Category Archives: Multisport adventures

Escape Adventures Introduces Multi-Sport Tour of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks

Zion National Park. Escape Adventures is introducing a new six-day multi-sport and camping tour that combines Zion National Park with Bryce Canyon National Park (c) Sarah Falter/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Las Vegas, NV) – Escape Adventures, one of the first outfitters to offer guided mountain bike tours of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park 29 years ago, is introducing a six-day multi-sport and camping tour that combines these two of Mother Nature’s greatest marvels.  In addition to riding Escape Adventures’ favorite mountain bike routes, guests will enjoy hiking, rock climbing, canyoneering and rappelling among the region’s cliffs, crags, plateaus, and pinnacles.

This multi-sport tour with first-class camping is ideal for active families and starts at $1,895 per person. E-bikes are available at an additional cost.  For more info, click here or call Escape Adventures at 800-596-2953. Watch a gorgeous video here

“From mountain biking the trails of Red Canyon and Sunset Cliffs, to hiking and climbing in Sunset Point, Cascade Falls, and Zion’s Narrows, this multi-sport tour offers an array of exciting activities,” said Escape Adventures Director Jared Fisher. “A canyoneering day in Zion takes us bouldering in deep canyons and rappelling chutes up to 150 ft.”

Not only is the mountain biking phenomenal and diverse, so is the terrain. In a sense, it is a geologic extension of The Grand Canyon, located 75-miles to the south. The landforms lend themselves to a multitude of adventures and inspiring place names, such as The Court of The Patriarchs, The Beehives, Mountain of The Sun, and The Great White Throne.

Guests will move seamlessly from one day to the next, camping, and enjoying delicious homemade meals. The majority of campgrounds feature indoor facilities and showers. In more remote backcountry camping scenarios, Escape Adventures will provide portable toilets and private solar showers.

“There is nothing better than rolling into camp to fresh made chips and salsa, homemade guacamole, and Dutch oven enchiladas,” said Fisher. “Then making your way to a sweet and inviting campfire, sharing your favorite anecdote or image from the day’s activities, and enjoying a local beer before retiring to your tent.”

Full Itinerary:

Day 1-2: Meet in St. George. Ride Red Canyon to Bryce Canyon, Hike the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon.
Day 3-4: Ride Red Canyon past Tropic Reservoir to Hatch. Descend to Zion.
Day 5-6: Canyoneering in Zion, hike the narrows. Rock climbing in Red Cliffs.

All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of this tour. This means from the time Escape Adventures picks you up, all transportation, food preparation, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle. Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.

Since 1992, Escape Adventures has lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Building on over 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active traveler, fitness level and activity type, from road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast and from first timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels (https://escapeadventures.com/).

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Grasshopper Adventures Introduces New Multi-Sport Active Tours in North America for 2021

Grasshopper Adventures is bringing its biking and multi-sport tour experience across Asia to North America. One of the new program bikes in the Florida Keys, famous for sunsets © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

DENVER – Grasshopper Adventures is bringing its more than 15 years of adventure tour experience across Asia to the U.S. and Canada with three new multi-sport programs: Alaska & the Yukon, Coastal Maine, and the Everglades to Key West.

Long synonymous with eco-friendly tours that engage local communities, Grasshopper Adventures is bringing that same ethos to North America. Exploring the outdoors by bike, kayak, canoe and foot, the tours’ active elements are both non-intimidating and achievable for a wide range of fitness levels. The small group size offers guests a sustainable alternative to traditional bus or cruise touring and the opportunity to spend time with experts in local communities.

“To really experience the outdoors in North America we had to go beyond cycling,” says Grasshopper Brand Ambassador, Steve Grace. “We’ve included kayaking and canoeing, short hikes and even a wetlands walk, with tours led by expert naturalists and guides.

Asked to list a few highlights, Grace says that there are many to list, but his top five are:

  1. Cycling the Gold Rush route and canoeing the Yukon – “Breathtaking.”
  2. Kayaking to Mendenhall Glacier – “Ranks high on my “wow” scale.”
  3. The Everglades by airboat – “Thrilling ride through a remarkable ecosystem.”
  4. Biking overseas to Key West – “Tops many cycling bucket lists for good reason.”
  5. Coastal Maine, “Historic, gentle cycling and beautiful. You’ll want to come back”

Grasshopper Adventures’ North American Collection is on sale now, with scheduled dates from February 2021 through the fall, including a limited time $100 booking offer, allowing you to secure your vacation for less. 

