An up and coming destination promises new experiences, raw landscapes of beauty and hopefully fewer travellers. There is also something very satisfying about visiting an old favourite spot and seeing it in a new light or with a twist. Right now the destinations that are trending for Crooked Compass in 2019 are those that offer our travellers the chance to immerse themselves in the local culture, learn more about the destination they are visiting and give back to the community they are travelling to. Some of these destinations are emerging and some are old favourites. Join us we explore the destinations that are on trend right now…
Papua New Guinea is well and truly one of the last remaining frontiers on earth – remote islands, extreme landscapes, hidden tribes, abundant flora and unique fauna. To travel to this unexplored and unique destination is to have an experience like no other – wild and raw sums it up!
Papua New Guinea has lots of festivals to immerse yourself in – Rabaul Mask Festival, Mount Hagan Cultural Show, Kenu & Kundu Festival but there is no festival in the world like the Ambunti Crocodile Festival. A cultural and environmental celebration, this WWF backed festival takes place over three days in August, highlighting the importance of the crocodile and its cultural significance amongst the local Sepik River communities.
To venture through this ‘Hermit Kingdom’ is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. North Korea is one of the world’s most secretive and closed off countries. This incredible country is a living time capsule, stuck somewhere between the liberation from the Japanese in 1945 and the present day. A trip to North Korea is a chance to uncover a country slowly changing as the modern world around continues to progress – this hidden world is waiting for those curious enough to explore. A trip to this country is a rare opportunity, with only 10,000 western travellers visiting annually.
The natural beauty of North Korea will surprise you. Travel in Cherry Blossom season and experience one of the world’s most beautiful national phenomena in a country most people would not think cherry blossoms bloom. North Korea is definitely a heaven for any landscape or travel photographer.
Looking for the lesser known side of Europe? Totally off the tourist radar, an enchanting journey through the untouched lands of Georgia is for those who love to explore outdoors. Trek through the fabled and mysterious mountain region of Svaneti, Georgia. Discover wild landscapes dotted with quaint stone villages, friendly locals who welcome you into their home to fill you up on their flavoursome traditional cooking, defensive watchtowers that punctuate the scenery and local wine crafted by the Svan’s themselves.
Little known fact – Georgia is the birthplace of wine and is one of the world’s oldest wine producing region. It was accidentally produced for the first time between eight to ten thousand years ago in the Caucasian region. The wine was created by the incidental fermentation on grapes that was later forgotten in a container.
Lebanon is famous for its exquisite beauty, diversity, glamour, European flavour, and hospitable people. Its rich culture and history have placed it on the “must see” on many a bucket list. Lebanese cities are among the most famous names in ancient history and majestic ruins still stand today as a testimony to the greatness of people who lived in this land. Archaeological sites are abundant in Lebanon; explore Crusader Castles, Phoenician temples, Roman theatres and even a royal necropolis.
Tempt those taste buds as you devour traditional local cuisine including the popular ‘Knefe’,’ Mankoushe’, ‘Baklava’ and range of traditional white & red wines. Learn the fascinating ancient history of Lebanon and witness the raw beauty of the countryside as you travel along the Mediterranean coast. To visit Lebanon is to dispel preconceived notions that linger from a relatively short moment in a long, vivid, and fascinating history: the urbane vibe of revitalised Beirut, explore a diverse and beautiful landscape that lends itself easily to an unforgettable adventure, marvel at archaeological wonders, enjoy the welcome of a people who are naturally hospitable, friendly, and gregarious.
Tourism in Morocco is well developed, with a strong tourist industry focused on the country’s coast, culture, and history. it is one of the most politically stable countries in North Africa which is one of the reasons this industry has flourished and is considered one of the main foreign exchange sources. Whether you have visited Morocco before or you are a first time traveller, this destination has a lot to offer any visitor. With a history as intricate and varied as Morocco’s, it goes without saying that over the years Morocco has developed a cultural offering that is both rich and exciting. It truly is an exotic getaway on Europe’s doorstep!
Our Secrets of Morocco is the perfect combination of ‘must see’ Morocco and the hidden local side to this fascinating country.
Our small group tours are created to inspire, educate and encourage travellers to understand responsible tourism by providing culturally immersive experiences, supporting local communities and projects. Make one of these experience’s yours – Contact us today!
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.