Europe in summer: The best outdoor hotspots

Summer is right around the corner and you don’t even need to travel to the other end of the world to have an unforgettable holiday. The best destinations for an exciting summer adventure are often only a stone’s throw away: The team here at CheckYeti has gathered the best hotspots in popular holiday destinations such as France, Switzerland, Germany, and Spain, and has got you covered on all the information about which outdoor activities await you in said regions.

No matter whether it’s paragliding across Lac D’Annecy, rafting on one of Switzerland’s crystal-clear mountain rivers, or canyoning in the Spanish Pyrenees – on CheckYeti you’ll find the perfect adventure for yourself, your family & friends, or for your next team building event.

Outdoor hotspots in France

A view of the Verdon river winding its way through the depths of the gorge.
The Verdon Gorge is one of the most beautiful destinations to go rafting or canyoning in France

France is known for having some of the deepest canyons in Europe with destinations such as the Verdon Gorge and the Gorges du Tarn. Moreover, the country is home to some of the best places to go paragliding and some of the most spectacular bungee jumps in the world.

The Verdon Gorge: nature at its best

Those who are looking for an extraordinary and unforgettable adventure won’t be disappointed by the Verdon Gorge. Visitors can enjoy the sensation of rushing over tumultuous rapids on a white water rafting trip or explore the canyon and its dizzying depths as part of a canyoning tour. Even the youngest amongst them are able to join in on the fun and experience the beauty of the natural landscape. In addition, the Pont de l’Artuby bridge, which is popular amongst bungee jumping enthusiasts, is also in the region.

Upper Savoy: between heaven and earth

With the towns of Chamonix and Annecy, Upper Savoy is home to the two worldwide capitals of paragliding. In Annecy, you can take in the surrounding panorama while you soar across Lac d’Annecy, while in Chamonix, you’ll be able to marvel at Mont Blanc as you leave firm ground beneath you. Nevertheless, you can also always choose to embark on a rafting trip along the emerald green waters of the Dranse river together with your family and friends or challenge yourself to a canyoning tour in the Montmin canyon, where you will abseil from the Angon waterfall and jump from pool to pool.

The Cévennes: unique natural beauty

Situated between Ardèche, Lozère and Gard, the Cérvennes National Park is protected by UNESCO due to its unique biosphere and is full of hidden treasures that will let any nature lover’s heart skip a beat. Its canyons, such as those along the Chassezac and Tapoul rivers are amongst the most well-known canyoning destinations. Further west, the Gorges du Tarn awaits all those who enjoy canoeing tours or via ferratas, as well as those brave enough to try bungee jumping.

Outdoor hotspots in Switzerland

A view of Lake Thun in Switzerland
The panorama you get to see during a paragliding flight in Interlaken is something you won’t easily forget

Switzerland may be a small country, but whatever it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in terms of its stunning natural landscapes and the multitude of opportunities it provides for all kinds of outdoor activities. As such, any nature lover will instantly fall head over heels for Switzerland – even before having tried some delicious Swiss cheese! No matter whether in the French-speaking, the German-speaking, or the Italian-speaking part, visitors will not be disappointed by the unique and memorable experiences they make there.

Interlaken: between two lakes

Nestled between two emerald-green lakes, lies the wonderfully picturesque town of Interlaken, whose panorama is dominated by the famous Jungfrau mountain. Interlaken is renowned for its beautiful scenery which provides for some of the best outdoor experiences far and wide. Take off from the Beatenberg mountain for a paragliding flight that will leave you breathless, as you glide high above the two lakes feeling free as a bird. For those who wish to stay closer to the ground, the Bernese Oberland’s many canyons are waiting to be explored, while the impetuous Lütschine river offers outstanding rafting opportunities.

Ticino: canyoning with a taste of la dolce vita

By combining the famous Italian dolce vita with the closeness to the Alps, the canton of Ticino is an ideal destination for outdoor adventurers. It is particularly well-known for harbouring some of the most beautiful canyons in Europe, including the Iragna and Boggera gorges. Whichever spot you choose, canyoning in Ticino is always a memorable experience that is equally challenging and awe-inspiring, as you make your way from pool to pool through the lush green environment.

Valais: the Rhône and the Alps as your playground

A skiing paradise in winter, the canton of Valais is no less attractive after the snow in the mountains has melted away, bearing many possibilities to go on an outdoor adventure under the gleaming sun. Want to spread your wings and feel weightless? Head to Verbier for a paragliding flight with a breathtaking view of the Swiss Alps. If you prefer fighting the rousing waves of a white water river, the Rhône is your playground for an adventurous rafting or hydrospeed experience.

Outdoor hotspots in Germany

A bird’s-eye view of Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria.
When paragliding in Bavaria, visitors can treat themselves to a bird’s-eye view of the fairytale castle of Neuschwanstein

Germany is a popular destination for visitors from all over the world. Particularly the coastlines in the North and the Alps in the South attract large numbers of holiday-makers each year. While the southern parts of Germany, with their numerous white water rivers and gorges, are well-suited for rafting and canyoning tours, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea coasts provide a great setting for a fun holiday by the seaside. No matter if it’s exploring the underwater world of the Baltic Sea while scuba diving off the isle of Fehmarn, or kitesurfing on the rousing waves along the isle of Rügen’s shoreline – everyone can find their right outdoor adventure in Germany.

