30 Riveting Adventures Thrill Seekers Will Love
Every adventure is a unique experience. For some people, an adventure could be strolling through snake-infested landscapes in the swelling tropics. For others, it could be as simple as camping out in the woods and waiting for the stars to come out.
Some may even scoff at what another person's definition of adventure actually is, but we're adamant that our definitive guide to the most riveting outdoor adventures in the world will have something for everyone.
From spiralling hikes in the most pastoral and Instagram-worthy landscapes to dangerous excursions involving man-eating bears, these 30 bucket list activities will be sure to whet your travel appetite.
1. The Glaciers Of Greenland
Think of Greenland and you'll probably be hard-pressed to think of any synonyms other than its arctic weather. But delve deeper into this sequestered wonder, and you'll discover one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
As one of the most untouched landscapes, trips here are guaranteed to be special, with everything from ancient icebergs and aqua-coloured glaciers to roaming bears nearby. Of course, a trip like this doesn't only require some serious cojones but if you're up to the task, it's totally worth it.
2. Hot air ballooning, Cappadocia Turkey
Much like Park Guell's glimmering murals, central Turkey’s Cappadocia region is a favorite with Instagram lovers as it provides panoramic views of the famed limestone spires and "fairy chimneys."
If you're brave enough to go up, we recommend going in the evening. There you'll see a magical world filled with red- painted balloons and a signature Turkish sunset.
3. Mount Everest, Nepal
We know what you're thinking: Mount Everest, really?! Yes, the world's highest point looms so large over the Nepalese countryside that hikers and non-hikers are almost sent a trigger warning, that being: If you can think you can climb me, you probably can't.
For experienced travelers and hikers, however, climbing Everest can be a life-changing experience. But experienced mountaineer Adrian Ballinger suggests climbing smaller mountains first. “You need to climb at least three 20,000 peaks, one 23,000 peak, and one 26,000 peak before considering Everest."
When you're ready...
4. Sleds & Huskies, Siberia
Dog sledding is officially a thing, and if you're bold enough to brave the Siberian winter instead of an all-inclusive beach holiday, the experience can be exceptional.
Not only can you whizz through the snow-dappled landscapes in near-solitude, but you also have a team of cute huskies doing all the leg work.
5. Canoe Safari, Botswana
A safari in Africa is as bucket list as they come, but if you want to veer off the tourist traps and experience a more authentic and hush-hush place, then look no further than Botswana's stunning Okavango Delta.
Boasting a plethora of wildlife, get up close and personal (well, to an extent) to roaming elephants, gliding cheetahs and antelope via the cool transportation of a mokoro canoe.
6. Rafting, Iguazú Falls
South America's Iguazú Falls is on the border of Brazil and Argentina and is quite something. Boasting more than 200 cascades (some around 270 feet high) the surrounding area is among the most magical places in the whole of Latin America and all of its wonder can be experienced by hopping on a charming inflatable raft!
Once aboard you'll be able to experience all the refreshing, high-pressure falls as you brave the water head-on. For those with children, a trip here is a must.
7. Sand Surfing, The Sahara Desert
The Sahara's vast swathes of golden dunes are enormous and among some of the most untouched anywhere on Earth. While most people wouldn't dare set foot in a desert, they are perfect for extreme sports. The barchans otherwise referred to as "crescent-shaped dunes" prove ideal for sand surfing as they make for makeshift slopes.
The question is: Are you brave enough to try?
8. Bear Spotting, Great Bear Rainforest
The Great Bear Rainforest is the world's largest intact temperate rainforest in the world and serves as a shrine to Canada's unique biodiversity. Spend just a few hours here, and you're bound to come across a host of spellbinding sights, from sea wolves and spirit bears to British Columbia's aboriginal First Nations community.
With 21 million acres to explore, you're guaranteed one helluva time.
9. Road Trip, America's National Parks
It's a classic for sure, and it has its many pros and cons, but if we're honest, a road trip doesn't come much better than in good ol' USA! There is also something romantic about being on the open road.
That said, hours of endless driving and cramped conditions are not for everyone but it will help you discover how you deal with stressful situations. For the most scenic of destinations, we highly recommend driving through Utah's so-called "Mighty Five" the assemblage of Utah's national parks that include Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands.
10. Boat Through The Amazon Rainforest, South America
Trekking through the Amazon needn't be a mosquito-biting experience. If you arrange a boat tour, you can explore much of the upper Amazon River without so much as setting foot in the places your geography teacher warned you off.
Aqua Expeditions' luxury cruises take in the Peruvian stretch of the forest at a slow pace, allowing for much of the diverse wildlife to be seen. However, it's not very rock n' roll. For this piece, we're going to recommend the more adventurous Amazon Adventures tour.
They offer kayaking trips through Amazon tributaries and allow you to get hands-on by fishing for piranhas. There is also the option of camping out in the jungle.
11. Macchu Picchu, Peru
The ruins of the mountain-top city of the ancient Incan Empire attract millions of visitors each year with many trekking along the Inca trail into the city. The problem with this is that the numbers far exceed the limit of 2,500 visitors per day that was initially set by UNESCO and Peru.
Combine this wearing down of the monument with natural landslides and erosion, and a collapse is possible unless more regulations are put in place, so see it while you still can.
12. Petra, Jordan
Sculpted right out of the sandstone cliff this ancient monastery is one of the world's most famous archaeological sites.
Head right to the top of it for some stunning vistas of the Wadi Arabah desert.
13. Borobudur, Indonesia
The largest Buddhist temple on Earth is a multi-tiered structure with apex views of the island of Java.
