Looking for more adventurous vacation ideas for this summer? Take a look at this list of travel destinations in Europe that are perfect for adventure lovers.
When you think about adventure travel, the first thing that pops into your head is probably more exotic and far-away destinations such as Thailand, Nepal, or Costa Rica. However, you can still experience a thrill of adrenaline on your trip to Europe. Europe isn’t just about architectural wonders, history, food, and culture. There are plenty of opportunities for active experiences as well, from snowmobiling across an Icelandic glacier to paragliding through the exquisite landscape in France or sky diving in Costa Brava, Spain.
Iceland is often a top choice among travelers for European adventures and it isn’t surprising why. Iceland has everything you would ever want and more: sparkling glaciers, bubbling earth, highest and harshest mountains, where you can go hiking, fishing, camping, road-tripping, backpacking, kayaking, and waterfall chasing.
Best of all, adventurous activities such as hiking on glaciers are available the whole year, even in the summer months. Highlights include snowmobiling or hiking across the majestic Sólheimajökull glacier, exploring the famous black Reynisfjara beach, and watching the Northern Lights from the comfort of geothermal springs. Of course, you simply can’t wrap up a trip to Iceland without a relaxing afternoon in the Blue Lagoon.
Located on the northern side of Europe, Scotland can offer an extensive list of adventurous activities for your next holiday. From incredible looking hilly sceneries, which you can explore by train or by hiking, to scuba diving in St. Kilda.
The coastline of Scotland offers divers some of the most scenic and exciting dives in the world with thrilling caves and many wrecks waiting to be explored. You can also enjoy some of the best white water rafting here in Scotland. It can be enjoyed all year round and has ideal opportunities for both first-time rafters and adrenaline junkies.
France is yet another destination that can offer a variety of unique experiences for those with a need for an adventure. The most popular adrenaline-fuelled experiences include snowboarding in Chamonix, climbing to the summit of the highest peaks, or paragliding through stunning landscapes and even mountains.
Less known activities include exploring the interior of the glaciers or surfing in the Mediterranean. If you want something more relaxing on some of the days, try having a picnic on the banks of the river Seine, tasting exquisite French cuisines or celebrities spotted in Cannes.
The second happiest country in the world and politically neutral, Switzerland is also a perfect choice for an adventurous vacation at any time of the year. Some of the highlights include climbing the Matterhorn, one of the highest and hardest peaks in the Alps, exploring the Aletsch glacier, or experiencing the Jungfaubahn train ride. If you love hiking, climbing, or camping, Switzerland is probably one of the best destinations for that.
Asides from wild outdoor activities, you can also enjoy diving in turquoise lakes, and taste some of the best chocolate and fondue in the world. For rafting lovers, you can try white water rafting down the Lütschine River. If you aren’t afraid of heights, paragliding at Lauterbrunnen is a real bucket list item.
Germany is an ideal place for all types of adventure travelers. During the winter, you can go skiing in the Bavarian Alps or even sledding if you prefer something less extreme. You can also try out log rafting, go on a creepy castles tour or simply enjoy the beautiful hiking destinations all around the country.
If you want something less adrenaline-fuelled but still adventurous, you can cross the Geierlay Suspension Bridge which is a perfect example of a micro-adventure. Another fun idea is ziplining in the Harz Mountains. It is only around one kilometer long, but it is guaranteed to make your legs shake at least a bit.
Asides from beautiful beaches and summer party destinations, Spain has a lot to offer for adventurous souls too. You can swim in the clear crystal water of Dali’s hometown, experience sky diving in Costa Brava, run with the bulls in Pamplona, or even trek the entire way of Santiago de Compostela.
For more outdoorsy travelers, Spain is also home to the stunning Pyrenees mountains which offer incredible opportunities for camping, hiking, or even mountain biking. If hiking isn’t your strongest suit, you can try kayaking the Camino de Santiago sea route.
Croatia is one of those European destinations that can offer a bit of everything, from sea kayaking, cycling, partying, and exploring charming old towns to island hopping. Some of the must-do adventure experiences in Croatia include zip-lining in Omis or above Dubrovnik, white water rafting in the Cetina river, windsurfing, or kiteboarding near Brač Island.
If your heart is calling for mountains, you can try mountain biking or rock climbing in the Paklenica National Park. Hiking through mountain huts in the Velebit Range just might be one of the best hiking adventures of your life.
Photo: Sasin Paraksa/shutterstock
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