6 amazing destinations to add to your adventure list

Yosemite National Park, USA
 
It might not be the world’s first national park (that was Yellowstone) but it is perhaps one of the most well known. Not only that but it was here where in 1964 Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant, the first of its kind designed to protect wild land for everyone to enjoy. Historians say it was instrumental to establishing the area as a national park (and many other places after it) and this August 15th it celebrates its 125-year anniversary with a whole raft of events planned. So what better time to go and discover its granite delights? When it comes to the great outdoors Yosemite really is a playground for all levels. Whether you choose to watch the climbers scale the big wall of El Capitan (or even join them if you’re skilled enough), take on the day walk to Half Dome (you need a permit in advance) or seek out the giant sequoias at Mariposa Grove, there’s something for everyone. To find out more about Yosemite National Park – visit: www.nps.gov/yose
 
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Photo by Mark Devries
 

Macedonia
 
The crowds have already sampled the wonders of Croatia, already discovered in their hordes the delights of strolling through old towns surrounded by ancient churches against the backdrop of wild water and rising peaks. But there is another corner of the Balkans worthy of your attention. An intriguing mix of mountains, monasteries and lakes, Macedonia is still relatively untouched by the crowds. But that could soon change. Budget airline Wizz Air has, in June 2015, launched flights to Lake Ohrid. A former key trade centre it sits on the shores of the lake from which it gets it’s name, while either side mountains yawn up to the sky. The old town encompasses a bazaar and fortifications that circle its boundaries, which date back to the 3rd century BC. It is the perfect jumping off point for a whole host of adventures from paragliding to boating and walking. Go quickly before everyone else discovers it. To discover more about Macedonia visit: www.exploringmacedonia.com
 
Church of St. John at Kaneo, Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
Church of St. John at Kaneo, Lake Ohrid, Macedonia
Photo by Prince Roy
 

Colombia
 
For years it was blighted with a reputation as a place with high crime and drug barons and regularly featured on the FCO ‘no go’ list, but now Colombia is slowly breaking free of its past troubles and not only becoming one of the hottest destinations in Latin America but even getting labelled as an upcoming holiday choice for intrepid families. With its lush coffee plantations, Andean Highlands, bird-rich forests and position on not just the Pacific but also the Caribbean oceans, it’s no wonder people are starting to sit up and take notice. Head to the capital of Cartagena to wander amid Spanish colonial architecture, then head further afield to visit the amazon or go whale watching by the sea. It’s the ultimate place for a unique getaway. To plan your own unique getaway in Latin America’s latest hot destination visit: www.colombia.travel/en
 
Cartagena, ColumbiaCartagena
Photo by Igvir Ramirez
 

Newfoundland, Canada
 
Starting in June 2015, Air Transat will be launching direct flights from the UK to this, one of the wildest Canadian provinces. Home to a rugged, mountainous coast it offers a tantalising combination of sea and land-based adventures. From sea kayaking to spotting humpback, sperm and blue whales, heading out on a larger vessel to navigate Iceberg Alley (so-called because giant clumps of ice flow south from the Arctic carried on the currents), bird-watching for puffins and petrels or exploring the fjords in Terra Nova and Gros Morne National Parks, it truly is an outdoor aficionados dream. Flights will go to St John’s on the tip of the Avalon Peninsula – North America’s oldest city. To discover more about about this wild province of Canada visit: www.newfoundlandlabrador.com
 
Newfoundland Fjord, CanadaNewfoundland Fjord
Photo by Matt MacGillivray
 
Namibia
 
There has never been a better time to head to Africa. The Ebola scare put off tourists from heading to the mammoth continent (even to places further away form the outbreak than the UK is), which means tour operators are vying to give you the best deal on a trip there – and there truly are some great deals to be found. Add to that the current great rate of the pound to the Namibia dollar and with a bit of planning you can have a truly bargain trip. For adventure seekers head to Namib-Naukluft National Park, home to giant orange sand dunes (some considered the tallest on earth) perfect for sand boarding or four-wheel drive tours. For wildlife viewing opportunities you can’t beat Etosha National Park for game, the Skeleton Coast for Cape fur seals and the Waterberg Plateau National Park for white rhino. Round your trip off with a tandem paraglide flight south of Swakopmund where you take off form the desert and land on the beach. To plan your great adventure in Africa visit: www.namibiatourism.com.na
 
Etosha National Park, NamibaEtosha National Park, Namiba
Photo by Damien du Toit

 
Scotland
 
Think road trip and you can’t help but picture the USA and the iconic Route 66. But for a driving holiday with a Celtic flavour head to Scotland. They’ve just unveiled their North Coast 500 route – taking inspiration from The Proclaimers’ 500 miles song – which runs in a loop from Inverness. Heading west it takes in the Kyle of Lochalsh, then heads north to Durness, giving you the opportunity enroute to take in Torridon, Gairloch, the wild Fisherfield Forest, Ichnadamph Geo Park, the beach a Achmelvich and the ruins of Ardvreck Castle on Loch Assynt. Along the north coast of the country you can stop to peer into the cavernous Smoo’s cave, climb Ben Hope (the northernmost Munro) and visit John O’ Groats, before heading south along the east coast spotting brochs (Iron Age drystone towers) and paddling at Dornoch beach, then finishing back in Inverness.
You can plan your own road trip: www.visitscotland.com
 
North Coast, Scotland
North Coast Scotland
Photo by David Kusserow

 
Phoebe Smith
Phoebe Smith is an award-winning travel editor, writer and author of several books including Extreme Sleeps: Adventures of a Wild Camper and Wilderness Weekends: Wild Adventures in Britain’s Rugged Corners. She is as passionate about the outdoors as she is about travel and has written about both extensively in a range of magazines and newspapers in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia and has appeared on radio and TV talking wild camping, travel and women in the outdoors. Follow her on Twitter @PhoebeRSmith