Ready for an adrenaline rush? Travel is more memorable when it comes with a side of excitement. Prepare to make some epic memories with a trip to one of these 10 adventure destinations:
Best for: winter thrills
The world’s largest island is covered almost entirely in ice – which makes for unbeatable winter sports conditions. Strap on the skis for some cross-country or head up higher on a helicopter to ski back down from the ice caps. It’s also possible to kayak among the icebergs and even scuba dive down to see what lies beneath their famously shallow surface. If you’d rather gather some speed, hire a snowmobile or take charge of a dog sled and head out there into the snow.
On The Go Tours tip: After a busy day of outdoor adventure, relax at Cafe Iluliaq (in Ilulissat) with a craft beer flavoured with berries and herbs sourced from the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Plan your trip: www.onthegotours.com/Greenland
Best for: urban adventures
Japanese culture may have been exported worldwide but nothing can compare to seeing it first hand, perhaps by eating sushi in Tokyo or seeing geishas perform a cultural ritual in Kyoto. Take in the culture by learning to cook Japanese food yourself on a cookery course and discover what it’s like to live in one of the world’s most frenetic cities at Tokyo’s Shibuya crossing – where you’ll join up to 1000 other pedestrians bobbing and weaving at one of the world’s busiest intersections.
On The Go Tours tip: When the hustle and bustle of Tokyo gets too much, head for the Todoroki Gorge, a hidden oasis of green and the capital's last remaining natural gorge.
Plan your trip: www.onthegotours.com/Japan
Best for: laidback watersports
Anyone who’s seen the film The Beach knows that Thailand is home to some of the world’s very best stretches of sand. This laidback country is also home to over 3000km of coastline, much of it made up of cliffs and caves that are just begging to be kayaked along or dived beneath. Further inland, head to Kanchanaburi, where you’ll find the infamous Bridge Over the River Kwai and the multi-tiered Erawan Falls – a fantastic swimming spot that is popular with the locals.
On The Go Tours tip: The Similan Islands are still considered one of the best dive spots in Thailand but visit in April or May for the best chances of seeing whale sharks.
Plan your trip:www.onthegotours.com/Thailand
Best for: surprises
Myanmar has only recently opened up to tourism and remains a truly unspoiled country with a unique culture. People here are keen to share their customs and you might find yourself waylaid by morning alms or the chance for tea with the locals. There’s great trekking here, in the Himalayan north around what is said to be southeast Asia’s highest peak, Hkakabo Razi, and at Inle Lake wonderful kayaking, out to peaceful villages and past floating gardens. This is a place to keep your eyes and your mind open.
On The Go Tours tip: Journey from Mandalay to Yangon by boat to explore otherwise-inaccessible gems, including minority villages, colonial towns and Buddhist caves.
Plan your trip: www.onthegotours.com/Burma
Best for: mountain climbing
Smack bang in the centre of the Himalayas, landlocked Nepal is all about the mountains. Clamber up along the very spine of the globe, hiking the Annapurna range or to Everest Base Camp, and you’ll take in some of the most awe-inspiring scenery our planet has to offer – from snow-capped peaks to ancient oak and rhododendron forests. You could also go on an Asian safari, in Chitwan national park, home to rhinos and tigers.
On The Go Tours tip: Fancy a break from all that trekking? Spend a night or two in the picturesque village of Nagarkot where you can admire the sweeping mountain views from the comfort of your hotel bed.
Plan your trip: www.onthegotours.com/Nepal
Best for: desert safari
The Namib desert is ripe for adventure, its dunes the perfect slopes for sandboarding down or quad biking over, its epic rust-red landscape an unbeatable backdrop for a fiery sunset. Namibia is also home to the world’s second-largest canyon, ideal for canoeing along, and some of the best game viewing, at Etosha national park and in the lush Caprivi Strip. See how many of the big five you can tick off – that’s lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino – and look out for smaller springbok, birds and reptiles too.
On The Go Tours tip: Namibia is a superb self-drive destination – it's safe, English is widely spoken and road conditions are good, so set your own pace with a self-drive adventure trip.
Plan your trip: www.onthegotours.com/Namibia
Best for: riding the rails
The Trans-Siberian Railway should be on every traveller’s bucket list, the farthest you can travel on one train, across the largest country in the world and past the point where Europe meets Asia. Climb aboard to travel from Moscow past the Urals and through Siberia, breaking the journey in Yekaterinburg, the last home of the Romanovs, and in Irkutsk, said to be ‘the Paris of Siberia’ and the jumping-off point for Lake Baikal for a banya (sauna) at the deepest lake in the world.
On The Go Tours tip: Hop off the train at Vladimir, just a two-hour ride from Moscow, for the chance to explore the charming towns that make up the historic Golden Ring.
Plan your trip:www.onthegotours.com/Trans-Siberian-Railway
Best for: diverse adventures
Jordan may be known for its desertscapes but this peaceful Middle Eastern country has so much more than just camel trekking and quadbiking in the dunes to offer. There’s the Dead Sea, the lowest exposed land on Earth and so salty you’ll simply float, and Wadi Rum where dramatic sandstone mountains tower over chasms lined with ancient carvings. Don’t miss the Red Sea coast too, where you can scuba dive, snorkel, waterski, windsurf and speedboat.
On The Go Tours tip: Plan your trip for the latter part of 2017 when a 650km trail will connect Umm Qais with Aqaba, via the Dead Sea, Petra and Wadi Rum for the ultimate Jordan trekking adventure.
Plan your trip: www.onthegotours.com/Jordan
Best for: trekking to temples
No visit to Peru is complete without a visit to Machu Picchu, and by far the most exciting way to reach it is by hiking along the Inca Trail. This is one of the world’s most famous treks for a reason – it combines Andean mountain scenery and ancient Inca temples with birdwatching in the cloud forest and one of the most challenging climbs you’ll ever undertake, up to Dead Woman’s Pass at 4200m. Peru is also home to part of the Amazon rainforest, ideal for canoeing, fishing and wildlife spotting.
On The Go Tours tip: Trek the Inca Trail in June when the weather is dry and perfect for hiking, and Cusco comes alive with celebrations of Inti Raymi, the Inca festival of the sun.
Plan your trip: www.onthegotours.com/Peru
Best for: bringing the family
Sleeping beneath the stars in the Sahara, trekking by camel through the dunes and watching the snake charmers of Marrakech’s Djemaa el Fna – the kids will love Morocco. Make time for Essaouira on the Atlantic coast too, where the surf is always up and the trade winds make for excellent kitesurfing, and if the kids are up for it head into the Atlas Mountains for some kayaking and rafting down roaring rivers and along plunging gorges.
On The Go Tours tip: Step into a living film set with the family at the UNESCO-listed Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, where The Mummy and Gladiator were both filmed.
Plan your trip: www.onthegotours.com/Morocco
From humble roots taking intrepid travellers budget-style to Egypt, On The Go Tours now organise trips for tens of thousands of customers to over 60 exciting countries around the world on all sorts of budgets. Key to everything they do is a commitment to authentic and accessible cultural experiences in the very heart of the destinations they offer.
This feature was sponsored by On The Go Tours who provided some insider tips for each destination; aside from the On The Go Tours tips, this feature was independently researched and written by one of our Rough Guides authors. Header image via Pixabay/CC0.