What’s your definition of paradise? For some, it’s a tropical beach. For others, it’s something that stimulates a bit more adrenaline. If adventure is your thing, consider one of these action-packed destinations — all ideal for the summer months — for your next getaway.
Situated just outside Florence, Italy, and overlooking the Italian Riviera, this centuries-old is an unsung destination for adventure lovers. The Cinque Terre, which translates to “The Five Lands,” is a web of five villages that wind along the coast in an explosion of vibrant-colored architecture and stunning seaside cliffs. Hiking its trails is among Italy’s most popular attractions, and ideal for burning off Italian carbs: The main trail ends with a climb of 368 steps.
Deep below the deep, azure waters of the Coral Sea is an explorer’s paradise: the largest living thing on Earth and one of the seven wonders of the world. Spanning 1,429 miles, the Great Barrier Reef brims with colorful exotic sea life. Exploring it is nothing short of a heart-pumping adventure: You can snorkel, take submarine tours, sail and even sky dive.
On the subject of hurtling toward earth, a bungee jump over the Kawarau River in New Zealand is next-level adventure. This famed jump point — known as the “Bungee Jump Capital of the World” and where the craze started a quarter-century ago — is a 141-foot leap. Trepidatious? Take comfort in the fact that it’s over in five seconds.
Prominently featured in the book and movie Wild, the PCT is known for its jaw-dropping views, challenging terrain and unmatched access to the majestic Sierra Nevada.
Spanning Barcelona to Cyprus, the EuroVelo EV8 route is an awe-inspiring trek, running directly alongside the glittery, aqua-colored waters of the Mediterranean. The 3,600-mile route mixes a high-intensity workout with some of the most dazzling sights in Europe: It runs through 11 countries, passing through Nice, Torino, Monaco and the Croatian coast.
If you really thrive on excitement — really, really — take a heart-pumping getaway to the world’s top shark cage-diving destination. You descend 30 feet into the crystal-clear depths of the Pacific to get up close and personal with white sharks in their natural environment.
Indoor rock climbing not cutting it anymore? To experience the sport in all its glory, head to Joshua Tree. Rock climbers flock to the park’s hundreds of climbing formations to take in panoramic views and unspoiled terrain.
Thrill-seeking history buffs — we assume you’re out there — can get a first-person glimpse of ancient history with a trek on Mount Sinai. A three-hour climb to the summit ends above the clouds with unsurpassed vistas. Ancient Egyptian ruins, the Pyramids and a rideable camel with your name on it are nearby.
At Waldseilgarten, you can literally spend the night suspended from treetops. This unique spin on camping can dial up romance with unmatched sunsets and the chance to really feel alone with nature.
Sailing enthusiasts can turn their next adventure into a dreamy getaway in one of the world’s best destinations for sailing. On this stretch of the Caribbean, dotted with 32 islands and hundreds of yacht-filled harbors, you can coast along translucent, emerald waters and untouched white sands.
You can’t get much closer to wildlife than by off-road exploring in Namibia, which gives you one-on-one encounters with rhinos, elephants and zebras. You can rough it in an ATV or indulge in a luxury safari, customized to your specifications and capped with a stay in a first-class resort in the desert.
A version of this story was originally published by Insight Guides.