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.

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!

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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wandelen aan de moezel over de moselsteig

Hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany

Whoever believes that the Mosel valley in Germany is just for old people is totally wrong. In 2015 I already visited the Mosel valley and recently I visited again for enjoying some hiking trails. I hiked some nice circular trails as well as a part of the Moselsteig, a long distance trail in Germany. In this article I tell you everything about hiking in the Mosel valley in Germany, including tips for the most beautiful routes, where to stay and more. Enjoy reading!     About the Mosel and the Mosel Valleyl The Mosel (or Moselle) is a 544 kilometer long river in France, Luxembourg and Germany. It originates in the French Vosges and flows into the Rhine near Koblenz. The most beautiful part of the Moselle can be found in the Mosel Valley, roughly between the cities of Trier and Koblenz. The landscape is characterized by rolling hills covered with vineyards, steep slopes and a winding river. Along the way you will find old castles and fortresses, numerous remains from Roman times and beautiful viewpoints.   The most famous places on along the Mosel river are Trier, Cochem and Zell. Most villages are connected by a bus route or a railway, which makes walking here possible without going on holiday with your car and / or hiking parts of the famous Moselsteig.     The Moselsteig The Moselsteig is one of the longest quality trails in Germany with 365 kilometers in distacne. Each stage is between 11 and 24 kilometers long and combines hiking along the banks of the Moselle with hiking through the vineyards and along high viewpoints.   In addition to the Moselsteig, there are various “Seitensprungen” or circular walks that combine the Mosel banks with the hinterland. Which is perfect if you want to stay in a one place and hike from there, rather than to walk from A to B to C. With these Seitensprungen you combine the best places of the Moselle with each other.   Because there is public transport in many places, you can determine your route and distances yourself. I did not do the Moselsteig in its entirety, but did run several stages and / or parts of it. The nice thing about combining stages with circular walks is the fact that you not only walk along the river, but also take in the rolling and relatively quiet hinterland.   The Moselsteig is not difficult, but it has considerable climbs and descents, sometimes with some climbing and scrambling. Along the way, some Via Ferrata are possible, but if you do not want this, you can skip it, there is always an easier alternative route indicated.     Route suggestions for the Moselsteig I hiked stages 13 and 14 from the Moselsteig entirely. Stage 13 leads from Reil to Traben Trarbach and stage 14 goes from Reil to Zell. These are perfect if you want to catch the Moselweinbahn train route. I stayed at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil and hiked as follows:   Day 1. train Reil – Traben Trarbach, hike back to Reil (15 km, 5 hrs) Day 2. train Reil – Bullay, hike 3 km from Bullay to Zell, from Zell back to Reil (12,5 km, 4 hrs)   I found this the easiest as you always walk back to your hotel rather than a train station, which makes you hike against the clock for a bit and thus is this more relaxing.   Along the way you will come across the “Collis Steilpfad”, a simple Klettersteig (without harness, also to bypass), and the Prinzenkopfturm with beautiful views of the surrounding area.   Tip: take these hikes in the fall when the leaves turn color, the Moselle is a lot quieter than in summer and the colorful landscape makes your hike in the Moselle extra special!     The Calmont Klettersteig Also very awesome is the Calmont Klettersteig. This simple Via Ferrata is located between Bremm and Ediger Eller. The Calmont is the steepest vineyard in Europe and they have built a nice Via Ferrata. Not a real challenge for the experienced alpinists, but nice to test your alpine skills once if you are unsure whether a real Via Ferrata is your thing.   From here you can do the steep climb to the Calmont Gipfelkreuz and walk back along the Moselsteig to Ediger Eller along the high route. You can read my complete blog about the Calmont Klettersteig here.     Hiking trail Moselachter During my most recent trip to the Moselle I spent the night in Landal Sonnenberg in Leiwen. From here I made the circular hike Moselachter, or a circular walk in the shape of an 8. I started from my house and first did the ‘left eight’ (the eight is on its side) that mainly took me through the forest and along the viewpoint Moselkino. I also passed the most beautiful viewpoint of the Moselle in 2016 at Leiwen.   Then came by a steep section steeply up a relatively narrow and worn out trail (not for people with a fear of heights) and eventually back to Leiwen via the quiet hills behind the valley. This hike is 15 kilometers long and took me about 5 hours.     Hiking tour Mehringer Schweiz Another beautiful Moselsteig Seitenprung is the circular walk Mehringer Schweiz. I did part of this tour in combination with the Moselsteig, the highlight of which was the visit to the Fünfseenblick, a viewing tower with a beautiful view over the Moselle near Mehring and Pölich. You will also walk through the vineyards of the Moselle and visit the Roman villa in Mehring. This walk is 14 km and takes about 5 hours.     Hiking in the Mosel Valley: what to know as well Each part of the Moselle has its own hiking map. If you walk the Moselsteig, you can order a walking guide including map material online. Most Seitensprungen are also included here. Before my trip I downloaded the app “Gastlandschaften Rheinland Pfalz”, it contains all routes and you can also use it as navigation during your hikes in the Mosel Valley.   However, the routes are also well marked everywhere, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Most trails are fine, when a trails is more difficult this is often indicated so that you can opt for a simpler detour where possible.   The Moselweinbahn goes from Traben Trarbach to Bullay. The rest of the transport is mostly by bus. On this website you will find more information about the Bus und Bahn around the Moselsteig.     Where to stay in the Mosel region I stayed in the Moselle valley twice. The first time at Hotel Reiler Hof in Reil, a cozy and authentic hotel on the river. The second time I rented an apartment at Landal Sonnenberg, a beautifully situated and small-scale Landal park in the southern part of the Moselle near Leiwen. There are also plenty of campsites on the Moselle, mostly on the banks of the river.   Conclusion and disclaimer Hopefully you found these articles about hiking along the Moselle useful and I got you excited to visit the Mosel valley in Germany. If you have any questions and / or additional tips, please leave them in the comments. This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase via such a link, we will receive a modest commission for you at no extra cost.  

