The best adventure holidays in the world are the ones that are truly out of the box. The best adventure ideas are the one's where you don't quite know what's going to happen, exactly where you're going, or who you'll be going with. It's the unknown, the immensity of our planet and that desire to get out and explore it that makes us adventurers.
There’s a whole lot of world to see; a whole lot of adventures around the world waiting to be discovered, and once you filter through the tourist traps and usual bucket list adventures, that’s when things really start to get exciting. We're talking about the adventure ideas and adventure challenges that you never would've thought of, or hadn't even heard of, but that have the potential to change your life and your outlook forever. Our planet is a gift for adventurers - and we only have so much time on this Earth, so we best use it well.
Now, since we spend the vast majority of our time searching the world for the best adventures, and offering them up to you, we thought we’d help out and make a little list of 50 absolute belters to stoke your wanderlust.
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 massed in the world.
2. Trek the High Peaks of the Japanese Alps
Hike hut to hut and summit Mt Okuhotaka (3190m) and Mt Yarigatake (3180m), two of the five highest peaks in Japan. Starting in Tokyo, hop on a speedy train, and head towards the Japanese Alps. You'll soak in hot springs, wake up in the clouds, and tackle the Daikiretto Gap - Japan’s most exhilarating and notorious non-technical hiking traverse. Experience mountain hut living Japanese style - tatami mats, futons and steaming ramen a-go!
3. Rafting Expedition on the Sun Kosi River in Nepal
This rafting trip was named one of National Geographic's top ten river journeys, and will take you from the mountains to the jungle. You'll take a thrilling 270 km journey from the lush hills near the Tibetan border to the confluence of the Ganges, visiting remote Hindu temples and white sandy beaches along the way. The Sun Kosi River expedition supports the local community and has helped to rebuild homes following the devastating 2015 earthquake.
4. Canadian Wilderness Expedition
Get dropped off by a float plane in the middle of nowhere, and then raft, hike and wild camp your way back to civilisation. Gaze down over boreal forest as you fly into the wilds for a week of true Canadian backcountry adventure. You’ll take on white-water rapids and stand-up paddle board along the remote Magpie River, spending the nights wild camping on riverbanks, islands and gorges, swimming in lakes and catching trout for dinner.
5. Hike and Kayak Rwanda
Journey through the 'Land of a Thousand Hills' as you trek the misty mountains and lush rainforest of the Virunga National Park. You'll cycle the back roads of Kigali and climb the flanks of Sabyinyo Volcano, with an option to visit the mountain gorillas. Wild swim at sunrise, followed by a cup of some of the freshest coffee in the world.
6. Island Hopping Adventure in the Galapagos Islands
Snorkel, swim, hike and bike the famed archipelago on an action-packed adventure immersed in the natural world. You'll hike to the otherworldly Sierra Negra Volcano, home to one of the largest, and most active, volcanic craters in the world. Snorkel with white-tip reef sharks, manta rays and turtles at Las Tintoreras - an islet named after the sharks that congregate there, and meet Galapagos’ famous residents, including marine iguanas, penguins, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and of course, the giant tortoise.
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. Kayak and Hike Indonesia's Remote Islands
Paddle between mountainous islands, live on a boat, hike up a volcano and hang out with Komodo Dragons. You'll kayak and snorkel crystal clear waters over pristine coral, eyes peeled for turtles, manta rays and friendly reef sharks before hiking up Mt Kelimatu to the see the three brightly coloured volcanic crater lakes from the top, getting involved with an important turtle conservation project on a remote uninhabited 1.7 km beach.
9. Kayak and Wild Camp the Lofoten Islands, Norway
Island-hop through the remote waters of Norway's stunning Arctic archipelago. Kayak past majestic mountains and iconic fishing villages on a unique route through the turquoise seascapes of Lofoten. You'll explore secluded and uninhabited islands for wild campouts, bonfires and old fisherman's tales beneath the midnight sun - eyes peeled for dolphins, puffins and the islands' most enigmatic resident - the orca.
