18 European Outdoor Adventures for Travelers 2018

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2017 is almost over.  It is time to begin planning your 2018 outdoor adventures.  I asked my fellow travel bloggers to share their recommendations for a 2018 outdoor adventure.  I had a tremendous response and had to break up the responses by region.  Keep a look out of my other 2018 region adventure lists. Here are 18 travel bloggers recommendations for European Outdoor Adventures in 2018.

Climbing the Rock of Gibraltar, United Kingdom

Scott & Hayley of International Hotdish

The Rock of Gibraltar, United Kingdom territory at the mouth of the Mediterranean, is chock full of history, adventure, and wildlife encounters. Fought over for millennia, the Rock of Gibraltar is a towering monolith that offers the occupiers full reign over who can enter the Mediterranean. With so much history, it’s a no-brainer that you have to visit/climb it.

The rock itself has several, well-marked paths for you to venture up. You are, indeed able to hike all the way to the top, either by a paved road or dirt trails. And the sight from the top is well worth it.

The Rock has plenty of history, too. Underground tunnels are scattered around the top and a gigantic, non functional cannon resides at the summit, looking over the strait. On a clear day, you can see Africa across the sea.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Rock of Gibraltar is also home to the only wild monkeys found in Europe. No one is quite sure how they arrived (probably via traders centuries ago) but there is a troop of monkeys that live there year round. They’re quite tame but are still wild animals. If you see one, be sure to keep a respectful distance and take a picture.

Photo Credit: Scott & Hayley

Flørli 4444, Norway

Jurga of Full Suitcase

Climbing the world’s longest wooden staircase Florli 4444 in Norway is definitely one of the most unique outdoor adventures we have ever done. As you might guess from the name, there are 4,444 stairs involved in this climb. The magnitude of this hike only hit us when we arrived at the tiny Florli village by boat. We were to climb the sheer wall rising high above the fjord in front of us!

Florli 4444 is a steep challenging climb and definitely not something to attempt if you are afraid of heights. The narrow wooden staircase follows an old pipeline that was once used by the power plant. It is difficult to imagine how people built something like this more than a hundred years ago… Simply walking up is more challenging than any other experience I have ever done. However, the views over the Lysefjord are second to none, just as the incredible feeling of achievement when you reach the top! If you are looking for a less-known and a very unique hike to do near Stavanger in Norway, give Florli 4444 a try – you will never forget it! Here you can read more about the epic Florli 4444 hike in Norway.

Photo Credit: Jurga

Hiking in Oviedo, Spain

Roman of Roman Roams

One of the best outdoor adventures I had in my life was hiking in the mountains around a small city of Oviedo in Asturias, Spain. I spent 6 months there as an exchange student and I fell in love with this place.

The first week was an introductory week, and the best activity we had was hiking in the mountains that surrounded the city from all 4 sides. It is a very beautiful place that you need to visit, and an adventure that you need to experience in 2018.

Special about it was that we weren’t just going up and then down, but walking around the city enjoying more and more beautiful landscapes opening before us.

I strongly recommend either repeating this activity or do hiking in Picos de Europa national park also located in the beautiful Asturias.

Sailing in the Greek Islands, Greece

Nathan of Fit Living Lifestyle

Many people from around the world travel to Greece and head straight to a beautiful quaint island. Once there, they sit baking in the sun and gorging on Greek food and Ouzo.
One of the best things to do in Greece in my opinion is sailing the Greek Islands. I had the pleasure to sail out of Kos. This is a fitness and adventure focused 1 week sailing trip through the Greek Islands. It is not your normal sailing excursion. We sailed on a 100 foot luxury sailing yacht with luxury cabins and a full crew including an onboard chef and fitness instructor.
Our days were filled with a perfect mix of activities and relaxation. The activities included snorkeling, island hikes, village tours, fitness classes, spas and games to name a few. The boat is perfectly designed for relaxation with many locations to lounge and even sleep under the stars if you choose to. It really is a vacation that literally resets your body and mind. I can not recommend this experience enough.

Photo Credit: Nathan

Via Francigena, Italy

Inma of A World to Travel

Best time to hike it: Spring and Fall, when the crowds are gone and the weather is still nice.
Via Francigena is the common name of an ancient road and pilgrim route running from France to Rome, though it is usually considered to have its starting point further away, in the English cathedral city of Canterbury. As such, the route passes through England, France, Switzerland, and Italy. The route was known in Italy as the “Via Francigena” (“the road that comes from France”) or the “Via Romea Francigena” (“the road to Rome that comes from France”). In medieval times it was an important road and pilgrimage route for those wishing to visit the Holy See and the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul.