The new North American tours also feature visits to artisan’s studios, indigenous villages and include interaction with local experts who are change makers in their respective fields. “We’re always enhancing the travel experiences, so I’m constantly tinkering with tour programs,” says Grace. “ Reflecting contemporary life, meeting folks engaged in community issues, that’s true authenticity and that sets us apart.”

While Grasshopper has been planning a move to North America for several years, the disruption in international travel was the motivation needed to kickstart these long dreamed of programs to new frontiers. Look for more, including the new signature series in Australia, home of company Owner & Chief, Adam Platt-Hepworth.

Grasshopper Adventures has taken thousands of people on multi active and biking tours through Asia for more than 15 years and in 2020 introduced a range of inspired adventures beyond Asia. All trips focus on the natural environment, meaningful stories and interaction with local communities. The company’s carefully crafted itineraries enable an active journey of discovery at a superior level of value. Accommodations are comfortable and unique, delicious food is a key element and guides are experts in their fields.

Grasshopper Adventures runs tours in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Taiwan, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, China and Uzbekistan. Tours range from 5 to 14 days.

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6 Fall Vacations to Escape the Crowds

Take a fall foliage road trip by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business offering fully stocked Mercedes-Benz Sprinter overland adventure vehicles from Winnebago with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, a free annual pass to national parks and 24-hour roadside assistance.

Crisp cool air, colorful foliage, and fewer travelers clogging up the highways makes fall the perfect time to take a vacation. Whether you are driving an RV across the country, exploring a national park, playing cowboy at a dude ranch, or leaf peeping by bicycle, we have rounded up six of the best autumn vacations for every type of traveler.

  1. Fall Under the Big Sky: Fall in Big Sky, Montana, brings golden aspen and cottonwood trees, fly fishing for feisty trout and bugling elk. Hike a local trail, wade a world-class river or go on a wildlife safari in nearby Yellowstone National Park, then enjoy the hospitality and comfort of suite accommodations at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky’s Town Center. https://thewilsonhotel.com/
  2. Leaf Peeping by Bike: Take a two-wheeled tour beneath canopies of gold, orange and red leaves in the Green Mountains with Adventure Cycling Association. Plan your own trip on the Green Mountains Loop, riding from Burlington, Vermont, into New Hampshire and along the Connecticut River, then back across to New York and the shores of Lake Champlain. An organized tour is also available in 2021. https://www.adventurecycling.org/
  3. RV Fall Foliage Road Trip: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business offering fully stocked Mercedes-Benz Sprinter overland adventure vehicles from Winnebago with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, a free annual pass to national parks and 24-hour roadside assistance. https://www.blacksford.com/
  4. Glamp Near a National Park: Just minutes from Jackson Hole, Fireside Resort offers 25 pint-sized, luxuriously outfitted tiny house rental units designed by Wheelhaus. The resort is located a stone’s throw from Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole ski slopes. It is a great place to post up for a fall getaway. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com
  5. Play Cowboy at a Dude Ranch: Red Reflet Ranch is a 28,000-acre luxury resort and working ranch on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, just three hours from Yellowstone National Park. Guests stay in private chalets and enjoy family-friendly activities like horseback riding, ATVing, ziplining, swimming, hiking, fishing, shooting and feasting on farm-to-table cuisine. http://redrefletranch.com/
  6. National Park Bicycle Tour:  Escape Adventures has been leading cycling vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world since 1992. From road cyclists and mountain bikers to electric bikers, Escape Adventures offers an array of bicycle tours in iconic destinations like Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park, the Oregon Coast, and the Grand Canyon. https://escapeadventures.com

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Western River Expeditions Draws on 60 Years Experience to Devise Protocols to Keep Families Adventuring this Summer

Western River Expeditions is applying decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. Here are some of many steps this company is taking to counter COVID-19 fears so families can continue to experience outdoor adventures this summer. 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Where in the world – and how – will families vacation this summer?
 
Given months of pandemic-driven lock-down orders, stay-at-home summer vacation won’t be high on many lists. What will be attractive will be vacations that embrace fresh air and the healing powers of nature that can work wonders on family spirits and recovery.
 
Western River Expeditions (https://www.westernriver.com/ for nearly 60 years has operated top-quality river rafting vacations for individuals, families and friends. This year they are also applying their decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. Here are some of many steps this company is taking to counter COVID-19 fears. 

