge, just like at the Giraffe Manor in Kenya.

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From Tyrol to Italy

By Linda Tancs

From Austria’s highest peak (Grossglockner) to the Adriatic Sea, the Alpe-Adria Trail is a 466-mile trek winding its way through Austria, Slovenia and Italy. Signposted throughout, the trail is divided into a series of stages, each taking about six hours to walk. The hiking season begins in April and ends in October, the whole stretch taking up to six weeks. If you go now, you’ll likely see snow lingering on the high passes in Carinthia and Slovenia.

The Last Ocean

By Linda Tancs

Named for British explorer James Ross, the Ross Sea in Antarctica has been nicknamed “the last ocean.” Located between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land, it’s the southernmost sea on Earth, quite literally the last sea. Perhaps not surprisingly, this remote ocean is deemed one of the most pristine environments left in the world, the perfect locale for a marine reserve (the world’s largest) twice the size of Texas. It’s also home to the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest in the world at around 193,000 square miles. And it even sings (well, sort of), making a didgeridoo-like sound as the wind blows across the landscape causing the outer snow layer to vibrate.

An Arduous Trek in Europe

By Linda Tancs

Are you fit enough to climb 50 flights of stairs and walk a very steep 1 in 5 gradient? If so, then the Gobbins Cliff Path in Northern Ireland may be just for you. It’s a dramatic coastal walk erected over 100 years ago along a cliff-face in Islandmagee and one of the most unique things to do in Northern Ireland. Available only via a guided tour over two hours in length, the trek takes you along a narrow path hugging the cliff comprising bridges amid the crashing waves of the North Channel, hidden tunnels under the Irish Sea, rugged staircases carved into the cliff and caves that were once home to smugglers and privateers. If you’re not up to the task, fret not. The visitors’ center provides ample history on the walk, and an hour-long sea tour from Ballylumford Harbour packs stunning views.

The Jordan Trail

By Linda Tancs

The Jordan Trail is a continuous route crossing the entire country of Jordan, offering over 403 miles of trails through diverse terrains and landscapes. From Um Qais in the north to the Red Sea in the south, it flows alongside the Great Rift Valley, overlooking rugged wadis and cliffs, breathtaking scenery and archaeological monuments. If the route sounds intimidating, then take advantage of the groups and companies leading hikes. Nevertheless, a complete through-hike is physically demanding; take that into account when planning your journey.

Europe’s Renowned Pilgrimage

By Linda Tancs

For more than a thousand years, pilgrims have trekked over the Pyrenees from France into Spain via a network of trails that make up the Way of St. James—El Camino de Santiago—converging at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Originating as a spiritual pilgrimage in honor of St. James, the 500-mile trek offers intrepid travelers a cultural immersion as well with cathedrals, bridges, Roman roads, monasteries, palaces, stately homes and traditional regional architecture placed amidst varying landscapes like plateaus and mountains, meadows and coastline. Be prepared for a 30-day hike if you commit to the entire route from France to Spain. Shorter routes could take less than a week to complete.

The World’s Only Drive-In Volcano

By Linda Tancs

On the eastern Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Sulphur Springs is a place where you can drive—and dive—right in. On the drive-in side, there’s the collapsed caldera of the dormant Soufrière volcano, offering a drive-thru experience like no other with lots of boiling springs, steam and bubbling mud pots. After that, maybe you’ll want to dive into the mud baths in the geothermal park, where you’re promised rejuvenation and detoxification. Then wash it all off at a nearby waterfall. The volcano emits hydrogen sulphide (that rotten eggs smell) so be forewarned.

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