From walking the Great Wall of China to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: 11 destinations for active travellers

2019-02-22 16:30
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european alps aerial view

Vallée Blanche - Chamonix, France (PHOTO: iStock)

Exploring European cities often means walking lots and lots of kilometers, whereas island holidays might be filled with adrenaline-fuelled watersports like kite-surfing.

The Bucket List Burner pinpoints twelve destinations – one for each month of the year – that will scratch your itch to travel. But more than that, it's focused on activities that represent fun ways to burn calories. 

Take a Hike: Basic essentials to avoid the blisters, what to prep from head to toe 

Whether it’s walking the Great Wall of China, the Camino de Santiago or exploring Yosemite National Park, this list is sure to get your blood pumping and adrenaline rushing.

January is done, so here is 11 destinations best to visit during each month of the year: 


Ski in the Vallée Blanche - Chamonix, France - burn 2 667 calories  

european alps aerial view

There’s skiing – and then there’s skiing. The Vallée Blanche (White Valley) is a route situated on the famous Mont Blanc range within the French Alps. It offers one of the longest ski runs in the world, complete with stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. 


Walk the Camino de Santiago - Camino de Santiago, Spain - burn  41 760 calories  

Stretching hundreds of miles across the top of Spain and ending at the tomb of the apostle St. James, the Camino de Santiago attracts thousands of people each year for sports, cultural, religious and sporting reasons. Join one of the routes through Spain, France or Portugal and follow in the footsteps of millions before you. 

PICS: Spain's ethereal landscapes along the Camino Santiago de Compostela 


Hike Italy’s Cinque Terre - Liguria, Italy - burn 1 600 calories  

Few stretches of coastline are more beautiful than Italy’s Cinque Terre. Five unspoilt towns and miles of walking trails await anyone who visits this idyll on the north-western coast of Italy. Visit in April for mild weather that allows you to relish your time in the great outdoors without overheating.


Hike the Perimeter of Uluru - Alice Springs, Australia - burn 1 600 calories 

Uluru is hard to miss. This enormous red rock looks as if it has erupted from the middle of the Australian desert. It’s particularly memorable given it is surrounded by miles of flat land pricked with low-lying grass. Little wonder, then, that the indigenous Anangu people believe it has magical properties. 


Hike through Yosemite National Park - California, USA - burn 2 286 calories  

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Yosemite National Park is home to towering sequoia trees, waterfalls, and abundant wilderness. It’s a world away from the bustling built-up America we commonly call to mind, and it’s surely one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. 


Climb Mount Kilimanjaro - Kilimanjaro, Tanzania - burn 13 549 calories 


Africa’s largest mountain, Kilimanjaro, is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. Unlike Everest, Kilimanjaro is not part of a mountain range, but stands on its own. At its peak, it hits nearly 20,000 feet. To put that in context, clouds start at 6,500 feet, and planes fly at 35,000 feet. Kilimanjaro is somewhere in the middle.


Run a Marathon at Angkor Wat - Siem Reap, Cambodia -  burn 3 429 calories 

Buried deep in the Siem Reap jungle is the ancient city of Angkor. A treasure trove of surviving temples, the complex boasts the magnificent Angkor Wat - a true architectural masterpiece. It’s one of the largest religious monuments in the world, taking at least a full day to explore – so why not pick up the pace and run it? 


Cycle ‘Death Road’ - Yungas, Bolivia - burn 3 048 calories

Yungus Road isn’t nicknamed “Death Road” for nothing. Narrow single-track is bordered by mountain on one side and sheer cliff-faces on the other, with few barricades preventing someone from going over the edge. How would you like to go biking down its slopes, then?


Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - The Andes Mountains, Peru - burn 11 888 calories

Set high in the Andes mountains, shrouded by mist and lush vegetation, sits one of Peru’s most beloved treasures – the enchanting Inca citadel of Machu Picchu. Constructed from large blocks of dry stone, the ancient ruins are steeped in mystery, and a must-see for anyone visiting Peru. 


Hike the Great Wall of China - The Ming Wall, China - burn 2 515 calories 

The Great Wall is an apt name. It starts in the east of China, near North Korea, and stretches west, towards Xinjiang, a region due south of Russia. That’s a vast swathe of land that marks out the Great Wall as one of the biggest feats of human engineering ever. 


Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda -  Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda - burn 500 calories

Head to the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and prepare for a life-changing experience: the critically endangered mountain gorilla calls the park home and can be viewed in its natural habitat throughout the year. Mid-December is the best time to go, as it’s during Rwanda’s dry season, though tropical thunderstorms are never far away. 

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