Different people define adventure tourism in different ways. For some, it is about doing extreme sports like bungee jumping, white water rafting, and paragliding. For others, adventure is getting in touch with nature and exploring the many beauties that it has to offer. Finally, a third group considers adventure to be anything that relates to something exciting or beautiful, something so amazing the mind cannot begin to comprehend it.
Whatever your definition might be, if it gets your heart pumping and the blood running through your veins, it is an adventure.
Here are four destinations you might not know of, but you definitely don’t want to miss.
If you are looking for the ultimate Winter adventure, look no further than the land of great dynasties, dragon boats, fireworks, and gun powder. Yes, we are talking about China. Unlike popular European winter destinations like Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and France, China is still a relatively hidden gem when it comes to the year’s coldest season.
But that’s doesn’t mean it is any less exciting and there is nothing to do. Why not climb the Great Wall while covered in snow or be enchanted by the breathtaking views of castles, sculptures, and entire cities made of ice?
And if you’re into sports, then put on your Bogner men’s winter jacket and head for the Alshan Ski Resort in Inner Mongolia or Chengdu Xilin Park. You never know, there might be a Giant Panda there to greet you and enjoy a few runs down the slopes with you.
Sure, you can stay all day long staring at the cherry blossoms near the majestic Mt. Fuji in Japan or take a stroll down Central Park in New York City. But if adventure is what you are looking for, there is perhaps no better place to visit in Spring than Brazil.
Are you afraid of snakes? How about standing a few feet from an eight-meter-long Anaconda? If reptiles are not your cup of tea, you might get lucky and catch a glimpse of the Amazonian pink dolphin, a species so rare it only lives in one river in one country.
The nation of football legends Pele and Ronaldinho and supermodels Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima also holds arguably the greatest art and dancing spectacle in the world every year. If you haven’t guessed it already, it’s the Rio Carnival, a three-day event that brings the entire country to a halt.
So put on your dancing shoes and take the first flight to South America.
Belgium? Not Greece, Italy, or Spain during the Summer, but Belgium? What is there to do in Belgium?
If you like EDM or Electronic Dance Music, you already know where this is heading. If you don’t, well, let me tell you about it. Belgium, more specifically the town of Boom near Antwerp — yes, there is a city called Boom — is home to Tomorrowland, the world’s best, biggest, most awesome electronic music festival of all time. Among others, names like Steve Aoki, Armin van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Tiesto, and Fatboy Slim call this place home.
And once you are done drinking Red Bull and headbanging for an entire weekend, you can head to Wallonia, the French-speaking region located in the Southern part of the country. There you can take part in a sand yachting race, go tree climbing with your mates, jump off a plane in a parachute or test your physical stamina and wrist strength by rock climbing.
And did I mention that Belgium is the birthplace of beer and french-fries? There is no adventure without either one or the other.
Many consider Croatia to be the pearl of Adriatic. With its beautiful coastline and turquoise ocean beauty, it is the perfect adventure destination to visit in the Autumn.
You can go snorkeling near the ancient city of Dubrovnik or head to the island of Korcula. And make sure to take your camera as you might be one of the few people to stop a loggerhead seat turtle or “Carretta Carretta.”
Other adventure stops in the country are the island of Hvar and the Cetina River. While in Hvar, you can go kayaking, canoeing, and hiking. You can embark on a river safari at the Cetina River or go canyoning across some of the most spectacular views this world has to offer.
And while you are at it, don’t forget to try some black risotto or crni rizot, a modern, unique take on the Italian delicatessen.
Being conventional is many times compared to being boring. And it’s true. Why do something that everybody else, why go somewhere where everybody else goes?
Instead, the next time you plan your vacation, try China in winter, Brazil in Spring, Belgium in Summer, or Croatia in Fall. It’ll be a holiday you will never forget.