Photo: Wilderness Travel
The results are in! As they do every New Year, adventure travel leader Wilderness Travel has selected their top 10 Adventure Travel Destinations for 2024 based on their vast experience, deep connections, and knack for spotting the places that will become tomorrow’s most exciting places for adventure travelers to visit.
“Our team of travel specialists have hand-picked this list based on their many years of expertise in planning world-class journeys and their knowledge of destinations that have yet to be widely explored. When we choose this list, we are specifically looking for unique and lesser-known places we are the most excited about with remarkable activities to offer, beautiful landscapes to explore, captivating cultures to immerse yourself in, and high-quality, meaningful experiences to be had,” says Scott Abbott, Director of Product at Wilderness Travel. “We are so excited about the following 10 places and can’t wait to visit them ourselves. We truly see them as the best, most exciting, up-and-coming travel destinations for 2024 and beyond.”
Among the top picks are the Albanian Alps with soaring peaks and distinct cultures across Albania, Montenegro, and Kosovo, the Cape Verde Islands, where you can hear soulful traditional music sung in Cape Verdean Creole, and Pakistan’s Hunza Valley for spectacular views of the Himalayas, Karakoram, and the Hindu Kush. Read below to discover 2024’s top 10 destinations and get ahead of the curve.
10. Franschhoek, South Africa
A small, welcoming town in the Cape Winelands and one of the oldest established towns in South Africa, Franschhoek has long been a pilgrimage site for oenophiles and gourmands—most of the vineyards and restaurants here are regular international award winners. Colonized by French Huguenots over 300 years ago, the area has held on to its French influence, a detail evident in its culture and wine; the area even celebrates Bastille Day in July. For the adventurous traveler, there is no shortage of exploration to be had in Franschhoek – culinary and otherwise. Surrounded by the lush Peninsula Mountains, meadow trails, and nature reserves, Franschhoek offers the perfect balance between comfort and adventure.
Photo: Wilderness Travel
9. Kibale National Park, Uganda
Uganda is a well-known adventure destination, with people often choosing to travel there to see majestic Silver Back Gorillas in the wild. But there is an alternative, and just as exhilarating, experience to be had in Western Uganda’s Kibale National Park, which boasts the highest number and diversity of primates in East Africa. Over 13 species of primates call this 795 km2 protected area home, including chimpanzees. Our closest living relatives, tracking chimps in Kibale Forest National Park and witnessing their interactions and complex social dynamics is a moving experience beyond words.
8. Ilulissat, Greenland
Illulissat means ‘icebergs’ in Greenlandic but is often called the birthplace of icebergs in English. An important hub for Inuit for thousands of years, this place sits neatly before UNESCO World Heritage Site, Illulissat Icefjord, the sea mouth of Sermeq Kujalleq, one of the very few glaciers through which Greenland ice caps reach the sea and the largest glacial producer of calf ice outside Antarctica. Illulissat itself is remarkable for its proximity to such natural wonders, charming heritage, and rich culture – the perfect combination for the intellectually and physically adventurous.
Photo: Wilderness Travel
7. Orkney Islands, Scotland
In addition to stunning landscapes, the Orkney Islands have a rich Viking heritage and some of the best-preserved Neolithic sites in the world, from the standing stone circle at the Ring of Brodgar, which predates Egypt’s pyramids, and the astonishingly intact prehistoric village of Skara Brae, uncovered by a storm in 1853, to The Ness of Brodgar and The Knowe of Swandro, both up for prestigious Archaeological awards this year. In addition, it boasts stunning landscapes, rich heritage, and some of the most creative and dedicated craftspeople in the world. The Orkney Islands are a destination that could be visited hundreds of times, and a travelers could find something new to explore and appreciate each time they went.
6. Tongariro National Park, New Zealand
Tongariro National Park, established as New Zealand’s first National Park in 1887, is home to some of New Zealand’s most dramatic landscapes. It is so unique that it holds two World Heritage designations: one for its moonscape of volcanic scenery and one for its cultural significance to the Māori, the first UNESCO Heritage Site in the World to be awarded Dual World Heritage status. Known for the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, this special place is particularly notable for its three volcanoes – Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro – which together make up the Pacific Ocean’s ‘Ring of Fire’.
5. Fernandina Island, Galápagos
The Westernmost Island in the Galapagos archipelago, Fernandina Island, has the most active volcano and remains the most pristine and protected of these islands. It is home to a large population of iguanas, who nest on the caldera and outer slopes of the volcano, and has some of the richest waters in the Galapagos because of prevailing currents and sea conditions. This offers some of the most unique wildlife experiences in the archipelago and some of the most beautiful sights.
Photo: Wilderness Travel
4. Albanian Alps
One of the last wild mountain regions in Europe, the steep Albanian Alps, stretching across Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro, are only just starting to be discovered by North American travelers making them an alluring destination compared to their counterparts in other places in Europe. A seemingly “undiscovered” destination, their edenic scenery, fascinating cultures and traditional ways of life make this a can’t miss adventure destination this year.
3. Northern Territory, Australia
Far from the bustle of Australia’s Southeastern Metropolitan centers, Australia’s Northern Territory is fundamentally different. Offering a wide range of outdoor adventure activities, access to nature and wildlife, Indigenous culture, and world-class food and beverage, the area has amazing opportunities for epic adventure and respite – a beautiful combination for today’s adventure travelers. The area is home to surreal landscapes, saltwater crocodiles, incredible National Parks (like Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu), centuries-old Indigenous rock art, and some of the most beautiful waterfalls and waterholes Australia has to offer.
2. Cape Verde Islands
This tropical island nation off the West Coast of Africa is a captivating blend of beautiful white-sand beaches, unique Cape Verdean Creole culture, and dramatic volcanic landscapes. Made up of ten inhabited islands and several islets, Cape Verde has developed its unique Creole culture and language from the blending of very diverse ethnic and cultural groups from the Portuguese, Spanish, West-African, and Jewish populations which have inhabited the islands since at least the 15th century. Achieving independence from Portugal in 1975, today Cape Verde is one of the most prosperous nations in Western Africa. Visitors to Cape Verde can hike stunning volcanic calderas, walk on white sand beaches, meet the locals, enjoy the enchanting melodies of Morna, try the local rum (called grogue) and much more.
1. Hunza Valley, Pakistan
At the intersection of the Himalaya, Karakoram, and Hindu Kush mountain ranges, lies the ancient Hunza Valley, a wildly romantic – and surprisingly little-known – destination for North American travelers. The Valley is found in the mountainous Northern region of Gilgit-Baltistan, one of Pakistan’s northernmost regions. Here, the soaring 7000’+ peaks, quiet meadows and unparalleled beauty are not the only attractions. The Hunza Valley is home to the historic Chaqchan Mosque, significant Buddhist Archaeological sites, and a rich and enduring culture.
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Courtesy : https://drifttravel.com/wilderness-travel-shares-its-top-destinations-for-adventure-travel-in-2024/