Top Fantasy Destinations for the Adventurous Traveler

By Hannah Strom-Martin and Erin Underwood

Are you an adventurous traveler, willing to go the extra mile for excitement?  Would you rather go to End World than Disneyworld?  Does the thought of the Eiffel Tower bore, but the image of Orthanc make you “ooh la-la!” all over your New Zealand sheep’s wool traveling cloak?  Then let Fantasy Vacation Travel take you away!  With over 200 years of experience in speculative tourism, FanVacTra can give you a once in a lifetime experience other competitors simply can’t conceive of. And whether it’s this world or the next, we’ll get you there in style.  Call now and our courteous representatives will treat you like a king as they design a personalized package guaranteed to take your breath away (literally or figuratively depending on your budget.)  Select from a wide range of locales—with FanVacTra even the most ordinary of places will reveal their hidden charm.

Don’t delay. Book a trip to one of our top fantasy vacation destinations today and let us put the spectacle back in spectacular!

Mount Doom, Middle-Earth – (The Lord of the Rings)
The White Tree of Gondor may be a once in a lifetime opportunity, but for the die-hard adventurer in your life, Middle-Earth’s real hot spot is Mount Doom: a wicked little hideaway deep within the kingdom of Mordor.  Not even the fires of Pompeii elicit the bone-shaking adrenaline of these volcanic fires—and the subsequent running is sure to warm you up after your life-altering encounter.  Whether you’re catching the sunrise from the mountain slope or retiring for some much needed R&R on the nearby Fields of Cormallen, you’re sure to feel refreshed and ready to take on the most daring of adventures.  (Discounts apply when booked in tandem with any of our other Middle Earth destinations.)

Winterfell, Westeros(A Song of Ice and Fire)
The Isle of Westeros has never been known for relaxation but despite recent political upheaval, great opportunities still exist for adventurers willing to diverge from the beaten path. If you can’t pay the taxes in King’s Landing why not head North to majestic Winterfell where new management has rendered the famous hot springs open to all? If you don’t mind picking your way through some uncertain terrain a clandestine dip at the foot of an ancient weirwood is yours for the taking. Stroll the godswood, investigate the family crypt, or try some light rappelling from the face of the broken tower.  As night falls pass around some Dornish Red and let your worries expire to the sound of gurgling water and song from the Wolfswood. Alternate destination: Grab a destrier and seek out Greywater Watch: a stronghold so secretive it ran away when we tried to say hi.

London, England – (Clockwork Angel)
London’s most infamous landmarks await you. While Big Ben and Buckingham Palace are staples of the London tourist trade, it’s the lesser-known sights that will give you a true taste of the city. Stop by the Institute for Shadowhunters for a private tour of the grounds and be sure to request a look at the armory—home to one-of-a-kind weaponry you won’t find anywhere else. Next, take a trip Downworld to The Pandemonium Club or the Devil Tavern for a late night drink. Walk along the Thames, stroll through Hyde park (be sure to stay on the paths), or book a room at the famed dark house, rumored to be owned by the Dark Sisters themselves.  For some real excitement you’ll receive an exclusive invitation to one of de Quincey’s  famous late night parties that are to die for. Whether it’s an evening rendezvous on Black Friars Bridge or a stroll through Carlton Square you are sure to be delighted by the sights of this retro fantasy destination.

Forks, WA(The Twilight Series)
Shiny not-so-happy people populate the little town of Forks, WA but there’s no reason to be afraid. If you can survive the maniacal driving habits of some eerily good looking townies the misty woods and rugged beaches will soon have you in the mood for love. Enjoy a burger at the local diner or motor (slowly!) over to Port Angeles for some candle-lit Italian. Grab a couple of cold ones and take in a supercharged baseball game or, if soulful tranquility is more your style, visit the Quileute reservation in nearby La Push. Smell the rain! Hear the ocean! Enjoy the sad-eyed company of an oversized guard-dog!  Whatever your tastes, Forks is sure to imprint itself upon you forever.

Over the Rainbow, The Land of Oz(Wizard of Oz)
Make friends that last a lifetime! This pet friendly destination includes a small group journey down the Yellow Brick Road as it winds through Oz’s most famous terrain. View the lush countryside from your own hot air balloon, day hike through the forest, or score a siesta in the gorgeous poppy fields. Your trip ends in the fabled Emerald City where you will find your heart’s desire. Getting around: There’s no public transit so travelers should pack light—and be sure to bring a nice pair of shoes. Note: imitations of this vacation package are numerous. Fantasy Vacation Travel is the only agency with exclusive service rights for tours departing to the original destination.

