De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa - Whale Trail, a wild day at Vaalkrans

De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa - Whale Trail, a wild day at Vaalkrans

The Whale Trail, south africa   (Photo: Gallo Images / SuperStock)

Destinations to watch in 2013

The Whale Trail, south africa (Photo: Gallo Images / SuperStock)

The Whale Trail, de Hoop, South Africa

The Whale Trail, de Hoop, South Africa

Ocean at De Hoop Nature Reserve, Western Cape

Ocean at De Hoop Nature Reserve, Western Cape

De Hoop Nature Reserve  Cape South Africa, part of Whale Trail Hike

De Hoop Nature Reserve Cape South Africa, part of Whale Trail Hike

De Hoop Nature Reserve - whale hiking trail

De Hoop Nature Reserve - whale hiking trail

The Whale Trail - Overberg. De Hoop is a Marine Protected Area and world-renowned as one of the best whale-watching spots in the Western Cape. The whale trail is a 54km route from Potberg to Koppie Alleen and it includes five overnight stops. Hikers can savour the fragrance of fynbos on the Potberg Mountains and the unique fynbos plains intermingled with a salty sea air – such is the diversity of De Hoop Nature Reserve.

The Whale Trail - Overberg. De Hoop is a Marine Protected Area and world-renowned as one of the best whale-watching spots in the Western Cape. The whale trail is a 54km route from Potberg to Koppie Alleen and it includes five overnight stops. Hikers can savour the fragrance of fynbos on the Potberg Mountains and the unique fynbos plains intermingled with a salty sea air – such is the diversity of De Hoop Nature Reserve.

De Hoop Whale Trail - De Hoop HikingTrail - whale watching at its best! Each year from May to November about 300-400 whales visit the coast at the De Hoop nature reserve!

De Hoop Whale Trail - De Hoop HikingTrail - whale watching at its best! Each year from May to November about 300-400 whales visit the coast at the De Hoop nature reserve!

Along Whale Trail, De Hoop Nature Reserve

Along Whale Trail, De Hoop Nature Reserve

The huts and A-frame shelters at Noetsie, where hikers spend the third night on the Whale Trail at the De Hoop Nature Reserve

The huts and A-frame shelters at Noetsie, where hikers spend the third night on the Whale Trail at the De Hoop Nature Reserve


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De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa - Whale Trail, a wild day at Vaalkrans

De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa - Whale Trail, a wild day at Vaalkrans

South Africa's 34-mile Whale Trail passes secluded, sandy beaches, tide pools, and sea caves, and has plenty of vantage points for observing the star attraction—the abundant southern right whales that populate these waters between June and December.

Photos: Beautiful Paths of the World

South Africa's 34-mile Whale Trail passes secluded, sandy beaches, tide pools, and sea caves, and has plenty of vantage points for observing the star attraction—the abundant southern right whales that populate these waters between June and December.

Ancient stone stairs line the Inca Trail as it leads up through cloud forests and alpine tundra, until the clouds part and the massive Puerta del Sol—Sun Gate—reveals the stunningly preserved granite city of Machu Picchu. From: Beautiful Paths of the World.  (Voyageur / Dreamstime.com)  « BACK

Photos: Beautiful Paths of the World

Ancient stone stairs line the Inca Trail as it leads up through cloud forests and alpine tundra, until the clouds part and the massive Puerta del Sol—Sun Gate—reveals the stunningly preserved granite city of Machu Picchu. From: Beautiful Paths of the World. (Voyageur / Dreamstime.com) « BACK

The Pacific Crest Trail takes in everything from the vivid red Vasquez Rocks near Los Angeles to the deep blue waters and snowcapped peaks of Crater Lake in Oregon—not to mention Yosemite, Sequoia National Park, and the Sierra Nevadas in between. Shown, the Sonora Pass in California's Stanislaus National Forest.

Photos: Beautiful Paths of the World

The Pacific Crest Trail takes in everything from the vivid red Vasquez Rocks near Los Angeles to the deep blue waters and snowcapped peaks of Crater Lake in Oregon—not to mention Yosemite, Sequoia National Park, and the Sierra Nevadas in between. Shown, the Sonora Pass in California's Stanislaus National Forest.

Mount Washington, New Hampshire, is a surprisingly hideous experience for those who don shorts and a T-shirt for a quiet stroll. The highest wind speed ever recorded on earth was here: 231 miles per hour. Temperatures at the summit have never been warmer than 72 degrees, and you run risk like getting blown off the ridges, hypothermia, and, yikes, avalanches.

14 Dangerous Places You SHOULD Visit!

Mount Washington, New Hampshire, is a surprisingly hideous experience for those who don shorts and a T-shirt for a quiet stroll. The highest wind speed ever recorded on earth was here: 231 miles per hour. Temperatures at the summit have never been warmer than 72 degrees, and you run risk like getting blown off the ridges, hypothermia, and, yikes, avalanches.

Vacation Ideas: World's Most Beautiful Paths | Travel Deals, Travel Tips, Travel Advice, Vacation Ideas | Budget Travel

12 Most Beautiful Paths—No Car Required

Vacation Ideas: World's Most Beautiful Paths | Travel Deals, Travel Tips, Travel Advice, Vacation Ideas | Budget Travel

Wine lovers know there's no better bike path than the Route des Grands Crus, or “the road of great wines,” a 40-mile road through the heart of Burgundy’s famed Côte d’Or (golden slope). The picturesque road is lined with intimate, family-run wineries and marked with street signs emblazoned with bunches of grapes.

Photos: Beautiful Paths of the World

Wine lovers know there's no better bike path than the Route des Grands Crus, or “the road of great wines,” a 40-mile road through the heart of Burgundy’s famed Côte d’Or (golden slope). The picturesque road is lined with intimate, family-run wineries and marked with street signs emblazoned with bunches of grapes.

The scenic vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards lining the steep cliffs along the trail are bested only by the five historic towns themselves. Shown, the village of Riomaggiore.

Photos: Beautiful Paths of the World

The scenic vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards lining the steep cliffs along the trail are bested only by the five historic towns themselves. Shown, the village of Riomaggiore.

An elaborate network of roads built as a supply line during the Vietnam War, the Ho Chi Minh trail runs the length of the country (more than 1,000 miles from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City), winding around vertigo-inducing mountain passes, through isolated ancient villages, and down to sandy stretches of uninhabited coastline.

Photos: Beautiful Paths of the World

An elaborate network of roads built as a supply line during the Vietnam War, the Ho Chi Minh trail runs the length of the country (more than 1,000 miles from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City), winding around vertigo-inducing mountain passes, through isolated ancient villages, and down to sandy stretches of uninhabited coastline.

The Torres del Paine Circuit passes blue glaciers, craggy mountain peaks, granite pillars, green lagoons, and expansive ice fields—plus exotic wildlife such as ostrich-esque rheas and llama-like guanacos, above.

Photos: Beautiful Paths of the World

The Torres del Paine Circuit passes blue glaciers, craggy mountain peaks, granite pillars, green lagoons, and expansive ice fields—plus exotic wildlife such as ostrich-esque rheas and llama-like guanacos, above.

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