From African safaris to exploring Antarctica or going down the zip line at top speed in Costa Rica or simply travelling solo to a destination that may be slightly off our comfort zone, the world offers adventurous spirits thousands of places to visit, experiences to embrace and destinations to explore. With summer time round the corner and holidays getting closer, almost everybody is in need of a well deserved break. If your best idea for recharging your batteries implies stepping out of the traditional holiday spots and/or getting your body to move and your mind to expand, your adventurous spirit will find plenty of ideas to inspire you.
Adventure Travel Destinations – Where Can Adventurous Spirits Travel?
Take a Maine & Acadia National Park Road Trip
Road trips have long been synonyms of adventure and enjoying one from the coastal city of Portland, Maine, all through Acadia National Park can be a great experience this summer. Portland invites you to taste delicious handcrafted beer from any of the over 80 microbreweries you can find there. Drive northwards to Bar Harbor and explore its lovely cobblestone streets. Then, head out on a ship for some prime whale watching! And when you’re hungry, we’re sure that the lobster rolls Bar Harbor is famous for we’ll fuel your body!
Acadia National Park is the perfect roundup for your trip. Rocky beaches, granite peaks, glaciers and woody areas offer the perfect backdrop for fantastic pictures and great camping experiences. Needless to say, adventurous travelers can go rock climbing on the cliffs and explore the whereabouts.
If you’ll be driving a rental car, make sure that it has enough room for all passengers plus luggage and that it is of a brand and model you’re familiar with. Hitting the open road may not be the best time to try out a totally new vehicle! It is advisable to invest in a car rental damage insurance policy so that you can be completely sure that you’re covered against any incident you may suffer with the car. Doubtful about your options? Evaluate them here.
Drive From Cape Town To Cairo
Yes: driving from Cape Town in South Africa to Cairo in Egypt is as exciting as it sounds. It’s not a short trip and it’s definitely a challenging one. It can take from a month to two years if you do it completely though, of course, you can choose only a part of it to do. You can drive a car, ride a bike, take a bus, walk or go on public transport.
Since infrastructure is not that good along the way, you may find yourself camping or heading deep into the bush while tackling trails in 4x4s.
Undertaking such a road trip implies lots of planning. Bear in mind that only a few travellers have completed it successfully so don’t feel disappointed if you can only complete part of it!
Lose Your Breath at the Salar de Uyuni
Located in Bolivia at an altitude of almost 12000 feet, the Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. If you’re an adventurous traveler, driving your car through it is an experience of a lifetime.
Perfectly flat, the white land is breathtakingly beautiful. After rain, the wet surface reflects the clear sky and you’ll feel as if you were driving on the clouds! When the weather is dry, the salt is so strikingly white that you can easily think that it is ice.
Driving through the Salar de Uyuni is a great adventurous road trip, but if you still want to add some delightful cherishable memories to it, why don’t you stay in a salt hotel? In these fantastic buildings, everything (including walls, beds and toilets) is made from bricks of cemented salt.
Explore the Atlas Mountains
Situated in North Africa, the Atlas Mountains stretch from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. However, of all these three countries, the most beautiful mountain peaks can be found in Morocco. Add a good road system, an honest and competent police force and locals always willing to help and you’ll have a great driving experience. The road will take you through Berber villages and you’ll be offered tea by the side of the road. If you’re planning a trip to Morocco, don’t forget to add this exciting experience to your travel plans. You’ll definitely enjoy it!
Explore The Deserts of Oman
Oman is a fantastic and beautiful country: vast sand dunes, jagged mountains, preserved fortresses and rocky wadis (seasonally dry gorges) can be explored in a trip that takes you through some of the most scenic views in the Middle East.
You can start your trip in Wadi Nakhar. There you can take the “balcony walk” along its red rim or hike through the gorge itself, where you may catch local craftsmen making rugs! Then you can head to Nizwa, where you’ll find the oldest souks or markets in Oman. Get ready to bargain before buying local spices, rugs, or other souvenirs you may be tempted to take home! You’ll have the chance to meet the Bedouins and learn more about their culture while camping in the Wahiba Sands.
