From beaches to the Alps, continental Europe has much to offer adventure-seeking tourists. Test yourself with these once-in-a-lifetime trips.
1. Climb the Matterhorn
Popular because of the chocolate it inspired, Matterhorn is the most iconic mountain in the Alps. It is also a hugely popular climb, with about 3,000 people coming over to scale its peaks. Visitors are assured of breathtaking views and easy accessibility. All you need to do is to take the Matterhorn Express chairlift that goes to Schwarzsee. You hike from there to the Hörnli hut, standing at the Hörnligrat Ridge, 10,695 feet (or 3,260 meters) high. The rest of the 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) are for you to climb.
The climb itself consists of fourth- and fifth-class terrain, some fixed rope climbs, and some scary thousand feet drops. Thus, it is more for experienced climbers who are not afraid of heights, are very fit, and can find routes easily without any guide. In all, the hike should take 4 to 5 hours only.
You can also book a guide through the Alpin Center Zermatt, though you would need to do so a year in advance due to the demand.
2. Follow The Tour de France Route
A visit to the 12th-century village of La Grave puts you right in the center of the best bike rides in the Alps, the Col d’Izoard, Col du Galibier, and Alpe d’Huez. From here, go towards the Col du Galibier, which is an 18-mile (29 kilometers) ride. You will climb at an average gradient of 7%, for a total of 4,000 feet of climbing. The ride past remote French villages is definitely unforgettable. Plus, you will have a grand view of the Ecrins National Park from the top.
3. Hike the Isle of Beauty
Corsica has so much natural beauty that you have to explore it on foot. Of all the hiking trails exploring the city, the most difficult is the GR 20, a 112-mile (180 kilometers) trail. The landscape is unparalleled, from gorges to plateaus and high mountain passes. Just make sure your hiking boots are up for the challenge.
4. Biking On The Shadow of Mont Blanc
The Aosta Valley has hundreds of miles of cross-country biking trails in continental Europe. But what sets these trails apart is the fact that you are in Italy, and no trip is without wonderful Italian wine and food. So, after you try out one of the many different cross-country trails, you can enjoy a feast. Still, the cross-country routes and the breathtaking ride down will keep your heart racing and your eyes full of beautiful views.
5. Surf Portugal’s Perfect Waves
Head over to Portugal, specifically to Comporta in the Alentejo region for a surfing holiday. The beaches are quiet, the waves consistent, and the coastline full of villages and vineyards. The best thing about this place is that you can go surfing all-year-round, thanks to the perfect weather and wave conditions at any season.
Many European young adults spend time biking or hiking these and other famous spots as a kind of adventure and endurance test. What’s more, the beautiful surroundings will wow you and make every drop of sweat to get there worthwhile.