The Bali Swing - A playground for adults in Bali

THE BALI SWING

PLAYGROUND FOR ADULTS

Before I jumped on a plane to Bali I’d already seen pictures of the Bali Swing on Instagram. However when I asked about it while in Ubud, it turned out that The Bali Swing was not known by everyone. You can use a swing in Bali on various spots, yet my aim was to swing above the gorge as seen on pictures, not just somewhere in the middle of the rice fields. And so I jumped into a taxi that took me to The Bali Swing, located just about a 30 minute drive from Ubud. Upon arrival I found out that it had only been opened a few months earlier, so it wasn’t a coincidence that not everyone yet knew about it.

De Geierlay Hangbrug

GEIERLAY HANGBRUG

MUST DO IN GERMANY

Looking for a something fun to do in the German Hunsrück region? Then definitely consider the Geierlay suspension bridge. This suspension bridge in Germany is located in the Hunsrück just a three-hour drive from the Dutch-German border. I visited the bridge three times in recent years, the last time I even was completely alone. Below you will first find my original report and photos from August 2016, followed by updates and tips that I added following my second and most recent visit in May 2019. Enjoy reading!

Traveling in new zealand

10 TIPS FOR FIRST TIMERS

TRAVELING IN NEW-ZEALAND

For nature that is. Most of us come to New Zealand because of the amazing landscapes and I will never forget what was written in the guestbook of the hostel I stayed in Auckland after arrival in my first trip. It said ‘please go to the South Island as soon as you can!’. Of course, we had unfortunately booked a return trip from AKL meaning we had to return up north and leave the South Island behind at some point, which made me ache to go back. The second time I went to New Zealand, I flew out of Christchurch, so your trip definitely ends with a bang of truly stunning nature.

