Longing to lounge on a sun-soaked beach? Cruise the Norwegian Fjords from the comfort of your Ultra class cruise ship? Or throw yourself off a cliff in a heart-stopping leap of faith in the harness you’re wearing? Holidays are changing … destinations are now sought for the adrenaline-fuelled activities they can offer thrill-seeking travellers. Here are a few of those experiences, as described by our travel blogging community who have lived to tell the tale!
Paragliding in Pokhara, Nepal
I never thought I would have the courage to jump off a cliff but after a year of traveling around the world, I found some. And I absolutely loved my experience. Flying next to eagles with the Himalaya mountains in the backdrop is a moment I will never forget. I’m so happy my first paragliding experience was in a location as beautiful as Pokhara.
As one of the top 5 commercial tandem paragliding locations in the world, paragliding in Pokhara is a great place for beginners. The price is affordable in comparison to other parts of the world and you can feel safe knowing they have been paragliding in Pokhara for over 18 years. Paragliding in Pokhara is one of the best adventures to have in Nepal!
Lora, Explore with Lora
Ziplining over the Tara River Canyon, Montenegro
The Tara River Canyon, in Montenegro, is the second longest canyon in the world, after the Grand Canyon. At 78 kilometers in length and 1,300 meters at its deepest, it is not only impressive but also stunningly beautiful. The ziplining takes place next to the famous Durdevica Tara River Bridge, which towers 172m above the Tara River.
There are two ziplining companies, easily identified as the Yellow Company or Green Company. The Yellow Company has the longest ride, requiring one to walk a little way up the hill to the start. Once on the other side, they have a vehicle that will bring you back to the “village”. To access the start of the Green Zipline, you first need to walk the length of the bridge to the other side of the canyon. The zipline ends back at the village. The Yellow zipline costs €20, while the Green Zipline is only €15.
No matter which company you choose, the thrill and exhilaration of flying through the air at such a height will get your adrenaline rushing with wild abandon!
Jeanne, Learning to Breathe Abroad
Angels Pool, Victoria Falls, Zambia
Angels pool is a fantastic adventure for anyone seeking a high adrenaline activity. The pool sits at the top of Victoria Falls in Zambia and is accessible only from Livingstone Island.
Victoria Falls is one of the seven Natural wonders of the world and its the largest waterfall on the planet.
There’s also a pool named Devils pool, but this is not always accessible due to the power of the water. So when Devils pool is closed Angel’s pool is opened instead. Both pools are similar and offer the same adrenaline rush.
There’s no cables or wires to attach to as you wade through the rocky Zambezi currents. You simply hold hands and pray that you remain standing.
The guides are fantastic, and when you reach Angel’s pool, they take you individually right up to the edge. The water is so powerful it’s hard to describe, but it’s an incredible experience.
You can read more about the experience here.
Fiona, Passport and Piano
Velocity 2, Zip World, Snowdonia, UK
Snowdonia in North Wales is not a place many people think of when considering their next adventure holiday but it’s one place adventure junkies do not want to miss out on. Snowdonia is home to Zip World’s Velocity 2, the world’s fastest zip line, which also happens to be Europe’s longest zip line.
After warming up on the little zip line you’ll be taken up Penrhyn Quarry to take on Velocity 2, the 1555 metre long zip line. During this ride you can reach speeds of over 100mph! It’s an incredible experience you won’t forget.
Zip World also have some other fun adventure activities in Snowdonia including Plummet 2, a 100ft plummet through a trap door, and Skyride, a giant swing set 80ft in the air. And if you have any mini adventurers with you there’s plenty for them to do too, including Bounce Below, a multi levelled trampoline set up underground that is just as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids!
Claire, Curious Claire
Swimming with Sharks in Exuma, Bahamas
Swimming with the sharks is an extremely popular experience for travelers visiting the Exuma, Bahamas. Add this one to your travel bucket list the next time you are in the Bahamas as this is your chance to swim with the Compass Cay sharks. As you arrive to Compass Cay you will notice the large boats around the dock and the crystal clear waters. As you walk along the dock towards the shore you will come upon the area where people are swimming with the sharks.