Find out our 10 reasons why you should walk the Via Francigena here.

Hiking the Highland Way, Scotland, United Kingdom

James by Worldwide Shopping Guide

The West Highland Way is a 96-mile walk that stretches from Milngavie near Glasgow to Fort William in the Western Scottish Highlands. The walk passes alongside several iconic Scottish sights including the shores of Loch Lommond, the barren landscape of Rannoch Moor, the postcard-perfect valley of Glencoe, and the foot of Ben Nevis. Along the way you’ll get to see a different side of Scotland – the kind you don’t get to see in cities like Edinburgh or Glasgow – as well as plenty of highland cows and wild goats as well. It is without doubt one of the best walks in Scotland, and maybe even in the world – if you can get the weather!
Thankfully, I managed to. In fact, the April week that I chose to do it during turned out to be a Scottish heat wave and it didn’t rain once. Most other people aren’t as lucky, but don’t let that put you off. Along with haggis, tartan, and bagpipes, bad weather is quintessentially Scottish, and an essential part of any trip to Scotland.

Snowmobiling in Kiruna, Sweden

Jennifer of Made all the Difference

Above the Arctic Circle in Sweden is a small city called Kiruna.   Kiruna is a winter adventure destination.  Snow arrives in October and will not leave until April.  All that snow and cold weather creates a perfect wilderness to explore via a snowmobile.

Kiruna and the surrounding wilderness offers miles and miles of snowmobiling trails.  The trails lead to mountain overlooks, across rivers and streams, to cabins in the middle of this frozen wonderland.  A snowmobile is a powerful machine that effortlessly glides over the snow and can reach places that are impassible at other times of the year.  I imagine snowmobiling is kind of like what Santa feels like when he is flying over the North Pole.   The cold air will whip around as you drive the snowmobile but the heated handlebars will help keep you warm and enjoying your ride.

Sea Kayaking in Anglesey, Wales, United Kingdom

David of Delve into Wales

The Welsh coast is full of amazing places to explore by sea kayak, and one of the best areas of all is the north west coast of the island of Anglesey and its neighbour, Holy Island.

Holy Island is home to the busy port of Holyhead, but two miles from there the coast is wild, sheer cliffs dropping 300 feet to the sea around the South Stack lighthouse.

The coast around the village of Rhoscolyn has some of the best places to explore, from the lovely pebbly beach at Porth Saint and its striking coloured cliffs to the nearby white sea arch – Bwa Gwyn in Welsh – where you can kayak underneath.

It’s also possible to explore the coves and dramatic cliffs around South Stack, where sea birds swoop and sweep past to check you out. You can also venture to the last outpost of wales, the remote Skerries islands and lighthouse, where you’ll often find seals basking on the rocks.

Goecaching in the Black Forest, Germany

Roxanna of Gypsy with a Day Job

Geocaching is a “secret” game played around the world, combining a computer map, a physical hiding location with GPS coordinates, and an outdoor hunt. Geocaches, can be found on every continent, but some places offer particularly amazing sites for play. The Black Forest, in Germany would be one of those places.

In the case of a standard cache, there is a physical object, with a log to sign. In other cases, called Earthcaches, a geological lesson is involved at the site, which requires the player to observe a particular phenomenon, and give answers to record the “find.”

Caches are hidden by locals, and often lead to places a guidebook would not. In the Black Forest, a search for a Geocache can lead to local hiking trails with treks to glacial lakes and unique rock formations. An Earthcache can lead to amazing geological phenomenon and stunning sites, that are often off the tourism radar.

Yes, there is an Earthcache at the widely touted, and visited, Triberg Waterfall. But there is also one at the relatively unknown waterfalls at Gauchachschluct and Todtnauer, which a visitor would otherwise miss!

Photo: Todtnauer Waterfall, site of an Earthcache. Attribution: By Freiburg1120 (eigene Fotografie, Juni 2013) [CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hot Air Ballooning in Costa Brava, Spain

Laurence Norah of Finding the Universe

When you visit Costa Brava, Spain, there’s a lot more to do than just sun yourself on the beautiful beaches. One of the adventures you should definitely try is hot air ballooning – something everyone should experience at least once in their lives!

You can go hot air ballooning over different parts of Costa Brava, but our recommendation would be to take the flight over the volcanic foothills of the Pyrenees. This will give you fantastic views over this rugged landscape, which stretches from mountain to sea.