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De Eifelsteig wandelen

Hiking the Eifelsteig: tips for the best sections, maps and more

Hiking the Eifelsteig had been on my schedule for over two years. Unfortunately, last year’s pandemic and flooding in Germany made it impossible to depart for this adventure. Last week the time had finally come and I packed my backpack to go hiking for three days. In this extensive article I’ll give you my Eifelsteig experience, as well as tips for the most beautiful stages, more information about the route and where you can buy the hiking map for example. In addition, I did a culinary package, in which I slept in hotels every evening including a delicious three-course dinner. I carried my luggage myself, but you can also arrange luggage transport, so don’t be worried if you see me walking with a large backpack in the photos below, that was a by choice. Enjoy reading!     About the Eifelsteig sections The Eifelsteig is a 313 kilometer long hiking route from Aachen Kornelimünster to Trier in Germany. I already did the very first stage of the Eifelsteig when I was on workation in South Limburg and at least ten years ago I hiked a part near the Ahrtal. So long ago (even before I had a website) that I can’t remember much about it.   The 15 Eifelsteig stages are each between about 14 and 28 kilometers long. However, the hiking trail regularly passes through villages and with the help of the Eifelsteig hiking guide and your GPS you can of course also determine the length of your stages yourself, depending on how much time you have and how long you want to hike each day.   My Eifelsteig hike This time I hike three stages of the Eifelsteig, but in a different order than in the guidebook. My schedule looked like this:   stage 1. Müllenborn – Neroth (ca. 21 km) stage 2. Neroth – Schalkenmehren (ca. 17 km) stage 3. Schalkenmehren – Manderscheid (ca. 16 km)   I have written very specifically about a more or less number of kilometers because I always ended up doing a few kilometers longer at the end of the day. This is because regularly made trips to lookout points or other points of interest along the way and the approach routes to and from the hotels where I slept are also not included. So just add on just a little more so that you will not be faced with unpleasant surprises during your Eifelsteig hike.   I will tell you more about my day-to-day experiences below and will end this long Eifelsteig blog with useful tips, where to book and I’ll answer the questions I received from my followers, for example about luggage transport, the most beautiful stages, supplies, camping, use of trekking poles and more!     Arrival in the Eifel My journey starts on Monday with a drive from Arnhem to Müllenborn, which is just under three hours away. I’m always very happy with the changing landscape that you see after about two hours driving, when you drive on the A3 at Emmerich into Germany. The last 45 minutes of my drive is on local roads and through the hills.   My first overnight stay is Landhaus Müllenborn, a rural hotel with comfortable rooms and a beautiful terrace overlooking the hilly landscape. I check in, indicate what time I want to eat and decide to explore the route. Behind the hotel is the Roter Kopf lookout point and since I will be walking the other direction tomorrow, I think it would be a good plan to visit the Eifelsteig. I’ll climb to the viewpoint in about 25 minutes, take some photos, and get a taste of what’s in plan for me tomorrow.   That evening I get my first three-course dinner. I was a bit concerned beforehand because I recently became a vegetarian and Germany is in my view a country of a lot of meat. Fortunately, my worries for tonight turned out to be unfounded: I enjoy a delicious salad, asparagus and fritatta. I end up going to bed with a full stomach.   View the availability and rates of Landhaus Müllenborn here.     Eifelsteig hike Müllenborn – Neroth The next morning I get up early. I prepare a packed lunch at the breakfast buffet, my car stays here during the hike and I start my day. The sun is shining and it promises to be a warm day, so I make sure I carry two liters of water with me. This is partly because many restaurants and cafes have a ‘ruhetag’ at the beginning of the week, so I do not assume that I can refill water on the way.   The first kilometers are on wide country roads. The first highlight of the day soon presents itself: the Rother Hecke. This viewpoint is about 200 meters from the route, but definitely worth it. Below me is the town of Gerolstein, which I will walk through later today. From here I continue to the Auberg, the beginning of the Gerolsteiner Dolomites. The viewpoint here is also not on the route, but I decide to make a detour again over a stony trail. My effort is again rewarded.   After descending to cross the main road, I arrive at the largest rock section. The trail first runs along the bottom and is narrow. A little further on it spirals up and I again arrive at a viewpoint: the Munterley. Although Gerolstein is right below me, I’m not nearly there yet because the route again makes a big swing. Along the northern Munterley (tip: also go to the viewpoint here, you have beautiful views back to the Roter Kopf) and the Papenkäule. Finally a steep descent follows and I have arrived in Gerolstein.   