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Top 50 Adventures
We’ve scoured the globe to compile our ultimate list of adventures. From helicopter rides to the top of the world to nocturnal glow-in-the-dark diving in the Indian Ocean, there’s something to suit all explorers
Bobsled with an Olympian, Utah, US
If the 2018 Winter Olympic Games has left you wanting a piece of the action, the St. Regis Deer Valley hotel in Park City, Utah, has just the thing. As part of an exclusive partnership with the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, the St. Regis is offering an exciting opportunity to bobsled alongside an Olympic medalist. Guests can take a thrilling ride on Park City’s bobsled track at Utah Olympic Park (used in the 2002 Salt Lake City games) alongside brakewoman Valerie Fleming or driver Shauna Rohbock, who together won the silver for the US in the 2006 two-woman bobsled event. They share inspirational stories while giving an exclusive tour of the track. Following a safety demonstration, guests will take the white-knuckle ride of a lifetime — tearing through 10 exhilarating turns and hitting speeds of up to 70mph with three g of g-force. Your day on the track ends with a medal ceremony, an autographed photo from Shauna and Valerie, plus a special souvenir.
Glaciers and Fjords, Patagonia
Begin this epic 16-day journey in the vibrant capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, and spend a few days losing yourself in the Latin rhythm before heading south to Patagonia. A true final-frontier destination, the barren lands have some of the most spellbinding scenery in the world — think untouched grassland, cracking glaciers, pristine mountains and glassy fjords. During this otherworldly adventure, the Stella Australis takes you on a three-night cruise to remote islands, giant icebergs and dense rain forests, while expert naturalists point out the unique wildlife that has adapted to the inhospitable environments. Back on land, stay in the luxurious Eolo Lodge and Tierra Patagonia Hotel and Spa, which showcase the mountainous magnificence of Torres del Paine and the gigantic ice masses of Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, between guided hikes and private tours.
Ultimate Iceland, Iceland
The Northern Lights call to thousands of travelers hoping to spot the phenomenal light show, but there’s no guarantee of seeing them (although you’ll have a better chance from late September to late March when the night sky is at its darkest) but fear not — Scott Dunn’s seven-night Ultimate Iceland tour boasts journeys to incredible volcanoes, geysers and glaciers, including a snowmobile ride across the surface of a glacier with a private guide to Eyjafjallajökull, one of Iceland’s most famous volcanoes, with magical views of the southern coast along the way. You’ll also snorkel with puffins and do some sea kayaking, and four nights will be spent at the acclaimed Deplar Farm resort.
Tōhoku Hot Spring Snow Tour, Japan
Championing off-the-beaten-track tours, Walk Japan launched a brand new itinerary in February — the Tōhoku Hot Spring Snow Tour. The fully guided snowshoe expedition showcases the region’s rugged landscapes, bountiful snow scenes and onsen (hot springs). Journey through the rural Tohoku region and encounter gigantic mountains, remote valleys, rocky coasts and vast forests during this eight-night tour. Most of the inns you’ll stay in along the way have onsen facilities where you can rejuvenate after trekking through the snow. Matsuo Basho, one of Japan’s greatest literary figures, was known to relax in the same hot-spring baths in the 17th century. The journey further mimics Basho’s travels, as depicted in the poetic Narrow Road to the Deep North, with a visit to an impressive temple situated high above a valley on a sheer cliff. The tour is suitable for reasonably fit people who can walk comfortably for three hours a day.
Alaskan Voyage, Alaska, US
Luxury cruise line Seabourn recently returned to Alaska after a 15-year hiatus from the state. The company’s new 12- or 14-day journeys are aboard the Seabourn Sojourn, whose size and nimble manoeuvrability allows her to access places that larger ships cannot, providing guests with a rare insight into the incredible landscape of the Last Frontier. Get closer to nature with a series of shore excursions led by an expert team of naturalists and historians. Kayak through serene waterways and learn about the marine environment. Or paddle through kelp forests while keeping an eye out for wildlife in the surrounding coastal rain forest — sea lions, eagles, brown bears, Sitka black-tail deer and spouting whales have all been spotted here.
