Japan could easily be considered to be among the world’s most desired destinations. I mean, who hasn’t dreamed of watching the sun set over a tori gate, visit the thousands of shrines in Kyoto, or witness dawn from the top of Mt. Fuji?
And in terms of getting around, the country has one of the safest, cleanest, fastest, most efficient, punctual and convenient public transportation networks in the world. But while you might be tempted by the city subways, bullet trains, or even by catching a flight, we opted for an entirely different way of seeing Japan: by bike.
With considerate drivers, great infrastructure, and a well connected network of roads, Japan is a perfect destination for bicycle touring first-timers. We spent 3 months on our bikes exploring Kyushu, Shikoku, and Southern Honsu, but you still can easily cover a wide cross section of Japan in 7 – 10 days.
Do you think Dubai is all about luxury hotels, towering skyscrapers, and extravagant shopping malls?
Yes, the city boasts architectural wonders that cannot be matched anywhere else in the world. ANd it definitely has it’s fair share of incredible luxury hotels.
But while many choose to relax in spas and shop for signature brands, there’s an increasing number of tourists who visit Dubai for the many outdoor activities it offers. Never one to be outdone, plenty of exhilarating adventures await you on land, sea, and in the air!
In October 2010 I traveled to Tanzania with the goal of conquering a mountain. And at 5,895 metres (19,341 ft), it was really, really tall. The highest mountain in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world, if we’re keeping score.
I trekked through some truly incredible landscapes, transformed as a person along the way, and battled through one of the world’s most challenging journeys over 7 days.
Kilimanjaro is powerful, awe-inspiring, and an experience which inspires transformation. But if you don’t know what to pack it’s going to make your life a hell of a lot harder than it has to be.
Are you looking for an extreme trekking challenge? Then you’ll love Nepal’s epic 62-kilometer trek to Everest Base Camp which lies 5,365 meters above sea level.
The Mount Everest base camp trek will take you through tiny mountain villages and pine forests, alongside topaz rivers and across staggeringly-high suspension bridges to the foot of the world’s highest mountain. However, with sub-zero temperatures and altitude sickness to contend with this isn’t a challenge for the faint-hearted.
Having completed the trek myself, here are some important tips on how to survive the journey to Everest Base Camp.
Yes, Munich is home to Oktoberfest, offers tours to Neuschwanstein Castle, has the BMW Museum, and numerous beer gardens, and it’s for these attractions the city is most famously known.
But what if you are looking for something new and exciting to do in Munich. This Bavarian city offers many secret activities and adventures that are sure to add some excitement to your next German holiday, and some will most definitely push you outside of your comfort zone!
So once you’re tired of listening to the sounds of a glockenspiel and are done playing dress-up with lederhosen and dirndls, why not try these adventures on for size. Put down that bratwurst or schnitzel, book a Munich taxi, and head to one of these quirky off the beaten path attractions.
As an avid traveler, if I find myself worrying about something it’s usually something like missing a flight, losing my passport, a hotel not having my reservation, etc. But one thing I’ve never really worried about while travelling is encountering a snake.
Being Australian, I was of course well aware of the sheer number of venomous snakes present throughout my own country. After all, half of the world’s top 10 most venomous snakes are found here. But as a nature enthusiast and avid hiker, my travels have seen me run into snakes in almost every country I’ve been to.
For the traveler who spends time in the outdoors, trying to avoid snakes completely is nearly impossible and in doing so, you would miss out on some truly remarkable places. By protecting yourself against snakebite vs. avoiding snakes, you can enjoy exploring anywhere your wanderlust cares to take you.
Go back in time to see the Roman Empire in a much more natural and untouched setting by visiting Tunisia. Tunisia in Northern Africa is home to some of the World’s most incredible Roman ruins including El Jem, Dougga, and much more. Best of all it’s just an hour flight from the tourist overrun city of Rome.
Having decreased by nearly 30% over the past decades, the Bald Uakari has been sadly downgraded to vulnerable from near threatened due to the usual causes of rainforest animal declines, habitat destruction, hunting, and the pet trade.
If you have ever wanted to actually hold a piece of a mammoth, there is no better place in the U.S. to do so than the Peace River in central Florida. In addition to holding the remains of fossilized mammoth teeth, bones, and ivory, the River is a treasure trove for countless other prehistoric beasts and native peoples.
