Bucket hats and bucket lists: adrenaline adventures

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By Will Holmes, Travel Digital Editor

The second in a series of three articles with unique travel activities for you to tick off, we list the top adventure-filled destinations for this year's summer holiday.

Flight and accommodation booked, hand luggage full to the brim, factor-50 SPF and sun hat at the ready. Sound familiar? You must be one of the 72.8 million Brits, according to this year's tourism statistics from the House of Commons, holidaying abroad this year.

In Part One of our summer series, The Summer of Love, we considered some alternative romantic getaways. This article will suggest some ways of satisfying your appetite for adrenaline-filled adventure...

Adventure awaits...

QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand

The adventure capital of the world

Skiing, skydiving, paragliding, white-water rafting, jet boating, canyon swinging, mountain biking, zip lining (pause for breath) are just some of the examples of the huge variety of activities on offer in Queenstown. The self-proclaimed adventure capital of the world is the gift that keeps on giving, if it's an adrenaline rush you're after.

The most extreme of these activities is bungee jumping, where the aptly named Nevis Catapult slings people across a 150m ravine at 100kph, exerting up to 3G of force. The range of activities makes Queenstown an attractive destination for tourists, offering the opportunity to try new activities whilst enjoying the amazing views of Lake Wakatipu.

VICTORIA FALLS, Zambia & Zimbabwe

Cage diving with crocodiles and the Devil's Toilet Bowl

The site of the world's largest waterfall boasts some of the planet's most extreme rapids that have earned nicknames such as 'Gnashing Jaws of Death' and 'Devil's Toilet Bowl'. White water rafting is a highlight - with 19 rapids to navigate - alongside skydiving and cage diving with crocodiles. And if a couple of snapping crocs weren't enough, there is a 111m bungee jump and jaw-dropping gorge swim to keep you occupied. To cool off, a popular tourist activity is taking a helicopter ride to get a unique view of Victoria Falls.

GREAT WALL OF CHINA, CHINA

Run the Great Wall's marathon

Considered as one of the marathons with the most extreme course conditions, taking on the course's 5164 steps is not for the faint-hearted. Running across one of the world's most recognisable landmarks is a unique experience for those that want to take the Bristol Half or the Bristol 10k to the next level.

And you would certainly not be the only one wanting to do this; the event is becoming increasingly popular, with the likes of Pippa Middleton (!) competing in 2016. The record completion time is an impressive 3 hours and 9 minutes. The race officials strongly recommend training on steps before undertaking the course.

NAMIB, Namibia

Dune boarding in the desert

The Namib desert has recently found its niche as one of the best sites for extreme dune boarding. The sand dunes tower at hundreds of feet in height, allowing you to reach speeds of around 80kmh as you board through the world's oldest desert. If you have a need for speed and enjoy a trek into the desert, then this could be the holiday for you - but organisers will insist on gloves and goggles to protect you as you ski in the sand.

ESTONIA, Estonia

Bog walking

Covering around one-fifth of mainland Estonia, bogs are a large part of its folklore culture. So, if all the fast-paced, adrenaline-fuelled, thrill-seeking holidays aren't for you, strap on your bog-boots (like snowshoes) and trudge through 10,000 year-old Estonian mires whilst you enjoy its wildlife. There are many parts of Estonia where this is a popular activity, such as Lahemaa & Viru in the north and Soomaa & Matsalu in the south. This is one for those who believe that slow and steady wins the race.

Feature Image: Pexels / Quang Nguyen Vinh


What's the biggest adventure you've been on abroad? Let us know!

AUTHOR

Will Holmes

Digital Travel Editor | Former editor of SPA award-winning publication La Civetta | Contributor for LittleLaw

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