I honestly thought this would be scarier than it actually is. I saw so many people just casually swimming with the sharks that I thought I would jump right in. The sharks were extremely tame as they were being fed from the dock so they had absolutely no interest in me. I would advice you not to dangle your toes or feet off the dock as they may mistaken them for food since this is where they are fed.
Not only was I brave enough to jump in, but I decided I would try to touch a shark. The sharks skin feels like a hard, wet, sandpaper. Totally not what I expected a shark to feel like. Even if you don’t have the courage to jump in, I would still highly recommend this day trip from the Exumas even if to just watch others.
Diana, Diana’s Healthy Living
Waterfall Rappelling in Costa Rica
One of the most unique and adrenaline pumping activities that you should try when traveling abroad is waterfall rappelling. Countries rich with waterfalls, such as Costa Rica, will typically offer waterfall rappelling as one of their most popular tours. In the northern part of Costa Rica, Arenal is a great base if you’re interested in jumping over 150 foot cliffs into a rushing stream of water. The rainforest in Arenal is full of waterfalls and allows for several hours-worth of rappelling.
If you’re wondering what to expect, imagine being strapped to a harness, standing on the edge of an insanely tall cliff, backwards. Your tour guide then pushes you off the cliff and you drop into a rushing waterfall while you rappel down to the ground, all the while swinging in and out of the heavy, rushing water. If you were tired when you started, you won’t be after the first waterfall!
Julia, The Freckled Tourist
Climbing a Via Ferrata in Scotland
Hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing – Scotland is prime territory for action-packed outdoor activities! But if you want to get your adrenaline pumping, look no further than Scotland’s only Via Ferrata in Kinlochleven, the heart of the Scottish Highlands!
The Via Ferrate starts at the foot of Grey Mare’s Waterfall, the third biggest waterfall in Scotland and climbs high alongside it and even higher. Two of the highlights on this climb are a crossing over a 90m drop on two sturdy steel cables and a short zipline at the end of the route.
The route is operated by a company called Vertical Descents who offers guided tours for anyone willing to brave the challenge.
Kathi, Watch Me See
Canyoneering, Zion National Park, USA
Imagine standing in the top of a 200-foot high cliff. A rope is tied around your waist and attached to a hook embedded in a nearby rock wall. You pull tight on the rope, then inch backwards until most of your feet are hanging over the edge. You look down. The ground is very, very far below you. There is nothing but air for the next 200 feet. You lean back, putting all of your weight on the rope, take a deep breath, then step over the edge, with your feet now against the vertical cliff face. You slowly release the rope gripped tightly in your hand and step down the cliff, one foot at a time. Is your adrenaline pumping? It will be! You can have this incredible experience canyoneering in and near Zion National Park in the USA.
James, Travel Collecting
Learning to Skydive in the Algarve, Portugal
Standing in the doorway of a plane looking out at the scenery 15,000 feet below you is pretty nerve-wracking. Especially when you know that in a few seconds you are going to be hurtling towards that beautiful scenery at approximately 120mph!
Even more nerve-wracking is the fact that this is your first jump that is not a tandem! Your instructors are with you but it is up to you to fly properly, keep your altitude awareness, and guide your canopy in to your landing zone safely.
But there is no time for nerves, you have gotten the green light and it’s time to jump! Once in freefall, you feel your body obeying the signals you are giving to turn left or right or do whatever you want and you feel an adrenaline like no other. You are solo skydiving and it feels incredible!
All too soon the freefall is over and it’s time to deploy your parachute. Once open above you, you now float in serenity down to your landing zone. But your emotions run high! Your heartbeat is elevated, and you can’t wait to do it again!
Martin, Breaking Barriers
Dinner in the Sky, Dubai, UAE
Visiting the highest building in the world – Burj Khalifa in Dubai- might be adventurous enough for some, but if you want to experience something more unique I suggest having dinner (or lunch or an afternoon tea) in 50 meters above the ground while your feet hanging freely up in the air.
