I consider Europe to be an enchanting land of experiences and attractions. Across the continent, you can find a wide variety of interesting indulgence. Be it cultural, adventurous, gastronomic or leisurely. Europe has something for everyone.
I am an adventure enthusiast. A year ago, I spent 15 days in the southern region of Spain, near Seville, to become a certified skydiver. Unfortunately, due to lack of time, I was not able to get my certification.
But I did get an unprecedented taste of adventure, when the tandem instructor is not really piggybacking on you, but just holding you. After the parachute opens, you are on your own and the task of landing safely is upon you! I did land on my own, 8 times! My experience of learning Skydiving in Spain was the biggest adventure I ever had.
Unfortunately, due to the dedicated time spent in Spain, I was not able to indulge in other adventure activities. So, I reached out to the travel blogging fraternity and asked their favorite adventure activity in Europe.
Thank you for all the entries! This definitely is my bucket list when Europe opens up completely.
Hoping this covid19 pandemic ends soon and I am able to tick these bucket list adventures soon!
Read through the list and share your bucket list adventures in comment section!
Dog Sledding in Rovanemi, Finland
by Jordan Adkins (inspiredbymaps.com)
One of my favorite adventure activities in Europe has always been husky riding in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland.
Huskies are certainly cute and cuddly, but they are also fierce runners. That is what they are breed for – and they love it. On my day trip with Bear Hill Husky, I got to get up close with these dogs and get an idea of how they are prepared and conditioned to be as fit as they are. Once I was familiar with their set-up, and the dogs, I was able to take an exhilarating trip through the noble taiga forests of Lapland in a cart attached to these muscles up pooches.
Wind-racing, heart pounding, the embracing chill of the wilderness, and the sound of silence – I loved it all. And I dare say the huskies were even more enthusiastic than I was! The tour is only offered below 10 degrees Celsius for animal welfare reasons but can be done with or without snow. You can go for just a few hours, or sign up to multi-day trips for the ultimate Lapland adventure including north lights options, night mushing, camping, sauna, bonfires, and more.
Dog Sledding in Tromso, Norway
By Megan Starr (meganstarr.com)
One of the best adventure activities in Europe is dog sledding. While it can be a bit daunting to do your research and make sure you pick an ethical husky sledding company, if you do find the right one and participate in the activity, you will be rewarded with a once-in-a-lifetime experience in an unbelievable Arctic setting. If you’re looking for awesome places to participate in the activity, look no further than Tromsø, Norway… the country’s winter capital.
There are several activities and excursions in Tromso, but dog-sledding is one of the premier ones. When you go dog sledding in Tromso, you will want to bring the right clothing and mindset. It will be cold! The company you go sledding with will provide suits but it is always good to come prepared with snow boots, mittens, and whatever else helps keep you warm. During the journey, you can choose whether you want to be a musher or the one riding in the sled.
It will depend on your age and physical stamina. But, regardless of which one you pick, you are in for an epic journey! It is one of the best adventurous activities in Europe… and the world!
Snow Mobiling, Finland
By Nisha & Vasu (lemonicks.com)
The thrill of driving a snowmobile in a subzero temperature over vast expanse of snow white landscape is something different. I have done it several times in the best places to snowmobile in different countries and each one of them has been a fulfilling experience.
The first time, donning my gloves & helmet, I was a little apprehensive of handling it. I was taught by the instructor how to handle the vehicle and the do’s & don’ts. He also checked my clothes and shoes. Those who did not have proper gears were provided the same. The snow mobiles vehicles are heavy and have runners instead of wheels to slide across the surface & cut through the snow.
But this was not my first time. I was in the Lapland region of Finland. And quite comfortable with snowmobiling. As always, the instructor was in the front and we followed him in a line keeping distance between us. It was pure fun and an adrenaline rush.
The trees were laden with snow. I was totally mesmerized by the surrounding white beauty. It appeared to me as if I was in a different world. We crossed ups & downs of slopes, saw lovely little villages, and occasional snowmobiles en route. Beautiful wooden houses as well. The only noise I could hear was of the snowmobiles.
After around 2 and half hours our ride was over. I didn’t want it to be. To compensate, we then went to have hot chocolate followed by a sumptuous lunch in one of the finest restaurants.
Climbing Svolvaergeita in Lofoten, Norway
By Radka Stankova (realcamplife.com)
Svolværgeita is an iconic rock formation that towers 355 meters above Svolvær – the administrative capitol of the Norwegian archipelago Lofoten. Svolværgeita, which translates to Svolvær goat, got its name because of the two pinnacles on the top which shape resembles goat horns. There are several climbing routes, which makes Svolværgeita attractive for experienced climbers, as well as beginners, who can climb to the top via an easy two-pitch route with a climbing guide.
