The best destinations for the outdoorsy expat

  • Outdoors
Published on 2017-10-18 at 09:33
Many expats are keen to move to urban centres or popular beach destinations, but where should you move to if you love the outdoors? From mountain climbing and hiking to swimming and diving, there is somewhere to suit your lifestyle and adventurous spirit. We've found what we think are ideal destinations for different outdoorsy types.

For the healthy expat


If you are seeking a destination to fit your healthy lifestyle or even one that will help you adopt one, Vancouver in Canada has a health and wellness culture that is apparent throughout the city. You'll find locals participating in early morning Tai Chi or kayaking along the waterfront, with the latter being one of the city's most popular outdoor activities. Not only this, but a whole host of dining options are available, whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or just trying to eat local and sustainable produce. This is just the tip of the iceberg that is composed of eating right and keeping fit that so many of those living in the city are trying to conquer.

For the explorer expat

South Bohemia

Some people move abroad for the adventure alone, and if you're interested in exploring the great outdoors, look no further than the Czech Republic. In particular, the south-east of the country is almost fairytale-like, with its dense forests, which house mansions that resemble castles and picturesque villages. There are also lots of places for water sports, and rafting is particularly popular in the region. So, if you're looking for the road less travelled that likely has a good beer at the end of it, consider looking a little south of Prague to the South Bohemia region of the Czech Republic.

For the expat seeking sun and sea

Belize coast

While mainland Belize isn't an island, it has nearly 400km of coastline and many islands which form part of the country, making it the ideal destination for those who want to optimise their beach time or ocean explorers. A huge coral reef that is second only to the Great Barrier Reef offers a great site to explore for keen divers, or anyone who enjoys some snorkelling. Awash with lagoons, there are many great locations for diving, though the geography of Belize is diverse, from plateaus to mountains. After a day exploring beneath the waves, expats can also explore the remnants of one of the world's greatest civilisations; the Mayans.

For the expat who loves nature

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is not only a prime destination for nature-lovers, but also for environmentally-friendly expats. The country prides itself on its commitment to environmental protection and wholeheartedly embraces, for example, renewable energy. When it comes to flora and fauna, expats will rejoice in the diversity. A significant proportion of the country is protected, preserving the natural beauty of the country's coasts and rainforests. Costa Rica's aim to preserve nature has resulted in many non-intrusive ways to enjoy both the animal and plant life that thrives in it, allowing you to bear witness to some of the nature's rarest gems.

For the expat who doesn't mind a bit of cold


A popular holiday destination with a progressive society, Iceland may make an ideal destination for those who don't mind or even enjoy colder weather. You may have to pick up some Icelandic to fit in, but the rewards for outdoorsy expats are many. The country was formed by the parting of two tectonic plates, resulting in lava reaching the surface and forming rugged new land. This gives certain parts of the country (particularly those still affected by volcanic activity) an almost alien feel, making it a unique destination to explore. The presence of geothermal hot springs and their place in Icelandic culture mean that, if the cold gets too much, there's usually a place to warm up nearby.