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Multisport Adventure

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Grasshopper Adventures Debuts Taiwan Multisport Trip

Grasshopper Adventures, the Bangkok-based cycling and active travel outfitter, has just unveiled a 5-day itinerary in South Taiwan that sounds enticing. On this new family multisport tour, you'll snorkel in the crystal-clear waters around Taiwan's only coral island, Xiao Liuqui, bike the jungles of the Hengchun Peninsula while spotting monkeys, kayak and surf in the village of Jialeshui, hike Kenting National Park, swim at the exquisite Baisha Beach (featured in Ang Lee's Life of Pi), explore indigenous villages and historic battlefields, and visit Kenting's lively night market. Cost starts at $1,590 per person. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/17/18 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, July 09, 2018

Kicking Back, Costa Rica

High up in the mountains with views of the Pacific coast, the weather in Monteverde's Cloud Forest is surprisingly cool for a Central American locale. A perpetual dampness creates a slick layer of moss that covers the branches and trunks of trees. Thick vines drop down from towering ficus trees and clay-covered trails are laden with fallen passionfruit. We follow an impassioned naturalist named Mauricio Ramirez who truly loves his job. He gives us cilantro and cinnamon to smell, tells us what part of the palm tree to cut to find the meaty heart of palm, sticks a flashlight into a hole to see an orange and brown-colored tarantula, and has us swing from one of the vines a la Tarzan.

"This is impressive," Mauricio says as he sets up his telescope quickly. I peer in and my jaw instantly drops as I make out the bushy white eyebrows and wide eyes of a crested owl staring right back at me. "Holy cow!" I blurt out as Mauricio chimes in with "Beautiful, yes beautiful."
 
To find my entire story on Costa Rica, please see the latest issue of Global Traveler Magazine
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 07/09/18 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, January 04, 2018

Top Dream Days of 2017, A Sunrise Hike and Sunset Cruise in Santorini

We covered a lot of ground in our weeklong jaunt with Heritage Tours to Greece in April. Stops included Athens, Nafplion, Spetses, Mykonos, Delos, Paros, and our last stop, magical Santorini. It had been 25 years since Lisa and I were on the island for our honeymoon and it felt just as enticing. Especially the day we woke up with the sunrise to hike atop the ridge and then watched the sun set that evening aboard a yacht in the Aegean waters. Santorini exceeds all expectations, with stunning vistas of the caldera and its volcanic islands. We wandered off at 7 am from our room at Mystique, striding atop a bluff above the whitewashed buildings. To the right was the caldera, to the left more majestic islands that make up the Cyclades. The entire walk from Oia to Fira is 9.5 kilometers, approximately 3 hours, but we got sidetracked by donkeys and a snack bar selling damn good lattes and never made it past Imerovigli. Later that same day, we bordered a private yacht for a sunset cruise. Now nestled within the caldera, the scenery was a mesmerizing mix of aquamarine waters, jagged volcanic islands, and the whitewashed houses on the island clinging precariously to the cliffs. Add the reddish/orange/pink orb of a sun melting into the sea, shading this scene with the full spectrum of color, paired with a glass of crisp Santorini wine, and you have a fitting ending to a memorable trip. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/04/18 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Austin Adventures Joins Forces with Life Is Good

Next week, we’ll be heading to an event in Boston to announce the launch of the new Austin Adventures partnership with Life Is Good. “Life is Good Vacations will allow us to combine our love and respect for the outdoors with Life is Good’s mission to approach each day with positivity. We will work together to design multi-sport itineraries, with activities including hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback riding and mountain top yoga, infused with expressions of gratitude and optimism,” says Austin Adventures founder, Dan Austin. I’ve traveled twice with Austin Adventures, on a family multisport to the Canadian Rockies and with Dan Austin and his daughter, Kasey, on a relatively new outing to the Broadmoor Wilderness Camps on the outskirts of Colorado Springs. Both trips were memorable. So much, in fact, that we have no qualms about placing our ActiveTravels members on any of their itineraries. They always come back with glowing reviews from their experience. But I’m excited to hear about this new venture. In 2018, Austin plans to offer six family and adult Life Is Good Vacations in Montana, Utah, the Canadian Rockies and Costa Rica. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/08/17 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, June 22, 2017

NFL Great Randy Moss to Lead Fitness Classes at BodyHoliday

When Lisa and I were at St. Lucia’s BodyHoliday this past November, British Olympic Silver Medalist Keri-anne Payne led swimmers on a mile race. That was in addition to the biking, hiking, and sea kayaking jaunts we did. The resort is known for taking advantage of its glorious beachfront setting to keep folks active. Your reward? A daily massage is included in the cost of the all-inclusive price. In the summer months, BodyHoliday caters to families who want to stay fit at low-season Caribbean costs. NFL legend Randy Moss will lead the way July 16-22. He’ll be joined this summer by British Olympic sprinter Marlon Devonish (July 2-16) and Olympic swimmer Michael Jamieson (August 6-20). The party continues at night with dancing to live music at the outdoor bar. At BodyHoliday, they want to make sure you sweat to the wee hours of the morning. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/22/17 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Get Fit in the Caribbean with luxeFit