Allgäu: Germany’s canyoning Mekka

A holiday in the Allgäu region in Bavaria promises tons of fun. The region is known as a true hotspot, particularly amongst canyoning enthusiasts. The Starzlachklamm and the Schwarzwasserbach canyons, for instance, are full of powerful waterfalls and challenging abseiling passages that are waiting to be conquered by brave outdoor-lovers. At the same time, families with young children will also find rafting tours that take them on a fun day out in a rubber dinghy along the rivers of the Allgäu. In addition, the natural landscape of the Allgäu can be viewed from above as well: by paragliding or by taking a hot air balloon across the Alps, holiday-makers can take in the scenery down below and enjoy boundless freedom.

Bavaria: soar across fairytale castles

Vast forests, emerald-green rivers, and fairytale castles are just some of the things that attract countless domestic and international tourists to Germany’s most southern county every year. When paragliding in Bavaria, visitors can marvel at the beautiful Neuschwanstein Castle, the peak of the Zugspitze mountain, or the shimmering Lake Tegernsee. Those who prefer being on or in water instead of being up in the air, are well-advised to try a rafting tour on one of the rivers in and around Munich, or a canyoning adventure in one of the many gorges.

The Baltic Sea: action and relaxation on Germany’s islands

Miles and miles of sandy beaches, idyllic fishing villages, and colourful underwater landscapes are what make Germany’s Baltic Sea coast such a great holiday destination. The two islands of Rügen and Fehmarn are perfect for both holiday-makers who are looking for some action, and those who just want to relax. On the island of Fehmarn, scuba diving courses are offered for children as young as 8 years, making it an ideal activity for the whole family. The Baltic Sea also has perfect conditions for kite and windsurfing, whereby Rügen, the largest of the German islands, has the best waves and is, therefore, the top spot for anyone who wants to get into these types of water sports.

Outdoor hotspots in Spain

The Río Gállego river in the Spanish province of Aragón.
Spain’s rivers are best explored by kayak or raft

When thinking of holidays in Spain, the Balearic Islands or the Canaries instantly come to mind. However, the Spanish mainland is second to none when it comes to outdoor adventures. The incredibly diverse landscape includes the mountain peaks of the Pyrenees, tumultuous rivers and green coastal regions in the North, as well as vast stretches of sandy beaches, idyllic villages and mountain ranges in the South. In Spain, visitors can combine some relaxing days on the beach with a series of white water adventures that can range from canyoning to rafting, and even kayaking. This way, everyone can get the most out of their summer holiday.

Andalusia: kayak through the old town

Andalusia has a lot to offer for all types of tourism, as there is something for every taste. While those who wish to relax can sunbathe on the sandy beaches of the southern coast, those who seek a more cultural experience will find what they’re looking for in the historic towns of Seville and Granada, or in one of the small mountain villages such as Ronda and Olvera. Those who yearn for a little more excitement while on holiday in Andalusia should seize the opportunity to go white water rafting on the rivers Río Genil or Río Guadalfeo. Another hot tip is to try out kayaking on the Guadalquivir river which flows right through the town centre of Seville, allowing for a somewhat different type of sightseeing tour. Moreover, the gorge of the Río Verde river is a great place both for beginners and for people with more experience, to enjoy a spectacular canyoning tour.

Valencia: white water adventures in the South-East of the country

The province of Valencia in the south-eastern part of Spain is famous for its tasty oranges, the traditional paella, and its mile-long sandy beaches. Nonetheless, it also offers plenty of exciting white water activities for holiday-makers in the region. Rafting tours on the Río Cabriel river are a particular highlight for families with children of all ages. Those who prefer a little solitude can hop into a canoe and conquer the white water by themselves. Moreover, canyoning enthusiasts will find a multitude of canyons around Valencia, which suit every level of experience.

The Spanish Pyrenees: conquer one of the longest white water rapids in the world

The Pyrenees stretch from the Cantabrian Sea to the Mediterranean and separate the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of Europe. The over 430km long mountain range offers opportunities to experience almost all types of activities for people who love the great outdoors. Canyoning tours in the Pyrenees can take you down hidden waterfalls and through mysterious caves that are just waiting to be explored. The meeting points for most tours are in the villages of Llavorsí and Murillo de Gállego. Rafting tours in the Pyrenees are particularly adventurous: The Noguera Pallaresa river awaits all white water enthusiasts with one of the longest rapids in the world, the “Quatre llarg”, which requires an extra portion of courage and adventurousness.

 

Jürrgen from CheckYeti

I love spending my summer in the great outdoors. When the temperatures rise, my inner adventurer comes to life, and no matter where I go on holiday, I’m always looking for fun activities that allow me to explore what nature has to offer.