If the typical tourist experience bores you to tears and you can’t take yet another bus tour, adventure travel just might be for you. Among thrill-seeking travelers, Scotland is quickly becoming known as a popular, action-packed destination.
Adventure travel is typically defined as experiencing the culture and tradition of a destination in an adrenaline-pumping approach. No souvenir shops or museums here! According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the adventure and experiential travel market is a $165 billion per year industry, and it’s growing.
Scotland is frequently an exciting travel destination because of its deep history, rugged and varied terrain and a myriad of options ranging from hiking to canyoneering. Activities are available for everyone from daring singles to families and groups of friends and include:
Despite its relatively small size, Scotland has a wide variety of hiking options. Whether you’re in for a day hike or a week-long trek, there are trails and lodging options for all levels of interest. Scotland’s coast offers dramatic sea cliff walks in areas such as Shetland and, inland, Loch Ness. The open woodlands of Perthshire and the Isle of Skye also offer a great range of hikes.
Scotland is known in adventure circles as one of the best kayaking destinations on the planet. From your sea kayak, it’s not uncommon to see wildlife such as eagles, puffins, fox, otter, seals, dolphins and Minke whales intermingled with cliffs and ancient castles. Scottish outfitters can provide you with gear and a guide that will take you paddling in places like the rocky eastern coast, among the island archipelagos in the northeast and exploring the white sand beaches of the west.
White Water Rafting
Of the so-called “adrenaline sports,” white water rafting is one of the most prevalent. Using large rafts, six to eight people, with the help of an experienced guide, will travel down rivers with rushing rapids that range from tame to downright dangerous. The River Garry, the River Tay and the River Tummel are popular, challenging and exhilarating rafting destinations.
Scotland’s terrain offers exciting and bone-crushing mountain biking opportunities. In eastern Scotland, aptly called “Whisky Country,” the Cairngorms are some of the highest mountains in the country. But nothing beats the famous Scottish Highlands for spectacular sights and forested routes best experienced on a bike.
If just one experience isn’t enough and you’re really looking to find your inner warrior, the search is on for teams of modern-day rebels to take place in the ultimate challenge: the Drambuie Pursuit. Taking place in April 2009, the Drambuie Pursuit is a once-in-a-lifetime outdoor adventure race across the Scottish Highlands that retraces the legendary journey of Scotland’s Bonnie Prince Charlie, for whom the bracing spirit was created in 1745.
Teams of four adults will have a chance to win an all-inclusive free trip to battle against one another in speedboats and dirt buggies, scale mountains, kayak and raft through rushing rapids and bike over the punishing terrain from the Isle of Skye to Inverness. For more information on the Drambuie Pursuit, visit www.Pursuitof1745.com to register for free.
For more information on travel to Scotland, visit www.VisitScotland.com.