Tag Archives: experiential travel

Lindblad Expeditions Acquires Duvine Cycling, Off the Beaten Path Adventure Travel Companies

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, a global provider of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences has acquired majority stakes in DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co., a leading luxury cycling and adventure travel company, and Off the Beaten Path LLC, a leading active travel operator with a specialization in U.S. national parks. 

NEW YORK– Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc, a global provider of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences today announced that it has acquired majority stakes in DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co., a leading luxury cycling and adventure travel company, and Off the Beaten Path LLC, a leading active travel operator with a specialization in U.S. National Parks.  These acquisitions further broaden and deepen Lindblad’s platform of high-quality experiential product offerings in robust adventure travel sectors, including the rapidly growing cycling tourism and domestic expedition market.

Similar to the acquisition of Natural Habitat, Inc., Lindblad will leverage its experience and resources to accelerate the growth of these unique and profitable businesses and capitalize on the growing demand for authentic and immersive adventure travel. These best-in-class companies are also united by a focus on nature and sustainability, and will benefit from Lindblad’s and Natural Habitat’s scale, resources, marketing experience and conservation leadership. 

DuVine is an award-winning international luxury cycling and adventure company based in Somerville, Massachusetts focused on providing immersive cultural experiences across the globe through thoughtfully designed itineraries led by expert local guides.  DuVine’s trips include top-quality gear and support and are tailored to riders of all abilities with emphasis on exceptional food and wine experiences, along with boutique accommodations.  DuVine also currently runs a variety of extraordinary trips that combine sail and biking experiences, which will be further expanded as part of Lindblad.  Founded in 1996 by Andy Levine, DuVine’s diverse tour offerings include small group and private custom trips to destinations across Europe, the United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa.  Mr. Levine will retain an ownership interest in DuVine and will continue as President and Chief Executive Officer of the new Lindblad subsidiary.

Off the Beaten Path, based in Bozeman, Montana, offers active small-group and private custom journeys around the world, with a long-standing focus on U.S. National Parks and connecting the heart of the traveler with the soul of the place through localized, authentic experiences.  Founded in 1986, Off the Beaten Path’s small group product offerings include unique expeditions throughout the U.S, as well as trips across Europe, Africa, Australia, Central and South America and the South Pacific.  Cory Lawrence, Off the Beaten Path’s President and Chief Executive Officer, will retain an ownership interest in Off the Beaten Path and continue in this role for the new Lindblad subsidiary.

“Bringing DuVine and Off the Beaten Path into our portfolio of brands will allow us to better serve a broader based clientele that has a diverse set of travel interests”, stated Sven Lindblad, President and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions.  “The high level of quality and integrity of both these companies makes them perfect partners in our strategy of expanding our platform of experiential offerings.  Our proven ability to leverage our platform and effectively cross market creates the opportunity to accelerate growth across our entire portfolio, and we will continue to look for additional opportunities to broaden and deepen our adventure travel offerings, both organically and through acquisitions, to aggregate larger audiences and generate greater lifetime value from our loyal guests.” 

Ben Bressler, Founder and President of Natural Habitat is enthusiastic about the joining of forces. “DuVine offers invigorating experiences in nature for our more active guests, and Off the Beaten Path’s exceptional depth in creating custom U.S. national park adventures will appeal to Nat Hab travelers,” Bressler stated.  “These two companies provide Lindblad and Nat Hab guests a depth of choice for premium life-enhancing travel experiences within a family of complementary brands – all driven by protecting our planet and inspiring travelers.” 

Andy Levine, DuVine’s Founder and President, stated  “I have long admired Lindblad for their exceptional expeditions and commitment to responsible travel, a core value that has also guided DuVine’s philosophy. Our companies share not only a desire to sustain the world’s most compelling cultures and communities, but also the belief that authentic, deeply rooted experiences make travel more fulfilling. DuVine’s journeys offer a new perspective grounded in active travel, local flavor, and an appreciation of nature from the seat of a bicycle. I can’t wait to introduce the transformative power of bike travel to a greater audience of adventure seekers.”

Cory Lawrence, Off the Beaten Path’s President, stated “We couldn’t be more excited to join Lindblad Expeditions and Natural Habitat Adventures to further our mission to change peoples’ lives through exceptional travel experiences. With our unique style of travel, strong domestic presence, and small group and bespoke travel design offerings, we are well-positioned to have immediate impact on the newly expanded family of companies. Expanding awareness of Off the Beaten Path and its unique offerings by leveraging the reach and expertise of both Lindblad and Natural Habitat is a major opportunity for our company in its 35th year of operation. We are thrilled!”

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. is an expedition travel company that focuses on ship-based voyages through its Lindblad Expeditions brand and on land-based travel through its subsidiaries, Natural Habitat Adventures, Off the Beaten Path and DuVine Cycling and Adventure.

Lindblad Expeditions works in partnership with National Geographic to inspire people to explore and care about the planet. The organizations work in tandem to produce innovative marine expedition programs and to promote conservation and sustainable tourism around the world. The partnership’s educationally oriented voyages allow guests to interact with and learn from leading scientists, naturalists and researchers while discovering stunning natural environments, above and below the sea, through state-of-the-art exploration tools.

Natural Habitat Adventures partners with the World Wildlife Fund to offer and promote conservation and sustainable travel that directly protects nature. Natural Habitat’s adventures include polar bear tours in Churchill, Canada, Alaskan grizzly bear adventures and African safaris.

DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. designs and leads luxury bike tours in the world’s most amazing destinations, from Italy’s sun-bleached villages and the medieval towns of Provence to Portugal’s Douro Valley and the vineyards of Napa, California. Guests bike, eat, drink, and sleep their way through these regions and many more while sampling the finest cuisine, hotels, and wine. 

