1 Submerge yourself in Canadian canoe culture
Discover this great country by water on an organised single-day outing or fully switch off on a month-long epic canoe trip. The state of Ontario alone boasts half a million lakes and rivers, plus thousands of kilometres of coastline, making it one of the most popular places in the world for on-water pursuits.
Fancy a city break alongside your active pursuits? Check out the best that Montreal has to offer here.
2. Paraglide over Rio de Janerio
Flights typically begin from the wilderness of Pedra Bonita rainforest before swooping over the imposing Christ the Redeemer statue and the vibrant city of Rio and ending on Pepino Beach. The best way to appreciate Rio in all its glory.
3. Snorkel the Ambergris Caye, Belize
The Belize reef is the largest barrier reef outside of Australia and is situated close to Ambergris Caye, a low-level sand island on the surface of the reef. Its proximity to Hol Chan Marine Reserve makes it an ideal spot for keen snorkelers.
4. Sandboard in Peru
Huacachina is home to the biggest sand dunes in South America, and can be difficult even for expert snowboarders. But it’s still one of the best, if not the best, places to try out a warmer version of your favourite winter sport.
5. Go canyoning the Sierra de Guara, Spain
In the heart of the Spanish pyrenees, the Sierra de Guara is a mecca for water lovers and often heralded as the birthplace of canyoning, which, if you’re not familiar, involves sliding down natural water slides into deep turquoise pools and through cooling water falls – a must activity for any adventurer.
6. Bikepack the French Atlantic Coast
Also known as the Eurovelo1, La Velodyssée is one of the most well-sign posted bike touring routes in Europe. Traverse the country from Roscoff in the north to Hendaye at the Spanish border. Along the way be prepared for stunning pine-clad paths, sandy coastal trails, and meandering canal paths. This route takes you through the historic city of La Rochelle and past the towering Dune of Pilat, Europe’s highest sand dune.
7. Ski under the Northern Lights, Finland
Explore the unspoilt forests and lakes of Finland, where reindeers outnumber people. The lack of light pollution increases the chance of seeing the aurora borealis, a scientific wonder of light and colour. Cross-country skiing is a way of life here and traditionally used as a means of transport between villages. Visit the Ylläs Ski Resort to find Finland’s largest ski network with over 330km of ski tracks. Nordic skiing hugely increases endurance and cardiovascular health, burns more calories than any other sport and is known as the best form of cross training.
8. Take a dip in the natural hot springs of Iceland
A less-active option but a great way to recover after a heavy season of racing. Here you can appreciate Iceland’s natural beauty and bathe in its plentiful natural geothermal hot springs, which can be found throughout the country. Stop on the roadside for a rustic dip or splash out and experience the famous Blue Lagoon (above), which offers silt masks, saunas and geothermal pools. Discover another world in the stunningly desolate landscape of igneous rock and snow-capped looming mountains.
Why not stop over in Iceland en-route to the States or Canada? Flights from London Heathrow to Montreal on Icelandair start at £600. Icelandair is a transatlantic airline and offers an opportunity for passengers to take a stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare. For more information, visit icelandair.com.
9 Climb Boulder Canyon, Colorado
One of the best outdoor climbing spots in the world, this immense 12-mile canyon offers climbs of a variety of durations and difficulties. Enjoy a spot of bouldering on the textured granite rocks, or aim for the higher crags and appreciate stunning views of the canyon around you.
10. Take part in the Maki Run on Nosy Komba, ‘lemur island’, Madagascar
Time your visit to this untouched volcanic island right to take part in the challenging Maki Run (June), which offers four different races: 30km, 20km and four kids’ races. While there, discover the beautiful red and black lemurs that run wild on this incredible island just off the north west coast of Madagascar. As the island has no roads, you must hike along rustic trails and clamber over boulders to reach Ampang, the main village. Here, the locals imitate the lemurs with the traditional call of ‘maki maki maki’, and welcome visitors to feed them bananas and experience their inquisitive nature.