Adventurous Destinations Around The World To Add To Your Summer Bucket List

The world has no shortage of amazing places. From the ancient metropolises of Asia and Europe, to the breathtaking natural beauty of the North American continent, there is something out there for every type of traveler. Some destinations stress relaxation and luxury as their main selling points. Others are all about adventure. It's the latter we're focusing on today, as we head across the world to show you some of our picks for the globe's most adventurous places. 


Adventure means different things to different people. For some, it could be snorkeling off the coast of Australia. For others, it could be taking weeks off work to trek iconic peaks in Nepal. Whatever type of adventurer you are, there is one thing you all have in common: the desire to explore!

While we cannot provide you with a fully comprehensive list of all the global adventures you could have, we can give you some ideas to add to your summer travel bucket list. So tag along as we take you on a journey across the globe for our picks of the most adventurous destinations.

Have a real Middle Earth adventure in New Zealand

Fan of "The Lord of the Rings" film series? Then we ask you: what could be better than spending your summer partaking in your own quest throughout Middle Earth? One of the biggest thrills of the trilogy is that a majority of the locations actually exist. You can visit the set where they filmed Hobbiton, take helicopter rides along the mountains of the South Island, or climb the Misty Mountains all on the small, two-island nation of New Zealand.


Depending on your preferences and budget, you take the adventures solo, or be part of a guided tour. Red Carpet Tours offers a 14-day "Lord of the Rings” travel itinerary that takes you all around the country to visit locations like Edoras, Pelennor Fields, and Gollum's Fishing Pool. They also swing by Weta Workshop, where all of the costumes, props, sets, and special effects for the films were created.

If you opt for going solo, make sure that you plan your trip out well. Summer in the southern hemisphere is actually winter in the Northern Hemisphere. So, it might actually behoove you to travel during your summer and their winter, as things will likely be far less crowded. Thankfully New Zealand winters are relatively mild depending on where you are. Seeing the snow-capped mountains of the South Island might be a great escape from the summer heat of your own home.


Snorkel off the coast of Australia

While it's known colloquially as one of the most dangerous places on Earth, thanks to its penchant for poisonous snakes, jellyfish, and spiders, Australia is one of the most sought-after adventure destinations in the entire world. One of the big draws is the fact that, off the east coast of the country, lies the Great Barrier Reef. At 1,429 miles long, the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef on the planet and has been a bucket list destination for snorkelers and scuba divers.


Owing to its massive size, there are numerous different spots you can go diving on the Great Barrier Reef. The coast of Queensland offers some of the best spots, including Agincourt Reefs, the SS Yongala Shipwreck, the Whitsunday Islands, and the Capricorn and Bunker Reefs. With abundant sea life, amazing coral structures, cairns, and even the Museum of Underwater Art off the coast of Townsville, there is no shortage of fantastic places to explore beneath the sea.

The cooler Australian months of June through November are actually some of the best times of year to visit the Great Barrier Reef. They offer excellent opportunities to see larger marine life, and have access to the best areas owing to these times being peak season for travelers. It's an awesome place to visit for anyone who loves being in the water.


Climb an iconic mountain and drink tea in Japan

Offering a unique blend of east and west, Japan is at once foreign and familiar to anyone who visits. Any visit to this amazing country would be incomplete without partaking in two things: climbing Mt. Fuji and sitting down to an authentic tea ceremony.


The most iconic natural landmark in all of Japan, Mt. Fuji stands alone as the solitary peak for miles around. Hikers and travelers can make their way to multiple stations along the mountain. The popular Yoshida Trail is open from July to September, and is the most direct route to the summit. Only 4,000 hikers are allowed on Mt. Fuji any given day, so it is recommended that you reserve your spot online well in advance.

After your climb, you can head back into Tokyo for an authentic tea ceremony at Miakoya. Dress in a traditional kimono and see a thousand years worth of tradition unfold before your very eyes. Ceremonies typically last around 90 minutes, and include explanations on the tea-making process, the tea itself, and indulging in traditional Japanese sweets. Great for refueling after a grueling hike.


