If you have never visited Europe before, it really is a continent that offers so much to each and every visitor. And this is certainly true if you are a lover of the great outdoors. With so many different spots to enjoy hiking, biking, water sports and plenty more, it really is a case of laying out your map and taking your pick.
So, this blog will be a look at Europe beyond the main cities and cultural centres, which of course the continent is bursting with. We will focus in on some of the countries that offer some of the greatest outdoor experiences. Whether you are planning your vacation for summer or waiting until some of the crowds have started to disperse, there is plenty here to give you a bit of inspiration.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in and take a closer look at Europe’s greatest adventure destinations.
Triglav National Park, Slovenia
Nestled away in central Europe, Slovenia is still an unknown quantity for many people. But if you take a trip to the country’s only national park, some of the scenery you will enjoy is simply incredible. One of the Slovenia’s top attractions, Lake Bled sits on the outskirts of the park. In the middle of the beautiful lake sits a church on an island which many people take a trip over to – either by boat or by swimming. Within the national park itself, there are plenty of hiking opportunities. Nearby to Lake Bohinj, you can take a cable car up into the mountains to enjoy incredible views over the surrounding area.
It is hard to choose specific places when the whole country is just so stunning! Beyond the capital city of Reykjavik, there are outdoor riches to discover including towering glaciers and volcanoes, bubbling hot springs and dazzling waterfalls. However, one activity that is on pretty much everyone’s bucket list is the chance to witness the Northern Lights in person. Iceland is certainly one of the best spots to see the sky illuminated with colour. Once you witness it, you will feel like you are on another planet!
Canoeing Along the Klarälven river in Sweden
Up in Scandinavia, there are plenty of outdoor riches to discover. And the best way that you can really get up close and personal with a country is to enjoy a camping adventure. In Sweden, you can combine this with a canoeing trip down the Klarälven river. As you wind down this stretch of water at a leisurely pace, you will be able to enjoy landscapes of lush forestry while passing tiny villages along the way. Wild camping is a good option in this area, so make sure you have the right tents and camp gear. The nice thing about this type of holiday is that you can meander along, stopping wherever you find interesting along the way.
County Kerry, Ireland
There is no doubt that Ireland has more than its fair share of rural outdoor locations that are just waiting to be discovered. Many of these are found out on the west coast, and County Kerry boasts some of the most stunning scenery in the country. A great way to experience this part of the world is on a road trip. Right at the top of the list of attractions are the Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry, which will make you want to pull over to take pictures every couple of miles. Why not try some horse riding along Rossbeigh Beach? You could even sign up for some surfing lessons if you really want to take on the might of the Atlantic Ocean!
Normandy is fantastic for a whole range of outdoor pursuits, whether you are looking for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure or something more relaxed. In this corner of France, you should certainly take to the river to enjoy some kayaking or canoeing. Beyond this, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy horse riding or cycling along countless trails. If you are simply looking to relax by the seaside for a few days, there are plenty of resorts to choose from. Another great option is to go climbing in the treetops of La Forêt des Elfes.
Cornwall and Devon, UK
You wouldn’t naturally put the UK at the top of your list when choosing beachside holidays, but there is no doubt that Cornwall and Devon have plenty to offer, even if the weather sometimes isn’t all that kind to you! First of all, a great adventure is to wait until low tide on Marazion beach and walk to St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall’s most important historical landmark. If camping and hiking are high up on your to-do list, you could take a trip over to Dartmoor National Park. And another attraction that you don’t want to miss is the Eden Project, which features some impressive domes containing all types of plant life from all over the world.
Island Hopping Around Greece
With so many incredible islands to choose from in Greece, you should try to experience a few of them by going on and island hopping holiday. Many are closeby to each other and have plenty of ferry connections so it is easy to travel from one to the next. Santorini is one of the most famous, offering incredible views and a great waterpark for the kids. Crete is the largest island and has plenty to do and see including beaches, historical sites, traditional villages and fantastic hikes. Probably the best family island of them all is Naxos, which enjoys wonderfully calm water next to the golden sand.
Though there are plenty of wonderful adventure holidays to enjoy all over Europe, hopefully this guide has given you a better idea of some of the places you can enjoy during your time here. Ultimately, it is all about taking your time to decide what activities you would most like to enjoy and which scenery you most like the look of. Luckily, you have plenty of choice!