Off the Beaten Path is an outdoor, active travel company offering guided small group adventures and private custom journeys that connect travelers with the wild nature and authentic culture of their destinations.  Off the Beaten Path’s trips extend across the globe, with a focus on exceptional national park experiences in the Rocky Mountains, Desert Southwest, and Alaska.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Been there. Done that. World’s Greatest Travelers List of 8 Epic Travel Adventures for 2020 (Also Known as: The 2020 Travel Bucket List for the Jaded Traveler)

Discovering a village on stilts on Inle Lake, Myanmar during the 2019 Global Scavenger Hunt. Where will they go this year? © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

By Bill Chalmers & Pamela L. Chalmers, GreatEscape Adventures


Los Angeles, USA – Getting a kick taking an adventure used to be easy: visit South Atlantic’s remote St Helena, scuba dive Mexico’s underground river Cenote, hike up Mount Etna. Been there. 

Nowadays, travelers looking for the next great adventure rush must: traverse Karakorum Highway, spend a night at Everest Base Camp, or swim with jellyfish in Palau. Done that.

But for those of us that: have zip-lined across the Grand Canyon, hiked Tasmania’s Overland Track, and are frankly sick of sand in every orifice after Burning Man. What’s next? 

You may be among the World’s Most Interesting People, but for jaded travelers who have supposedly done everything and have nothing left on their Bucket Lists, here’s your what’s next eight over-the-top adventures from The World’s Greatest Travelers.

1. A long way to go to maybe be eaten alive! But, head to Cape Town, South Africa and go cage diving with Great White sharks. Come face-to-face with the world’s meanest badest coldest predator along the shark-abundant shores of South Africa. You will be sunk in a cage and given a poker stick for protection. Chances are, you’ll be okay. You’ll probably even see whales and dolphins too—being the smart mammals, they are always interested in watching stupid human tricks. 

2. Take A Blind Date with the World – really! – by joining the 2020 edition of The Global Scavenger Hunt. This real-life Amazing Race-like event is for savvy globetrotters who want to test their travel IQ in a competitive setting where they will circumnavigate the globe in 23-days visiting ten countries as a participant in the annual travel adventure competition that crowns The World’s Greatest Travelers. Not for anal Type-A planners though, because you won’t know which country you are going to until you actually get to the airport! It’s the ultimate magical mystery tour. Their 2020 event takes place between April 17 and May 9, 2020. Applications now being accepted. I dare you…

3. Bike from sea-to-sea across a country. No, not across Canada (9,525+ km), but the more manageable country of Nicaragua that is only 568 km (352 miles) from the Pacific Ocean’s San Juan del Sur to Pearl Lagoon on the Atlantic Ocean side. The amazing 13-day mountain bike expedition will take you to volcanos, colonial towns, national parks, rainforests and lakes, as you share the road with trucks, cows, horses, pigs, and chickens. Do it now before the Chinese slice the nation in two ala Panama!

4. For the culinary daredevil in you, while you are in the geographic neighborhood, take in the wild-west of food: a pop-up jungle-to-table extravaganza in the Bolivian Amazon basin along the Beni River. Once every few years, local “back to nature” chefs converge to prepare exotic semi-illegal outside the villages dishes like: crocodile fillets in a coca leaf broth, grilled giant tapir meat served with a cocktail of fermented kecho fruit and cacao beans with a spicy chili pepper twist, paiche (a really big fish—a carp really) served with figs and spicy-sweet beetle larvae. They might also conjure up a purplish fungue—that may or may not have hallucinogenic effects, along with steamed giant river turtles. Caiman sushi anyone?

5. I took this serendipity challenge last year and ended up in Madagascar—pre-plague outbreak. Take the 24-Hours to Anywhere Challenge: It is our belief that with today’s growth of regional air carriers that you can be anywhere in the world in 24-hours. So, pick a destination furthest away geographically from you and attempt to get there in 24-hours. On a bet, I recently went from the San Francisco Bay Area to Antananarivo, Madagascar—17,599 kilometers away! SFO to IST (12:55 hours), then IST-ADD (5:30 hours), followed by a flight between Ethiopia (ADD) and Madagascar (TNR) (4:50 hours). I got to Madagascar in 23 hours and 41 minutes—but I did do it on the night we changed clocks! Tip: Bring a really good multi-media playlist.

6. We humans have gazed in wonder at the night skies before words hit paper; and you don’t have to be an astrophysicist to wonder what’s up. Nigh-sky travel (aka astrotourism) are great adventures to take. We suggest two spellbinding panoramas to be found: 1) Head to the Canary Islands international observatory at Roque de los Muchachos on La Palma for some sensational light pollution-free heavenly viewing. Or 2) for some really deep dark-sky space stargazing at a gold-certified Dark Sky Reserve, head to NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia where you can sleep out under the cloudless skies of Africa for a look at infinity…or at least some amazing celestial sights. 

7. With age comes experience, and over the years we have suggested how to get higher highs: a lost weekend at an infamous Vegas dive bar, visiting a Bolivian pop-up cocaine bar, a Laotian opium den and how best to enjoy Peruvian ayahuasca. For this year’s vibe adventure, forget BC Bud, Emerald Triangle Kush and Colorado Wedding Cake, take a Jamaican Ganja tour. Turned up bright, the tour will take you and other like-minded and bud-tended friends to Rastafariland, with highlights including: Nine Mile, the boyhood home and final resting place of reggae superstar Bob Marley; Ocho Rios to relax and hike in nature; along with several plantations…aka ganja farms. Pick up is around noon, munchies and rum included, but hotel drop off time is vague. 

