Many indoor attractions are closed or only open for a short time due to the current global pandemic. To try to avoid any possible Coronavirus transmission, social distancing is also encouraged. As a result, places, where you can be alone in the great outdoors, will become increasingly common.
We’ve compiled a list of European destinations where you can go exploring away from the crowds, surrounded by nothing but breathtaking scenery. In Europe, adventure travel does not always imply putting your life in danger. It’s also about stepping outside of your comfort zone in order to get to know the continent and its people. In Italy, chat with them over a perfect cappuccino, learn Greek while visiting the ancient temples of Athens, or camp with locals in Scandinavia under the Northern Lights. Here are 8 outdoor adventures in Europe vacation spots.
- Tatra Mountains
The natural border between Slovakia and Poland is formed by this beautiful mountain range. The Tatra Mountains may not be as well-known as the Swiss or French Alps, but this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve makes up for it with spectacular peaks and a network of breathtaking hiking trails. The Tatra Mountains are home to a diverse range of wildlife, including wolves, bears, and lynx.
But hiking in the Tatras isn’t the only attraction. The ski and snowboarding public flocks to their snowy slopes during the winter season. On the Polish side, Zakopane is an excellent base for exploring all of the area’s ski slopes, while Jasna is the Slovakian counterpart. Mountain biking and rock climbing are great fun in the other seasons in this relatively unknown alps.
Iceland has gained a reputation as an outdoor destination for a variety of reasons, including thundering waterfalls, glaciers, the Northern Lights, and spectacular cliffs teeming with birdlife. The Golden Circle is a beautiful introduction to the elegance that this Nordic country has to bring. This popular route visits the stunning Gullfoss waterfalls, Thingvellir National Park’s lava fields, and the Geysir area, which features bubbling mud pools, a spouting geyser, and smoke rising from the ground. A glacier walks on Solheimajokull or a multi-day hike through Landmannalaugar’s rugged interior will satisfy thrill-seekers. The Snaefelsness Peninsula and the Westfjords are two of Iceland’s best places to visit for complete solitude surrounded by breathtaking scenery.
- Faroe Islands
A glacier walks on Solheimajokull or a multi-day hike through Landmannalaugar’s rugged interior will satisfy thrill-seekers. The Snaefelsness Peninsula and the Westfjords are two of Iceland’s best places to visit for complete solitude surrounded by breathtaking scenery. See the clown-like puffins at Mykines, make your friends jealous by posing at the famous Mulafossur waterfall, and don your hiking shoes for the hike to the surrealistically beautiful Kallurin Lighthouse.
Several water activities are available around the Faroe Islands, despite the fact that the idea may not appeal to you. If you’re looking for a unique adventure, go on a sea kayak safari or go surfing on the Atlantic Ocean.
The characteristic pointy granite rocks of the Dolomites are well-known. Most outdoor adventurers dream of visiting this region in northern Italy. Climbers, mountain bikers, and hikers flock to the Dolomites for the challenging routes and rewarding scenery. Summer is the best time to go rafting or hiking. It’s best to choose a trail that circles the Three Peaks, which are the Dolomites’ most famous peaks. Other scenic routes lead to beautiful lakes like Lago di Carezza and Lago di Sorapiss.
The Dolomites become one of Europe’s most awe-inspiring winter sports destinations in the winter. The Dolomiti Superski area has 1200 kilometers of slopes, which will appeal to both novice and experienced skiers.
Lapland, which is split between Finland and Sweden, is one of Northern Europe’s most beautiful regions. Lapland is mostly visited in the winter, despite the harsh weather conditions. The Northern Lights, snow-covered pine trees, and a plethora of snow-related activities all contribute to Lapland’s allure during this season. Snowmobiling, riding a sled pulled by husky dogs, or taking a night walk to see the Northern Lights are all options.
Lapland is also a fantastic summer vacation spot. You can admire the Midnight Sun, swim in picture-perfect lakes, and mountain bike through the thick forests of northern Sweden and Finland during the warmest season. There is no such thing as a bad time to visit Lapland.
Albania is a 28.748-square-kilometer country with a wealth of outdoor activities. The Albanian Alps are a hiking paradise, and the trail from Theth to Valbona is perhaps the best example of the country’s dramatic natural beauty. Sea kayaking in the Adriatic Sea or white water rafting on one of Albania’s raging rivers is also an option.
After enjoying all the hair-raising adventures in untamed Albania, it’s worth stopping by the Benja thermal pools. These are man-made baths next to a river, with pleasantly warm water. Albania’s gorgeous beaches invite travelers to relax even more. Gjipe Beach belongs to the most scenic shorelines in the country, and you can snorkel around the rock formations as well.
The Carpathian Mountains run through Transylvania. Although Dracula and his castle are synonymous with Transylvania, the region has much more to offer than Bran Castle, Dracula’s fictional home. Piatra Craiului National Park is Transylvania’s eye-catcher, with steep mountain peaks to climb as well as an enormous diversity of flora and fauna, including brown bears. The Retezat mountain range contains some of Romania’s highest peaks, with hiking trails leading to crystal clear mountain lakes and panoramic views. In Transylvania, bear watching is a thrilling activity. Brown bears are found in Romania’s largest population in Europe, and you can see them in their natural habitat from camouflaged “bear huts” near Brasov.
Scotland is a compelling outdoor destination in Europe because it is sparsely populated and has a diverse range of landscapes. One of the country’s most popular destinations is the mountainous Isle of Skye, which features coastal cliffs, the beautiful Fairy Pools waterfalls, and mirror lakes that reflect the epic scenery.
However, there are some lesser-known locations in Scotland that should not be overlooked. With rolling hills, a beautiful lake, and wildlife such as deer and otter, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is a gem. Visit the St. Kilda archipelago for strange volcanic landscapes, or climb the Cairngorms National Park’s numerous peaks.
Scotland is also one of the few European countries where you can go wild camping. Finding a beautiful spot to pitch your tent and spend the night under the stars requires little effort.