  • Screening Employees: Every day before work, each employee must pass both a temperature and pulse oximeter screen, and then answer a detailed questionnaire.
  • Screening Guests at Check-in: Guests exhibiting temperatures of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to travel with Western River Expeditions at the time they planned; instead, they will receive an “Adventure Credit” which allows the guest and any members of the group who were currently living at the same physical address during any of the 7 days prior to the trip to use the full paid value of their trip as a credit for a future trip at a later date.
  • Screening while on Multi-Day Trips: All trip participants and guides will have a daily temperature and pulse oximeter checks and fill out a daily review of symptoms questionnaire. 

In addition, there are new protocols in place should someone experience COVID-19 symptoms during a trip. In such case, steps will be taken to protect other guests from exposure during the remainder of that trip. There also will be protocols for toilet facilities, hand washing stations and social distancing (when feasible) as well as reduced number of guests per raft.
 
The company will also implement specific guidelines that address everything from life-jacket use and sanitation, to meal prep and service, use of shuttle vans, number of people per shuttle vehicle, sanitation of rafts, dry bags, cots, sleeping bags and all associated equipment. For more details on Western River Expeditions’ specific protocols please see https://www.westernriver.com/covid-19
 
Western River Expeditions hopes to still operate late spring and summer 2020 trips, subject to the easing of government-mandated closures. Three suggested trips ideal for families are: 

  • Desolation Canyona five-day trip through breathtaking Desolation Canyon and Gray Canyon on the Green River in central Utah. Trips are scheduled to depart June 7 through Aug. 12 with a minimum age of five years old. For details see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon
  • Southwest Samplera four-day adventure that includes an off-road Hummer Safari, Arches National Park tour and overnight rafting trip as well as a stay at Moab’s Marriott SpringHill Suites. Departures are scheduled May 26 through Aug. 26. If National Park closures affect the operation of the Arches National Park tour, guests will explore another stunning location in Moab. For details see  https://www.westernriver.com/moab-utah-vacation-sampler
  • Grand Canyon, the three-day option still has some limited space on certain dates from June 21st through September. Conveniently departing and returning to Las Vegas, NV, this 100-mile journey is suitable for families with kids as young as nine. For details see: https://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-river-trip 

Other adventures from Western River Expeditions include:

Utah’s Cataract Canyon Classic 4 Day: Unless otherwise advised, we are currently planning to operate all scheduled departures for our 4-Day Cataract Canyon Expeditions June 2 through August 25. We are accepting reservations now for any of these dates. This spectacular 4-Day Colorado River trip runs 100 miles from Moab to Lake Powell through Canyonlands National Park. A flight returns guests to Moab over Canyonlands.

Cataract Canyon Express 2 Day: Unless otherwise advised, we are currently planning to operate all scheduled departures for our 2-Day Cataract Canyon Expeditions June 1 through August 25. We are accepting reservations now for any of these dates. This faster-paced 2-Day Colorado River trip runs 100 miles from Moab to Lake Powell through Canyonlands National Park. Large whitewater rapids are a big part of this adventure!

Upper Grand Canyon 6 or 7 Day: Trips starting June 14 and later are currently scheduled to operate. Select trips June through September have limited availability. If you are unable to find your desired date, please add your name to our 2020 Waitlist for Grand Canyon 6 & 7 Day Expeditions. The upper 188 miles of the Grand Canyon offer some of the largest whitewater rapids in North America and a plethora of side canyon attractions. 

Lower Grand Canyon 4 Day with Bar Ten Ranch: We plan to operate all 4 day departures from June 21st through September. Limited space is available on select departures in 2020. If you are unable to find your desired date, please add your name to our 2020 Waitlist for Grand Canyon 3-4 Day Expeditions. Adding one day and a night at the Bar Ten Ranch before dropping into the 3-day river expedition is a popular way to extend your Grand Canyon experience.

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the one of largest licensed outfitters in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, Western River Expedition was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 

Follow Western River Expeditions:
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/WesternRiver
On You Tube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?
On Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

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Moab Adventure Center Adds Space on Popular 4-Day Southwest, Westwater Canyon Trips

Westwater Canyon Multi-Sport engages Moab’s breathtaking backcountry via a red rock Hummer Safari and rafting the Class III-V rapids of the Colorado River while coursing through Westwater Canyon.

MOAB, UT – Two popular multi-day adventure vacation packages invite active travelers to explore the wonders in and around the red rock playground of Moab, Utah, during the 2019 season. But visitors take note: due to the growing demand for quick escapes, space will go fast!

Moab Adventure Center, the go-to specialists for all the outdoor pursuits Moab is famous for, has seen bookings increase every year for its 4-day Southwest Sampler and 4-day Westwater Canyon Multi-Sport vacation packages.

