virtuoso communities The Trips Getting Adventure Travelers Excited This Year

The Trips Getting Adventure Travelers Excited This Year

Biking through the countryside in Abruzzo, Italy. 
Biking through the countryside in Abruzzo, Italy. 
Photo by Patrick8484/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Track gorillas, bike through the countryside, or head way north.

Adventure travel can mean many things to many people. We say, as long as it’s a trip that takes you a little (or way) outside of your comfort zone – from hopping on a bike instead of renting a car or cruising to a destination that can reach 58 degrees below zero – then it’s an adventure. We talked to Virtuoso travel advisors who specialize in adventure travel to see how travelers are getting their hearts racing this year; these trends will offer some adventurous inspiration.
 

The bike is right.

According to McLean, Virginia-based Virtuoso travel advisor Wayne Muhlstein, cycling trips are on the rise. “People want to feel active,” he says. Itineraries vary – you could bike up to 30 miles every day or opt for a getaway where you’ll barely break a sweat. But what almost all have in common: five-star meals and hotels, which make it easy to forget about those sore legs.   

Underwater exploration at Australia’s Great Barrief Reef.
Underwater exploration at Australia’s Great Barrief Reef.
Photo by Nigel Marsh/iStock/Getty Images Plus

It’s all about the wildlife.

The safari is still a trip of a lifetime, but more and more travelers are trading classic game drives for more adventurous wildlife pursuits. “People want to discover distinctive scenery and observe animals that are unique to a particular destination,” says Ontario, Canada-based Virtuoso travel advisor Úna O’Leary. That could mean scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef or gorilla trekking in Rwanda, which has recently become more accessible thanks to new infrastructure in the country.
 

Slow is a good way to go.    

Adventure travelers aren’t speeding through their vacations, but really immersing themselves in a destination – and they’re doing that by, say, trekking in Nepal or biking across countries such as France or Spain. Extra days somewhere also lead to additional benefits, namely having more time to spend with plugged-in locals who can take you to places you’d otherwise never see. Many Virtuoso tour operators that specialize in adventure travel can arrange excursions or meetings with insiders.
 
Surreal landscapes on Livingston Island, Antarctica. 
Surreal landscapes on Livingston Island, Antarctica. 
Photo by VichoT/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The polar regions are popular.

Thanks to tons of new cruising itineraries and just-built ships that can handle icy conditions, it’s becoming easier than ever to visit the Arctic and Antarctica. (In other words, these days it’s cool to be, well, cold.) Excursions may include hiking on a glacier or coming face-to-face with penguins, while passengers can exercise their minds on board with scientist-led lectures.
 

Travelers want to head off-the-beaten path.

Forget destinations that your friends and co-workers have been to already – it’s all about discovering places that have so far escaped the hands of tourism. “Lesser-known areas get travelers away from the crowds and give them an opportunity to explore untouched destinations, and they love it,” says Calgary-based Virtuoso travel advisor Jodi Fox. A few spots to put on your radar: the Falkland Islands and Madhya Pradesh, India, where you’ll have a good chance of spotting Bengal tigers.
 

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