World’s 9 Best Travel Destinations For Outdoor Adventurers
If you’re a big outdoor adventurer, or if you’d like to be, there are certain travel destinations you’ll really want to consider. While some places are all about kicking back with an exotic drink and just taking in the scenery, others offer a wealth of thrilling active pursuits along with the opportunity to relax and unwind. These spots in particular can make for an especially unforgettable trip that’s filled with adventure.
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Located in the southern region of Argentina, Patagonia not only boasts some of the most unspoiled natural landscapes in the Andes, but it’s an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. There are so many options you’ll have to return again and again to experience them all. The highlight, however, is the W Trek, one of the greatest hikes on the planet, which will take you through the spectacular peaks of the Torres del Paine, meandering among soaring jagged mountains, glistening lakes and rushing rivers, dense forest and plains. Other opportunities include off-roading, horse riding, cycling and climbing.
Legendary for its endless opportunities for heart-pounding adventures and breathtaking scenery from soaring snow-capped mountains and jewel-like lakes to a dazzling coastline edged by turquoise waters. Queenstown is the best of the best with the opportunity to enjoy everything from hiking, biking and climbing to whitewater rafting, diving and more. If you’re looking for something more extreme, consider taking in New Zealand’s beauty from 12,000 feet above ground by sky diving. Or, if you’re into bungee jumping, Queenstown is the place that started it all, with the daring throwing themselves off Kawarau Bridge since 1988.
The ultimate destination for adventurers with dramatic volcanic landscapes, glaciers, powerful waterfalls and roaring rivers, not to mention the hot springs for soothing sore muscles after a day of play, Iceland is a fantastic backdrop for all sorts of activities that can be enjoyed on foot, two wheels, horseback or boat. If you’re into diving, you can even take a dip between the North American and Eurasian plates in the Silfra fissure. There are lots of guided adventure trips available too- Extreme Iceland offers a host of active day and multi-day excursions.
Antarctica offers the chance to experience one of the world’s last true wilderness destinations. From Punta Arenas, Chile, you can board a small cruise ship and then camp out on the Antarctic ice via several different outfitters. Feel a thrill similar to what early explorers experienced as they attempted to conquer the continent while getting an up close look at massive icebergs and an icy landscape that stretches as far as the eye can see. The wildlife is incredible too, including huge penguin rookeries, seals and whales. When it’s time for bed, tuck into your cozy sleeping bag and fall asleep to the crackling sounds of the glaciers and the gentle sounds of the water and ice that wash onto the beach.
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CNN Lists Penang as One of the World’s Best Places to Visit in 2022
As the only Southeast Asian city to make the list, Penang joins the likes of Naples, Oslo, Palau Island, and Valencia.
As tourism picks up after an almost two-year long hiatus, people around the globe are looking to travel to safe and interesting destinations this year. As they do every year, CNN has published the cities and countries recommended for 2022, with Penang making the list!
The only Southeast Asian destination to make the list, Penang joins the likes of Naples, Oslo, Palau island, and Valencia.
Image Credit: Salt in Our Hair
Naturally, the focus for Penang is the food! CNN highlighted the island’s rich melting pot of culture, presented through the food, that is beloved not just by Malaysians, but many international visitors, too.
“The pandemic has left many of us longing for epic culinary-focused journeys, and Penang ranks up there with Asia’s best,” CNN said.
“This Malaysian island in the Andaman Sea offers a wide mix of traditional Malay, Chinese, and Indian dishes. And then there’s Baba Nyonya – also known as Peranakan – cuisine, which incorporates regional ingredients and Chinese and Malay cooking methods.”
Image Credit: TripSavvy
The feature also talks about how Penang still serves as a slice of history in this part of the world. With Georgetown having restored many of the pre-war buildings, CNN writers marveled at the preservation of “historic buildings, from old English mansions to classical Chinese shop houses and Islamic mosques.”
Penang Hill was also mentioned as an important tourist site and rightfully so, having been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve some time ago.