Chicago, IL(The Dresden Files)
Mystery dinner theater has nothing on a trip to The Windy City, particularly when you book our specially designed package for intrepid sleuths. Got a question that needs answering? Let your fingers do the walking towards the local Wizard For Hire. Contacting this quirky detective could well land you nose-to-nose with the local werewolf clan or braying with a pack of hounds through the back trails of faery. Trips include special guest lectures by the Knights of the Cross, the Warden of the White Council, and Chicago PD’s Assistant Medical Examiner. For those looking to experience the seedier side of The Windy City, special arrangements can be made with the local PD’s Special Investigations division for a scheduled ride-along during routine patrols, crime scene investigations, and undercover stakeouts. Whatever your pleasure, Chicago’s underworld will not disappoint.

Gatlin, SC – (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness)
Get some down home comfort Southern style. This sleepy little South Carolina town is a must-visit for those with a hearty appetite and a love of southern history. Fill your day with local sights like the Gatlin historical society, the statue of the fallen southern  general Jubal A. Early, or the Gatlin Library (home to one of the oldest known collections of folklore and mythology in the world). After a day of sightseeing, stop in at the local Dar-ee Keen for a milkshake and a plate of chili fries or savor a piece of Amma Treadeau’s tasty Coca Cola cake, creamy sweet potato pie, or signature southern fried chicken. Food aside, the real treat is a midnight stroll beneath the cool glow of the Caster moon as you wind your way up the road toward the town’s oldest and most historic structure: Ravenwood Manner. If the gates are open, come visit the old cemetery, but be warned: you never know what blast from the past you may find laying in the shadows of the headstones…

Lothlórien, Middle Earth(The Lord of the Rings)
Everyone knows the elves were green before it was cool—now experience their famed hospitality for yourself.  A night in Lothlórien promises the ultimate in eco chic as you ascend a 100% authentic elven rope ladder to your very own mallorn flet.  Lay back and let the sweet, sustainably maintained waters of the Anduin river soothe your dreams as you slumber beneath an endless summer sky.  Visit the historic groves of Caras Galadhon or dally with other travelers in a cozily appointed hollow.  Zero light pollution. Concerts on the lawn. Lembas on the pillow.  Book early as spaces are rapidly diminishing.

The Island, Pacific Ocean(Lost)
Planning a heartfelt reunion with the most important people in your life? A trip to the Island might be in order. Yes, former inhabitants have complained of aerial disturbances and the occasional feeling of dislocation, but it’s all part of the fun as you and your loved ones embark upon the journey of discovery. Whether you start at the rustic base camp or simply drop in out of the sky there’s no knowing where the day will take you. Wander from beach to mountain (and back again!), explore the many contributions of the local science community (don’t worry, they’ve got everything under control), or seek out some answers at one of the many spiritual centers (we recommend the eerily glowing water as opposed to the eerily isolated shack). Whatever you choose there’ll always be more to experience. Complementary bottles of Dharma Initiative Merlot to the first 47 arrivals. Doctor on site. Stays may last longer than anticipated.

Urmsheim and Stormspike, Osten Ard(Memory, Sorrow and Thorn)
All who have traveled these frozen heights have been forever changed.  For Urmsheim: From the Aldheorte Forest hike north (and north!  And north! Look at all the pretty snow!) up the arduous slope of the mountain past glittering ice formations and forgotten Sithi cities.  Rest at the foot of the Uduntree—a frozen waterfall far older than a mere mortal like you can comprehend.  Enjoy a long song, treasure hunt or mild tussle with the resident wildlife.  Lodging options include caves, luxurious Sithi lodges, and a charming out-of-the-way abbey.  For Stormspike: Regard in safety from the cozy town of Elvritshalla or ascend the heights and enjoy hot and cold running Norns in the otherworldly Chamber of the Breathing Harp. Accommodations are vast and chilly but will haunt your very dreams.

Salamanca, Spain (Crusade Series)
From delicious wines to mouthwatering local fare Spain has always had a lot to offer, but it’s the Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones in the centuries-old University of Salamanca that will really get your blood pumping. Sign up for a special training course and test your skills against the newest recruits in this highly competitive school for vampire hunters. Sleep in the dorms, eat with the students, fight side by side (and for your life!) as you travel to nearby provinces and slay bloodthirsty villains bent on making you their next meal. If gut wrenching action is the remedy for your vacation blues this X-treme vacation will satisfy even the most savage adrenaline junkie. While there, make time to visit the university chapel where the peaceful silence of the statue of Saint John will renew your strength.

The Dark Tower, Along the Path of the Beam(The Dark Tower Series)
Sound your horn for relaxation! The toils of the quest fade away as you journey through the fragrant rose fields of Can’-Ka No Rey towards your final destination.  Located on a prime patch of End World real estate the Dark Tower welcomes you with gorgeous sunsets and ample apartments perfect for reflecting.  Fare is DIY (so stock your gunna well, do ya kennit?) but the view is inevitably accompanied by exclamations of: “Oh Discordia!”  Ample hiking, shooting, art, and musical activities are available.  Management assures us you’ll be back.  Say thankya!

