Seven Incredible Adventures You Can Have in a Weekend

by Hazel Plush and Travel writer, The Daily Telegraph, February 2, 2017

Have your weekends been a little lacklustre of late? You don't need to use up all your annual leave to have a real adventure – you'd be surprised how much you can squeeze into a couple of days. 

From bear watching to bobsledding, these trips will do the trick. They start on a Thursday or Friday and are no more than four days long – so you can squeeze your adventure into a long weekend. What are you waiting for?

1. Beginners’ bobsledding in Norway

What did you get up to at the weekend? Just a casual few days speeding down a terrifying Winter Olympics-grade bobsled track – no biggie. If your February is looking just too darn predictable, harness the Cool Runnings spirit on a Lillehammer Bobsled trip with Exodus – the ultimate snowsports adventure for adrenaline junkies.

You’ll learn the bobsledding ropes with an expert instructor, and have all the vital safety equipment and training. But still, it’s petrifying: you’ll hurtle through the icy tunnels at eye-watering speeds, clocking up to 5gs (the kind of pressure that fighter pilots experience). 

When you’re done, keep up the buzz with high-speed tobogganing, downhill skiing, and ‘air boarding’ (like traditional sledding, but faster). A game of curling and a slap-up dinner will calm your frazzled nerves – they do a mean reindeer steak round these parts.

How long? Four days

Departs when? Friday February 17 2017

How much? £1,049 (including flights)

The best hotels in Norway

2. A city break with a difference

Don’t confine your weekend breaks to Europe – lots of different airlines fly direct to Dubai, and it’s only a seven-hour trip. If you take an overnight flight out on Thursday and come home on Sunday evening, you’ll have three days to explore the city, its beaches, and even the desert too.


Of course, you’ll need a good plan to ensure you get the most from your Middle Eastern minibreak – and Intrepid Travel’s Dubai Discovery itinerary is just the trick. In a small group (no more than 12 people), you’ll travel all over the city – from the world-famous malls and Dubai Fountains, to the souks and street food stalls of the old quarter.

On day two, strap yourself in for a white-knuckle ride up and down some of the Emirate’s hair raising desert peaks, a local sport known as ‘dune bashing’. At sunset, a barbecue in a Bedouin-style camp awaits, with henna painting and belly dancing under the stars. Not your average city break.

How long? Three days

Departs when? Every Thursday and Friday

Watch | Dubai from the sky: spectacular drone footage of the city 02:15

How much? From £240 (flights extra)

The best hotels in Dubai

Not your average wildlife watching jauntCredit: alamy 

3. Bear watching in Finland

Get up-close with wild brown bears in north-eastern Finland on Explore’s Brown Bear Weekend : you’ll venture deep into the dense taiga forest, on a mission to observe the bears in their natural habitat, and stake them out in camouflaged hides (complete with comfy chairs and facilities), in the company of expert guides.

As well as bears, you’ll spot owls, wolverine, foxes and elk on daytime and twilight trips. There’s a free day, too, which you can spend canoeing, trekking, or just wallowing in the hotel’s traditional Finnish smoke sauna. 

How long? Four days

Departs when? Various Fridays, from May to September 2017

How much? From £769 (including flights)

Near the peak of Mt ToubkalCredit: alamy

The best hotels in Finland

4. Climb North Africa’s highest peak

If you’ve got good base fitness and some hillwalking experience, take things up a notch by scaling Mount Toubkal with KE Adventure – it’s the highest point in North Africa, towering a whopping 4,167 metres over Morocco .

Base camp is just a couple of hours’ drive from Marrakech, so you can fly in on a Thursday night and be ready to hit the trails on Friday. It’s a moderately-paced hike to the first refuge – at just over 3,200 metres – where you’ll rest and fuel up on mountain tagines, in preparation for the push to the summit.

On Saturday morning, it’s time to stand on Toubkal’s summit and soak up that awesome Atlas view. On the trek down you can explore the pretty mountainside Berber villages, stopping for a picnic lunch and a pick-me-up mint tea en route. Back in Marrakech, toast your radical weekend at Djemaa el Fna – the city’s raucous medley of souks, street performers and cafés.

How long? Four days

Husky sledding from KirunaCredit: alamy

Departs when? Various Fridays, from May to September 2017

How much? From £275 (flights extra)

The best hotels in Morocco

5. Husky sledding through the Arctic Circle

Secret Adventures’ Arctic Wilderness trip is no cushy holiday: it’s an all-out expedition, taking you deep into the Arctic Circle in just four days. After flying into Kiruna, Sweden, you’ll be whisked to a remote countryside cabin – heated by wood stove, lit by candles, and where water has to be collected from below the ice in a nearby brook.

You’ll learn how to mush (aka drive) huskies, setting off across the Swedish wilderness in convoy, crossing thick forests and huge frozen lakes. Before dinner back in the cabin, warm your cockles in its wood-burning sauna and keep an eye out for the Northern Lights.

UK bucket list

This trip includes cross-country skiing, Arctic-style picnics (brrrr), a buffet lunch at the famous Ice Hotel, and dog sledding. Skis and warm clothing hire are thrown in too, as are the services of expert English speaking guides. It’s pricey, but this is a proper adventure.

How long? Four days

The Yorkshire Dales need your helpCredit: alamy

Departs when? Thursday April 6 2017

How much? From £950 (flights extra)

The world's best ice hotels

6. Lend a hand in the Yorkshire Dales

The National Trust has protected and preserved the British countryside since the 1800s – so maybe it’s time you gave it a helping hand? National Trust Working Holidays let ordinary people go behind the scenes of a conservation project, getting their fingernails dirty, learning new skills and making new friends to boot.

On the Weekend Ranger  short trip, you’ll be paired with full-time wardens in the Yorkshire Dales, helping out with whatever needs doing. You could be clearing walkways, painting fences, planting trees or removing willow scrub – fuelled by bottomless teas, honest home-cooked meals, and plenty of camaraderie.

Emerge with a huge sense of achievement and newly-toned muscles, plus a free six-month National Trust membership as a thank you.

How long? Two nights

Departs when? Friday April 21 & Friday September 22 2017

How much? £85

The best hotels in the Yorkshire Dales

You don’t have to leave UK shores to have an adventure: fly or take the ferry to the Isle of Wight, the beautiful chalk-cliff island off Dorset’s coast. Gentle hills, dramatic viewpoints and quiet sandy coves make this prime hiking territory – even for absolute beginners.

HF Holidays’ self-guided Walking at Freshwater Bay trip includes instructions and maps for all the best walking routes, so you can fill your weekend with the best coastal hikes and inland jaunts.

You’ll be based at Freshwater Bay House, a cosy nook with sea views, for the duration of the trip. Better yet, this is an all-inclusive holiday, so you’ll have a hearty breakfast, huge packed lunch, and a hot meal to come home to every night.

How long? Three nights (up to a maximum of seven)

Departs when? Various Thursdays and Fridays, from March to October 2017

How much? From £215


This article was written by Hazel Plush and Travel writer from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.