The 95-foot high climb may seem like a lot of hard work, but the stunning 3,000 bas-reliefs deserve a closer look.
14. Acropolis, Greece
The hilltop citadel famed for the stunning ruins of the Parthenon temple, it is the most complete ancient Greek monumental complex in existence.
It is about a 20-minute walk up the hill to get there, but there is also a nearby metro stop.
15. The Great Wall of China
The largest human-made structure on Earth is over 2,000 years old and has survived Mongol hordes and revolution, and yet it may be damaged beyond repair within the next 20 years due to pollution.
However, overfarming nearby has not done the structure any good either as nearly two-thirds of the wall has been damaged or destroyed.
16. Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
590 feet above the lush surrounding scenery, this granite rock is topped by the ruins of a 5th-century palace, and there are a whopping 1,200 steps to climb if you want to get to them.
However, once you pass the giant lion paws flanking the start of the stairs and ascend upward, you are treated to glorious views and a real sense of history.
17. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Home to the Plitvice Falls, these are particularly impressive due to the number of cascades that precede them and the fact that the water can vary from crystal clear to a stark blue/azure color to sometimes turquoise depending on the time of year.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Plitvice has 16 terraced lakes linked by boardwalks, streams, and tumbling cascades.
18. Mammoth Cave National Park, KY, USA
With more than 400 miles of explored cave networks, this National Park contains a mammoth underworld of stalactites and stalagmites.
A two-hour tour will take you through the best of the known parts.
19. Plateau de Valensole, France
Between June and August, Provence in France is filled with swathes of lavender producing a wondrous sight and smell over the whole region.
There are several hiking routes through Provence’s Lubéron region where Sénanque Abbey are found amongst the rows of fragrant and bright flora.
20. Avenue of The Baobabs, Madagascar
The forests of Madagascar are under so much threat that they may well be gone within the next 35 years, and that includes the mighty Baobab trees.
Many of these 800-year-old trees tower almost a hundred feet high and line this earthen road near the west coast of the island nation.
21. Potala Palace, Tibet
Considered the world's highest ancient palace as it sits at an altitude of over 12,000 feet above sea level, this magnificent palace was once the residence of the Dalai Lama.
The thin air up there makes the 400 steps up to the palace hard to climb, but the glorious mountain surroundings and stunning architecture are well worth it.
22. Amer Fort, India
The 16th-century complex of palaces and temples atop the “hill of eagles” also contains elaborate mosaics, courtyards, and halls.
The pink city of Jaipur can be seen below once you've climbed there, which is just as magnificent as the fort itself.
23. The Golden Circle, Iceland
Iceland is a small country with a lot to offer and is known as the Land of Ice and Fire for its wild and rugged landscapes that take in active volcanoes.
One way to pack in as much as the country has to offer is by touring The Golden Circle which will encompass jaw-dropping waterfalls, natural hot springs, and geysers, chasms caused by the movement of tectonic plates and mountains topped with ice sheets.
24. Bled, Slovenia
Slovenia is a tiny landlocked country in Eastern Europe, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in natural beauty and places like Bled really hammer this home. A town nestled in the Julian Alps, it is famed for its stunning lake which has a 17th-century church on the island.
Nearby caverns and caves can be explored as well as flowing rivers and gorgeous pine forests.
25. New Zealand
It may sound like a bit of a cop-out to suggest a whole country but New Zealand is a unique country in the sense that it encompasses almost all of the possible landscapes on the planet. With a spine of mountains that come from volcanic origins, its rolling landscape has fjord-like bays, golden beaches, and icy glaciers as well as rainforests and open plains.
With much of its beauty split between its two main islands, many consider the Southern Island more rugged and beautiful, but the North is not without its charms either.
26. Fjords, Norway
Norway is famed for its stunning fjords that characterize its coastline and eat into the country. These long, narrow inlets with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial erosion can range from snow covered wonderlands in winter to lush outcrops in the summer.
Bringing together rocky land and stunning clear waters, they will have any adventurer wanting to come back for more.
27. Patagonia, Argentina/Chile
A sparsely populated region shared by Chile and Argentina, Patagonia comes at the end of the Andean mountain range and is, for the most part, an area of steppelike plains, rising in succession.
Low temperatures and high humidity given off by the sea air produce the largest icefields in the Southern Hemisphere while the incredibly fertile soil produces a verdant array of flora that also attracts unique fauna.
28. Door To Hell, Turkmenistan
The Derweze crater has managed to gain a rather ominous moniker because of its infernal qualities but is actually just a natural gas crater that was formed after a gas field collapsed in on itself in 1971. To stop the spread of methane, it was set alight in the expectation that it would burn off in a few days, but the hole continues to flame.
Despite it looking as though it is a direct portal to hell, someone recently explored the pit using a heat reflecting suit, and actually managed to collect soil samples that showed bacteria existing within the environment.
29. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The world's largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometres (4,086 sq mi), the topography of Salar de Uyuni is so flat that, at certain points, you can see the Earth's curvature. When the skies are clear, the horizon awe-inspiringly blends with it.
As several prehistoric lakes dried up, the salt flats formed, creating a transparent white crust that sits there now.
30. The Namib Desert, South Africa/Namibia/Angola
At 43 million years old, this desert on the coast of South Africa is widely considered to be the world's oldest and sits in Namibia extending into Angola and South Africa.
A lesser-known beauty of the continent, Sossuvei is a region of dry lake, claypan and orange and red dunes in the Namibian desert which contrasts against the clear blue skies.