You will sit at a dinner table that will be lifted up by a crane – up to 50 meters in the sky. And while this might not be scary to you, I can assure you it feels very weird dining while being scared every single moment to drop something. You will be served food, the staff plays fun music and is friendly – but even with all that in mind, you probably will never feel 100% relaxed.
Whether you book lunch in the sky, afternoon tea. or dinner – having it up in the sky (with amazing views of Dubai Marina and the Persian Gulf) is an amazing and unique experience – and the most adventurous dinner I have had so far.
Arzo, Arzo Travels
Canyon Swinging, Queenstown, New Zealand
My all-time favourite high adrenaline activity was canyon swinging in Queenstown, New Zealand! There are two different companies in Queenstown that offer canyon swings, I decided to use Shotover Canyon as they claim to be the world’s biggest cliff jump at 109m high! They also have a whole menu of different ways to jump, from slides, to blindfolds, to tandem, upside and backwards … the list is endless! I loved it so much I did it three times in a row. You freefall 60 metres and swing over a distance of 200 metres above the Shotover River, reaching speeds of 150kph/93mph! The staff are amazing and the views are pretty awesome too!
Kylie, Between England and Iowa
Black Water Rafting and Caving, Waitomo Cave, New Zealand
Caves: dark, wet, and narrow … I dislike it, I am scared of it! I am slightly claustrophobic and I usually get really uncomfortable in caves, all I want to do is run out. When I was in New Zealand, I participated in a Black Water Rafting tour which is a Waitomo Cave adventure featuring activities like climbing and abseiling through the cave. I overcome my fear and challenged myself.
There is quite a lot to see and do in the caves, we walked through the cracks and climbed the rocks; and had an up-close experience with the glow worms – little creatures that live uniquely in the Waitomo caves as well!
After the tour, we had a hot shower and some soup before we drove out to the nearby Huhu Café for dinner while we sat on the deck to enjoy a glorious sunset – that feels quite an accomplishment.
Kenny, Knycx Journeying
Ziplining, Salta, Argentina
One of the highest adrenaline activities in Argentina is zip lining. The best place to try this is the area of Rio Juramento, in the Northern province of Salta. You can get there in around 2 hours drive, though keep in mind that if you decide to go you can opt to also travel with the company that organizes the expedition. This is one of the most adrenaline filled zip line experience in the world. You will be flying on a web of 10 zip lines, which allow you to go around a canyon. Some flights are incredibly long (up to 700 meters) and you’ll be at an elevation of 200 meters from the ground, and going very fast.
You can combine zip lining with rafting and hiking if you want a full day of adventure, and included in the trip you’ll also get a great lunch of asado (Argentine style barbecue). The full experience – rafting + asado + zip lining – costs $2600 ARS ($60 USD). It’s worth the money.
Claudia, My Adventures Across The World
To get your heart racing, there’s nothing quite like strapping yourself to the wing of a plane and soaring through the air at 120mph! Proving that the sky really is the limit, wingwalking provides even the most daring adrenaline junkies with the thrill of a lifetime. The experience started with a safety briefing with a professional wing walker and the pilot, before being securely strapped in for take off. Flights usually last under 10 minutes and include an exciting series of flypasts, zoom climbs, steep dives and banks. Having experienced this twice already I can safely say the stunning aerial views and sense of freedom make the adventure one that I would happily repeat.
Roshni, The Wanderlust Within
Kayaking in Antarctica
Perhaps not your typical high adrenaline activity, but when we went on a last minute cruise to Antarctica we immediately jumped at the chance to go Kayaking. We were a little nervous as a tip into the Antarctic waters would, of course, be FREEZING, even with the full dry suits that we were wearing. Our guides assured us that if that happened they would get us out ASAP and on to the rescue zodiac that was following close by, but we couldn’t help our hearts pounding.
Once we got on to the open water and started kayaking amongst the icebergs that changed quite quickly. It was so calm and serene, and so beautiful being on the same level as the ice. Kayaking in Antarctica is an experience I’ll never forget. It was an incredible and action-packed activity, yet peaceful and serene at the same time!
Philip, Zen Travellers
Do you have an adrenaline-rush activity to add to this list? Please let us know in the comments below!