8. Give peace a chance: start travel podcasting and make some faux press credentials, then head to Damascus and interview the loneliest man in the world: Syria’s Minister of Tourism. From 8 million tourists and 40% growth in 2011, to the nasty civil and chemical war, mostly, behind us, Syria is open for business again. You can visit one or two restaurants still open and err, ruins. Their catch phrase: “Syria … come see for yourself“. We know the UN Weapons Inspectors did. A few travel-related glitches though: all legal border crossings are closed, no FAA-approved commercial flights into or out of Damascus, those beach-side cabanas along the Mediterranean beaches are now refugee tents, and crime might be down, but war crimes are up. Sure, it is dark tourism at its finest, but so too is visiting Venice and Barcelona these days. We double-dare you!

As for us, we’ll be going on the around-the-world event, The Global Scavenger Hunt…better destinations, better experiences and better food. Got any novel adventures to share?

The title of The World’s Greatest Travelers and free trip around the world to defend their titles in the 2021 event await the travelers worthy enough to win the 16th edition of the world travel championship. The date for the 23-day 2020 Global Scavenger Hunt is April 17-May 9, 2020. Event participation is open but limited; the $25,000 per team entry fee includes all international airfare, First Class hotels, 40% of meals, and special event travel gear. All travelers are interviewed for suitability and single travelers are welcome to apply. For additional information visit GlobalScavengerHunt.com, or contact GreatEscape Adventures Inc. at 310-281-7809. 

(See full coverage of the 2019 Global Scavenger Hunt at goingplacesfarandnear.com)

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Luxury Gold’s ‘Once-in-a-Lifetime’ Journey to Nepal and Bhutan; Discount for Booking by Dec. 18

Luxury Gold guests can take a gentle hike to the Taskshang Monastery in Bhutan

With its ancient cultures, mountainous backdrops, and oasis of tranquility, Nepal and Bhutan each hold a wealth of centuries-old stupas and temples. Recently described as a “once in a lifetime journey” by the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) and AFAR Magazine ambassador, Luxury Gold’s Magnificent Nepal and Bhutan journey is nothing short of an “A-list” bucket-list experience ifor travelers seeking authenticity, exploration and cultural immersion.

“I was met with this sort of awe each moment of my journey with Luxury Gold, as our Traveling Concierge kept my journal occupied, and my camera at the ready,” said AFAR Magazine ambassador, Ryan Neal Cordwell, in his recent USTOA blog. “It isn’t only the absorption of undiluted insight, but the ability to participate interactively, that stamps this page of the world with gold.”

Luxury Gold’s dedicated and knowledgeable Traveling Concierges, VIP treatment, delectable dining, and immersive, local experiences bring together the true beauty of this enchanting region.

Just a few exceptional highlights of Luxury Gold’s culturally enriching 10-day journey to Nepal and Bhutan: 

As a VIP experience in Kathmandu, meet with the monks of Boudhanath stupa for a private puja (blessing) ceremony. Hear traditional chanting, drumming and tales of the monks lives inside the temple. You’ll be cherished by this visit by being blessed by the monks. Later, meet a local pottery craftsman who will explain the traditions and processes of their works, before guiding you to try for yourself. 

While in Paro, choose a private traditional mask dance and cultural show or learn about the passion the Bhutanese have for the national sport of archery, attending a range to interact with the locals. You can also join a gentle hike to Taktshang Monastery known as the Tiger’s Nest

In Thimphu, you’re invited into the home of a local family for a delicious home-cooked meal of typical regional fare. Visit the National Memorial Chorten, dedicated to world peace, along with Tasichho Dzong, known as the fortress of the glorious religion. Visit the bustling market, an opportunity to mix with the locals. 

In Punakha, stay at the luxurious Dhensa Boutique Resort, which sits in lush Punakha Valley and offers spectacular views. Visit the winter residence of the monk body that is also the capital of Bhutan – Punakha Dzong and can walk to Chimi Lhakhang temple and admire the magnificent views over the Losesa Valley. 

At the Dochula Pass, participate in a prayer flag hoisting ceremony, an integral part of Bhutanese landscape. It is believed that when prayer flags flutter, they carry a blessing to everyone around. 

Luxury Gold is bringing back the golden era of travel with the launch of their worldwide collection by offering a 10% Early Payment Discount if you book and pay in full by December 18, 2019.

For reservations, contact your local Travel Advisor, call 1-888-428-1503, or visit www.luxurygold.com.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Smart Lemur Highlights 5 Exotic Places to Experience Christmas Holidays

Christmas Island

In December, natural phenomena, perfect weather and local Christmas traditions make such exotic locales as Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Svalbard, Christmas and Galápagos islands some of the most marvelous destinations for travel.

Smart Lemur, a website specializing in “authentic travel” experiences, is highlighting these five unexpected Christmas destinations, explaining what makes them so special during the holiday season: 

Sri Lanka, South Asia

December in Sri Lanka, an island country surrounded by the Indian Ocean, is the most pleasant time – sunny and not overcrowded with tourists. The average daily temperature for this month is 27°C.

Visitors spending Christmas here enjoy the best tea and cinnamon in the world, exchange presents on the sandy beaches, drink from coconuts and watch wild elephants. Seeing these giants from close up in their natural habitat is one of the unique attractions in Sri Lanka.

Those eager to have more traditional holiday activities, are welcome to visit the capital Colombo, offering festive markets, special dinners, live music events and dance performances.

Mauritius, Indian Ocean

Mauritius, also called the pearl of the Indian Ocean, is a tiny island full of lavish nature, ranging from crystal-clear waters and coloured layers of sand to tropical forests and lively underwater world.

