5 Wonderful destinations for people who love action sports
Where in the world should you go if are in next of some adrenalin in your life? Perhaps you have a few days holiday coming up or a long weekend and the thought of some exciting adventures will keep you motivated. There are some palaces in the world that are just made for adrenalin adventures and as like attracts like they just seem to get more and more exciting. Let’s have a closer look at five of the best destinations for people who love adrenalin sports.
5 destinations for people who love action sports
Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, France
For a stunning alpine destination in summer or winter you would be hard pushed to go past the alpine town of Chamonix. Nestled in the valley below the highest mountain in Europe, Mont Blanc, Chamonix has been a popular holiday destination since Victorian times. The first ascent of Mont Blanc was made in 1786 and the peak still holds the allure for many. Other mountain activities include rock climbing, cragging, boldering, and ice climbing. Experienced guides are available in all disciplines.
Chamonix is a wonderful winter sport area for skiing and boarding with slopes catering for beginners all the way up to expert black runs. You could even go ski touring on off piste runs and glacier skiing in summer. You might consider putting your own trip together or find some help inspiration from Alpine Elements Activity Holidays.
Chamonix’s high ridges have launch sites for paragliding and hang gliding and in summer, competitions are based around the valley.
In summer there are many mountain biking tracks suitable for all levels including some really challenging routes around the steep mountains plus adventure parks.
Interlaken, Berne, Switzerland
Interlaken, between two lakes Thun and Brienz, is an ideal spot to base yourself for some spectacular adrenalin activities all year round.
White water rafting down glacial fed rivers has been popular for years and Interlaken companies are very well established with experienced guides to look after you through the rapids. Canyoning is also a popular way to get wet, slipping and sliding down narrow rocky river beds.
There are many sites for launching paragliders and on a perfect day the air seems to be full of colourful wings riding the airwaves. To a lesser extent there are also hang gliding sites, but once air born they can utilize stronger winds speeds and higher glide angles to stay aloft.
Base jumping is not something that can be learned over a few weeks even but there are dedicated jumpers who jump off the cliffs above Lauterbrunnen, a few kilometres from Interlaken. For a more likely ride under a parachute there are drop zones close by for tandem jumps.
From the Lauterbrunnen valley you can ascend through the vehicle free town of Wengen and take a cog wheel train at Kleine Scheidegg through the mountains to the very top ridge at the Jungfrau Joch. As your train ascends it will make a stop inside the tunnel so you can look out over the famous Eiger Wand. You could even try an ascent of the wall yourself just as Clint Eastwood did in the movie ‘The Eiger Sanction’ or the more current movie ‘North Face’.
Other sports you could try from Interlaken are wind surfing and kite surfing on the lakes and of course it is a winter wonderland for all snow sports .
For other inspiration for fun Swiss holidays read up on other journeys through Swiss nature.
Dahab, South Sinai, Egypt
Egypt doesn’t have to be just sunbathing and relaxing holidays. Dahab is a small resort on the Gulf of Aqaba not far from Sharm el Sheikh in South Sinai. Dahab is predominantly known for scuba diving. Recreational divers from all over the world visit frequently to explore the abundant coral reefs in warm water all year round.
The Dahab Blue Hole has the infamous reputation for being the most deadly dive site in the world as plaques on the surrounding rock faces attest to. However these deaths have more to do with inexperienced divers over estimating their skill levels or experienced divers testing their own personal limits than any particular dangers at the Blue Hole.
The Blue Hole drops down 110 metres about 2 metres from the waters’ edge into the coral table so it’s a perfect place for deep diving – both scuba and apnoea free diving. Many competitive free divers base themselves in Dahab for regular training. There is an archway to open sea at about 52m depth and free divers challenge themselves to dive down and through.
Technical scuba divers utilise different gas mixtures to dive to extreme depths. The current world record is held by Ahmed Gabr at 332.35 metres off the coast in Dahab.
However Dahab is not all diving. With sorting consistent winds from the North East surfers and kite surfer s have plenty of fun on the Dahab Lagoona and on the Gulf of Aqaba.
The deep gorges in the granite mountains of South Sinai also offer great climbing routes and bouldering opportunities.
Nepal is of course famous because of the Himalayas and the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest, at 8848 metres above sea level. Mt Everest has been attracting adventure seekers for centuries but it wasn’t until 1953 that Sherpa Tensing and New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary managed to climb the peak and return to base camp safely. Every year adventure seekers attempt the climb and some do not return from the ‘death zone’.
However there are numerous other adrenalin sports found in Nepal. White water rafting is well established and Nepalese rivers are some of the most exciting in the world. Another way to test your mettle against the rapids is to go canyoning down narrow rocky rivers.
There are a number of paragliding companies offering tandem flights. Birds of prey like Himalayan griffins, eagles, and kites often fly alongside the paragliders sharing the same thermal updrafts. To this end, the latest offering is para-hawking which combines falconry with paragliding. The passenger gets to feed the bird by a gloved hand while flying!
Mountain biking is becoming ever more popular and there are various well laid out routes to explore over days and weeks.
Queenstown, Central Otago, New Zealand
Queenstown in the south Island of New Zealand with awe inspiring mountains surrounding a pristine glacial fed lake is renowned for its natural beauty. With its royal name it as always been a popular holiday destination for New Zealanders and over recent years it has become well and truly established internationally as well.
Nowadays, Queenstown is not only revered for its natural beauty but also because the number of adrenaline pumping sports that are on offer there. Queens town is now a place where you can find lots of fun action all year round day and night. It is sometimes called the adventure capital of the world.
The bungee jumping operation in the world was set up at Queenstown by the AJ Hackett Company and now there are numerous sites with various drops where you can take the plunge from. AS well as bungee jumping there are daredevil swings and zip lines to keep you swinging through the air.
If you actually prefer to fly you might opt for hang gliding or paragliding in a tandem flight or take a course to learn to fly solo. There are a number of launch areas depending on wind conditions within easy driving distance.
The area is spectacular for flying about in general so you might consider a flight in a helicopter or a fixed wing light aircraft. From there you take a skydive with accelerated freefall, tandem jump or solo down to the drop zone for a safe landing.
If water sports are more your thing then you can take a crazy spinning ride in a jet boat that can skim over rocks by centimetres and spin on a dime close to rocky cliff faces. There are also water rafting companies that bounce through wild water rapids that vary in grade difficulty according to water flow levels.
With alpine regions close by a full range of winter sports like skiing and snowboarding is available close by at Remarkables Ski area and Coronet Peak. As you can see, there’s plenty of adventure in New Zealand to choose from.
These five adventure spots are well established but other areas of the world also have ple-nty to offer. Consider checking out Eastern Mediterranean countries like Serbia and Croatia and Turkey for some adventure as well.