For many people, the perfect vacation involves flying to a tropical destination and sitting on the beach while sipping a fruity drink for a few days. But for an increasing number of travelers the completely relaxing vacation is no longer enough. More and more people are looking for an experience that is both active and meaningful–and more in tune with their healthy lifestyle. For them, there are now some incredible fitness-oriented trips that offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to visit amazing places and take part in some unbelievable activities. Here are five such trips that you’ll want to put on your bucket list.
Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise and fitness around the globe, as it not only provides a good workout but also helps build strength, balance, and flexibility. If you want to expand your commitment and understanding of the deeper principles of yoga, why not do so in India, the country where it originated? There are many yoga retreats in various places across the country, but perhaps the best is the Vana Malsi Estate, located in foothills of the Himalayas. There you’ll be able to take part in daily yoga workouts, access a full-service spa, and be introduced to holistic healing methods. In short, it is an escape for both the mind and body.
Everyone knows that France is mad for cycling, so what better way to explore its idyllic countryside than on the back of a bike? Cycling tours have become incredibly popular in recent years, but few can match up with a visit to that country’s Burgundy region, which is famous for its fine wines, rolling hills, and quaint villages. Spend a week riding on narrow country roads, stopping at storybook inns, and enjoying the local cuisine, and you’ll discover that your bike is not only a good way to get in shape, but it is perfect for exploring the world too.
Is there a better place to learn to ride a mountain bike than Peru? You’ll master the finer points of the sport while riding from the snowcapped peaks of the Andes Mountains to the spectacular Amazon rain forest. Along the way, you’ll pass ancient Inca ruins (including the mountain fortress of Machu Picchu), while trained and experienced guides show you how to properly climb and descend hills, navigate a trail, and deftly maneuver a mountain bike. This is a truly active adventure that will expose you to Peruvian culture and history while surrounded by some of the world’s most amazing landscapes.
Trail runners looking for a unique challenge will want to add the Kilimanjaro Stage Run to their list of things to do. The multi-day trip sends travelers off on a 260 km (161 mile) run around Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in all of Africa. Each day, they’ll travel by the same footpaths that have been used by the local tribesmen for generations, trekking through small villages and past stunning scenery along the way. This is an epic running challenge, but one that is incredibly rewarding as well.
Maybe you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to be confined to a single type of activity for the duration of your vacation. If so, then fear not, there are certainly good travel options for you as well. For instance, you might want to take a multisport adventure to the Galapagos Islands, where you’ll not only get the chance to go kayaking and snorkeling but stand-up paddle boarding too. Located several hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos are home to some of the rarest and most unusual animals on the planet. Visitors who enjoy spending time on the water will get to interact with those creatures while staying very active at the same time.
As you can see from these five trips, there has never been a better time for active travelers. Now more than ever, it is easy to find options that combine physical activity with cultural immersion and exploration. The only questions are: Where do you want to go, and what do you want to do when you get there?