The view from the top is breathtaking and a little bit intimidating, to be honest. Especially if you plan to jump in between the goat´s horns. The jump is 1.5 meters across, and about a meter down, which doesn´t sound like a lot but trust me that when you are standing on the edge of the rock and watching the small landing platform on the other side, your heart will skip a beat.
You do not have to be afraid though, the guide on the other horn is there to give you a steady hand once you land. We climbed Svolværgeita independently, but if you do not have experience with climbing we would recommend Northern Alpine Guides.
Climbing Via Ferrata, Scotland
By Kathi Kamleitner (Watchmesee.com)
The Scottish Highlands are full of adventures, but did you know there was only one place to climb a Via Ferrata in Scotland?
A Via Ferrata is a climbing route where climbers are continuously secured to a steel cable. Iron steps and ladders make it easier to scale the rockface without much climbing experience.
The Via Ferrata in Kinlochleven (near the famous Glen Coe) runs up alongside one of Scotland’s tallest waterfalls, the Grey Mare’s Tail. From the top, climbers enjoy fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and lochs. This activity is only available as a guided experience.
Check Vertical Descents for upcoming tours.My personal highlight on this climb was to cross the gulley high above the waterfall on a set of steel cables – and zip lining above the roaring river. While physically challenging, I love that a Via Ferrata makes climbing much more accessible. It’s great fun and a unique experience in the Scottish Highlands.
Mountain biking in Madeira, Portugal
by Mansoureh Farahani (travelwithmansoureh.com)
Madeira Island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and just a few hours flights away from mainland Europe is a heaven for mountain biking. I tried mountain biking for the first time in Wales and I fell in love with this fun activity. That is why, when I was in Madeira I took a 4-hour mountain bike tour to explore the mountains on the island. Usually, the tour companies provide you with a bike and helmet. If you want to have a comfortable ride, bring your cycling gloves and a waterproof jacket.
We rode through amazing paths, where we were amazed how fast the weather can change in this tiny island. When we began our tour it was sunny but later we experienced heavy fog and rain and when we finished the tour at the bottom of the hill, the sun was out again.
There are various fantastic trails for any levels. If you are a beginner, you can have a relaxed bike ride through some stunning paths and admire the gorgeous scenery, but if you are more experienced you can go on the challenging trails.
Paragliding – Austrian Alps
By Ben Reeves (thesabbaticalguide.com)
Having travelled extensively in Europe, my favourite adventure activity was definitely paragliding over the Austrian Alps. Austria is a country more often visited in winter, but in summer the blue skies accent the incredible Alpine ranges and make the views when paragliding incredible.
We stayed in the small Tyrol town of Ellmau and booked to paraglide with a local company Skydance Tandem Paragliding. I will admit to feeling very nervous as we took the lift (more commonly used for skiing) up to the top of a mountain.
After a safety briefing and being strapped into the tandem harness we were instructed to ignore our instincts and run full throttle downhill towards the edge of a cliff. The chute quickly took hold and before reaching the edge we were whipped up into the sky. It was an incredible experience, giving literally a birds-eye view of this stunning part of Northern Austria. Once the initial adrenaline passed it was a relaxing and peaceful experience, one I would highly recommend.
Parasailing over the Atlantic, Portugal
By Diana (travelsinpoland.com)
Parasailing is an incredible experience, all the more so when you are able to do it over the ocean. Off the coast of the algarve, the summer months are filled with tourists and visitors from all over the world. Dozens of companies are spread out over many beaches providing a variety of activities from kaaking to parasailing. The parasailing company in Albufeira had no specific regulations as to the age of its participants, but allowed people with a certain height and weight to experience. In other words, if children reach their height limit, they are able to go with an adult over the ocean.
The adventure itself was an amazing experience. First, the company took 4 people out on a motorboat right off the coast. Then they would set up the ropes and the parachute and have you sit while they tied all the necessary ropes around you. Once the boat took off you would slowly be pulled out into the ocean and finally into the air. It was extremely peaceful, slow moving and calm. Once you are in the air, everything moves slower. The experience in the air lasted about 10 minutes but felt like much longer. The company also took pictures that you were able to purchase afterward. It was one of the best outdoor adventures to experience.
White Water Rafting, Trentino, Italy
By Teresa Gomez (broganabroad.com)
The Brenta Dolomites in Trentino, Italy are a playground for adventure lovers. From hiking to wild swimming and climbing, there is something for everyone. But for me, after spending a few days cycling, kayaking and exploring dramatic canyons, the highlight was white water rafting in River Noce in Val di Non.
