Northern California is known for its magnificent mountains, gorgeous redwood forests and oasis-like lakes and rivers. If you’re looking for a memorable hike in the area, here are our favorite spots to hit the trail.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Hiking up through the Marin Headlands offers gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Coast and the rest of the Bay Area. The Marin Headlands Trail is a moderately popular 10mi (16km) loop near Mill Valley. This hike will take you through an assortment of colorful wildflowers blooming in the spring, and in the fall keep an eye out for hawks during the raptor migration. The trails are considered difficult, so come prepared; you can expect a number of activities available on the trail as well.
Forest, Hiking Trail
Stout Grove is a densely-packed redwood grove located in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. This majestic 44-acre (17.8ha) grove is considered the most scenic redwood forest in the world. It is filled with towering trees, many of which reach up to 300ft (91m) high — and it is a sight to be seen. There is a half-mile (0.8km) paved loop trail, mostly easy and flat, that will take you through the grove. The trailhead begins on the east side of Howland Hill Road and follows along the winding Smith River. The trail is off the beaten path from most tourist routes and is quiet and serene.
Half Dome, Yosemite
One of the most iconic hikes in the state is the hike up to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. This trail is adventurous and arduous for most, leading up to 8,800ft (2,683m) above sea level. The hike is 16mi (26km) round trip, reaching a peak with sweeping views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, the Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra. The hike typically takes ten to 12 hours, with a set of cables to help hikers get through the last stretch. It is recommended that hikers come well prepared since the trail can be quite dangerous.
Desolation Wilderness is an area of Lake Tahoe in California and is often considered the most beautiful section, featuring plenty of hiking trails and gorgeous panoramic views of the lake and the mountains. Take a hike up to Dicks Peak, a tall mountain right in the middle of the wilderness. The standard route begins at Emerald Bay, following either the Eagle Falls Trail or the Granite Lake/Maggies Peaks Trail. The two trails meet after several miles at the Pacific Crest Trail, leading to Dicks Pass, which takes hikers to the peak.
Park, Hiking Trail
Lassen Peak was once the southernmost active volcano in the Cascade Range, last erupting in 1915. There is a trail leading from the parking area up 2.5mi (4km) one way to the summit. The trail offers sweeping views of the park and the surrounding areas, including the spaces devastated in the last eruption, reaching as far as 200mi (322km) to the east. The volcano is dormant but still considered active, and the trail is steep and rocky so hiking boots are recommended. Expect a round trip hike to take around three to five hours.
Forest, Hiking Trail
Siskiyou Wilderness is located in parts of Del Norte, Humboldt and Siskiyou counties, filled with forest-covered mountains, valleys and grasslands. There are three National Forests within the wilderness, including Six Rivers, Klamath and Siskiyou. The wilderness is moderately popular, with concentration on the major trails and mountain lakes. Hiking through the wilderness will take you through steep canyons, dense greenery and incredible views. Hikes available include everything from half day hikes to week long backpacking trips, upon some of which you will find complete solitude.
Natural Feature, Hiking Trail
Not far north of San Francisco, Point Reyes National Seashore has around 150mi (241km) of hiking trails for visitors to enjoy. Grab a trail map at the Bear Valley Visitor Center and customize a hike to suit your needs. You can make your way through the rocky headlands, sandy beaches, open grasslands, sweeping hills and forested cliffs, or take a walk down to the iconic Point Reyes Lighthouse. There are over 1,500 species of plants and animals to look out for along your trip, too — so keep your eyes open!
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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