From the Rhine, Costa Brava to the soaring Alps, Europe’s geography may very well be the most impressive quality about the continent. For me, it’s my time spent outdoors (versus in restaurants and markets) that has truly resonated. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast check these out these top 15 experiences in Europe:
1 | WALK – Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
Stroll the rolling 9k path through the valley, passing 72 (!) waterfalls and a babbling creek, below the mighty Jungfrau. Hand’s down, it was the most memorable and stunning sight I’ve seen in Europe. Read more about the details of the path here.
2 | PARAGLIDE – ANNECY, France
Thrill seekers head to gorgeous Lake Annecy for a plethora of outdoor activities like hiking, biking, boating but it’s also one of the most popular paragliding sights in the world. Expect absolutely jaw-dropping views and a lot of screaming.
3 | KAYAK // OUTDOORS Ireland – LAKE Killarney, IRELAND
During our sunrise kayak tour of Lake Killarney we bobbed quietly as we watched the mist rise off the nearby mountains and heard deer calling from the shore. Each moment more impressive and beautiful than the next. In my book, it’s a must-do for any visitor to western Ireland.
4 | CROSS-COUNTRY SKI – BLACK FOREST, Germany
This winter the Black Forest received foot after foot (ah, meter after meter) of powdery snow so we raced down to the little village of Hinterzarten for a weekend of cross country skiing through rolling hillsides. After long days of sliding we treated ourselves to big plates of yummy local dishes, it was so exhausting, beautiful and fun!
5 | SAIL // CANARY CHARTERS – TENERIFE, Spain
A favorite getaway for Europeans, the island of Tenerife has a ton to offer from year-round swimming and volcano hiking, the best way to see the island though (in my opinion!) is by boat! Take a day sail to get up close and personal with the local pilot whales and enjoy the stunning views of the island.
6 | BIKE – UPPER-MIDDLE RHINE RIVER, GERMANY
The ‘Rhine Routine‘, as we lovingly call it, is our favorite activity with visitors. Rent bikes in one of the little villages in the UNESCO protected Upper-Middle Rhine then follow the bike path along the river, passing a zillion castle ruins and picture perfect villages as you go. Afterwards, hop the ferry back to your starting point.
Hike the peaks of the UNESCO-listed landscape along the Amalfi Coast for absolutely marvelous views of the ocean and seaside villages nestled into the mountains. Expect a heck of a lot of stairs and endless Instagram-worthy moments. Here are the deets on the hike.
The site of the ’76 Winter Olympics, the Alps around Innsbruck offer endless slopes to navigate. With the town seated at the base (with gondola access from the city center) it’s an ideal destination for skiers who also want the perks of city nightlife, shopping and restaurants.
9 | SWIM – NERJA, SPAIN
The villages along Costa Brava not only have the best tapas I’ve ever sunk my teeth into and beautiful white-washed town centers, but also have some of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever seen. A favorite destination for Spaniards, Nerja is an absolute winner in my book.
10 | EXPLORE – LEICHTENSTEINKLAMM, AUSTRIA
I stumbled upon this amazing path thanks to Pinterest. I simply could not imagine the elevated walkway meandering through steep canyon and floating above a raging river. I finally made it and claimed it to be the coolest hike in Europe. It’s bucket list worthy for any traveler.
11 | KAYAK // BELLAGIO WATER SPORTS – BELLAGIO, ITALY
It’s no wonder that George and Amal love it. Lake Como is stunning with its blue-green water, gorgeous lakefront towns and impressive Alps nearby. The best way to experience the lake though?On it. Kayaking here is easy, fun and breathtaking.
12 | COASTEERING // COASTEERING IRELAND – Kenmare, IRELAND
Adventure-seekers will get a huge kick out of one of the world’s fastest growing activities – coasteering. Suit up in thick neoprene wet suits, a helmet and tennis shoes and plunge into the Wild Atlantic Way for a thrilling day of exploring the coast in the coolest way possible.
13 | SAIL // SUNSET Oia – SANTORINI, Greece
Everyone loves the Greek Islands, especially Santorini, for good reason – they’re beautiful! Getting out to sea is an amazing way of seeing the caldera (cliffs surrounding the island) and exploring other islands nearby, including the famous Red Beach. The Greek feast we had for lunch was awesome too!
14 | SURF – Munich, GERMANY
Yes, really! Brave surfers zip-up into thick wetsuits and plunge into the chilly Eisbach River surf the man-made rapids on the edge of the English Gardens. If you don’t want to take part, definitely stop by and watch.
15 | HIKE // ECHO TRAILS – LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND
Lucerne is a favorite destination for travelers young and old – it’s the definition of European charm! Seated along Lake Lucerne with the Alps visible looming above, to really take advantage of the natural beauty, take a day (or three) to go for hike around the lake like I did!
This post was originally published on The Overseas Escape.