“Home to Penang’s highest point, it’s filled with excellent hiking trails that stretch from its peak down to the lovely botanical gardens, which were created in 1884 and serve as a repository of Penang Hill’s flora and fauna – including more than 200 species of orchids,” said CNN.
Image Credit: SETHLUI.com
It’s wonderful to witness Penang getting the attention the island deserves from international media and travel sites. Globally website International Living has repeatedly listed Penang as one of the best islands in the world for retirement, while Gurney Drive has been listed as one of the top streets in the world to see before you die by Traveller.
Image Credit: FlyKLIA
Ranking high as a place that celebrates delicious street food, it looks like Penang’s popularity is only increasing. Extremely chuffed over the inclusion on CNN’s list, Penang’s chief minister Chow Kon Yeow took to his Facebook page to heap more praise upon the island and its standing among the world’s best travel destinations.
Image Credit: Myfarrahdise.com
“Among the many must-go destinations in 2022 across the world as listed by CNN Travel, Penang is one of the inevitable ones waiting to capture your heart,” he wrote.
“Rich in various cultures, food, heritage, and other key elements that would attract tourists from afar and near, Penang, or also known as the Pearl of the Orient by many, is proud to have made it to the world platform.”
CNN’S “WHERE TO TRAVEL 2022: THE BEST DESTINATIONS TO GO” IS AS FOLLOWS (IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER)
1. Antigua and Barbuda
2. Bissagos Islands, Guinea-Bissau
3. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
6. Dijon, France
7. Disko Bay, Greenland
8. Gabon National Parks
10. Lahti, Finland
11. Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert, Australia
12. Naples, Italy
13. Ollantaytambo, Peru
14. Orkney Islands, UK
16. Palau Island
17. Penang, Malaysia
18. South Africa
19. St. Eustatius, Netherlands
20. Tulsa, Oklahoma
21. Valencia, Spain
22. Yellowstone National Park, US
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10 of the best outdoor adventures in Europe: readers’ tips
Walk 230 miles in Scotland and go days without seeing anyone. I navigated the unmarked trail, at times with no path, through soaring mountains and wild landscapes, across swollen rivers and beaches with sand as white as anything in the Seychelles. Starting at Fort William with a boat crossing, the trail hugs the rugged west coast, dipping in and out of sea lochs, and ends at the lighthouse at the most north-westerly tip of the UK. The last seven miles is through an MOD firing range. Wild camp by the finest salmon rivers, or stay in welcoming bothies from another era. It’s an adventure that draws walkers from all over the world.
Dolomites via ferrata, Italy
Via ferrata Tridentina. Photograph: Alamy
We completed the Via Ferrata Tridentina in the Dolomites last June, after an attempt a few years before failed because of snow. We set out with our Cicerone guide book, harnesses, helmets and via ferrata devices, and encountered the best VF route we’d ever done. Easy to access, Tridentina was thrilling and fun, but accessible to most people with basic climbing skills and a head for heights. We had extraordinary views throughout the ascent. Sadly, the Pisciadù hut at the top was shut, so no refreshing summit beer, but just as well – we needed our heads as the gully descent was snow-filled and much more treacherous than usual!
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Guardian Travel readers’ tips
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Sweden coastal cycle
In 2018, I tackled the Kattegattleden, Sweden’s beautiful coastal cycle path. With friends, I took the train from Copenhagen to Helsingborg to hire bikes. From there, it was a 340km ride to Gothenburg, with stops in Ängelholm, Halmstad, Falkenberg, Varberg and Frillesås. Airbnbs along the route were excellent and reasonably priced, averaging £50 a night for two. Bikes were from TravelShop in Helsingborg (£297 for two bikes, including pick-up from Gothenburg). Our journey took six days, although eight is recommended. A hugely rewarding adventure that can be done without much prior cycling experience.
