List Words : Gwenllian Jones | 13 January

11 of the best trips for adrenaline junkies

Want thrills and spills in foreign lands? Let loose on one of these action-packed trips

1. Trekking on Everest, Nepal

Gokyo Lakes and Everest Lodge Trek, Walks Worldwide
How long?
21 days
How much? From £1,645

Make like Mallory, and experience the pull of the Himalayas with Walks Worldwide's Gokyo Lakes and Everest Lodge Trek. This route won't take you all the way to the top, but it does offer a stunning alternative route to Everest's Base Camp. You will be taken high into the Khumbu region, where you'll enjoy all the major highlights of the standard trail, before delving further into the mountains to uncover some of the region's bewitching landscape.


Gokyo lake, Nepal (Shutterstock)

Pass by the fantastical Gokyo lakes at the foot of the Ngozumpa Glacier, climb Gokyo Ri for incredible views of Everest and Makalu, and stand in awe beneath the Khumbu Icefall. You will also walk through a number of sherpa villages, and here you'll be able to experience the local people's friendliness first-hand, and gain a better understanding of their culture and way of life.

This is a lodge trek, and does not involve any camping – so at least you know you'll have a cosy corner to warm your feet in the evening!

Love this? Don't miss these articles...

Everest Base Camp: Practical tips

Everest Base Camp and beyond

Altitude sickness: what you need to know

2. Mountain biking around Mt Toubkal, Morocco

Off-road Around Mt Toubkal, KE Adventure
How long? 9 days
How much? From £795

From the bustle of Marrakech, where this journey begins, the Atlas Range appears from the haze, an onslaught of orange. Villages – crafted into and camouflaged by the rocks – are softened by the light, and though the roads over the imposing peaks are ventured only by seasoned locals, they reward the onlooker with breathtaking views of the country below. There really is no comparison.


Middle Atlas Mountains (Shutterstock)

This one-week circumnavigation of Mount Toubkal by mountain bike crosses challenging high mountain passes, with challenging road climbs and fast, technical single-track descents. The route covers 270km off-road, and offers the best of Moroccan fat-tyre biking with great diversity of tracks, scenery and interaction with the local people.

All luggage – apart from the cycling essentials – is carried by the 4x4 vehicle support, so you can put your energy and focus into the bike and the stunning terrain around you. Covering around 55km a day, with a combined ascent of 7,500m, the trail is for confident and experiences riders only

Love this? Don't miss these articles...

Mountain biking in the High Atlas mountains

Top tips for mountain biking in Morocco

Morocco travel guide

3. Snowshoeing in Slovakia

Slovakian Snow Adventure, Family Adventure Company
How long? 8 days
How much? From £975

If you're looking for an adventure-filled trip for the whole family, it's time to turn your sights towards the Tatra Mountains. Snow-clad and brimming with winter activities, they are the perfect destination if you're looking to get away from it all and get your blood pumping at the same time. Think skiing, snowboarding, dog sledding, snowshoeing, and some thermal pools thrown in for good measure (you'll deserve it).


Skiing in High Tatras (Shutterstock)

With Family Adventure Company's Slovakian Snow Adventure, you'll be based in the small mountain village of Zuberec. Once an agricultural settlement, it is now situated at the centre of three downhill skiing areas, and hosts tourists throughout the winter and summer months. As well as the array of activities on offer, you will also get the opportunity to experience the traditions of the surrounding villages while sampling local food, drink, and dance.

Love this? Don't miss these articles...

5 things I wish I'd known about hiking in the Tatras Mountains

Slovakia travel guide


4. Adventuring through Spain

Picos Mixed Activity Week, Exodus
How long? 8 days
How much? From £899
 
Get your fill of high-energy thrills in between the spectacular limestone peaks of Spain's first National Park, The Picos de Europa. On this Picos Mixed Activity Week with Exodus, you'll enjoy a variety of active trips in small groups of like-minded people. With a minimum age of 16, you'll be expected to have some level of fitness – but previous experience is not required, and different abilities are well catered for.


