5 Great Adventures for Spring & Summer

It’s the dead of winter—that time when we gaze over our computers, look out the window (if we’re lucky enough to have a window), and dream of escaping on our next adventure. To help stoke your dreams, here are five excellent trips in the United States and abroad…

 

Cycle Through Spain’s Wine Country
Exploring the vineyards and rolling countryside of Spain, the self-guided Rioja Wine Cycling Tour takes you through the Basque region at the foothills of the Pyrenees. Led by Pure Adventures, this seven-day, six-night tour mainly runs along minor and rural paved roads, plus the occasional dirt road.

The cycling tour begins and ends in the medieval town of Logroño, and then proceeds to the 10th Century village of La Guardia. Here, you’ll stay at the four-star Villa de Laguardia Sercotel Hotel, which lies near local wineries and places to taste Spain’s famous tapas.

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The tour then includes rides through a landscape that looks like a huge sea of vineyards, and you’ll pass rural villages with stone houses and small churches. During this trip, riders will explore the town of Haro, which is home to two of the most famous wineries in La Rioja, Viña Tondonia and Muga.

Other highlights include a visit to Briones, home of the Wine Culture Museum, and a stay at the Parador hotel, which is located in the Monastery of San Francisco.

Dates: All Year
Rates: 1,587 Euros ($1,776) per person
For information, click here


Raft the Rogue RiverRogue River
Raft the Rogue River by day and stay in a comfortable lodge each night. Hosted by ROW Adventures, this three-day or four-day trip takes you down one of the most famous rivers in the American West. Beginning in Merlin, Oregon, you’ll cover more than 40 miles of the Rogue River, passing through the heart of the Rogue River Wilderness, with its green-forested canyon, intermediate rapids and warm water. Perfect for a family, the Rogue is comfortable for beginners or experienced paddlers.

During the journey, there’s time to relax in quiet pools and watch for deer, black bear, river otters and a wide variety of birds, including osprey, great blue herons and bald eagles. As you move down the river, you’ll also have opportunities to hike and walk to historic homesteads.

Each day, once you take out, you’ll stay at a remote riverside lodge where you’ll have your own room with a private bathroom.

Dates: May 28-Octover 7
Rates: $895-$1,375 per adult
For information, click here


Explore Arctic Greenland from a Remote Base Camp
Comfort and solitude in a true wilderness. That sums up the 9-day Arctic Greenland tour offered by Natural Habitat Adventure. During this trip, you’ll stay at the ultra-remote Base Camp Greenland, where there is no other human presence, except a small Inuit subsistence hunting community that lies 20 minutes away by boat.

From Base Camp, you’ll take Zodiac boats, kayaks or travel by foot to explore the surrounding landscape. During outings in Sermilik Fjord, you might witness massive icebergs as climate change accelerates glacial melting. Also, you can visit uninhabited islands and hike over wild terrain, with no trails, to find magnificent views.

Greenland

Two expedition leaders, who are experts in Greenland’s natural and cultural history, will supervise outings and often divide the group up, depending on interests and physical ability. Local guides will also assist with kayaking and Zodiac excursions to give you further insight and perspective on the area.

Modeled on an African safari camp, Base Camp Greenland has individual tent cabins that house two persons each. Because the nights are chilly, each cabin is warmed by a heater, and hot showers are available in a separate gender-segregated bath house. Each cabin also has a private veranda where you can look out over the wilderness and enjoy drinks chilled with chips of 10,000-year-old-ice straight from the Greenland ice sheet.

Guests can also gather in a common room, which houses the kitchen and dining area and serves as a lecture space for presentations. Each day, the camp chef prepares meals from fresh and varied ingredients that arrive regularly.

Dates: Early August through early September
Rates: The all-inclusive rate is from $9,995 per person, double occupancy.
For information, click here


Mix Music & Rafting at the Mountain Music Festival
This June, visit West Virginia’s New River Gorge to mix music with whitewater rafting at the 3rd Annual Mountain Music Festival.

The 1,500-acre ACE Adventure Resort is hosting a festival June 2-4, and the event features music headliners Trampled by Turtles and Lotus, as well as Galactic, The Infamous Stringdusters, Big Something, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and Dumpstaphunk. When folks aren’t taking in bluegrass, Americana, rock, soul and funk music, they can explore zip lines and raft Class III and Class IV whitewater.

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“You choose the adventure; we provide the soundtrack,” said Chris Colin ACE Adventure Resort’s special events coordinator and kayak school manager. “We’re the only music festival in the world where attendees can challenge their inner pioneer by whitewater rafting with veteran guides who recommend different sections of the river for every level of expertise and interest.”

There will be rafting trips for families with children as young as age 6 on the Upper New River, which has Class III rapids. For people ages 9 and up, there are Class IV rapids on Lower New River Gorge, and people 15 and older can take on the challenging Class IV and Class V rapids of the Gauley River.

In addition to rafting, you can enjoy ACE’s Adventure Park and Lake, a five-acre water park with slides, zip lines, inflatable toys and the famous “Blob” (a giant inflatable pillow on the water). You can take a dip in the spring-fed mountain lake, and lounge on a white sandy beach.

During the festival, there will also be workshops where you can participate in slacklining, yoga and disc golf.

As for accommodations, you can rent cabins, and tent sites are available. Also, you can grab food at a variety of lodges, bars and grills at ACE Adventure Resort.

Dates: June 2-4
Rates: An early bird special offers a $170 per person three-day festival pass and three night’s campground reservation, access to a pre-festival party, parking and a full-day ACE Lake pass for Saturday.
For information, click here 


The Galapagos Islands Unbound
The 10-day Galapagos Unbound trip, led by ROW Adventures, is remarkable, because you get the unique opportunity to spend two nights camping on the beaches inside of the Galapagos National Park.

The camping is actually more like “glamping,” as the guides set up everything and cook meals from-scratch for you. After you camp on the beach two nights, you spend the rest of the nights in locally owned and operated eco-lodges.

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During the days you can kayak, hike, snorkel, visit the towns, and check out the islands’ incredible wildlife.

Dates: Departures from January 30 to December 24, 2016
**There are free round-trip flights for children from Guayaquil to the islands, a $550 value per child, on the following Galapagos Unbound departures:
March 5 – March 14
March 12 – March 21
March 19 – March 28
March 26 – April 4
April 9 – April 18

Rates: $4,690 per adult or child
For information, click here

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