10. Winter Adventure in the Icelandic Highlands
Learn how to explore and navigate snow-covered landscapes using Nordic skis, before embarking on a unique adventure deep into the Icelandic highlands. You'll glide through volcanic scenes, watching the terrain shift from snow-filled gorges and canyons to craters and lava fields, and soak in geo-thermal hot springs, a stone's throw from your mountain hut, keeping a lookout for the spectacular northern lights.
11. Raft Down the Rio Marañón River, Peru
The Marañón River is the primary source of the Amazon river. It flows down from the Peruvian Andes down to the Amazon lowlands. Its desert canyon is twice as deep as the Grand Canyon, and the river is the longest free-flowing river in the world. Whilst running it's course, you’ll camp on the riverside beaches and plunge into red-rock pools when you’re not braving the river’s turbulent rapids. In supporting tourism on the Marañón river, you’re providing income to the activists who are campaigning against the 20 hydroelectric mega-dams proposed by the Peruvian government, which would eradicate the endemic species that rely on the river for their livelihood.
12. Kayak the Orca Highway in the San Juan Islands, United States
Kayak the wild coastline of America's San Juan archipelago. You'll paddle the fabled whale highway, a wildlife hotspot that’s home to porpoises, sea lions and the densest population of harbour seals in the world, eyes open for Orcas, Greys, Humpbacks, and Minkes, before camping inside the peaceful Wasp Island Marine Park.
13. Climb Mount Toubkal, Morocco
Mount Toubkal (4167m), is the tallest mountain in North Africa and is the collision point between the African and European continents. The trek starts in Imlil, a Berber village nestled precariously in the mountainside. Although this high altitude trek is a challenge, the summit-success rate is over 90 percent and you'll feel the full force of the famous Berber hospitality.
14. Adventure Cycling in Jordan
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. Coast to Coast Hike Through the Heart of Gran Canaria
Hike the length of the volcanic Gran Canaria, a tropical mountainous gem in the Canary Island 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. 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. Paddle and Hike Through Remote Sri Lanka
Paddle a section of the Mahaweli River, the longest river in Sri Lanka, hike through the rainforest of The Knuckles Mountain Range and pedal around the ancient, UNESCO World Heritage site of Polonnaruwa. You'll whale watch on the Indian ocean, and keep your eyes peeled for herds of wild elephants and crocodiles basking on the river.
22. Hike ‘The Edge’ in Kosovo
Visit this unspoilt country brimming with glacial lakes, alpine plateaus and dramatic limestone cliffs before the secret gets out. You'll trek the spine-tingling ridgeline that connects two 2500m+ peaks in the remote Sharr Mountain National Park, wild camping on the 'edge'. Keep your peepers open for bear, lynx, wild boar and roe deer as you bag up to 4 challenging peaks in a single day.
23. Trek the Via Dinarica Trail, Bosnia & Croatia
Spend an unforgettable week in an area rated as one of National Geographic’s best destinations, and for a good reason. Hike into the untouched and under-visited Dinaric Alps and experience the history, culture and hospitality of Bosnia and Croatia. You'll explore the ancient crossroad civilisations of Mostar and Sarajevo and discover the brilliant blues of the Adriatic Sea on the way.
24. Winter Hut to Hut Expedition in Norway
Traverse into the wilderness and learn winter survival skills - Nordic style. You'll carve fresh tracks through the silent forests and pillowy powder fields of Langsua National Park. Cosy up by the fire in a remote off-grid mountain hut and spend your final night resting your ski legs in a wood-fired hot tub under the stars.
25. Alaskan Wilderness Expedition
Power yourself along Alaska’s wild coast on a stunning journey teeming with wildlife. You'll paddle into Bears Kitchen and the iceberg alleys of the Shoup Glacier Marine State Park, eyes peeled for orcas, humpbacks, bald eagles, bears and rafts of sea otters, and hike through coastal rainforest, wild camping on secluded beaches and feasting around the campfire under the stars.
