Microadventures are huge right now. You might only have a few days to spare for a holiday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make memories to last a lifetime. Whether you want to dip your toe in a new experience or go for an all-out adrenaline rush, let us guide you to the perfect destination.
Shoot for the stars on the Isle of Skye
From the true blue of the ‘fairy pools’ to the craggy ‘finger’ of the Old Man of Storr, the Isle of Skye is filled with photogenic sights and sites to take your breath away. But it’s at night that the magic really starts, with nine incredible Dark Sky Discovery Sites making Skye one of the best places in the world for a spot of stargazing. But don’t just point your phone and hope; book yourself onto a photography workshop to really learn how to capture those lochs, cliffs and constellations. There are numerous companies and photographers who offer these, from an afternoon session to a five-day tour.
Meet some top geysers in Iceland
The best time to see the Northern Lights in Iceland is late August until mid-April, but even if you miss the aurora borealis, there are so many other wonders to make a trip to Iceland worth your time. Book a Golden Circle tour and marvel at the geysers which burst forth from hot springs in the ground, and warm up with a mud bath in the world-famous Blue Lagoon. Cool, compact and friendly, Reykjavik is a great city to explore in between excursions too – although be warned, getting the bill for dinner can be an experience in itself...
Zip down a mountain in Wales
As the highest UK mountain outside of Scotland, the views from the top of Mount Snowdon are already a pretty good incentive to climb it – and most people should be able to complete the ascent in five to seven hours, which leaves more than enough time for a leisurely dinner. But instead of walking back down the mountain like a chump, why not speed things up with a go on the world’s fastest zip wire? Soaring 500ft in the air at speeds of up to 100mph, Zip World Velocity 2 delivers sheer exhilaration as well as stunning views across the Penrhyn Quarry. On a clear day you can even see as far as the Isle of Man.
Follow giants’ footsteps in Northern Ireland
A 33-mile stretch on County Antrim coast, just an hour from Belfast, the Giant’s Causeway is an awe-inspiring UNESCO World Heritage site formed from roughly 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. Science says these strange hexagonal formations are the result of a volcanic eruption around 50 million years ago, while Gaelic legend, says they’re the remains of a causeway built by Irish giant Finn MacCool. Whatever the truth, it’s the perfect place to get up close and personal with nature. Meanwhile the nearby Bushmills whiskey distillery is the perfect place to warm your cockles afterwards.
Have a bath in Budapest
Not your average spa break, a weekend in Budapest isn’t complete without a trip to one (or all) of its thermal baths, some of which date back centuries. At the big and boisterous Széchenyi you can soak in the naturally-heated 37°C outdoor pools while DJs create a party vibe. Meanwhile art deco Gellért has the most Instagrammable interior (bright turquoise ceramic tiles), and at the less touristy Lukács you can follow your bath with a nap on a rooftop terrace. You’ll never leave a holiday so clean.
Go on a safari in Andalucia
Most classic safari locations require a long-haul flight – but did you know you can see big cats in Spain, and still be back in time for work on Monday? The Andújar Natural Park is home to the elusive, endangered Iberian lynx, as well as wild boar, mouflon, fallow deer, mongoose, otters, vultures and Spanish imperial eagles. Book a day tour with a company like Iberian Lynx Land and be sure to pack your binoculars.
Cross the infinity bridge in Cumbria
If you’re looking for an adventurous outdoor break in the UK, it’s hard to do better than driving round the Lake District. Unless you also walk across it on Britain’s longest high-wire bridge, of course. Suspended 2,000 feet above a gorge, the Honister Pass infinity bridge offers a whole new perspective on the area’s beauty. Spring is the perfect time to brave the walk, when treacherous weather conditions are less likely to shut down the fun. Toast your bravery afterwards with tea and cake in the nearby village of Buttermere.
Do everything in Dubrovnik
Game of Thrones fans will love this ancient city in Croatia for its many filming locations – but instead of fantasy battles, why not have your own real-life adventure? An afternoon of sea kayaking from the picturesque Old Port of Cavtat will take in plenty of sights (beginners are welcome too), while a five-hour trip to the border with Bosnia & Herzegovina will give you the chance to wander through Vjetrenica, one of the longest caves in Europe. They’ll even let you abseil down the city walls. And if you’re still hungry for new experiences after all that, a plate of crni rižot – black risotto – ought to do the trick.
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