Backpacking - Best places and little tips

1st of July 2020 - By VALIOS

VALIOS team have gathered for you some of the best hidden gems across the world. Real treasures, hidden in every corners of the world! This article is just an appetizer. The best spots for travel across the five continents will be highlighted weekly in this blog along with tips and fun facts.

1 – Caminito del Rey, Spain

One of Spain’s most incredible hikes, we highly recommend you to discover it, especially with the bridge that spans between the gorge. This incredible place will allow you to discover another side of Spain, and enhance your adventure spirit. The Gaitanes Gorge is a canyon, carved by the river Guadalhorce, which at some points is only 10 meters wide and 700m deep! The hike itself is quite intense with El Caminito del Rey Path taking about 10 hours round trip. Obviously, this depends on how quickly you hike but forecast a whole day to be sure. As well, be aware, that you can only hike from the northern entry at Ardales (only one direction).

#valiostip n°1: The number of tickets are limited, so we advise you to buy them online in advance through the website (up to four months in advance). The tickets are 10 euros (and 18euros with a guide)

#valiostip n°2: Do not forget to bring water or drinks to hydrate, sunscreen (especially in summer) and some snacks. Also, remember that inside the Caminito del Rey, there is no toilets!

2- Les Lindarets, France

A beautiful village in the Alps… And full of goats!

Discover Les Lindarets, the “village of goats”. Located in the french Alps, its goat population at liberty throughout the summer, will amaze young and old! In summer, you will be delighted to feed these goats free, greedy and curious. In winter, the village turns into a magical and snowy place that you can discover with ski. Gastronomic stopover par excellence, you can find there many restaurants to discover the traditional cuisine of “Savoie”.

#valiostip : You can access the Avoriaz station using the Lindarets chairlift. You will discover at the summit, a superb view of the Alps mountains: the Dents du Midi and the summits of the Aulps Valley: Roc d’Enfer, Hauts-Forts, Ressachaux… For 7€ roundtrip (adults price), the chairlift are accessible to pedestrians, mountain bikers, paragliders.

3- Georgia Aquarium, United States

The largest aquarium in the world from its opening till 2012!

With more than 30,000,000 liters of water (10 million US gallons) across its different galleries, this aquarium located in Atlanta, Georgia, United States is home of tens of thousands of animals, such as beluga whales, whale sharks and manta rays. This aquarium is the only institution outside Asia that exhibits the largest fish on the planet aka the whale shark! Guests can even swim or dive with whale sharks and manta rays in the world’s largest aquarium habitat (at 6.3 Million gallons).On top of that, the aquarium has several programs to protect, research and conserve maritime species and seafood sustainability.

#Funfact: Whale sharks are no related to whales, altough they are sharks they are docile and represent no danger to humans. They can reach up to 14m and weigh up to 12 tons.

#Valiostip : There is a special price if you visit the aquarium after 4pm, you can get your ticket at 27 dollars by Internet instead of $36! They are open until 9pm so you can take your time to visit all the galleries.

4- Maria Island, Australia

Maria Island National Park is a wildlife sanctuary located off Tasmania’s east coast and accessible only by ferry. It’s an amazing place for every adventure enthusiasts and zoologists!

#Funfact : Maria Island contains the most intact example of a convict probation station in Australia! Maria Island is also one of Tasmania’s great bird watching hot spots. Out of the twelve endemic species of Tasmania, eleven can be seen here, including the endangered forty-spotted pardalote and the rare and unique Cape Barren goose.

Wombats, tasmanian devils, wallabies, forester kangaroo… The ecological richness of this island is amazing and you will find it perfectly preserved. Wombats are large, pudgy and cute marsupial, found in Australia and on scattered islands nearby… However this specie is endangered. The respect and awareness of the tourists are critical for the preservation of this fragile ecosystem.

#valiostip : The ecosystem preservation doesn’t allow the use of electricity on the island. Basic bunk accommodation is available in the old penitentiary at Darlington ($44 for up to 2 adults and $10 per additional adult or $5 per additional child.) However, we advise you to use the free camping installed around the island. You can enjoy a very nice evening by the fireplace installed in the camp and remaining at your disposal!

5- Fougères, France

At the turn of the Year 1000, the first castle of Fougères was built as an essential part of the defense system for border of the Duchy of Brittany.

For five centuries, the castle was at the heart of the war between the powers. Depending on the battles and the successive lords, the stronghold is constantly improved. Various work campaigns make it a real warship, decked out for sieges and built according to the best techniques of each era. After almost a thousand years of existence, the Château de Fougères is largest medieval fortress in Europe in this state of conservation.

#valiostip n°1: Even if you will be able to wonder and walk on the walls of the city for free, don’t hesitate to enter the fortress. The entry is 9€ (or only 5€ if you are student or younger than 25), and will give you full access to the castle along with an audio guide. We recommend you a visit in spring, as the wind blows strong and cold in winter. In summer, the climate will be warmer but the fortress has more visitors and feels less intimate.

#valiostip n°2 : Don’t miss the public gardens of Fougères! In this “Jardin à la Française”, you can enjoy an amazing view of all the fortress and city, surrounded by perfectly organized flowerbeds for free. Great spot for a picture or a romantic picknic or a restful nap on the grass!

6- Luxembourg city, Luxembourg

This city is not very known among Europe’s capitals, but it surely is a hidden gem! Beside the singular atmosphere and the high quality of life in this city, you will enjoy the peacefulness and history that you will find out there

Founded in 963 AC, the Old City of Luxembourg is a legendary fortress among the most powerful in Europe of the 16th century. This city remained quite small but is really spectacular! Listed as World Heritage by UNESCO since 1994, the fortress saw the creation in the 17th century of the famous casemates. These subterranean vaulted spaces were used for refuge during military attacks. Despite the dismantling of the fortress in the 19th century, some parts of this spectacular defence complex have survived and can still be visited.

#valiostip n°1: We advise you to take the time to wander randomly around the city. You might be surprised and find your own stunning vantage point. This city is very complex and beautiful. Many spots are better appreciated away from the crowd… And you will find some benches where you can sit down and enjoy!

#valiostip n°2: To find our special and secret spot in Luxemburg city: Follow the river and enjoy an impressive view from the lower town, admiring the fortifications dug within the cliff itself.