Get close to sharks in South Africa

If you're one who doesn't mind partaking in daredevil activities (and don't mind being underwater for long periods of time), then perhaps getting up close and personal with sharks off the coast of South Africa is the summer adventure for you. If the thought of this doesn't fill you with dread, read onwards. Known as one of the most shark-filled coasts in the world, South Africa offers some of the best cage dives out there.


Divers are lowered into the surf inside of a metal cage, which allows them unparalleled access to the shark infested waters. Great whites, bronze whalers, and other magnificent species of sharks can be found in these waters, and companies like Marine Dynamics embark from the town of Gansbaai, long considered to be the birthplace of cage diving for sharks. 

For those still wary of the enterprise, rest assured that cage diving is completely safe. This isn't "Jaws." You're not going to get attacked by a mega shark in real life. Though we can guarantee that the dive will get even the most seasoned adventurer's blood pumping. 

Float over Turkey's Cappadocia

The Cappadocia region of central Turkey is defined by its unique landscape. A realm of towering rock structures formed by centuries of erosion and into which Bronze Age homes and churches were built, the land offers dramatic views from all angles. However, many believe that Cappadocia is best viewed from above, in the basket of a hot air balloon. It is not uncommon to see the sky filled with hundreds of these colorful floating orbs


Taking off during the morning allows flyers to see the sun kiss the ridges and ravines of Cappadocia, filling the air with an orange hue that stretches for miles. The sky is soon teeming with balloons, making for a charmingly scenic sight for anyone viewing from below. Reputable companies like Royal Balloon offer 60 to 75 minute flights for anywhere from 8 to 20 passengers.

Though it may seem counterintuitive in the summertime, remember to dress for colder weather. The altitudes reached by the hot air balloon bring passengers into rather chilly temperatures. Seeing as you're out in an open basket, it would behoove you to wear climate appropriate clothing and jackets. Layering is your friend in this instance.


Visit ghost towns in Italy's forgotten region

Despite being one of the most popular destinations in the world, Italy is still home to some incredibly remote locations that are not often visited by tourists. This fact is typified by the region of Basilicata, the southern arch of Italy's boot. It's a fantastic place to explore for anyone who is looking to get off the beaten path and explore the lesser known areas of Italy. It's a region of mountains, hills, and sea coast. It is also a region of ghost towns.


The abandoned city of Craco is Basilicata's most famous ghost town. It is an abandoned city that sits atop a hill overlooking a vast array of speckled hills. It has not hosted a resident since 1980, and is lined with decaying streets, crumbling buildings, and tombs stretching back to ancient times. Under the blazing summer sun of southern Italy, things can get hot and a little mystical very quickly.

Airport and car rental access to Basilicata is easy via Bari in neighboring Puglia. Driving through this landscape is evocative of spaghetti westerns, many of which were filmed not too far away. It's a place many have called the "authentic Italy" (via Vitalia). You'll just have to venture there and see it for yourself.


Have your own Tour de France in Provence

The Tour de France is an epic, grueling cycling journey that takes participants across the largest country in western Europe. However, for regular cyclists, they can have their own, far less taxing tour through the sun kissed region of Provence in Southern France. Long the stomping ground of writers, artists, and chefs, Provence is an incredible place for those seeking a more laid back style of wandering adventure. Not every adventure needs to get the blood pounding.


Cycling in Provence is at its peak between May and September, perfect for a week long summer fling along the Mediterranean. It is best to try and go earlier or later in the summer, because the roads tend to be busier between July and August. You can cycle along the banks of the Loire River or the Nantes-Brest Canal, or through any number of lavender fields, sleepy medieval villages, wine vineyards, and olive groves. And anywhere you stop to eat is going to be fantastic.

One thing to note about summer in Provence is the heat. Temperatures routinely reach over 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and the sun is usually shining high in the bright blue sky. So, cycle your way to one of the area's many beaches and enjoy a cooling dip in the sea.


Hike England's Peak District

Venturing northwards from London into the region of Derbyshire lies England's Peak District. Arguably the most naturally beautiful landscape in the country, the Peak District blends beautiful scenery with classic English country charm. Fans of Jane Austen will note that this area is home to Pemberley, the iconic house of one Mr. Darcy. Reason enough for most of us to visit the place, wouldn't you say?