During December, air temperature is likely to reach 29°C, and travellers get to enjoy up to nine daily hours of sunshine. Lovely fuss, preparations, and Christmas songs in such weather allow visitors to experience celebrating Christmas in shorts and flip-flops.

Winter season is the time of abundant tropical fruits and splendid flame trees blooming in bright red fiery flowers. Fresh mangoes, pineapples, litchis (Lychee), Longan (Dragon Eye Fruit) and watermelons grow all around the island.

The most prominent attraction in Mauritius is swimming alongside dolphins.

Svalbard, Norway

Svalbard is one of the northernmost settlements in the world, luring travellers who dream of Arctic Christmas.

From mid-November to late January, this Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean enters into a mystical dark season known as Polar Night. During this period, the sun is hidden from the horizon and everything is pitch-dark around the clock.

Furthermore, winter is the time to hunt the Northern Lights. Svalbard is the only permanently inhabited place on Earth where visitors can experience dayside Northern Lights.

Christmas Island, Australia

Christmas Island is in the Indian Ocean, 1,550km north-west from the Australian mainland.

Apart from its obvious affiliation to Christmas after being named so on December 25th in 1643, the island is rich in spectacular nature.

It is the only place on Earth to witness one of the most incredible natural processes – an annual red crab migration. Bright-coloured crabs from all over the island start marching towards the ocean, all at the same time. And it usually occurs in December.

Furthermore, with 40 seabirds per capita, Christmas Island is a regional leader in this metric. Nature lovers can meet endemic species, such as the Christmas Island frigatebird and the elegant white-tailed tropicbird.

Despite the natural wonders and sandy beaches, the destination is still under the radar, receiving just 2000 visitors a year.

Galápagos Islands, Ecuado

The Galápagos Islands is a volcanic archipelago, famous for its diverse wildlife and jaw-dropping scenery.

December is a warm and dry season with air temperature reaching 27°C. Visitors get a chance to see rare animals like marine iguanas, sea turtles, flamingos, Masked Boobies and White-cheeked Pintails, which tend to stay away during other months.

Ecuador’s rich Christmas traditions make tourists feel part of a big family. The locals sing carols and celebrate with delicious meals like roasted turkey.

Smart Lemur is a website created by a group of travel enthusiasts who are passionate about unique and authentic travel experiences. Visit www.smartlemur.com

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

The 2020 Virtuoso Luxe Report of Top Experiential Travel Trends: ‘Carpe Diem,’ Croatia, Antarctica, Greece

Arriving at the end of a self-guided bike tour in Porec, Croatia. Croatia ranks as the top Emerging Destination and one of the top Global Destinations and Destinations for Millennials in Virtuoso’s luxe travel trends 2020 survey. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK – Travelers in 2020 are seizing the day and prioritizing trips now, powered by the belief that customized experiences are the best investment of their money and time, according to the latest Virtuoso® Luxe Report. Global luxury travel network Virtuoso annually surveys its industry-leading travel agency members and their advisor sales force across 50 countries to predict what lies ahead in the coming year. The Luxe Report, which has earned Virtuoso its reputation as a respected trend forecaster, reveals consumer inclinations in high-end and experiential travel.

“Carpe diem” travel is fueling the desire to savor as many new destinations and exciting experiences as possible in more authentic ways. While travelers still want to journey in comfort, the new definition of luxury is personalized adventures shared with family and friends. Both trends led to Virtuoso’s introduction earlier this year of Wanderlist®, a revolutionary approach to planning trips to ensure travelers maximize opportunities now and in the future.

The Luxe Report unearthed six trends highlighting how upscale globetrotters continue to assert their influence in the travel-sphere for 2020.

1.       Untouristed and Unexpected: With some favorite destinations seeing an untenable rise in demand, the well-traveled luxury set is seeking remote, unspoiled destinations to avoid crowds at over-touristed locales. Virtuoso advisors report a rise in requests for places ranging from the culturally distinct to those steeped in nature, including Borneo, Greenland and Oman.

2.       Country Coupling: Travelers are heeding the advice of well-informed Virtuoso advisors, who encourage clients to explore multiple countries, even during shorter journeys. Trips that mix locales are trending, especially ones with surprising combinations. Travelers may pair a ski adventure with a beach finale, or a city stay with a jungle adventure, or a well-traveled place followed by a little-known spot to mingle with locals. The focus is on varied experiences that enrich the trip with each stop.

3.       Tasty Travels: Culinary travel has transcended “trend” to become its own niche, with amazing food and drink now considered essential to any trip. Cooking classes, eating in private homes, Michelin-starred restaurants, farm-to-table visits, truffle hunting – culinary experiences are as varied as travelers themselves, and allow foodies to go beyond a seat at the table. Dining has become such a focus that some travelers are requesting restaurant reservations at the same time they book their flights – sometimes even before.

4.       Group Getaways: Travel unites those who share common interests, and Virtuoso advisors say clients want to connect with like-minded people. Gen X-ers, Boomers and even Matures are traveling to bond with friends and others who share their passions or are at the same life stage. Women’s travel is on the rise as well, including soft adventure trips and affluent girl getaways to unplug, relax and play. Groups of couples are also traveling together, including buddymoons, where newlyweds bring pals along for the fun.

5.       EQ Encounters: Today’s traveler is seeking more profound experiences leading to increased emotional intelligence. Pushing beyond their comfort zone combined with genuine interaction among locals provides travelers with a deeper appreciation for the people and cultures they encounter. Foregoing the usual attractions, Virtuoso clients are instead opting to tap into their passions, such as a tasting with the owner of a local winery, a motorcycle tour or a personal shopper to guide them through the latest pop-up stores. They also want accommodations that reflect the destination – inns full of character, small neighborhood hotels and private homes.

