If you enjoy your holidays with lots of adrenalin, then this list of places is sure to provide you more than a pinch of excitement. From Antarctica to Asia, no matter where you want to land, there will be a thrill to seek.
Ice Marathon, Antarctica
Forget your local city marathon, if you really want to do an activity that forces you to the extreme then look no further. The Ice Marathon held in Antarctica takes place every year in unbelievably hostile conditions, athletes experience temperatures of -20 °C and 24 hours of daylight, not to mention the harsh wind which only adds to the cold. Although no prior experience is needed to take part, it is wise to follow the advice of the organisers when it comes to deciding what to wear. The 2014 Ice Marathon is scheduled to take place in November though it may change, depending on the weather.
White water rafting, Nepal
Thanks to its location near the Himalayas, Nepal boasts some of the best white waters in the world. The experience is made even better by Nepal’s picturesque location near the Tibet valley, surrounded by the tallest mountains in the world. There are a range of rivers, each graded on a scale of 1-6 based on their ferocity so there are options available for the rookies as well as the experienced. Trips can last 2-3 days to 2 weeks depending on the choice of river. It is best to go during the dry months of October through mid-December and March through early May.
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The Inca Trail, Peru
Climb your way through history, exploring the remains of the ancient Incan Empire. Set in the Andes, the Inca trail takes you through plains, forests and deserts, all in the matter of a few days. The highlight of this trek is Machu Picchu, the famous lost city of the Inca, discovered only in 1911. The trail takes four days to complete, it is the most popular one taken in the Andes despite being quite challenging. Altitudes of 4200m are reached with a length of 43 km. From Machu Picchu, you will continue your journey to Cusco, the heart and capital of the Incan Empire. At its prime, Cusco was connected to an advanced network of trails with a length of 40,000 km in an empire stretching from Ecuador to Argentina. A tour of four can be booked for $550.
Mountain Biking, Avoriaz, France
Located in the heart of the Portes du Soleil region of the French Alps, Avoriaz is one of 12 interconnected resorts, where man-made bike trails and alpine tracks create a spectacular playground for mountain bikers. The area has been at the forefront of Alpine mountain biking for a considerable number of years and as such has a highly developed network of trails. The region also includes Les Gets and Morzine. They open 25 ski lifts during the summer for riders who’d rather earn their thrills the easy way. There are more than 650km of trails in Portes du Soleil, ranging in difficulty and providing different levels of excitement. At the end of June the Pass’Portes du Soleil mountain bike festival sees 4000 bikers descend on the region for a 75km race that is mostly downhill.
Kayaking, Kamchatka, Russia
An experience so surreal and beautiful that you’ll need to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. This 160km hike and kayak expedition in Kamchatka, Russia is hard to beat when it comes to mixing adventure with nature. Since the location is so remote, your group will be dropped by helicopter at the foot of the Karimsky volcano, where you’ll begin crossing the Siberian taiga. You’ll encounter no roads or people, the only tracks being those of the 25,000 brown bears who call this region home. It’s no wonder bears are drawn here: the Zhupanova is one of the most productive wild salmon and trout streams in the world. Once at river, you’ll take to your kayak and paddle its entire length to finish at the Bering Sea.