Today’s section is not going too fast, at least, with all those beautiful viewpoints and photo stops I realize that I will have to increase my pace a bit. I therefore decide to leave Gerolstein for what it is and continue straight away. From Gerolstein it is quite a climb up, past the castle and into the forest. Here I can continue reasonably well, despite the fact that the path is still ascending. I make a short stop at the chapel in the middle of the woods and hike onwards to the Dietzenley.   The Dietzenley is a wooden watchtower with a 360 degree view over the hills of the Eifel. A must to climb this! From here on, the trail basically only follows wide forest trails and I cover the last few kilometers at a fast pace, before starting the descent to Neroth.   In Neroth I spend the night in Hotel Zur Neroburg. They have ruhetag today so the terrace is empty but for me they reserved a table in the restaurant. The main course is especially enjoyable: homemade ravioli with pesto and asparagus.   View the availability and rates of Hotel Zur Neroburg here.     Eifelsteig hike Neroth – Schalkenmehren Today promises to be a special day, because I’m going to the Dauner Maare. The part of the Eifel where I hike is the Volcanic Eifel or Vulkaneifel. This area was under the sea millions of years ago and owes its name to the volcanic activity that has shaped the landscape. The ‘Maaren’ are water-filled crater lakes, of which the three Dauner Maare are the best known.   But first up is a steep climb to up the Nerother Kopf. The trail is fairly steep but not technical and half an hour later I am at the top. No viewpoint, but there is a ruin of a castle. Fifteen minutes later I step out of the forest and into the next valley: a beautiful rolling landscape unfolds. I quickly hike towards Neunkirchen and not much later reach the city of Daun. The Eifelsteig route meanders through the suburbs and an hour later I arrive at the base of the Dauner Maare.   The first Maar is the Gemündener Maar. This one is deep below me this is one of the two lakes you can swim in. There are pedal boats on the opposite bank, there are changing cubicles and it looks touristy. I quickly continue my hike, even further up to the Dronketurm. This is an old stone watchtower from which you look down to the Gemündener Maar. I climb the tower, take some pictures and continue on a plateau.   Below me then lies the Weinfelder Maar. You are not allowed to swim in this lake and it therefore looks a lot more natural. The route circles the lake, first from above and later along the banks. I climb again to reach the last lake: the Schalkenmehrer Maar.   This one is probably the best of the three. The blossom is still in bloom here and from the north side I have a view of the church of the village of Schalkenmehren. Again I take too many photos before I check in at my overnight address: Hotel Schneider am Maar.   This hotel has modern and comfortable rooms. In the evening I enjoy a delicious flammkuchen with lots of vegetables and cheese. Tomorrow is my last day on the Eifelsteig!   View the availability and rates of Hotel Scheinder am Maar here.     Eifelsteig hike Schalkenmehren – Manderscheid The last section I hike is from Schalkenmehren to Manderscheid. As I can see on the hiking map, it seems to be a slightly flatter route than the previous days. However, the day starts with a climb and after one last look at the Maar, the Eifelsteig disappears into the forest. After a tough descent I arrive in the Liesertal. Here the Eifelsteig follows the Lieserpfad. This 74 kilometer long hiking trail was voted the most beautiful hike in the world by journalist Manuel Andrack, so my expectations are pretty high!   The Liesertal is a wide valley and again I can hike in a fast pace. Occasionally the trail leaves the wide track for a narrow mountain trail, but often the Eifelsteig route swindles along simple trails. However, the landscape is fabulous, in this valley there seems to be an enormous tranquility. My mobile coverage is lost and I hardly meet other hikers.   At the end of the valley are a number of rest huts, sometimes with a beautiful view over the valley. A great place for a break, before I start the last walking kilometers towards Manderscheid. I call the taxi that will soon take me back to Müllenborn and arrange a time with them.   Then suddenly the Manderscheid castle appears between the trees. I am almost there! Another small kilometer and I enter Manderscheid. In front of the Rathaus I take a seat on a bench and rest. In the end I walked about 16 kilometers away. Half an hour later the taxi arrives and takes me back to Müllenborn. From here I drive home, figuring that one day I will have to walk the other stages of the Eifelsteig.     Culinary Eifelsteig with luggage transport I did a culinary Eifelsteig arrangement. This product was set up by Eifel Tourismus to put regional products and small-scale family businesses in the picture. There is, for example, a 4-day package and a 5-day package. Included are overnight stays, breakfast, lunch and dinner (with regional products), luggage transport, a hiking guide and the transfer back to Müllenborn.   I would like to explain something about culinary, because ‘culinary’ has a different meaning for everyone. If, like me, you are used to eating at the Schnitzelstube in Germany, you will be pleasantly surprised by the delicious food. If you are used to dining at Michelin star restaurants, then culinary may not apply to you. The culinary also focuses on regional and seasonal dishes. I had a lot of asparagus and strawberries. As a vegetarian it was fine for me to not eat meat.     The best Eifelsteig section The most beautiful Eifelsteig stage I walked was the…

