Take a few days this autumn to try an adventure break. Its a great way of experiencing new surroundings while challenging yourself to leave both your daily routine and comfort zone well behind.
The level of adventure is up to you. You could push yourself with an intensive and challenging option, equal parts exhaustion and exhilaration, or opt for a gentler, family-friendly break that suits all ages and fitness levels. If you don’t normally walk further than the car, it may be best to start with bagging a Munro or two rather than heading straight for the Everest Base Camp!
Exodus Travel are one of the country’s oldest specialist tour organisers, specialising in off the beaten track adventures such as snow shoe trekking in Finland, wildlife walking to get up close to gorillas in Rwanda, spotting the elusive snow leopard in the Himalayas or discovering whether bears really do poo in the woods in Romania.
If warm weather adventures appeal more, Exodus also offer cycling in Madagascar, or you can spend 15 days pretending to be Jeremy Clarkson on a 4WD desert safari through Namibia. If you’re more Top Gun than Top Gear and you have a month to spare, you could learn to fly in Cyprus, saving around 40% on UK prices. There are similar intensive courses in Florida and the German and Austrian Alps.
Diving makes another great adventure, particularly if you choose a warm-water destination with as many fascinating sights onshore as offshore.
Consider Cuba, which combines a lively nightlife, classic cars on every street, great food and some of the most pristine dive sites in the Caribbean. If you’re feeling very adventurous, you can dive in a shark cage or go snorkelling alongside saltwater crocodiles. Or maybe just read a Hemingway adventure story while sipping on a rum-based cocktail by the pool.
If the weather holds, there’s plenty of adventure on offer closer to home, too. Head for Fort William or Lochaber on the west coast, which both offer a huge variety of outdoor activities.
Fort William has Ben Nevis of course, but also markets itself as the Outdoor Capital of Scotland. It’s brilliant for mountain biking, holding the UCI World Championships each June. There are plenty of less pant-wettingly terrifying tracks too, thankfully. Head for the Nevis Range ski, snowboard and mountain biking centre on Aonach Mor. A gondola takes visitors 2,000 feet up the mountain for amazing views and access to the ski slopes.
If mountaineering appeals, Fort William’s Caspar McKeever Mountaineering specialises in Skye Cuillin guiding and Scottish winter mountaineering and climbing. They can provide a professional guide to help you conquer new heights, or teach new skills. Try Llama Trekking at Ecocamp Glenshee, leading the gentle animals on a short trek. You may come home with ambitions to buy a llama or two of your own.
Lochaber makes a great base for an adventure weekend in autumn, particularly because the midges will have gone. You can try sea kayaking or other water sports, head to the incredible beach at Sanna Bay, or try indoor climbing on the ice wall at Kinlochleven Ice Factory. You can also have a go on their aerial assault course.
For a less bruising adventure, try Loch Shiel Cruises. The friendly trip is packed with interesting Jacobite tales and birdspotting opportunities in a magnificent wilderness area.
Go on, spice up your life with a bit of adventure this autumn.