For your next much-needed break, ditch the resort-style holiday. Leave days and the Rand are in short supply – so save up both, and then plan one of these adrenaline trips for 2019. Passport ready? Start ticking these boxes
1 TRAIL RUN THE ISLE OF SKYE
The most remote wilderness you can drive to, the Isle of Skye has few roads, many mountains, and miles of lochs. It’s perfect for wild camping and even wilder trail running. So popular is the island with its characteristic ‘Scottish Highlands’ scenery that it ranks as Scotland’s second most popular destination, after Edinburgh Castle. The conditions are perfect for trekking, running and mountain biking. The team from Go Running Tours will tailor-make you an adventure that takes in Neist Point, the Fairy Pools, Portree, and the Old Man of Storr, among other secret nooks and crannies. Oh, and you’re very likely to spot some wildlife along the way too, including eagles, seals and otters – and, of course, the Highland Coo!
2 EXPLORE CAMBODIA
South-east Asia is special. This we know; but for a very long time, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam have been the most popular destinations. Head to Cambodia for your next mission. It’s a place of incredible and diverse natural beauty, fantastic food, and a unique culture.
Of course, it’s best explored by pushing the adrenaline levels with some serious outdoor adventure. Kayak the Mekong river to get up close to the mysterious Irrawaddy dolphins and see amazing flooded forests. The added bonus: paddling will strengthen your back, arms, shoulders and chest.
If that’s not enough, round it off by working your legs when you saddle up your mountain bike (or lace up the trail shoes) and bike or hike the ancient temple ruins of the incredible Angkor complex.
3 GO TREKKING IN NEPAL
The Himalayan mountain range is something to behold for any self-respecting trail runner or hiker. Its rugged, remote beauty is what attracts most visitors, but they go also to pit themselves against the challenges of the steep slopes and extreme altitude.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be Ryan Sandes to enjoy this wilderness. A guided trek with tour company Intrepid Travel will take you through the spectacular Annapurna Ranges through jaw-dropping glaciers, across mountain pastures, and through remote mountain villages. You’ll be accompanied by experienced guides and porters, who will not only lead you along the way, but also introduce you to the rich local Sherpa culture.
4 CYCLE CUBA
The island of cigars and rum. Birthplace of Che Guevara. Surrounded by warm Caribbean seas, and covered in lush tropical forests and fields of sugar cane. What’s not to love?
Perhaps the best way to soak up the vibes, both rural and in the cities, is on a bicycle. This way, you can alternate cruising speed with some sprint intervals, and even hill repeats.
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