6.       Enjoying the Journey: Embracing the philosophy that the journey is half the fun, upscale voyagers are using exclusive services including meet-and-greets planeside to avoid the stress of changing terminals, locating gates or waiting in customs lines. The Private Suite at Los Angeles International Airport offers a members-only terminal where travelers are escorted through TSA screenings, driven to and from aircraft in BMWs and provided a room to relax in between flights.

In keeping with the “live for today” motivation, celebrating a milestone is the top factor inspiring travel in 2020 – a first for the Luxe Report. Multigenerational travel maintains its stronghold as the top trend of the year, with authenticity vaulting into second place from ninth in 2019 and cruising sailing out of the top five.

Italy continues its reign as the global favorite, as well as the top spot for solo travelers, while slipping to second place in the honeymoon and family travel categories. Croatia heads the list of emerging destinations, attracting buzz due to the Game-of-Thrones effect as well as its rich history and convenience to other major European hubs. Antarctica, poised for a big year, takes the top spot for adventure travel from longtime favorite South Africa (now in fourth place) and ranks number two as an emerging destination. And Greece catapulted into the top five for three categories, including the top spot for Millennials as well as second on the global destinations list and a third place for honeymoons.

Key findings from the 2020 Virtuoso Luxe Report:

Top Travel Trends                                                                Top Emerging Destinations

1. Multigenerational travel                                                       1. Croatia

2. Authenticity                                                                         2. Antarctica 

3. Active or adventure trips                                                     3. Iceland

4. Family travel (immediate family)                                          4. Japan

5. Celebration travel                                                                5. Portugal

Top Global Destinations                                                      Top Adventure Destinations

1. Italy                                                                                     1. Antarctica

2. Greece                                                                                 2. Alaska 

3. France                                                                                  3. Galapagos Islands 

4. Japan                                                                                    4. South Africa

5. Croatia                                                                                 5. Iceland

Top Millennial Destinations                                                Top Cities

1. Greece                                                                                 1. Paris

2. Bali                                                                                      2. Barcelona

3. Croatia                                                                                 3. Florence

4. Iceland                                                                                 4. Rome

5. Cambodia                                                                            5. London

Top Family Travel Destinations                                         Top Honeymoon Destinations

1. Hawaii                                                                                 1. French Polynesia

2. Italy                                                                                     2. Italy

3. Orlando                                                                               3. Greece

4. Costa Rica                                                                           4. Bali  

5. England                                                                               5. Maldives  

Top Solo Travel Destinations                                              Top Travel Motivations

1. Italy                                                                                     1. Celebrating a milestone

2. England                                                                               2. Excitement of discovering new destinations

3. U.S.                                                                                      3. Spending time with loved ones

4. France                                                                                  4. Rest and relaxation

5. Spain                                                                                    5. Crossing off Wanderlist® items

A total of 1,300 travel advisors from Virtuoso-affiliated agencies in North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Middle East took the Luxe Report survey, drawing on their extensive knowledge, professional experience and client requests to offer insight into 2020’s top trends.

Virtuoso® is a leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency partners with 20,000 elite travel advisors in 50 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with over 1,800 of the world’s best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $26.4 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

andBeyond Launches Philanthropy-Focused Itineraries in Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa

 

andBeyond travelers on the “Travel With a Purpose in Tanzania” program visit Ololosokwan Clinic, primary school, and Meirowa School, and can join a group of school children on a game drive and conservation lesson.

andBeyond, a leading luxury experiential travel company,  has launched philanthropic-focused itineraries in TanzaniaKenya, and South Africa to give guests a first-hand look at its core ethos of caring for the land, wildlife, and people. The activities range from adopting an elephant at the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Kenya to participating in local school conservation lessons in Tanzania to visiting the Grootbos Green Futures College in Cape Town, an organization that provides educational training to unemployed young adults in the city.

Tanzania: Travelers on andBeyond’s 9-day Travel with Purpose in Tanzania tour start the adventure off in Arusha before heading to andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge to explore the Mayoka and Moya communities by bike, and the new science labs at Kilimamoja School, funded by the Africa Foundation. The excursion continues to andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, perched above the edge of Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, before ending at andBeyond Klein’s Camp on the Serengeti. Here, travelers will visit Ololosokwan Clinic, primary school, and Meirowa School, and can join a group of school children on a game drive and conservation lesson.

Kenya: andBeyond’s new Travel with Purpose in Kenya 12-day itinerary weaves travelers through the Kuku Group Ranch at the foot of the Chyulu Hills in Nairobi, Lewa Downs Conservancy in Laikipia, and the Masai Mara to learn about and engage in various conservation projects. Highlights include a private visit to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi to adopt an elephant, feeding giraffes at the Giraffe Centre, and a Maasai community visit led by the African Foundation Program Manager, in which travelers can interact with a Maasai family and visit a traditional boma.

South Africa: andBeyond’s Travel with Purpose in South Africa journey is a 10-day excursion spanning from andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve to Cape Town to the Cape Whale Coast. At andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, travelers take an excursion with Africa Foundation to visit projects in the Mduku and Mngobokazi communities, and assist in an exclusive rhino notching experience. Travelers then head to Cape Town for a half-day tour of Uthando, a non-profit that supports various community projects (day care, urban agriculture, environmental, and youth development programs), followed by a half-day tour of the city to explore Table Mountain, Greenmarket Square, and Company Gardens. The tour continues on to the Cape Whale Coast (known for its prime whale watching location), where travelers will have the option to explore the Grootbos’s Green Futures College or the Siyakhula Organic Farm, visit the African Seabird and Penguin Sanctuary, and of course enjoy a whale watching excursion.

