A heart-pounding getaway can help you feel refreshed. Why? The adventure and activity can take your mind off the stresses of everyday life in a way that’s very different from lounging poolside reading a book.
From racing a Porsche in Portugal to heli-biking in Alaska, here are four adventure vacations to help you recharge.
Heli-bike on top of a glacier
The luxurious Tordrillo Mountain Lodge sits near the extreme terrain of Alaska’s glacier-studded Tordrillo Mountains—and they make great use of that location. For this trip, guests and their Fatback fat tire bicycles are transported by helicopter from the lodge to the pristine mountain trails for adrenaline-pumping excursions. Bicyclists start on the slopes of the Mt. Spurr volcano and cruise down cinder and pumice trails. Participants have the option to enjoy alpine lakes or volcano ridges, or bicycle across a glacier, amping up the thrill level and the speed as desired.
What you should know: There are options for bicyclists of all abilities and skill levels, as routes can be adjusted for virtually any length or difficulty.
Details: Prices start at $6,000, which includes a stay of three days and nights, a float plane flight to and from Anchorage/Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, meals and equipment. tordrillomountainlodge.com
Motorcycle across the salt flats in Bolivia
The thrills begin on day one of Edelweiss Bike Travel’s 17-day guided motorcycle trip through the remote, rugged, and jaw-droppingly beautiful sights of Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile. That’s when you’ll hop on your BMW motorcycle and ride to 9,800 feet above sea level to La Paz, the world’s highest-altitude capital city. From here, you travel the Yungas Road—a single-lane path bordered by drops of up to 2,000 feet—and rev the motor for Lake Titicaca before heading out onto one of the largest salt lakes in the world, where the otherworldly white flats shimmer far out into the distance. The final stretch: You’ll cross the Argentinean lowlands and head through the Paso de Jama, a mountain pass with stunning vistas in every direction.
What you should know: The company recommends that participants are in “a good general state of health” before embarking on the trip.
Details: Prices start at $8,260 per person. edelweissbike.com
Catch a glimpse of a polar bear in Churchill, Manitoba. Photo by Michael Poliza
Get a chance to spot polar bears in the wild
Visit the world’s largest concentration of polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba, along the Hudson Bay. Natural Habitat Adventures says that as a member of one of its small tour groups, which average nine people, you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the bears from custom-built vehicles. Called Polar Rovers, the vehicles offer amazing viewing opportunities while keeping you out of harm’s way. This trip will let you see why Churchill is dubbed the “polar bear capital of the world.”
What you should know: The company recommends that travellers be in reasonably good physical and mental health.
Details: Prices start at $6,795 for Natural Habitat Adventures’ flagship polar bear tour.
Race a Porsche at 170 mph
Burning rubber around a racetrack at top speed is a gearhead’s ultimate white-knuckle ride. At the Estoril Circuit just outside Lisbon, which is a former Formula 1 racetrack, you can hop in the driver’s seat of a Porsche Cayman. An expert instructor will teach you how to handle corners and brake like a pro. The Cayman goes 0 to 60 in less than five seconds and reaches 174 mph at top speed. Once you’ve completed your heart-pounding circuit, spraying champagne on your pals to celebrate is up to you.
What you should know: Prices and availability of the on-track experience vary by season; you must rent both the car and the track.
Details: Contact the Virtuoso advisors at virtuoso.com to schedule your Formula 1 Track Experience.