From towering fjords, to crystalline lakes and wild waves, Europe offers an abundance of wild exploration. Whether you’re seeking a break from the smog, desirous of adventure and thrills, or just in need of some holiday inspiration, here are 12 wild destinations that excite and intrigue.
Poland’s Masurian Lakes
In North East Poland, near the borders of Russia and Lithuania, lie the breathtaking Masurian Lakes. A perfect place to satisfy your water sport urges as well as historical curiosity. Take a kayak trip, a stroll amongst bisons through the Białowieża forest, and a tour of Hitler’s wartime headquarters, the Wolf’s Lair.
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Norway’s Western Fjords
When visiting the Western Fjords, it is impossible not to feel that you have traveled back to the beginning of time. The air is crisper, the colours sharper, and the landscape feels untainted. In May, spring brings renewed life and in the winter, the stark contrast of white snow and nearly black waters elicits awe and admiration. Climb to the highest peak or canoe between the magnificent fjord walls at this spectacular, wild destination.
A walk through Dartmoor is stillness. When the light is right, there is an other-worldliness haunting the land that speaks bounds. Granite structures called tors jut out of the landscape, providing refuge for wildlife and climbing opportunities for visitors. It is easy to stumble upon a forgotten archaeological site, as the land is riddled with antiquities and prehistoric living spaces. Set off at sunrise, climb a tor, and as the sun rises read ‘The Bed of Tulips’, if you’re lucky you’ll see the pixies.
Slovenia’s Lake Bled
Slovenia’s Lake Bled is something out of a fairytale. Nestled in the Julian Alps, the glacial cum tectonic emerald water appears as an elixir might to a dying man. Situated in the middle of the lake is Bled Island, atop which stands a church. The current church dates from the 17th century, and the site has a fascinating history. From pagan temples to ‘wishing bells’ that sank with a young lover at sea, the perceived romanticism of this lake is not misplaced.
Germany’s Schwarzwald (The Black Forest)
No one should leave the Black Forest without having savoured its namesake, Black Forest gateau. But even if you’re not into kirsch (the Black Forest is the only place in the world to find perfect cherries), the Black Forest offers an array of fascinating activities. From mysterious hiking trails to the curious Swabian-Alemannic carnival, this area of Germany conceals as much as it reveals, as the scenery is imbued with a sense of mystery. It is no wonder that myths and legends abound. If you desire a truly enlightening trip, be sure to read about the dwarves who lurk in the lakes and look out for the two monks from St. Blasien.
At the edge of Europe lies Connemara, a landscape that seems to stretch into infinity. Golden beaches, the rugged Twelve Bens Mountains, and the Roundstone Bog all come together in a composition so breathtaking you will wish you were a painter. With quaint villages dotted along this breathtaking landscape, enjoy the wild airs of Connemara by day and a warming pint of Guinness by night.
When you visit Kirkjufell Mountain on the north coast of Iceland, you encounter the universe. Sitting at 1500 feet above sea level, the combination of the Northern Lights and wondrous waterfalls is indescribable. The site can only speak for itself.
Scotland’s Argyll Coast
Scotland’s Argyll coast is a secret waiting to be discovered. Walking along the coast and exploring the villages, the legends come alive and kings and queens seem to be just around the corner. Off the mainland, there are a number of inhabited and habited islands, all of which are saturated in beauty and history. Grab a boat and wile away your days on the open waters, observing the islands from afar. Alternatively, you can sail to Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa, or explore the distilleries on Islay. The Argyll coast truly delivers.
All Wales Coast Path
The All Wales coast Path runs 1,400km, and is full of picturesque scenery. Whether looking for adventure or escape, the coastline will provide. One of the most striking parts of the coast path is through Pembrokeshire, also known as the ‘Land of Mystery and Enchantment’. With Neolithic tombs, Celtic chapels, and glutinous seals, this part of the Welsh coast breathes an eclecticism that is hard to match anywhere else.
All Wales coast Path © Gail Johnson / Shutterstock
El Torcal, Spain
El Torcal Park Nature Reserve feels like an alien landscape. Its bizarre limestone rock formations seem to be a game was played and left unfinished. Clambering over the rocks, the setting sun seems like it might be replaced by two moons. Keep an eye out for the Montpelier Snake and Eyed Lizard, and if you’re lucky you might spot an Andalusian mountain goat, watching you silently from above. If you’re feeling adventurous, trying visiting at night, armed with a torch and a colorful imagination.
Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
The Plitvice Lakes National Park awaits in central Croatia, near the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The area is comprised of 16 lakes that cascade into one another, creating waterfalls and bubbling streams of bold turquoise waters. A series of wooden walkways make it possible to wander through this blissful beauty as though part of the scenery. Feel the warm spray against your skin and marvel at the views.
Lying between Arles, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Rhone River delta, the Camargue is a wetland of striking wildlife, a landscape that stretches endlessly into the distance. Camargue horses epitomize the wild abandon of this area living as they do in partial freedom. They are one of the oldest breeds in the world and studies show that they are closely related to prehistoric horses whose remains have been found in France. In an area inhabited by horses and their cowboys, flamingoes give an extra flavour that makes Camargue one of wild Europe’s most intriguing destinations.
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