As the weather heats up, it’s time to make a decision on travel plans. We’ve outlined 10 of the most adventurous destinations, sure to please any outdoor adventurer. From Arizona to Morocco, these are the top adventure spots you should get to this summer.
Remote adventure awaits in the high peaks of the unspoiled Atlas Mountains. The impressive North African range is a haven for trekkers looking for a challenge and a truly unique experience. The Berber villages that dot the mountains are home to trekking guides and ancient traditions like carpet weaving. From the bustling ancient city of Marrakech, Toubkal National Park isn’t far off; it’s home to the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, Toubkal and is a gateway to other adventures like ski mountaineering, rock climbing and even mountain biking on worn in mule paths.
Towering peaks dip into lush valleys as alpine lakes, rivers and glaciers dot the landscape. This is the Wanaka region of New Zealand, Queenstown’s lesser-known counterpart, a must-visit adventure area for those looking to escape some of the more touristy areas of New Zealand. Explore the stunning Mt. Aspiring National Park, take in the views by sky diving or paragliding, enjoy the pristine lakes by kayak or take in the town that hasn’t yet been overrun by tourism.
The land of red rocks and intense spirituality, Sedona is not your average outdoor adventure destination. The desert town draws in artists, healers and wanderers, while the surrounding landscape brings adventurers. Take to Submarine Rock on a mountain bike, get off the beaten path with ATVs and hike Red Rock State Park. When you’re worn out take to the lively town and enjoy authentic art and eats.
A favorite destination for backpackers and those in search of authentic Southeast Asian culture, Laos is a naturally beautiful country with lots to offer. Those looking for a thrill will find themselves paddling whitewater rapids, making their way through underground caves or flying over nature reserves on zip-lines. Others hoping to take in the sights and sounds at a slower pace won’t be disappointed either. This land of natural beauty and unwavering tradition is one of the best places to explore in all of Asia.
The mountain range that splits the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe is a skiers paradise in the winter and, come summertime, a hiker’s gem hidden in plain sight. Stretching 267 miles and gaining more than 10,000 feet of elevation, hikers can attempt the whole thing, but most opt for shorter sections. Find your way to one of the many national parks in the area, explore local mountain towns and enjoy stunning alpine lakes and waterways.
This well-known outdoor adventure hotspot has a solid reputation for providing world-class thrills in a breathtakingly beautiful setting. Adventurers will be in their glory climbing snowcapped volcano Villarrica, rafting the glacier-fed Trancura River or skiing and snowboarding. Food, drink and overnight accommodations are available for all kinds of budgets in town.
Jeju Island, often referred to as “the Hawaii of Korea,” attracts most of its travelers from the mainland, but since 2011, when it was voted one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, international attention has been growing. At three times the size of Seoul, though, there’s plenty of room to accommodate travelers. Some visit for the scenery, others to get away, but if you’re looking for adventure you won’t have to look hard. Explore lava tubes, hike to the highest point in the country, a dormant volcano or dive off the coast to find beautiful coral.
This mountain town is home to art festivals, hundreds of miles of singletrack and some of the very best athletes in the country—if that isn’t enough of a reason to visit, the scenery might help. The town best known for its ski mountain has a whole lot to offer in the summer too—explore the surrounding mountains by bike, paddle the nearby Salmon River or climb some of the best granite in the country in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, which is just north of Sun Valley.
Natural wonders and stunning scenery abound in Iceland. One of the least densely populated countries in the world, Iceland is blessed with hot spring lagoons, the Great Geysir, volcanoes, glaciers, waterfalls and lava fields—and that’s not even counting the natural phenomena like the world famous Northern Lights or the stellar midnight sun. A visit to Iceland is the ultimate adventure and if the sights aren’t enough to prompt a visit, then go for a swim in the Blue Lagoon. Glacier walks, hikes behind massive waterfalls and whale watching in the summer are just a few more suggestions—oh, and don’t miss the chance to explore the amazing ice caves, who knows when they could be gone for good.
Somewhere between Olympic and Yosemite National Park, sits the often overlooked Crater Lake National Park. Though the park serves as a peaceful winter retreat, summertime is peak season. Hiking, swimming, kayaking, camping, the list goes on, Crater Lake is the perfect spot and the views simply can’t be beat.