Tajikistan is a trekking destination for the open-minded, says Caroline Eden in The Daily Telegraph. Well-equipped walkers must "trade in the comforts of tea huts, lodges and paths for an untouched paradise of high-altitude, physically challenging valleys". Up in the Pamir mountains, adventure opportunities abound. Some of the world's highest peaks are to be found here. But it's not all crags and peaks.
The southern arm of the Silk Road once passed through here, and you'll find ancient Muslim shrines, fortresses and curious markets along the way.
For an authentic experience, stay in the homes of the "hospitable" Pamiris, who are "fabulous hosts". Just getting there is a challenge, but it'll be worth it you will have "one of the world's wildest and most beautiful corners all to yourself".
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WildFrontiersTravel.com has a 17-day tour, including village homestays, from £3,495, excluding flights.
Soaring snow-capped peaks rise up as we follow a dusty path through pine forests and along the banks of roaring glacial rivers, says Robin De Peyer in the Evening Standard. His "wonderfully personable" guide, Gopal Lama, led the way on an 11-day trek through the Himalayas in Nepal. The locals are in awe of "Chomolungma", which soars above the Sagarmatha National Park, and it "holds a conspicuous spiritual grip over the whole area".
The majority of trekkers you meet wandering around the alleys and shops in Namche Bazaar know it as Mount Everest and are on their way to Base Camp. During the trekking seasons of spring and autumn, the camp becomes a small town, touting hot showers and even Wi-Fi. For those not ready for the climb, the surrounding area offers almost "endless trekking options through small villages and meandering along spectacular mountain paths".
TheMountainCompany.co.uk offers a wide selection of treks around Nepal and the Himalayas from around £995.
Artists and writers have been inspired by the rugged landscape of the Welsh Black Mountains for generations it's rumoured Tolkien had them in mind when he sat down to write The Hobbit, for example. Just as well, then, that author and playwright Owen Sheers was on hand "to walk me through the mountains' creative terrain", says Oliver Balch in The Guardian. The first of his walks took us on a seven-mile loop from the priory ruins in Llanthony (pictured above), near Abergavenny.
From there it's a short but steep ascent up onto Hatterall Ridge, then along the Offa's Dyke path, before dropping back down into the valley. But maps say nothing of the summer storms as the "oil black, peaty water" sloshes around in my shoes, says Balch. A pleasant-looking trek can soon turn into "a military yomp" so plan your walks well. The "raw physicality" of the landscape will make it all worthwhile.
LlanthonyPrioryHotel.co.uk has seven basic but comfortable rooms from £90 a night on a B&B basis.
"Bikepacking is where mountain biking meets lightweight camping," explainsLaurence McJannet, author of Bikepacking: Mountain Bike Camping Adventures OnThe Wild Trails Of Britain, in The Independent. You don't need lots of fancy kit justan old mountain bike and a whole new world of sprawling landscape is openedup to you. Just bear in mind that so-called "wild camping" is illegal in most parts ofEngland and Wales (except Dartmoor), soask permission from landowners beforebedding down for the night.
Beginnersmight head to the Lake District, and the22km route from Hawkshead villageto the "wonderfully neo-Gothic" WrayCastle. Nearby luxurious berber tents andcamping pods await weary riders at theNational Trust's "peace wooded campsite"at Low Wray.
Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.
Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.
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