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wandelen op de alpe adria trail

Hiking in Austria: the 10 best hiking trails

If, like me, you are a huge fan of Austria and hiking, then you will absolutely enjoy reading this article with best day hikes in Austria. I’ve collected the most beautiful hikes in Austria that I have made over the past 10 years. I try to go travel to Austria once a year, usually in the summer. If I can’t make it on the summer, then I’ll go in winter. Since not everyone is an experienced mountain hiker, I have also chosen some easy hiking routes in Austria. Happy reading and I hope you’ll find some inspiration for your future trips to Austria here! Also read: my ultimate list with tips for hiking in the Austrian Alps The Gaisalmsteig A fun and easy hike for anyone who loves being outdoors is the Gaisalmsteig at the Achensee. This lake is located in Tyrol, just across the border with Austria. I have been coming to the Achensee since I was four years old and it is still one of my favorite destinations in Austria, also because of its youth sentiment. Having said this, I can truly recommend the walk on the Gaisalmsteig along the Achensee. You can walk the route, which starts in Pertisau, back and forth on the same trail, but it is more fun to take the boat up to the other end and then walk back towards the village. The detailed blog of this hike on the Gaisalmsteig can be found here. Hike to Ravensburgerhütte One of the most popular hikes in the Vorarlberg region is the hike from Spullersee via Ravensburgerhütte back to Lech. This four-hour hike is done as a single journey, you take the hiker bus from Lech to the Spullersee and from here you hike on a relatively easy trail to the Ravensburgerhütte. Ejoy a delicious Kaiserschmarn or other Austrian delicacy here on the outdoor terrace if the weather allows. From the hut you cross the Stierlochjoch at 2,009 meters and eventually you’ll descend via a beautiful waterfall back to Lech. More tips for hiking in Lech are in this article. Kaiser-Frans-Josef-Höhe to Heiligenblut At the base of the Grossglockner, Austria’s highest mountain, lies Kaiser-Franz-Josefs-Höhe, a panoramic point on the Grossglockner Alpine Road. From here you have a beautiful view over the highest mountain in Austria and the largest glacier in Austria: Pasterze. This place worth seeing is also the starting point of the Alpe Adria Trail, a long-distance hike that takes you from mountain (Alpe) via Italy to the sea (Adria) in Slovenia. Heiligenblut is a tourist village at the base of the Grossglockner and known for its Gothic church that is pictured on many postcards with the snowy peaks of Höhe Tauern National Park in the background. To do this hike, take the bus to Kaiser-Frans-Josef-Höhe and hike back to Heiligenblut in about 5-6 hours. First along the terminal moraine of Pasterze, then through alpine meadows and finally through a coniferous forest. Because you descend more than 800 meters, this hike is a nice touch on the knees but more than worth the effort. Seebachtal and Stappitzer See Mallnitz is a quiet village in Carinthia. A beautiful but easy hike that you can take here is the one through the Seebachtal to the Stappitzer See. This beautiful green lake is located at the end of the valley and is ideal for hiking. You pass the Schwußner Hütte where you can sit on the outdoor terrace and optionally after your hike, take the cable car up to the Ankogel. A wonderful and easy walk in Carinthia. Krimmler Wasserfälle The Krimmler Waterfall is the highest staged waterfall in Europe, with a total height of 380 meters. A 4-kilometer hiking trail runs along the falls, relatively steeply uphill. Although it can be relatively busy in high season (tip: be on time so that you can walk before the crowds) the immense water violence is really impressive and the falls are more than worth a visit. More information can be found in this online brochure. The prettiest mountain lakes in Austria next to the highway Along the Fernpass, the main route from Germany to Italy, you will find a series of small mountain lakes. As far as I’m concerned they are some of the most beautiful in Austria. They are the Blindsee, the Mittersee and the Weissensee. These are connected by easy walking trail. The further you get away from the parking lot at Blindsee, the nicer and quieter it gets. Tip: take this walk early in the morning so that it is still quiet and you can enjoy the beauty in silence. In this article you can read the detailed route description and more information. The Coburger Hütte hike When you go hiking in Austria it is always nice to hike to a mountain hut. And the best part is that this is certainly not only possible for extremely experienced hikers. Earlier I mentioned the Ravensburgerhütte, but the Coburger Hütte in the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is also a nice destination for a day hike in Austris. Because you’ll ascend to the mountain meadows with the local cable car, you will soon be high in the mountains. From here you can hike on a simple or difficult trail to the hut. I did the difficult version up and the easier one back to the mountain station of the Ehrwalder Alm Bahn. You can read all about it in this article about my hike to the Coburger Hütte. A hike through the Kaisertal You’ve probably heard of the Wilder Kaiser before, but did you know that the Kaisertal is also very beautiful? This is the valley on the other side of the Kaisergebirge and is a lot quieter than the more popular Wilder Kaiser. I made a two-day hike here to Anton Karghaus, but you can also do some beautiful day walks from the village of Kufstein. Here you take the chair lift up and then you can walk via the Gamskogel and the Bettlersteig to the Anton Karghaus. Take a piece of Apfelstrudel here on the terrace and descend via the wide gravel trail back to the valley. Or better … spend the night in the hut and watch the sunset on the rocks. An experience of a lifetime for sure! You can read more about this easy two day hike in this article. Trek on the Berliner Höhenweg Looking for a multi-day hike in Austria? Then the Berliner Höhenweg is a must. This long-distance hike usually takes you 6 days, but the great thing about it is that you can descend from any hut en route back to the valley and thus determine your own lenght. I made a 4-day hiking trip myself: Day 1: Finkenberg – GamshütteDay 2: Gamshütte – FriesenberghausDay 3: Friesenberghaus – FurtschagelhausDay 4: Furtschagelhaus – Berliner Hütte After an overnight stay I descended into the valley from the Berliner Hütte. Please note: this hike is only suitable for experienced hikers who are surefooted. Even as an experienced hiker, I sometimes had a hard time with the steep drop offs below me and the narrow trail. However, the scenery is stunningly beautiful and I can definitely recommend this hike (or a part of it) to anyone who likes to go mountain hiking in Austria. You can find more information about the stages on this Visit Tirol website. Conclusion and disclaimer best hiking trails in Austria Hopefully you enjoyed this article and I gave you new ideas for beautiful hikes in Austria. Do you want to read more? Then visit my Austria page with even more inspiration and stories. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase or make a reservation via such a link, I may receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.

