If a stationary sunlounger lacks appeal, why not try something a little more adventurous – you are on holiday, after all. Here we round up the very best high-octane breaks, should you feel the need for speed…
Dodgeball Summer Rally
This year’s Dodgeball Summer Rally promises to be a thrilling full-throttle joyride from London to Croatia, stopping off at Geneva, the Italian lakes and the Venice Film Festival. The rally itself has garnered notoriety in recent years as the preserve of eccentrics and billionaires – and, of course, speed freaks.
Join in the fun by booking a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 for the trip: for £16,500 a day, you can drive the most powerful, most expensive and fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a 16-cylinder engine giving a proven top speed of over 250 mph.
£3,200pp, Thursday 6th – Monday 10th September; gp-management.com
As Tokyo barrels towards the 2020 Olympics, it’s all-aboard the shinkansen, which first impressed the crowds at the 1964 Games. Being both eye-wateringly fast and staggeringly punctual, the bullet train is an efficient way to make the most of a trip to the Land of the Rising Sun.
Tokyo to Kyoto feels like a mere hop, skip and jump, when in fact it’s a distance of 295 miles – a distance that the shinkansen gobbles up in around two hours 15 minutes, with a top speed of 186mph. A tour of Japan by bullet train takes in downtown Tokyo and the temples of Kyoto, before reaching the Hakone National Park hot springs.
From £5,400pp for eight nights; scottdunn.com
At Niyama Private Islands in the Maldives, a seaplane transfer whisks guests out to sea, landing at nearby surf points for the ultimate speed surfing holiday. Guests are able to hop onto the express seaplane transfer, leaving them to catch waves to their heart’s content. At Niyama, an average of five surfable waves roll out every five minutes, and the surf can be challenging – beginners can decide to leave the water babies to it, and relax on the beach with a classic rum cocktail before the seaplane arrives for the return journey.
Rooms from approximately £530 per night, while the Niyama surf seaplane trip is approximately £1,400; niyama.com
The thrill of glimpsing the Big Five on safari can’t be beaten – unless, that is, you travel by chopper. Go on a tailor-made Tropic Air African helicopter safari adventure, stopping off at lodges and camps around the parks and game reserves of East Africa. Use your 18 hours of helicopter time for anything from searching for mountain gorillas to tracking rhinos to soaring over the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Your Squirrel AS350 B3 helicopter can carry up to four passengers, and reach a speed of 178mph. Depending on the time of year that you travel, you might even see the brown Kalahari desert transform into a lush carpet of vivid green thanks to summer downpours, or fly over herds of migrating wildebeest in the Masai Mara.
From £38,000pp for nine nights; scottdunn.com
Baja Challenge Racers
Generations of thrill-seekers have had their fun, Mad Max-style, across the hot, dusty terrain of Baja California in Mexico, but the remote, unmaintained roads are no match for these purpose-built, $100,000 Baja Challenge Racer cars. Set off northwards from Los Cabos through a wild, coastal landscape to the seaside community of La Paz. There, you can kill the engine and board a high-speed motorboat to snorkel amongst the sea lions at Espiritu Santo Island. Back on dry land, the driving trail continues through cactus forests, culminating in sundowners and cigars with a tequila tasting on the beach. The final couple of days take in demanding mountainous paths and dry riverbeds, before the arrival back to base is celebrated aboard a private yacht cruise.
From £12,050pp for six nights; quintessentiallytravel.com
The future is now: Virgin Galactic is offering spaceflights to members of the public wishing to orbit the globe, 68 miles high. Passengers who have paid their £180,000 deposit will depart from Spaceport America, a purpose-built commercial spaceport in New Mexico, aboard WhiteKnightTwo, a jetpowered cargo aircraft. At an altitude of 50,000 feet, WhiteKnightTwo will release SpaceShipTwo, a spacecraft that soars through the atmosphere at three and a half times the speed of sound (to a maximum of 2,500mph). Once in space, guests can leave their seats and float weightlessly. But speed junkies wanting to hop aboard may be disappointed: there is a lengthy waiting list.
From around £180,000; virgingalactic.com
And now for something completely different: a Tuk-Tuk Safari from the Shangri-La Hotel in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. Guests can zoom through the streets of the garden city of the East like the Sri Lankans do, aboard brightly-coloured tuk-tuks so-named for the noise of their exhausts. Navigate the narrow, bustling streets of Pettah bazaar, or stop off and admire the impressive colonial buildings, army barracks and military lookouts still remaining from the Civil War. Sure, with a top speed of around 40mph, this is hardly the fastest you’ll ever travel – but whizzing around Colombo’s busy streets on a tuk-tuk is a hair-raising ride even for adrenaline junkies.
Rooms from approximately £135 per night, while the Tuk Tuk Safari is £35pp; shangri-la.com