Travel High: Ideal Getaways for the Action Sports Enthusiast

© Nanna Dís 2013

You’ve traveled the world and seen it all. You’ve set foot on nearly every continent and absorbed the landscapes of numerous countries and locales. Now, you are scouring the globe for more exhilarating experiences to satisfy your craving for thrills and adrenaline-fueled excitement. For the hard-core action sports enthusiast, the more audacious and daring the journey promises to be, the better. The following list presents some unconventional activities for thrill-seekers longing to up their game and transform their next vacation into an unforgettable action sports adventure.


Zorbing is a quirky sport that involves running down a hill or across a body of water in a giant inflatable plastic ball—all in the name of fun. The activity originated in New Zealand, but its popularity has expanded across the globe, making it a widely accessible sport, no matter where you plan on travelling. Also an entertaining source of exercise, Zorbing is a fantastic way to bond with friends, and the sport has given birth to several water and land-based competitive events, a sign of its staying power and expansive cult following. Some Zorbing locations even offer amazing obstacle courses to test your mettle, adding to the challenge (and hilarity) of this unique recreational activity.

Ice Sea Swimming

Brisk and bracing, thrilling and memorable, ice swimming is a popular activity, especially in the Nordic countries of Iceland and Finland. Not for the trepidatious traveler, ice swimming involves taking a quick dip in frigid lake or ocean waters, and then following it up with a relaxing respite in a geothermally heated pool or sauna. First-time ice swimmers report a brief, yet chilling shock that gives way to a light tingling sensation all over their body. Some devoted ice swimmers believe the activity helps regulate and improve blood circulation, suggesting positive health benefits as well. Though it’s not for everyone, ice swimming can make for an amusing story to tell your friends or colleagues later.

Volcano Boarding

If you wish to experience the thrill of tobogganing without the wintry weather, then you should try sliding down the slope of an active volcano. Pioneered by an Australian tourist in Léon, Nicaragua, volcano boarding puts a fresh spin on a well-worn activity of sledding, and with some experience and practice, you can descend down the face of a volcano at blistering speeds—a perfect activity for even the most hard to impress action sport enthusiasts. The views are spectacular as well, and the hike up the volcano makes for a vigorous workout. Surfing down the slope of a volcano is an off-the-beaten-path way to enjoy one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders.


Imagine soaring at lightning fast speed over a lush, sprawling forest, your feet dangling and your heart racing the entire time. Zip-lining—an activity obviously enjoyed best at high altitudes—is not only a thrilling and daring adrenaline rush but also a fantastic way to spend time soaking in the great outdoors. A bucket-list item for every adventurer or action sportsman, extreme zip-lining is an invigorating way to add vitality and exhilaration to your next vacation. Whether you are traveling to the cool and breath-taking Smoky Mountains or taking on one of the world’s longest zip-lines in Sun City, South Africa, this recreational activity will leave you wanting to go one more time.


Snowmobiling is a high-octane sporting activity that allows participants to shred some serious powder while experiencing some incredible (and chilly) thrills. Suit up and put on your helmet first, and then feel the rush of the snowmobile’s roaring engine as you drive across a frozen plain or on top the icy expanse of an Arctic glacier. The more space you have to roam, the greater possibilities for trying high-speed tricks and techniques. Plus, nothing beats the energy rush of speeding down a glacier slope at extremely high velocity, the cold mountain air beating against your body and giving you goosebumps the entire way.

About The Author

Olivia Scott is a Denver-based contributor who designs bespoke interiors for hospitality projects, her favorite being high-end restaurants and boutique hotels. ‘Liv’ is an avid skier who sheds her snowsuit at the first heat of summer so she can train for the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships each year. Work hard, play hard is Liv’s motto. In her spare time, she works in the garden and studies the French language.

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