The New 5* Holiday

 

London has seen a steep drop in temperature early this week and I seem to be hearing phrases similar to: “What I’d to for 2 weeks in the Maldives” or “Lets spend New Years in the Caribbean.” Now I am all for escaping the claustrophobia of our respective cities, but the implication is to go across the globe and do nothing. If I’m going to rest I want to deserve it which is why I have compiled a list of some of the more exotic adventure trips around the world.

 

Mountain biking, Utah, USA.

Yours truly on the Slickrock Trail!

One doesn’t have to go all this way to Mountain Bike, but the thrill of the red slick-rock, native to Utah is absolutely unrivalled. Learn skills for high traction riding necessary to get up and down the Slickrock Trail’s countless steep, petrified sand dunes that make Moab a biking playground. I am proud to say that I have been on this adventure and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. What I will say is that going in mid-August is not for the faint hearted.

My guide, Heidi was one of the most accomplished Mountain Bikers I have ever seen and couldn’t have been any friendlier or more modest.

I went with Solfun and highly recommend them on the basis of typical American friendliness, expertise and experience.

 

 

 

Exploring in the South Pole

Although I wouldn’t recommend this to escape the chills of mid-October, Polar Explorers offer a chance to ski to the Geographic South Pole from their base in Puntas Arenas, Chile. Despite being on thick ice (2 miles) the hazards that will face you range from relentless prevailing winds to 50-kilo sleds. If this seems like your cup of tea then hurry as preparation for the January 2012 trip starts soon.

 

Wildlife in Baja

Swim the Baja Peninsula, Mexico.

With an average swim of 6.5 km this picturesque adventure takes you through remote coves, sheer cliffs and craggy coastlines, situated just off the sea of Cortez.

You may encounter some unexpected accompaniment on your swim however with the region known for it’s fantastic wildlife such as whales and green turtles.

This trip available through SwimTrek also includes delicious Mexican food, snorkelling, kayaking and camping.

 

 

Ski touring in the Himalaya Mountains, India.

Formerly known as a retreat from the oppressive summer conditions for the British and Indians, the mountain village of Gulmarg is now booming due to new Political stability and tourist-based economy injections.

Although it is not touring in the strictest sense, when the snow is not fresh enough to enable laps from one of the world’s highest gondolas, Bill’s tours have the equipment and expertise to put the skins on and do it the natural way. Keep an eye out for the famous Kashmiri monkeys!

 

 

Trail-running in Chamonix, France.

Mont Blanc Marathon

Whether you are in preparation for your first short-distance race or looking for some preparation for the local Mont-Blanc marathon, experienced guides take you through world-famous mountain resort Chamonix, situated in the heart of the French Alps. Adventure Base offer packages that include instruction, guiding and flights.

Should you then choose to enter the Mont Blanc Marathon which this year is happening from 29th June -1st July, you will run the obligatory 26.2 miles through the beautiful valleys of Argentiere and Hamlets of the region. The disadvantage being the thin mountain air and 1000m vertical ascent!

 

 

 

Surfari, Bali, Indonesia.

Bali is well known as one of the biggest and most consistent breaks in the world. Obviously there are several ways to surf it, you can hang out by the beach and surf when you want, or the more committed amongst us will travel around the coastline looking for secret, uncrowded waves. Surf tour Bali deal in tailor-made trips and have amazing extras such as in-water photographers and technical, local knowledge.