If you like to climb and see the scenery with a great viewpoint, here are a few places you should definitively go to and try to climb. Some of them are real adventures, others are touristy – but hey you gotta do them, some of them will not even be possible in a few years. So if you are into climbing adventures and getting the most view out of your trip, here are some places you should go to. They are not specifically holidays for climbers, but simply good places to climb if you are around.

climbing holidays

Kilimanjaro, Tanzania: Not featuring Africa’s highest mountain in a compendium of great climbs, with its bird’s-eye views of the wildlife studded savannah way below, would be a travesty. At 5895m this clocks in as the highest freestanding mountain in the world, with a stunning variety of routes to the summit. One way up sees you accompanied part-way by a ranger to protect you against Big Game; others take you past Kilimanjaro’s glaciers and have you camping overnight in a volcanic crater. Climb above the Serengeti savannah without donning hiking boots on a safari by balloon.

Volcanoes National Park, Hawai: Five volcanoes rise in a veritable smorgasbord of ruptured, frequently fiery peaks out of the lunar-like massif which makes up this World Heritage–listed national park: lava junkies should head here for a phenomenal fix. Not only are the world’s most dramatic volcanic vistas located on Big Island (try the most active, highest and largest volcanoes) but the craters are easily accessible (a road runs round the rim ofKilauea). Roads shouldn’t dishearten climbers from hitting the trails – some 240km of paths take the intrepid out to less-visited parts of the park. Check out offerings to Pele, Hawaiian Goddess of Fire, en route: gifts from seashells to gin are left to appease her fiery wrath. Plan climbs and keep tabs on lava sightings in the park atwww.nps.gov/havo.

climbing holidays

Sossusvlei, Namibia: The world’s highest dunes, the world’s oldest dunes… you won’t be here long before the record-breaking sand statistics rear their heads, but Sossusvlei certainly boasts among the most mesmerising dunes on the planet for clambering over. Dunes here reach as high as 325m, but as sand walking is around 2½ times tougher than it would be on a normal surface, climbing is far from simple. The park Sossusvlei sits in, a swath of sand covering a good third of Namibia, fans out in all directions from the dune summits in a kaleidoscope of colours from blood red to amber to mauve. Stick to the dune’s crests for the easiest ascents. Dawn is ideal dune-viewing time: stay inside the park boundaries for those early starts.

Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina: Hearteningly in these times of global warming, this glacier is among the few on the planet not actually retreating. Forming a 3km, 60m-high icy frontier against the lake it abuts, Perito Moreno advances only for lake water to periodically undermine and, in spectacular style, collapse it. Five-hour glacier treks bring you up close and personal to the glacier’s myriad peaks, fissures and, if you’re lucky, the ice cavern the lake hollows underneath, all effusing an ethereal blue glow. If the trek isn’t a sufficient vertical challenge, try the ice climb, 20m up a sheer ice wall, and the ice abseil back down. El Calafate is littered with agencies offering glacier tours.

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia : Ever seen Roger Moore’s Bond in A View to a Kill and fancied climbing one of the world’s largest bridges, girders and all? Your best bet lies in Sydney, not San Francisco, where scaling the Sydney Harbour Bridge takes you to a dizzying 134m above the photogenic harbour. Three types of climbs are offered on the planet’s biggest steel arch bridge; wedding ceremonies have even been conducted on top. Vertigo-sufferers can content themselves with ascending the Pylon Lookout at the southeast end of the bridge: a modest 87m, climbed via steps rather than hair-raising catwalks. Bridge-climbing is a popular activity in Sydney these days: visitwww.bridgeclimb.com for details. The Pylon Lookout is open from 10am to 5pm daily.

climbing holidays

Table Mountain, South Africa: The flat-topped, 1086m-high mountain that gives Cape Town its visual splendour is also said to contain more than 300 walking paths. For most people, however, it’s all about getting to the summit, and pronto. For this, the route through Platteklip Gorge is the most straightforward. The gentlest climb is along the Jeep Track, through the Back Table, though the gentle gradient also means that it’s one of the longest approaches. The Platteklip Gorge route should take two to three hours up; but you can descend in about four minutes on the cable car if you wish. There is a well-catered (albeit expensive) cafe at the top of Table Mountain.

“My travel tips” gives you… travel tips and ideas.