As adventurous travellers are looking for new destinations and experiences, we are finding a real interest in getting off-the-beaten-track, in adventure holidays to destinations where few people travel and where cultures thrive unspoiled by Western influence.
Here are twenty off-beat adventures for 2020.
South-eastern Europe: Secrets of the Balkans
Embrace romance on this 23-day tour through Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria and into Turkey. This itinerary combines the best of the Balkans; a colourful tapestry of cultures, landscapes and traditions, with whimsical villages and walled cities to sparkling waters and stunning national parks. Be charmed by the hearty food and opulent buildings of Sofia, learn the political history of Sarajevo, discover a 10th-century monastery in the Rila Mountains, and spend three nights on the Black Sea Coast. With local guides to illuminate the historic sights and cities along the way, this trip is a feast of ancient cultures, untouched wilderness and some of the best food and drink in Europe. Contact us about this trip.
Eastern Europe Overland Experience
Explore Polish highlights such as Krakow and Warsaw before travelling to Belarus, a corner of Europe that few have visited. Take in the best of the country, from the sleepy capital Minsk to the fortresses at Brest and Mir as well as the historic town of Njasvizh. Spend time exploring the charming Belarusian countryside – one of the last wildernesses of Europe. In Ukraine explore Kiev with its rich cultural heritage before heading to Lviv, one of the most elegant cities. Stay in the Carpathian Mountains, a treasure house of traditional culture and spectacular scenery. Moldova is a fascinating mélange of cultures while Romania is one of the most exciting parts of Europe. Blessed with virtually untouched countryside the century’s old folklore and traditions thrive in its picturesque villages. Contact us about this trip.
Russia - Caucasus Explored
The wild lands of the Caucasus, of fiercely independent people is a land of legends, untamed landscapes and hidden medieval villages. Travel through semi-autonomous republics and break-away states with names like Abkhazia, Aygea and Karachai-Cherkessia. See the City of the Dead, dramatic watchtowers perched on mountain ridges and discover the famed hospitality of the region on this fascinating trip. Contact us about this trip.
Altai Mountains Expedition: Kazakhstan to Mongolia
Go wild – very wild – as you unlock the beauty of the Altai Mountains on an 18-day far-out adventure through Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia. Beginning in Nur-Sultan (Astana), travel to the depths of Russia and the Uch-Enmek National Park, making your way to some of the most isolated and spectacular mountain passes in the world. Weave your way into western Mongolia and discover the secrets of the Ice Age with a glacier trek in the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, and see truly wild Takhi horses in Khustain National Park. If you crave those weird and wonderful places, then this is about as uncharted as you can get. So much so, that our inaugural Intrepid Uncharted Expedition, which this trip is based on, sold out in days. This definitely isn’t the usual itinerary you’ll pick up from your local travel agent - unless they are Adventure Coordinators! Contact us about this trip.
One of the most inaccessible places for Western Travellers, home to cosmopolitan cities, anicnet oasis settlements, prehistoric rock art and historic sites built by the same civilization that built Petra in Jordan. You will find a graceful, welcoming people, keen to meet visitors and demonstrate their traditions of hospitality. Contact us about this trip.
Explore the history and culture of Algeria, with French charm and influences ranging from the Romans and the Turkish, through to the older, indigenous culture of the Berbers. On this tour we visit the desert oasis of Taghit, the urban delights of Oran with its Spanish air and fascinating Constantine with its bridges and medina. The undisputed highlights of this small group tour though, are the Roman remains, Ottoman palaces, stunning desert and beautiful scenery. Contact us about this trip.
Discover living history, rippling desert landscapes and seaside bliss on this 12-day tour through under-the-radar Tunisia. Wander through waterfront medinas where the scent of jasmine floats on the sea breeze. Explore World Heritage-listed Roman ruins without the crowds they normally attract. Hike over sand dunes and under craggy mountains. Feast on spicy Tunisian cuisine, which blends the staples favoured by the nomadic peoples of North African with Italian and Spanish flavours. From vast stretches of pink-hued salt lakes to turquoise coast and palm-fringed oases – this tour reveals the diverse sides of this little-visited Mediterranean jewel. Contact us about this trip.