Picos de Europa (Shutterstock)

With its deep gorges, large cave systems, lush valleys and lively rivers, there is no end to what the National Park has to offer. Canoe on the spectacular Sella River – the host of many renowned canoe competitions – and enjoy a fantastic day of canyoning through the Rubo Gorge. Cycle on the coastal paths of the old Camino de Santiago, trek the famous Cares Gorge, and avail of a host of other adventures that will most definitely tickle your fancy.

Love this? Don't miss these articles...

A pilgrim's progress along Spain's Camino de Santiago

Under £250: Cycling the Camino, Spain

The Wanderlust Guide to the best of Spain

5. Venturing into Africa's wild heart

Rivers of Africa, Kampala to the Victoria Falls, Absolute Africa
How long? 43 days
How much? From £920 + Local Payment

If you want a hands-on travelling experience, packing as many things into your itinerary as possible, then an overlanding trip might be just what you're looking for. Absolute Africa's 43-day Rivers of Africa trip takes adventurers from the White Nile to the Zambezi River, across the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, down the Kazinga Channel, and to the idyllic island of Zanzibar via game drives, cruises, elephant rides, bungee jumps and gorge swimming. And if you're not out of breath after reading all that, there's still more to come.


Wildebeest migration (Shutterstock)

The trip takes place across six countries – Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe – and includes entries to several reserves and National Parks, the Matopos rhino trek, all accommodation (a combination of camping and hostel stays) and food whilst travelling on the truck. Get stuck in to life on the road, make new friends, and don't rest until you're back home!

Love this? Don't miss these articles...

Wanderlust's guide to the best of Tanzania

7 ways to see Victoria Falls

White water rafting on the Zambezi River

6. Soaring over Ecuador

Ecuador Multisport, G Adventures
How long? 9 days
How much? From £579

Take Ecuador by the horns on this unrelenting 9-day trip with G Adventures. If you have a head for heights and a need for speed, you can experience the best of outdoor Ecuador across cloud forests, volcanoes and dense jungle on this Ecuador Multisport adventure.


Paragliding over Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador (Shutterstock)

After a brief encounter with the capital, Quito, you'll drive straight into the Amazon Basin at Tena for a full day of white water rafting on the Jatunyacu river. You will then make your way to the outdoor activity hotspot of Baños, nestled underneath the smoking Tungurahua volcano and overrun with rushing waterfalls. Cycle, horse-ride, go canyoning, explore the town and trek into the Llanganates National Park to camp under the stars. The trip ends with a spectacular downhill-biking excursion on the Cotopaxi volcano.

Love this? Don't miss these articles:

Wanderlust's Guide to the best of Ecuador


Ecuador essential info


Revisiting Quito


7. Trekking through rainforest, Borneo

Borneo Adventure, World Expeditions
How long? 17 days
How much? From £2,150

The experience of seeing your first wild orang-utan will stay with you forever – the heavy swing from the high branches and the agile flick from one tree to the next. And where better to chance a sighting than in the lush rainforests of Borneo?

On World Expedition's Borneo Adventure, you'll have your very own opportunity to spot these incredible creatures on rainforest treks. Battle your way through the undergrowth, look up towards the thin sunbeams breaking through the canopy, and listen out for the rustling of leaves. But if the elusive apes stay hidden from sight, you'll get to see these 'men of the forest' up close at Sepilok Rehabilitation Centre, where they are gradually released back into the wild.  


Orang-utan in the jungle of Borneo (Shutterstock)

In between the abundant wildlife, indigenous cultures remain, and you'll get to stay overnight in an Iban longhouse, learning about their culture and listening to vivid tales of headhunting. There is also a mountain to climb: Mount Kinabalu stands at 4,101m, and once you've reached the summit you'll be awarded with views of the other side of the jungle canopy.

Love this? Don't miss these articles:

Wanderlust's Guide to the best of Borneo

5 reasons why you must visit Borneo right now


Borneo's top 5 travel secrets

8. Diving with great whites, Australia

Liveaboard Diving – Great White Shark Expedition, Dive Worldwide
How long? 3/ 4/ 5 days
How much? From £1,196 (Guideline price based on 4-day trip)

Take a deep breath, plunge into the depths off South Australia's Neptune Islands, and come face to face with one of the worlds most feared marine predator: the great white shark. Dive Worldwide's Great White Shark Expedition takes you on board The Princess II where you'll stay for the duration of your trip, living and breathing all-things scuba.


