A trip to East Africa to see the lions, elephants, zebras and other wildlife that roam free across the vast plains is an unforgettable experience. If you’re a long-distance runner, you could kick that up several notches by competing in a marathon while you’re there. Cox Kings offers that opportunity with its Kenya Marathon Safari Adventure. The 13-day tour begins Oct. 20 in Nairobi. Participants are transferred to a high altitude training center in Iten, Kenya, where they spend four days with 800 other athletes getting used to heights of nearly 7,900 feet and doing training runs. From there, two days are spent relaxing and viewing wildlife at Lake Nakuru National Park, home to a rhinoceros sanctuary for both black and white rhinos. Then it’s on to the Nairobi Marathon, which draws more than 20,000 runners. The days after the marathon are spent recuperating in a luxury tented safari camp in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, one of the top locations in Africa for viewing wildlife. The package is priced at $8,395 per person, double occupancy, which doesn’t include international airfare or internal flights. Info: 800-999-1758, http://tinyurl.com/yaho5o2l
The World Ski Awards, decided by a vote of travel professionals and the public, picked the French ski resort Val Thorens, Europe’s highest resort, as the planet’s best. The 2017 awards, which were announced recently, named Deer Valley Resort in Utah as the best ski resort in the U.S. and Lake Louise Ski Resort in Alberta as tops in Canada. Browsing the list may give you some ideas for ski destinations you never considered. Did someone say Bulgaria? www.worldskiawards.com/winners/2017
Cruising the scenic waterways of Europe might make you feel like breaking into song, which would certainly be appropriate on European Waterways’ Italian Opera Cruise. Starting in Verona on Aug. 25, there’s a performance of Bizet’s “Carmen” at Arena di Verona, a Roman amphitheater built in A.D. 30. The cruise proper begins the next day in Venice aboard the 20-passenger hotel barge La Bella Vita. Over the next six days, opera-related highlights will include a guided tour of the opera house Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice; a tour of Teatro Communale in Ferrara with its five-tiered auditorium that dates to the 1700s; and sights in Mantua, such as “Rigoletto’s House” and Teatro Bibiena, a baroque theater that opened with a concert by a 13-year-old Mozart in 1770. The itinerary also includes visits to wineries, estates, castles and more along scenic waterways of the Po Valley. Pricing is from $3,890 per person, double occupancy. Info: 877-879-8808, http://tinyurl.com/ycl7fcme
Phil Marty is a freelance reporter.
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