Snorkel Between Continents at Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
If you can only choose one destination in the whole world for adventure travel, then it must be Iceland. Its fantastic landscape offers visitors the opportunity to do glacier hiking, diving or snorkeling.
Thingvellir National Park, along the country’s Golden Circle route, is the best place for diving. There, two tectonic plates slowly pull apart about 2 centimeters per year, what results in the Silfra fissure, a stunning rift valley where travelers can snorkel or dive in impossibly clear and cold waters. There are companies that offer diving excursions even for newbies and help you cherish the experience in your mind forever with a great underwater snapshot of you touching two continents at the same time!
Kayak With Orcas in Johnstone Strait, Canada
Johnstone Strait, in Vancouver, is probably the best place in the world where to admire orcas in their natural habitat. Of course you can spot them from the shore but if you are interested in a more up close and personal and you love water sports, having the chance of kayaking with orcas is as good (and exciting!) as it sounds.
Kayaking, sharing the same water with the orcas, is the best way to explore these huge and fascinating animals. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to kayak surrounded by curious dolphins, seals and even minke whales!
May to September is the best time of the year where to spot orcas in Johnstone Strait. There are quite a few companies that offer kayak tours that allow you to enjoy this nice experience.
Travel to Turkmenistan and Stand Before its “Door To Hell”
Turkmenistan’s “Door To Hell” is definitely not a place to mess about. Everything started 46 years ago when a team of Soviet scientists accidentally drilled a hole into a huge pocket of natural gas. They decided to set fire to it hoping it would stop burning anytime soon. Well, it hasn’t: it’s been burning since then!
Located in the middle of the vast Karakum Desert, it’s one of those destinations that don’t often appear on tourist brochures but that adventurous spirits cannot miss at least once in their lifetime!
Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru
Forget about the train and let excitement build up in your body as you trek your way to the hidden city of Machu Picchu. Perched in the Peruvian Andes mountains, it can be reached by foot via different trails and hikes of varied difficulty levels. The Inca Trail is by far the most famous and classical trek but there are plenty of alternatives. You can hike via the ruins of Choquequirao (which are much less visited), walk along the interesting Salkantay Trail and admire some of the most luxurious and chic lodges in the area. Expert hikers can try the tough Vilcabamba Traverse.
Bear in mind that the hikes have different lengths and attitudes; take your time to acclimatise yourself before setting off and make sure you have a permit for the Inca Trail.
Planning a trip to Antarctica is very much like planning an expedition to a place that only a few people have been before. Unpredictable weather conditions, crashing icebergs and an interesting variety of wildlife show you what adventure looks like!
You’ll have the chance to spot penguins, seals and whales! Cruises to Antarctica are usually pricey and need to be booked in advance as visits to the White Continent are limited per year for environmental reasons.
Ride On The Trans-Mongolian Express
Great adventure plus stunning sights; what can be more exciting? The Trans-Mongolian Express offers a 21-day, one-way trip that you can board in Russia and go southeast or China and travel northwest. You’ll ride through the elegant charm of Russia’s grand cities to the magnetism of China while discovering the magnificent Mongolian plains in between.
It’s an exhilarating experience that takes you through some of the most exciting and intriguing areas of the world. Amongst the highlights of the trip, you’ll be able to admire the Great Wall of China, the colorful domes of St.Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, the Red Square, the forests of theTerelj National Park in Mongolia and the stunning plains of the Mongolian Gobi desert.
Remember that the plane ticket to/from China and Russia is not included and that you’ll need three different visas to enter the three different countries.
Admire Wildlife in Kenya
Safaris are always adventurous trips, but a safari in Kenya takes the experience to the next level. Travelers can choose to stay in luxurious lodges or more affordable campsites. It can be your best opportunity to appreciate cheetahs, lions, zebras, hippos, black rhinos, giraffes, zebras and crocodiles.