Morocco Expedition – Walking with Berber Nomads
Each year, thousands of people migrate into the High Atlas Mountains to escape the heat of the lower valleys. Following 4,000-year-old routes and guided by the seasons, these families are part of the nomadic Ait Atta tribes of southeast Morocco. In 2018, we’ll be joining such families on a special walking expedition through the mountains. Sleeping in moving campsites and partaking in daily chores – like animal herding and traditional bread making – you’ll meet locals in tiny Berber villages and breathe enough fresh air to last you a lifetime. This is a rare opportunity to form real connections with people from another part of the world, and experience an authentic, ancient and well-preserved way of life likely very different to your own. Contact us about this trip.
Senegal & The Gambia Expedition
Discover wildlife-rich wetlands, desert dunes, delicate French colonial architecture and sleepy coastal villages during this 13-day Expedition through Senegal and The Gambia. See abundant, colourful bird life. Ponder the remnants and legacy of the transatlantic slave trade. Search for hippos and chimpanzees while you cruise on pirogues. Watch the sunrise over undulating orange dunes in the Lompoul desert. Visit four entries on the World Heritage list. Relax on the golden sands that line the coast. This trip will open your eyes to the beauty and natural splendour of two countries on the edge of West Africa. Contact us about this trip.
Ghana, Togo and Benin – Spirits of West Africa
Ghana, Togo and Benin are home to an amazing diversity of traditional cultures, from the once mighty kingdom of the Ashanti to smaller groups living in isolation in the bush. This tour explores all three, starting in Accra, one of West Africa’s liveliest cities before crossing into Togo to witness a traditional voodoo ceremony deep within the swamps. Explore stilt villages and ancient kingdoms, and visit the fiercely traditional Tamberma people, with extraordinary fortress style houses designed to protect them from invaders. In Ghana we look for sacred monkeys in the forest and travel through the lands of the Dagomba, as well as visiting the fishing village of Elmina, home to an imposing slave castle dating back more than five hundred years. You will have the opportunity to witness the Akwasidae festival of the Ashanti, a glittering showcase of traditional culture honouring the Ashanti king. Contact us about this trip.
Gabon is often described as a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. This journey takes you into primeval jungles, wetlands and savannah, exploring wildlife as well as local culture. Contact us about this trip.
Kenya: Wildlife Rangers Expedition
This unique expedition takes you into the world of Kenya's inspiring rangers – the men and women on the frontline of wildlife conservation. Intrepid has partnered with The Thin Green Line Foundation, who protect nature's protectors, to give travellers an insight into the work – and risk – that goes into protecting wildlife and wild places. Beginning and ending in Nairobi, the expedition takes you behind the scenes of what it's like to be a Ranger. You will go on game drives and foot patrols with the Rangers working in the area between Amboseli, Chyulu Hills and Kilimanjaro national parks. You'll also spend time at the Ranger training academy learning what it takes to become a Ranger, and hear the true stories of what it takes to protect wildlife in this part of the world. Contact us about this trip.
Papua New Guinea
Every year in September, over 100 clans gather in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea for one of the biggest tribal festivals in the world: the Goroka Show. Set to the beat of Kundu drums, thousands of painted, feather-adorned tribespeople come together in a huge sing-sing to perform traditional songs, dances and rituals. And in 2018, you're invited. Join us on this Limited Edition adventure and discover the huge cultural diversity of PNG. Under the guidance of a local leader, you'll spend two full days at the Show, as well as several days in the beautiful Asaro Valley, where you'll interact with friendly villagers – including the famous Asaro Mudmen and Simbu tribes – through performances and immersive activities. Keen to step off the beaten path and learn about some of the world's best preserved tribal cultures? This is your chance. Contact us about this trip.
Indonesia: Raja Ampat Sailing Expedition
Welcome to the archipelago with the richest marine biodiversity on Earth. Made up of 1,500 small islands that house 550 species of coral, 1427 fish species and more than 700 types of mollusks, Raja Ampat is a place where mere snorkelling feels (and looks) like deep-sea diving. It's very remote, which means a delightful lack of other visitors. Think clear turquoise waters, a kaleidescope of corals and reef fish, and, perhaps best of all, some of the friendliest locals you'll ever meet. Come and sail the isles of Raja Ampat, the tropical paradise you’ll be telling friends about for years to come. Contact us about this trip.