The Peak Walk, Swiss Alps
The very first and only suspension bridge that connects two gargantuan mountains in Switzerland’s Diablerets is the best way to see the area’s gorgeous snowy scenery if you’re not a ski bunny. At certain points of the 350ft-long Peak Walk bridge, a glass floor provides guests with an unobstructed view to the land beneath their feet — definitely not for the fainthearted. Mountains that can be seen from the bridge include Mont Blanc (the Alps’ highest point), the Matterhorn, Mönch, Jungfrau and Eiger. Stay in the Penthouse Suite at the nearby Gstaad Palace — the helpful guest-relations team can arrange the Peak Walk for you. The recently renovated, three-bedroom suite has impressive panoramas from the huge terrace, cozy fireplaces and alpine-chic decor.
Night Ski, British Columbia, Canada
With an itinerary that includes heliskiing and cat-skiing around the Mount MacKenzie, Monashee and Selkirk regions, the British Columbia package from adventure-travel specialist Pelorus spoils skiers for choice. Your guide will take you into Canada’s breathtaking backcountry to explore run after run of untouched powder. If that’s not enough, the package includes a world-exclusive opportunity — don a ski suit studded with LEDs and light up the slopes at night while a film crew and photographers capture your illuminated jumps. Pelorus can also arrange parachuting, fast-roping, helicopter jumps into water … or just about anything else that takes your fancy.
Snow Leopard Expedition, Ladakh, India
Nestled in the Himalayas, the magical region of Ladakh (which means ‘land of high passes’ in the region’s Tibetic dialect) has never failed to entice world travelers. The snow-capped mountains, clear sapphire lakes and ever-changing sand dunes are home to rare and exotic wildlife — the most elusive of which is the snow leopard. Your 13-day expedition begins at Delhi’s stunning Trident Hotel Gurgaon, followed by visits to two Buddhist monasteries before you head out on your mission to spot the magnificent feline with one of the area’s most experienced guides (who is an authority on the big cat as well as the fascinating cultural heritage of the region). You can also expect to encounter the Tibetan antelope, ibex, bharal (blue sheep), shapo, marmot and Tibetan hare. Avid bird-watchers can also look forward to seeing snow partridge, golden oriole, snow cock, golden eagle, horned lark and red-billed chuff. On this intimate tour, which is limited to parties of eight or fewer, you’ll spend seven nights living with a Ladakhi family, offering a once-in-a-lifetime chance to understand their unique culture and lifestyle.
Snow Challenge, St Moritz, Switzerland
The birthplace of Alpine sports and a snowy playground for the world’s elite, St Moritz has staged the Winter Olympics twice and even hosts snow polo on a frozen lake every January, so it’s the ideal spot to undertake an Olympic challenge of your own. Grande dame hotel Suvretta House has created a package to commemorate the 2018 winter games. The four-day experience calls to all snow lovers who want to hone their skills or learn a few new ones. Take to the slopes with private ski lessons from top instructors and work on your ice-skating moves under the watchful eye of an expert figure skater. Step back in time with a master class in the medieval art of curling at the hotel’s private alfresco curling field, with incredible views over the Upper Engadine Mountains. St Moritz is also home to the legendary Olympia Bob Run, the world’s only natural-ice bobsled track and the oldest still in operation. Daredevils can expect to hurtle down the course at speeds of up to 85mph. Back at Suvretta House, you’ll stay in the Tower Suite — the expansive two-bedroom suite provides beautiful views over glittering lakes and towering mountains.
Heliskiing, New Zealand
Registered as a Unesco World Heritage site, New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park is an incredibly remote (and famously inaccessible) area of sublime natural beauty. See it for yourself from above with a helicopter flight through the lakes and alpine valleys. Discover the fjords of Milford Sound (which you can only get to by helicopter) and forage for lobster that will be served as your dinner at Minaret Station Alpine Lodge. Then spend the afternoon heliskiing through hundreds of acres of untouched terrain — expect an average of 10 to 15 runs. Each trip is customized to create your perfect day.