If the typical tourist experience bores you to tears, and you can't take yet another bus tour, then adventure travel just might be for you. Among thrill-seeking travelers, Scotland is quickly becoming known as a popular, action-packed destination.
Adventure travel is typically defined as experiencing the culture and tradition of a destination in an adrenaline-pumping approach. No souvenir shops or museums here!
According to the Adventure Travel Trade Association, the adventure and experiential travel market is a $165 billion per year industry, and it's growing.
Scotland is frequently an exciting travel destination because of its deep history, rugged and varied terrain, and a myriad of options ranging from hiking to canyoneering.
Activities are available for everyone from daring singles to families and groups of friends, and include:
· Hiking: Despite its relatively small size, Scotland has a wide variety of hiking options. Whether you're in for a day hike or a week-long trek, there are trails and lodging options for all levels of interest. Scotland's coast offers dramatic sea-cliff walks in areas such as Shetland and, inland, Loch Ness. The open woodlands of Perthshire and the Isle of Skye also offer a great range of hikes.
Really need to take a hike?
Maybe it should be in pursuit of Scotland's Jewish community. Based on the 2001 census, there are seemingly more bottles of Scotch to see than Jews: In Scotland total, some 6,400 Jews are reported to be living, most in Glasgow (which includes native son, singer Mark Knopfler), home of seven synagogues.
· Kayaking: Scotland is known in adventure circles as one of the best kayaking destinations on the planet. From your sea kayak, it's not uncommon to see wildlife, such as eagles, puffins, fox, otter, seals, dolphins and Minke whales, intermingled with cliffs and ancient castles.
· Whitewater Rafting: Of the so-called "adrenaline sports," whitewater rafting is one of the most prevalent. Using large rafts, six to eight people — with the help of an experienced guide — can travel down rivers with rushing rapids that range from tame to downright dangerous. The River Garry, the River Tay and the River Tummel are popular, challenging and exhilarating rafting destinations.
· Mountain Biking: Scotland's terrain offers exciting and bone-crushing mountain biking opportunities. In eastern Scotland — aptly called "Whisky Country" — the Cairngorms are some of the highest mountains in the country. But nothing beats the famous Scottish Highlands for spectacular sights.
If just one experience isn't enough and you're really looking to find your inner warrior, the search is on for teams of modern-day rebels to take place in the ultimate challenge: the Drambuie Pursuit.
In April, the Drambuie Pursuit is an outdoor adventure race across the Scottish Highlands that retraces the legendary journey of Scotland's Bonnie Prince Charlie, for whom the bracing spirit was created in 1745.
For more information, see: www.VisitScotland.com.