Regional Victoria is full of stunning sights and the natural beauty of the Hattah-Kulkyne national park is one of the many examples of that.
In the heart of the Australian bush, the outback park is home to a superb freshwater system of creeks and lakes that connects to the Murray River, and within it lives a whole host of beautiful bird, marine and wildlife.
Although don’t make the mistake of assuming Hattah-Kulkyne is only of interest to binocular toting nature lovers, there is plenty to keep everyone occupied!
The women in our group had started calling me shoulders – not necessarily because there was anything spectacular about mine, but because they could see them. Which was a novel concept when we were hiking across a continent covered in ice.
In fact, Antarctica is the coldest, windiest and driest continent on earth, and summer temperatures average just above freezing. So stripping off my carefully planned out layers wasn’t something I expected, or originally had in mind.
But the sun was beating down, and I was ridiculously overdressed. I had even started sweating! So there I was, hiking across a glacier, with bare shoulders, now recommending that every traveler to Antarctica packs sunblock. Because the biggest killer in Antarctica is the reflection off the ice.
Kathmandu is a myriad of experiences: it’s dusty and beautiful, chaotic and serene, all at once. But one thing is definite: you’ll never discover all of it if you head here as just a tourist.
Come as an international volunteer, however, and you’ll get to discover the city’s secrets, learn its culture, and experience something so much more than a holiday.
Hannah, from Perth, Australia, is two months into a three-month research volunteer opportunity with UK-based charity Street Child, and she can’t believe how quickly her time in Nepal’s capital city has flown by.
It’s rare these days to find a destination where you can go from a downtown setting to literally being lost in the jungle in a matter of hours. But Peru does just that; a country which blends a diverse mixture of cultures, from the high plateaus of the Andes to the jungles surrounding the Amazon. And it’s wildlife is as colorful and vibrant as its cities and culture too.
But for all its diversity, this means attempting to tackle Peru on your own can be daunting. With so much to see and do you run the risk of missing a lot of what the country has to offer should you choose to do it alone.
So to really dive in, and make sure you don’t miss a thing, we recommend booking a tour. And the great thing for anyone wishing to travel this year, is that Luxury Escapes is offering 20% off the tour we chose.
Sharing a 2,000 km border with Sweden, in the northern European region of Scandinavia, Norway is a beautiful Nordic country, and in recent years rumors have begun to spread of it’s insane natural beauty.
A country defined by epic landscapes which rank among the most stunning in the world, the sheer drama of the fjords is alone worth the effort of coming here.
Rumors of this magical place are spreading like wildfire, though what can a traveler actually do? While 98% of its territory is uninhabited and impossible to live in, for those who choose to travel, there are unlimited possibilities for adventure. The following are our 5 favorite choices.
So you’ve planned for the most amazing adventures of a lifetime, enjoying all the most exciting, challenging activities the world has to offer.
I’m talking weeks skiing in the Alps, scaling and clambering up mountains in the northernmost parts of Scotland, hiking through Italy, or a month surfing down in Cornwall. There are some truly amazing experiences to be had out there.
But then that age old maxim rings true. You need a vacation from your vacation. After you return home you’re drained, you’re grubby, your feet have developed huge callouses and blisters.
Overall, you’re really not feeling your most attractive. Sure, there’s the whole warrior-woman, fresh out of the wild aesthetic, but it’s not the fourteenth century, and you’re really not feeling it.
That’s where a trip to the spa can come in handy. Perfect for dealing with those post-adventure blues, and for acclimatising back to normal life, a spa trip can also get you feeling healthy and attractive again.
In recent years, rumors have begun to spread about the existence of a small Nordic island nation in the North Atlantic Ocean; an island defined by dramatic landscapes, with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, lava fields, and elves. Yes, elves.
Rumors of this magical place are spreading like wild fire, and travelers have started arriving from all over the land. Though how do you know if Iceland is a country for you? Even though it’s a pretty safe bet in terms of an incredible vacation, what kind of travelers does it suit?
One of the great wonders of the world, no trip to the US is complete without stopping to experience the Grand Canyon. But at almost 450 km long, and over 1,100 km in circumference, how do you even know where to start?!!