In addition to these opportunities for travelers to engage in voluntourism, andBeyond offers Small Group Journeys  affording the opportunity to explore Africa, Asia’s and South America’s extraordinary landscapes in the company of an intimate group of like-minded safari enthusiasts, on a set itinerary. The newest is Land Rover Expeditions around Patagonia Lakes, and another around Chile/Argentina Wine & CountrySnow Leopard Expeditions (India) is on many travelers’ bucket lists and Botswana Mobile Camping Expeditions is THE way to see Botswana for the adventurous.

Also, andBeyond owns and operates lodges and camps in Africa. New lodges opening in 2018 include Bateleur Camp in Kenya, Tengile River Lodge in South Africa, Phinda Homestead in South Africa, Phinda Vlei also in South Africa.

Guests travelling to &Beyond lodges in Africa can take advantage of “Fly Me” offers where the entire package price, including flights, is known; others who build an itinerary lodge by lodge, can benefit from long stay discounts. And for couples who have recently celebrated their nuptials, there is a Honeymoon Offer where a partner only pays 50%.

Asia travelers also can take advantage of long stay and “Fly Me” offers on some Indian itineraries, showcasing the best of the region at great deals.

Established in 1991, andBeyond is one of the world’s leading luxury experiential travel companies, designing personalized high-end tours in 15 countries in Africa, five in Asia, and four in South America. andBeyond also owns and operate 29 extraordinary lodges and camps in Africa’s iconic safari and island destinations. In addition, andBeyond operates small group, set-departure expeditions throughout Africa and Asia. This enables us to positively impact more than 9 million acres of wildlife land and 2,000 kilometres of coastline.

For information, visit www.andBeyond.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Luxury Gold Introduces ‘Chairman’s Collection’ of Exclusive Encounters with European Nobility on Select 2018 Trips

Enjoying a private tour of the Doge’s Palace in Venice on the Ultimate Italy itinerary.

RYE, NY– Life-changing, exclusive experiences are the hallmark of Luxury Gold, whose collection of 42 exceptional small-group journeys offer guests the chance to visit extraordinary destinations, meet remarkable local people and have immersive adventures that are not available to the average traveler.

In 2018 Luxury Gold takes exclusivity to the next level with the launch of its new Chairman’s Collection, a curated selection of truly memorable encounters with European nobles in stunning locales that are available on only 12 Luxury Gold departures in France, Italy, England and Austria.

Inspired by the golden era of travel, Stanley Tollman, chairman of The Travel Corporation (Luxury Gold’s parent company), leveraged his extensive personal connections to give guests the opportunity to meet with counts, duchesses and princesses, and go behind the scenes at some of Europe’s most celebrated castles, estates and cafés.

Alnwick Castle in the UK is visited by 800,000 people every year, but only Luxury Gold guests on the brand-new British Royale itinerary get a private tour of the castle’s gardens from the lady of the manor herself. Over the last 20 years Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland has spearheaded the restoration of her beloved Alnwick Garden to its former 18th century glory, and personally committed her time and energy to upholding her family’s legacy. Guests also meet the head gardener, Trevor Jones, and learn about the various features of the garden such as the labyrinth, the serpent garden and the ornate fountains. Afterward guests enjoy a seasonal lunch and explore the 11th century castle, whose striking medieval architecture was featured in the Harry Potter films. Available on August 9 and September 13 departures.

Café Procope is the oldest continuously operating café in Paris. On select departures on Luxury Gold’s two exciting new journeys in France, French Vogue and French Impression, guests will dine at the 400-year-old café with Count Rémy de Scitivaux. Between bites of coq au vin and other classic French specialties, Scitivaux will regale guests with tales from Procope’s colorful history, explain why it’s one of his favorite eateries in the City of Light, and talk about his noble background and family estate outside Paris. Available on May 11 and September 14 departures for French Vogue, and May 5 and September 8 departures for French Impression.

Ultimate Italy and La Serenissima are Luxury Gold’s two spectacular Italian itineraries. On four departures only, guests partake in an exclusive lunch with Count Francesco Mazzei at his centuries-old family estate in the Chianti region of Tuscany. The property is home to the Castello di Fonterutoli winery, one of Italy’s oldest family-owned firms, dating back to the 1500s. Guests will feast on pasta and wild boar hunted on the estate while learning about the Count’s family history and his approach to winemaking, then take a tour of the property and taste some of the award-winning wines. Available on May 19 and September 22 departures for Ultimate Italy, and May 10 and September 20 departures for La Serenissima.

Austria’s Artstetten Castle has a long and storied history. It was used as a family residence by generations of Habsburgs, including Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination in 1914 sparked the beginning of World War I. It was later seized by the Nazis during World War II, but was returned to the Archduke’s descendants in 1949. One of those descendants is Ferdinand’s great-granddaughter Princess Anita von Hohenberg, the current occupant of the castle. The Princess, who is also a direct descendant of Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, shares Hapsburg family stories during a private reception with guests traveling on select departures of the Harmony of Central Europe itinerary. Afterwards guests visit the historical museum and see the crypt where the Archduke and his wife are buried. Available on May 14 and September 17 departures.

Luxury Gold’s Chairman’s Collection “is made possible through the Tollman family’s century-long heritage in the travel industry, and demonstrates their unwavering pledge to provide incredible, unforgettable experiences for guests.”

For more information about the Chairman’s Collection and Luxury Gold journeys, contact your travel agent, call Luxury Gold at 1-888-862-5952, or visit www.luxurygoldvacations.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Ever Dreamed of Training with Russian Cosmonauts? Here are 7 Top Transformative Adventures

You get to train with Russian cosmonauts on this transformative adventure.

