We’re all for spending a week lying on the beach with a mojito in hand, but sometimes we’d rather spend our precious holiday time doing something a little more adventurous. For those wondering where they can embrace the wilder side of life whilst working up a sweat, here are 8 of the ultimate travel destinations that you need to explore. Just feast your eyes on some of those views...
Rafting the Grand Canyon
Sure, you could get out a dingy and have a paddle in the Thames, but we’d rather take things up a gear. See the wondrous Grand Canyon from a completely different perspective as you raft up the Colorado River. The best time of year to go is May-October (the river is graded as intermediate) and you need a permit, so the easiest way to do this is by joining a commercial trip which will need to be booked in advance!
Trek to Everest Base Camp
Not an adventure for the faint-hearted. It’s a trek that tops many people’s bucket lists and for good reason. It’ll take you 14 days to get to and from the foot of the highest mountain in the world, and it offers breath-taking views as you climb up to the 5,340m high camp.
If you do want to sleep at the iconic camp rather than to follow the crowd in descend to Gorak Shep for the night, you’ll need special permission, and it’s best to go at peak times. There’s no better dose of inspiration than sitting at camp, chatting to the souls about to take on the maddening feat.
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture than by bike, taking you on a road slightly less traveled - away from the typical tourist hotspots and through local fishing villages and quiet coastal towns. Start in the wonderful highland town of Dalat, and work your way down the coast until you reach Hoi An for a spot of culture. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of stopping for a satisfying bowl of Pho and a bottle or two of beer after a long day on your bike.
Trek to Machu Pichu
Sure, you could just join the masses and pop on the train, but trust us, this popular wonder of the world is far more impressive after you’ve conquered the 3-day hike. Learn the history from your local Porter as you hike the path of the Incas, whilst hiking through beautiful mountains, subtropical jungle and of course, the hidden Inca ruins of Llactapata, Runkurakay, Sayacmarca and Phyupatamarca.
Explore Chile on Foot
For the really keen trekkers, the mountains of Patagonia should be high, if not top, of your bucket list, as it provides some of the most beautiful – and challenging – treks of the world. The 80-mile Paine Circuit is a six-day guided walk that will take you through glaciers, forests and deep turquoise lakes – you’ll struggle to believe this kind of beauty really exists in the world.
Go Deep in Belize
Hiking not your thing? Instead of going high up mountains, how about going deep underwater instead. The famous Great Blue Hole is outlined by some of the world’s most beautiful coral reef and is inhabited by sharks, stingrays and a whole host of other marine life. Watch as huge tuna dive into the deep blue hole before heading in yourself and exploring the ancient underwater caves. Then head back and relax on the beautiful Caribbean beach with a pina and rum – what could be better?
Closer to home: Walking in Wales
Save the planet and the 3-day jetlag by heading somewhere a little closer to home. Wales might have a reputation for being wet, rainy and just a little bit dreary, but for walking fanatics, it won’t disappoint (as long as you pack your raincoat)! Follow the Wales Coast Path, or head for the heights by climbing Mt Snowdon – the highest point in the British Isles outside of the Scottish Highlands, that sits at 1,085m.
Live Well in Austria
There’s nowhere that will make you feel more rejuvenated quite like a trip to the Austrian hills in the summertime. Think the sound of music but with a little less singing and a lot more adventure; ramble through meadows, trek alpine trails and head down to the lake for a quick dip. All before heading back to the lodge for a sauna and a fondue dinner – that’s the kind of cultural experience we can get on board with!