Adventure travel is no longer a backpacker club of 18 – 25-year-olds. The new adventure traveller is nearing retirement but not ready to retire their adventurous spirit just yet. Nor should they! There is a whole world to discover outside of your comfort zone but tucked into a comfy bed at night.
Get inspired by these three destinations with a perfect balance of adventure and pampering.
With so much to see and do in South Africa, no wonder it regularly tops traveller’s bucket lists.
You can hike or take the cable car to majestic Table Mountain in Cape Town, either way, it is an adventure not for the faint of heart. After exploring the winding trails, jaw-dropping cliffs and spectacular views from the clouds, make your way back to one of Cape Town’s fabulous hotels, indulge in a sumptuous spa treatment before igniting your tastebuds with a fine dining experience with a stunning sunset over the Atlantic Ocean.
Next up, your dream safari! It’s simple, safaris are dirty and bumpy. But, who says you have to wait in line to clean up at a campsite after a day of adventure? No need to spend your nights zipped-up in a tent, sleeping on a glorified yoga mat, scared to walk to the bathroom at night. Instead, stay at an eco-lodge in Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Be wowed by wildlife without the crowds from nearby Kruger National Park. You’ll be treated to sundowner picnics in the bush and then back at camp get cleaned up in your own luxurious bathroom, with eco-friendly bath products, before you feast on a locally sourced meal, fit for a king.
Want to go on safari, but don’t want to skip the beach? Visit iSimangaliso Wetland Park for incredible beaches, but beware of hippos! They wander the town of St. Lucia at night. Venture out to see the Big Five one day and enjoy miles of sandy beaches paired with whale watching, scuba diving and snorkelling, the next.
One of the world’s most popular adventures is hiking the Inca Trail to the Lost City of Machu Picchu in Peru. Trekking along the narrow trail over mountains, sleeping in tents and foregoing showers for four days is amazingly popular, but not everyone’s cup of tea. That doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the adventure!
Take a one-day hike along the trail, instead of the four-day standard camping trip, or indulge in the luxury Hiram Bingham Train to make your way to the base of the ancient lost city. Stay at one of the luxury, eco-hotels, created with low impact construction, for an authentic nature experience in the rainforest, that also gives back to help preserve local indigenous cultures.
Rarely talked about, the tiny country of Slovenia has been recognized in Green Destinations’ list of Top 100 Sustainable Destinations since 2016, and was recognized with 9 separate destination awards in 2020. It’s also an adventure-lovers paradise, with 10 000 kms of marked hiking trails, cycling, skiing, white water rafting, caving and canyoning activities.
Take a guided, three-day hike to the summit of Mt. Triglav, Slovenia’s highest point or, cycle through the caves in Koroška. When your body is weary from adventure and your lungs are full of fresh, mountain air, head to the seaside, spa town of Portorož and enjoy the healing thermal baths and take in some of Slovenia’s finest farm-to-table food. If you are a foodie, you may want to plan your trip around one of Slovenia’s many delicious food festivals that range from wine to beer & burgers, gourmet to sweet pastries from master confectioners!
Adventure traveller’s tastes, budgets and activity levels are varied. Who says that just because you like Michelin Star dining, you can’t conquer a mountain now and again. Get out there! Play hard and then relax with a spot of champagne. You deserve it.