A new study by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) revealed that, more than any other motivating factor, adventure travelers are seeking out transformative experiences while on holiday.  An expanded worldview, nature, mental health, and learning opportunities were other motivating factors revealed in the study.  What could be more transformative than training with Russian cosmonauts?

Below are seven “Transformative Adventures” we like for 2017.

  1. Track Endangered Black Rhino – Explore the Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei, track the endangered black rhino on foot, and participate in traditional game drives in Etosha National Park. This Adventure Life tour of Namibia also spends two nights walking the Tok Tokkie Trail and interacting with the isolated Himba people.
  1. Train with Russian Cosmonauts – On this exclusive Russian space tour offered by MIR Corporation, witness the manned launch of the Soyuz spacecraft, tour Russia’s premier cosmonaut training facility where you can participate in optional cosmonaut training, and experience the live Soyuz-International Space Station docking.
  1. Hangout with Mountain Gorillas – Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world by trekking into the lush forests of Rwanda with Gondwana EcoTours. Track chimpanzees and the beautiful golden monkey, and keep an eye out for elephants and buffalo.
  1. Visit Isolated Tribes of Ethiopia – Encounter the unique and diverse cultures of Ethiopia’s Omo Valley and learn about the rich traditions tribes there have maintained for centuries on a new tour from Adventure Life. On the Isolated Tribes of Ethiopia tour, see the fossilized remains of the early hominid “Lucy” and learn about the region’s cultures in museums before traveling out long dirt roads to meet and interact with the Hamer, Mursi, Karo, Arbore and Konso people in their villages.
  1. Bike from London to Rome – Ride & Seek has created a cycling tour of historical proportions, tracing the footsteps of Julius Caesar on a 33-day, 2,929 km journey from London to Rome. Crossing waterways, vine-clad hills and mountain passes, this is the only tour of its kind being offered today. Participants will never be the same.
  1. Trek Glaciers with Climate Change Scientist– Big Chill Adventures offers an opportunity to explore the southern part of Iceland, known for its glaciers, icebergs and black sand beaches. Highlights include dogsledding, trekking glaciers, snowmobiling, spelunking, and soaking in geothermal hot springs.
  1. Sip Tea with Mongolian Nomads – Explore the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar and then fly to the red sands of the Gobi Desert to celebrate the Naadam Festival with parades and sporting competitions, such as archery, horse riding and wrestling.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Wildland Adventures Celebrates 30 Years with New Trips Geared to Families, Women, Writers, Trekkers

“Patagonia: A Journey of Discovery” is one of Wildland’s first in a series of new Transformational Travel experiences.
“Patagonia: A Journey of Discovery” is one of Wildland’s first in a series of new Transformational Travel experiences.

SEATTLE, WA – Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017. Wildland Adventures is introducing 16 new or extensively revised itineraries geared for active women, epicureans, families, emerging writers and adventurous trekkers

“All our Wildland Adventures promise to cultivate connections and possibly transform yourself and your view of the world,” said Kurt Kutay, founder and owner of Wildland Adventures.

2017 New Trips for Families

In Africa: Botswana Family Safari – 8 days, from $5,195 for family of four.  Families are whisked to a private safari camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Wildland’s Young Explorers program led by professional safari guides teaches the whole family the art of bush craft: spotting wildlife, learning animal behavior tracking game on foot. Guests visit local communities to experience daily life, and, among other activities, make jewelry, weave baskets, shoot with slingshots, fish and cook over an open fire. Every day kids “read the morning newspaper” which means looking over tracks in the sand for nighttime visitors.

In Europe: Croatia Active Family Adventure – 9 days, from $4,095 adult/$3,295 under 18. Croatia is accessible and offers great value for the travel dollar. This active itinerary traverses the Julian Alps through forests, following waterfalls and rivers flowing to ancient ports along the Adriatic coast. Families hike, cycle, raft and kayak in national parks, through rural villages and among Roman ruins and ancient fortifications. In local homes and restaurants guests experience traditionally prepared pastas, stews and Adriatic seafood. This adventure begins in the capital city of Zagreb and concludes in Dubrovnik.

In Latin America: Guatemala Family Adventure – 9 days, from $3,695 adults, $2,895 teens, $2,695 child. Wildland families discover everyday subsistence life of indigenous Mayans on small farms and marketplaces around Lake Atitlan. They hike in the Pacaya Volcano, explore the UNESCO World Heritage colonial city of Antigua, and the ancient Mayan city of Tikal in the remote jungles and wildlife reserve of Tikal National Park. An expert bilingual guide leads guests who bike, hike, kayak, explore ruins and connect with Mayans in their homes, villages and fields.

2017 New Trips for Women and Epicureans

In Cuba: Havana and Heartland of Cuba – 7-day women’s departure March 10-16, 2017, from $3,995. A Cuban professional female guide introduces travelers to the lives of Cuban women from their role in the Revolution to the formation of modern-day Cuba. Guests visit with extraordinary women as part of a people-to-people program. “Get ready to laugh, dance, learn and be deeply touched by the women of Cuba a la Wild Style!” Cuba is also among the safest countries in the world for female travelers.

In Latin America: Women’s Active Wine Adventure in Chile & Argentina – April 1-10, 2017, from $4,995. Adventurous women will explore vineyards and valleys of Chile and Argentina on horseback and bicycle, and walk through culturally vibrant back streets of Santiago, Valparaiso and Buenos Aires. Lively female guides introduce South America’s epicurean highlights while the group sips perfectly blended Malbecs, experiments with unique ingredients at a regional cooking class and meets vendors at local markets.