River Noce has been listed by National Geographic as one of the world’s top 10 places for river sports, and it’s the only European river on that list. So prime location for water sports!I wasn’t too sure about trying white water rafting myself. This was my first time and I’m scared of water. And it didn’t really help that a few days before there had been a rainstorm and water levels were considerably higher than usual.
Despite this, I went ahead with it and I ended up absolutely loving it! Not only did I have fun doing it, but I wished I had more time there so I could do it again. I would definitely recommend white water if you are visiting Trentino in the summer, even if you are a novice like me.
White Water Rafting in Slovenia
By Becki Rendell (meetmeindepartures.com)
If you’re into adventure sport, then Slovenia is an Adrenalin junkies dream. The region surrounding the Julian Alps and the towns of Bled, Bohinj and Bovec are all amazing places to get your climbing, zip-lining, mountain biking and canyoning fix. However, one of THE BEST adventure sports to do here is white water rafting.
There are two main rivers for rafting in Slovenia: the Sava (which is great for first-timers and young families, because it’s got lower grade rapids) or for the more adventurous, the River Soča, which boasts Grade III-IV rapids. I’ve done quite a bit of white water rafting before, so naturally, my choice was the Soča River.
The river is a beautiful turquoise blue colour, with the backdrop of the Julian Alps and the forests, this is one of the most scenic places I have rafted. Because the water for both the Sava and Soča are fed by the melting snow, even in summer the water is a chilly 14 degrees (you do get a wetsuit and water boots). You can raft in Slovenia from April through to October. I opted for a 3-hour rafting trip as part of the Emerald River Tour through a company called Mamut. I 100% recommend.
Scuba Diving between tectonic plates, Iceland
By Lora Pope (Explorewithlora.com)
Iceland is full of adventurous activities but one of the most unique is snorkeling/diving at the Silfa Fissure in Thingvellir National Park.
Silfra is a rift between the North American and Eurasion tectonic plates that you can do diving/snorkeling in. What makes this experience so unique is that while diving you can actually touch both plates at the same time. If you aren’t certified to dive, you can also snorkel on top and witness the rift from above. The water in Silfra is fresh spring water, with a visibility of over 100m! I’ve never seen water this clear while diving before! It’s also safe and delicious to drink.
The water is very cold so you will be given drysuits, headgear, and gloves to keep warm. The best time to visit Iceland for this activity is during the summer when the country gets the warmest weather. Silfra makes a great day trip from Reykjavik, as it only takes about an hour to get there from the city.
Scuba Diving in Gozo, Malta
By Suzanne (meanderingwild.com)
Gozo is a small island off the north coast of Malta and has some of the best scuba diving in the Mediterranean. I had never dived here before and was really surprised by how beautiful the landscape was below the surface. Gozo is a very rocky island and this continues underwater but the fish that swarm around you as you swim through the caves and the corals and sponges that live on the rocks made it a magical experience.
I was also lucky enough to dive the wrecks that are on the south coast of Gozo, one which is called the Karwela. These were scuttled (sunk on purpose) to provide dive sites and the Karwela is perfectly placed. As you swim across the blue water from the shore she appears as a shadow at first before becoming clearer.
Swimming through her decks was a perfect memory of this beautiful island. I dived with Bubbles Dive Centre who are based in Marsalforn and take all levels of divers. They are really safety conscious but great fun to dive with at the same time, the perfect combination.
Surfing in Ireland
by Emer & Nils (letsgoireland.com)
If you want a refreshing outdoor experience, head to the west coast of Ireland, where an entire section of the Wild Atlantic Way coastal drive is devoted to the Surf Coast. From Donegal Town to Erris in County Mayo, there are many amazing surfing locations including long sandy beaches, such as Streedagh Strand.
The constant swells from the Atlantic Ocean also mean that, unlike some other surfing locations, waves are never in short supply. Bundoran is undoubtedly the surf capital of Ireland and a favorite location for beginners of all ages. The Bundoran Surf Co. is a great choice that will help get you started. Professional surfers will be impressed by the waves of Mullaghmore Head and the best waveriders in the world are blown away by the monstrous Aileen’s Wave just off the Cliffs of Moher!
Surfing in Ireland is an incredibly invigorating experience, not least because the max water temperature doesn’t ever reach above 20 °C. The great conditions and chilled surfing atmosphere on the west coast of Ireland will make you want to come back year after year. Don’t forget to check out the annual surf music festival (Sea Sessions) held in Bundoran.