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The best hikes in Zion National Park

Welcome to this article with the best hikes in Zion National Park. Anyone who is planning on going to the western part of the United States, should consider visiting Zion National Park. This spectacular piece of nature is only a short drive away from Las Vegas and with its red rocks and canyons, it’s one of the most popular national parks in the USA. In this article I’m sharing the best hikes at Zion National Park with you.   This article was first published in 2015 and updated in 2022 Angel’s Landing hike Together with The Narrows, this is definitely the most popular trail in the park. The rock you are about to climb is one of the famous sights in Zion and is called like this because they believed angels used this as their landing spot. The trail isn’t very long, only about 9 km return, however it can get pretty nasty, especially if you have a fear of heights. Apart from the fact you are only walking up for at least 2.5 hours, the last bit of the track will lead you along a very narrow trail that’s not even wide enough for two people at the same time. You can opt to hold on to chains, one wrong step can be fatal and make you drop hundreds of meters into the depth.   Our advise is to start as early as possible to stay out of the sun as much as possible and also to avoid the crowds. I started at about 6.00 am and had to trail to myself most of the time, however on the way back it already got extremely crowded. If you have a fear of heights, you will most likely not enjoy this trail and you’re better off doing another one. You can read my blog about hiking Angels Landing here.   Note that from this year onwards, a permit is required to hike Angels Landing. It’s a pilot to see whether this way the crowds will reduce. All information considering the Angels Landing permit can be found here on the NPS website.     The Narrows Another one of the top hikes in Zion National Park is The Narrows. It’s not really a trail because basically you are just wading through the Virgin River most of the time, only with a few rocks or sandy spots every now and then. Check with the Visitors Center if the water level is safe to make the walk, when it becomes too high or the current becomes too strong, the track will be closed. If you are walking all the way to the end, it will take you all day. Unfortunately I only had a couple of hours but it was long enough to give me a good first impression. Packing your camera and other electronics waterproof may be convenient because you wouldn’t be the first one to fall and drown your stuff… the Visitors Center also rents out wading shoes and trekking poles if you need them.   If you’re unsure whether this is for you, you can also book a tour with a guide:       Weeping Rock A short and one of the most easy hikes in Zion National Park is the Weeping Rock trail. It will only take you about 30 minutes and bring you to the weeping rock and the number of tears it’s pouring, depends on the waterlevel. No matter how little, it will be impressive anyway. The walk over is relatively easy (no need to wear your hiking boots) however there are some small climbs. I made this hike at the end of the day when it was cool and very quiet.     Emerald Pools and Kayenta Trail The Weeping Rock Trail can easily be extended with a hike to the Emerald Pools and also the Kayenta Trail. These are a bit harder with some steep climbs and narrow tracks not for those with a fear of heights. But everyone who hikes occasionally should have no trouble with these tracks. The Emerald Pools were somewhat disappointing, which may have had to do with the fact that I was there quite late and it was too dark to take good pictures. If I’m ever lucky enough to go back to Zion, I’d love to hike this Zion hiking trail during the day…   Canyon Overlook Trail This is the only hike on my list that is not along the busroute, which makes it easily accessible by car. This Zion hiking trail is about 1.5 km long and will lead you to the most stunning vistas all over Zion Canyon. It’s a very popular trail and unless you are here really early (which I was not) you’ll have to share it with the rest of the crowds. You will first walk through a small canyon that was formed by erosion and eventually you’ll reach the viewpoint. If it would have been up to me, I would’ve stayed here all day, but I had to continue my journey to Bryce Canyon that same afternoon…     Where to stay when hiking in Zion National Park The nearest town to stay is Springdale, which is right near the main entrance of the park. There’s a variety of campsites and accommodations such as motels, hotels and lodges. Find the best options and prices here.   Also make sure to buy your copy of Lonely Zion National Park here.   Conculsion and disclaimer I hope you found this article with the best trails in Zion National Park useful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.   This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through such a link I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!  

