For active travelers, truly the sky and all corners of the earth are the limit. The world can be seen from a whole new perspective when you’re willing to go beyond the confines of “regular travel”. Those who are willing to put physical effort in via biking, trekking, etc are able to see regions and get to destinations other travelers will never seen. They’re able to get incredibly immersed in cultures and the unseen parts of a destination as well. There’s something about overcoming a little physical challenge that makes travel so much more rewarding. Active travel is overall a more transformative way to travel.
Very few travelers seek any destination that is not a sunny beach for their holidays but those who are more adventurous get to see the most unique sites in the world. One of those is the India’s Western Ghats during the monsoon season between June and September. A constant mist surrounds the high altitude green mountains running down India’s west coast. Ancient temples, forts, and traditional spice and tea plantations dot the green hills. For active travelers, this brings the ultimate combination of physical challenge, scenic views, and rich cultural experiences. During the Chasing the Monsoon bike tour, we stay in homestays high in the Western Ghats exploring every aspect of the region up close and personal, while being one with the elements. It’s the ultimate eight-day package for active travelers seeking something truly unique.
Again, the Himalayas is a hot spot for active travel for obvious reasons. But there are multiple ways to see the Himalayas in an active way. Trekking through the green hills and valleys is an amazing way to experience the region in a detailed and slower way than via bike. The Bhabha valley gives you a taste of all of the terrains of the Himalayas. When working your way through, you travel through rolling green hills with wildflowers and local shepherds, high rocky peaks, crisp streams, and patches of snow at higher altitudes. It’s an amazing destination for active travelers who want to really experience the elements and become one with the local community. On our Bhabha Valley trek recently, we heard local stories from shepherds and crossed some of the most stunning lookouts in the Himalayas all on foot.
Active travel is not just for exploring nature. Some of the most important and stunning sites of ancient civilization are best traveled to on bike and then explored on foot. There’s little detail you can see from a bus and at a place like ruins of Hampi, there is too much too see. Hampi is an incredibly well preserved complex of ruins from India’s wealthiest capital of the ancient world. Walking through its walls is like walking through history itself. There are few places on earth with such world history importance that are so intact and detailed in what they tell us about the past. The Hampi and Badami cycling tour we bike out to these unbelievable sites and explore them on foot as if we traveled back in time.
Spiti means “middle land” as it sits between Tibet and India high in the Himalayan mountain range. It’s a truly unique place that is not more of either, but a true mix of nature and culture that makes it unique to other destinations. It’s a place that active travelers can really thrive. It’s high altitude and rugged terrain provide the perfect physical challenge active travelers seek. The road traveled on runs along a river that cuts through the uniquely green, mountainous terrain with views of tall rocky peaks. Most of these sites and views can only be reached by traveling on bike and on foot. During this trip, you also explore the cultural elements of the Spiti valley including ancient Buddhist monasteries, unique homemade cuisine in homestays, and the unique high-altitude way of living. As a preserved and isolated natural and cultural hotspot, the Spiti Valley Hike and Bike is perfect for the active traveler who seeks physical challenge as well as cultural immersion.
Active travel doesn’t have to mean you forgo the classic beach summer vacation. Goa is a little known destination in the south west of India that is the perfect amount of active adventure and beach relaxation. Once a Portuguese region until fairly recently, Goa’s coastal community still has a strong Portuguese influence that has shaped a unique and unforgettable local culture. On the Goa Bike Tour, you spend eight days biking through the Goa region and exploring the ecological hotspot’s, flora and fauna. You stay local and have plenty of opportunity to relax in local communities and at the beach. This is a physically mild active travel experience and perfect for those who want something relaxing but not sedentary.
For active travelers a new perspective, a new window into the world is open. Take these five top active travel challenges for 2018 as inspiration for your next adventure.