6 Grueling Adventures That Test Your Strength & Endurance

physically challenging trips

Maybe you’re bored of poolside martinis. Maybe you’re looking to spend more time with Mother Nature. Maybe you’d like to see what all those deadlifts have actually done for you. Whatever your reason, you’re itching for a more extreme adventure than you’ll find at any Hilton.

These physically challenging trips will put you through your paces (and leave no doubt about whether you’ve been neglecting leg day). The strength of your body, mind, and soul will be tested. Courage and endurance will be assessed. Persistence will be rewarded. Do you have what it takes to survive the world’s most demanding destinations?

Fitness fanatics and adrenaline junkies need look no further. These travels are some of the toughest to be found.

Scale Mont Blanc

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps and one of the highest on the planet. Though climbing it requires minimal experience with alpine treking, it does require basic proficiency with your two trusty sidekicks: crampons and an ice axe. A solid foundation of fitness (not to mention the good graces of the weather gods) are also must-haves. If you survive the ascent, you’ll be treated to scenery that ranges from snowy peaks, to glacial waterfalls, to wildflower-carpeted pastures. #WorthIt

Explore The Lost World & Angel Falls

You may recognise this destination from Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic adventure novel, The Lost World. Once impenetrable to all but Venezuela’s indigenous peoples, Mount Roraima and Angel Falls now draw thousands of visitors each year. Conquering the surrounding jungle and grassland is the first step. With that challenge overcome, you can then trek to Mount Roraima’s table-top summit and Auyán-tepui’s Angel Falls, the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall at 979 m (3,212 ft) with a plunge of 807 m (2,648 ft).

Trek The Great Himalaya Trail

Think extreme travels and Everest is the first destination to come to mind. It’s not, however, the only way to experience the Himalayas and put your quads to the test. The Great Himalaya Trail is an extensive network of hiking paths traversing parts of Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet. The milder ‘Low Route’ stretches over 1,500 km and takes around 100 days to complete. The grueling ‘High Route’ passes through 1,700 km of remote villages and high-altitude scenery and takes around 150 days to finish. Proper trekking gear and mountaineering equipment are essential if you’re tackling the latter.

Try Mountaineering In Alaska

Alaska is not only the largest state in the US, but also the country’s 3rd least populous state and the least densely populated. All that uninhabited immensity is begging to be explored by those ballsy enough to do it. Head to Southcentral Alaska, where a chain of rugged mountain ranges and spectacular glaciers converge to make a mountaineer’s dreamscape. Ice climbing by day, snow camping by night – there’s no more appropriate way to experience America’s rugged ‘Last Frontier.’

Go Rafting On The Zambezi

Picture a lazy river, meandering through a tranquil landscape as you glide along on a cheerfully coloured floatie. Now picture the exact opposite of that. The Zambezi River is home to some of the most notorious Class V whitewater in the world, courtesy of the mammoth Victoria Falls – there ain’t nothing lazy or tranquil about it. Best do a few practice laps in the gym pool before tackling some of the wildest waters in the world on a puny raft.

Run The Marathon des Sables

They don’t call this the toughest footrace on Earth for nothing. The Marathon des Sables is brutal, beautiful, legendary. Participants complete 6 stages over 7 days, running a total of more than 250 km (156 mi). They must carry all their own food and equipment on their backs. Water is strictly rationed. Oh, and there’s this: it takes place in the vast, parched, sorching Sahara Desert. This is athleticism and endurance pushed to the limit (and then some), but it’s not without a sense of humour: AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ screams over loudspeakers at the startline every year.