Acacia, The Known World(The Acacia Trilogy)
There’s magic in the air above this exclusive island fastness. Home of the Acacian nobility since time immemorial Acacia boasts a vibrant melting pot of cultures and a rich tradition of distracting gastronomic delights.  While the Mist fad of previous seasons has been on the wane, new experiments in viticulture keep the party going 24/7, aided and abetting by a thriving musical presence.  Explore bustling markets where anything can be had for the right price, take in a melee at the famed Carmelia amphitheatre or, if you really want to feel like the center of everything, hike to the apex of the island for the dazzling view.  That tingling you feel is euphoria.  Really.

Wonderland, Rabbit Hole(Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)
Fall into adventure in Wonderland where everything right-side-up has been turned up-side-down to give your stay an added touch of mad delight. This all-inclusive resort features an endless variety of eatable, drinkable delicacies specially created to suit your needs and some truly alternative forms of relaxation. Whether it’s high tea with the local eccentrics, a stroll through the Queen’s prizewinning rose garden, or a pleasant game of croquet, you will find yourself caught up in the lap of Wonderlandian luxury. Tips: Keep a watch handy as events start precisely on time—and don’t be late for your meeting with the Queen!

Tanchico, The World of the Wheel(The Wheel of Time Series)
The lovely tea rooms of Tanchico have been largely neglected in recent years as travelers flock to more dominant cities like Caemlyn and Tar Valon but, under the wise leadership of Panarach Amathera, the city remains safer than Domai’s Wells and a lot less wool-headed than Cairhien.  At the Three Plum Court, Mistress Rendra will instruct you in the correct usage of sursa. Delicious Domini dishes are all the rage at The Garden of the Silver Breezes.  Just save some room so you can squeeze into the scintillating local fashion (don’t forget to don you veil and hair beads!) or, if you’re of a more historical mind, traipse through the Panarch’s Palace where an impressive array of ancient artifacts is on display.  Getting around:  Tanchican crowds can be overwhelming so hire a chair and remember to pack a walking stick.  When vetting a bodyguard be sure to select one that doesn’t think with the hair on his chest.


Additional trip details are available in the printed materials referenced next to each destination. If you have questions about any of our trips listed above or if you would like to arrange a special tour, please post a note below and we will get back to you. Place your reservation now while bookings for your preferred fantasy adventure vacation are still available. Trips and dates are subject to change without notice. Fantasy Vacation Travel is not liable for injury, death, or any unfortunate event that may befall you or your traveling companions. Travel insurance is available for an additional fee prior to date of departure. Vacation packages are nonrefundable.

About Erin Underwood

BIO: Erin Underwood is the senior event content producer for MIT Technology Review’s emerging technology events. On the side, she reads, writes, and edits SF.
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18 Responses to Top Fantasy Destinations for the Adventurous Traveler

  1. Allison Hartman Adams says:

    “That tingling you feel is euphoria. Really.”
    Well, I’m feeling a lot of it (and no, I haven’t been drinking the league’s wine). Did I mention that I love you guys? As in L-O-V-E? This post totally turned around my fairly damp, dreary morning. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Initially, this post reminded me of Martin’s thoughts on fantasy ( Then I kept reading and started giggling uncontrollably at my desk. Good times.

    • Oh, we were laughing like crazy while we wrote and revised this piece. I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      Down with dreary Tuesdays! We should all go on a fantasy vacation. 🙂

    • Hannah says:

      Thanks for that link to Martin–I’ve never read that before–he’s right. Bury me in Lothlorien, yo! Right where Arwen lay herself down…
      It was so much fun writing this. So glad you liked it!

  2. Trish says:

    I came here expecting one thing, but what I got is quite another–and better. What a great post! (I may have to borrow this idea!)

  3. Pat B. says:

    You ladies are such great travel agents, I can’t make up my mind which destination to choose. Each one sounds like a fabulous vacation. Do I want to learn how to slay vampires in Spain? Experience the tingling of euphoria in Acacia? Visit the Queen in Wonderland? Or maybe hang with some shiny people in Forks? So many places to go, so little time …

    • Pat, the beauty of our lovely little travel company is that you can go to them all…..multiple times. 🙂

      I think I might head to The Island for a little R&R with the Dharma Initiative.

  4. Heather Magaw says:

    Think of the money you could make if you were able to duplicate one of those fantasy realms. a la Jurassic Park . . .

  5. Dominique says:

    Would it be possible to arrange a trip to Montana so that I may tour Saint Vladimir’s Academy, which is more popularly known as the Vampire Academy? I would assume that I would have to travel first to Seattle to get there.

    • Oh, absolutely! Lovely country.

      Yes, you are right that this trip would begin in the exciting city of Seattle where you will begin your journey east to Big Sky Country.

  6. Penelope says:

    Is wheelchair accommodation available? 😉

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  9. Laura says:

    When can I depart?

    This made me giggle :’)
    Few people will understand why, but who cares?
    Brilliant piece!

  10. Kairam Ahmed Hamdan says:


  11. Thank you for ssharing this

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