More and more people are looking into holidays that allow them to get an element of exercise. The traditional holiday of lounging around in the sun is being replaced by some people for an altogether more activity-based trip. Hiking and camping have become increasingly popular pursuits for couples, families and sole adventurers alike. Here is a list of some of the top places to visit if you want a taste of the outdoors and to get in touch with nature:
Great Smoky Mountains, USA
Situated in Tennessee, this mountain range is so-called after the Cherokee Indians noticed the blue-grey smoke wisps that are often found around the highest peaks. There are thought to be around 900 miles of walking trails in the national park so there are certainly enough places to explore. Within the park you’ll find 200 different types of birds along with 1,500 varieties of flowering plants. If you want to see some real beauty, check out the remains of the sites of early settlers including farmhouses, log cabins and grist mills from the 18th and 19th centuries – make sure however before you go on this type of adventure that you have the appropriate levels of adventure travel insurance cover.
Cinque Terre, Italy
This coastal area involves a trail that allows you to have the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the mountains on the other. The five villages of the area are linked together by a coastal path, allowing you some spectacular views of little fishing villages and beautiful boats in little harbours. One of the best parts about this particular destination is the local cuisine. Stop off in any one of the amazing trattorias for dinner and be sure to taste the Sciacchetra, a crisp white wine made in the vineyards of Cinque Terre. Cars cannot reach the individual villages, meaning the area is not spoiled by lots of tourist developments. Paths, boats and trains will connect the villages up so taking a walk between them is one of the best ways to travel.
Cloud Forests, Costa Rica
The tropical forests of Costa Rica are situated near the top of the mountains, meaning they’re often covered in clouds for most of the year, hence the name. Sea coves and lagoon waterfalls can be found hidden in amongst the secretive paths of these Central American forests. You can also experience a walk across sky-high suspension bridges, giving you a unique, if slightly scary perspective of the natural wonders around you. The forests can look very eerie when shrouded in fog, with the bridges appearing to disappear in front of you.
A short distance from the business of Quebec City, you’ll find some beautiful lands. The Saguenay Fjord blends fresh water with the tidal water, creating a unique ecosystem that must be witnessed. The Saguenay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site containing lakes, waterfalls and gorges. Amongst the huge range of wildlife, you may spot black bears, moose and falcons. For some wonderful views, as well as great cuisine, this is an area worth putting on your list to get a real taste of the outdoors. This national park gives you the opportunity to go skiing, kayaking, camping and hiking so make sure you’ve got your energy levels up before you go.
About the author:
Lauren Sutton is an in-house writer for UK-based adventure insurer 24/7 Travel Insurance.