Make it a micro-adventure


By Dave Cornthwaite and Emma Taylo

Photography by Getty

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MAY 2017

You don’t have to be Bear Grylls to have an epic adventure. Just head off to one of these exciting cites and discover everything from ‘glamping’ to trekking and from kayaking to urban exploration.

Croatia

Best for: active rural roamers

The lowdown: If you’re looking for a rural adventure with stunning scenery and close wildlife encounters then Croatia is hard to beat, be it cycling the stunning island-dotted coastline or trekking through breathtaking national parks.

Explore the medieval architecture and stonewalls of Dubrovnik Game of Thrones fans will revel in the chance to take a walking tour through the streets of ‘Kings Landing’, walking the 82ft tall city walls and the iconic fortress of Minčeta Tower with its 6m-thick walls, perfect for protecting the Old Town.

 

Where’s the adventure? Hire a bike and head to the coastline, with its stunning cliffs, deep coves and island viewpoints. Less than an hour from Dubrovnik you’ll find the forest-filled peninsula of Babin Kuk, rich in quiet beaches and opportunities to camp under the stars. Or take to the sea – it’s easy to rent a kayak, boat or stand up paddleboard to explore the nearby islands, with kit and lessons easily available.

 

Want more? Fly into Zagreb and you’re within reach of the Plitvice Lakes National Park – a photographer’s dream. Pack your walking boots to trek through this lush forest in search of magnificent waterfalls and a chain of 16 turquoise lakes.

Game of Thrones fans will revel in the chance to take a walking tour through the streets of ‘Kings Landing’

  • Channel your inner child and ride the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island © Getty.

    Always open

    The Wonder Wheel has only stopped working once since it first opened in 1920. It happened on 13 July 1977, during the NYC blackout – don’t worry, all riders got off safely.

    Book NYC
  • Make your stay one to remember at the famous Raffle Hotel, Singapore.

    One for the road

    The well-known and loved Singapore Sling cocktail was created by Ngiam Tong Boon, a Hainanese bartender at the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel.

    Discover Singapore
  • Explore Tallinn’s intriguing cobblestoned Old Town © RossHelen editorial / Alamy.

    Did you know…?

    While having an extraordinary historical centre, the city’s Pirita district has a mile of beautiful Baltic Sea sandy beaches.

    Explore Estonia

Tallinn

Best for: chilled-out historical wanderers

The lowdown: Take a journey back in time to the best-preserved medieval city in Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Estonian capital’s old city streets are also littered with evidence of the World Wars and Tallinn is teeming with military history dating back as far as the beginning of the 13th Century. Many of the relics remain intact, expertly preserved in the maritime museum, beautiful churches and open-air museum in the city.

Where’s the adventure? Hire a bike and head to the coastline, with its stunning cliffs, deep coves and island viewpoints. Less than an hour from Dubrovnik you’ll find the forest-filled peninsula of Babin Kuk, rich in quiet beaches and opportunities to camp under the stars. Or take to the sea – it’s easy to rent a kayak, boat or stand up paddleboard to explore the nearby islands, with kit and lessons easily available.

Anything else? There are ample opportunities to ‘glamp’. With over 10 military fortresses, lighthouses and museums, the island has many stories to tell – there’s even a working narrow-gauge railway to help you see it all.

What more? Hire bikes and cycle east for 45 minutes to Pirita Jõeoru nature reserve, a beautiful pine forest and the meandering Pirita River.

New York

Best for: escape-from-the-city explorers

The lowdown: Aside from the usual scenes of New York up on the big screen, there are plenty of lesser-known adventures to be enjoyed away from the tourists. NYC’s constantly patrolling Urban Park Rangers make wild camping in the city parks a bit tricky. However, the Rangers invite the public to join them on arranged camp-outs for free in more than 12 of the central city parks – they even provide a barbecue, s’mores over the fire and tents for shelter. You’ll have to apply quickly, though, as there are only a handful of fixed dates and 30 tents available for each.

Where’s the adventure? We’ll let you into a secret of sleeping under the New York City stars…venture to Brooklyn. Hiding at the far end of Flatbush Avenue, where the borough meets the ocean, is an abandoned airstrip called Bennett Field. It’s ideal for camping.

Anything else? With Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on one side and the Russian enclave of Brighton Beach and Coney Island on the other, it is easy to forget that you’re in the city that never sleeps.

 

Stay: Check out our round up of NYC hotels for every budget.

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Singapore

Best for : posh pioneers

The lowdown: This remarkable island territory lies one degree north of the equator and is a magnificent assault on the senses. Aside from the conventional view of spectacular skyscrapers, Universal Studios and swanky cocktail bars, you can discover an entirely different side of Singapore.

Where’s the adventure? Explore the abandoned tunnels beneath the city at Alexandra Hospital, or the Marsiling WWII tunnels and navy base. If you prefer the closeness of the jungle to the underground, walk the hiking routes of MacRitchie Reservoir to find the ruins of the once-glorious Syonan Jinja Japanese shrine.

Anything else? Drive just 30 minutes south and you’ll reach the marina at Keppel Bay where a stunningly colourful coral reef was only recently discovered. An adventure awaits exploring the undersea ecosystem.

Want more: Sleep under the Malaysian stars. Camping in the coastal parks is not only allowed, but actively encouraged. ‘Roughing it’ is not an option as most parks and beaches are equipped with facilities and security to make your stay comfortable, safe and clean.