But not just any walk or hike.
Trails where you take in breathtaking scenery, drink in the beauty of the mountains, glaciers, pristine forests. Oh, and the views....... just imagine!
No rushing, just enjoying the moment. Something different from your everyday.
And, after an active day of exploring with a new group of friends, you arrive at your lodge or hotel (your luggage having arrived well before you), a gourmet meal, comfortable bed and hot shower waiting for you.
Perfect for those seeking an active vacation, away from the crowds, that renews the spirit. Yes, these vacations exist.
Here are my favorite regions.
Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks in western Alberta are just plain beautiful. If you have seen pictures of Banff, Lake Louise and Waterton Lakes, you know what I mean. The peaks, the glacier filled lakes, the waterfalls - it seems like around every corner there is something even more breathtaking. Banff can get crowed, but the trails take you away from all the tourists and into the back country. And no roughing it here. Log cabins, cozy and luxury lodges greet you at the end of an active day.
Australia has a number of premium multi-day guided walks, from the Outback, to the Apostles Lodge Walk in Victoria and the Margaret River Cape to Cape Walk in Western Australia. This one is especially intriguing as it combines gourmet food and wine experiences with walks through towering forests and on pristine beaches.
Tasmania has four of the 10 Signature walks promoted by Australia tourism. Not a surprise, given that over 50% is park land. The Bay of Fires Lodge walk in northeast Tasmania takes you across dramatic landscape and soft, white sandy beaches. The Cradle Mountain Huts Walk explores the Overland Track which wanders through ancient rainforests and through alpine meadows. The Freycinet Experience Walk on Tasmania's east coast has you walking in the footsteps of the Oyster Bay Tribe, tracks made over 30,000 years ago. The fourth trek in Tasmania is on Maria Island, a few miles off the eastern coast. This trek combines rare wildlife viewing with convict heritage and stunning landscape. From comfortable wilderness to luxury lodges, Tasmania provides a true escape with a lifetime of memories.
With 13 national parks and over 8700 miles of trails, New Zealand is a hiker's mecca. Or as the Kiwi's say, a tramping mecca. I fell in love with New Zealand years ago, and especially so with Milford Sound. I've had my eye on the Milford Trek ever since (get a sneak peak here). One of the great things (among many) with New Zealand's walks is their rating system. All marked trails are rated between 1 -6, with 1 being accessible to the mobility challenged to 6 for the extreme hiker. Guided walks are more often in 2-4 range and include wonderful lodging and gourmet meal amenities. And of course great New Zealand wine.
Chile's Torres del Paine national park grabbed me years ago when I visited the area on a cruise. And it never let go. Located in the southern area of Patagonia, the incredible scenery and wildlife left me in awe. I only spent a day in the park, but that day left me yearning to someday come back. Argentina's Lake District in northern Patagonia is equally stunning. Read more about Argentina here.
One special way to see Patagonia is on a small ship cruise. Australis specializes in Patagonia and Cape Horn, and they navigate into places that no other ships can go. Included as part of the trip are multiple hiking excursions that take you to some of the most beautiful places in Patagonia. This short video may just pique your interest.
Oh, where to start. Europe has many options, from mountain adventures in the Swiss, French or Italian Alps, the rolling hills of Tuscany and Umbria or along the Amalfi Coast, the quaint towns with pub stops in England's Cotswolds or Iceland's dramatic landscape. Not to mention the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. Whatever your interests, from pure nature to gardens or exploring small town, Europe has a trip for you. Check out this video below - it just might get you inspired.!
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