There are options to take in the West Rim glass skywalk, and stay overnight at a ranch on native land. You can choose to travel on horseback, and witness the magic of a sunrise which most tourists will never understand.
The following are the pros and cons of visiting each of the Grand Canyon’s 4 available rims. If you can’t make it to Arizona you can take a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon from Vegas too.
India is a land of remarkable diversity, though where nature lovers and romantics are concerned, its dramatic terrain is breathtaking, and we recommend heading for the hills.
There are many hill stations throughout India; towns located at a higher elevation than the nearby plain or valley. Most were established by European colonists escaping the summer heat (temperatures in the hills are much cooler), and with over 20 mountain ranges, today they are spread all across India.
With awe-inspiring access to nature, and a romantic seclusion that modern cities rarely offer, choosing a hill station can be a very challenging task. But if you’re a nature lover or looking for a romantic escape, we’ve narrowed your list down to 8.
Travel is an incredible experience, though when you engage your creative genius it’s possible that it becomes even better!
You already know where you’re going next, you’ve researched your destinations, you’ve seen all the attractions online and you know everything about them. It’s so hard to be surprised nowadays! But if you pose a few creative challenges to yourself, then the fun element will stay intact.
Here are five ideas for a start, you can continue your own travel challenges list.
Getting to see a volcano up close is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. Whether they’re dormant or active, standing on the crater fills you with wonder (and sometimes dread) as you gaze into the maw of these colossi.
For the purposes of this article, we’ve chosen five different countries with live volcanoes. Though some of these have more than one volcano currently active, so keep an eye out for that, too.
Made up of 74 island wonders in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays are the most beautiful part of Queensland’s tropical coast. Four of the islands have resorts but most are uninhabited, characterized by dense rainforest, hiking trails, and secluded white sand beaches which offer back-to-nature beach camping for the adventurous.
There are plenty of reasons to visit the Whitsundays, though this is one of those destinations where you don’t really need one; a true paradise, and the ultimate in adventure and relaxation, with great cocktails and incredible local seafood!
Most people who try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) are hooked straight from the off, leading them to buy SUPs for themselves. It’s a unique activity that can allow you to enjoy some of the most beautiful places from the vantage point of your board, while also getting some exercise too.
However, there are those out there who get ‘paddle-bored’ (I know, we can’t believe it either!), so we’ve looked at five ways you can make sure your next SUP trip is as fun as it possibly could be, making certain you’re forever hooked on SUP!
Cuba tourism is booming now that their relationship has warmed with the United States, and a lot more people are starting to plan travel to the island.
Though many people are surprised that Cuba is not a cheap country to travel through. And it’s not, if you stay in fancy hotels and eat at the typical tourist taunts. Group tour packages run between $3,000 – $5,000 right now and many times this price doesn’t even include your flight!
Though as US travel restrictions are loosened and tourism floodgates open, there are many ways for you to travel through Cuba on the cheap. And, if you follow through to the giveaway at the bottom of the post, ViaHero is giving residents of Canada and the United States a chance to travel to Cuba for free!
If you’re looking for a trip outside of the ordinary tourist traps, you should definitely consider giving Antarctica a try. Despite the growing popularity of Antarctica cruises, it’s still a sparsely visited region and offers some of the most pristine stretches of untouched land left for people to explore.
Since Antarctica is so remote, it’s going to require a little more planning on your part to make sure you get the most bang for your exploration buck. After all, it’s not like you can just hop on a flight or train to squeeze in an extra activity or two that you missed the first time around.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some steps you can take to make sure you get as much adventuring awesomeness out of your Antarctic trip as you can.
The Great Ocean Road is considered to be one of the most scenic drives in the world, and is certainly a jewel in the crown of Australian tourism. Its stunning coastal road hangs precariously on soaring sea cliffs and winds between pretty towns and beaches, all set against the backdrop of the Great Otaway National Park, the site of Australia’s few temperate rainforests.
Though for one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, most visitors to the area sadly see very little, and most of that through a coach window. But you won’t see the best sights from your car.
Much more than a scenic highway, this region is home to a myriad of coastal tracks, rainforest trails, and hikes which connect historic seaside villages, taking in ocean views and dramatic waterfalls. If there’s one thing for certain, the best way to discover the Great Ocean Road is to walk.