Are you an adventurer at heart? Does the unconventional call to you? Are you looking to get out of your comfort zone? From isolated destinations to intense weather conditions, the most extreme places to visit across the globe offer a life-changing experience to those who dare to explore them.
If Siberian Storm or Gonzo’s Quest are among your favorite online slots to play in Canada, take your thirst for adventure to the next level by visiting one of the following extreme destinations. From the hottest place to the flattest place on Earth and everything in between, our list is curated in no particular order of extremities.
There’s no denying that Canadian winters can be brutal. Even so, nothing compares to the extreme temperatures of Antarctica. Taking the title as the coldest continent on Earth, satellite data suggests air temperatures reach -94C! Unsurprisingly, the estimated human population is really low – somewhere between 1,000 and 4,000 people – making this an incredibly remote place to explore with breathtaking scenery and wildlife. There is a vast array of possible activities in this unique landscape such as trekking and camping, kayaking and zodiac cruising, skiing, whale and penguin watching, and for the extremists – a polar plunge!
2. Atacama Desert, Chile
While the average holiday-goer may not necessarily be attracted to the world’s driest place, hikers, star-gazers and adventurers will find the Atacama Desert a truly magical place to visit. From sunset cycles through the Valley of the Moon to the best star-gazing opportunities in the world, floating on salt-water lagoons and flamingo watching, the region offers 104,741 sq km of vast desert-scapes and pristine beauty.
3. Bouvet Island, South Atlantic Ocean
Located between South Africa and Antarctica, Bouvet Island is the world’s most desolate and remote island. Covered almost entirely by ice and surrounded by glaciers, this Norwegian-protected nature reserve is entirely uninhabited. However, there have been a few Norwegian polar expeditions, which you could join if you wanted to. An estimated 93% of the island is completely covered by a glacier, with only 49 sq km of open land. The center is occupied by an inactive volcano filled with ice. This mysterious little island has been the inspiration for three books and the 2004 film, Alien vs Predator.
4. Coober Pedy, Australia
You’ll find Coober Pedy in the outback of South Australia, 846km north of Adelaide. However, it may appear that you’ve stumbled across a completely abandoned area at first glance. Below the surface there is an entire underground town! Coober Pedy is the largest opal miner on the planet, producing 70% of the world’s opals. Residents avoid the desert heat by living underground, which may sound like an apocalyptic experience, further proved by the fact that Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was filmed there! For a truly immersive experience, we recommend taking the Ghan Train from Darwin to Adelaide, which stops off at Coober Pedy and several other unique sights in the outback.
5. Death Valley, California
For those among you who don’t do well with the cold, California’s Death Valley might be more up your alley. However, with temperatures reaching 56.7C it’s still bound to be intense, just at the other end of the spectrum. Rugged mountains, winding canyons and sand dunes cover 91% of this protected wilderness area, offering scenic trails and spectacular views. Even with the world’s most blazing temperatures, Death Valley hosts some surprising contrasts, with snow-frosted mountain peaks and hidden oases. Iconic sights include sunrises at Zabriskie Point, the Badwater Basin (the lowest point in North America), sunsets at scenic point Artist’s Palette and the desert wildflowers.
6. Mount Thor, Canada
Canada’s most famous summit, made of pure granite, was named after the Norse god of thunder. Based in Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island in Nunavut and standing at 1,675m tall, it is the steepest peak in the world. Mount Thor has a 1,250m vertical drop, making it a popular destination for avid climbers. With a number of designated campsites along the Akshayuk Pass, camping is welcome despite the fact that summits are few and far between. Mount Thor is also a popular site for base jumpers and paragliders, though the remote location makes it a particularly dangerous destination.
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7. Rjukan, Norway
Until 2013, the small town of Rjukan in Norway saw no direct sunlight for six months of the year. Surrounded by high mountains and with the low placement of the winter sun, days in the town were incredibly dark, and the 3,500 residents would see no sunlight for months on end. In 2013, however, the town implemented a 100-year-old idea of placing a man-made mirror system on the mountains to redirect sunlight into the town. The $1,086,253 project sees a few rays shine upon the town each day of the year, and children can be seen playing in the town square, the only place the light shines directly, making for a truly otherworldly experience.
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