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Møsevassbreen

Blådålen and Møsevassbreen in Norway – a place where noone goes

Are there still unknown places in Norway? Places that hardly anyone goes, where there are no blogs about and which you cannot read about in the travel guides? I thought this was not the case until a year ago, when I ended up in a place so incredibly beautiful that you can’t imagine there are hardly any other tourists. Still, that place is there and I found it by accident. I’m talking about Blådålen and the Møsevassbreen in Folgefonna National Park in Norway.   A vacation in Åkrafjord If you mention Åkrafjorden, hardly anyone knows this fjord. And neither did I until last year. Although I had traveled twice in Fjord Norway before, there was still an unfamiliar fjord in front of me, which I accidentally stumbled upon during my search for a small cottage in Norway. We were looking for a quiet holiday home on a fjord in Norway and above all: affordable. I spent hours searching, and eventually ended up renting at a small house above the Åkrafjord.   After a few days with just rain and a lot of time spent indoors, we decide to go out. Searching for beautiful hikes in the area does not initially give a lot of options. We make an attempt to hike to the Åkrastølen, but the bridge across the river has been washed away by all the rain from the previous days. On various Norwegian hiking apps we research other hiking options and then suddenly I notice the south side of the Folgefonna National Park. On Google Maps I see a road and a line along a lake to a glacier. The next day we decide to go for it, in search of a nice adventure!     A drive through Blådålen “The blue valley” or Blådålen is an hour’s drive from our cabin. First we have to leave the fjord, up the mountain pass and there seems to be a small road into the valley. The valley is dominated by the huge water reservoir and the hydroelectric power station, but once past this an amazing portion of beauty opens up in front of us.   Not only is the weather beautiful, but all around us are lakes, mountains and green meadows. We are surrounded by herds of sheep and even spot a huge sea eagle with our binoculars. Using our navigation we drive on, there is no longer a cell service but the road should lead to a lake, from where we can hike towards the glacier.     Arrival at Møsevattnet After a long climb with hairpin bends over a very narrow road we arrive at the Møsevattnet, a turquoise lake surrounded by rocks and in the distance: a glacier. It turns out to be the Møsevassbreen, one of the glaciers of the Folgefonna National Park. There is an information panel at the parking lot showing that there is some kind of hiking trail towards the glacier.   We grab our backpacks, put on our hiking boots and set off for the glacier, off to seek some adventure!     Heading to Møsevassbreen Is there a trail? No there is no real trail. There are occasionally cairns who indicate the route, but otherwise it is mainly a lot of jumping and climbing over boulders. Sometimes it is flat, sometimes it is steep and hands are involved. After an hour we look up, the glacier mouth seems to be just as far away.   We descend again to the lake, then we rise again. Finally we arrive at a ridge and the marking ends there. Below us there is an abyss, we cannot continue here unless we climb up. From here, the trail only ascends further away from the glacier.   But … that doesn’t matter. In the meantime we have come quite close to the glacier (without meeting anyone on the way) and we sit and enjoy the stunning views. The sun sometimes breaks through and illuminates the bright blue ice in a special way. A piece of ice calves off the glacier, which then thunders into the water of the Møsevattnet with a loud bang.   So we sit here for over an hour to enjoy a cup of tea and a stroopwafel. There we are, in at the end of the world, just an hour and a half away from the main road. Enjoying all the beauty within sight.   In the end we decide to slowly start making our way back. Every now and then I glance over my shoulder. What a wonderful surprise during a rainy holiday!     Also check the video that I made of this trip:     Conclusie en disclaimer Before I started writing this blog I tried to do some research on Blådålen and Møsevassbreen but I found almost no information online about this valley. Shame? No, certainly not, because although I hope that more people will enjoy this beautiful place in Norway in the future, I also hope that mass tourism will not discover it. Do I contribute to this in a certain way by writing this? Perhaps. But I also really enjoy sharing a newly discovered place with you. The eternal dilemma of the travel writer …  

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Abel Tasman National Park day walks

Abel Tasman National Park walks: a list with the best hikes!

