We guide you through the alphabet of extreme activities around the world; guaranteed to make your heart pump a little faster.

A is for abseiling

Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa is home to the world's highest commercial abseil - a 112m (367ft) drop from 1,000m (3,280ft) above sea level. The views are unbeatable, but you may not appreciate them until you're back on terra firma (website: www.abseilafrica.co.za).

B is for bungee jumping

If you're going to fling yourself headfirst into nothingness attached to an elastic cord, you may as well go big. The Nevis Highwire, in Queenstown, New Zealand, plunges you 134m (440ft) from a suspended cable car (website: www.ajhackett.co.nz).

C is for coasteering

Slide into a wetsuit, clamber round rocks and jump off seacliffs as you traverse your way round the Pembrokeshire coastline. This national park in southwest Wales is the original coasteering destination (website: www.adventure.visitwales.com).

D is for dog sledding

Dog-sledding Adrenaline Article Jamen Percy / Thinkstock

Mush, mush! Grab a pack of huskies and try your hand at driving dogs with the help of a guide. Howling Dog Tours can take you for a winter ride along spectacular mountain trails in the Canadian Rockies (website: www.howlingdogtours.com).

E is for edge of space

Gain your astronaut wings and experience the thrill of zero gravity 110km (360,000ft) above the earth... as long as you have US$250,000 to spare. From 2009, Virgin Galactic will take tourists (with cash to burn) on the flight of their lives (website: www.virgingalactic.com).

F is for freediving

Ditch the scuba tank and rely on your lungs. Competitive freediver William Trubridge runs three and five-day courses in the spectacular setting of Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas (website: http://verticalblue.net).

G is for golf

Don't expect to see any greens at the World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland. Golfers tee off amidst gigantic icebergs - fortunately, the balls are red. Held from 22-27 March 2007 (website: www.greenland-guide.gl/icegolf).

H is for heli-skiing

Forget competing for fresh tracks in a busy resort. Assuming your wallet can handle it, bag yourself a ride with Valdez Heli-Ski Guides for unlimited powder in the couloirs and bowls of Alaska's Chugach Mountains (website: www.valdezheliskiguides.com).

I is for ice climbing

Ice Climbing Adrenaline Article David Spurdens / Thinkstock

The Ice Factor, near Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands, boasts the world's biggest indoor ice wall and is the place to learn the ropes before progressing to the real thing at Ben Nevis or Torridon (website: www.ice-factor.co.uk).

J is for jet boating

High-speed jet boats skim the water in the narrow gorges of the Shotover River near Queenstown, New Zealand, coming within a hair's breadth of the canyon walls and spinning you 360 degrees (website: www.shotoverjet.com).

K is for kite surfing

You'll need a hefty dose of determination to master this sport (a combination of power kiting and surfing). Sign up for lessons in Tarifa, a Mecca for kite surfers on the southern tip of Spain (website: www.kitesurf-tarifa-spain.com/).

L is for luge

The luge track at La Plagne, in the French Alps, opened for the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics. The scariest way to hurtle down is in a mono bob, a 90kph (56mph) one-man adrenaline rush (website: www.la-plagne.com/en/winter/plagne-experiences/bob-experiece/speed-luge....).

M is for mountain biking

The Slickrock Bike Trail is a 16km (10-mile) technical bike route on a sandstone plateau between the Moab Valley and the Colorado River in Utah, USA. Be prepared for heart-pounding narrow ledges and nerve-wracking drop-offs (website: www.discovermoab.com/biking.htm).

N is for New Zealand

Looking for the A to Z of extreme adventures in one destination? New Zealand's smorgasbord of extreme activities, from aerobatic flights to zorbing (rolling down a hill inside a giant ball), will satisfy any adrenaline junkie's cravings (website: www.newzealand.com/travel).

O is for orienteering

Compete against the best at the World Masters Orienteering Championships. The 2015 event is being held from 26 July-1 August in Gothenburg, Sweden. A highlight will be the midnight sun evening race (website: www.wmoc2015sweden.se/).

P is for prison

A tour of Karosta, a former Soviet military prison in Liepaja, Latvia, guarantees an increased heart rate. Experience the life of a prisoner, from arrest to interrogation and, if you misbehave, a spell in solitary confinement (website: www.karostascietums.lv/new/en/intro-en.html).

Q is for quad biking

Quad Biking Adrenaline Article Moodboard / Thinkstock

It may not have been on Brad and Angelina's itinerary, but the adventurous way to explore the gigantic sand dunes at Namibia's Walvis Bay is by quad bike - semi-automatic or manual, depending on how brave you're feeling (website: http://www.daredeviladventures.com/).

R is for roller coaster

Riding the Cyclone roller coaster in Coney Island, New York is mostly about the fear of whether the rickety-looking 1927 wooden structure is actually going to stay up (website: www.astroland.com/cyclone.html).

S is for skydiving

Skydiving Adrenaline Article Saskia Zegwaard / Thinkstock

If you've struck lucky at poker, Vegas is the place to splurge on a skydive. A tandem jump involves plummeting 4,600m (15,000ft) at 190kph (120mph) with incredible views of the Las Vegas Strip, Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam (website: www.skydivelasvegas.com).

T is for twilight rafting

On the River Tummel in Perthshire, Scotland, there's white-water rafting, then there's rafting with the added frisson of paddling at dusk. Of course, you may not see the waterfall coming...(website: www.naelimits.co.uk).

U is for underwater hockey

Armed with a mask, snorkel, fins and a mini stick, you duck under water, whack the puck and go for goal. (Chances are better if you're playing towards the deep end!) Join a local club and progress to the world championships (website: www.gbuwh.co.uk).

V is for via ferrata

Meaning ‘iron ways', vie ferrate were constructed for soldiers in the Italian Dolomites during WWI. Steel cables, foot and handholds and ladders open up seemingly inaccessible peaks and mountain faces. Vertigo sufferers stay away. (website: www.honister.com/via_ferrata_xtreme.asp)

W is for wakeboarding

Instead of standing on two waterskis, wakeboarders attach both feet to one board, a bit like snowboarding on water. Learn the basics, or try out new tricks, at the Orlando Wakeboard Academy in Florida (website: http://orlandowakeboard.com).

X is for X games

For armchair adrenaline seekers who prefer spectating to participating, the annual X Games in Los Angeles, California, takes place from 2-5 August 2007 and showcases the world's top BMX, skateboard, surf, moto X and rally car athletes (website: http://expn.go.com).

Y is for yachting

Follow in the sails of Ellen MacArthur on the ultimate yachting adventure. The Vendée Globe race entails sailing solo around the globe with no stopovers and no assistance (website: www.vendeeglobe.org/en).

Z is for ziptrekking

Launch yourself off a treetop platform and soar above temperate rainforest on a series of ziplines (suspended cables) in Whistler, western Canada. Ziptrek Ecotours added five new lines in 2006, the longest stretching a whopping 600m (2,000ft) (website: www.ziptrek.com).


You might also be interested in our pages on:

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Adventures in Barbados

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Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.