Surfing in Portugal
by Alya & Campbell (stingynomads.com)
Portugal is an amazing country for outdoor lovers. The range of adventure activities is quite impressive from hiking and cycling to water sport activities such as surfing, kite-surfing, and diving. The southern part of the Atlantic Coast of Portugal is a world-renown place for surfing. The coast boasts one of the top big wave surfing spots in the world, the famous
Narazé. Sometimes the waves here get as big as a 10-story building.
This place is a great spot for professional big waves surfers. For beginners like myself, places along the Costa Vicentina just south of Lisbon are much more suitable. There are several charming towns along the coast where you can find surf schools and gear rental places. The water along the Atlantic Coast of Portugal is quite cold even in summer. You’ll need a wetsuit for surfing here.
Praia de Odeceixe and Praia da Arrifana are my favorite places for surfing. Both places have sandy beaches which makes it easy to get into water and paddle out. Waves don’t get big here even if you’re not a good surfer you have a chance to catch a small wave or surf white water. There are other outdoor things to do on the coast like hiking, diving, kayaking, etc. The Coast Vicentina in Portugal is a great place for an adventure holiday in Europe.
Zip lining in the Cetina, Croatia
By Greta Omoboni (gretastravels.com)
If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie looking for thrilling adventures, then zip-lining in the Cetina Canyon in Croatia is for you. The Cetina Canyon is located close to the town of Omis, and can be easily visited on a day trip from Split.
We did the zip-line experience with Zipline Croatia. The meeting point is in Omis and they then drive you to the starting point at the top of the canyon. You will do 8 wires and gradually make your way down the canyon.
The longest wire is 700m and is 150m above ground level. Soaring through the air at high speed on this wire was a bit terrifying, but the views you see are simply stunning. The other wires are a mixture of long scenic ones over the Cetina River and shorter ones amongst the trees.
It was my first time zip-lining and I was a bit terrified, but once you start the fear washes away. You will be accompanied by two professional guides who will run you through a security demonstration before starting, and who are always present to help.It’s a thrilling experience and a must on any Europe adventure bucket list.
Ziplining in Wales
By Oliver Diprose (notbritsabroad.com)
Zip World is an adventure company with three sites in North Wales offering plenty of exciting activities. Their most unique and exhilarating experience is the Velocity 2 zip line at Penrhyn Quarry. Velocity 2 is the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe.
I had the pleasure of riding this zip line on a beautiful misty July morning and it’s fair to say that it’s quite different from many other zip lines. For Velocity 2, you’re strapped down flat so you travel face first while holding onto your leg grips behind you. This only adds to the adrenaline rush!
The zip line is a little over 1,500m long and sits 500m above the blue lake of Penrhyn Quarry so the views during the ride are pretty spectacular. When the ride starts, it feels slow for a moment but that soon picks up considerably with it reaching speeds of over 100mph. Less than 60 seconds later and you’ll come to a quick but painless stop back at the bottom of the quarry.
If you can, try and be first in the group on Velocity 2 because there’s a viewing area underneath the zip line once you get off so you can watch everyone else fly down above you.
Kayaking at Archipelago in Finland
By Alexander Popkov (engineerontour.com)
Finland is a land of thousands of lakes and islands. I think the ultimate way to experience it is to go kayaking during a bright summer night. Sunset and moonlight create beautiful, colorful reflections in the calm Finnish waters. In June – July, you can see the sunset, moon, and sunrise within only a few hours.
My favorite Archipelago is at Espoo. It is only half an hour from central Helsinki. There are plenty of kayaking rental options, including overnight. A very good way to experience the Espoo archipelago is to camp on one of the islands. Here, you have to make sure you stop at an island that is open to the public, not on a privately owned.
The list of these islands can be found here on the city’s website. Alternatively, you can take a scheduled archipelago boat. It stops at each of these islands two times a day.
Kayaking the Dordogne river, France
By Jennifer & Tim (luxeadventuretraveler.com)
France’s Dordogne is the valley dotted by a thousand castles. One of the best ways to take in the beautiful of the medieval villages seemingly cut into the cliffs and crowned with their castles is from the water on a Dordogne kayaking trip down the river.
As France locals living in the region, Jennifer and Tim of Luxe Adventure Traveler recommend the 16 kilometer route from Vitrac to Beynac as one of the most scenic. You paddle past three of France’s officially designated most beautiful villages and five picturesque castles. The water is often calm enough to create a mirror effect and the Dordogne is a sanctuary for bird life.
