One way to really get under the skin of this incredible country is to try out some of its amazing homestays. Away from Bishkek, the capital, there’s not many hostels or hotels to stay at but it’s no loss as a homestay gets you the chance to really get a feel for everyday life here.
And the Kyrgyz people are so good at hospitality. They welcomed into the heart of their home and feed you like a king! With a bottomless flask of tea, and course after course of deliciously tasting food, it’s very easy to relax here at the end of each day.
You get a real feel for Kyrgyz family life too. The children are at the centre of it all for the families we know well. The childrens’ ever smiley faces are a good indicator of their happy family lives.
Homestays make a lot of sense for another reason too. As you travel around the country and stay with these local families, the cost of your stay all goes into the pockets of local families. You can sleep well in your comfortable bed knowing that you are helping to sustain the local communities that you are visiting.
This applies to the Yurts too. In ‘A Kyrgyz Mountain Adventure’ we get to stay in Kirit’s family’s yurt on our horse trek up to the lake, Son Kol. Every penny of the cost of our stay in Kirit’s yurt in the mountain pasture goes into his family’s pocket. And it’s so worth it. Sampling a day in the life of these mountain people will be an experience you won’t want to forget in a hurry.
Whether tourists wish to canoe down the waters of Pennsylvania or ride through the mountains of Georgia on horseback, the world can be explored in a completely new way through an adventure holiday.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is famed for providing the best mountain biking adventure holidays the world has to offer. In addition to mountain biking, the location is the ideal destination in which to go rafting. If you prefer the water to the saddle, The Neretva River is a rafting hotspot and also a popular kayaking and canoeing destination. Fly-fishing, meanwhile, can be enjoyed in the north west of Bosnia, around the River Sana.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to the Shrine of Međugorje, the most popular tourist attraction in the region. The 16th century Ostrožac Castle, created by the Ottomans, and the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge also attract considerable attention from travellers.
The Grand Caucasus Mountains in Georgia offer tourists the chance to take the trek of their lifetime. Riding over the accessible parts of these mountains on the back of a horse is also a popular option.
The Tusheti region, in which the range stands, is a remote yet characterful area of Georgia and is home to Tolkeinesque towers and beautiful flower-strewn meadows. Among the Grand Caucasus Mountains stands Kazbegi, the site of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral and the reputed burial place of the Robe of Christ.
The Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is the world's greatest salt flat. Covering a 12,000-kilometre area, the most popular way in which to explore it is with the aid of a private guide. A popular attraction in Bolivia for adventurous travellers is the mountain of Huayna Potosi, which is rated as a simple climb. However for those interpid enough to tackle it the harsh weather can often make the climb difficult. If you’re after more of an adrenaline rush, the dangerous road of Yungas draws 25,000 thrill seekers annually.
Noel Kempff National Park, which straddles Bolivia and Brazil, is where tourists can take in dramatic landscapes of lakes and waterfalls, mountains, wetlands and dense jungle. This bio diverse park provides tourists with the chance to spot rare species. The Casa de la Moneda, meanwhile, one of Bolivia's greatest museums, tells the story of silver production in the region.
The Susquehanna River Water Trail in Pennsylvania, North America, offers 228 miles of breathtaking scenery through which to canoe. Tourists to Pennsylvania can partake in a spot of hunting, fishing and skiing while exploring the Blue Mountains and the Golden Valleys
No trip to Pennsylvania is complete without a visit to Yuengling, America’s oldest brewery, and Hershey’s Chocolate World. Following up with a tour of the Railroad Museum is particularly appropriate for those who have booked USA holidays by rail.
One of the best ways in which to view the Colombian countryside is on horseback in San Agustin. For those seeking greater adventures, the extinct volcano of Nevado del Ruiz, in the Los Nevados National Park, is where tourists are granted the opportunity to climb a glacier lake to enjoy magnificent views across the surrounds of the park.
Sometimes the best adventures happen when you just go and do it. There’s no doubt you need to make basic plans. But you can’t get way from the fact that on adventures like these, sometimes things are just going to happen.
In August 1999 I cycled with my brother to Istanbul from the UK. We’d done our fair share of long rides to get ready for our 100 mile a day 30 day challenge. We’d worked out our route and that we were only going to carry the basics. But from there we would ride on intuition.
I don’t think we’ll ever forget our second day in France. We had thought we’d been pretty tight on what kit we allowed ourselves to carry. Tent, sleeping bags, stove, clothes, toothbrush etc. But during the first few days every time we pushed ourselves off to start, we could see and feel our bike frames bend under the weight.
Things were just not working in our second day in France. We were working far too hard to cover the distance and it was time for crisis management. Time to go through every bit of kit we had. Our ruthlessness was so severe that we each put our Indiana Jones trilbees in the ‘Not needed’ pile. This kit was then sent home from the local post office and we set off again with a lot less weight.
Romania was the most interesting country we cycled through. The country seemed so much poorer than its neighbours but its people were so amazingly friendly. We’d been cycling for a couple of days in constant rain when we cycled up to a teenage boy on his way cycling to school. We cycled with him for 20 miles upto his school gates and stopped feeling sorry for ourselves.
Scotland has an abundance of wild places if you’re looking to scratch your ‘Need to explore’ itch. Mountains and lochs form the primal geography of Scotland’s incredible landscape.
But if you’re really looking to get away from the crowds, and explore an authentic remote wilderness, Monobo has found what you are looking for in our ‘Wild Walking in Assynt’ itinerary. The fishing village of Lochinver is on the western coast 100 miles north of Inverness. With water to the west, to the east there is wild landscape unchanged since the last ice age.
The mountain of Suilven may be the iconic mountain in Assynt, but there are plenty of other intriguing wild places to explore in Assynt. On Day 5 of Monobo’s ‘Wild Walking in Assynt’ itinerary, we take you on a route to journey through the Inverpolly Nature Reserve. Because this area has so few paths and is difficult to access, you will get a real sense of stepping into unchartered lands. When you return, you’ll be telling your friends about the views you had across the incredible Loch Sionascaig.
‘Wild Walking of Scotland’ is all about Experience travel. We may be reaching the summits of Suilven, Stac Pollaidh and the mighty Ben More Assynt, but the itinerary offers a great deal more. Visiting the Old Man of Stoer with local llamas as our porters will be a memorable experience. As too will our wild camp experience nestled in the sides of Ben More Assynt. This area is a special part of the world with wild places galore, ready for you to step out and explore.