As with many balloon flights, it starts with an early morning as the balloons aim to rise for sunrise when the winds are calmer. We flew with Vol de Coloms, and loved that the flight came with champagne as we floated over the landscape, and there was a full breakfast on landing! This is an experience you’ll definitely remember for a lifetime, and is worth every penny.

Hiking on Sao Miguel, Azores islands

Megan of Meganstarr.com

I recently had a chance to visit Sao Miguel in the beautiful Azores islands in the middle of the Atlantic. I had long dreamt about visiting this destination, but I had no idea what amazing scenery I was in store for. Upon arrival, I settled in at the Santa Barbara Lodge on the north coast of Sao Miguel and immediately took to the outdoors to see what the island had in store for me. While my room overlooked the ocean, it wasn’t until I got to do some coastal hiking along the north coast from Sao Vicente Ferreira to Capelas that I really fell in love with the area. The coastal hiking route there is new, and you can find plenty others on the island, but something about the remote location and authenticity of the islands could be felt on this hike. It remains one of my fondest memories of 2017 and I highly suggest putting the Azores on your 2018 travel list!

Hiking the Hebridean Way in Scotland

Kathi of Watch Me See

When people think about hiking in Scotland, they think about the Highlands and most likely about the famous West Highland Way. Scotland, however, has in fact many more off the beaten track hiking grounds and long-distance trails for adventurers like you and me. The latest such trail is the Hebridean Way, which was launched in 2017.

Spanning 156 miles across 10 islands from the tiny Vatersay to Stornoway in the north, it makes for the perfect 2-week adventure in one of Scotland’s most beautiful regions. The Outer Hebrides are a group of islands off the north-western coast of Scotland – still off the beaten track for most visitors, and a natural paradise for wildlife lovers.

The trail leads through some of Scotland’s remotest and most iconic landscapes – tropical-looking sandy beaches, vast moors, remote freshwater lochs and wild mountains. So far, accommodation infrastructure along the trail is scarce, but wild camping is legal in Scotland and local bus connections make it easy to jump on and off the trail to venture deeper into the Hebridean culture.

I’m planning to hike this trail in July 2018, so grab your hiking boots and a tent, and join me on the Hebridean Way!

Climbing Elbrus, Russia

Campbell & Alya of Stingy Nomads

Mount Elbrus, 5642m, is located in the South of Russia near the border with Georgia. It’s the highest peak in Europe and one of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each continent. Climbing the highest mountain in Europe is a thrilling adventure that requires mountaineering experience and decent level of fitness. Unlike many other famous peaks to climb Elbrus you don’t need to buy a permit or do it in a group with a guide, porters etc. It’s very important to have a right gear for the climb; plastic double layer boots, down jacket, sunglasses, ski mask, crampons etc. The weather up there is unpredictable and changes completely in one hour. It can snow even in summer and wind is very strong. To get to the top is not that easy it takes 9-11 hours to walk from the last huts to the summit but to be on the top of the highest mountain in the region and to see other snow peaks beneath is an incredible experience. The best season to climb Elbrus is between June and August. The easiest way to get here is to fly to Nalchik and take a bus or taxi to Terskol, the closest to Elbrus town.

Bike tour of Germany

Dave of Dave’s Travel Pages

I’d like to encourage more people to take to two wheels in 2018 for their outdoor adventures! Bicycle touring is a great way to travel. You get to see each country you cycle through from a unique perspective, visit out of the way places, and experience true independence. It also keeps you fit!

There are dozens of epic long distance bike tours you can try in Europe, many of which come underneath the EuroVelo scheme. Some of these will follow dedicated cycle paths, whilst others are less developed. If you’ve never tried bike touring before though, start off nice and easy by taking a weekend bike tour to see how you get on. In my opinion, Germany is the best country for beginners to try bicycle touring in Europe. There’s wonderful infrastructure in the form of cycle lanes, accommodation, and bike hire, and cycling is ingrained in the culture. My suggestion of a great weekend bike tour, would involve cycling some or all of the River Danube to Lake Constance route. There’s plenty to see and do along the way, and it’s suitable for families as well as hardcore cyclists!

Paragliding over  in Oludeniz Beach, Turkey

Olga of Dreams in Heels

One of the most unique adventures suggested for 2018 is Paragliding over the Blue Lagoon, in Oludeniz Beach, in Turkey. They’re known for having the best paragliding in Turkey. You’ll get your adrenaline pumping while also experiencing the totally breathtaking panorama!
Here’s the process: They prepare you for what’s expected (to ensure your safety), then a van takes you up the babadag mountains. Once the experts (certified instructors) test the wind conditions and approve all’s well, then your tandem instructor gets you ready and voila, you are flying! I felt like a feather drifting between the clouds.
Make sure to admire the sky, the mountains and the prettiest blue water. Believe it or not, it’s a super relaxing, fun and totally worthwhile experience! The only thing missing for me, were some tapas and wine to better enjoy the view.
Note: If you are adventurous enough to ask for tricks like me, it was even more amazing. A total natural energizer which will leave you wanting more! Warning: You may want to do it all over again and again and again!