Great white shark (Shutterstock)

Get the best seat in the house, and meet the majestic creatures in their own domain with an ocean floor cage dive. Surrounded by giant smooth rays, eagle rays and grouper, you'll see the great white shark as it emerges from its shadow in the depths. And as it glides by, it will truly take your breath away. (Note that you need to have at least an Open Water qualification to dive in ocean floor cages).

A three-night trip includes surface and ocean floor cage dives, wildlife hikes, an excursion to Hopkins Island to swim with sea lions, and boat trips to see fur seal colonies up close. You'll also receive an educational talk about great whites, as well as the opportunity to get involved with current research programmes.

Love this? Don't miss these articles:

Australia travel guide

Great white expectations

Interview: Simon Reeve on Australia's biggest surprises

9. Cycling & hiking, Thailand

Active Chiang Mai, Intrepid
How long? 4 Days
How much? From £380

Thailand is a country of many personalities, and with Intrepid's Active Chiang Mai trip, you'll make the acquaintance of most of them. From the rapids of the Mae Taeng River, to the historic ruins of Wiang Kum Kam, to the raucous markets of Chiang Mai itself – it'll certainly keep you guessing!


Tea plantations, Chiang Mai (Shutterstock)

Prepare yourself for a whirlwind tour of the best that Thailand's northern region has to offer. Summit the slopes of Doi Suthep in time for a stunning sunset, hike through the rainforests and meet the inhabitants of its villages, cycle through the countryside to encounter fruit orchards and tranquil temple ruins, and brace yourself for some serious shopping at Chiang Mai's famous Night Bazaar.

Fuel up on superb Thai cuisine, and get ready for a feast of enthralling sights and thrilling pursuits...

Love this? Don't miss these articles:


Top 10 things to do in Thailand


Learning to cook in Chiang Mai

The highlights of southern Thailand


10. Explore active volcanoes, Iceland

Iceland Spring & Autumn Discovery Group Tour, Regent Holidays
How long? 8 days
How much? Prices on request

Thinking of venturing to Iceland on your own? Regent Holidays' new Iceland Spring & Autumn Discovery Group Tour has been developed with the solo traveller in mind, so you can explore this enigmatic country with small groups of like-minded people. So what are you waiting for?!

When the week is out, you will have climbed a volcano crater and discovered Europe's most powerful hot spring, Deildartunguhver; witnessed the strength of the Gullfoss and  Hraunfossar waterfalls, relaxed in the world-famous thermal pools, learned plenty about the history and about life between a glacier and an active volcano. Oh, and you will have sampled a plethora of local cheeses (because why not?). It's hard to imagine how so many things can be squeezed into eight days – but we're assured that they are!


Gullfoss Waterfall (Shutterstock)

The trip also provides ample opportunity to try out optional activities such as whale-watching, glacier walking and horse-riding, so you'll always have something new to cross of your list! And if that's still not enough, they'll throw in a lobster dinner on the seashore.

Love this? Don't miss these articles:

20 Icelandic adventures

5 unique ways to be inspired by Iceland

Horseriding in Iceland

11. Kayaking through Alaska

Alaska Hike, Bike & Raft, G Adventures
How long? 11 days
How much? From £2,119

Alaska is a place that doesn't do anything half-heartedly. Here, everything is big – glaciers, bears, forests – and the scale of the state is difficult to imagine until you place yourself within it. This might be a daunting trip for some in terms of scale and price (another example of where Alaska goes large), but once you've committed to crossing it off your bucket list, there'll be no regretting it.


Grizzly bear jumping at fish (Shutterstock)

Over 11 days, G Adventures' Alaska Hike, Bike & Raft trip makes the most of nature's epic playground. Wake up in the morning to a kayak down one of Alaska's mighty rivers, hike on the hard-worn ice of the Exit Glacier in Kenai National Park, and hop on your mountain bike and experience some fantastic downhill trails. On top of all this, you'll be faced with the most extraordinarily stunning scenery on every turn.

Love this? Don't miss these articles:

Alaska essential info

4 ways to explore Alaska's great outdoors


Alaska: The USA's wildest state