For those seeking a less literary adventure, the Peak District offers some of the best hiking in the country. Thanks to its status as a National Park, the Peak District is easily accessible to hikers, cyclists, climbers, and horseback riders. There are trails for all skill levels, all of which wind through some truly breathtaking scenery. Some of the most popular include The Trinnacles, Bamford Edge, and the Monsal Trail. There are even caves dug into the sides of the cliffs that can be explored.

There are also several castles and estates one can visit while in the Peak District. Chatsworth House in Derbyshire stood in for Pemberley in the 2005 film adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice." Other grand homes to visit include Thornbridge Hall, Lyme Park, and Bolsover Castle.


Off-road in Iceland

Perfectly situated between Europe and North America, Iceland is an outdoor lover's dream. With its volcanic landscape, hot springs, and stunning mountains, it is the perfect place to, quite literally, get off the beaten path. Off-roading is a very popular method of transportation through this rugged landscape because it brings you into close contact with places in Iceland you might otherwise not have seen.


Rental companies like IceRental 4x4 provide travelers with off-road ready vehicles equipped with rooftop tents. Seeing as Iceland is still part of Europe, be sure you or someone in your party knows how to operate a manual transmission.

For its small size, Iceland has some truly immense scenery. The best time to travel is in July, as the weather is at its most mild. Be sure to do adequate research and learn off-roading essentials like how to ford rivers and drive switchback trails before you go. Inexperienced drivers could very easily get themselves stuck in remote areas where help is hours away.

Drive the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island

For those who don't want to off-road, but still want to experience a breathtaking road trip, there may be no better option in North America than the Cabot Trail. Located on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, the Cabot Trail loops around the island for approximately 200 miles, taking you past stunning ocean vistas, towering highlands, and beautiful, deep lakes. You'll also venture through areas that showcase the island's cultural heritage, such as the Acadian village of Cheticamp, and Celtic towns of Ingonish and Baddeck.


Hiking is also close at hand in Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The Cabot Trail winds through the entire park, giving you access to iconic walks like the Skyline Trail, or lesser known walks like the Clyburn Trail which takes you down towards the area's many salmon pools.

Speaking of fish, Cape Breton is an angler's paradise. The Margaree River lies just inland from the Cabot Trail, and offers some of the best Atlantic Salmon fishing in North America. No matter what kind of sport you're into, you will not be disappointed by a trip to Nova Scotia.

Climb the Half Dome at Yosemite

One of the oldest and most famous of the U.S. National Parks, Yosemite is known for its absolutely stunning, northern California scenery. With enormous trees, stunning waterfalls, broad lakes, and high peaks, the park is an outdoor enthusiast's dream. Climbers will also note the famous Half Dome, one of the park's most recognized and popular peaks. A few thousand feet of solid granite, Half Dome can be a rather treacherous climb that only those who truly feel comfortable in their hiking experience should attempt.


The trail is 14 miles of pure incline, with very little in the way of level relief. There is also a section of the climb that has to be done on cable ladders that ascend a granite cliff face. It is a tough and grueling hike, but the panoramic views of the Yosemite Valley are well worth the effort. Permits are required in order to hike Half Dome.

The hike can take anywhere from 10 to 12 hours to complete. Summer in this part of California yields excellent temperatures, and relatively mild weather. The park website will have all of the latest information on climbing conditions and whether or not the trail is open for the day.

Trek Machu Picchu in Peru

The final item on this bucket list adventure tour brings us to the jungles of inland Peru. We're on the hunt for Machu Picchu, one of the most iconic wonders in all of the world. These amazingly intact ruins offers visitors a tangible legacy of the ancient Inca people. Standing in the mists of the eastern Peruvian mountains, Machu Picchu is a must for anyone who loves ancient history and a good adventure.


Alpaca Expeditions offers a classic, four-day trekking itinerary that takes hikers through the lush jungle and along the craggy peaks leading up to the site. It is a challenging trek through the mountains, but the reward of visiting this amazing sight is well worth it. Machu Picchu offers an amazing insight into the ancient world, allowing visitors to experience a slice of life from centuries ago. 

The world is full of exciting opportunities for adventure. You don't need to go far to have one of your own, but we guarantee that visiting any one of these fantastic destinations is sure to provide you with an excellent, memorable journey that you can remember forever.