Kate Simon

Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (, which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.

Get set for summer: Wet

Jump into the warm waters of the Aukstaitija National Park in Lithuania, the location for SwimTrek's (01273 739713; latest four-day wild swimming breaks. The small-group trip for strong swimmers, led by experienced guides, follows a circular 25km route, hiking through pinewoods and swimming in some of its 130 lakes. It costs £380 per person, including B&B, lunches and fully guided tour with safety escort. Minimum age 16. Departs Tiki Inn in Ignalina on 28 July and 1 August. Excludes flights.

Get set for summer: Wild

Strike out in Romania's bear country with Untravelled Paths (0871 662 9521; On this new four-night wildlife adventure in the Carpathian Mountains, an experienced guide will show you how to track brown bears – you'll soon be looking out for their tell-tale marks on the bark of trees and their muddy footprints. From the safety of a tree hide, you'll watch the beasts emerge from the forest, as well as having a chance to see grey wolves, boar, lynx and birds of prey. The trip also calls at the Libearty Bear Sanctuary and Bran Castle, aka the home of Dracula. The trip costs from £399 per person, including transfers and transport, B&B, entrance fees, excursions and guide. Minimum age seven. Friday departures from Bucharest. Excludes flights.