Many of us have never lost our childhood desire to explore the outdoors and try new adventures. But it can be difficult to figure out where to go for outdoor holidays, given the various options available worldwide. If you need inspiration in planning your next adventure, this article is for you. This article aims to whet your appetite for outdoor adventures and give an overall view of some of the best destinations for outdoor activities, some of which you may not have heard of yet.
1. British Columbia, Canada
The wild landscapes of British Columbia offer plenty of opportunities for thrilling adventures and exploration. It has glacier lakes, lush rainforests, and snowy peaks, a haven for those who love discovering nature. British Columbia has several mountain ranges that offer unparalleled opportunities for mountaineering and hiking, while snowmobiling and skiing take precedence during the winter months.
The Kootenays, east of the Rockies, is one of the best places to enjoy hiking in British Columbia, and the best place to start exploring the area is at Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. A whole-day hike will take you to Kaslo Lake and back, where you can admire the stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Camping is also available by Kaslo Lake. From here, you can explore the glacier, hike the surrounding peaks, and explore several miles of scenic hiking trails.
British Columbia looks even more magical in winter when it’s blanketed with snow. It’s home to several ski areas, some of them offering lit trails for night skiing. But aside from skiing, there are several other popular winter activities to enjoy in the area, from ice climbing to snowmobiling and snowshoeing.
2. Santorini, Greece
Santorini is famous for its stunning hilltop villages, romantic sunsets, and beautiful beaches. As one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, the island is visited by millions of visitors each year, especially honeymooners and couples on a romantic escape. But the island is also a haven for adventurers, especially if you love taking boat trips and going island hopping.
If you are into boating, you can charter a boat in Santorini for private use, allowing you to experience the essence and beauty of the island’s stunning caldera. You can also visit nearby islands, such as Naxos, Mykonos and Ios. But if you don’t want to leave the island, you’ll have plenty of options to enjoy fun water sports. You can go for standup paddleboarding, scuba diving, or kayaking. After a day of adventures, treat yourself to a sumptuous dinner at one of the island’s cliffside restaurants.
For avid hikers, hike along the trail from Fira to Oia. The route offers many scenic views, including the volcano, caldera, and the sea. It takes approximately two hours and a half, or about four to five hours.
3. South of France
The South of France is surrounded by lush scenery and is home to various historical sites. It is a great place to visit for those who love to explore nature. Here, you can enjoy boating, canoeing, kite surfing, and swimming.
Cruising along Petite Camargue and the Canal du Midi on a barge is a popular luxury activity in the South of France. Petite Camargue, located in the Alsace region, is a 900-hectare nature reserve close to Saint Louis. It’s the region’s oldest nature reserve, established in the mid-19th century. Meanwhile, Canal du Midi is a 240-km long canal considered one of the greatest construction works of the 17th century. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s a joy to explore on a boat. Along the way, you’ll come across historic sites like the Carcassonne and its medieval citadel.
Strolling along the winding streets of the historical province of Roussillon is another fun activity to do in the South of France. Situated along the foot of the Vaucluse Mountains, you’ll love exploring Roussillon’s beautiful countryside. Here, you’ll find several spots to admire the ochre deposits that turn the hills into stunning shades of browns and yellows and look even more magical due to their stark contrast to the tall pine trees around them.
4. Queenstown, New Zealand
Despite having a massive landmass, New Zealand has a small population, allowing it to preserve both its natural resources and breathtaking landscapes. Thus, the country offers endless opportunities for thrilling outdoor activities, especially in Queenstown, a beautiful town that sits along the shores of Lake Wakatipu. As the adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown provides a mix of exciting outdoor activities, from biking to hiking and whitewater rafting.
Jet boating is one of the most popular activities you can enjoy in Queenstown. Aside from offering tons of fun, it’s a wonderful way to get out on the water and soak up the breathtaking views. But if you prefer to explore by land, go on a quad bike. Also called the ATVs, driving these bikes is an exciting way to explore Queenstown.
For those looking for more extreme activity, consider bungee jumping. In fact, Queensland is famous for this, as this is where the world’s first commercial bungee jumping started.
5. Catalunya, Spain
In Catalunya, you can enjoy many interesting outdoor activities you won’t even know where to start. It’s home to many spectacular beaches, such as the famous Costa Brava.
Catalunya is also one of the best places for rock climbing in Spain, offering a huge variety of rocks to conquer, from steep limestone gorges to tall rock pinnacles. Montserrat is the premier rock climbing destination in the region. It offers challenging climbs, natural bridges, and steel ladders and overlooks the breathtaking views of the Pyrenees. While in Montserrat, don’t miss the chance to visit the Montserrat Benedictine monastery, established thousands of years ago as a retreat place for monks.
What’s great about exploring Catalunya is that it’s only an hour’s drive from Barcelona, which also offers numerous outdoor activities, such as bungee jumping in Vilafranca del Penedés and surfing on Barceloneta beach. You can also go boating, standup paddleboarding, scuba diving, jet-skiing, and kite surfing.