Itching to flee the country? Desperate to absorb some cultural delights? Well, we asked our athletes, ambassadors and Osprey team members for their top travel recommendations.
The tropical island nation of Sri Lanka sits nestled in the Indian Ocean below India’s most southern tip. It is a fantastic compact country which manages to offer beaches, rainforest, tea fields and mountains and much more all in a country that is 50 times smaller than India. The variety means there is something for everyone, whether that be surf or trek or culture.
“Sri Lanka is magic. You can take your backpack and travel across the country, get the chance to meet people, enjoy stunning landscapes and have fun experiences with local transport. The food is delicious, and outdoor lovers will never run out of things to do. Climb Adam’s peak, have a bike ride in Lipton’s tea plantation around Aputale or enjoy world class surf in Mirissa. Don’t wait, go!”
Osprey Team Member, Lewis
New South Wales, Australia
The State of New South Wales is one of the most varied in the country. It’s home to the largest, and arguably the most famous, of Australia’s cities, Sydney, which boasts the magnificent Sydney Opera House, only one of the five World Heritage Sites to be visited. New South Wales also hosts some of the most stunning beaches running from North to South. For the more adventurous there is grand colourful outback, Australia’s highest mountain (snow sports to be found!) and an interesting clash between the new and the old.
“New South Wales has some fantastic beaches. One of my favourites is Hyams Beach, which is said to have the whitest sand in the world!”
Osprey Ambassador and Travel Blogger, Hayley Lewis (@alovelyplanet)
Budapest offers a vibrant youthful atmosphere parallel to an important and obvious recent history. As a city it offers a huge range of things to do. Whether dipping into the famous thermal baths, touring art galleries, learning about the devastation of both WWII and the Soviet era or having a tipple at one of the colourful ruin bars, there really is something for everyone. The food is also not to be missed! The capital has four Michelin star restaurants and countless other Michelin recommended all offered at incredibly reasonable prices. Be sure to visit Fisherman’s Bastion for an amazing panorama of the city.
“Budapest is small enough that you can get to know the city after just a few days, but vibrant enough to stay interesting and fun for an extended visit. Great food, beautiful sights and a fantastic place for an inexpensive getaway”
Osprey Team Member, Adam
At its core it is a bustling city that has grown up fast. It has its flaws, traffic, pollution and the earthquake damage being most visible in the city, but it also has a beautiful and rich character. The tangled backstreets reveal some cultural gems with stunning temples, colourful food vendors and beautiful, ancient architecture to name a few.
Aside from the city itself, Kathmandu is also a gateway to a multitude of single and multi-day hikes/ treks. A great short trip can be found North East of Kathmandu and provides a fantastic route to Nagarkot which commands stunning views of the Himalayas (best seen at sunrise!).
“The trip to Nepal was an amazing experience. The stunning mountains make you feel pretty small standing next to them, it totally blew my mind. They’re majestically high!
The people were lovely. They looked at us strangely when we were carrying our skis strapped to our packs through the middle of nowhere. The most fascinating part were the mountain people we passed. They have basically nothing, struggling with growing food and somehow just about making a living- still they’re always smiling.”
Osprey Athlete, Anne Wangler
Basque Country is one of the oldest and culturally rich regions available in Europe. It offers stunning coastlines, beautiful hiking routes, great food and great culture. The region is home to several fantastic locations such as the cobbled streets of San Sebastian old town or the architecture of Bilbao, home to the Guggenheim Museum. In the cities and towns there are the delicious Pintxos (not to be confused with Pinchos, Tapa, or Tapas) to be feasted on as well as old town areas steeped in history. Outside of the towns there is a famous pilgrim route, Camino de Santiago, that meanders along the coast which offers well signed and convenient trails.
“I could happily get lost in the winding cobbled streets or the beautiful hills. Basque offers some of the best food, beautiful coastal landscapes and richest culture that I’ve ever found in Europe. Be sure to grab some pintxos and kafea when you visit beautiful Donostia.”
Osprey Team Member, James