With spring breaks and summer vacations on the horizon and a long cold winter behind us, we can’t help having vacationing on the mind.
Of course, travel also runs the risk of disrupting the fitness routine you’ve worked so hard to develop. What to do? Though it might not be entirely practical, we’ve been exploring travel spots and have dreamed up our ultimate, jet-setting trip around the world to 12 fitness destinations that combine travel adventures with some of the world’s best workouts.
So pack your passports — and your sneakers — and let’s get going!
1. Namaste in the Bahamas
The Bahamas are famous for their laid-back island attitude and their miles and miles of stunning tropical beaches.
In fact, when it’s time to unwind, there are few places we can think of to do it better. The multiple yoga retreats scattered around the islands make the Bahamas the perfect place to lay out your mat, get in that tree pose, and find your happy place while staying fit.
2. Hang Ten in Perth, Australia
Australia is famous for having some of the world’s best surfing beaches up and down its western coast.
And if you’ve ever watched a surfing competition, then you know that surfing is a great way to stay fit. Between paddling out to catch the monster waves and the core, leg strength, and balance that’s required for standing up on the board, it really is a full body workout. Perth is the perfect destination to combine exploring the outback and getting out to catch some gnarly hang time. G’day, mate!
3. Boulder Beautifully in Fontainebleau, France
When mountain climbing started to gain popularity in the twentieth century, enthusiasts looked for a way to stay fit in between treks.
They found it in the craggy boulders that ring the quaint little town of Fountainebleau, and a new sport, bouldering, was born. Unlike traditional rock climbing, bouldering doesn’t require a lot of ropes and harnesses. Instead, the climbs are shorter and focused on building strength rather than endurance. Why not explore this climber’s mecca and cultural gem while simultaneously giving your arms, back, and core muscles a trip they’ll never forget?
4. Paddle the South Pacific
Aloha! A trip to Hawaii, the world’s most remote island chain, and America’s fiftieth state, will instantly put you on what the locals call “island time.”
Life just moves at a different pace in Hawaii. One of the favorite pastimes on the islands is stand-up paddle boarding. Not only can you get up close and personal with the ocean’s wildlife while out on a board, like sea turtles and coral reefs, but you also get a great workout that tones your arms, develops your core muscles, and helps train your balance.
5. Cycle and Sightsee in Croatia
We all know that cycling is a great way to firm up all of the muscle groups in the legs and get an excellent cardio workout to boot.
But did you know that it’s also one of the premiere ways to see the cultural sites of Europe? It’s doubtful that anything combines these two experiences quite as well as a cycling trip around the islands off of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. A vacation in Croatia lets you cycle and sightsee by day, sail to the next island by night, and come home from your vacation both feeling healthy and with a million stories to share.
6. Say Adios to Apathy Jogging in Costa Rica
Central America’s gem, Costa Rica, is home to a million different ecosystems—give or take a few, of course.
This destination is the ultimate dream stop for anyone who loves running. Not only can you spend your days barefoot and jogging along the hundreds and hundreds of miles of coastline, but some of the best running paths crisscross rainforests and jungles. Say hello to tropical fish one day and wave at a monkey the next! A trip to Costa Rica will keep you in shape and give you a treasure trove of stories to share and remember.
7. Step It Up in Chand Baori, India
Chand Baori in the Indian state of Rajasthan is one of the most beautiful examples of an Indian stepwell—a communal water-gathering and social congregating area—that’s left perfectly intact today. Not only can you marvel at the ingenuity of its excavation and architecture, but a trip to Chand Baori and its thousands of stairs will give your legs the kind of workout they’ve always dreamed of.
8. Get Your Groove on in Ghana
Ghana is famous for its friendly residents and for being alive and electric with a kind of celebratory energy you have to see to believe.
In fact, it’s rare to go more than a few hours without seeing someone drumming a beat on the street while others dance. It’s contagious, which is why we can’t imagine a better spot to sign up for a few weeks of traditional African dance classes. Not only will you find your groove and stay fit, but you’ll also get to experience one of the happiest places on earth.
9. Rock the Rapids in the Rockies
Whitewater kayaking is extreme. The American Rocky Mountains are extreme. Due to our logic, this can only mean that whitewater kayaking the Colorado River in the Rockies one of the most extreme adventures you can dare to try.
Not only will your paddling adventure take you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in America, but you’ll also get a great arm workout while gaping at the purple mountain’s majesty. You might even see a bear—or three—in the process.
10. Hike ‘Cause You Like It on the Appalachian Trail
Since it can take upwards of five months to walk the entire Appalachian Trail—from the coast of Florida to the Coast of Maine—most folks who decide to tackle it break it up into more than one trip. But a trip along the trail isn’t just the perfect way to experience the U.S.’s Eastern Seaboard; it’s also a fantastic way to get a truly one-of-a-kind workout while you’re at it.
11. Climb to New Fitness Heights in Mt. Kinabalu, Borneo
Very few ways to commune with nature can rival the thrill of climbing one of the world’s tallest mountains.
This makes Mt. Kinabalu in Borneo an ultimate destination for anyone looking to give their legs some exercise while scaling one of the world’s most difficult peaks. Its winding trails and hair-raising passes aren’t for the faint of heart, but if you have the right training, a trek up Mt. Kinabalu will leave you with both the story and workout of a lifetime. If you dare to try it, say hello to an orangutan for us, won’t you?
12. Find Your Happy Feet Ice Trekking in Patagonia
The glaciers of Patagonia, along the coast of Chile and Argentina, aren’t just for penguins, seals, and other subarctic wildlife.
In fact, Patagonia is also home to some of the world’s most premiere ice trekking. The unearthly blue shades of the Patagonian ice will awe you, the flocks of penguins will amuse you, and the test of walking across vast sheets of ice will challenge you and all of your major muscle groups. It’s truly a trip like no other.
That’s our dream list of workout destinations that traverse the globe. What other fitness destinations are you dreaming of? Tag us in a pin on Pinterest or let us know in the comments.