There’s even a number of spots you can paddle ashore to take in attractions from visiting the castles themselves to learning about the local trades like walnut oil production. If a day on the river isn’t enough, you can also kayak on multi-day trips and camp along the way. Though there’s no shortage of companies dotting the river banks and offering kayak and canoe rentals, Jennifer and Tim recommend the family-owned Canoës Loisirs. They speak English and have been a respected family business operating for many years.
Kayaking in Emerald river, Slovenia
By Nisha Dalal (nerdyfootsteps.com)
Kayaking is one of the most popular adventure activities in Slovenia. And the best place to enjoy kayaking in Slovenia is the Triglav national park. We had the opportunity to explore this wonderful park that is full of waterfalls, alpine peaks, mirror lakes, emerald rivers and so much more. To plan your trip, I highly recommend this detailed article about the Triglav national park in Slovenia.
The best part of the park is the opportunity to kayak in the wonderful Soča river, also known as the emerald river due to its beautiful and unique color.
Different sections of the river in Soča Valley are appropriate for different levels of kayaking expertise. From beginners to experienced Kayakers, there is something for everyone. Everything with the backdrop of the stunning scenery.
A special permit is required for navigation on the River Soča. Before you head to the river, check out information on the navigation regime and security. The best way to enjoying kayaking in Slovenia is with a professional company that handles all these details for you and provides you the safety gear, kayaks, and required training. I will highly recommend 3glav adventures who are one of the best teams in Slovenia to organize this
Canyoning in Croatia
By Jennifer Aspinwall (worldonawhim.com)
Canyoning is one of the most exhilarating adventures available to you in Croatia. If you have never heard of canyoning before, not to worry. I hadn’t either until I spent time in Interlaken, Switzerland, a place dubbed by many as an extreme sports capital of the world. However, I went to Interlaken in December which is not an ideal time to traverse a canyon by hiking, abseiling, climbing, and swimming through a body of water, even in a wetsuit.
Six years later, I finally got the opportunity to go extreme canyoning down the Cetina river with Adventure Dalmatia tours. The river is less than an hour away from Split, which should absolutely be a stop on your Croatia itinerary not only because it has a beautiful port, but it is where the famed Diocletian’s Palace is located. Since the canyoning site is an hour away from a major city, we drove to the Adventure Dalmatia tour office in our rental car and the company took care of the rest.
We climbed down a gorge, swam and jumped our way through a river and abseiled down a rock face. Extreme was the best way of putting it as it takes a lot of energy, strength, and stamina to make your way successfully through the Cetina!
Canyoning in Madeira, Portugal
By Roshni Patel (Thewanderlustwithin.com)
Located 300 miles off the coast of Africa, this volcanic Portuguese island of Madeira offers some of the best landscapes for outdoor activities. One of the most breathtaking things to do in Madeira is to go canyoning.
This exhilarating sport takes place in Ribeiro Frio, a canyon that consists of eight rappels along the way. The canyon is located within the UNESCO site of the Laurissilva Forest, that is one of the seven wonders of Portugal. I did the beginner level course which lasted three hours and included two rappels, the highest of which was 18 meters, and required swimming, and jumping through waterfalls, as well as hiking through the lush landscapes of the canyon taking in the beautiful scenery.
Our tour company, Madeira Adventure Kingdom, provided shoes, a wet suit, helmet and harness so all we needed was a swimsuit, towel and a change of clothes to enjoy this adrenaline fueled activity.
Alpine coaster in the Black Forest, Germany
By Hannah Golton (hannahshappyadventures.com)
During the year I spent living in Freiburg just outside of the Black Forest in Germany, there were many amazing adventure activities I completed. However, one stuck with me – the Hasenhorn alpine coaster in Todtnau.
After arriving at the location, you’ll take a chairlift to the top of the mountain. Once you reach the top, be prepared for a big adrenaline rush. Seat yourself on a comfy chair complete with seatbelt and buckle in for the ride. The coaster takes you down the mountainside, with multiple twists and turns. You control your speed with the brake system on your own cart. Most of the time the coaster is quiet, meaning you don’t have to worry about people behind or in front of you. It costs just €10 for the trip up and down the mountain. The views are also incredible from the top.
Due its stunning location in the Black Forest, there are multiple other activities to keep you entertained from hiking to skiing to cable cars. Todtnau is also famous for its waterfalls, so don’t forget to see them on your trip there.
Northern Lights wilderness tour, Finland
By Cazzy Magennis (dreambigtravelfarblog.com)
Our Northern Lights wilderness tour that we took in Finland easily ranks as one of my all time favourite adventure activities! Like most people, seeing the Northern Lights has always been one of my lifetime goals, and during our time in Finnish Lapland, there seemed no better chance to try and see them than here.
