Here’s 20 adventure travel spots that really should be on your list (if you’ve not been to them already)
It’s the year 2020. Not only a new year, but a whole new decade as well. 2020 sounds like the future doesn’t it? It sounds like we’re literally living in the future. No sign of Marty McFly style hover boards just yet but, if you can put that disappointment to one side for a moment, we still think the world out there has something to offer you – our intrepid adventurer friends.
From destinations closer to home to destinations that are much, much, further away, our 20 adventure destinations for 2020 list is a mixture of places you’ve almost definitely heard of and places you almost definitely haven’t.
Whether you’re a photographer, a skier, a snowboarder, a surfer, a climber, a hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, an adrenaline junkie, an Instagram influencer, or just an all-round wanderlust travel type – we’re confident this roundup has something in it for you. Peace be the journey, and go well.
Head to the Arctic Circle and, when you reach it, keep on heading north. Do this in Sweden and you’ll eventually come across Abisko and the truly epic Abisko National Park. ‘Aurora Borealis’ in winter, ‘Midnight Sun’ in summer, and, no matter what time you visit, some truly special outdoor terrain – get this destination on your list in 2020.
For more on Abisko, check out our Abisko destination guide.
If you’re running out of vital organs to sell and you’re not sure how you can afford the annual ski trip this year, it might be time to head east and check out the resorts, and red hot deals, on offer in Bulgaria. Bansko is regularly rated as one of the best value ski holiday destinations (£1.80 for a beer you say?), and is a great option if you’re looking to properly mix it up when it comes to the white stuff. It’s also pretty nice in the summer if walking / mountain biking’s more your thing.
For more on Bansko, check out our Bansko destination guide.
Norway’s second city has been on your list for a while now. With its epic fjords, its epic mountains, and its really nice buildings, Bergen’s been a destination you’ve been toying with visiting for longer than you can remember. Time to stop toying maybe? Time to make 2020 the year you finally go to Bergen, and get that shot of you standing on Trolltunga.
For more on Bergen, check out our Bergen destination guide.
Cham, bam, thank you mam. It’s… Chamonix. Home to Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe, this place has long been a mecca for adventure sports enthusiasts. If you haven’t been before, why not make 2020 the year you go and get all adventurous up in its French alpine grill.
For more on Chamonix, check out our Chamonix destination guide.
Big castle, big mountain (Snowdon), big old quarries you can zip line across (Zip World), big wave machine (Surf Snowdonia), big walks, and big outdoor adventures in that country with the big red dragon on its flag; if you want to go big in Wales, and no I don’t mean in a Saturday night session in Cardiff sort of way, get yourself over to Conwy. It’s got something for everyone.
For more on Conwy, check out our Conwy destination guide.
Be honest. You weren’t expecting Kent to feature in our round-up of best adventure destinations were you? Caught you off guard with this one, have we not? Located less than 50 miles from Gillingham and with ‘Dung’ in its name, the inclusion of Dungeness might seem like a wind up. It’s anything but. This spot is a dream come true for photographers and, unlike some places on this list, is easy to get to from where you live. Make Dungeness your first #microadventure of the new decade.
For more on Dungeness, check out our Dungeness destination guide.
Ella, Sri Lanka
If you spend a lot of time on social media, there’s a chance you might have seen a bit of Ella in Sri Lanka without even properly realising it. The iconic Nine Arches bridge? With the blue train running across it? Ringing any bells? Head to Ella and spend some photographing the bridge sure, but also be sure to make the most of the excellent hiking opportunities round these parts. The views in this neck of the woods are pretty special. Also, worth adding that tea drinkers will pretty much be in the equivalent of tea drinking heaven here.
For more on Ella, check out our Ella, Sri Lanka, destination guide.
You’ve watched Free Solo, you’ve watched The Dawn Wall, and you’ve been going to your local indoor bouldering centre for a while. You’re ready to take on a trip to one of the world’s ultimate bouldering destinations. Get yourself to France. Get yourself to the Forest of Fontainebleau.
For more on Fontainebleau, check out our Fontainebleau destination guide.
Isles of Scilly, England
News just in. You don’t need to go all the way to the Caribbean to experience the Caribbean. OK, you do but the Cornish paradise known as the Isles of Scilly is a pretty great alternative. It’s a sun-soaked heaven 28 miles from the coast of Cornwall, and has been an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ since 1975. Trust us when we say that beaches in the UK don’t come much more idyllic than the ones you’ll find on the Isles of Scilly.
