Cruises to the Baltic States and Scandinavia

A cruise through the Baltic Sea allows you to visit both Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, which have enchanting Old Towns that date back to a time when medieval merchants traveled the region. beach-1868047__340.jpg The Scandinavian countries of Finland, Norway, and Sweden have busy modern cities, some of which have been voted the world’s “most livable”.

Let's go Cruisin'!
Norway will appeal to both nature enthusiasts, with its breathtaking fjords, and history buffs, with its long Viking history.

Other not-to-miss sights include Helsinki’s Neoclassical and Art Nouveau displays, the “Venice of Scandinavia” in Stockholm, and the red roofs and pretty steeples in Tallinn. A trip through this region of the world must also include, of course, seeing the northern lights, or aurora borealis.

Between Europe and Asia sits Russia, the largest sovereign nation in the world. No cruise to Russia is complete without a visit to the dazzling Peterhof Palace in St Petersburg. Stop by the historic Red Square in Moscow to see its iconic domes and towers, then be sure to stop by a traditional café to taste Russian caviar and blini pancakes.

Eight of the The Planet's Recommended Hikes

The greatest journeys are more than the steps you take, they are about the understanding and influence you receive from the destination - they are about stepping into a destination’s culture and history. Still, these walks are not an effortless undertaking.

They will test you physically and engage you mentally, leaving you with an indelible perception of the richness of our planet. Here, we have listed 8 best hikes.

Peru's Inca Trail - 4 days and 26.7 miles

Many remarkable moments are created on the Inca Trail, but nothing matches the minute you go through the Sun Gate and experience the vision of the forgotten city of Machu Picchu. Ideal time to go: May to September

Colombia's Lost City ~ 27 miles and 5 days
Hike through the dense jungle through streams before coming to the ruins of Teyuna. Arrive here first you and will have this Lost City to appreciate exclusively. It is suggested to go from August to November.

Nepal: Everest Base Camp - 38.5 miles and 13 days
This expedition will bring you nearer to the inhabitants of the Himalayas before uncovering a window to the top of the planet.

After observing Everest, you will never look at our planet in the same way.

The best months to go are August to November.

Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania - 21.1 miles in 8 days
Mt Kilimanjaro at 5,895m (19,340 ft), is Africa's greatest point. It’s no walk in the park, but unlike other great summits, it gives those adventurous enough to get to the top. The best months to go are September to March.

Mont Blanc in Europe - 77.7 miles in 8 days
The Tour du Mont Blanc stretches through 3 countries: Switzerland, Italy, and France and covers the distance of 100 miles.

The ideal months to go are June to September.

Patagonia: Torres del Paine Circuit - 82.6 miles - 10 days -
Recognized for its organic beauty, you will be exposed to striking volcanic terrains, spectacular glaciers and expansive grasslands expanding to the horizon. Ideal time to go: December to March

Venezuela's Mt Roirama - 21.1 miles in 6 days
The glorious mountain of Roraima is precious to the region's local inhabitants and is said to have prompted Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel, "The Lost World." When to go: November to April is the perfect time to walk the Roraima path but anytime of the year is good.
Spain: The Camino de Santiago - 466 miles in 30 days

The widely known Camino de Santiago, also known as the St. James Trail, was a meaningful Christian journey during the Middle Ages, and continues to be a celebrated spiritual trek to this day.

The optimal time to travel: You can go in any month of the year but the optimal time is somewhere between the spring and autumn (which is high season).

10 of the Greatest Off-the-Beaten-Track Treks

Would you love to escape from your life and travel to a place where you can be by yourself? Cut yourself off from the routine grind and plug in with nature on some of the world’s most off-the-beaten-paths. Travel Africa’s 3rd tallest mountain to the Australian deserts, and even the world’s most southerly trek in Patagonia, each place is stunning.

atoll-2179234__340.jpg And don’t be unnerved by the remoteness of these areas - there’s a path for every type of trekker.

Gokyo Lakes & Renjo La in Nepal
Duration: Approximately 17 days - 13 days trekking
Difficulty Level: Moderate to Challenging (6)

Ideal for: Active travelers who want to try out a trail different to the ever-popular Everest Base Camp trek
Ideal time to go: February to mid-May & end of September to December
Do you want stay away from the crazy touristy hikes in the Everest region?

This path goes through Sherpa villages to the beautiful turquoise Gokya Lakes and continues on through the Renjo La (5,400m). The route to the Everest region is deemed to be one the grandest walking trails and gives one a view of the Himalaya’s 8000-meter crests. On the way to Gokyo Ri, you get the greatest site of Everest and the encompassing mountains, most notably Cho Oyu in Tibet. lighthouse-in-hirtshals-1096697__340.jpg

Larapinta Trail End to End in Australia

Duration: Approx. 14 days

Grading: Moderate to challenging (6)
Wilderness lovers and seasoned walkers desiring a challenge will love this
Best time to go: Mid-April to August
One of Australia’s most iconic treks - the full traverse of the Larapinta follows the foundation of the West MacDonnell range, in Central Australia, over 223 kilometers.

