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The sun is shining and the great outdoors are calling you. It’s summer in Europe — the perfect time and...
The sun is shining and the great outdoors are calling you. It’s summer in Europe — the perfect time and place for an active vacation. But many adventure holidays can really put a dent in your wallet. Fortunately, we’ve come up with 10 exciting holiday options that provide plenty of thrills without emptying your bank account.
Surfing in Portugal: One of Europe’s least expensive destinations, Portugal’s landscape is surprisingly unspoiled. The Algarve and the beaches of greater Lisbon tend to get crowded in the summer months, but Portugal’s surfing capital of Ericeira, while only 35 km/22 mi from Lisbon, is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is Europe’s only World Surfing Reserve and home to several eco-label Blue Flag beaches. Reasonably priced fresh food, great cheap wine and beer, and shared accommodation equals an incredible budget adventure break.
Rambling around Britain: You wouldn’t normally equate the UK with budget holidays unless you live there, but low-cost airlines, youth hostels, and pack lunches can make an adventure holiday affordable. Avoid the big cities, rough it a bit, and you’ll revel in the green countryside and historic sites of the Windy Isle. From England’s Yorkshire Dales to Wales Brecon Beacons, to the Scottish Highlands and Islands, if you can stand a bit of rain now and then, you’re in for a treat.
Camping in Greece: Greece has so many island and mainland beaches it will make your head spin. Most camping beaches are well served by inexpensive taverns and cafés, though groceries tend to be overpriced. While free camping is technically illegal, it is widely practiced and the cheapest option (hence the name). Legal, organized camping is inexpensive and widespread, with 268 campsites throughout the country. It’s a perfect way to enjoy nature, meet people, and experience the adventure of a lifetime.
Trekking in the “Transylvanian Alps”: Walks Worldwide offers modestly priced package trekking tours, including a climb of Romania’s highest peak (Moldoveanu), ridge walking in the Fagaras mountains (the Alps of Transylvania), and exploring the wildlife of Piatra Craiului National Park, which includes wolves, bears, and lynx. Finally, get your blood pumping with a trek to the infamous "Castle Dracula."
Soca River, Slovenia: White water rafting on the Soca, exploring ruins in the Trenta Valle, and hiking around Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj are just a few of the exciting activities Slovenia has to offer. This breathtakingly picturesque part of Europe isn’t so well known, but that’s all the better for a true adventure holiday. Trailblazers welcome.
Archery in Devon, UK: What could be more of an adventure than taking an arrow-shooting group or family holiday in the Southwest of England? Weekly prices can be quite affordable, and it’s just 30 minutes from the sea and close to the ancient city of Exeter and Dartmoor, the setting for Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Cycling in the French Alps: Though French cycling tours may not often be easy on the pocket book, there are some deals to be had. Cyclemundo offers a €785 per person tour of the three main lakes of the Alps (Geneva, Annecy, and Bourget) for five nights, including breakfasts, three dinners, luggage transfer, and maps. The catch? The deal doesn’t include bike hire. Call it a relaxing adventure holiday, as the tour won’t push you to cycle too hard.
Take a “fake-cation”: Though technically anything but a real adventure holiday, so-called fake vacations are so weird they may seem like a mind-warping adventure to those with a strong sense of irony. Tropical Island Resort in Krausnick, south of Berlin, tries to reproduce Thailand and Mexico (or wherever) inside a giant dome. It’s not exactly a bargain, but far cheaper than actually flying to the real places, plus you can do it in just one day. Read more about fake holidays here.
What are your favourite budget adventure holidays in Europe? Let us know in the comments section!