You know what makes a getaway or vacation incredible? A side-aspect. A bit of a reason for that getaway. Some people go on wine tasting tours of Aquitaine in France; others go away to experience the high-class theatre of Broadway in New York. Some will travel far to the Mardi Gras of New Orleans, while some will visit Dublin just in time for Saint Paddy’s. A getaway with a reason adds a bit of edge to a vacation, and while a vacation sitting around the pool is amazing, sometimes a vacation with a reason and goal is better and more fruitful. It might give you more than your typical vacation!
One of the reasons to visit a country is because of extreme sports. Sports are played across the world – but some locations and countries lend themselves well to certain sports. You can go anywhere in the world to see things like Soccer – but can you Ski outside of a great mountain range? Will you find better skateparks than the ones in Vancouver, Barcelona and San Francisco? As for extreme sports, some places lend themselves better than others to these kind of sports. Here are some extreme sports trails to do before you die!
Snowboarding and skiing, believe it or not, are extreme sports that can be enjoyed in summer as well as winter. The powder snows of the mountains don’t leave just because the sun is out! Certainly, you can enjoy the seasonal snows of upper state New York with your equipment and ski house rental – but all year round snow can be found in the peaks of France, Italy and Switzerland – as well as Canada and the United States.
Switzerland has a focus on skiing, and this country plays host to some divine skiing experiences with fresh slopes. One of the more famous resorts is St. Moritz, which is the definition of elegant – but you can enjoy some mountain biking and hiking in the summer. If you want to ski or enjoy snow-based extreme sports, you’ll need to head to the Matterhorn and the Zermatt resort. Zermatt features almost 16 miles of slopes in the summer and is open from May right through to the start of winter. You’ll need a cable car to get there, but this is easy enough to organise thanks to the accessibility of the Klien cable car up the Matterhorn. There are plenty of skiing options with thirteen unique runs, and a snowboarding gravity park. If you fancy a mountain climb, you might be able to join an expedition up the mountain. Thanks to Zermatt’s proximity to the Italian border, you can even ski over to Cervinia to enjoy an Italian lunch before heading back up to Switzerland.
For mountain biking, you won’t need to head far away from the Swiss or Italian sections of the Alpine mountain range – not at all. One of the better mountain biking routes is found in Saint-Luc in the Swiss Alps. There are some more hardcore routes, but a few more ‘casual’ ones. It’s not too far from Zermatt either. This route has views of epic rocky mountainside terrain, right through to huge glacial landscapes. The Balcony trail is heavily recommended for seasoned riders.
If extreme is your thing, you need to conquer Mount Everest. Since Edmund Hillary climbed it in the mid-20th century, climbing Everest has become more and more accessible, with clear routes taking you to the top. That doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the most extreme destinations in the world. It can be seriously expensive, but you can make it part of a once in a lifetime Nepalese getaway if you visit nearby Kathmandu, which can take you on a plane tour of the Himalayas.
If you want your extreme sport with a Scandinavian flavour, you’ll need to hit up Sweden and some Timber Rafting. Log rafting is all about sailing down the winding rivers of Scandinavia – and is something for the nature lovers reading! The Klarälven River that flows through Sweden and Norway is your main spot for this activity! You might have to forgo a hotel – and you will need to camp in the wilds of Sweden!
What bucket list dealing with the extreme could miss out on Dog Sledging? Canada and Alaska specialise in this area and Dog Sledging is extreme by definition. The dogs look great, cute and fluffy, but they ride fast! You’ll need to head to Ontario to partake in this must-do activity.
There are so much more things to do – but in the nature of extreme, you’ll need to discover more for yourself!
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