Indonesia: Sulawesi Expedition: Tana Toraja Trek
Experience an island that ventures way beyond the imagination. Hike deep into the mountainous core of Sulawesi and witness the compelling combination of art, ritual and death that’s central to the existence of one of Indonesia’s more confronting cultures, on an unforgettable expedition that’s not fit for the faint-hearted. Inhale the fresh mountain air and traverse dense bamboo forests, undulating landscapes and deep fertile valleys on a breathtaking trek that sees you interacting with the locals and resting in remote villages. Leave the terraces of rice paddies behind to discover elaborate wooden effigies on the cliff-face tombs of Lemo, and meet the Taroja people – who, by faithfully following ancient traditions, preserve the belief that death is all a part of life’s journey. Contact us about this trip.
India Expedition: Tea & Tribes
Set off on a 16-day Expedition to the unspoiled wildlife reserves, spectacular wetlands and rambling mountain villages that make far-flung northeastern India so spectacular. Learn about the eclectic cultures of Sikkim, Assam and Nagaland, search for the iconic one-horned rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park and take a winding journey on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. Explore the floating marshlands of Keibul National Park, visit Gangtok’s controversial Rumtek Monastery and check out a living root bridge – the handiwork of the Khasi people. Be prepared to be wowed by a side of the country few visitors see. Contact us about this trip.
This 17-day expedition is a brand-new trip through an ancient land. Beginning in Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad, the expedition takes travellers north to the stunning and rarely touristed Hunza Valley region. Here you’ll find nature unleashed: imagine imposing jagged peaks, alpine lakes and glaciers creeping into the valleys. Explore the ancient fortifications scattered among rural villages and learn about the modern innovations that help the local people prosper. Finish in Lahore, a city that’s not only stood strong through the rise and fall of empires, but also preserved the culture that makes Pakistan such a mesmerising, all-consuming country. Contact us about this trip.
Bhutan Snowman Trek
The Snowman Trek is our most challenging trek in Bhutan and ranks amongst the very finest anywhere in the Himalaya. It is undertaken by only a handful of trekkers each season and accesses Lunana, the most remote region of Bhutan. The trek crosses ten high passes over 4,500m that define the borders of Bhutan and Tibet. Savouring views of Jomolhari and Jichu Drake, we follow trails through yak herders encampments and isolated farming settlements as we prepare for our trek to Lunana. Amid a constant backdrop of 7000m peaks we discover a region of tiny Buddhist monasteries and secluded villages that are isolated from the rest of Bhutan for many months of the year. A truly classic Himalayan trek, which we have operated successfully for many years, join us for a once in a lifetime adventure! Contact us about this trip.
Divinely beautiful under the tropical sun, the tiny islands of the South Pacific are scattered across thousands of miles of deep, blue ocean. Powdery white beaches glow against luminous turquoise waters, rich with a vibrant underwater world, while sheer mountains rise out of lush rainforests in remote, isolated ecosystems. Beyond the plush resorts of the main islands we get truly off the beaten track and discover some of the smallest nations in the world. Our unique group tour is a rare opportunity to discover a vast area of the Pacific, taking in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. We meet the local people, learn about their traditions and culture, and explore tropical landscapes. Contact us about this trip.
This extraordinary new voyage is like a blockbuster film—the star is the seventh continent. And the co-stars are the big ice of remote West Antarctica, where we are sure to set foot on ice where no other humans ever have; the prolific wildlife and impressive ice shelf of the Ross Sea region; and the sub-Antarctic islands of New Zealand and Australia, World Heritage sites for the thousands of seals and millions of penguins here, including huge colonies of king penguins and the endemic royal penguin.This is wildness and wildlife at its finest. Following in the footsteps of Scott, Ross, Amundsen and Shackleton, perhaps only a few thousand people in the history of the planet have ever made this voyage. And the opportunity we’re offering is too good to pass up. Join us, and you might be able to legitimately paraphrase the iconic line: “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” Contact us about this trip.