26. Trek the Republic of Georgia
Explore a historical region of Georgia where the locals have successfully retained their culture and heritage for generations. You'll cross through mountainous terrain and past breath-taking glaciers on your way to Svaneti villages with their iconic Svan towers. Explore an incredible landscape that hasn’t seen many travellers – yet.
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. Kayak and Hike the Sacred Paths of Japan
Paddle the tropical coastline of the volcanic Izu Peninsula and take on a section of the sacred Mt Fuji pilgrimage trail. You'll kayak past Hagachizaki Bay, home to a troop of over 300 wild Japanese macaque monkeys, bed down in traditional 'ryokans', and hit the backstreets of Tokyo in search of hidden ‘izakaya’ for the ultimate foodie dive bar experience.
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. Climb Mont Blanc, France
Straddling the border of France and Italy’s is Europe’s heavyweight mountain; Mont Blanc. Sitting at 4,180m, Mont Blanc is the highest point in western Europe, and many regard this mountain as the birthplace of modern mountaineering. You'll start with a hike through the glacial valleys of the alps before riding a cable-car to Refuge du Nid d’Aigle, your base for the summit attempt. Climb in a group of just four people and summit Mont Blanc on a Monday, the quietest and most peaceful day to tackle this legendary peak.
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. Dive the Belize Barrier Reef
Stay on a tranquil, private island in the heart of the Caribbean, just 1½ acres across and clock up a dozen dives in five days – including at least one night dive. You'll spear invasive lionfish, participate in essential marine conservation and support the work of a non-profit organisation that's committed to protecting the barrier reef.
34. Arctic Circle Ski Expedition
Ski hut to hut through the Käsivarsi wilderness and reach the highest point in Finland. Traverse the Arctic fells of Finland – an extremely remote area of untouched wilderness. You'll master Nordic skis and use them to travel to frozen waterfalls, search for Arctic wildlife and chase the incredible Northern Lights – wildfire in the sky.
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. Packraft and Wild Camp in Finland's Thousand Lakes
Explore a beautiful boreal forest by land and water. Travel across 'The Land of a Thousand Lakes' and through the Helvetinjärvi National Park in small, lightweight packrafts. Stop at the famous Helvetinkolu Crevasse, the unique Haukanhieta dune beach, and wild camp in complete peace and quiet and as far away from light pollution as it gets.
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. Trek the High Peaks of the Julian Alps
Trek hut to hut in Slovenia's Julian Alps, and summit Mt Triglav (2863m), Bovški Gamsovec (2392m) and Mt Krn (2244m). You'll traverse the high mountain passes of Kranjska Gora, through deep gorges and along the banks of Soča Valley's turquoise rivers and jump into the crystal clear waters of Lake Bled for an exhilarating and celebratory post-trek dip.
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. Husky Sled and Northern Lights Expedition
Drive a husky pack across the Finnmark Plateau - 22,000 square kilometres of untouched wilderness and one of the best places on earth to see the Northern Lights. You'll sleep in a cosy tipi with a wood-burning stove and a traditional mountain cabin and take a dip in an outdoor-jacuzzi before kicking back in the sauna for a truly Scandinavian experience.
42. Adventure Cycling 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. Cycle the Accursed Mountain of Albania
Explore the foothills of the Albanian Alps and journey through the dramatic fjords of Komani Lake. You'll pedal the high mountain passes and rolling hills of rural Albania, kayak and wild swim in the vast Lake Shkodra and stare at Montenegro over on the far shore - keeping your eyes open for lynx.
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. You'll 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. Kayak Norways Great Fjords
Paddle the spectacular Norwegian Fjords on a self-propelled adventure, camping in remote spots on the fjord-edge. You'll kayak through the peaceful wilderness, navigating breathtaking waters, teeming with wildlife, checking out towns and waterfalls along the way.
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.