Extreme Holidays, adventure holidays for the adrenaline junkies, not for the faint hearted, but if you want something more from a holiday than relaxing on a beach or beside a pool then an extreme holiday could be for you.
Personally, I would rather hop in the RV and travel around for a couple of weeks but the thought of sailing and avoiding the noise and traffic has a particular appeal.
But not being a sailor, I was a little lacking on this and other more extreme activities, so I reached out to some friends over at Palmetto State Armory to get some tips. It turns out one of them has a particular interest in water sports and holidays, so a huge thank you to Joshua for the help here.
Florida to Azores Sailing Holiday.
If you have ever wanted to live out in the ocean this could be the holiday where you can experience just that. 3000nm sailing on a 60ft ocean going yacht from Florida Keys in the USA to the Azores.
Spend time learning how to sail, navigate and live aboard a stunning vessel. The weather may be very varied from light winds to maybe gales! Enjoy spectacular sunrises and sunsets, spend time watching for whales or dolphins. There will be time to relax and get used to being on board and learn about on deck skills and drills. Before setting sail there will be intensive training to enable all crew on board to become familiar with the boat and learn key manoeuvres needed to sail the boat safely.
After completing a passage plan and shopping for food the voyage can begin. To begin the journey the vessel will sail 50nm east to Alice Town in the Bahamas giving everyone the chance to find their sea legs and get used to life on the ocean. After spending a few days enjoying the culture and sun of the Bahamas the vessel will set off into the vastness that is the Atlantic, which will be a more involved stage of the challenge where we have to ensure our sextant work is spot on. We need to use our sextants to locate Bermuda, just under 1000nm north east.
Navigating just by the sextant and searching out the stars and planets to take a fix every morning and evening to check the course. How interesting and exciting that will be. The big Atlantic waves will help power the vessel along and we will know our celestial navigation is working once we see the small archipelago of Bermuda appear over the horizon. The Sargasso Sea has incredible beaches and reefs, making it one of the world’s top snorkelling and diving locations, stopping here for a few days of rest and enjoyment before beginning the next part of the challenge. The next two to three weeks will give experiences that will never be forgotten as we try to locate the Azores 2000nm away in the middle of the Atlantic.
The crew by now need to be (and I’m sure will be) proficient with the sextant. You will become part of the watch system – usually three hours on and six off – ensuring plenty of sailing but also plenty of rest and relaxation. There is nothing quite as memorable as crossing the ocean at night, watching the millions of stars above and watching the sunrise next morning.
After 10 or 11 days without sight of land and another 1900nm of ocean crossed the volcanic islands of the Azores on the horizon will appear. We may have encountered light winds or heavy weather but all add to the excitement of the voyage. With time to rest, relax and recuperate in the western most islands and then just one more day of sailing and exploring islands we will finally pull into Ponta Delgada and enjoy a huge celebration before departure, after experiencing an amazing adventure.
Kayaking Holiday in Indonesia – Komodo Dragon Experience.
If you have never experienced paddling a sea kayak then Indonesia is an exciting place to start, paddle around some of Indonesia’s most remote beaches and islands and search for the legendary Komodo dragons as well as have the opportunity to snorkel in beautifully clear waters. Kayaking gives the opportunity to reach some of the remotest beaches and get close to some of the islands known to be inhabited by Komodo dragons.
This 12 day adventure begins in Bali giving unique access to Komodo National Park where an experienced kayaking guide will help navigate the islands and beaches. The chance to swim and snorkel also add to the enjoyment of the experience along with the opportunity to walk on Rinca and get close to the dragons. This sea kayaking holiday is a perfect adventure for outdoor lovers to join a small group of like minded adventurers.
There will be physical challenges and also time to relax along with guide tours in Komodo National Park and opportunities to learn new kayaking skills. There are lots of Komodo Dragons within the park but approaching them very carefully is recommended.
There will be opportunities to explore uninhabited islands and to snorkel in beautiful clear waters observing the many marine creatures, untouched coral, manta rays and turtles swimming by.
Kayaking in Indonesia offers the chance to explore untouched beaches, see how communities live off the land and sea, and the magic of spending nights under the stars.
Desert Island Survival Adventure Panama
If a holiday with a real difference appeals then this will be for you. Castaway on a desert island. Survive by using your common sense and the new techniques which will be taught before the adventure begins.
This is usually a ten day holiday for a small group experience which will teach all of the skills and techniques that are needed to survive. Become truly emersed in nature and survival with full training given alongside limited equipment to ensure your castaway experience is as authentic as possible. The first night of the holiday will be spent in a luxurious hotel where you will get to know your fellow ‘castaways’.
Next will be to travel to ‘the island’ by speedboat to your home for the next eight nights. After days spent training and learning actual survival skills and how to use equipment your group will be left with only a machete, fish hooks and a satellite phone.
