Want to explore the places that tour buses can't go? Try these high-energy explorations...
Climb Asia’s tallest volcano – in Iran
Summit a classic snow-capped peak on Exodus’s Iran: Mt Damavand Ascent
trip. The domineering 5,671m volcano, which can be seen from the nearby capital of Tehran, is a compelling challenge for fit trekkers. Mt Damavand (Shutterstock)
Assisted by porters, you’ll spend 9 days hiking through rocky terrain, along icy paths and over volcanic scree ascending up to reach the snow-filled crater at the summit. After descending, enjoy a wander round Tehran’s bazaars and quirky museums.
Dive into Central America Mexico, Belize, Honduras & Guatemala
Discover wonders deep below the surface on a 15-day Diving Group Tour
with Journey Latin America. Scuba into some of the Yucatán Peninsula’s limestone cenotes, a vast freshwater cave system. Mayan Ruins of Tulum (Shutterstock)
Plunge into Belize’s iconic Blue Hole; swim among moray eels and turtles in the coral reef off Roatán; while on land, visit the Mayan ruins of Copán and Tulum, and explore the UNESCO-listed Guatemalan city of Antigua.
Walk on Tenerife’s wild side
Leave the sun-seekers behind to traverse the Spanish isle from east to west with KE Adventure Travel’s Undiscovered Tenerife and Pico Teide
trip. Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Shutterstock)
Tread the Masca Gorge and the lunar landscaped Teide NP before enjoying a sunrise summit of 3,718m Mount Teide, Spain’s highest. Then head to the lush forests and deep ravines of the Anaga region, and discover fine food, cracking coastlines and pirate legends. An action-packed 8 days.
Eat, dance and drink! Chile, Argentina & Brazil
Feel the pulse of Latin America via its world-class dance, food and wine on Tucan Travel’s 11-day South America Flyer
trip. Samba School Parade, Rio (Shutterstock)
Have a go at samba (or watch the professionals) in Rio, slurp mouthwatering reds in Mendoza’s vineyards and work off a succulent steak with a tango night in Buenos Aires. Fast-paced, full-bellied, lots of fun.
Clamber the USA's Grand Canyon
Standing at the top is one thing but to get a true sense of the US natural wonder, sign up for Grand American Adventures’ Hiking the Grand Canyon
trip. Over 8 days you'll descend the Kaibab Trail from the South Rim, dip your toes in the Colorado River at the canyon’s base, and look for ringtail cats and deer on the ascent to the North Rim. Grand Canyon National Park (Shutterstock)
Complete the return journey and contemplate your accomplishment while gazing at the fiery sunset from Plateau Point.
Walk around a UK island
There’s no need to venture too far to find good rambling, as Sherpa Expeditions’ 8-day Isle of Wight Coastal Walking
tour proves. Enjoy the island’s white cliffs and rolling hills during your circumnavigation, passing Queen Victoria’s Osborne House, the chalky Needles and St Catherine’s Point, the island’s southernmost tip. Isle of Wight coast (Shutterstock)
Also, dip into the prehistoric past with a hunt for fossils at the Wealdon Beds and visit the Palmerston military forts.
Hike the heights of South Korea
Take a walk through unknown Asia with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays’ 15-night South Korean Discovery
. Start with the highlights of Seoul, from Gyeongbok Palace to the winding Insadong Valleys. Gyeonghoeru Pavilion in Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul (Shutterstock)
Then trek through some of the country’s most dramatic national parks, including the craggy peaks of Seoraksan and the islands of Dadohaehaesang, slotting in visits to Buddhist temples and tea plantations too.
Find family fun in Slovenia
Have an action-packed 8-day escapade in the Slovenian mountains – whatever your age – with Families Worldwide’s Alpine Adventure
. Stroll around Lake Bohinj, whitewater raft the Soca River, explore the treetops on zip lines and summer-toboggan to Lake Bled. Bohinj Lake, Slovenia (Shutterstock)
Squeeze in a cycle through Zelenci Nature Reserve, a visit to the UNESCO-listed Skocjan Caves and a kayak-paddle in coastal Piran. Phew!
