Today I present some fresh ideas to fill your lungs with fresh air as you travel. If you seek out nature as you venture about the world, you will enjoy this list.
Almond Blossom Hike, Spain – In the south of Spain, miles and miles of almond tree orchards bloom in the middle of February. They explode into a sea of pink, covering the dry Andalucian dirt with waves of color. The fragrance is unbelievable and the combination makes you dizzy with delight. Many hiking clubs in this region organize opportunities to spend a day, and a strenuous day at that, hiking through the orchards and typically ending up at some sort of castle where you feast on Spanish fare. I joined a group called “Locos X Andar” and joined 200 of my closest new friends for the journey. Most of these hiking groups have terrible presence online so this is something to ask your southern Spanish friends about when you arrive in Spain.
Dive With Whale Sharks, Australia – This is one of the more terrifying outdoor adventures you can attempt (at least for me) but so worth every horrifying moment. I was able to experience this off the western coast of Australia, while on assignment for the Travel Channel. Ningaloo Reaf is a gem where you can find local tour guides who will take you out into the turquoise blue waters of the East Indian Ocean. Whale sharks are, well, whales and feed as whales do. Which is to say, not on people or any other large mammals. Your only danger is being sucked into their gigantic mouths. Picture yourself in open water, no cages, nothing but you, a wet suit, your flippers and a 41,000 pound fish that may mistake you for its own booger.
Hike To Hidden Natural Hot Springs, Colorado – There are many natural hot springs hidden in the mountains of Colorado, teaming with naked hippies, and terribly untanned Denverites like me. But, no matter who joins you in the incredible natural hot tub, the experience is incredible. Here are a few to get you started: Penny Hot Springs, Radium Hot Springs and Conundrum Hot Springs.
Bike Wine Tour, Austria – A bike ride along the Danube river, just outside of Vienna, is an amazing way to explore this area all while sampling some delicious wines. Take a guided bike tour, or just rent a couple bikes and catch the train from Vienna to Wachau Valley. The area is beautiful and the culture rich. You can even hike up to a castle where King Richard was imprisoned. I had a chance to do this during Easter week while living in Spain.
Long Distance Trek, Multiple Locations – Of course I had to add this to the list. It could be the Camino de Santiago in Spain, or the Pacific Crest Trail in the United States. If you enjoy nature, you have got to try one of these. SEE MOST POPULAR LONG DISTANCE TREKS IN THE WORLD.
Beach Hike and Body Surf, Costa Rica – I can’t think of many things more enjoyable than a long hike, barefoot, on a secluded warm beach. The sound of the waves, the smell of the sea and the peacefulness of it all. In Costa Rica, especially near Montezuma, the beaches offer just that. On a recent trip, my wife and I didn’t see a soul for hours on a beach hike out of town. This ended with body surfing in a lagoon and napping in the shade of a thick forest, listening to the lullaby of birds and waves.
Hike A Glacier, Iceland – In a few months I will be headed to Skaftafell National Park in Iceland to attempt to scale a large glacier. Clearly I cannot yet give you a review, but this outdoor adventure is next on my bucket list.
Stand Up Paddle Board, Seattle – You don’t have to venture far at all to experience this outdoor fun. Lake Union is right in the middle of Seattle and you can easily rent a paddle board if you don’t own one. Not only can you paddle right up to the “Sleepless in Seattle” house boat, taking a trip through movie history, but the views of downtown Seattle are pretty amazing as well. Hate to stand up on water? Rent a kayak instead.
Kayak the Milford Sound, New Zealand – New Zealand is hard to describe as anything short of heaven on Earth. It is a country built for the outdoor lover. Far enough away from everything to keep the crowds at bay and beautiful enough to endure the long flight. Of the infinite beauty, the Milford Sound is somewhere we all should see during our time on this planet. Rent a kayak when you get there and glide through scenery built for the Gods.