Natural Highs

If you’re the kind that seeks respite in natural beauty, you ought to take yourselves on holiday to at least one of these destinations soon
By Rashima Nagpal
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Whether it is vivid greenery, breathtaking waterfalls, tall mountains, the chatter and songs of birds, or the sight of a rare species, nature, in its unadulterated form, breathes wellness into our lives. And these here are seven of the most exhilarating nature holiday ideas to experience beauty at its best:

1. Go hiking at Kaua`i, The USA
Also known as ‘Garden Isle’, Kaua‘i is home to tall cliffs, gushing waterfalls and beautiful Hanalei Bay. A variety of
hikes combined with zip-lining and paddle boating is on offer, but for a magical experience, hike the four miles to Hanakapiai Beach, and if you’re lucky, you might catch sight of the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. www.kauai.com/hikes

2. Take a hot-air balloon ride over Lazio, Italy
For an aerial view of Rome and the breathtaking Lazio region, take a hot-air balloon ride from Magliano Sabina. You’ll see rolling mountains, lakes and coastline aplenty from 2,000 feet above the ground. And if you stay at the Portrait Roma Hotel (www.lungarnocollection.com), a private limo will take you to the airstrip for the ride. www.ballon.it/RomaE.htm

3. Enjoy a cruise on the Hurtigruten, Norway
The 12-day voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes and back covers Norway’s entire coastline. A blend of the luxuries that the Hurtigurten has to offer, the cultural experiences along the coast and views of the psychedelic Northern Lights will make this a journey of a lifetime. www.hurtigruten.com

4. Explore the Lake District, Austria
Salzkammergut, an Alpine region in Austria is home to 76 spectacular lakes. Hallstätter See is the breeziest of them all, with great swimming in summer and skiing in winter. If you’re seeking some alone time with your beloved in the outdoors, you will find beautiful isolated patches where you can lose yourselves in nature and in each other. (pictured here)

5. Disconnect from the world, Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines Petit St. Vincent, an exclusive private island retreat off St. Vincent, is ideal for people looking to disconnect from the world – there are no televisions, wi-fi, or telephones. This will give you ample time to explore the forested island and laze on its white-sand beaches. www.petitstvincent.com

6. Take a camel ride in Marrakesh, Morocco
There’s so much to see in Marrakesh. But when you’ve had enough of the city’s delights, take a drive down to the beautiful Palmeraie Oasis, just outside the city, for a camel ride. If you want to add a surreal element to the experience, take the camel ride at sunset. www.projectexpedition.com

7. Go birding in the Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan
The remote Phobjikha Valley in Bhutan is a bird-lover’s paradise. Learn about the region’s avian inhabitants at the
Black-Necked Crane Information Centre at Gangtey. Then, take a six-hour day walk down the Shasila Trail to catch sight of the birds in their natural habitat. You can spend the night at Wangdi, Bhutan’s second capital. www.bluepoppybhutan.com