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-portugal.com), 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 (milesaway.pt) or the Netherlands-based European Safari Company (europeansafaricompany.com) 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, cretanbeaches.com
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
VOTED THE WORLD’S LEADING ALL-INCLUSIVE RESORTS
YEARS IN A ROW AT THE WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS
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.