Instead of packing only coverups and sun hats for your impending vacations, how about some workout clothes?
To help you find some spots that are both beautiful and conducive to exercise, VirtualTourist.com has compiled a list of the five most scenic workout spots.
1. Hiking Cinque Terre in Italy
Italy has long been a bastion of cultural icons and landmarks, and Cinque Terre, the five hill towns perched above the Ligurian Sea, are among the most beautiful.
The villages date back to the late medieval period and are still, in 2012, inaccessible by car. While one can access them by train and boat, the best experience is to hike between the towns.
Slowly descending from the rocky cliffs into each brightly painted fishing village is an experience unlike any other in the world.
Hiking from Riomaggiore, the southernmost village, to the fifth town, Monterosso, is quite a workout (18 kilometers, or 11 miles, and usually takes about five hours, but can take longer depending on how fit you are).
2. Stand up paddle-boarding in Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii
Kauai provides ample opportunities for exercising while on vacation. Along the island's North Shore, adventurers can find the Kalalau Trail, an 11-mile route along the island's remote Na Pali Coast that is widely considered one of the world's scariest hikes.
Or try stand-up paddle-boarding along the North Shore's gem, Hanalei Bay. Stand-up paddle-boarding, or SUP, provides a great arm workout and a fun alternative to surfing.
3. Rollerblading along the Strand, Los Angeles, Calif.
Only a handful of locations can provide a pedestrian-only route the length of which is almost a marathon, and none can do so while providing a view of one of the most beautiful beach areas in the world.
The Strand is a 22-mile bike path that runs from Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades, Calif., to Torrance County Beach.
The route passes landmarks like the Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach's infamous boardwalk.
4. Cycling around Southeast Asia
Angkor Wat in Cambodia is great place to explore by bike. The terrain is particularly flat and the distance between Siam Reap and the temple complex makes sightseeing by bicycle ideal.
Another great spot to travel by bike is Vietnam, as its Route 1 is a straight shot from the capital city of Hanoi to the largest city in the southern region, Ho Chi Minh City.
This route also allows you to see smaller, seaside towns you might otherwise miss, such as Vinh, Hue and Hoi An.
A number of groups, like Indochina Trekking Company and Intrepid Travel, provide guided tours from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.
5. Swimming in Capri
The pointed Faraglioni or the switchback path of Via Krupp may be the sights most affiliated with Capri, but no experience resonates like La Grotta Azzurra (the Blue Grotto).
Though tourists usually go inside via rowboats, it is possible to swim in the grotto, as the location can be accessed by stairway.
If tides or wave conditions make it too dangerous, a close second is swimming in one of the island's secluded bays.
© 2012 VirtualTourist.com distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.
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