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HIKING INSPIRATION

Paklijst Wandelvakantie

Everest Base Camp Trek or Annapurna Base Camp Trek

Let me start by saying that both treks are tough and should not be underestimated. If you have no experience in trekking, you will have to carry lots of stamina and willpower in order to make it to either basecamp. It’s not easy but not impossible either. Which of the two is the most difficult is hard to say and really depends on various factors. If we look at altitude, Everest Base Camp Trek is definitely the most challenging reaching 5.364 meters above sea level. If you decide to trek via Gokyo, which I strongly recommend so you won’t have to hike the same route twice, you will have to cross Cho-La Pass which is even higher and reaches as high as 5.420 meters. Annapurna Base Camp is located at 4.130 meters above sea level, meaning you need less time to acclimatize.

Hiking in Europe: 12 of the best hiking trails

Iregularly have discussions with friends about whether you have to travel far away (= outside of Europe for me) every year. Not only because of the flying embarrassment that seems to be on the rise, but also because there are plenty of nice walks in Europe. You don’t always have to go far to see beautiful landscapes. Need inspiration? Then read on in this article with the beste places to hike in Europe, from north to south. All trails have been made by myself so I only advise you from my own experience, as you are used to from me. Enjoy reading and hiking!

The best hikes in New Zealand

 

The good thing about hiking in New Zealand is that it can be done from anywhere as there are numerous of trails all over the country, whether it’s close to the city or far away from civilization. In addition to my old post, I will also add more information about the best multi-day hikes in New Zealand as well as shorter hikes that can be done by anyone. Enjoy this list with the best hikes in New Zealand!

Safe solo hiking as a female: my tips and tricks

When planning to hike a long(ish) track, it’s wise to figure out as much as you can about the trail. What the distance is, how to get to the start and end and what the current trail situation is. Many of these things can be found online nowadays and by doing some research beforehand you can avoid unpleasant surprises along the way. Such as not carrying enough drinking water or having to make a river crossing. But also there may be ferries that are not running on certain days or the bus service you may need could be limited on certain days. All these things can be found out well in advance.

Voedsel tijdens meerdaagse trektochten

The best hikes in Tasmania

We found another hiking paradise and it’s called Tasmania. Located on the opposite part of the world for us, we spent a month here, exploring what Australians call ‘the Apple Island’ by foot and by bike. We knew that Tasmania had some pretty spectacular scenery to offer but we kept on being surprised over and over again by the diversity of this place. One day we’d stand with our feet in the sand on some stunning beach and the next day we’d be in a rain forrest discovering the prettiest little waterfalls. When you are going hiking here, there is no way you will get disappointed. Here is our selection of the best hikes in Tasmania!

A guide to things to do at Crater Lake National Park

For me, a visit to Crater Lake National Park had been on my bucketlist for many years. Being from The Netherlands it’s not nearly as well known and popular as other US National Parks such as The Grand Canyon or Yellowstone National Park. However, after hearing about this place from a friend, I knew I wanted to go here one day. I kept on googling Crater Lake National Park year after year, at some point I knew it was my time to head on another trip to the US and go for it. And so I finally got to visit Crater Lake National Park after wanting to go for such a long time.

ABOUT WE12TRAVEL
Hi! Welcome to We12travel (‘we want to travel’)! My name is Antonette. I’m a world traveler, writer, and lover of being outdoors. When I’m not traveling, I live in a cabin in the woods in The Netherlands. I spend my time hiking The Veluwe, the largest natural area in our country, which also happens to be my back yard.

On We12travel you will find everything you want to know about outdoor traveling, nature and hiking. From the best outdoor clothing to the greatest multi-day treks in the world, and everything in between. I’ve been inspiring readers from all across the globe since 2011 and am the leading Dutch outdoor and hiking blog ever since. I help you in your search for beautiful hiking destinations, preparing for your trek and planning your trip in nature.


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