Hiking Mount Stromboli, Italy

Claudia of My Adventures Across The World

Hiking is a thrilling experience in and of itself: the fatigue, the challenge, the company and the views at the end of a strenuous hike are all part of the fun. But hiking an active volcano is wholly different experience. Mount Stromboli is the perfect place to try that.
The hike (which has to be guided) starts right in the village, in the afternoon, and takes around 6 hours. Groups come down after the sun sets. Going up, the vegetation becomes sparse, until the landscape eventually looks completely lunar, and the terrain feels sandy.
Once at the top, the sun starts going down and the view of the Aeolian Islands around simply stunning. But it’s the noise that captures the attention. Mount Stromboli is alive, active, and it likes to show it off. Explosions take place every few minutes, in a show of lava and smoke, accompanied by a crushing sound. It’s chilly up there, but the view so incredible that it’s nice to linger on.

Three Peaks Challenge, England, United Kingdoms

Verity of Veritru – Travel + Life Blogger

You climb Ben Nevis in Scotland which is a 1,345m ascent, Scafell Pike in England at 978m and Snowdon in Wales at 1,085m all within 24 hours and trust me, it’s a challenge! With 11 hours of driving to do, you’ll need some proper walking boots, maybe some walking poles, lots of layers and bundles of food.

I’d recommend finding some good company to tag along with you and a driver so you can sleep in between the climbs. Depending on their driving ability pack some travel sickness tablets because the winding roads leading up to the base of each of the route starts may make you feel a little queasy. It’s an incredibly rewarding feeling when you complete it and who cares if you can’t walk properly for a couple of days afterwards!

Kicksledding in Finland

Jessica of Independent Travel Cats

Finland is a great country for outdoor adventures with its numerous lakes, national parks, and varied terrain. Kicksledding is one of many unique adventures you can have if visiting Finland during the winter. A kicksled, also often called a spark, is a small sled that typically has a chair mounted on a pair of wooden or metal poles attached to metal runners. The sled is then propelled forward with a person pushing from behind while holding onto the handlebars. A person can place their belongings (or even a person) on the chair part and push it across ice or hardpacked snow. Mostly seen only in Scandinavian countries, kicksledding can be done for practical purposes (to get from point A to point B when roads or paths are snowy or icy) or for fun. It is even done as a sport as people can reach pretty high speeds on ice with kicksleds and there is even a world championship held for kicksledding each year in Norway! As a visitor, you can rent a kicksled or join a kicksledding day tour as we did to enjoy this fun winter activity!

What is going to be your list for 2018 European Outdoor Adventures?

14 thoughts on “18 European Outdoor Adventures for Travelers 2018

  1. Pingback: 18 Asia Outdoor Adventures for Travelers in 2018

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  3. Jas

    I’m a terrible swimmer but kayaking in Anglesey looks absolutely phenomenal!!!!! Will have to for sure add that to my bucket list of things to do along with hot air ballooning over the Pyrenees volcanic foothills. I must say I didn’t expect Europe to have such amazing outdoor adventure activities so I’m quite blown away!

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  4. Jen Joslin

    You got some seriously amazing responses! These outdoor adventures in Europe all look super epic! We’ll be starting our European adventures in Scotland in July 2018, so definitely going to check out Kathi’s Watch Me See blog. I hadn’t heard of the Hebridean Way before, but it sounds like a really different perspective of Scotland. Thanks to you and these bloggers for sharing such great ideas!
    Jen Joslin’s current road . . . 7 Best Scuba Diving Spots in JapanMy Profile

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  5. Vanessa Workman

    Such a variety of adventures! I’ve been wanting to go paragliding forever and the Oludeniz Beach paragliding adventure looks like a dream come true! Thanks for the info, an excellent resource.

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  6. Medha

    Wow what a brilliant collection of outdoor activities ! I’d pick two – hiking in Scotland (and you’ve actually got two hikes mentioned here which is brilliant), and paragliding over Oludeniz beach in Turkey 🙂
    Medha’s current road . . . Best of Hong Kong in 4 daysMy Profile

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