Last November in St. Lucia, I participated in BodyHoliday’s version of a triathlon by biking to Pigeon Island, running to the fortress atop the island, rappelling down to the sea, and sea kayaking back to the property. It gave me a firsthand glimpse how resorts are branching far beyond the token gym and spin class to offer memorable workouts in their often stunning surroundings. Now two young women from Sarasota, Florida, Holly Morris and Loren Mayo, are taking it a step further. Last November they launched luxeFit, weeklong fitness retreats to warm-weather destinations, arranging workout sessions and activities and nutritious cuisine prepared by a private chef in an upscale private beachfront estate setting. The first retreat is slated for April 30 to May 6 in Barbados. Activities will include yoga, paddleboarding, snorkeling, surfing, and waterskiing, with excursions to explore Harrison’s Caves, the Mt. Gay Rum Distillery, and the shops in Holetown. Beyond Barbados, the duo is exploring additional options in the Caribbean and Mexico. Cost is $3150 per person. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/29/17 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

AMC Reopens Medawisla Lodge After 2-Year Renovation

If you’ve been following this blog over the years, you know I cherish the rare wilderness experience found in Maine’s northern woods. To get lost in this vast land of tall pines, 4,000-foot peaks, and far too many waterways to count, where moose tend to outnumber humans, is an unparalleled experience in the northeast. As part of the Maine Woods Initiative, which I first wrote about for Boston Globe Magazine, the Appalachian Mountain Club has certainly done their part to permanently conserve more than 75,000 acres of land and keep open three historic sporting camps. One of those camps, Medawisla Lodge and Cabins will reopen on July 1st following a major two-year reconstruction project. 

Located in a glorious spot on the shores of Second Roach Pond, Medawisla offers ample hiking, paddling, fly-fishing, wildlife watching, as well as new options for mountain biking and canoe camping. Guests will find a newly built waterfront pavilion, central lodge with water views for dining and programs, as well as nine new private cabins. Medawisla will connect to AMC’s two other Maine Wilderness Lodges, Little Lyford and Gorman Chairback, and the family-run West Branch Pond Camps, through a 130-mile trail network built and maintained by AMC. These trails are open to guests and the general public, and offer a range of lodge-to-lodge hiking and biking adventures. Reservations for AMC’s Medawisla Lodge is now open. Four-course dinner, breakfast, and trail lunch are included in most cabin rates, with linens and hot showers available. Do yourself a favor and get lost in the Maine woods this summer. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/01/17 at 05:59 AM
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Get Outdoors this Holiday Season

If you’re sticking around Boston during the Holidays like I am, you don’t need to spend your entire break indoors. There’s only so much eggnog and conversation with the family you can stomach before wishing you were at a nearby trail or ski area. All my favorite local jaunts in winter can be found in an article written by writer Brion O’Connor in the Boston Globe. Strolling Broadmoor, World’s End, Arnold Arboretum, Walden Pond, and Mt. Auburn Cemetery; skiing Wachusett; tubing Nashoba; even frostbite sailing with the Boston Sailing Center made it into the story. Have a look and then get outdoors for some much needed air. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/21/16 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Debut of Canada Goose Adventure Trips

Luxury tour operator, Butterfield & Robinson, has just announced their new partnership with warm-weather fashion apparel designer Canada Goose. Called Canada Goose Adventure Trips, these small group adventures will head to Iceland and Newfoundland to snowmobile, hike on glaciers, snorkel between the continental shelf, and soak in the renowned Blue Lagoon, all while wearing the latest Canada Goose garb. The six-day Iceland adventure runs March 5-10 while the 4-day Newfoundland trip to Fogo Island runs June 8-10. Nine miles off the northeastern coast of Newfoundland, Fogo Island is best known for its ultramodern, dramatically colored amorphous art studios that have garnered attention from numerous publications, including The New York Times

 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/29/16 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Adirondacks Multisport Trip Just Added to the Backroads Roster

Backroads, the world’s leading active travel company, just announced their 2017 line-up and I was excited to see that my boyhood stomping grounds of the Adirondacks finally made the cut. Their 5-day itinerary includes some of my favorite activities, including biking the Lake Champlain Bikeway, hiking Mt. Jo in the high peaks region, and sailing Lake George aboard the Morgan, the Sagamore’s 72-foot replica of a 19th-century touring vessel. Set on a 70-acre island near the village of Bolton Landing, the Sagamore has been the lake’s top address for over a century. Steps from the patio lead past the manicured lawn to the Sagamore’s shoreline, offering views of Dome Island, a large round uninhabited forest of firs that looks almost tropical, a place that King Kong would find homey. On the opposite shores is an uninterrupted carpet of trees that soon rise to 2,000-foot mountains. 

The Adirondacks itinerary came as a result of guests wanting trips closer to home and a wee bit shorter. Other new trips in this category include a Maui & Lanai Multisport Adventure Tour for families and an Arches & Canyonlands Hiking Trip. Backroads added over 40 new trips to their schedule in 2017. Some of the highlights include hiking in Japan, a family trip to Sedona, Bermuda biking, Basque Country and a Galapagos, Andes & Amazon river cruise. Next year they are running a total of 71 active river cruises, including a Danube full ship buyout (150 Backroads guests take over the ship). ActiveTravels is here to help you pick the itinerary that best suits your level of fitness and dates. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/27/16 at 06:00 AM
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photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

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