This vacation rental perched on the edge of the wild Pacific states it is 'luxury at the edge of the earth' - and it is! We spent a week here in July 2006 and didn't want to leave. Our days were spent surfing, kayaking, and hiking and evenings spent relaxing our tired bodies in the hot tub watching the whales go by - it was truly an unbelievable once in a lifetime experience. The house is located on a private beach, so beachcombing with coffee became our morning ritual. The area is one of unspoiled rugged wilderness, and one of our best meals was the salmon we caught that morning, barbequed on the beachfront porch and served on the 12 foot handmade cedar dining table - we created some wonderful family memories here. This is the wild west coast of Canada at its very best!
Horseback riding tour in Mongolia. Genuine meeting with locals far from the tourist spot, great service and friendly staff, great materials, included European trekking saddles and amazing food served duing the trip (yes, in Mongolia !)
We booked our trip through Balearic Discovery, a small travel company based on the island. Reliable, knowledgeable and helpful, I’d definitely recommend them if you want to explore some of the quieter corners of the island (they have some great rural hotels from about €55) or pre-arrange activities like horseriding, wine tasting, yoga or deepsea fishing.
Fantastic diving, more soft corals than you can shake a snorkel at. Sea turtles galore, so many lion fish I stopped counting, frog fish, sea snakes, eels, eels, eels, spotted rays, angel wrasse, schools of fish everywhere, wall, and reef diving at its best!
Also a great side trip if in Manila is Anilao, in Batanges, Philippines. The resorts leave much to be desired, but the diving is phenomenal (think backpacker diving, go for the underwater sights, and hope the food at the resort is edible afterward, or be smart and pack a picnic), the diving is worth it though.
Search Dumaguete+diving or Anilao+Batanges+Philippines Diving
This one's extreme. You get here via a tiny six-seater plane or a white-knuckle three-hour boat trip from Shetland. The best (usually the only) place to stay is the Bird Observatory, where you get fed within an inch of your life on home baking. You can join the twitchers with their birding work, thrill to cliff-top walks bombarded by broody skuas, check out the knitting in the island museum, and just soak up the sound of sea and silence.
We love the great outdoors and have tried activity holidays in most European destinations but last year’s holiday took some beating. We stayed high up in the French Alps in a wonderful resort called Châtel. We went on guided walks along Alpine trails (think The Sound of Music), did some mountain biking down some scary downhill courses, got soaked on a whitewater rafting course and still had time to indulge in a bit of retail therapy in Geneva and relax with a wine tasting visit! I can’t recommend our hosts highly enough – Mountain Air Holidays – they organised everything for us and cooked the most wonderful meals every night. I’d definitely recommend it!
A small, friendly and ethical 'adventure holiday' company, specialising in climbing/trekking in Ecuador. Offers three tours - all out of Quito: a two/three-week trek-based holiday, a two/three-week climbing-based holiday and a week-long add-on option in the Galapagos. Nice team, genuinely love what they do - and the bonus of eco-tourism to boot. A (rare to find these days) genuine experience of a lifetime! Recommended.
Tel. 0844 800 9679 / 01926 887688
Mountains of Ecuador Ltd
PO Box 4529
Tel. 0844 800 9679 / 01926 887688
Last summer my family and I went down to Cornwall and my mum booked us on a sea kayaking and coasteering day at Porthpean Activity Centre (St. Austell).
They gave us wetsuits and life jackets to wear and then we walked through the village down to the beach where our kayaks were waiting for us.
We then kayaked along the coast for about half an hour. Then the instructors stopped us and said we could jump out and swim to the rocks. You could then climb up the rocks and jump off! My dad did it and said it was scary. I jumped in and swam around the boat. It was a bit scary as we saw a jellyfish near us and we were in deep water.
After this we kayaked onto a small beach where the instructors gave us snorkelling equipment and we swam out along the rocks until the water was about 10ft deep. I saw a huge dogfish and lots of other fish swimming around the rocks. It was amazing. We then kayaked on a bit further along the coast and landed on another beach for lunch.
The instructors were really good, they showed where to find crabs
and told us about the creatures on the beach.
After than we kayaked back to Porthpean, but my mum and sister got tired out and one of the instructors towed them back for some of the way. It was a brilliant day where I did things I had never done before.
(PS my mum said it was good value as it cost £19.00 for each of us)
From Finn Monaghan (age 9)
With apologies to Julie Andrews, as far as mountain climbing for beginners goes there's nun better than Skiddaw with its natural route clearly visible.
It's a steep climb, but persistence will deliver some amazing views. There are no ropes, pickaxes or on-all-fours required, although be prepared for a slight feeling of shame as runners often jog past.
Take a child and pretend you are going at their pace.
Follow the signposts on the A591 and you'll soon be on the simplest way up Skiddaw.
Finch Travels is an eco company that organises individual safaris and adventure trips to accommodate your requests and supports community projects. My daughter and I have just returned from the holiday of a lifetime. We specifically wanted to see elphants, visit a friend and some community projects. The groups are small, maximum 6/7. Our trip was just 2 and we were the envy of other tourists. We were accompanied all the time by a guide and driver, our vehicle being a Land Cruiser. Each day was planned but could be altered if we wished. Lodges and hotels were top of the range. I cannot recommend this experience enough, it was incredible.