“We’ve experienced unsurpassed growth over the past several years on our multi-day tours that include activities and lodging,” reports Brandon Lake, company CMO. “For 2019, we took action and have doubled our guest capacity on the ever popular Moab, Utah vacation package, the Southwest Sampler.”

There’s good availability now for the spring and summer on all Moab Adventure Center’s offerings, but Lake suggests booking soon for the coming season.

“These popular programs fit perfectly into the type of escape visitors are now into,” explains Lake. “They are short (just four days and three nights), the activities are thrilling but easy enough for most everyone to enjoy, as multisport programs the action never stops (think Hummer Safari, an Arches National Park Tour, and whitewater rafting), one package offers a mix of camping and hotel lodging, and with both, there’s ample time to fill out the week by further exploring Moab and the surrounding region pre- or post-trip.”

Bundling the activities rather than reserving a la carte also saves money.

Keeping pace with increased sales and demand, new for 2019 is a partnership between the Moab Adventure Center and the newly opened SpringHill Suites by Marriott for lodging. Offering twice as many guest rooms as the previous property utilized, it has enabled the tour operator to double guest capacity on its Southwest Sampler package. Widely considered to be the best family hotel in Moab, it offers multiple pools, hot tubs, and a kid’s canyon, complete with a splash pad and waterfalls.

Moab Adventure Center’s Southwest Sampler captures the best of the Southwest over four days and three nights from May through August. Guests lodge the first two nights at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott that enjoys the closest proximity to Arches National Park of any lodging in town. From here, guests enjoy an off-road Hummer Safari through a fantasyland of slickrock. Then comes a two-day, 19.6-mile river rafting adventure through Class I and II rapids, with one night of pampered beach camping on the banks of the Colorado River. The per person rate is $690 for ages 16 and up and $595 for ages 5-15. Thanks to the amenities and easy river passage this is a program that can suit the needs of young families with children as young as age 5. See: https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/southwest-sampler

Westwater Canyon Multi-Sport engages Moab’s breathtaking backcountry via a red rock Hummer Safari and rafting the Class III-V rapids of the Colorado River while coursing through Westwater Canyon. This is a four-day getaway available from June through September. The package includes three luxury nights of lodging at Red Cliffs Lodge situated on the banks of the Colorado River. National Geographic dubbed the 26-mile rafting adventure through Westwater Canyon “The West’s Best Short Whitewater Trip.” There’s an optional horseback ride in Castle Valley where movies and commercials are frequently shot. The package for ages 16 and up is $705; for youth 12-15 $675. Included are three breakfasts, accommodation, one dinner, one on-river lunch, activities and transfers to and from the raft put-in. For details see https://www.moabadventurecenter.com/westwater-canyon-package

Moab Adventure Center is at the epicenter of nature-themed rather than theme-park-style adventure, promising activities that include rafting, jet boating, stand up paddle boarding, hiking, mountain biking and hot air ballooning. Hummer safaris, rock climbing, canyoneering and horseback riding are also very popular pursuits. Many of these activities are conducted with guides, an arrangement that helps preclude the kind of damage to the land that can happen when uneducated visitors venture into sensitive areas. Guides help people understand where they can move through backcountry with the least impact possible.

The Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions (www.westernriver.com/) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is one of the largest single tour providers in Moab, Utah. Located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532, the center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear, clothing, maps and souvenirs  For information and reservations call 435-259-7019 or 866-904-1163, visit www.moabadventurecenter.com.

 

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Croatia is the Next Hot Destination for Women-Only Adventure Travel

Wild Women Expeditions is hosting multiple departures of two new, distinct itineraries that embrace the blue waters and high-altitude wilderness of Croatia.

CORNER BROOK, NL, Canada– Across the Adriatic Sea from Italy is a sun-splashed shoreline that marks Croatia, sometimes known as Dalmatia. Here in 2019, Wild Women Expeditions will host multiple departures of two new, distinct itineraries that embrace the blue waters and high-altitude wilderness of this secret Riviera.

Kaleidoscopic Croatian Multisport is a 13-day active immersion in nature and culture that promises up to six hours of hiking or four hours each of paddling and cycling most days. Departures in 2019 are May 23, Sept. 1, Sept 22 and Oct.13. The per person (double occupancy) rate of $4,695 includes:

  • 12 nights shared accommodations in locally owned hotels and guesthouses
  • All breakfasts and lunches and some dinners
  • Ground transportation from Zagreb to Dubrovnik
  • Airport transfers on Day 13
  • All equipment required for activities outlined in the itinerary
  • All national park or entrance fees required to deliver the activities
  • English-speaking female lead guide plus support staff

This itinerary begins in Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb, before departing for Kopački Rit Nature Park on the Croatian-Serbian border. During a homestay, guests will prepare dinner and perhaps hear stories about the history of what life was like in Tito’s Yugoslavia before the Balkan states erupted into being in the early 1990s.

