From slaloming down Lake Garda’s sun-baked slopes on two wheels to admiring aquatic life and WWII wrecks off the coast of Croatia, upgrade your holiday with one of these energetic activities guaranteed to get the pulse racing.
Adventure Holidays with Stansted Airport
Mountain biking in Lake Garda
With calm turquoise waters, crumbling medieval villages and traditional Italian hospitality, it’s no wonder Lake Garda, a quick jaunt from both Milan and Verona Airport, is one of Italy’s premier tourist destinations.
While the idyllic sun-blushed shores may not scream adventure, the surrounding hills are a hotspot for mountain biking, with over 1000 challenging trails snaking through lush vegetation. Gorgeous bay views abound, and at the bottom, glasses of local pinot bianco await in the sun.
One of the great, yet often overlooked, European road trips, the 179km-long Ring of Kerry cascades through some of Ireland’s most magnificent countryside as it winds around the wind-swept Iveragh Peninsula.
Whether you drive or, more charmingly, cycle the tremendous trail, expect sheep-strewn vistas, welcoming traditional village taverns and deserted beachfront walks. Off the coast you can spot the lone monastery atop Skellig Michael, which had a starring role in the latest Star Wars blockbuster; boat trips to the island run throughout the summer.
Swashed in almost constant sunshine, bikini-clad bathers line the beautiful white sands of Fuerteventura, the Spanish isle off the coast of Africa, from January through to December.
But the windy isle is not known as the ‘Great Adventure’ for nothing. The shallow turquoise swells that crash onto the golden sands make the island a premier destination for surfing and windsurfing. Surf schools streak the sea front in Corralejo, with skilled instructors on hand to help newbies tackle their first wobbly waves.
If you can tear yourself from the cultural cacophony that lies in the historic walled town of Dubrovnik, or the ultra-hip hangouts of Split, world-class snorkelling and diving opportunities await beneath the warm waves off the Croatian coast.
Even the most inexperienced snorkellers have a good chance of spotting rare aquatic fauna in the calm waters of the Adriatic Sea, from starfish to swordfish, octopus to urchins. Meanwhile, skilled divers can venture down to some stunning subterranean sites, including the scabbard remains of WWII wreckages near the shores of the Croatian capital.
A night in the original Sin City is an eye-opening adventure in itself, with opulent, cash-draining casinos, luxurious cabarets and world-renowned musical acts entertaining the hedonistic hordes.
And while most visitors never leave this decadent bubble, a different kind of adventure awaits in Nevada’s national parks and rural mountainscapes. Hiking trails here are breathtaking, and can vary from glacier trekking atop Wheeler Peak to red-washed desert jaunts at the Valley of Fire, Nevada’s oldest and largest state park.
Rugged and remote, the Sierra Morena mountain range, forming the northern crease of Andalucía, conjures up romantic visions of Spain reserved for the pages of Hemingway novels: stone, lonely farmsteads puncturing hills set in every tone of green.
Whilst marvelling at the region’s otherworldly beauty is a worthwhile activity in itself, the scenic Sierra de Andújar Natural Park is home to an exciting selection of wildlife, from boars, ibex and lynx to Spanish imperial eagles and griffon vultures, all in refreshingly natural surrounds.