From running with the gods to escaping the world’s most notorious prison, here are the best destinations to inspire your next adventure vacation.

For your next adventure vacation, why not do it the eco-friendly way – explore on foot, go hiking or running at these stunning spots. We’ve also included some interesting cycling routes that can be explored with some pedal power. So go on… stretch your legs!

Meet the god of running – Hiroshima, Japan 

This distinctive mountain trail starts by the only outdoor stone statue in Japan dedicated to Skanda, the god of running. The 4.85 km is difficult due to the mountainous terrain, but offers a good training base for experienced runners. Consisting of a wooded path maintained by citizens and other local volunteers, the route offers runners a cool breeze in the summer and warm underfoot in the winter.

Some cycling routes can be found in the countryside, and the famous cycling course on the “Shimanami Kaido”, the Nishiseto Expressway, is very popular with cycling fans. You can rent a bike at 500 yen per day at any cycling terminals on the Shimanami Kaido and also can return it to another terminal. The road starts from Onomichi and passes six islands and reaches to Imabari in Ehime prefecture. For more, visit visithiroshima.net.

Floating torii gate, Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima Prefecture, Setouchi Region, Japan

“Floating” torii gate at Itsukushima Shrine on the island of Itsukushima. Photo: setouchitrip.com

Yosemite hiking: Glacier Point

On this Yosemite hiking trail, explore two of national park’s most spectacular hikes, Glacier Point and the Mist Trail. They serve as bookends to a trail that also passes lesser-known gems like Panorama Point and Illilouette Falls.

After Glacier Point, the Panorama Trail starts out as a long gentle descent on very long switchbacks. This route descends to Illouette Creek where you can get a nice view of Illouette Fall. You’ll have views back to Glacier Point, but as the trail flattens and rounds to the north of Panorama Point, you’ll start getting better and better views of Half Dome, Liberty Cap, Nevada Falls and the Merced River Canyon. You reach the trail that cuts over under Mount Starr King and then go steadily downhill.

Why not check out this epic Glacier point hiking tour here?

glacier point Yosemite hiking tour

Photo via Pixabay

Athens Coastal Bike Tour, Greece

The Athens Coastal bike tour is the perfect half-day activity in the Athens Riviera. The city is next to a unique seaside resort with beaches, luxurious marinas, yacht clubs and numerous Athens beach bars and clubs. Explore an unseen urban and local side of the city on bike.

Cycling through picturesque neighborhoods beyond the city center. In the summer, enjoy swimming in the sea at one of Athens’ gorgeous beaches.

Check out this totally cool Athens coastal bike tour for details.

athens bike tour

Hit the coast on the Athenian Riviera on a bike

Run with the stars – West Hollywood, California 

Just outside the city limits of West Hollywood, nestled in the famous Hollywood Hills, lies Runyon Canyon, a 160-acre park, popular with runners and hikers. The short, steep hills make it the perfect spot for interval training, with the reward of spectacular views of West Hollywood and the surrounding LA area once at the top. Look closely and you can spot the Pacific Design Center, the brightly coloured red, blue and green landmark located in the stylish Design District.

Hollywood_sign_from_Runyon_Canyon_trail california

Photo: Downtowngal via Wikimedia Commons

Run like an Olympian – Mammoth Lakes, California 

A region favoured by athletes from all over the world for its high altitude and challenging vertical trails and multi-sport diversity, Mammoth Lakes, California offers incredible scenery and an abundance of trails along with a healthy running community for active travellers to explore. Legendary track coaches Joe Vigil and Bob Larsen brought marathon superstars to the region in 2001 and ever since, it has become the home of the most decorated distance running club in the US, training 12 Olympians who have earned two Olympic medals as well as three major marathon wins.

Mono Lake Mammoth, California, United States of America

Mono Lake – Mammoth. Photo: Josh Wray

Cliffs and Coast – Shizuoka, Japan 

Only 90 minutes from Tokyo, Jogasaki Coast is a stunning stretch of coast on the eastern side of the Japan’s Izu peninsula and is famous for its beautiful cliffs and views. With cycling routes planned for Tokyo Olympics 2020, this trail can be modified to fit your fitness level and includes possible stopping points like a Buddhist temple, lighthouse, suspension bridge, stained glass museum and ramen shop.

In Izu, soak in the local natural and historical sites, like coastal hiking trails and a lighthouse on the rugged Jogasaki Coast, extinct volcano Mt Omuro and its accompanying cactus park, and Tokaikan, a beautifully preserved former ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) in Ito City, andRyugu Cave, Toji Beach and Shirahama Shrine, Izu’s oldest shrine, in Shimoda City.

Jogasaki Coast japan

Jogasaki Coast. Photo: Kevin via Flickr

Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany

The famous opening to The Sound of Music was filmed in this alpine National Park. Located in Southeast Germany, travel lovers will get a glorious view of the Alps and some of Germany’s bordering neighbors. You can explore on foot to view much of the Alps’ fine flora and fauna, like the rare golden eagle.

There are well-marked hiking trails in this national park that open up the vistas for this unique setting: rugged cliffs, deep dark forests, wild torrents and glaciers, as well as peaceful green pastures, idyllic valleys. For history buffs, the ominous Eagle’s Nest sits atop the peak for anyone wanting to make the trip.

Berchtesgaden National Park, Germany europe hiking tours

Photo: via Pixabay

Hiking in Banff, the Canadian Rockies

Banff National Park, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was established in 1885 as Canada’s first national park. Discover the natural beauty of this mountain paradise which has more than 1,000 miles of maintained trails for hiking and cycling to explore.

Most photogenic in the park is Lake Louise, anchored at one end by the Victoria Glacier and the other by the stately Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Moraine Lake is another stunner, nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks.  Lake Louise is less than a two-hour drive from Calgary. From Lake Louise, it takes about an hour and 20 minutes to Moraine Lake.

canada rockies lake louise

Photo: Geoff Pinkney

Woodland and Creek Runs – Tuolumne County, California 

Located in the heart of the City of Sonora, the Dragoon Gulch Trail provides visitors with a unique opportunity to stroll through the Mother Lode’s oak woodlands. The Dragoon Gulch Trail provides over 3.1 miles of natural trails running alongside creeks and vistas that provide spectacular views of the City and its surrounding mountain ranges. The trails vary in difficulty making it perfect for the casual walker and for those who want a strenuous hike, jog or bike ride.

We hope you enjoy your perfect adventure vacation the eco-friendly way!