Croatia’s pride and joy are its national and nature parks. Kopački Rit Nature Park on the Danube floodplain is dubbed the European Amazon for its rich biodiversity and abundance of bird and wildlife. After exploring this wildest side of Croatia, the itinerary weaves through the mountains, tracing vestiges of Celtic and Roman civilizations en route to Dubrovnik. After hiking in Papuk Nature Park, guests will finish the day by arriving in Samobor to enjoy dinner and kremsnite, a puff pastry with custard cream unique to these high altitudes. Guests will further explore the Sambor Highlands before embarking on a hiking tour the following day through Plitvice Lakes National Park, home to over 16 lakes that cascade from one to the next.

Leaving mountains behind, guests arrive in Split, a 1700-year-old city with the palace of a Roman emperor, Diocletian, dating from 4th century AD. Guests roll up their sleeves to play with clay, making souvenirs with natural elements and tools. Swimming, snorkeling and kayaking follow an overnight on Hvar, one of the countless islands in this region. Guests will then sail to Vis, an island that until 25 years ago housed the largest military base in the former Yugoslavia alongside traditional Dalmatian stone villages, many abandoned.

Before touring Dubrovnik comes a day on bicycles past vineyards, farms and dwellings scarred by war from 1991-1995. A local family hosts a dinner with homemade bread and cheeses, local wines and prosek. They’ll probably embroider stories of the war for independence in the conversation, embroidery that replaces the colorful hand-stitched garments once worn here and that underscores the fragile cultures and customs. Dubrovnik residents in the early 1990s survived for six months on just bread and water as houses and shops were shelled inside 14th-century walls. Today’s Dubrovnik is a high-energy destination. For more details on this itinerary please see https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/kaleidoscopic-croatian-multisport/

Kornati Islands Kayak Adventure is a 10-night itinerary offered in 2019 on June 12 and Sept.12 departures. The per person rate is $4,495 USD for:

  • 10-night accommodations in small hotels, fisherman guest houses, self-catering apartment and on sailboats
  • All meals
  • Single or double sea kayaks, the use of skirts, paddles PFD’s, paddling jackets, dry bags and all safety gear
  • Ground and sea transportation from Zadar to Split
  • English-speaking female certified sea kayak guide(s);
  • All national park or entrance fees

The adventure begins in Zadar on the Dalmatian coast between Split (north) and Dubrovnik (south). This ancient center combines 8th-century religious art with Roman artifacts and Sea Organ, an installation that captures the music of the waves.

One of the least accessible places in Croatia is Kornati National Park that exposes a jagged coastline with a rich submarine eco-system, natural beauty and interesting geomorphology. Guests paddle by bottlenose dolphins and slow-but-lovable loggerhead sea turtles through a labyrinth of small islands, reefs and islets that make up 12 percent of all the islands in the Croatian Adriatic. Cliffs drop steeply to the sea that supports families of fisherfolk who offer hospitality over home-made meals. Written documents from the 10th century confirm one island’s fishing tradition of 1000 years.

In the Šibenik archipelago, a sailboat lends support for an open-sea crossing to a community of 249 islands, of which only six are inhabited. An undiscovered jewel on this archipelago is Zlarin, where, since the 14th century, islanders have been diving for colorful sea corals. A sea paddle to Krka National Park reveals a karst phenomenon with seven travertine waterfalls, numerous endemic endangered species, and over 1000 plant and 225 bird species. Speleology lovers are drawn to some 40 grottoes and pits; others to medieval fortresses, harbingers of the bustle of civilization that lies ahead in the farewell city of Split. For details please see https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/trips/kornati-islands-kayak-adventure/.

For itineraries, availability and reservations for these and all Wild Women Expeditions’ programs call 1 (888) 993-1222, email info@wildwomenexpeditions.com or visit online at https://wildwomenexpeditions.com/.

Founded in 1991, Wild Women Expeditions is the world’s largest women-only travel company. Its initial focus was on canoeing on remote Ontario waters. Through an unwavering focus on Canada, one of the wildest, most pristine countries in the world, Wild Women Expeditions became experts in a pioneering niche that introduced small groups of women into wilderness settings. The company now hosts guests all over the world, offering more trips and more women-only, backcountry camping, hiking, paddling and horseback adventures than any other women’s travel company in the world. 

