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Top 6 Original Outdoor Vacation Activities

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The summer holidays are in full swing. And if you haven’t had your summer vacation yet, then you might be looking for a few good ideas to occupy yourself with, in case you’re still planning on taking a well-deserved trip. We all need some time off from our drudging office lives and what better way to do that than to just undertake some exciting, outdoor activities that you normally don’t undertake, that will rustle your feathers, that will get you some much needed fresh air and that will take your time off of your 9 to 5 rat race for the time being.

Whether you’re going to Spain, Iceland, Morocco, India, Vietnam or Italy… at least one of these recommended activities are bound to be offered at your vacation destination of choice. So without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the best summer outdoor activities that you can’t afford to pass up.

1. Elephant Riding

If you’re a lover of animals, then riding an elephant should be right up your alley. These magnificent beasts are naturally very calm and friendly. Believe it or not, they actually enjoy hanging out with us silly humans, provided we treat them with the respect they deserve. And most people do, because do you really want to get into a fight with an elephant?

Elephants have the ability to traverse steep, gravelly terrains, which are narrow and hard to navigate. So if you’ve always wanted the thrill of a good hike, without having to do any of the work, then taking the hike on an elephant might just be the thing for you. Elephants will enjoy walking you through the untamed wilderness. Just so long as you pay’em in peanuts afterward.

This is a popular tourist activity in India.

2. Kitesurfing

Looking for something that will give you a bit more of a jolt? Kitesurfing is a fun, water and wind-based activity that you are going to love. Especially if you haven’t ever done it before. This skill can be learned with a little bit of motivation and grit. And it’ll be totally worth your time to get educated before you hop onto the board.

There’s no feeling quite like standing on a kitesurfing board and letting yourself be dragged all across the water by the wind. If you’re lucky and you’ve got the skills, you might even take off and fly a few dozen feet. The pros are doing it all the time. It’s a very liberating experience. I’m betting you can’t wait to try it out, can you?

There are many spots where you can do kitesurfing, such as Morocco.

3. Quading

If you’re more of a lover of motors, then you might want to give quading a shot. Quad bikes are kind of like motorcycles, but only with four wheels and a bad temper. You’ll be more stable on a quad than you are on a motorcycle. All in all, it’s a completely different experience. Quad bikes can go pretty fast. Low-end quads will top out at 55mph, while high-end quads might very well go to 90mph.

If your vacation destination just so happens to have large areas of land where hardly anybody ever shows up, then this would be an excellent opportunity for you to raise some hell on your quad. There’s no feeling quite like taking your 250cc quad and revving it up to its top speed of 55mph, riding down the road and watching the dust behind you as you make speed.

Iceland has some nice plains and valleys that make for an interesting environment to go quadding in.

4. Bungee Jumping

If you are looking for some danger in your life to really shake yourself awake, then the good ole’ bungee jump might be something that’s going to suit you well. We all know how it works… you get a cord around you and then dive head down into the abyss, praying to your deity of choice that he’ll leave the cord in one piece. What better way to relax on your vacation than to needlessly risk your life in a needlessly dangerous activity that most people wouldn’t even dream of touching?

There are so many places where you can get your bungee on, that I can’t possibly list them all here. One popular bungee location is the Chaulière bridge in France. This one will have you almost 600 feet high. If that doesn’t scare you into feeling alive, I don’t know what will!

5. Ziplining

Looking for the thrill of being high in the air, but without the risk of a cord coming undone and you splattering face down onto the ground hundreds of feet below you? Then ziplining is probably the right choice for you. You won’t go nearly as high or as fast as you would when doing the bungee. You’ll still be hanging on a cord, though. Except the cord won’t be as high and it won’t have to take as much of a strain as the bungee would.

Ziplining is an activity that is growing in popularity all across the world. It’s a relaxed way of discovering nature. Many ziplining tours will have many ziplines on a path that is essentially a hiking trail. Except you won’t be walking all across the trail… some bits you’ll be ‘flying’, instead.

A popular place for ziplining is the US. And if you’re not looking for a hiking vacation, then you can also go ziplining at a dude ranch called Bar Lazy J in Colorado. According to bootbomb.com, next to ziplining, dude ranches will provide many activities, not all of which are as strenuous as hiking, and most of which you’ve never even heard of. So if rest and relaxation in nature is your thing… then ziplining at a dude ranch it is!

6. Cave Excursions

If you’re one of those people that enjoys creeping him/her self out with a good horror movie, then maybe it’s about time that you go and experience something creepy in real life, such as an underground cave. Our lovely little planet harbors many caves, some of which are pretty dangerous if you don’t go in there with a guide. People have become lost in caves in the past without having to find their way back. You can die in there on your own. But not to worry, because most tourist accessible caves won’t let you in there without a guide anyway.

A cave excursion can be a lot more enticing than you’d think. The rock formations you’re going to find there is quite a marvel to behold. These structures have formed over eons. It’s incredible what nature will do over so much time. And you get to stand there and have a look at it. If you enjoy being awed by nature’s creations, then a cave is the place to be for you.

The Valporquero cave in Spain is a really good one. You’ll find it in Castile and Leon. It’s got streaming water, so you’ll certainly find some refreshment on your educative cave excursion.



Peter is a freelance writer with more than eight years of experience covering topics in politics. He was one of the guys that were here when the foreignpolicyi.org started.

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