In Europe: Women’s Southern Italy Epicurean Adventure – May 22-31, 2017, from $6,695. This active exploration of Puglia blends sunshine, charming landscapes, delectable cuisine and wines with active women’s zest for the good life. Puglia’s rustic charm is reflected in the locals’ welcoming personalities and communal dining, simple and flavorful local fare that has stood the test of time and a rich cultural history reflecting, among others, Byzantium and the Normans.  Menhirs (pre-history stones), cave churches and medieval castles keep it wild along with hiking, shopping, wine tasting, cycling and preparing classic dishes with master chefs. Antonello Losito, since 2007 one of Pugli’s premier guides, shares his passion for the food, landscape, and culture of Southern Italy with guests.

2017 New Trip for Writers

In Asia: Vietnam: Travel Writing with Dave Fox – Mar.6-17, 2017, from $3,775. Guests who want to delve deep into Vietnamese culture and advance their travel writing prowess are invited to explore Vietnam with best-selling author and award-winning travel writer Dave Fox. In a collaborative small group, budding travel writers practice mindfulness and how to see anew employing a heightened sense of awareness using all their senses traveling south to north by boat, bike and foot among the clamor of cities and the peaceful rice paddies and villages. The trip culminates with a two-night cruise through Halong Bay as participants develop new sources of self-expression and personal story-telling that chronicles a sense of place and people, grabbing the imaginations and capturing the hearts of their readers. Dave has been a Public Radio news anchor, a tour guide and an international cruise ship lecturer.

New for 2017 – Transformational Adventures

In Latin America: Patagonia: A Journey of Discovery – 7 days, from $3,100 is one of Wildland’s first in a series of new Transformational Travel experiences. Embark on a guided journey of personal exploration and discovery through one of the most spectacular and inspirational places in the world. Head deep into Torres del Paine National Park for three days of extensive hiking into the Paine Massif. Along the way, Michael Bennett, Ed.D. of Muddy Shoe Adventures, facilitates small group sharing using the power of nature and adventure to foster a deeper sense of discovery of the on this journey of personal exploration. Michael will use the trip’s many adventures as catalysts for casual yet inspirational discussions for participants to reflect, share and learn from what they are experiencing with the goal of integrating it into one’s day-to-day life.

In Asia: Thailand: Discovering the Land of Smiles – 9 Days from $2,450. Thailand is one of the most diverse, exotic, and exhilarating countries on earth. A trip there among chaotic cities, vibrant markets, temples steeped in spiritual richness, and verdant tropical nature full of wildlife, guarantee that you’ll be enlivened and enriched and an opportunity to see yourself anew. Along the way, Michael Bennett, Ed.D., of Muddy Shoe Adventures, facilitates sharing among travelers of each day’s adventures as inspiration in a collaborative and supportive small group recognizing each traveler’s present rite of passage, and for some to develop a personal action plan for kick-starting the next chapter of their lives.

For more information on these and all of Wildland Adventures’ worldwide offerings, availability and reservations call 1-800-345-4453 or email info@wildland.com. Visit http://www.wildland.com/.
 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

8 Fit Trips for 2017

Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda  (photo: Gondwana EcoTours)
Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda (photo: Gondwana EcoTours)

With the arrival of the New Year, many will make resolutions to get fit or take a trip. From biking to hiking to paddling and yoga, here are eight active adventures around the world that will help you accomplish both. 

  1. Ride an Ironman bike course:With tour operators Ride & Seek and Big Island Bike Tours, ride the roads of Hawaii’s grueling and windy Ironman bike course, through coffee plantations and up the world’s largest active volcano, 13,677-foot Mauna Loa. You’ll also get to soak away any soreness in the heated tide pools of Kapoho.
  2. Snorkel and kayak Thailand: On an Adventure Life trip, snorkel the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand, home to abundant coral and marine life, and spend a day exploring the uninhabited islands of Angthong Marine Park by kayak. There’s also plenty of time to relax on the idyllic beaches of Koh Samui.
  3. Trek with gorillas in Rwanda:Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda, home to hundreds of species of birds and numerous waterfalls. You’ll also track chimpanzees and the golden monkey, and watch for elephants and buffalo.
  4. Ski steep and deep in Montana:Rent a cabin in the Moonlight Basin community and ski the steep, open terrain of Montana’s Big Sky resort. You’ll have access to 5,800 acres and 4,350 feet of vertical, and with a private guide from Moonlight can ski the famed North Summit Snowfield and areas normally closed to the public. Other activities include guided Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking on winter trails.
  5. Hike and photograph Northwest Argentina:With Travel Vision Journeys, hike and photograph a variety of landscapes in Northwest Argentina, including the Gorge of Arrows, Seven Colors Mountain, the Enchanted Valley in Los Cardones National Park and the Salinas Grandes salt flat. Along the way, you’ll also sample some of the country’s finest wines from high-altitude vineyards.
  6. Fly fish Bolivia:Where the Amazon jungle meets the Andes, wade a freestone stream and walk its banks on a Frontiers tour of Bolivia. You’ll be casting for golden dorado, as well as pirapitinga, yatorana and surubi in remote national park and indigenous territory.
  7. Yoga at a Wyoming ranch retreat:At Red Reflet Ranch near Ten Sleep, Wyoming, take a yoga class with serene views of green pastures, ponds and red rock formations. There’s also a climbing wall, hiking, mountain biking and, of course, horseback and cattle activities.
  8. Cycle an alpine road in Romania:On Ciclismo Classico’s Grand Tour of Transylvania, climb 15 miles up the winding Transfagarasan alpine road – the second-highest paved road in Romania – to Balea Lake at 6,562 feet in elevation. You’ll also pass through medieval cities, stay in a restored castle and visit a fortified church.

 

For more travel features visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures