The world isn't as small and well-connected as we sometimes like to think it is. There are endless opportunities for adventure in wild mountain ranges, misty rainforest and vast deserts. Even destinations that have millions of tourists visiting each year still have some wonderfully unexplored corners. The only limit (aside from your bank balance) is your imagination.
We spend our days planning adventures, dreaming of adventuring, and even getting out there and having some type two fun ourselves. We've created a list of absolute belters for you, from a 400-kilometre cycle expedition across Uganda to a kayaking expedition in the Alaskan wilderness. If being fit enough for these feels unrealistic, no worries - we've got more moderate challenges which are equally exciting, like tree camping in Costa Rica.
These are just some of the best adventure holidays in the world, and hey - perhaps one could be the perfect gift for the adventurer in your life... or for yourself?
1. Arctic Kayaking Expedition Through the Fjords of Greenland
What a way to start: Arctic kayaking. You’ll paddle for 100km past icebergs and through ancient arctic fjords, keeping your eyes peeled for seals, whales and polar bears. Then trade your paddle for a kayak and hike across the creaking and crawling Naajaat Sermiat Glacier, one of the oldest ice masses in the world.
2. The Ultimate Trekking Adventure in Madagascar
Trek and wild camp through the otherworldly canyons, plains, forests and peaks of the Isalo and Andringitra National Parks. Hike and scramble to the summit of Madagascar's second-highest mountain, the imposing Pic Boby (2658m). Eyes peeled for lemurs, the island’s most famous residents – from ring-tailed and red-fronted browns, to tiny mouse lemurs.
3. Cycle the Backroads of Morocco
Pedal from the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains to the vast dunes of the Sahara Desert. You'll cycle through the Valley of the Roses, pausing at the ancient UNESCO ksar of Ait Ben Haddou. Take on the infamous Tizi n’Tazazert Pass (2220m) for panoramic views of the lunar-esque Jbel Saghro mountains, and bed down in a traditional Berber camp nestled among the dunes underneath a Saharan sky.
4. Trek Turkey's High Taurus Mountains
Discover a new (and relatively unexplored) side to Turkey on a hiking trip into the High Taurus Mountains. Summit mighty Mount Emler (3,756m) and traverse remote plateaus to Yildiz Lake. You'll also have a chance to visit magical Cappadocchia, an area renowned for its 'fairy chimneys' and cave dwellings, getting off the tourist trail with hikes into the otherworldly Meskendir Valley.
5. Hike, Canyon and Kayak in Madeira
Unleash the adrenaline as you go canyoning in the heart of Madeira's Laurisilva forest and abseil down a 25m waterfall. Hike among volcanic peaks and lush levadas to wild swim spots, dazzling ocean views and an unforgettable sunrise at the island's highest point – Pico Ruivo (1862m). Marvel at Ponta de São Lourenço from the water as you paddle along this unique peninsula, eyes peeled for dolphins.
6. Island Hopping Adventure in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Hike, bike and snorkel this unique archipelago and encounter its special wildlife, on an adventure immersed in the natural world. You'll hike to the otherworldly Sierra Negra Volcano - one of the largest, and most active, volcanic craters in the world - before cycling to pristine beaches dotted with sea lions, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and flamingos. Come face to face with the Galapagos' most famous resident, the giant tortoise, and snorkel with reef sharks and sea turtles.
7. Kayak, Hike and Tree Camp the Hidden Rainforests of Costa Rica
Trek through lush jungle teeming with exotic wildlife and sea kayak Costa Rica's tropical shores in one of the country's most remote corners. You'll swim beneath secret waterfalls deep in the rainforest and snorkel amidst coral reefs and colourful fish on the coast. Finally falling asleep to the calls of monkeys, toucans and frogs while in your tent suspended among the trees.
8. Hike From Coast to Coast in Madeira
We happen to know that the Portuguese island of Madeira is a spectacular hiking destination. Embark on this coast to coast traverse of the 'Hawaii of Europe', and you'll soon agree. You'll begin by hiking a rarely-used trail that zig zags along the rugged coastline, before heading inland through verdant, UNESCO-listed laurisilva forest. Tackle the most exciting section of the island's exhilarating PR1 path, which takes you up the island's three highest peaks – Pico do Arieiro (1817m), Pico das Torres (1851m) and Pico Ruivo (1862m). We recommend a dip at the glorious Seixal Beach once your trek is complete!
9. A 400km Cycle Expedition Across Uganda
An epic cycling expedition down red dirt roads and across the savannah into the heart of Uganda. On the course of your 400-kilometre-ride, you'll traverse Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. You'll safari from the saddle in Lake Mburo National Park, where you might see animals such as zebras, buffaloes, antelopes and more. You'll wind up through emerald tea plantations and into the rainforest as you asend to Buhoma, the gorilla capital of the world. A gravel bike is provided so you don't have to fly your own over, and a support vehicle in case of tired legs!
10. Hike and Kayak in Cuba
Journey through Cuba's lush green landscapes and wild swim in secret natural pools. You'll kayak through the Zapata Peninsula and Guamuhaya Mountains, eyes open for iguanas, turtles and crocodiles. Hike the Sendero Reino de las Aguas trail and swim beneath the azure waterfalls of El Nicho Natural Park, bunking down in casas particulares along the way.
11. Summit, Safari and Rafting Adventure in Kenya
Hike through bamboo forests, alpine meadows and lunar landscapes to summit Mount Kenya at Point Lenana (4985m). Head deep into the Ol Pejeta Conservancy to spot elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes and endangered black rhinos. Bunk down at a remote riverside adventure camp and raft the forest-flanked Tana – Kenya's longest river.
12. A Multi-Activity Adventure in Italy's Apennines
Head to Italy to explore the remote region of the Appenines. You'll hike the lunar landscape of Maiella National Park, looking out for the endangered Marsican bear, wolves and golden eagles. Scramble to the teetering summit of Corno Grande (2912m), the highest mountain in the Apennines. Canoe the crystalline Tirino River, and pedal across the remote Campo Imperatore plateau, known as 'Little Tibet' after the karst mountains surrounding it. Accommodation is in remote ecolodges and agriturismos; the food is as delicious as you expect it to be.
13. The Balkan Three Peaks Challenge
Test your mettle on this epic hiking challenge: to climb the peaks of Mount Gjeravica (2656m) in Kosovo, Mount Zla Kolata (2534m) in Montenegro and Mount Korab (2764m), on the border between Albania and Macedonia. You'll scramble up rocky summits, and trek across high passes. This gruelling expedition ends with a scenic boat ride across Lake Kolman, and lunch in an Albanian slow-food restaurant.
14. Cycle the Jordan Trail to Petra
Ride through desert landscapes and remote nature reserves, stopping at Petra and Wadi Rum. You'll take on sections of the pioneering Jordan Bike Trail, all the way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra and pedal ancient camel caravan paths to the majestic Wadi Rum, hopping in a desert Jeep in search of the sunset. Then swim, or float, in the Dead Sea - the lowest point on earth.
15. Trek Torres del Paine in Patagonia
Embark on an epic adventure across this famous national park and access off-the-beaten track spots that few people ever see. You'll tick off the must-do 'W' trek - one of the most beautiful hikes on earth - and navigate the walls of Glacier Grey from a boat - a true Patagonian adventure in one of the world's most spectacular spots on earth.
16. Trek the Laugavegur Trail in Iceland
Tackle Iceland's classic hut-to-hut trek - 55 km of multi-coloured mountains, gorges, glaciers and the active Eyjafjallajökull volcano. You'll trek through one of the world’s most iconic landscapes, including the otherworldly Landmannalaugar mountains, stay in atmospheric mountain huts and finish in the beautiful valley of Þórsmörk - 'The Valley of Thor' - included in National Geographic's, '20 Best Hikes in the World'.
17. Hike, Kayak, Canyon and Whale Watch in the Azores
Travel by land and sea around the Azorean island of São Miguel and top it off with some spectacular whale and dolphin watching. You'll hike along spectacular coastal trails and get sweeping Atlantic views from the highest point on Sao Miguel before you jump, scramble, slide and abseil your way through the canyons of Ribeira dos Caldeirões.
18. Hike Through the Heart of Gran Canaria
Hike from highlands to coast in volcanic Gran Canaria, a tropical mountainous gem in the Canary Islands archipelago. You'll trek to the summit of Pico de las Nieves, the highest point on the island at a hefty 1949m. Cross the craggy sun-baked mountain ranges through pine forests, sunken calderas and sky-skimming ocean views, and bask in a subtropical climate, traversing one of the sunniest islands in the world.
19. Trek the Langtang Valley to Summit Yala Peak, Nepal
Climb one of the few non-technical peaks in Nepal and experience the mighty Himalaya away from the crowds. Trek through the Langtang Valley, close to the Tibetan border, dodging yaks and bedding down in remote teahouses along the way. You'll get up close to towering peaks and tumbling glaciers with panoramic views of Mt Shishapangma (8,027m) and Mt Gangchempo (6,387m) before setting off by torchlight as you navigate the tight ridge to the top.
20. Ice Climb and Snow Shoe in Finnish Lapland
Ice-climb a frozen waterfall, hunt for the northern lights and trek across untouched powder, eyes open for reindeer, moose and bear. You'll head beyond the Arctic Circle and into the frosty landscape of the Pyhä-Luosto National Park, before donning your crampons and ice axes and climbing the Korouma Canyon, the highest ice wall in Finland.
21. Canoe Expedition in the Yukon Wilderness
A 350-kilometre canoe expedition through the unspoilt Yukon wilderness, paddling down the Teslin and Yukon Rivers. You'll need resilience for long days on the water, and to wild camp every night in the wilderness. You'll be rewarded with gorgeous mountain and forest scenery, and wildlife sightings - eyes peeled for brown bears! A once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
22. Trek Across the Andes From Argentina to Chile
An epic trek which takes you on a high-altitude crossing of the spectacular Andes Mountains. You'll trek into the Argentinian wilderness, through deep valleys, remote gorges and ancient glaciers, while condors wheel overhead. Then it's up and over the Andes on the Portillo Argentino high pass (4,380m) wild camping under the stars. You'll descend down the historic Piuquenes Pass - marking the border between two countries - into Chile. End your trip with a well-deserved soak in Termas del Plomo, a natural hot spring.
23. The Ultimate Adventure Through Sri Lanka
Get to the heart of Sri Lanka via jungle trails and wildlife reserves, hiking to spectacular viewpoints, rural villages and tropical beaches. Clamber up the iconic Lion Rock of Sigiriya, tackle part of the long-distance Pekoe Trail, and hike to waterfalls near Kandy. Trek through remote, pristine forest in Gal Oya with the Vedda people – Sri Lanka's last indigenous community. Spot wild elephants bathing, practice yoga serenaded by exotic birds and ride the train to the tea hills of Nuwara Eliya.
24. Kayak and Hike the Coast of Crete
Paddle your way along Crete's turquoise coastline and hike through majestic gorges, fuelled by Cretan feasts and tranquil swims. You'll kayak the calm glistening Aegean waters of the Eastern Mediterranean to hidden white sand beaches, sea caves and natural pools. Hike clifftop trails past olive groves, pine forests, tiny villages and through the epic gorge of Samaria, and settle into a classic Cretan taverna each day for delicious fresh feasts and local wine.
25. Trek the High Trails of Italy's Amalfi Coast
Tackle one of Italy's most stunning yet little-known trails via rugged peaks and quaint villages, all with jaw-dropping views. Scramble from the highest peaks in the Lattari Mountains down to the sparkling Tyrrhenian Sea for cool swims. Rest weary legs in family-run agriturismi, where you can tuck into delicious regional cuisine and get spoiled with warm Italian hospitality.
26. Journey to the Equator in São Tomé and Príncipe
Uncover the ‘African Galapagos’ on a truly off-the-beaten-path adventure in one of the world's least-visited destinations. Venture to West Africa's lost archipelago, hiking extinct volcanoes and primordial forest to secluded waterfalls and remote beaches, and trek through a biosphere reserve with greater density of endemic species per square mile than anywhere else on the planet.
Sail to Rolas Island to stand on the equator, hop between deserted palm-fringed beaches and swim with sea turtles. Dive deep into São Tomé’s colonial heritage, and learn about local sustainability and conservation strategies.
27. Climb Mount Triglav, Slovenia
Climb Slovenia's highest peak, Mount Triglav (2863m) – considered a rite of passage for locals. Explore the Triglav National Park, a preserved area of limestone rock walls, caves, rushing rivers and endless green hills and forests. Remembering to keep your eyes open for the huge variety of wildlife that calls this area home, including golden eagles, griffon vultures, lynx, chamois, marmots and ibex.
28. Hike, Kayak and Wild Swim South Africa
An epic ramble from the Drakensberg Mountains to the Wild Coast of the Rainbow Nation, paddling and swimming along the way. Tackle amazing trails through the iconic rock formations of the Drakensberg, including Sentinel Peak and Amphitheatre. Paddle down the Tugela River and explore the valley on foot, stargazing and wild swimming from your riverbank eco-camp. Hit the stunning Wild Coast for hikes through dunes, beaches and forests to reach secluded waterfall swim spots.
29. Trek the Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan
Hike dramatic, red sandstone canyons and swim in the pristine water of the Issyk Kul high alpine lake. Share a bowl of 'kumys' with Kyrgyz semi-nomadic shepherds, spend a night in their yurt and cross the epic Jukku Pass (3800m) - a spectacular climb surrounded by glaciers and meet Aitbek, one of the last remaining Eagle Hunters in Kyrgyzstan.
30. Cycle the Backroads of Rajasthan, India
A colourful, cultural ride through India's desert state via temples, tigers and the Taj Mahal which sees you pedal through Rajasthan's jewels of Jaipur, Pushkar and Agra. You'll head out on a tiger safari in Ranthambore National Park on the lookout for India's enigmatic Bengal tigers, explore the sights and sounds of Delhi on two wheels and relax into some yoga in the Moonlight Garden overlooking the Taj Mahal. Come nightfall, you'll stay in heritage hotels and former royal palaces in India's 'Land of the Kings'.
31. Trek Ecuador’s Avenue of Volcanoes
Hike through the snowcapped Andes to the top of the world's highest active volcano. Cross crevasses and snow bridges en route to the top of Ecuador’s most famous peak at a towering 5897m. You'll trek through rainforests and past snowcapped peaks, sleep in traditional haciendas set on ecological reserves and in remote mountain refuges, spotting condors soaring high above along the way.
32. Climb Mt Kazbek, Georgia
Tackle the highest mountain in Eastern Georgia and trek one of the wildest routes in the Caucasus. Climb the visually stunning Mt Kazbek – a dormant stratovolcano made from hardened lava. Trek through the wilderness and across the hiker’s paradise of the Kazbegi National Park and follow a less-travelled route, including steep ascents, glacier crossings and an epic final climb to the summit.
33. Kayak and Hike the Caves, Jungle and Coast of Vietnam
Paddle and hike Vietnam's natural wonders from cave to coast, navigating lush jungles, subterranean worlds and sub-tropical bays. You'll kayak and SUP in Lan Ha Bay, a jaw-dropping geographical phenomenon 500 million years in the making. Hike the otherworldly jungle of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park and camp by the turquoise waters of Ma Da Lake, before delving into the enormous Elephant Cave and the ancient Tra Ang Cave, trekking along watercourses and swimming into the enigmatic caverns. Along the way, you'll sleep aboard an elegant junk-style sailboat and drift off to jungle sounds in an eco-lodge.
34. The Ultimate Volcano Adventure in Indonesia
A 'three peaks' challenge with a difference in Indonesia. You'll tackle the two tallest peaks in Bali - rainforest-covered Mount Batukaru (2276m) and the still-active Agung volcano (2690m) - followed by the towering Mount Rinjani (3726m) on the island of Lombok. You'll wild camp on the slopes of active volcanoes, watching the sunset and the stars. But there's time for a bit of R&R too, with dreamy waterfall swims and leisurely soaks in hot springs.
35. Trek the Salkantay Route to Machu Picchu
The younger, cooler sister of the over-crowded Inca Trail. Voted one of the top 25 treks on the planet by National Geographic you'll trek through rainforest, cloud forest, over high passes and around glaciers. You'll sleep in picture-perfect campsites, so close to the Milky Way you can almost touch it. Your feet might get tired but your eyes never will.
36. Guatemala 5 Volcano Challenge
Summit five of Guatemala's volcanoes - dubbed 'The Ring of Fire' and take in the views as you stand on top of Tajumulco volcano (4220m): the highest point of Central America. You'll see each of Guatemala's 3 active volcanoes, including the continuously erupting 'Volcan de Fuego' and watch the sunrise from Acatenango volcano with 360 degree views all the way to Mexico.
37. Island Hopping Adventure in the Maldives
Relax into authentic island life on this marine adventure in South Ari Atoll, paddling and snorkelling in protected tropical waters. Explore an incredible marine world teeming with life – swim with whale sharks and snorkel kaleidoscopic reefs. Hike, kayak and SUP your way around these pristine tropical islands, discovering dazzling sandbanks and beaches. Uncover the real Maldives by hanging out with local islanders and participating in marine conservation projects.
38. 250km Self-Powered Coast to Coast Expedition Through Costa Rica
Hike, bike and paddle yourself from the Pacific Ocean all the way to the Caribbean Sea, crossing the width of one of the most biodiverse countries on Earth under your own steam. You'll journey through cloudforest, mountain villages and virgin rainforest teeming with wildlife before heading up and over the Continental Divide. Resting up at beautiful eco-lodges on the banks of the pristine Pacuare River and cooling down with swims and dips at secret swimming spots in the rainforest.
39. Hiking in the Canadian Rockies
Tackle the Sentinel Pass and Bow Lake trails in Banff National Park, summit Mount Fairview (2744m) and camp near Lake Louise. Trek by the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park and summit the Bald Hills (2345m) for epic views of Maligne Lake. Hit the paths less trodden in Yoho and Glacier National Parks, hiking by stunning Emerald Lake and taking on the Balu Pass. Swim in pristine alpine lakes, journey along the epic Icefields Parkway and keep your eyes peeled for bears and elk.
40. Trek Colombia's Mountains and Lost City
Travel deep into the jungle on one of the most culturally mysterious hikes on the continent and discover a pre-Hispanic Lost City built 650 years before Machu Picchu. Trek through coffee zones, dense jungle, high altitude paramos and wade across wild, waist-deep rivers, before climbing an extinct volcano and watching the sun go down on a secluded beach on the Caribbean coast.
41. Wild Adventure in the Jungles of Borneo
Hang out with orangutans, stomp steamy rainforests and kick back on remote tropical beaches in the wilds of Sarawak. Explore jungles teeming with wildlife, including endemic proboscis monkeys, orangutans and nocturnal creatures. Hike through virgin rainforest to reach sparkling waterfalls, mysterious caves, remote beaches and traditional longhouses. Kayak the untouched Sarawak River and cycle to historic towns as you traverse the spectacular landscapes of Borneo.
42. Cycle, Safari and Stargaze in Namibia
Ride through a desert landscape beneath enormous open skies and watch the sunrise over the tallest dunes in the world. You'll cycle along the Skeleton Coast, the world's largest shipping graveyard and join a safari, keeping your eyes peeled for lions, elephants and rhinos. Visit thousands of breeding Cape Fur Seals in their enormous reserve and stand on the highest point in the country - Spitzkoppe Mountain.
43. Trek the Tour du Mont Blanc
Trek through Italy, France and Switzerland on one of the world’s great hikes. You'll hike across three countries and through the heart of the Alps as you circumnavigate the Mont Blanc massif. Experience rustic mountain life - remote and authentic - and ride the Bellevue cable car for 360 panoramic views over the Aiguilles and the Chamonix-Mont-Blanc Valley.
44. Arctic Fat Bike Expedition
Cruise through remote snow trails and enjoy the freedom of riding a fat bike across the Finnmarksvidda mountain plateau within the Arctic Circle. You'll travel with a team of huskies to carry your gear and share the plateau with migrating herds of reindeer and unwind with a post-ride sauna.
45. The Ultimate Adventure Through Wild Botswana
An epic overland odyssey from Namibia to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, through one of the most wildlife rich countries on Earth. Journey deep into the Okavango Delta for breathtaking bush walks, Mokoro safaris and wild camp on an island in the wilderness. Snake your way across 3 countries, from the Kalahari Desert to the thunderous Victoria Falls via the safari-goers dream of Chobe National Park. Eyes peeled for the perpetual parade of quintessential African wildlife: elephants, lions, cheetahs, hippos, rhinos, crocodiles and so much more.
46. Sail, Hike and Chase the Northern Lights in Tromso
Experience a weekend in the Arctic Circle that's designed to maximise your chances of seeing the Aurora in all its glory. Spend four days and three nights sailing the Norwegian fjords; hike into the mountains, explore Tromso and relax on the deck of a modern catamaran beneath a star-filled sky. Spot eagles and seals and fish for your lunch in the clearest, cleanest water imaginable.
47. 100km Jungle Expedition into the Heart of Colombia
Be one of the first explorers to set foot in a totally remote and untouched corner of Colombia. Start in the tropical mountains and blaze a trail through the wilderness as you descend into the mysterious Magdalena Basin. Pass through one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet with no less than five different ecosystems all teeming with life - if you’re lucky you might see a tigrillo, tapir or monkey.
48. The Ultimate Norwegian Fjords Adventure
Hike and kayak through astounding landscapes, summit Scandinavia’s highest peak and clip on crampons to clamber across icy glaciers on this ultimate adventure in Norway. You'll paddle through the pristine Nærøyfjord, trek to the towering peaks above for unforgettable vistas, and hike through pristine forest to discover the wild and mighty waterfalls that spill into the fjords. As night falls, you'll bed down in quirky boutique hotels, cosy historic inns, and wild camp directly under the stars by the fjord’s edge.
49. Arctic Wilderness Adventure in Svalbard
Set off on a true Arctic adventure as you explore the wild and beautiful Spitsbergen Island and sleep in the wilderness. Get up close to majestic glaciers from a kayak and hike amongst the insanely beautiful fjords and mountains. You'll take turns on polar bear lookout and brave the 'Polar Plunge'- a (quick) dip in the Arctic Ocean.
50. Trek to Everest Base Camp, Nepal
This has been a classic trek ever since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay tackled the world’s tallest mountain in 1953. The 15-day route combines trekking past yak pastures and fluttering prayer flags with those cloud-tickling giants in the background. Tourism is the primary source of income for the Sherpa people, meaning the Solukumbo’s infrastructure is incredibly well set-up for hiking.