 

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Hike, Horseback Ride, Pub & Fiddle Crawl Thru Castles, Celtic Ruins, Manors on Vagabond Irish Adventure

Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland’s 12-day “Giant Irish Adventure” circumnavigates the island nation.

COUNTY WICKLOW, Ireland–Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland’s 12-day “Giant Irish Adventure” circumnavigates the island nation. Beginning in Dublin, guests poke around impregnable fortresses, ring forts, beehive huts, manor houses and castles. The common element to the sites is the stone – indestructible and a metaphor for the Irish spirit

Nature’s stone edifices also play a role in the Giant Irish Adventure that includes Ireland’s highest mountain range called the Macgillycuddy Reeks or black stacks of glacial-carved sandstone; the Cliffs of Moher of shale and limestone overlooking the Atlantic; and the Giant’s Causeway, a natural sculpture playground of basalt columns created by volcanic activities in the Atlantic Ocean a millennia ago.

Per person double rate of €2,769 includes the services of a highly trained professional Vagabond tour guide for 12 full days; 11 nights accommodation (4 nights B&B, 6 nights hotel, 1 night in a castle); 11 full Irish breakfasts; guided walks; entrance to most of the historical and archaeological sites and to some natural sites; demonstrations of local craftsmen at work; and all relevant fees and taxes. See: https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/irish-tours-12-day-giant-irish-adventure/.

This tour caters to active travelers who want time aplenty to explore where they are by foot. Hikes of up to two hours are daily highlights. Some activities such as horseback riding, sea kayaking and surfing and biking in Killarney National Park are optional. The tour is flexible and guests can arrange to opt out of one activity and into another.

Among the historic stone structures guests may visit Dunluce Castle is a cliff-edge ruin from the 13th century, with views over the Irish Sea to Scotland; Stone Ring Fort (1700 BC) constructed by Bronze Age farmers as defenses against cattle thieves with such precision that no mortar was required; Glenveigh Castle and Gardens. a Victorian (1867) edifice in what is now Glenveagh National Park; the original owner drove poor tenants from the land so he could transform it into an aristocrats’ hunting playground; Donegal Castle was built in the 15th century on the site of a one-time Viking fortress; Abbeyglen Castle Hotel where the mountains of Connemara meet the sea was constructed in 1832 (overnight here); Beehive huts (Clochán) date to 5th century monastic settlements (think Luke Skywalker’s retreat in Star Wars); Blarney Castle dates to medieval times; kissing the Blarney Stone is said to bestow the gift of eloquence; Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock from the 12th century boasts a Romanesque chapel harboring ancient frescoes.

On the daily walks and hikes, guests explore: Slieve Gullion Mountain, the highest point in Ireland which harbors Neolithic passage tombs; Cliffside Trail including 132 steps to Giants Causeway; Slieve League, the highest sea cliffs in Europe; Croagh Patrick, the famous holy mountain where every step taken means a sin forgiven; Cliffs of Moher, 700-foot sea cliffs; Kilkee Cliff Walk overlooking the Atlantic; Glacial valley of Lough Annascaul.

Throughout the journey, the Vagabond arranges stops at locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants Transport is in a 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows intimate access beyond where regular tour buses go.
(see https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/tour/irish-tours-12-day-giant-irish-adventure/.)

For details on Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, visit https://vagabondtoursofireland.com/, 833-230-0288, or email: info@vagabond.ie or info@driftwood.ie.

 

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Austin Adventures’ New MultiSport Vacation Encompasses 3 Rocky Mountain National Parks

Austin Adventures has just launched a multisport vacation encompassing Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks.

BILLINGS, MT–Austin Adventures, a specialist in multisport vacations in national parks, has just launched a new way to experience three iconic Rocky Mountain destinations in one immersive journey. Over eight active days this summer, guests will go hiking, rafting and horseback riding through Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks while recharging each night at distinctive lodges.

Austin Adventures’ new-for-2018 Montana & Wyoming Rockies Adventure collects guests in Jackson, WY, where the week-long expedition begins. There’s time to explore this Wild West town before settling into the Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa located on seven lush acres adjacent to the National Elk Refuge and just a few blocks from Jackson’s lively town square. Welcome to the heart of the Rockies.

These mountains, constituting the spine of North America, rise thousands of feet out of the prairie, dividing the continent and providing some of the most dramatic and geologically diverse landscapes in the world. Those who have chosen to make their lives here are, among others, the guides, wait staff and innkeepers who interact with guests, sharing their understanding of this landscape while passing on love and lore.

“Our mantra is to engage as many senses as possible on an Austin Adventure,” says Dan Austin, founder and visionary director (https://www.austinadventures.com/).

