SEATTLE – Active travel leader REI Adventures introduces seven exciting itineraries as it celebrates 30 years of bringing REI members on a vacation of a lifetime. Adventurers will hike, bike, kayak and raft at some of the world’s most inspiring destinations, including UNESCO sites in Italy, Spain and Australia, Chile’s Torres Del Paine and Yellowstone National Park.
“With over 30 years of creating the best in active adventure travel, we are very excited to announce our initial collection of new trips for 2017,” says Cynthia Dunbar, general manager of REI Adventures. “With opportunities for all activity levels and interests on every continent, our itineraries are created specifically with our members in mind. Whether a vacation is a leisurely hiking trip, an active family adventure or an adrenaline-filled multisport, our local guides are carefully chosen for their experience and love of the outdoors, culture, history, cuisine and landscapes.
The new trips are:
Italy Family Adventure – Amalfi Coast & Islands: On REI’s eight-day adventure, families explore the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Pompeii, the spectacular Amalfi Coast and historic city of Naples. Learn about the power of nature during a hike to the awe-inspiring crater of Mount Vesuvius and its lava caves, and discover the panoramic Italian coastline and Isle of Capri by foot and kayak. These areas are dotted with hillside villages, tiny coves and grottoes. Hop aboard a ferry to the island of Ischia to tour the medieval Aragonese Castle that is accessed by an impressive stone bridge. The adventure culminates in Naples, where families learn to make authentic Neapolitan pizza with a professional “pizzaiolo.”
Spain Hiking – Pyrenees & Costa Brava: Over nine days, hike three of Catalonia’s most iconic areas. The trip begins in the heart of the high Pyrenees, in the Vall de Boí, famous for its UNESCO World Heritage collection of Romanesque churches. This gateway to Catalonia’s national park, Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici, is a wonderland of granite and glacial lakes. In Girona guests explore the unusual topography of extinct volcanoes in La Garrotxa Natural Park. Reaching the blue waters of the Mediterranean, guests hike coastal trails in the rocky headlands at Cap de Creus, the wildest section of the Costa Brava. The journey ends in Barcelona, which many consider to be Spain’s most dynamic city. Throughout the trip, travelers stay in quaint hotels and enjoy incredible cuisine that makes the country famous.
Patagonia Multisport: With iconic peaks dominating the landscape, impressive glaciers and icebergs, and pristine alpine lakes, southern Patagonia is an ideal multisport destination. On the week-long adventure, explore Torres del Paine, a national park covering approximately 1,000 square miles. Each day, guests change activities just like the ever-changing weather and vistas of Patagonia. They hike to the base of the towers of Torres del Paine and other amazing viewpoints, kayak Grey Lake for a close look at an impressive glacier, and bike in an area where guanacos outnumber people. Each night guests stay in a remote, award-winning sustainable eco camp in the heart of the park. Relax and dine on gourmet meals in comfortable domes surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
Australia Outback Hiking: For eight days hike the best trails in the Northern Territory and experience the Red Center’s epic Larapinta Trail, Kings Canyon, and Valley of the Winds in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Trip highlights include an evening with an Arrernte aboriginal elder for a private welcome into the UNESCO site, an authentic Aussie barbecue under the red glow of Ayers Rock at sunset, and four nights in a private deluxe tented camp to marvel at the starry skies.
For those who wish to further explore Down Under, a five-day Great Barrier Reef Kayaking extension is also available. Led by REI’s local guides, the group spends mornings paddling in the world’s largest coral reef system in Family Island National Park, while afternoons are spent snorkeling and beachcombing on deserted beaches. Camp for two nights on Wheeler Island, an uninhabited tropical island where lush forests meet tranquil sands.
Yellowstone & Grand Teton Hiking and Camping and Yellowstone & Grand Teton Hiking: Lodge-based: As the world’s first national park, Yellowstone is a treasure trove of natural wonders of vast open meadows, thundering waterfalls and soaring peaks. Its many geothermal features of steaming geysers and bubbling mud pots are a constant reminder of the park’s volcanic origins. Over six days, enjoy some of the park’s most scenic trails by early morning hikes to summit Mt. Washburn and Avalanche Peak, or the world’s largest active geyser field and Mystic Falls. Late afternoons include wildlife-viewing drives to spot diverse and iconic North American wildlife such as bison, grizzly bear, wolf, pronghorn, elk and moose. One magical day is spent exploring Yellowstone’s neighbor to the south, Grand Teton National Park, for a float trip down the same stretch of the Snake River that inspired artist Ansel Adams.
REI Adventures introduces the itinerary with two accommodation options – guests can enjoy a comfy camp experience through REI’s unique Signature Camp in Yellowstone or opt to stay in a recently renovated lodge in the park.
Throughout the National Park Centennial celebration, REI has had a multi-million dollar, multi-year partnership with the National Park Foundation. As part of its 2015 and 2016 support, REI Adventures has donated 10 percent of the retail price for each national park trip to the National Park Foundation, amounting to over $750,000 in additional funding for the National Park Foundation.
About REI Adventures
Award-winning REI Adventures has been a global leader in worldwide guided active adventure trips since 1987. As the travel business for national specialty outdoor retailer REI, the company offers unique itineraries focused on sustainable, human-powered outdoor adventure, including hiking, biking, kayaking, climbing and more. Guests experience iconic destinations as guides take them off the “beaten path,” and provide opportunities to explore a destination, get to know the local people, their culture, the flora and fauna and discover things they would not be able to duplicate on their own or with another travel company. REI members receive a special discount price on most trips. For more information, full itineraries and trip reviews provided by guests, visit http://www.rei.com/adventures.