Over the past 12 months or so, there's been a definite shift towards extreme stag weekends. Outdoor pursuits and stag challenges are getting more imaginative by the year. Paintballing's been upgraded with zombies and tanks. Simple karting sessions have been superseded by endurance and Grand Prix formats.

If you relish a challenge, check out these balls of steel-style activities.

White water rafting in the Pyrenees

Meatier than your average run down a course in Blightly, this session is for extreme stag weekends in Barcelona.

Your mission is to navigate a 14km run using good old teamwork and elbow grease. You'll need plenty of the latter, as this waterway is littered with gushing white water, narrow sections, rocks and offshoot streams. The payoff is a swim in calm waters at the end.

Vulture Valley Kayaking

When it comes to extreme stag weekends, you'd have to go a fair way to beat kayaking in Vulture Valley. If a paddle through a protected nature reserve in spaghetti western country sounds like your idea of a good time, head to Madrid. Negotiate hairpin bends, fast and slow section whilst bats, eagles and vultures with 3ft wingspans glide overhead.

Mountain biking in Benidorm

Benidorm stag weekends are generally regarded as the preserve of the 18-30s beer boys. Whilst this budget-friendly resort is a winner if you're after Britain in the sun, it's also got a lot to offer the avid mountain biker.  Spend a whole day mountain biking in the Aitana Mountains.

Start from a point 4,500 feet above sea level and follow a 26-mile run to ground level. Expect to hit thickly wooded areas and off-road trails before stopping for a Spanish lunch at a traditional village. After refueling, head back up to the top for an 18-miler down the other side.

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Date Posted: Wednesday 24th July 2013

Author: Cathy Alexander