Desperately seeking a proper adventure? These eight active adventure trips around the world are guaranteed to inspire you to grab your backpack and head outdoors.
1. Conquer the Laugavegur Trail, Iceland
Even in Iceland, home to myriad bizarre and beautiful volcanic landscapes, the Laugavegur trail stands out as a feast for the eyes. This 34 mile-long route begins in Landmannalaugar, a geothermal rainbow-coloured wonderland of a valley where the mountains are made of striped rocks of all colours. Hike towards the south, staying in mountain huts, to reach Thorsmork, a green valley home to the magnificent, tumbling Eyjafjallajokull glacier.
Go do it: Extreme Iceland offer a six-day guided hike of the Laugavegur trail for £1,327
2. Cycle the Indian Himalayas
Pack your helmet and head for Lakakh – this is India, but not as you know it. The high-altitude, mountainous region of India that borders Tibet has wild, harshly beautiful peaks and incredible mountain passes to cycle. A two-week ride from the wonderful city of Leh and up the Khardung La pass (at a whopping 5,359 metres, the highest motorable road in the world) will test both your lungs and your susceptibility to altitude sickness, but you’ll also get to feel like you’re literally cycling literally on top of the world.
Price: Go self-supported or travel with Gesar Travel, who offer a 12-day guided cycle for £1,721 per person.
3. Hike to one of the UK's most remote youth hostels, Scotland
Fit an amazing wild hike into a long weekend in the Scottish Highlands. Glen Affric SYHA is a former stalking bothy turned eco-hostel nestled in a valley so remote you'll need a map and a compass to get there. It's worth it, though - the three-hour, 6.5 mile walk in takes in some of Scotland's most glorious hills and fells, and staying at the hostel feels like bunking down in a remote alpine lodge, with a cheerfully burning stove and a crowd of happy hikers and climbers to join around the fire.
Go do it: Stay at Glen Affric SYHA from £24 per night.
4. Go diving, Japan
Does Japan conjure up images of cherry blossom, snow-capped volcanoes and really great sushi? True, it is home to all of those, but the archipelago is less well known as a world-class diving destination. Grab your snorkel and head to the Okinawa islands in the south of Japan to discover none less than 160 subtropical islands with clear seas that are home to green turtles, reef sharks and seahorses. Plentiful dive schools make this a great place to dive for the first time or to get your PADI qualification.
Go do it: Japan Specialist the best Japanese islands for diving and Aloha Divers offer diving and snorkelling in Okinawa.
5. Go surfing, Canada
Forget tropical beaches – prove your mettle by surfing the wild, cold waters of the Pacific on Canada’s Vancouver Island. The best spot is Tofino, where you can catch waves in the morning and warm up by a fire in a log cabin afterwards. The waves in Canada’s surf mecca are perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers – try a session at chilled Chesterman beach. Just keep an eye out for whales far out to sea and black bears in the woods.
Go do it: Tourism Tofino list surf schools, rental shops and the best beaches.
6. Go cliff camping, Dorset
Afraid of heights? You may want to look away now. Cliff camping, as the name suggests, is a far cry from a night spent in a cosy tent in a grassy meadow. This is the extreme sport of sleeping on a portaledge - a small, suspended platform strung up to a sheer mountain face – just like your favourite big wall climbers do. Try it in the UK with Young’s Adventure Solutions, who take advantage of the miles of glorious cliffs at Swanage in Dorset to let daring campers experience the thrill of sleeping on high for one night.
Go do it: A one-night cliff camping adventure with Young’s Adventure Solutions costs £225 per person for two people, including dinner, breakfast and all equipment.
7. Climb Mount Kenya, Kenya
Thinking of scaling Kili? Swap it for Africa's second-highest but arguably more beautiful peak, Mount Kenya. At 5,199m, it's a smidge lower than Kilimanjaro's 5,895m summit, but there are no crowds on its slopes. Instead you'll spot fluffy colobus monkeys and drink in utterly wonderful views across Kenya's highlands at sunset. Camp in bamboo forests and remote mountain huts, and minimise the chance of altitude sickness by trekking 'pole pole' ('slowly, slowly') up into the clouds.
Go do it: Exodus provide a Mount Kenya package including flights for £2,399
8. Kayak the length of the Grand Canyon, USA
Is there a more extreme backdrop to an adventure than the cavernous, brick-red Grand Canyon? Forget gazing down at it from on high, though - get up close with the world's most famous gorge by paddling down the majestic Colorado River, which snakes for an astonishing 226 miles through this natural wonder. Raft from Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek over 160 rapids – each night you'll camp until a blanket of stars on the banks and wish you could be an off-grid canyon dweller forever.
Go do it: Arizona Raft Adventures offer a trip down the canyon for £2,816