For more on the Isles of Scilly, check out our Isles of Scilly destination guide.
Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island, is heaven on earth for powder hounds. Niseko, Japan’s number one ski resort, is on Hokkaido and… do you see where we’re going with this? Thanks to a faster new flying route available with Finnair, getting waist-deep in the good stuff from London and Manchester has never been easier.
For more on Niseko, check out our Niseko destination guide.
The UK, for all its flaws, has some incredibly beautiful bits in it. Scotland, which at the time of writing is still officially part of the UK, is home to many of those beautiful bits. Take the Isle of Skye, for example; home to the Quiraing, the Old Man of Storr, and spectacular landscapes – it should be on the bucket list of every adventurer worth their salt. Portee is the capital of Skye, and an extremely pleasant place to base yourself.
For more on Portree and the Isle of Skye, check out our Portree destination guide.
Queenstown, New Zealand
“So you like adventure, hey? Well, have all the adventure in the world!” That’s New Zealand’s very own Queenstown in a nutshell. If you’re a good old fashioned adrenaline junkie and like doing extreme stuff outdoors, you’ll love this destination more than life itself. Just be careful you don’t overdose on the adrenaline, and give yourself a condition where you lose the ability to sweat (if you know, you know).
For more on Queenstown, check out our Queenstown destination guide.
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Up in northern Chile, by the border with Bolivia, sits the driest non-polar on earth. It’s called the Atacama and it’s one of the planet’s most unique and cosmic places to visit. In the middle of all its otherworldly terrain is the rural Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama. Base yourself here.
For more on San Pedro, check out our San Pedro de Atacama destination guide.
In the south of Sweden, a stone’s throw from Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, is where you’ll find Skåne county. Rugged coastlines, beautiful forests to explore, and, of course, that oh-so laidback Scandinavian approach to wild camping… what more could you possibly want?
For more on Skåne, check out our Skåne destination guide.
If you love surfing, like to dabble with the yoga, and need a year off from Cornwall… get Taghazout on your shortlist. It’s in Morocco, it’s got a nice variety of waves, nice weather, nice vibes, some nice buildings and is generally just a nice place to come and muck about on a surfboard.
For more on Taghazout, check out our Taghazout destination guide.
Torshavn, Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands is remote, wet, windy, and home to some of the coolest-looking terrain on the planet. You know that island in ‘The Last Jedi’ where Luke Skywalker is hiding? The Faroe Islands are like that place but bigger, better, and less likely to be part of a furious online slanging match between raging nerds. Brace yourself. This small North Atlantic archipelago will serve up more photography opportunities than you’ll know what to do with. Torshavn is the capital.
For more on Torshavn, check out our Torshavn destination guide.
The world’s southernmost city isn’t the easiest place to get to, not by a long shot. However, adventurers who make the effort to travel to Ushuaia in Argentina, and its surrounding area, will be rewarded with some really special outdoor spaces. The juice isn’t always worth the squeeze but in Ushuaia’s case, and the case of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, it most certainly is.
For more on Ushuaia, check out our Ushuaia destination guide.
From an outdoorsy perspective, Iceland might just be the greatest country on earth. If you’ve been, you’ll know. If you haven’t been, believe the hype. Seriously, we could talk about this nation’s waterfalls from now until the end of eternity. Vik, a remote Icelandic village with a population of just 318, has some very, very, cool things to look at and take photos of. Yes, you’ll probably have seen some of these cool things on Instagram before but my word it really is all just so much better when you see it in person. Go to Iceland. Go to Vik.
For more on Vik, check out our Vik destination guide.
Why should you go to Whistler? Apart from the fact it’s North America’s largest ski resort, you mean? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s also an environmentally friendly destination in the sense that literally all of the resort’s power (and it’s a big resort remember) is generated from a river which runs beneath the spectacular Peak to Peak gondola. Combine that with carbon offsetting your flights and, well, they’ll be pinning a Nobel Peace Prize on you before you can say “Greta.”
For more on Whistler, check out our Whistler destination guide.
You’ve seen it on the Toblerone bars, now see it for yourself… in real life. The Matterhorn is the most iconic mountain on earth making Zermatt, the town that lives in its shadow, an essential destination for adventurous people who love the outdoors. Fancy skiing 365 days a year? Thought you might.
For more on Zermatt, check out our Zermatt destination guide.
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