Guests will…

  • hike up to seven miles on easy to moderately strenuous terrain, ever alert for grizzly bears, bison, wolves, coyotes, elk, pronghorns – and wildflowers;
  • horseback ride into the Bridger Teton National Forest, climbing 2,000 vertical feet to overlook Snake River Canyon;
  • whitewater raft on class II-III rapids through Wyoming’s Snake River Canyon;
  • glide down zip lines under towering limestone cliffs, and come face-to-face with mountain goats grazing on mountainsides of wildflowers;
  • swim and soak in an oversized Olympic pool fed by a virtually unlimited supply of 155-degree natural hot spring water;
  • gaze 1,000 feet down into the V-shaped gorge of the color-splashed walls of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.
  • learn the geological differences between three magnificently dissimilar national parks all within a geographically small area;
  • investigate Yellowstone’s four geothermal features: spouting geysers, steaming hot springs, hissing fumaroles and bubbling mud pots.

Excursions from Jackson Hole will first introduce guests to the wonders of the Grand Tetons. Then moving into Yellowstone territory, guests are guided to views of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone on a backcountry hike that favors moose and elk sightings over the distant din of summer crowds. Arriving at Canyon Lodge there’s the opportunity to step back from technology and embrace lodging in the country’s oldest national park while chatting fireside with new-round friends. Departing the park at the West Gate, a 110-year-old Montana homestead, 320 Guest Ranch, offers cowboy comfort along the Gallatin River that winds through sage and towering pines. The movie A River Runs Through It was filmed nearby.

The scenic drive north to Glacier National Park is interspersed by a stop at the famous pools of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. Guests spend a night here before heading to Whitefish, Montana, and two nights at the Grouse Mountain Lodge, one of the region’s finest. A day is spent exploring Glacier Park with a hike along the Highline Trail (also known as the Garden Wall) to Haystack Butte and back. A drive along the famed Going to the Sun Road reveals an alpine environment that wows with its wildflowers, precipitous peaks and an occasional mountain goat or bighorn sheep. A final gondola ride up Whitefish Mountain to soak in the breathtaking views precedes a transfer back to the Kalispell airport for the inevitable return home.

The per person double rate is $3,998 ($80 single supplement). Departures in 2018 are July 15 and July 25. The rate includes accommodations; all meals (except one on-own dinner); fully trained, first-aid-certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners; all necessary equipment for scheduled activities; vehicle support and land transportation during the trip; Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service; pre-departure and packing information; and incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local partner and expert gratuities and national park entrance and permit fees.

For details see https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/montana-wyoming-rockies-adventure/.  A recent blog about the sights seen on this adventure can be found at https://www.austinadventures.com/travel-resources/best-of-the-west/
Contact Austin Adventures at 800-575-1540, email info@austinadventures.com or visit www.austinadventures.com.
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Austin Adventures Introduces Multisport European Adventure Vacations; Book before Mar 1 for Free Pre-Tour Hotel Stay

On Austin Adventures’ multisport European Vacations, you get to experience the activities that each destination is best known for, such as kayaking in Croatia.

BILLINGS, MT –A new trend is afoot. What for many years was the mainstay of adventure travel in Europe, the traditional bike tour no longer offers enough variety and satisfaction for active American travelers. Tours that can offer a combination of experiences and activities are now the hot ticket.

Decades ago, Austin Adventures helped pioneer the concept of multisport travel in North America. They have witnessed this evolution and, in 2018, have fully embraced European tours with much more than only cycling.

“While pedal tours are a great way to see a country, they do have their limits. The ‘perfect’ bike ride isn’t necessarily convenient or available every day,” explains Dan Austin, visionary President and Founder of Austin Adventures. “With multisport travel you can hand-pick the best of the best. Each day we focus on the perfect activity to pursue, be it biking, hiking, paddling or whatever.”

For example, Austin Adventures selects activities that each destination is best known for. “You wouldn’t want to miss kayaking in Croatia or hiking in the Dolomites, would you? Don’t get us wrong; we love cycling but we also love the excitement and flexibility multisport gives us and the experiences and memories it provides for our guests,” adds Austin.

And for 2018, to rest up for an active week in Europe, Austin Adventures is offering a complimentary hotel stay in the gateway city the night before a trip.  This means a free hotel stay at a company-recommended accommodation in, among others, Paris or Amsterdam. The only condition is that the adventure trip is booked before March 1, 2018. See: https://www.austinadventures.com/special-offer-europe-pre-trip-hotel/

So, what has driven this evolution in the company’s European itineraries? Austin points to its loyal trip alumni (representing some 70 percent of annual sales). They bird-dogged Austin’s team for new ways to experience Europe beyond the company’s time-tested and popular bike tours.

