Top 5 unique outdoor activities in Europe
Satisfy your craving for adventure
Have you had enough of the four walls surrounding you during lockdown? If sprinting to the kitchen and back has been your main physical activity for the past few months, then it makes sense to be craving some fresh air and wide, open space. Europe may be a small continent, but it definitely has enough outdoor space and unique activities to satisfy your cravings, whatever your age. Inspire your inner adventurer with our top 5 and make sure to add at least one of them to your next Eurail/Interrail trip.
Glacier walking, Norway
If you’ve been burned out by the heatwaves that have been hitting different parts of the world in recent years, then this Norwegian natural wonder will definitely cool you down. There are currently 2534 glaciers across the country and many of them can be visited by guided tours, not only to see the stunningly big masses of ice, but also to experience them in the best possible way – by walking, hiking or even skiing across them. The most famous glaciers are Jostedalsbreen, Briksdalsbreen and Nigardsbreen, but you can also opt for the less touristy, but still very impressive Folgefonna, Svartisen or one of the many others in the country.
Climbing an active volcano, Italy
Contrary to the previous activity, this one will warm up your whole body and give you another sense of adrenaline. One of only two active volcanoes in continental Europe, Vesuvius is not to be missed if you’re travelling around the Naples region of Italy. Mostly known for completely destroying the city of Pompeii in 79 AD, this mount also delivers stunning views of the surroundings once you reach its highest point, at 1281 metres tall. The hike itself is not too difficult, so don’t worry if lockdown has influenced your physical stamina. Once you’ve observed the damage from above, you can then continue your adventures in the city of Pompeii, taking a closer look at what a volcano can do.
Reindeer Sleigh riding, Finland
Fulfil your childhood dreams of riding with Santa Claus and his reindeers by going to his magical homeland - Lapland. There are many local reindeer farms, where you can meet the owners, have a lovely chat and be amused by their lifestyle, which, as you can imagine, is the complete opposite of living in the big city. Of course, activities like cuddling up with the animals, feeding them and having a picnic will make your visit even more special, but the ultimate highlight is the sleigh ride through the amazing Finnish nature. Don’t be worried if there’s no snow around – this activity can even be done on the warmest summer days by switching the sleigh’s snow runners for wheels.
Dining in the sky of Athens, Greece
If you’re someone whose hunger for adventure is an actual hunger for exciting new food, then how would you feel about indulging in a 6-course meal of delicious Greek cuisine while sat 40 metres up in the sky? Plus, there’s even a panoramic view of Athens! “Dinner in the Sky” started almost 15 years ago and is now represented in many cities all over the world. But the Greek version caught our attention with their menu, which carefully brings together some of the best ingredients the country has to offer. You can pick from 3 time slots, each giving you a different perspective – daytime panorama, sunset’s golden hour or the city’s night lights – though it honestly doesn’t matter when you go, since you will always be amazed by the view.
Paragliding above the Swiss alps, Switzerland
If dining 40 metres in the sky doesn’t give you an adrenaline rush, then this activity might do the trick. While there are countless options for paragliding and skydiving all around Europe, Switzerland is definitely one of the best places to break your savings account to enjoy the scenery from above. High mountains, green fields, little charming houses and plenty of animals – what else would you want at more than 3,000 metres altitude? There are many options too choose from, including one that covers the skies of both Switzerland and Italy, or another one that allows you to make a grand entrance at a restaurant. You just have to decide for which one you have enough courage (or not).