Trek away from tourists in Sri Lanka
See biodiverse Sri Lanka at its best on Mountain Kingdoms’ Hill Country Heights Trek
. Begin this 14-day trip in the foothills and paddy fields around Bandarawela and hike through tea plantations to the cloud forest of Horton Plains NP. Tea plantations (Shutterstock)
Trek to Bambarakanda Falls – Sri Lanka’s highest – and then ascend sacred Adam’s Peak to see the mysterious footprinted rock at the top. Finish with a drive through Uda Walawe NP, looking for leopards, sloths and elephants.
Cycle Spain's Catalan countryside
Absorb Catalan culture on two wheels with Headwater’s Undiscovered Southern Catalunya Cycling
tour. Pedal through the 2,000-yearold walled city of Tortosa, puff through the mountainous Terra Alta region, walk in Picasso’s footsteps in Aragon and enjoy a well-earned drink at El Pinell de Brai’s Cathedral of Wine. Catalunya countryside (Shutterstock)
Dip into history at the site of the Civil War’s Battle of the Ebro and end the 8-day trip with a jump in the Med at El Perelló Mar.
Get active on Madagascar
Marvel at the magnificent biodiversity that surrounds you as you Bike and Hike Wild Madagascar
with SpiceRoads. Pedal past myth-swirled crater lakes and valleys of towering granite boulders, visit the Zafimaniry people and walk in Ranomafana NP, where you might well spot golden bamboo lemurs and 30 endemic bird species. Lemurs in Madagascar (Shutterstock)
Other highlights of your 15-day journey through this unique part of Africa are rides though Jurassic Park-like Isalo NP and swapping bike for boots to conquer Chameleon Peak on Andringitra Massif, for fine views and lemur encounters.
Island hop in Indonesia – with the kids
Take in a mix of both Indonesia’s well-known and offbeat locations on Fleewinter’s 14-night Family Island Hopping
tour. Begin in Bali, to visit the Tanah Lot temple, spot macaques in Alas Kedaton, ride Balinese ponies, learn about traditional art and cooking in Ubud, and hike amid the surrounding rice paddies. Tanah Lot Temple, Bali (Shutterstock)
Speedboat to diminuitive, paradisiacal Gili Meno for a few days before continuing to Lombok. Here, trek up Mount Rinjani, dive among sharks and rays, and rub shoulders with the indigenous Sasak people.
Trek new trails, Turkey
Forget the Lycian Way! The Carian Trail is an 800km coastal walk that's still virtually untrodden by visitors’ feet. On Peter Sommer Travels’ Walking and Cruising the Carian Coast
trip you’ll spend 7 days walking sections of the herb-lined trail, via Byzantine churches, archaeological sites, ghost villages and ancient tombs. Istanbul's Blue Mosque (Shutterstock)
Each evening you’ll retire to a traditional gulet, which gently floats along the shore and enables passengers to get access to the secluded coves and inlets that most other tours won’t be able to reach.
Get active in Guatemala & Belize
Have an adrenalin-fuelled Central American sojourn on KE Adventure Travel’s 14-day Treasures of Guatemala and Belize
trip. Kayak across Guatemala's lovely Lake Atitlán, take a sunset hike to Pacaya Volcano’s crater and tour the Mayan city of Tikal. Snorkelling (Shutterstock)
Cross into Belize to delve deep into Actun Tunichil Muknal cave (home to a sacrificed human skeleton), wander the beaches of the coral island of Caye Caulker and snorkel among the residents of Shark Ray Alley.
Visit a slice of USA paradise
Don your best bright shirt for Trek America’s action-packed Hawaii Big Island
tour. On this 8-day trip you'll admire Kailua-Kona’s coffee plantations, kayak with dolphins in Kealakekua Bay Park and feel the heat with a visit to the bubbling cones of Hawaii Volcanoes NP. Big Island of Hawaii (Shutterstock)
Take the rainforested Onomea Scenic Drive to the cascades of Akaka Falls State Park and swim among green sea turtles in Kiholo Bay.
In at the deep end in Croatia
Strap yourself in for a Multi-Activity Week in the Balkans
with Prestige Holidays. Row down the Cetina River and bike your way to the 600-year-old watermills of Grab. Omis, Croatia (Shutterstock)
Swap oar for paddle and kayak through the waterfall-sprouting Cetina Gorge near Omis before trekking past locals training to become Alkar knights and onto the ruins of Tilurium fortress in Gardun. Main image: Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia (Shutterstock)