We decided to go on a wilderness tour, not just so that we had a better chance of seeing them that night, but so that we could learn more about them. We still had weeks left driving through Finland and Norway so the knowledge we could gain here would be put to good use. And in reality, our guide from Wild About Lapland was absolutely amazing!
He was so knowledgeable on all aspects of hunting for and capturing the Northern Lights and it helped set us up for future success on our trip. Though we didn’t get to see them that night, we still had a wonderful time exploring and trekking through some of Finland’s most beautiful lakes and forests. We also had the chance to sit by a roaring fire, learning more about Finnish culture and enjoying fire-roasted sausages with local sinappi mustard.
Boat trip to Benagil Cave, Portugal
By Darek Pawlak (darekandgosia.com)
If you are looking for unique adventure activities in Europe, you have to visit Algarve. Located in the southern coast of Portugal, it is one of the most visited regions in this part of Europe, famous for its wide, sandy beaches and rocky cliffs.
Thanks to the stunning coastline, there are many amazing outdoor activities to do. One of them is visiting Benagil Cave.
This beautiful cave is only accessible from the sea. If you don’t fancy to swim you can book one of the boat tours. Trips take place from nearby cities such as Carvoeiro and Lagos and included not only Benagil Cave but also a few others nearby.
When choosing the tour, check the size of the boat. Large ships do not enter the cave, so pay attention to the exact description placed on each trip.
The south of Portugal really is amazing, and you will be able to experience the beauty of various rock formations from a sea level.
Camp Adventure in Denmark
By Derek Hartman (Everythingcopenhagen.com)
One of the most unique destinations for adventure in Europe is Camp Adventure in Denmark. The grounds are located an hour south of Copenhagen, making it an easy day trip for those visiting the Danish capital.
We visited Camp Adventure earlier this year and were enchanted by the main attraction – a 45-meter-tall forest tower. To reach the tower, we hiked about 1 km through the tranquil forest of southern Denmark.
The hike is over a slip-proof wooden boardwalk which makes the hike possible for children and visitors with mobility issues. Along the hike we checked out the intricate ropes courses and giant tree swing that are also available at Camp Adventure.
Once we reached the base of the tree tower we gazed straight up at the hourglass shape and rings of upward sloping boardwalk ramps. You can easily walk to the top in 15 minutes, but the idea of a tree top forest tower is to enjoy the climb and take in the unique views of nature around you.
Once we reached the top, we enjoyed the stunning views of the forest below. The tree tops gave us a view that few are lucky enough to enjoy and we took it in for a while before snapping some photos and circling the top platform for the full panoramic.
Jet Boating on Lake Brienz, Switzerland
By Carolyn June (holidaystoswitzerland.com)
A fun way to get the heart racing is aboard a jet boat on Lake Brienz, right next to Interlaken in Switzerland. It’s just one of the many things to do in Interlaken for adrenaline junkies.
After a short shuttle ride from Interlaken to Bonigen, passengers are kitted out in life vests and given a safety briefing. Then it’s all aboard the high-powered jet boat for the ride of your life!
Lake Brienz may look tranquil but once you’re onboard the boat, you are soon racing across the turquoise water so fast you are too busy holding on tight to admire the view!During the jet boat ride, the driver performs 360° turns and high speed drifts before putting his foot down to accelerate quickly again.
He also takes you past the impressive Giessbach Falls and shares some history of the region.After the ride, you are transferred back to Interlaken and will be able to download some amazing action photos from the ride.Jet Boat Interlaken rides are suitable for both adults and children and are available from mid-April to mid-September.
Hiking Hadrian’s wall, England
By Monique Skidmore (tripanthropologist.com)
Hadrian’s Wall was the northern limit of Brittania and of Roman rule for three hundred years. Constructed in 122Ad on the orders of Emperor Hadrian, the Wall included forts, towers, and whole towns for garrisons of Roman soldiers and stretched right across the country from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend on the East coast of Northern England.
Hiking Hadrian’s Wall National Trail is becoming a top adventure activity in England. Walking the entire distance is a trek of five days, but it’s possible to stay along the way at pubs, inns and even castles, or just take a day trip from Newcastle or Edinburgh.
A new Hadrian’s Wall cycle way has been built that travels alongside the wall for large sections and free camping, while not legal, is certainly popular along the Wall!
My favorite time to hike Hadrian’s Wall is in the early spring when it is also lambing season in Northumberland. You can watch them jumping over each other and over the stone walls as you travel along the Wall in this wild and beautiful northern countryside.
