If hanging out on the beach with a novel isn’t your cup of tea (at least not for an entire week, or 10 days, or however long you’ve got to chill), here are our top three picks for active vacation spots - a vacation with adventure as the main objective.
South Australia For active pursuits, you could hardly pick a better place than the outback. While Australia offers activities such as four-wheeling on the beach, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, and other water sports, the real adventurer will surely be drawn to what we had in mind — the Oodnadatta Track.
This is a 620-kilometer trail traditionally used to herd cattle, and you can be one of the riders mounted on horseback to do the down and dirty work. As a part of the team, you’ll camp under the stars in the outback by night and enjoy Australia’s rugged beauty by day, cowboy style.
No prior riding experience is necessary, and six cattle drives take place per summer; check out cattledrive.com.au for more information.
Hawaii Again, the option to lay on the beach and catch up on your tan is there. No judgment. But the islands offer a chance for some great thrills, too. For instance, why not try a helicopter ride on Kauai? There are tons of tours over the naturally stunning Na Pali coast, with its many sharp cliffs, waterfalls, and canyons.
You’ll cut right through all of them with a high-adrenaline way of seeing the sights! If you’d prefer to stay out on the clear Pacific waters, try big game fishing on the Big Island’s Kona coast. There are tons of seasoned salty dogs (aka ‘registered charter boat captains’) who can help you bring in a load of marlin or other tropical fish.
And of course surfing lessons abound throughout the islands, though the best place to surf is Oahu’s North Shore. Just remember to take some lessons and learn the ropes before you attempt anything too crazy. Scotland The summer weather here is welcoming to travelers who love the outdoors. The sun stays out until after 10pm in some parts of the Northern-lying country, and it’s never miserably hot.
This makes bike trips a particularly popular means of seeing Scotland, especially the geographically varied Isle of Arran and Rob Roy’s former stomping grounds, the Trossachs. Scotland has an incredible Northwestern coastline: head to the Isle of Skye and the surrounding area for hiking through hills and mountains that appear to be out of this world.
Do not forget the camera, you will seriously regret it. If you’re in for a little more of a refined way to be active and enjoy the scenery, you’ve got to head to St Andrews, Fife. Home of the Old Course (really, the Oldest Course, as it’s golf’s first and dates from the 14thc.) you can even walk the course on Sunday with a fantastic view of the beach and medieval town. Cheers!
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