When it comes to choosing a holiday there are some for whom relaxation and recharging the batteries is a prerequisite. For others it is the fun and adventure of an active holiday that interests them. Europe has plenty of destinations that are more ‘extreme’ than ‘sun cream’; it’s all about choosing the right one.
In the variety of destinations of Italy, Switzerland and Austria you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to eye opening exploration and myriad activities.
With its varied terrain and quaint cobbled villages, Italy makes a great case as the perfect place for a cycling holiday. But forget the hustle and bustle of the city and opt for a tour of the banks of one of its biggest lakes. Lake Maggiore enjoys the benefit of tree lined promenades, Mediterranean fauna and the backdrop of snow capped mountains.
Hire bikes to take you between charming cafes where you can enjoy some of the best pizza you will ever taste, confident in the knowledge that you’ll be cycling off the gelato you order for dessert. The ferry will also take you to the lush greenery of the Lake Maggiore’s islands. Stresa is well worth a visit for the incredible architecture alone.
If you thought cycling wasn’t extreme then walking might not seem to be much tougher. In which case you probably haven’t traversed Austrian mountain paths in the height of summer. Austria’s lush landscape provides the perfect canvas for walking enthusiasts. Perfect trails take you through immaculate Tyrolean Villages, past historic churches and into the arms of traditional restaurants on hand with coffee and Austrian strudel.
Both the Lautasch Valley and Zell Am See make convincing arguments as hosts of walking holidays. The fresh air and blue lakes add to the joy of hiking the pristine alpine paths amongst unspoilt beauty.
If you thought that by the time summer comes around all skis have been packed up and put away until winter, then think again. Switzerland is home to Zermat, a place where skiing, hiking and mountain biking come together as a sort of Mecca of activity holidays year round.
Beneath the shadow of the Matterhorn, enjoy the odd experience of glacier skiing while the summer sun shines down on you. In the very same day the energised might want to take a mountain bike for an afternoon spin, riding off road trails for thrills and spills. For the true active adventurers, the day can be finished with an evening walk, strolling through the alpine meadows as the sun sets across the mountain lakes.
Anybody who loves the outdoors should experience the fun of an activity holiday. Their revitalising qualities make them a great trip and the memories and sights will stay with you forever.