Start saving your frequent flyer miles now…
We have all heard of the Inca Trail, or bucket-listed the Everest Base Camp trek, but what about the other walking wonders of the world? These trekking holidays are the best way to take in unique scenery and discover hidden treasures, unseen by the regular tourist crowd. For those with a keen sense of adventure and an enviable fitness level, consider putting these atop your travel list.
Lycian Way, Turkey
The Lycian Way is a 509km (316 miles) walking track along the south coast of Turkey. It is estimated to take 25 days to complete the mountainous trek from Oludeniz to Antalya. It is best to visit in Fall or Spring as the Summer is far too hot for strenuous exercise in Turkey! You will find accommodation in small villages along the way and public transport is also available for those lazy days. Discover Lycian tombs, byzantine ruins, forests, and one-of-a-kind views of the Mediterranean coast.
Camino De Santiago, Spain
This is considered one of the easier trekking routes and is suitable for the amateur hikers or walkers. Don’t get excited yet, the trail, located in northern Spain, is 800km (497 miles) long. Fortunately, you can keep yourself amused with beautiful rustic villages and historical experiences along the way. The Camino de Santiago is typically a pilgrimage but, in recent years, has become quite tourist-friendly. Accommodation is competitive and privacy limited, but you will make plenty of friends along the way, with whom you can relax in the evening over a bottle of Spanish red.
Routeburn Track, New Zealand
Ever wondered what Frodo felt like on his trek from Hobbiton to Mordor? This 32km (20 mile) trek will take you through the heart of New Zealand‘s south island – the filming location of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. While no filming was done on the trail itself, the familiar green hills, snowy peaks and crystal lakes will still take your breath away. For families or people not keen on walking, you can do day trips to parts of the trail.
Bungle Bungles Piccaninny Gorge Trek, Australia
Australia has some of the most unique landscape in the world. This isolated, 5-day camping trek will take you on a journey through Australia’s Indigenous culture and the remote wilderness the first people call home. The gorge is surrounded by red and black “beehive” rock formations, with plenty of caves and waterholes to be discovered throughout the Bungle Bungles and Purnululu National Park.
Haute Route, France/Switzerland
This trail is more commonly a cycle route. But walkers can also enjoy this unique, up-close and personal experience of the Alps. As you can imagine, the incline is relentless. You will constantly be going up or down and you will need some serious leg muscle to get you through. But this is one of the most glorious walks or rides in the world. Unless you would prefer a ski trip, you should do this walk in Summer.
Sherry and juniper marinade
60ml (2fl oz) olive oil
60ml (2fl oz) dry sherry
1 teaspoon juniper berries, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt flakes
1 head garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
6 fresh Ingham turkey wings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 morcilla sausage
1 bunch of thyme, leaves only
1 bunch of marjoram, chopped
pinch of dry oregano
10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
60ml (2fl oz) dry sherry
Pinch of saffron threads
100g (3½oz) blanched almonds, toasted
200g (7oz) diced red capsicum
3cups chicken stock
salt and pepper
400g (13oz) Calasparra rice (use aborio rice if unavailable)
1. To make the sherry and juniper marinade, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add turkey wings. Toss to combine. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
2. The next day, drain turkey wings and pat dry with absorbent paper. Discard marinade.
3. Heat half the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan or 30cm paella pan
over high heat. Cook the turkey wings, chorizo and morcilla, for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat.
4. Add remaining oil to same pan. Add thyme, marjoram, oregano and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes – be careful not to burn the garlic.
5. Stir in sherry, saffron, almonds, capsicum and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Add turkey wings, chorizo and morcilla. Sprinkle rice evenly into pan.
6. Cook, over medium heat, without stirring for about 25 minutes or until stock has been absorbed and rice is almost tender. Reduce heat to low and cook for a further 3 minutes to form a nice ‘soccarrada’ (a crust on the bottom of the pan). If the hot plate is not as big as pan, move the pan around a little during cooking to ensure even heat distribution. Blanch peas and scatter over the top at the end of cooking.
Tip: Do not use frozen turkey meat as it will be tough – fresh is best.
What is your favourite Spanish recipe?