Howth Cliff Walk, Ireland
By Krystianna Pietrzak (volumesandvoyages.com)
My favorite adventure activity from traveling is hiking the Howth Cliff Walk in Ireland. Howth is a tiny coastal fishing town just north of Dublin, and it’s easily reachable within 30 minutes by public bus.
Normally, you’d have to pay for an adventurous activity, but this cliff walk is completely free! All you need are good sneakers and clear skies, because I wouldn’t suggest doing this hike in the rain.
There is absolutely nothing between you and the water, which can be kind of scary! There’s a few different routes depending on how hard you want your hike to be, but I did a mixture of a few of the routes and just followed the great view of the water. I did the hike in slightly under two hours, but if you choose a different route, it could take longer or shorter!
I also packed lunch for my hike. There’s a great spot for a picnic about halfway through that you won’t want to miss because it offers sweeping views of the cliffs and the water!
Hike to Mt Etna in Sicily, Italy
By Annabel Kirk (smudgedpostcard.com)
We absolutely loved our family tour of Mt Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Located on the Italian island of Sicily, Mt Etna is usually smouldering and frequently erupts.
We arranged a private tour with EtnaFinder who tailored the trip around our young children. Our guide Marco, was excellent at explaining the history and geography of the volcano in a way that our kids could understand. Our children relished their bumpy ride in the 4X4 which crossed inhabitable terrains.
We clambered on old lava flows (and slid down them), saw a house which had been consumed by lava and the kids enjoyed sitting on top of a lava “bomb” and exploring a lava cave. We were able to visit lots of different parts of the volcano which visitors wouldn’t be able to access independently.
The only time we came across another person was at the Rifugio Citelli where we enjoyed a hearty lunch.
The trip is easy to do from the popular town of Taormina on the east coast of Sicily, or from Catania where international flights arrive
Hiking in Jotunheimen, Norway
By Linn Haglund (brainybackpackers.com)
Jotunheimen National Park is an amazing playground for any outdoors enthusiast and home to some of the best hikes in Norway. I have done several hikes in the national park, many of which I can’t even remember the name of. However, the most memorable of all was Besseggen ridge hike from Memurubu to Gjendesheim.
It is a stunningly beautiful hike, like all others in the park, but with my vertigo, it was especially challenging to climb up the narrowest part of the ridge. With 700 meters straight down on one side and 300 meters straight down on the other, it’s pretty much free climbing up the vertical boulders you’re balancing.
While Norwegians in general are known for embracing the outdoors (including myself), you’ll see people of all ages doing this hike. From young children to their grandparents.
But that didn’t make me any less shaky once I got to the top and it shouldn’t make you underestimate how challenging this hike is either. Most people do it on their own, though it is possible to go on guided hikes too.
Hiking at Kjerag, Norway
By Pericles Rosa da Nova (7continents1passport.com)
When I went to Norway I couldn’t miss the opportunity to do one of the most famous adventure activities in Europe, the Kjeragbolten hike. After spending one and half day in Olso, I took a flight to Stavanger, then a bus to Øygardstøl, the starting point of the Kerajbolten hike. But the hike was not easy! Full of ups and downs, sometimes I walked on stepping-stones, other times in streams, through waterfalls, and even mud.
There are some chains attached to the ground and a T (trail) painted in red on many rocks across the trail. Actually there are so many rocks on this hike, that sometimes I wondered if I were walking on the moon. After hiking for 1:50, I arrived at the Kjerag boulder and I just smiled like an innocent child in this awe-inspiring moment. The suspended rock that I saw several times on social media was right there in front of me.
The daredevil rock stands at around 1000m (3281ft) high, but standing on top of it didn’t scare me. The view of the fjord was unbelievably beautiful!! The magnificent scenery included three waterfalls, the snow-covered landscape and the fjord’s lake.
I felt so happy and blessed for seeing the Norwegian fjords for the first time.
Hiking in Sierra Nevada, Spain
By Joanna Davis (theworldinmypocket.co.uk)
Sierra Nevada are the highest mountains in continental Spain, and the second highest in Western Europe after the Alps. The Mulhacén peak reaches a hight of 3,478 meters and makes a great summer challenge to hike. Most of the people who attempt hiking Mulhacén are doing it over two days, spending the night at the official refuge or in their own tents, in the Caldera from the west.
Sierra Nevada Mountains are a fantastic eco system which offers hikes for every type of visitor, be it advanced or not. There are easy hikes along the Béznar reservoir in the Lecrín Valley, suitable for the entire family. For the more adventurous ones, Ruta de los Cahorros in Monachil offers a fantastic experience of canyon exploring, crossing hanging bridges and bathing in the pools formed at the bottom of a waterfall.