Trek to remote ridges and canyons; gaze at the stars in the Outback; climb Mount Sonder, the Northern Territory’s highest peak, and bask in the glory of the sunrise.

Dientes Circuit on Navarino Island in Chile

Duration: Approx. 6 days - 4 days of trekking
Level: Challenging (7)
Ideal for those trekkers who want to get off the beaten track in Patagonia

Ideal time to go is December to March

Hike one of the globes most southern trails stretching across Dientes de Navarino Massif where you will feel like you are walking on the edge of the world. You will most probably not observe any other backpackers along this 42-kilometer circuit.

This trek has been labeled as one of Patagonia’s best treks and one of the most cut off places left on the planet.

K2 Base camp, Concordia & Gondogora La in Pakistan

Duration is approximately 24 days -16 days trekking
Level: Entry level mountaineering/ exploratory trekking (8)
Ideal for: Those who are looking to get into mountaineering, or who are looking to take on a challenging trek
Ideal to go: Months of June to August

Believed to be some of the very best scenic hiking trails, it goes from the popular Baltoro Glacier, to the “Throne Room of the Mountain Gods” and to the bottom of the world's second biggest mountain range. The celebrated journey in Pakistan has fascinated many explorers and hikers for a long time, with the 360-degree scene of 7,000 meter and 8,000-meter summits, as well as the grand K2.

The Southern Alps in New Zealand

Duration: Approximately 6 days
Grading is Moderate (5)
Ideal for: Anyone seeking to head for heights

Ideal time to go: Months of November to April
One of the finest hiking (or “tramping” as it is known locally) experiences on Earth can be had in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, with its rolling hills, magnificent glaciers, and turquoise lakes. Exploring the alpine tarns with unobscured vistas, this trek is considered a warm up for walking in the Himalayas.

Mountains of the Moon in Uganda
Duration: Approximately 13 days (10 days trekking)
Grading: Entry level mountaineering/ exploratory trekking (8)

Best for anyone who has checked Mt Kilimanjaro off their list and are looking for their next summit challenge
Ideal time to go: December to February and June to September
wedding-443600__340.jpg Hidden away and quiet, the Rwenzori Mountains (or Mountains of the Moon) are Africa's best hidden secret.

If you are looking for a challenging adventure - hike Margherita Peak (5,109m), Africa’s third tallest summit.

West Coast Trail in Canada

Duration: About 8 days (a 7-day full-pack trek)
Grading is Moderate to challenging (6)
Ideal for those active walkers who love coastal walks and want to combine it with an breathtaking forest trek and wildlife spotting
Best time to go is August

Sail by ferry across the Strait of Georgia with its Orca-filled waters, and journey to the northerly trailhead of Vancouver Island where you can begin your trek and you possibly see a sea lion, eagle or bear along the coastline.

This is thought of one of the world’s top 10 treks, and if planned well, you will be able to take coast strolls on the shelf.

Snowman Trek in Bhutan

Duration: Approx. 27 days (23 days actual trekking)
Grading: Exploratory trekking (8)
Ideal for: Anyone looking for an extremely challenging trek that ventures far off the beaten track
Ideal time to go is September to November

Journey the greatest traverse of Bhutan crossing over 11 grand passes over 4,500 meters through the isolated part of Lunana. This fantastic passage also crosses to the lovely Paro Valley where you will notice a stretch of land with tiny Buddhist monasteries and distant villages that are out of the way from the rest of the country for many months of the year.

Pamir Fann Mountains in Tajikstan
Duration: Approx.14 days - 5 days actual trekking

Grading: Moderate (5)
Best for: Those wanting to take their bush walking adventures up a level while incorporating historical and architectural sightseeing
Ideal time to go: Months of June to September
Known for its exceptional mountain views and eye-catching alpine lakes, this off-track hike in virgin Pamir flows into deep valleys with pure clear lakes and flowering fields.

You may even catch a peek of the summer camps of the Tijiki shepherds.

Tavan Bogd, Mongolia

Duration: Approximately 11 days (4 days trekking)
Grading: Moderate (5)
Best for those looking to explore untracked wilderness and authentic nomadic culture

When to go: June to August
Geographically, this is the most remote section of Mongolia, and is rich with unspoiled nature, wildlife and fascinating cultural heritage.

You will encounter local herders, bactrian camels, Kazakh eagle hunters and throat-singing Tuvan citizens, and comprehend more about the indigenous peoples.

Many Choices. Many Tours.

There appear to be as many types of tours as there are destinations!

Will you use a bike or your feet to get about?

The reason for your trip may be more in the direction of wine tasting or trying new foods. Do you favor sightseeing with a guide or do prefer to go it alone? Do you want your getaway to be more exciting? Or, are you more of an inquisitive globetrotter?

Before you pack your bags...
Prior to securing that suitcase, make sure you’ve made all the essential decisions for your perfect vacation. Start out by determining the type of tour you want to take. You’ll need to choose whether you want to get about by yourself or travel with a group.

So, regardless of whether you’re a history buff, a ghost hunter, a cheese maker, or a nature lover, no doubt you’ll find the best tour for you.

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