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10 Extended Vacations to Really Get Away

Antarctica chinstrap

Want to really get away? Is the standard week-long vacation not enough? If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the trips – relaxing on the Danube River, an excursion across New Zealand, bike tours through Europe and Africa, and even an expedition cruise to Antarctica’s Ross Sea.

Here are 10 adventures ranging from two weeks to nearly four months that are filled with nature, culture, history and more.

  1. Private New Zealand Adventure: Starting with 35 days in New Zealand, this custom itinerary includes whitewater rafting down the Rangitaiki River, hiking tours through national parks, tastings at historic wineries in the South Island’s Cromwell region, helicopter flights to remote locations, fly fishing at top-tier lodges, tours of the glow worm-lined Waitomo Caves and sailing through the Bay of Islands. After over a month in New Zealand, the remaining nine days are spent in Hawaii at Maui’s Montage Kapalua Bay and Honolulu’s renowned Halekulani hotel. For more information, visit Frontiers International Travel at http://www.frontierstravel.com.
  2. Relaxing Danube Cruise: On Riviera Travel’s new 15-day Budapest to the Black Sea cruise on the Danube River, combine relaxation with the architectural, cultural and natural wonders of a region that once fell behind the Iron Curtain. Cruise from Budapest, the imperial city of two halves, through the towering cliffs of the Iron Gates Gorge to the nature-rich, 2,200-square-mile Danube Delta and back. Excursions include an equestrian farm on Hungary’s Great Plain, the scene of major battle of Russo-Turkish War in Bulgaria, the preserved medieval fortress of Baba Vidin in Bulgaria and the Mesolithic archaeological site of Lepenski Vie. For more information, visit http://www.rivieratravel.com/budapest-to-black-sea.
  3. Silk Road by Private Train: Retracing one of the most important trading routes of ancient civilization, this 21-day private train tour between Beijing and Moscow from MIR Corporation follows in the footsteps of such legendary figures as Alexander the Great and Marco Polo. For centuries, merchants and adventurers journeyed to and from China on ancient routes through some of the most testing landscapes in the world, trading silk, spices and perfumes. These “highways” – stretching some 4,000 miles collectively came to be called the Silk Road. For more information, visit http://www.mircorp.com/trip/the-silk-road-by-private-train-westbound.
  4. Ultimate Africa Safari: Africa is the second largest of the Earth’s seven continents, making up about 22 percent of the world’s total land area, and home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest freestanding mountain in the world; Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World; Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera; Olduvai Gorge, one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world; and Cape Town, which has to be one of the globe’s most beautiful cities with award-winning winelands a stone’s throw away. This 29-day private tour explores the best Southern Africa has to offer and stays at the most luxurious hotels and tent camps available. For more information, visit Frontiers Elegant Journeys at http://www.frontiersej.com.
  5. Ross Sea Expedition: On this ultimate 32-day voyage to the seventh continent from Adventure Life, sail from the tip of South America south to the Antarctic Peninsula, west to Peter I Island and across the Ross Sea, then north to New Zealand. Visit Ernest Shackleton’s and Robert Falcon Scott’s huts, the U.S. research center at McMurdo Station, the Dry Valleys and wildlife-rich Campbell Island. The ice-class vessel Ortelius also offers opportunities to explore by air, with transfers to and from the ship by helicopter, possibly including to the Ross Ice Shelf. For more information, visit http://www.adventure-life.com/antarctica/cruises/2895/ross-sea-antarctic-odyssey.
  6. Venice to Aquitaine by Bike: This 30-day tour by Bike Odyssey leads guests 1,550 miles across the Dolomites and Austrian Alps, along the banks of the Danube River to Bavarian Germany and beyond through Alsace and Burgundy in France. It encompasses some of the most beautiful riding routes, scrumptious food and wine regions, and spectacular castles – both to stay in and to visit – in all of Europe. For more information, visit http://www.bikeodyssey.cc/tours/lionheart.
  7. Seven-Nation Journey Through History: From low-lying Belgrade up through the Dinaric Alps, down to the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia and back up to mountainous Macedonia, this 16-day overland journey ties together seven of the wildly divergent Balkan countries. Catholic, Muslim, Orthodox, politically contradictory, ethnically varied, this kaleidoscopic region offers an apprenticeship in diversity. For more information, visit http://www.mircorp.com/trip/balkan-odyssey-crossroads-of-culture.
  8. Ride Africa from Cairo to Cape Town: TDA Global Cycling’s original epic bike expedition takes riders from the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt, to Cape Town, South Africa, in the shadow of Table Mountain – a 119-day journey covering more than 7,000 miles. Cycle through 10 countries, along the Nile past ancient temples, through the Sudanese desert, up and down Ethiopia’s rugged Simien Mountains, across the Equator in Kenya, past Mount Kilimanjaro, to Lake Malawi, Victoria Falls, and along the edges of the magnificent Kalahari and Namib deserts, en route to the finish. For more information, visit http://tdaglobalcycling.com/tour-dafrique.
  9. Two Weeks in Wyoming and Montana: Spend a week at Red Reflet, a 27,000-acre luxury resort and working ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, where activities include equestrian programs, shooting ranges, ATV tours, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing and family-friendly offerings. Then drive west and spend a few days exploring the natural wonders of Yellowstone National Park. After exiting the park in Montana, go for a week at Collective Yellowstone in the exclusive Moonlight Basin community in Big Sky. Luxury tents there provide access to more hiking, biking and fishing, as well as canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, golf and farm-to-table dining. Visit http://red-reflet-ranch.net and http://www.collectiveretreats.com/retreat/collective-yellowstone.
  10. Follow Caesar’s Footsteps: Ride & Seek offers a cycling tour of historical proportions tracing the footsteps of Julius Caesar on a 33-day, 1,800-mile journey from London to Rome. Split into two stages, the “Caesar Expedition” traverses England, Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy on a historical, gastronomic and cultural excursion. Crossing waterways, vine-clad hills and mountain passes, this is the only tour of its kind being offered today. For more information, visit http://www.rideandseek.com/epic/caesar.

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