The result is an enhanced and expanded roster of Europe Multisport Adventures – Beyond Bike Touring that draws on underutilized – certainly by Americans – coastal waters and lakes for kayaking, compelling alpine regions begging for hikers and more.

Austin Adventures’ deep experience in Europe – over 30 years – means that active travelers can now nibble on Europe as the locals do – taking the time off a trail and over lunch to observe, for example, how the French slice their cheeses, how Germans pour beer and how a Croatian guide’s family lives.

Austin Adventures’ Director of European Operations, Adam Beecham, wants guests to explore Europe like a European, by revolutionizing the way Americans view adventure travel. This is accomplished by incorporating physical, mental and social elements into each adventure. He also wants to dig into Europe’s highly specialized cultures with visits, for example, to futuristic greenhouses in Holland, organic wine producers in France, places where German precision and engineering are showcased, local craft breweries in Belgium and to Italian kitchens for making homemade pasta.

“Our revamped trips to Europe will be more sustainable, involve more local experts and cultural exchanges while taking in the best of each culture, all with their signature Austin Adventures service on a silver platter,” Beecham promises.

Following are a sampling of Austin Adventures’ 2018 multi-sport European itineraries:
(note: dates with * designate family-focused departures)

  • Holland to Germany – Amsterdam to Aachen is a 7-day program from $2,998 per person double ($480 single supplement; $2,698 children) rolling from Amsterdam in 2018 on May 13, June 10*, July 1* and 22*, Aug. 26 and Sept. 2. Activities include guided walks through the Dutch landscape of heath fields, tulips and woodlands and over the cobblestones in medieval centers including Maastricht; cycling up to 30 miles a day on designated bike paths; and learning how to blokart (sailing across a sandy beach on wheels). See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/hollandgermany-amsterdam-aachen/
  • Spain – Barcelona & Catalonia is a 7-day program from $3,998 per person double ($680 single supplement) departing Barcelona in 2018 on April 22, May 13, June 3, Sept. 9 and 30 to explore Catalonia’s treasures from the Pyrenees to Costa Brava and on to the Mediterranean. Hot air ballooning (optional), kayaking, eating cava served with coca de llardons (a Catalan cake) aboard a short flight, walking, swimming, rowing, boating, biking, snorkeling and overnighting in a medieval castle embellish this food-and-wine-sated itinerary. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/spain-catalonia/
  • Croatia – Dalmatian Coast is a 6-day program from $3,498 per person double ($680 single supplement; $3,148 children) with 2018 departures along the dramatic Adriatic coastline from Split to Dubrovnik on May 6, June 10 and 17*, July 1*, 8* and 22*, Aug. 12* and 19, Sept. 2 and 23 and Oct. 7. Once the realm of the Romans and the Venetians, ruins and palaces and an evolving and remarkable cuisine reflect a colorful past just across the sea from mainland Italy. Activities include sea kayaking, tastings at vineyards, hiking, biking, beaching in buggies (beach) and (optional) walking the wall around Medieval Dubrovnik after climbing many steps. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/croatia-dalmatian-coast/
  • Italy – South Tyrol and The Dolomites is a 6-day hiking and biking program departing Verona (Italy) from $3,398 per person double ($680 single supplement) with 2018 trips scheduled May 13, June 10, July 1 and Sept. 23. This is a region in Europe coveted for its mountain-driven beauty, wines and cuisine.  See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/italy-south-tyrol-and-the-dolomites/
  • France – Provence is a 7-day hiking, biking and kayaking adventure out of Avignon from $3,898 per person double ($880 single) on 2018 summer and fall departures (TBA).  Roman ruins, lavender fields forever, markets and castles mingle with wine tastings and regional fare. See  https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/france-provence/
  • Austria – Alps to Salzburg is a 7-day program from $3,698 per person double ($780 single; $3,328 children) with 2018 departures June 17 and 24*, July 15 and 22*, Aug. 5*, 12* and 19 and Sept. 2. Munich is the gateway to Salzburg, the home of Mozart, hiking, biking, rafting, spelunking and (optional) paragliding in this alpine playground with time enough for apfel strudel and beer. See https://www.austinadventures.com/packages/austria-alps-salzburg/

Order Austin Adventures’ catalog ONLINE, call 800-575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of 2018 trips that is frequently updated beyond the print catalog visit http://www.austinadventures.com.
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