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5 of the most scenic ziplines around the world

Zip lining is a thrilling experience, offering spectacular views of unique destinations. When deciding where to take your next super speed experience, consider a location with an unusually fantastic view through unexpected terrain. Vast gorges, mountain tops and turquoise water add a secondary depth to an already exhilarating adventure.

Dragon's Breath in Labadee, Haiti

Only Royal Caribbean cruise passengers have access to this private slice of Haiti, and if you ever find yourself here, the Dragon's Breath zip line ranks at the top of the island's excursion options. Jeep like vehicles escort people up the bumpy mountain road to a structure 500 feet off of the ground. A secure system that keeps you latched on a cable from the time you step up onto the metal platform, relieves the intimidation a bit. Leaping from the edge is completely freeing; and the ride down the world's longest over water zip line offers glimpses of paradise from a gorgeously different perspective. Landing is gentle and the entire ride is seemingly more peaceful than anything.

Zip World Velocity in Wales, UK

Located at Zip World Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda, North Wales is the world's fastest zip line. Peaceful is not the word to describe this 100mph monster; it's a heart pounding experience all the way to the end. Velocity also claims the title of Europe's longest zip line. Once the world's largest slate quarry, Penrhyn now is minimally functional, but provides an interesting backdrop to those flying head first down the line. Greenery, an intense blue and aqua pond, as well as a rocky landscape create a beautiful visual experience combined with total intensity.

Mega Cavern in Louisville, Kentucky

Mega Cavern is the only underground zip line in the world, and served as a limestone quarry for 42 years in the 19th century. It takes about two and a half hours to work through the six line course, which takes participants deep within the historic caverns that rest 100-165 feet under the city of Louisville. While zipping over sometimes 90 foot deep gorges, there is a creepy, Dracula like feel to the dark, stone structure. A variety of colored lights splash onto the walls, adding a little bit of warmth and beauty to what may be one of the most interesting courses in the world. After zipping and navigating over suspension bridges, a double line ideal for racing finishes up the experience.

Panza Mega Zip in Okinawa, Japan

One of the newest attractions on the Okinawa coast, the Panza Mega Zip Line is located at the Sheraton Okinawa Sunmarina Resort. After leaping from a tall tower, the ride takes passengers over a stretch of white sand before extending over the ocean. You'll experience a more leisurely trip down the 820 foot line, allowing for plenty of time to soak in the crystal water and surrounding tropical landscape before coming to a stop on a small strip of land, which connects back around to the main island. Sunset is the ideal time to take the leap.

La Tyrolienne in The French Alps

While the La Tyrolienne line wasn't designed to reach high speeds, its height and location makes it one of the most jaw dropping in existence. At an altitude of 10,597 feet, skiers and tourists travel along the one mile route for nearly 45 seconds; from the Bouchet chair lift in Orelle, to the highest ski resort in Europe, Val Thorens. By zipping through the French Alps, a once unattainable view is achieved. Passengers feel deeply connected within the mountains while being able to fully take in the views of the French Alps. There's simply nothing quite like zip lining through this intensely picturesque area.

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The most stunning Austrian castle hotels for a night out from Vienna

While cultural tourism is booming in Vienna Austria the quaint castle hotels in its lush green surroundings have largely gone unnoticed. At a maximum an hour and a half's drive from Wien history, luxury and nature enthusiasts will find a welcome break from their city break. Here are the top 6 Medieval and Renaissance Austrian castle hotels to spend a night.

Schloss Duernstein

Located right next to the Danube in Austria's most famous river valley, Duernstein Castle dates from the 17th century. The ‘Schloss' is decorated with antiquities and boasts a river terrace with spectacular views. Arguably the most sought after spot for romantic events, the castle is also the perfect base for exploring Wachau Valley's award winning wineries, abbeys and historic villages. Guests who love more privacy can rent recently refurbished Art Nouveau gem Villa Schoenthal.

Moerwald Schloss Grafenegg

At a 20 min drive from Duernstein into Kamp Valley you will find Grafenegg. For decades, Grafenegg Castle has been a local hotspot for cultural festivals. Internationally, its classical summer music festival has been drawing top talent from all over the world to the castle. The romantic 19th-century building with origins from the 15th century represents a typical fairy tale dream with its turrets, knights hall and courtyard. Another highlight is the gourmet style restaurant run by Austrian top chef Toni Moerwald. Wine lovers usually flock to nearby wineries in Krems and Langenlois.

Burg Oberranna

Facing a 1,000-year old fortress makes even baroque Viennese palaces look young. Oberranna is a wildly romantic fortified castle boasting a unique fortress church. Located in a lush green side valley of the Danube valley Wachau, the castle was painstakingly renovated to house just 20 beds. Unlike any other local accommodation the ‘Burg' reflects Wachau's ancient and medieval heritage at its most authentic. The nearby historc village of Spitz on the Danube and a local apricot schnaps distillery are not to be missed.

Schloss Weikersdorf

In contrast to rough Oberranna, Weikersdorf's Renaissance castle displays a more polished setting. Apart from wood panelled ceilings, baroque stuccos, and antique decorations, guests love the castle's large glass-roofed courtyard lined with Renaissance arcades. From the terrace you can ovelook thousands of roses in the adjacent Rosarium. Locationwise, Weikersdorf castle is located in the elegant spa town of Baden in the Vienna Woods, at 26 km from Vienna. The castle makes for a perfect night after visiting Roemertherme spa, a local operetta or a winery.

Burg Bernstein

Do you remember Count Almasy in the film ‘The English Patient'? The noble Hungarian desert explorer and race driver was among the former owners of Bernstein castle in Burgenland, Austria's South Eastern region bordering Hungary. The ancient fortress possesses everthing a medieval castle needs: from a knights hall and ancestors' gallery to original antiquities, legends and ghosts, which apparently still roam the castle every night. The surroundings are ideal for hiking, biking, horse riding and wine tasting.

Schloss Hotel Mailberg

Between Vienna and Prague, a rare 12th century castle nestles in Pulkau Valley close to the Czech border. Still owned by the Maltese Order of Knights the castle had been around in the Hussite Wars, the 30-Year-Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, to name a few. For history and wine lovers on their way to Wien or Prague Mailberg castle is a lovely stopover. What's more, the austrian region Weinviertel with its rolling vineyards and historic alleys lined with old wine caves is still an insider tip for international travellers.

Barbara Grll-Cao is the Founder of Vienna Unwrapped.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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