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Holidays are often touted as a time of rest away from work, household duties and even the world. But if you’re one who finds it hard to sit still and relax even while on vacation, why not try a sporting holiday instead?
We round up five unusual sporting activities from around the world – your holidays might never be the same again!
Already mastered the sea around Baja in Mexico or taken off to the South of France for a boating weekend? Try Turkey’s Carian coast next. Deriving its name from the city of Bodrum, which was historically known as Caria, the coast is less than a five-hour drive from the capital city of Istanbul.
On a spring morning, the waters are a pristine turquoise around the coast and a mysterious imperial blue further off. The wind stokes a languid murmur in the pines on the hills as you drift on your yacht and watch the birds floating against a spotless sky. The winds are given to reach the ideal speed of 15 to 20 knots, and both the hardened enthusiast and the first-timer find something to occupy themselves with.
Compared to the costlier French Riveria or Italian coast, the relatively disorganized tourism sector of the Carian coast can be considered an advantage. Don’t be surprised if a hawking boat suddenly arrives from one of the beach shacks to lure you towards their thick yoghurt dip or a bowl of teeming, hot çorba (lentil soup). The Turks live passionately and expect you to share in their verve for life, so you can expect to throw caution to the wind when in the country.
Find out more at www.goturkeytourism.com
Who would have imagined that the city of love could be a runner’s dream-come-true? The French hold a high regard for faire du sport or being active (along with faire l’amour, of course). Its capital Paris is packed with high-flying residents who frequently don their running shorts to pack in a brisk jog before the start of the day, often with a Chihuahua trailing them on a leash.
The pavements are spotlessly clean, and the rest of the year is an easy glide. While you settle into a meditative rhythm along the Quai d’Orsay and your heels go clap-clap on the cobbled stones, don’t miss your date with history. Be sure to devour the buildings and the other million vestiges of the time gone by with your eyes.
Alternatively, join the radical Club d’Athleticisme (Sporting Club) Les Moustiques in the 12th arrondissement, who, with their unconventional name (which literally means The Mosquitoes) and their unswerving commitment to running, have made a reputation of sorts for themselves.
Catch up with them at www.lesmoustiques.com
Here’s a perfect circuit that does not break your back, while being rigorous enough to have something to boast to your friends about. The Koreans have for long cultivated the zen-like art of zipping for hours on a mean mechanical two- heeler. Cycling in the Korean countryside is something that every free soul should do once in his lifetime.
Seoul to Busan, two of the most important cities, is just around 500 km and manageable under a week. Nothing beats the exhilaration of having your shirt sleeves flap in the frenetic gusts of fresh, mountain wind. You need not take the highway, and there are plenty of village tracks that will take you through blooming dales and furry purple-crusted foliage.
In between, you can always stop for a cup of green tea with a breakfast of some boiled silkworm larvae. For vegetarians, fill yourselves up with the famous kimchi (pickled cabbage). Best time to visit would be during the autumn months from September to November.
For more tips, check out Cycling South Korea: 500km in 5 days
For long, top executives have been known to practice archery as a means of focusing their concentration, and hitting the bull’s eye with their decisions every time. Dubai has recently emerged as a one-stop destination for all pleasures, that of the perfect aim included.
Archery is catching on as a vogue among expatriates and other executives in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai Archers is a club that allows you to start at the beginner’s level and progressively move towards mastery of the game. With fibre glass and wooden bows provided, you are given expert instruction at the ultra-modern Dubai Country Club.
To learn more, visit www.dubaiarchers.com
All discerning equestrians know this secret: Australia’s Mid-North Coast has stealthily budged its way to become the first choice for those who like to combine the pleasures of the saddle with nature’s delights. A short four-hour drive from Sydney, it is only a matter of time before horse enthusiasts all over the world make their way there.
Hire for yourself a cask-coloured beauty, from a group called Southern Cross Horse Treks, savour the rhythm of her muscles churning out distances effortlessly underneath you, and see the mysterious eucalyptuses rise for miles and miles with their gummy smells permeating the forests. The area is dotted with farms, logging trails, mysterious rainforests and exotic species of birds, and never for a moment will you think again of one of the more mainstream destinations. If you’re looking to visit, go between the months of April to September.
Visit www.horsetreks.com.au for more information.