Despite the fact I don’t live in New Zealand, I’m proud to be able to say that I’ve been to Abel Tasman National Park five times over the past years. It’s one of those places that I always tend to return to while in New Zealand, even though it’s on the other side of the world. By now, I’ve actually tried most of the Abel Tasman National Park walks and I decided the time was right to make a list so you can pick your Abel Tasman walk. Enjoy!     A short introduction to Abel Tasman National Park Abel Tasman National Park is named after Dutch explorer Abel Tasman who arrived here in 1642. It’s the smallest of New Zealand’s national parks and located on the northern part of the South Island, about a 1.5 hour drive from the city of Nelson. You cannot access Abel Tasman National Park by car, the best ways are on foot or by kayak. You can also take a tour by boat or access with a water taxi.   The park is known for the green and lush forests as well as the golden sand beaches. Birdlife is abundant in the park and it’s definitely one of New Zealand’s most amazing places to visit in my opinion. Below you’ll find a list of the best hikes in Abel Tasman National Park, from south to north.     Day walk from Marahau to Anchorage (or vice versa) One of the most popular walks inside the park is the day walk from Marahau to Anchorage Bay. This walk is about 12 kilometers and not too difficult. The trail is well paved in most places and there’s little altitude difference. You can visit some very nice beaches along the way such as Apple Tree Beach and Akersten Bay. Those beaches are generally below the main trail and will make it a bit more ups and down.   For this walk you’ll need to book a water taxi ride from Marahau to Anchorage or vice versa. I used Abel Tasman Aqua Taxi for this and booked a few days ahead as it can be quite busy. You can also do the walk in the other direction of course, which means you’ll be walking back to Marahau which gives you a bit more freedom to walk back to your car (in case you’re driving) rather than having to hurry up for the water taxi.   Check the video that I made here:     Pitt Head, Anchorage From Anchorage Bay you can walk to the Pitt Head viewpoint, just above the bay. The walk to the viewpoint is about 25 minutes one way, but you can also make a 1.5 hour loop of it. The trail is well paved, not too difficult and the views from Pitts Head are simply stunning. You can combine this walk with the Anchorage – Marahau walk if you decide to do the hike this way and you’re not in a hurry.     Bark Bay to Torrent Bay Part of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, this is a popular half day hike as well. Ask for the water taxi to drop you off at Bark Bay and walk back down south to Torrent Bay. This walk will be around 2.5 hours, depending on how busy it is at the swing bridge that you’ll find along the way. Since there can only be 5 people on the bridge at the same time, waiting times may occur. When I was there for the Abel Tasman Coast Track, I had to wait a few minutes to pass the bridge.   Headlands Track Those wishing to visit Totaranui can hike the Headlands Track, a one hour walk from the settlement. It’s just an introduction to the variety in landscape and will give you an idea about the different ecological systems inside the park. It’s a one hour return walk from the DOC campsite.   Anapai Bay One of the nicest bays inside Abel Tasman National Park is actually Anapai Bay. Since water taxis don’t go past Totaranui, it’s much more quiet here than on other beaches. I had the beach pretty much all to myself when I visited and it’s just an hours walk including one good climb from Totaranui. You can also decide to push on to Mutton Cove, another hour from Totaranui, making it a two hour one way walk. Mutton Cove was even prettier than Anapai Bay and … much windier as well!     Whariwharangi Bay At the end of the road near the settlement of Wainui you can do the Whariwharangi Bay walk. This one will lead you to the quiet Whariwharangi Bay and same name backcountry hut, a former homestead which is now in use as the last hut on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. It’s a four hour return over the hill from the parking lot. If you have a bit more time to spend, make sure to add Separation Point as well. If lucky, you can see a seal colony there. Separation Point is another hour past Whariwharangi Bay.     Wainui Falls Walk One of the best and easiest walks in Abel Tasman National Park is definitely the Wainui Falls Walk. This 1.5 hour return walk starts just outside the park, which you’ll enter along the way. The falls are 20 meters high and especially when it’s been raining they are quite dramatic. In this article you can read all about my visit.     The Abel Tasman Coast Track And last but not least, the Abel Tasman Coast Track. This famous 3-5 day Great Walk of New Zealand is a must if you enjoy tramping. I did this hike twice, one from Marahau to Totaranui and once all the way onwards to Wainui Bay. A full blog is coming up soon, you can find my old post here. I actually thought that the best part of the walk was between Totaranui and Wanui since this part of the national park gets way less visitors than the southern section. I did the hike in November and even then I still had parts of the walk all to myself, or I’d only run into little people at some places. Note that all huts and campsites must be booked year round!     Conclusion and disclaimer I hope you’ve found this article useful and that you’ve enjoyed reading about all the best Abel Tasman National Park walk options. Always make sure to check the DOC website for latest information regarding possible hikes, closures and track changes.   In this article you’ll find affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of those links, we may earn a small commission without 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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