Adventure Travel from Zip Line to Biking and Heli-Hiking.
Travel Expert, Marybeth knows how to add an adrenaline rush to every vacation. My motto is “active days and comfortable nights” with a dash of adrenaline for the thrills. Here are my favorites from Europe, Canada and beyond.
In the Swiss Alps I stepped into a safety harness connected to a zip line and whizzed down to the valley. I was instructed not to wear a scarf or hat because it would never survive the trip. My sun glasses were plastered to my face, as tears streamed out of my eyes and I screamed with fear, zipping above green meadows at 54 miles per hour. Talk about an adrenaline rush!
For adventure addicts, Interlaken Switzerland is the perfect place to set up base camp. You’ll see hand gliders land in the town square every afternoon (in good weather). Vendors along the main street have booths offering hang-gliding, scooter bike, mountain biking and climbing excursions.
A network of trails covers Switzerland for bikers, canoers, in-line skaters and walkers. And the Swiss are plugged in! Hiking tips and itineraries for over 440 hikes are available on an integrated search engine at www.mySwitzerland.com/hiking. It’s available in 15 languages, just in case you want to read it in Hindi.
For High Adrenaline Via Ferrata Mountain Climbing and Helicopter Hiking
I love heli-hiking because it’s both relaxing and invigorating in a way that a spa or other vacations are not. And you can easily take the adventure to the next step – try climbing with guides on a vi ferrata.
Via Ferrata are vertical pathways with permanently fixed cables for safety and metal rung ladders to easier climbing.
The last day, a hardy group of us opted to go “mountaineering”, which means white-knuckled, adrenaline-pounding technical climbing up vertical peaks. We didn’t have to have previous climbing experience. Our group ranged in age from 15 to 65 and the majority of us were women. Thanks to the support, encouragement and knowledge of our expert climbing guides, who ensured our safety, we rose to the challenge and made it to the summit.
The helicopter dropped us off near the base of the climb. Read more here.
Biking in France, Italy, Scandinavia and the USA
In 2010 my daughter and I biked 3,015 miles across the USA. That’s a story by itself. Now I choose to do something much easier; I rent a bike everywhere I travel and just tool along seeing the sights. Memories made from the seat of a bike stick! The Loire Valley in France is a flat, well-marked area for biking. If you choose, like we did, to rent for an afternoon, or just an hour, it’s possible at Chambord Castle.
Denmark, Sweden and Holland are super bike-friendly countries with bike rental stations in popular tourist areas.
About the Author: Marybeth Bond, the Gutsy Traveler, National Geographic author of 11 travel books, featured guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show and founder of the Online Travel Magazine www.GutsyTraveler.com She has been featured over 1,000 times on TV, radio and print. She is a Contributor to CNN, CNN Airport Network and CNN.com Speaker, spokesperson, author, travel expert, Marybeth, the Gutsy Traveler walks the talk. She's an adventurer; biked two months across the USA, traveler to over 90 countries, media travel expert for CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, NPR and National Geographic.