When you go hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains, there are many opportunities to meet wildlife, such as the Iberian ibex, who likes to show up on the rocky trails. A specie native to the national park is the Sierra Nevada blue butterfly, easy to spot at lower altitudes.
Being so close to Granada, Sierra Nevada make a wonderful day trip in nature from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Walking the Camino de Santiago
By Dave Chant (davechant.com)
I’m staring up at the Santiago cathedral, tired and sore. My sandal has broken and my foot is threatening to come out with every step. I can see red on my socks and know that my toes have been bleeding through the material. I’ve finished the Camino Frances and it’s been the best thirty days of my life.
The Camino de Santiago is actually a network of routes. There are many ways to walk to Santiago from Portugal, Spain and France. Yet the most popular is the Camino Frances, from the sleepy town of St Jean Pied de Port in France over the Pyrenees and through the stunning towns of Pamplona, Burgos and Leon en route.
Of course, it’s not just about the big towns. The joy is in the people you meet, the shared pilgrim dinners (three courses and wine for 10 euros – yes please!), the scenery, and the time to contemplate. Whether you’re religious, spiritual or just like a good walk, it’s the slowing down that really opens the mind and calms the body and soul. All you need to do each day is get up, decide how long you want to walk, and stop. It cuts life down to its simplest elements.
Accommodation is mostly in albergues, dormitory style rooms like hostels, where board can be found for under €10 a night. Some are still run by donation only (donativo). If you want to live a little more in luxury, there are private rooms and B&Bs in some of the villages, but you start to detract from the experience.
The route is around 780km and will take you around a month to complete but take six weeks off just in case. It will probably be the best thing you’ve ever done.
Hardergrat Hike, Switzerland
By Jackson Groves (journeyera.com)
The Hardergrat ridge is known as one of the hardest day-hikes in Switzerland with its ominous drop-offs and enduring distance. With more than 2000m of incline to be climbed throughout the 20km+ ridge, it’s a trail only to be attempted by experienced hikers.
From the ridge-line hikers have incredible views of Lake Brienz and in the background, the Swiss Alps are constantly looming. It’s no wonder the Hardergrat hike is constantly listed as one of the most beautiful day-hikes in all of Europe.
The trail is situated above the popular town of Interlaken in central Switzerland, which is the adventure capital of the country. The trail begins at Brienzergrat, which is a train station above the town of Brienz. Then, it covers 20km from Brienzergrat all the way through to Harder Kulm Station.
A train services both the Brienzergrat and Harder Kulm stations so you can do the hike in either direction. From Brienzergrat to Harder Kulm, it takes most hikers more than 6-hours and there is no water, food, toilets or infrastructure available along the way, which makes this hike even harder.
The Hardergrat ridge-hike is recommended for experienced hikers only, especially on wet days when the steep cliffs and big drop-offs can be unforgiving and perilous. It’s also recommended for hikers to use trekking-poles and to carry enough water for the entire hike.
The optimal way to do the hike is to catch the train up to Brienz, hike along the ridge to Harder Kulm station and then take the train down to Interlaken. However, if you want a huge challenge, you can hike up to Brienzergrat from Brienz and then down to Interlaken from Harder Kulm, which makes it an even tougher hike with 3000m+ of inclin
Hiking in Tatras
By Sean lau (livingoutlau.com)
Anyone looking for adrenaline-pumping activities in Europe must not miss the incredible amount of mountain ranges the continent has to offer. Whether it is the Alps, Carpathian Mountains, or any other stunning geological peaks, visitors can unquestionably find hikes and treks that will amaze them. For me, I found my fair share of adventure in Europe hiking the Tatra Mountains (sometimes referred to as Tatras).
Located along the edge of Poland and Slovakia, this mountain range forms a natural border between these two Eastern European countries. Travelers can decide which side of the mountain they want to use as their base for hiking, either side provides hikes and treks of various difficulties.
Since I was traveling in Poland, Zakopane is the place to go. Situated on the extreme Southern end of Poland, Zakopane is naturally at the foot of the incredible Tatra Mountains. Experienced hikers can access the most difficult trek in the entire Tatras, Orla Perć, directly from the town of Zakopane.
However, hikers must be well-prepared as this 6 to 8-hour hike has claimed over 100 lives. Other visitors looking for a less extreme hike can visit the Morskie Oko Lake. A short hike that takes over 2 hours, it is the perfect introduction to the vast wonders that the Tatra Mountains have to offer.
I hope you liked these contributions! They are certainly worth including in your Europe bucket list, aren’t they?
Which adventure activities from this list that made to your bucket list? Let me know in the comment section below.