Sailing and climbing to the pub, Ireland
The view from Brandon towards the Dingle peninsula, County Kerry. Photograph: Colm Kingston
I have competed twice in the Irish Sailing and Mountaineering Adventure Challenge, which will take place again on 30 May. Starting in Kinsale in County Cork, yacht crews sail to a succession of challenging hills, including the highest in Ireland, and finally, after running the Brandon Ridge, finish the race in a pub in Dingle in County Kerry. It is possible to charter a yacht locally, or to join another crew in the race.
Team entry £400, ISAMAC-race.com
Family canoe thrills, France
Our favourite outdoor adventure was the 13km canoe descent down the Hérault river, near Montpellier, France. Four hours on the water might sound like a daunting prospect, but the stunning surroundings are enough to distract from those throbbing arm muscles. The descent features fairytale wooded pathways, thrilling waterfalls (a welcome break from paddling) and calm lakes for a break to have lunch and sunbathe. The canoes come equipped with waterproof barrels for belongings.
Climb an active volcano, Stromboli, Italy
Photograph: Getty Images
Last year we climbed Stromboli, Mount Etna’s smaller but more active cousin, on one of the seven Aeolian Islands rising out of the sea off Sicily’s north-eastern coast. We set off at 4pm accompanied by a guide and equipped with helmets, extra layers, food and water. After four hours of hiking amid thunderous booms and plumes of smoke, we reached the summit as the sun set. We sat along the crater’s edge in the darkness and observed nature’s most impressive firework display. A truly awe-inspiring experience.
Wild swimming in Windermere, Lake District
Fell Foot from across Windermere Photograph: Lorna Roach/The Observer
Wild swimming fans can’t do better than a summer solstice night-time dip as the sun sets over the Lake District’s biggest lake on the longest day. Starting at the National Trust’s Fell Foot lakeshore park, participants gather at 9.30pm and plunge into the water for a noncompetitive swim, with glowsticks attached to wetsuits (optional) as darkness descends. The effort is rewarded with a glass of Pimm’s and a medal for all. I did it in 2018 with nervous friends, and all were suitably wowed by the views and balmy water temperatures.
Cycling the Netherlands with teens
A cycle route in Houten, near Utrecht. Photograph: Alamy
I cycled the length of the Netherlands in six days with my daughters – one of the best things I’ve ever done. I am in my early 50s and rode 600km with my two girls (who were in their late teens) from the southernmost tip of the country to the northernmost part. We followed the maps in the book Het Fietserpad. We meandered through the most remote areas, often close to the German border, and for some hours through Germany. The scenery was surprisingly varied. We carried camping gear, but after a few days realised there were plenty of reasonably priced hotels. Good touring bikes can be rented, from places including train stations, for less than €10 per day.
Mountain running, Bosnia-Herzegovina
Grabovičko Lake in the Neretva River canyon. Photograph: Witold Skrypczak/Alamy
In 2018, I ran 350km across the Dinaric Alps of Bosnia-Herzegovina, border to border, solo and unsupported, wildcamping in the mountains – which could be a world first. This year, I will return to do the next leg from Montenegro to Albania. I am not a runner, just an enthusiastic woman and outdoor therapist out to prove anything is possible for anyone.
Cuillins Ridge, Skye, Hebrides
Climbers on Sgurr nan Gillean in the Cuillin peaks. Photograph: Gerry Neely/Alamy
Towards the southern end of the Cuillin Ridge (which includes the peaks Sgùrr nan Gillean and Sgùrr Alasdair), the Inaccessible Pinnacle isn’t quite as foreboding as the name suggests. Found at the top of Sgùrr Dearg, it forms the summit of the only Scottish Munro that requires a roped climb and abseil. You can hike up to the top of Sgùrr Dearg and enjoy the spectacular views without the climb, but conquering the exposed rock face makes it a true adventure. The Scottish right to roam means you can wild camp at the base of the Cuillins and even enjoy a dip in the famous Fairy Pools to help your sore muscles recover.
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