If you couldn’t tell already, I LOVE adventure. So many of the activities and tours that I choose to participate in center around getting that extra boost of adrenaline. Because I save so much money in some of the other areas I travel, tours are something I am happy spend a little more money on (especially if it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.) I have listed my top five here (so far) based on the level of adrenaline they provide as well their pricing.
1. Canyoneering in the French Alps (Moderate)
Canyoneering is basically descending through a mountain canyon by climbing, rappelling, swimming and jumping through slippery waterfalls and ravines. Depending on the height of the cliffs it can provide a fair level of adrenaline and is recommended for someone with a moderate level of fitness. (my trip was done in the Loup Gorge in the French Alps and was arranged by the hostel.) It can be done where ever you might find a decent mountain canyon (Such as Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, and in the U.S. Utah and Colorado) Pricing will depend on the location, but I paid about 40 Euro (around $60) for a day trip which included all gear rental, transportation and a guide. Here is an example of what it looks like (my water proof camera was no longer working so I didn’t get my own footage from that day, but here’s an idea of what I experienced.)
2. Caving (Budapest Hungary) (Moderate)
Because of the complex system of underground thermal activity in Hungary, you can find caves underneith many parts of Budapest and surrounding cities, which leads to another great activity for those not afraid of the dark or confined spaces. Making your way through tiny crevices, rappelling down narrow ravines, and not quite knowing when you will reach the bottom is not for the claustrophobic, but there are alternate, easier paths you can take as your guide leads you through the system.
3.Scuba Diving (Red Sea, Egypt)
If you want to visit an an entirely new world, try scuba-diving. There are many diving centers that will allow a “try dive” which does not require any training or certification (other than a quick lesson on and off the boat of how to use the equipment. ) You will be with a guide the entire time (who will hold your hand and be constantly checking your equipment) and you will only dive to a maximum of 10meters (around 30 feet.) Diving is not for everyone, but this is definitely a great way to decide if it’s right for you. I found myself staring a Dolphin and it’s calf right in the eye, and I can’t even describe the feeling. Places where diving is less expensive and a good place to try is Thailand, Belize, and the Red Sea in Egypt, but next on my bucket list is exploring the Great Barrier Reefs of Australia, and swimming with Whale Sharks up in the northwest corner near Darwin. My heart can’t stop racing just thinking about it!
4.Camel Trekking (Sahara Dessert, Morocco) (Mild)
The idea of riding a camel through the dessert has adventure written all over it. Once we were bored with the busy, crowded markets of Marrakech, we packed up our camels and rode off into the sunset to the sahara dessert. A traditional berber tent was set up as we prepared an authentic Moroccan meal over the campfire. Trips can be arranged anywhere from an overnight stay, to a few days, to weeks trekking through the dessert. To add a little excitement from the slow camel ride, try hopping on a pair of skis or snowboard and hit the steep dunes for some sandboarding.
5. Floating in the Dead Sea (Israel and Jordan) (Mild)
There’s nothing like the feeling of NOT being able to sink while swimming in a sea of salt, or being at the lowest place on earth! You will find the drive there quite stunning, as you head through vast desert, through steep and winding roads, and descend lower and lower to what feels like the pit of the earth! There are several stops along the way, such as the beautiful city of Jericho, which is said to be the oldest city in the world with monastaries carved into mountain rocks (one around the cave of temptation) or if you keep heading south, you can continue on to Jordan to visit the ancient city of Petra (a truly spectucular and stunning site itself.)
None of these activities will give you heart pounding adrenline unless you love taking a step back into ancient time, but they are all definitely worth a visit if you ever find yourself in the Middle East.
No matter where you decide to go, you can find adventure anywhere in the world! So what are some of your favorite adventures or trips you have taken? What have you been too afraid to do?