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Hike the Balkans trail Track wolves in Be­larus

grif­fon and cinere­ous species have been spot­ted in the re­gion, too), can eas­ily fit these in on their way to wilder ter­ri­tory.

Why go? The South­ern Carpathi­ans are home to some of the largest pop­u­la­tions of wolves, lynx and bears in Europe, as well as chamois, wild cats, red and roe deer and wild boar. Over a mil­lion hectares of pro­tected bio­di­verse land is linked through wilder­ness cor­ri­dors here, one of eight key ar­eas run by Dutch non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion Rewil­d­ing Europe, and a small num­ber of Euro­pean bi­son have been rein­tro­duced.

How to do it Na­ture-based tourism is one of Rewil­d­ing Europe’s key strate­gies. In the Côa Val­ley it has sup­ported small ac­com­mo­da­tion providers, one of the most note­wor­thy be­ing Star Camp (star­camp-por­tu­, a trio of sa­faristyle tents within the Faia Brava re­serve. Here, guests pay from €104 a night for two (din­ner is €30pp), and can add on guided bird-watch­ing. For longer trips, lo­cal tour op­er­a­tor Miles Away (mile­ or the Nether­lands-based Euro­pean Sa­fari Com­pany (eu­ro­peansa­fari­com­ can put to­gether tai­lor­made pack­ages. In the Pin­dus Moun­tains many species are pro­tected by sanc­tu­ar­ies Greece Fin­land Kainuu’s vast snow forests are the ideal habi­tat for wolver­ines

In Crete, lo­cal moun­taineer­ing clubs man­age about a dozen shel­ters on the main moun­tain ranges. The most pop­u­lar is Shel­ter Kal­ler­gis in the White Moun­tains (€25pp half-board), which has views over the north and south Crete seas; Shel­ter Gre­leska in the same range over­looks the Agia Irini gorge and dou­bles as an ob­ser­va­tory for the en­dan­gered Cre­tan ibex. Oth­ers in­clude a cir­cu­lar stone tower in the Ida (Psilori­tis) range, and a sanc­tu­ary next to a windswept chapel on the top of Stavromenos, the high­est peak in the Thripti range. It’s best to con­tact the rel­e­vant club be­fore mak­ing the trek.

• Mostly free, cre­tan­

lim­ited right to roam). So for ex­am­ple, it is pos­si­ble to kayak along Nor­way’s 1,190 fjords, set­ting up camp at which­ever re­mote spot takes your fancy. (Flåm, at the foot of the Aur­lands­fjor­den, is a good place to start.) If camp­ing doesn’t ap­peal, the Nor­we­gian Trekking As­so­ci­a­tion op­er­ates 550 cab­ins on foot and ski trails.

Croa­tia’s Pak­lenica na­tional park, cov­er­ing al­most 100 sq km near the Adri­atic coast, is a play­ground of for­est, caves and two im­pres­sive canyons un­der Velebit moun­tain. Pak­lenica Moun­tain Hut (above), about two hours’ walk from Ve­lika Pak­lenica canyon, has 50 dorm beds and is open ev­ery day from June to Septem­ber and week­ends the rest of the year. Food and drink served, but vis­i­tors need sleep­ing bags.

San­dals in­vites you to ex­pe­ri­ence first-class ser­vice whilst plan­ning your Caribbean hol­i­day at the San­dals Lux­ury



Off the Wild At­lantic Way in Done­gal, St John’s Point is one of the long­est penin­su­las in Ire­land. Miles from any­where, with sea views to­wards Sligo, St John’s Point Light­house is the per­fect place to step away from the rest of the world. Orig­i­nally built in 1831, it is man­aged by the Ir­ish Land­mark Trust. Ac­com­mo­da­tion is in a former light­keeper’s cot­tage, and there’s no wifi or TV, so spend days div­ing, fish­ing or walk­ing in un­tamed coun­try­side, and watch­ing waves crash on the rocks be­low.


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