Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends

Fantastic Active Locations Around the World

You don't need to feel angsty about lounging around on a beach or enjoying the luxuries of an ocean cruise for your vacation. It's your R&R time after all. However, if you're looking for something a little more active than a few lengths of the pool, then there are plenty of options worldwide where you can enjoy the great outdoors at a level to suit yourself, keep fit and energetic, and explore amazing scenery as you get closer to nature.

Do some research before you head off into the wild blue yonder, and make sure that you choose activities that work with your fitness levels. Hiking is one of the best ways to take your time over your active enjoyment of walking, and can offer you spectacular insights into your local environments as well as providing stunning panoramic views of landscapes that you might not otherwise see on your travels.

Here are a few location ideas for you to consider for a fantastic active vacation.

Yosemite National Park

One of the world's greatest adventure playgrounds, Yosemite is only a short drive from San Francisco and is therefore ideal for getting out of the city for that much-needed breath of fresh, clean air – and, of course, it attracts visitors from all over California, the US, and the world.

Here, you'll find everything that you could want in a monumental natural landscape – enormous and daunting cliff faces, towering waterfalls, and ancient sequoia trees. However, you don't have to tackle adrenaline-pumping activities, because Yosemite has a plethora of great hiking trails both for experienced and inexperienced walkers.

It's best to take a car with you, especially if you're doing long hikes, though there is good public transportation that can take you to popular points of interest.

Swiss Alps

You don't get much finer scenery than the Swiss Alps! They're known for their winter sports, and for skiing in particular, but you can also snowboard and sled during those snowy winter months.

It's easy to forget that the summer months are also perfect for active vacations, and though the mountain peaks’ white canopies remain, the lower slopes are perfect for hiking and biking. You can explore the many highland lakes and meadows, staying in picture-perfect Swiss chalets, and after an energetic day's hiking, enjoy the robust cuisine of local restaurants to help restore you.


The Emerald Isle is a magnet for visitors from all over the world, not least because so many people have Irish connections and want to discover more about their ancestry – and, of course, the Guinness. What's perhaps less known is Ireland's incredible scenery, from towering mountains to wild and rocky coasts.

Visit Cork or Kerry in the south of the Republic of Ireland to find hiking trails that get you up close to the country's wildness, or see the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare on the west coast. Donegal, on the far northwest tip of the Republic, is stunningly beautiful and has mountains and routes that will give you both hard and soft hiking experiences. Alternatively, check out the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland, home to the UNESCO site the Giant's Causeway, a geological marvel.


This vast country is almost the size of the US, and the Diamond Highlands provide everything that the active vacationer could want. From hikes along trails that take you through areas filled with exotic plants to ones that will give you a tough workout to the tabletop mountain of Pai Inácio, you will experience magnificent waterfalls with large flat rocks that you can slide down.

Be prepared

When you're planning an active vacation, make sure that you pack appropriately for the type of environment you will be going to and the types of activities you want to do.

High activity levels put strains on your muscles, no matter how fit you are, so consider clothes that will help prevent injury or discomfort. If you've recently tried options for shoulder support, make sure that you have this with you so that you can be comfortable in recovery mode after a hard day's exercise.

Hiking requires sturdy and comfortable boots. Don't buy new ones and expect them to be fine from the start. Break them in so that your feet are used to them and you can avoid discomfort and blisters.

Active vacations are an enjoyable way to take time off and keep fit. There are many options to choose from worldwide, and as long as you are well prepared for your travel and clothing needs, the world is your oyster.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

Share this article with a friend:

Free eNewsletter SignUp

Sally's Place on Facebook    Sally Bernstein on Instagram    Sally Bernstein at Linked In

Global Resources

Handmade Chocolates, Lillie Belle Farms

Food411 Food Directory