These sport holidays for adrenaline junkies don’t disappoint thrill seekers looking to raise their heart rate while on vacation.
Combining the excitement of sport with nature, culture, adventure and haute cuisine (haute can mean at 8000 ft!) sport holidays are the new way for “fitsters” to relax on vacation.
Just one quick ride up the cable car to Alta Badia’s Explore Your Way alpine fitness park and you’ll find yourself in fitster paradise. There’s trekking, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, orienteering, geo-catching, and more. You don’t have to be a mountaineer capable of one-finger pull ups to enjoy all that Alta Badia has to offer. On the mountain and in the valley, you’ll find a sport for every level of fitness and thrill from moderate to challenging trail running to Via Ferrata climbing routes.
As challenging as it is to go up, it’s equally a thrill to go down. Opt for a relaxing hike, fly downhill on a mountain bike or paraglide tandem with a guide and- literally – get a bird’s eye view as you soar over the gorgeous Dolomites. If you’re not a mountain bike uphill champ, try the miracle of e-bikes. Alta Badia has an amazing e-bike sharing program. The low gear + turbo mode combo makes previously impossible hills totally within reach.
Then after a day of adventure in the fresh alpine air, wind down for an après sport cocktail at La Majun and relax sore muscles in their wellness center and spa. Then dine at their Michelin guide-mentioned restaurant featuring delicious Southern Tyrol specialties and incredible views of the towering Dolomites. And if after dinner, you’re still up for a bit of sport, the Majun’s patio has a ping pong table available for pick-up games.
Do like speed, catching air, and dirt? Does the feeling of flying down a mountain on a bike juice you up? Then head to Mammoth Mountain in California for their summer mountain bike day clinics and weeklong camps.
You’ll work on your downhill technical and freeride techniques and be coached on jumps by such pros as Leigh Donovan who leads the Women’s Mountain Bike Camp and Guinness World Record setter Cam Zink. Both their day clinics and camps almost always sell out so book in advance.
Remember that to join in the fun, you don’t have to be a total pro. Everyone has to start somewhere. There are mountain biking clinics and camps for every level. And Leigh is passionate about “the working moms, closet adventure girls, and the women who haven’t been invited yet to join this amazing sport” to get on a mountain bike and try it. So unleash your inner adrenaline junkie and let it rip!
Alpine mountain hut touring in Switzerland’s Val de Bagnes is truly an adventure at altitude. Some of the most stunning destinations in the Alps are remote and accessible only by hiking itineraries where you arrange for a night’s stay at a cabane or mountain hut. Fear not, cabanes in the Swiss Alps are more like cozy dormitories than huts. After hiking past sapphire blue glacier lakes, winding rivers, blossoming meadows and perhaps even a glacier, at a mountain hut you can rest and enjoy divine local wine like Fendant or Dole, indulge in Swiss fondue with nettle and other alpine herbs, mingle with other travelers, and get a true night’s rest before setting off in the morning.
Whether it’s your very first or umpteenth mountain hut tour, Tour du Val de Bagnes is a must see. Beginning in Le Châble, you’ll pass through charming tiny alpine towns on your way up to stunning views of seemingly endless glacier peaks. Included in this itinerary are two of Switzerland’s most beloved mountain huts: Cabane Mt. Fort and Cabane Louvie. The views and the away-from-it-all experience of the Alps is well worth some uphill conditioning.
When you think of France usually wine, cheese, and Paris come to mind. Now, add in kayaking. If you fancy paddling through turquoise Mediterranean waters to remote coves along stunning unspoiled coastline that is only accessible by sea, join in ROW’s Compelling Corsica trip that is held several times a year. You’ll paddle through UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Reserve Naturelle de Scandola and get your land legs back by hiking along the awe inspiring Gorges of the Restonica. A winner of National Geographic Traveler’s 2015 “Tours of a Lifetime” this kayaking (and hiking) trip combines the charm of Corsica with must-see pristine natural areas. So get your paddle on and start practicing your French. A little before-the-trip arm and shoulder training will be helpful. As you want to make sure that after paddling, you won’t be too sore to raise your wine glass!
If windsurfing is your thing, Greece is one of best spots in the world to take your skill to the next level or learn for the first time. Flying Fish’s windsurf training center on the island of Lefkas is near Vassiliki, a charming village teeming with water loving enthusiasts who come for the consistent winds and then relax afterwards in the charming tavernas that line the narrow streets and waterfront.
For the night owl, windsurfing is the perfect sport because the wind starts to pick up at about 10AM and then blows full force much later in the afternoon. So, enjoy the great nightlife of Vassiliki. Because in windsurfing, the early bird doesn’t get the wind. And if you can’t find a friends to join in the fun – go solo. The atmosphere at the The FlyingFish windsurfing club is fun and friendly. There’s a great camaraderie in the classes and you’ll find plenty of people to share the stoke with after a amazing day on the water with the wind in your hair.
If lounging by a pool reading a book now sounds boring, join in one of these sport holidays that will satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie for the thrill and adventure of a lifetime!
Related on EcoSalon.com:
Images: Alta Badia © Freddy Planinschek, © Michal Pancir, couple windsurfing, Swiss mountain hut, and mountain biking via Shutterstock