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Ticket to Ride

We’re not here to tell you about a song by the Beatles and Ticket to Ride is not just an average company that offers adventure sports packages. It’s actually a return trip into the very heart of nature under the watchful eye of a man who has won 47 medals in Swedish and international canoeing championships. Lars Walkler shows us that another kind of tourism is possible.


By:  Cecilia Bogaard
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Adventure Sports Company
Birth: 1998
Founded by: Lars Walkler
Location: Marbella
Employees: 3 people
Stands out for: the incredible location and views

A gold in K1 and two silvers in K2 in the Scandinavian Championships, fifth in the World Canoeing Championships in 1983, third in the World K4 Marathon, runner-up in the World Dragon Boat Racing Competition… If we were to list all 47 medals won by this Swede, it could take a while. Walkler is now based in Marbella and manages Ticket to Ride, a company dedicated to adventure sports.

Walkler came to Marbella to escape the Swedish winter and “so that I wouldn’t have to try and row surrounded by blocks of ice”. The climate and conditions of the water in Andalusia attracted him a great deal. “The Istan Lake is excellent for sailing,” he explains with enthusiasm. He took one look and decided to stay, buying the piece of land that gives access to the Embalse de la Concepción, which also known as the Istan Lake, and building a jetty to dock his canoes.

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Ticket to Ride offers canoeing, canyoning, climbing, potholing, diving, fishing, windsurfing, water skiing, dragon boats, jet skiing, horse riding, paintballing, 4×4 racing, quad biking and survival expeditions, all in the best areas of region. Walkler has no secrets to hide and if you coax him a little he begins to speak openly about those special spots he has hidden up his sleeve. “There are several coves surrounding the lake with beaches ideal for the summer,” he reveals. “On the northern part of the lake mud appears when the water level drops and you can enjoy a fantastic mud bath”. Even the Sky Television went there to film a special report on the area. ”The best place for canyoning is Río Verde (Granada) and the Guadalmina river that goes through Benahavis, although they’ve recently banned canyoning there”. Exploring Andalusia with Walkler as your guide is a truly unforgettable experience.

It definitely wasn’t easy at first and he still has some way to go. The local authorities in Istan still haven’t granted him a licence to open to the public. After three years of negotiations he finally “managed to get the permission I needed from the Hydrographic Confederation which is now known as Cuenca Andaluza”. His efforts clearly haven’t been in vain because he coveys the passion that he has for what he does to everyone who comes to visit the area with him.

“I loved the whole laissez-faire attitude of the experience. Lars let us explore. He made us feel relaxed and comfortable in the kayak. And the scenery is fantastic,” explains Zippy Chierakul from London who enjoyed the route on the lake by kayak. “The majority of people that come here are foreign,” Walkler points out. “They are looking for something different. People from the area hardly ever come here”.

Despite this, many companies approach Ticket To Ride when organising team-building activities for their employees. According to Walkler, these group activities can contribute to “a collective memory, happy memories that are shared by all the members of a team and binds them closer together”. And it seems to work because an increasing number of companies, some as high profile as the pharmaceutical company Novartis, are requesting his services. Clients usually hear of him through word-of-mouth, giving Walker an idea of how satisfied they are with his activities.

Walkler admits that in the unlikely event that he were made mayor of Istan he would change many things in the area. One of his plans would be to “take advantage of skills held by professionals living in the village, and allow them to form part of small town councils”. Walkler is doing his part to promote Andalusia around the world, helping the Costa del Sol become known for more than urban exploitation.


Getting there?


Ticket to Ride
Avda. Naciones Unidas
C.C. Cristamar - Local B61
Puerto Banús, Marbella
952905082, 609517517, info(a)marbellatop100.com


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2 comments

Pon tu propia imagen con Gravatar
El 2 April 2009 a las 10:39 AM, Debora Sands dijo...

The best kept secret on the costa del sol!


Pon tu propia imagen con Gravatar
El 11 October 2013 a las 1:57 PM, Mabel Cervantes Gallego dijo...

queria saber las tarifas para las rutas en kayak



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