How to plan an off the beaten track Adventure Holiday

How to plan an off the beaten track Adventure Holiday

In this age of the internet and social media, it’s easier than ever to research and plan your own adventure holiday. There is inspiration everywhere, however it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to choose where you want to travel next. In this post I’ll give you some ideas for brilliant off the beaten track adventure holidays, plus some travel tips and things that you need to consider when travelling to lesser known regions.

Azerbaijan

For anyone planning an off the beaten track adventure holiday, Central Asia must surely be near the top of the list. Nestled between Europe and Asia, for many years this enigmatic region fell under most people’s radars. However, in recent years things have started to change, this is most noticeable in Azerbaijan. Its capital, Baku has played host to many prominent events in recent years, such as the inaugural European Games in 2015,  an annual F1 Grand Prix and, of course not forgetting the Eurovison Song Contest in 2012. The city will also host this year’s UEFA Europa League Final. The region, situated between the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea, is notable for its stunning landscapes and really is a paradise for hiking and mountain biking.

The Caucasus Mountains offer plenty of opportunity for adventures in Azerbaijan

Rwanda

In recent years Rwanda has worked hard to reinvent itself as a tourist destination, and despite the tragic events of the past, it has largely been able to move forward positively. Known as Le Pays des Mille Collines (Land of a Thousand Hills), it is full of adventurous possibilities. From hiking in the mountains of the Virunga volcanoes in the northwest of the country, to exploring the Nyungwe Forest National Park, or spotting the majestic mountain gorillas among the bamboo, it’s a great location for an off the beaten track adventure holiday. The capital Kigali is also a modern and safe city, making Rwanda an all round holiday destination.

Sarajevo

Eastern Europe is a region full of history, culture and stunning landscapes, so it’s no coincidence that it has grown in popularity as more and more travellers discover its delights. That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t still plenty of off the beaten track adventures to be had. Sarajevo sits in a valley surrounded by mountains, so it’s the perfect place to head out hiking. One of the best places to make the most of the landscape is the  Sutjeska National Park, the oldest and the biggest national park in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  If you require a faster paced adventure, the Tara river is a great place for rafting.

Trnovacko Lake in Sutjeska National Park

El Salvador

Quieter than more popular tourist hotspots such as Costa Rica, El Salvador may be small but it offers some truly magical experiences for those looking for adventure. Famed for its black sand beaches, lush rainforests and endless mountain landscapes, it offers a myriad of possibilities. For fans of surfing, it is a real mecca, offering some great waves along its stretch of Pacific coastline. There is also some amazing hiking to be had trekking up some of the many volcanic peaks including the impressive El Pital, at 2,730m, the highest point in El Salvador.

Zhangye, China

Sometimes it may take a little more effort to find an off the beaten track adventure holiday, but it’s always worth it! Zhangye is home to some of the most stunning geological formations in the world. The truly stunning Rainbow Hills look like something from another planet, their layers revealing thousands of years of history. The area is largely undiscovered so you are likely to have the mountains more or less to yourself.

The otherworldly Rainbow Mountains

The region also boasts some remote temples hanging from the cliffs and intricate hidden caves that take some hiking to reach. The effort is well worth it as you will discover beautifully decorated Buddhist rooms and centuries of history.

Travel Tips

When travelling to lesser know regions it’s important to take a few simple precautions. Travelling is such a rewarding experience, but it does sometimes mean having to be out of your comfort zone. By being prepared and following some sensible safety rules can help you remember your adventure holiday for the right reasons.

Do your research

Before you leave, there are a few things that you need to check. Make sure that you book your holiday and travel arrangements through a reputable service. Also, make sure that you have checked the up to date advice for the country/region you are visiting, including entry requirements and necessary vaccinations plus any specific safety concerns. If you are a UK citizen, the Foreign Office has all the official travel advice that you will need. It’s also vital that your documents (passport/visa etc) are in order and valid for the dates you are travelling.. It is also essential that you have up to date travel insurance that will cover the activities that you plan to do. Nowadays there is a wealth of information online, plus forums for advice. It’s also sometimes worth asking advice from people who have experienced the destination. It is important to be aware of local customs and laws and how they differ from your home country.

Always trust your instincts when travelling and don’t take unnecessary risks

Safety in mind

Being in an unknown place can heighten our sense of fear and make us feel vulnerable. However, as long as you always bear your personal safety in mind and trust your instincts, there is nothing to stop you enjoying your off the beaten track adventure holiday. Keep your belongings close and never leave them unattended, luckily there are some great security travel products on the market to make this easy. Make sure that you have copies of your travel documents (you can store them in a secure data storage site) and it is also worth making a note of the nearest British Consulate in case you need consular help. It’s wise to tell someone your itinerary in advance with emergency contact details.

Get expert advice

One of the joys of travel is getting to know a new place and meeting new people. One of the best ways to stay safe is to make the most of local knowledge and be aware of specific risks in your location. There are things that no guide book or website can know. Always follow the advice of local guides and use their insights to further your experience.

Have you ever travelled to somewhere off the beaten track? Or is there somewhere on your bucket list that you’d love to experience? Let me know in the comments below.

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Comments

  • Asen Asen June 01, at 15:49

    Hey there,

    Greetings from a Bulgarian hiker! Two thumbs up for the wonderful article.
    I’ve been to Azerbaijan and I totally loved it. After that, I spent some time hiking in Georgie, Eu as well. Truly fantastic place.
    It’s true that planning an off-the-beaten-track adventure requires diligence because it might be as dangerous as it is exciting.
    See you around!

    Reply
  • Dil Dil June 12, at 04:02

    I enjoy to read your beautiful article, i really wish you could add Dolpo trek and Kanchenjunga trek in your off the beaten track adventure topic.

    Reply

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