You will be taught how to build different shelters and bed space. What to do with water to make sure it is safe and well used. Learn fire making techniques using a bow drill, steel wool and a bamboo saw. Learn the names of animals and plants and how important they are to the island.
Find out how to fish with just a line and hook and learn how to trap and spear fish. Learn how people in Panama used to cook using traditional bamboo pots, clay ovens and smoking grills.
Make your own containers and cooking equipment using natural materials. Become a trapper and learn how to hunt, and finally discover how to attract attention from the island to get rescued if needs be.
Enough to keep you well and truly busy. After experiencing the ultimate castaway experience your group will be collected on the final day to return to your hotel and the luxury of hot baths and showers and the opportunity for a celebratory meal and a chance to discuss this outstanding experience.
Great White Shark diving in Gansbaai, a few hours drive from Cape Town, South Africa is a very popular holiday for the adrenaline junkie. Not only do you have the opportunity to dive to see the sharks but also to learn about the conservation of these amazing creatures.
There are over 350 shark species in the world but the Great White has always fascinated people the most. You may be lucky enough to see copper sharks and even the odd stingray passing by.
Crew members will show you where these misunderstood predators hide, explain to you how and where they feed and how to distinguish between male and female sharks and how to identify a specific shark by its unique dorsal fin. Great White Sharks have a sixth sense, they have blue eyes and each have their own personality. Being in a cage within centimeters of their razor sharp teeth creates the ultimate adrenaline rush, often due to the beliefs and fear that we have from watching movies such as Jaws.
Shark cage diving gives the opportunity to see the sharks in their native habitat and realize what the sharks are really like, how graceful and unique they are. All shark diving trips are preceded by a safety briefing teaching how to enter the cage, slow and steady, and don’t try and touch the sharks- however tempted- just watch them and as long as you stick to the rules you will feel completely safe, prepared and able to enjoy the experience creating wonderful lasting memories.
Skydiving over Antarctica
Considered the ultimate destination for experienced skydivers, Antarctica’s pristine wilderness. In addition to skydiving you can include hiking, cycling and skiing, all while staying at a remote basecamp in the Antarctic Interior.
On the holiday you would arrive in Chile to prepare for the trip to Union Glacier after having had an important safety briefing. During a week’s stay in Antarctica you would get the opportunity to explore Union Glacier.
A typical day would begin with a briefing after breakfast to discuss the day’s options and choose an activity which is suitable for that day’s weather. Excursions can include a ride to Elephant Head, a dramatic marble buttress which overlooks the blue-ice runway, a hotspot for ichnofossils.
Hikers may choose to trek up to the base of Elephants Head or to the top of Rhodes Buff. Take a scenic drive to Buchanan Hills where for the adventurous you can summit a peak in the heart of Antarctica. Drake Icefall tumbles off the polar plateau Union Glacier where winds from the South Pole carve huge waves in the blue-ice. Another amazing setting for panoramic views is The Beach at Rossman Cove.
Enjoy a picnic lunch or cross-country ski. This is Antarctica’s version of a glacial beach. Finally when conditions are optimal you would board the Twin Otter and head for the skies!! Feel the fresh Arctic air, view mountains, glaciers and the huge expanse of white as you freefall for 50-60 seconds, open your chute and float towards your ‘home on ice’. Exciting and Exhilarating !!!
Single Track Mountain Biking in Europe
An eight day holiday biking in four European countries, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia and Austria. This holiday is perfect for mountain bikers who have moderate biking knowledge, are able to ride an average of 30km per day, some fitness preparation is advised before commencing this trip.
Accommodation, daily breakfast, an English speaking guide, pick up and drop off before and after the tour is all provided. If just you and your bike appeals then this could be your idea of heaven ! Beginning this adventure in the coastal Italian city of Trieste and discovering the trails of the Mediterranean. Stopping for the day in Croatia to explore the area around the magical town of Groznjan.
Move towards the Alpine region where the trails become more technical, mountain passes, single trails together with amazing views. Heading to Slovenia, stopping at Postojna caves to explore the fantastic underground. After lunch head toward Ljubljana exploring local trails.
Next day will be spent in Krvavec bike park 20 minutes from the capital. Using the gondola to reach the top of the resort in order to save energy for the numerous descents. The following day will be spent riding through three countries at once. Climbing to the top of Tromeja mountain, on the border of Slovenia, Italy and Austria.
The final day will be spent driving up to Vrsic mountain pass in Slovenia, driving towards Bovec and unloading the bikes at the bottom of Kobariski Stol in Socca Valley. Riding up the mountain will show constant reminders of WW1, before taking one of the nicest single tracks down to the valley to end the day enjoying a welcome evening meal.
An exciting adventure experiencing the amazing scenery and views along the way.