No matter where in the world you travel to, sooner or later you will hit water. 71% of the world’s surface is covered in water: lakes, rivers, seas, oceans, and of course glaciers. Unless you take a trip up to Iceland and beyond, there aren’t too many glaciers to see, but there is plenty of ocean, not to mention some very scenic lakes, rivers and other natural bodies of water.
Water sports come in all shapes and sizes, from surfing on the Gold Coast to scuba diving in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Read on for some fun ideas.
Tubing is fun, relaxing, or exhilarating, depending on how much white water there is. This is a sport you need to try at least once. Kaua’i in Hawaii is a beautifully scenic spot for tubing. The Ayung River in Bali is a top spot, and for backpackers on a mission to get drunk on the water, Vang Vieng in Laos is worth a mention.
Surf’s up in numerous locations around the world. Surfing isn’t for everyone, as you need a good sense of balance, but if you have mastered the art of standing on a surfboard with a huge wave bearing down on you, head to Sennen Cove in Cornwall, Canggu in Bali, or Waikiki, Hawaii. Alternatively, for those who like to travel to more remote locations, Mozambique has 2,500 km of surfing coastline, so take your pick of beaches.
Cruising is the ultimate chill-out water activity. You don’t even need to get wet for goodness sake. For those who enjoy a leisurely tipple whilst being soothed by the gentle movement of the boat, take a wine cruise. Alternatively, join a hotel on the water and cruise around the Norwegian Fjords in style.
Paddleboarding hit the headlines when Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry took a jaunt in the buff. SUP, aka stand up paddleboarding is hugely popular. You can do it on a lake or in the ocean, but for the most fun, head to Oahu in Hawaii, Santa Cruz in California, or Bali, where the water is like a smooth sheet of glass.
Yachting is not for beginners, but if you have some spare cash, charter a private yacht for a few days and take a tour around the Greek Islands, US Virgin Islands, or the Great Barrier Reef.
You will need some training before you have a go at scuba diving, but it is possible to learn the basics in a few hours, after which you can explore a fascinating underwater world. Barracuda Point in Malaysia is well known as the best scuba diving spot in the world, but the Yongala off the coast of Queensland and the Thistlegorm in the Red Sea are pretty awesome.
Snorkeling requires zero skill, but is just as much fun. Pull on a snorkel mask and flippers and head out to the Alligator Reef Lighthouse in the Florida Keys or Banana Beach in Thailand.
Got any more cool ideas for fun on the water? Tell me about it in the comments!