Finch Travels Ltd
Off Ngong Rd
P.O. Box 177-00517 Nairobi
Tel +254 020 2725502
If you decide to visit the Atlas mountains in a 4x4, remember to take some pens and pencils with you as the children there ask for 'stylos' when you pass through their villages. They were really disappointed when we didn't have any with us.
Take some courage too, as the mountain tracks we were driven on had very steep drops, no passing places and no crash barriers.
An 'adventure' really does mean an adventure in Morocco.
Diggerland in Kent is a really fun adventure park, as there are so many different types of diggers to drive on, including dumper trucks and giant diggers.
All ages can join in, including adults! It’s really safe (you get tuition) and the staff are cool.
There are man-size diggers and you can dig massive holes and it’s just great for a boys' day out!
From Neill Andrew (age 12).
Forget the one-day trip to Finnish Lapland, with the promise of a sight of Santa and his elves. Instead take the option of a short break adventure holiday to the winter wonderland of Lapland.
A 2 1/2 hour flight to Stockholm from London and then 1 1/2 hours internal flight to Kiruna. Where daylight is at a minimum and snow at a premium.
At Christmas this was a perfect way to dream the dream - white snow, huskies, reindeer, snow mobiling and the chance to stay in the Hotel at the Edge of the world - the world famous Ice Hotel.
From harnessing the huskys and travelling through beautiful countryside, to snow mobiling across a frozen lake there is so much more to do given the time - ice sculpting, fishing (drilling through the ice to find some tasty morsel), snow shoeing, cross country skiing, fine dining or literally just chilling out.
Mt Stromlo, reveals numerous trails and technical challenges for those passionate about mountain biking. Positioned so close to the city centre it's an asset no other Australian city can boast, with a passionate community behind it, Mt Stromlo is back after the firestorm, and is packing loads of new challenges, trails and adventures.
Book a boat - much less expensive than the USA and Europe - and have a day fishing for marlin, wahoo, Spanish mackeral and mahi mahi with tuna almost guaranteed! B13 has always been lucky for me.
It's a long journey by land, but that old adage about the journey holds true for those that make the effort to reach Cambodia's most remote outpost. Sandwiched between the Vietnamese and Laos border, Ratanakiri is a wilderness of jungle and wide rivers, dotted occasionally by villages where, it seems, traditions are unadulterated by modernity.
Travelling east from Phnom Penh up the Mekong is an adventure in itself. The strange torpedo like motor boats that plough the waters seem out of place in this spectacular country, but they do the job nonetheless.
It is necessary to spend a night in Stung Treng before reaching
Ratanakiri. When I was in there, there was little to do in this town, but the guesthouse was suitable and there was a cafe that served decent fayre.
Moreover following the journey thus far it was a welcome respite, and gave me time to digest the richness of all I had passed that day. North from here is the Laos crossing, famous for its proximity to the many islands within the Mekong and the river dolphins you struggle to glimpse - but that was for another time.
The final leg of the journey was all I could've hoped for; delays,
breakdowns, burst tyres and appalling discomfort, but that is what you want when you travel to Ratanakiri and anything less really would have been rather disappointing.
Arriving in the province is an achievement insomuch as you feel you have arrived somewhere new and untapped. The slack roads and buildings look different to other places in the country; even the people have a certain unfazed look on their faces depicting, perhaps, their Vietnamese neighbours.
Spending a couple of weeks in this part of Cambodia is healing for those who love travel and love what travel represents. For $50 I went with a guide into the jungle to live out my explorer fantasy. Sleeping in hammocks, removing leaches and trekking through dense vegetation with the slight hope of seeing some beast, or happening upon a new Angkor type ruin is a tad hopeful. Still, you feel here anything is possible, and are honoured to tread such virgin land.
At Riksgransen, in the northernmost part of Sweden, the season runs from February until Midsummer, when you get the chance to experience the midsummer sun and the lifts don't close until after midnight. In May they host the Nordic Championships in extreme skiing and snowboarding. The apres-ski is excellent.
Fly to Kiruna via Stockholm and transfer by bus for the 135km journey to the resort. Car hire or rail travel are also possible.
Mountaingirl is a great company that offers women's climbing courses and holidays. It's run by inspiring and fun female mountain guides who teach and encourage you instead of just drag ging you up a hill.
They have courses for absolute beginners to high level climbers and are happy to make a "bespoke course" for you and your friends if you ask. They offer a very high-quality experience where you can learn a new sport, laugh a lot, and also get out somewhere incredible!
128 Shoreditch High St,
London E1 6JE
The Huka Jet is a 30 minute high speed jet boating experience that shows you the spectacular Huka Falls and whizzes you past cliffs at 80km per hour. It does a 360 degree spin, and, at times, you get so close to the cliff walls that you can almost feel them graze your ears!
Afterwards, lunch at the Huka Prawn Park right next to the Huka Jet is delicious.
Near Taupo - if you are staying in Taupo, a courtesy coach will pick you up from your accomodation. It costs NZ$79, which is a bit pricey, but a unique experience. Oh, and I advise you to book!
Tour company based in Kathmandu running escorted tours in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. Run by the indefatigable Shiva Dhakal for whom nothing is too much trouble. Very reliable and utterly professional - they're used by some of the international adventure tour companies to run services for them. Go direct, save yourself some money and put more of your stirling/dollars/euros etc into the local economy. We found them on www.responsibletravel.com
Royal Mountain Travel
Durbar marg (Yak & Yeti Hotel entry road)
Phone: +977-1-4215364-5 / +977-1-4215371
Mobile: 00977 - 9851021560
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