If you’ve got itchy feet and a hunger for an enticing travel tale, then each of the following six long reads should hold your attention. Telegraph Travel’s editors get through their fair share of travel stories, but those that follow sparked a particular interest in visiting a certain corner of the world. Expect beautiful storytelling, from the magic of finally interrailing through Europe for a 50th birthday to the drama of paddling the length of the Grand Canyon.
Adapt or die: The curious case of Botswana’s fish-eating leopards
Chosen by Penny Walker, Travel Commissioning Editor
Having been raised on David Attenborough documentaries, the idea of a leopard learning to catch fish was something that completely captured my imagination. The adaptability of animals is something that never ceases to amaze me and the photography that went alongside the piece was just incredible. I’ve been dying to travel to Savute in Botswana ever since to see if I can spot these elusive cats doing something extraordinary for myself.
This luxury Swedish spa hotel is raising the game for winter weekends in the Arctic
Chosen by Jade Conroy, Hotels & Guides Editor
There are hotel openings. And then, every once in a while, there are Hotel Openings. When I first saw the plans for the Arctic Bath – a floating spa hotel located in the depths of the Arctic Circle – I hadn’t seen anything like it. The renderings looked like they’d been plucked out of some future fantasy. Judging by Sarah Marshall’s lovely account of the property (after it opened in January 2020) it didn’t disappoint either. Beautiful design, healing water and a strong link to the community surrounding it – it is everything a future hotel classic should be.
Interrailing for grown-ups – why you should explore Europe by train as an adult
Chosen by Adrian Bridge, Deputy Editor, Travel
Though I love trains and travelling I somehow missed the Inter-Rail phenomenon in my late teens and early twenties and imagined the moment had passed. Not so. Inter-Railing can be enjoyed at any stage of life, as Chris Moss reveals in this exhilarating account of a series of train journeys through Europe during the course of which he turned 50. The love of movement, the sense of excitement and the sheer scale of the continent’s civilisation is imbued in every sentence. And you can actually taste those Capo in B coffees in Trieste…
‘Hours from rescue, I knew we were about to flip’: Levison Wood rafts through the Grand Canyon
Chosen by Hugh Morris, Travel news editor
Notwithstanding the pandemic lockdown, travel has been getting faster and faster. Book last-minute, fly to any corner of the planet in the time it takes the world to turn on its axis, shop, drink, eat, flop, return home. So Levison Wood needing to win an annual permit lottery (on the sixth time of trying) to give him the chance to paddle the length of the Grand Canyon struck me instantly as a trip worth waiting for.
Norway’s secret off-piste paradise
Chosen by Lucy Aspden, Content Editor, Ski
Skiing in Norway has always been on my bucket list – the majesty of the fjords, the chance of seeing the Northern Lights and an eye-wateringly impressive snow record ticking multiple boxes on my travel to-do list. Cat Weakley’s account of her two-centre ski trip to Norway’s secret off-piste in Myrkdalen and Vatnahalsen brought the experience to life with every hypnotising turn. Complete with fjord boat trip, mountain railway ride, remote hotel stay, city stop in Bergen and most importantly novice-friendly ski touring and off piste, her story left me yearning to sample both the scenery and seclusion of the Scandinavian slopes, assured the powdery bounty of this hidden backcountry gem isn’t just for gnarly experts.
Shipwrecked on the Skeleton Coast: all alone in Namibia’s spectacular new lodges
Chosen by Lizzie Frainier, Senior Content Editor, Travel
Namibia hadn’t even been on my radar as somewhere I’d like to visit until I read this piece, which bottles up the wild beauty of the country’s enigmatic Skeleton Coast. Nevermind the luxury lodges, it is the descriptions of the harsh, otherworldly terrain and the possibility of adventure that had me instantly hooked. I hope one day too I can awake to its all-encompassing silence, with nothing to do but look for jackal paw prints in the sand.