7 outdoor travel experiences in Europe that could be your next choice during COVID-19
It hit us all! You read about it daily, you hear it from your friends and family and your workplace or school that used to be very pleasant places to spend time with your classmates and colleagues became a place of avoidance, due to social distancing. Coronavirus affects us all to a lesser or higher degree. And as a cherry on top, as if it was not enough, the tourism industry suffers immensely, due to travel restrictions and limitations. The good news is – we can still travel! But we need to be extra careful and consider the limitations. Therefore, we are bringing you some exciting ideas on how to travel and what travel options you could consider, in order to prevent further COVID-19 from spreading and at the same time won´t compromise your experience.
Below, we listed a number of outdoor travel activities and our best picks where can you find and enjoy them.
Wild camping in Estonia
This outdoor activity is liked by many but tends to be pushed to the background due to the hassle it brings along. Many people get discouraged due to the need for equipment, good weather, or just because of their fear of getting out of their comfort zone. Although, we do think that it is a great way of spending quality time with your loved ones. You get to experience the simple way of life or test your survival skills. The overall experience becomes even more memorable when happening in the natural environment with beautiful landscapes.
Estonian forests are the perfect choice for wild camping. It is totally legal as Estonia possesses a ‘right to roam’ from the law. The law gives its citizens and tourists the legal right to hike, camp, spend time in nature or enjoy the great outdoors. Therefore, camping can be done anywhere, including forests, meadows, or beaches. It is good to remember, that it is not allowed to camp on private land or in national parks.
A few tips and tricks
When camping, one has to be suitably prepared. Make sure you think your equipment through when going on a trip to the wilderness. Preferably, you should be able to carry everything in your backpack, so you leave your hands empty. Therefore, it is crucial that you invest in light-weight equipment that can be carried on back. Ensure you bring enough food and water, as you might go to remote places where grocery stores might not be accessible. Or setting up the fire might take longer than expected. A good idea might be to bring a refillable water bottle with you. If you are a novice, it could be a good idea to bring along some newspapers in order to be able to make a campfire.
There are several things to keep in mind though. Note that camping at camping sites with shared amenities may be risky and may not be recommended during COVID-19. It increases the exposure and spread of the virus if camping among a lot of people. Remember that setting a campfire is only allowed at designated places.
Roadtrip in Scotland
Road-tripping is a perfect way how to explore a lot of beautiful places in a short period of time. It is a convenient way of traveling and by doing that you may take advantage of the time spent in a car and have a meaningful talk with your travel companions, be it, family or friends. Traveling by car gives you the luxury to stop anytime you want and enjoy the scenery or take pictures. This way you can also have breakfast on the Scottish cliffs. For lunch, you can set up a picnic on the green hills. And finally, you can be dining with the view of the medieval fortress on the other side of the country. Scotland has a breathtaking nature whose landscapes are ever-changing. Thus, this country is one of the best for road-tripping.
Rock-climbing in Osp, Slovenia
Rock-climbing or, oh well, any other sport can be done during Corona times. As long as it does not involve a lot of people, it should be risk-free. Rock-climbing is one of our absolute best recommendations during COVID-19. It tends to attract a small number of people and they tend to get isolated. Therefore, you can be sure to avoid crowds of people.
This outdoor activity can help you get the adrenaline dose that you would normally get from flying but cannot now due to canceled flights. It is true, however, that this sport requires a certain level of skills if enjoyed in heights. But rock-climbing or bouldering can also be done by beginners with safety equipment. This activity combines adrenaline, enjoying nature, work-out, and great views. Honestly, what can be better? Rock-climbing is extremely popular in Slovenia with lots of people enjoying this activity. Slovenian nature also provides all the shapes and sizes of rocks that are waiting to be conquered.
Hiking in Switzerland
Switzerland is a land of fairytales and breath-taking natural landscapes. If you want to experience nature at its best, we recommend taking a hike in one of the many national parks that Switzerland offers. You are lucky enough, natural parks are in wide-open space and honestly, there are so many of them in Switzerland that it helps to disperse tourists all around them. In that case, you do not have to worry about social distancing or overcrowded places. However, we do recommend to avoid crowded and popular places such as Zermatt, since the concentration of tourists tends to be quite high for a very small area.
There is plenty of other hiking trails and landscapes to be experienced in Switzerland. The difficulty of the hike trails vary and thus everyone can find a trail suiting their level, be it your children or grandparents. The length of the hike can be also adjusted according to your capabilities. 2 hours long hikes can provide an equally amazing view as 12 hours long one. There are also numerous options for the choice of the terrain, whether you decide on the mountainous peaks and glaciers, alpine meadows, or maybe you want to explore forests or hike along the emerald green lakes? Switzerland has it all, the choice is yours.
Reindeer sleigh riding in Lapland, Finland
If you are looking for the winter activities you could attend either with your partner, family, or friends, reindeer or husky sleigh rides might be the right choice for you. This can be found in Rovaniemi, Finland also called the official hometown of Santa Claus where you will enter a true wonderland.
This is a particularly exciting experience for children during the winter holidays to make your spirits hyped about the upcoming Christmas. You do not have to worry about meeting a lot of people, as you will most likely not come in close contact with anyone else than your group. The carriages are usually made for 2-4 people, so you can peacefully enjoy this experience, with your loved ones and beautiful snowy blue and green-eyed huskies or fairytale reindeer. Even if you decide not to ride the sleight for any reason, you will surely enjoy the area on its own. You get a special opportunity to glimpse the northern lights. There is a unique chance to spend your night in a glass igloo with warm tea. In general, this place is so magical that even with no activities, you will certainly have an experience of a lifetime.
Horseback riding in Portugal
Portugal is another country on our list, with yet another exciting activity that can be done during COVID-19 with all the restrictions and limitations in use! Since Portugal is a long country stretching through many different natural landscapes it is one of the best places to experience horseback riding. Portugal used to be one of the leading countries during the age of discoveries and a lot of cultural aspects remain from those times. Horseback riding is one of those cultural aspects and traditions.
You will find plenty of horse farms providing tours depending on your preferences. You can get a ride along the coastline of the ocean, through meadows or through mountains, if that´s your choice. No matter what you prefer, the view from the saddle is always extraordinary! On top of that, you will get a unique opportunity to get riding lessons from instructors where you´ll learn useful tips and tricks on how to ride a horse and how to read its behavior. At the end of the day, you may develop a new friendship with this noble animal. Remember, that these animals are extremely sensitive, so treat them with respect.
Kite-surfing in Spain
Kiteboarding or kitesurfing is a water sport that combines the elements of other sports such as snowboarding, paragliding, windsurfing, and gymnastics. This sport can be done all year round, with the use of a neoprene swimming suit. However, this sport is dependant on the weather, especially on the wind. Our chosen country for executing this sport is Spain, more specifically the Canary Islands. Although, you can easily find this activity in other countries too.
Adrenaline sports like kitesurfing are becoming a lifestyle for some and the whole areas are dedicated to kitesurfers where they can hang out together (of course, with all the COVID-19 limitations and restrictions taken into consideration). This may be particularly tempting for young people who can find their tribe during their holiday in Spain. Even though this sport is rather difficult to learn, we do not doubt that even the basics will satisfy your adrenaline needs.