Transylvania will forever be associated with Dracula. If you’ve ever read about the Count’s ‘children of the night’ and wondered what it must be like to stay in a remote part of the Carpathians and listen to the wolves howling, then consider a wildlife tour of Romania. You’ll track wolves, bears and lynx. Various trips are available for all levels of fitness, and generally combine wildlife with Transylvanian home-cooking and visits to beautiful medieval towns. If that isn’t enough to persuade you, then Romanians are amongst the friendliest and most helpful people in Europe; hold onto this thought when you’re sheltering from a thunderstorm in an ancient inn, which looks like just the sort of place that might have a coffin in the basement…
Ireland has a fantastic countryside – lovely sunsets over the Atlantic, quirky villages and beautiful loughs. And the Irish people have something of an affinity with horses. Combine the best of these attributes by seeing Ireland on horseback – trekking routes can include beaches, castles, fords and villages, so there’ll be plenty to see. Trips are available of various lengths for a range of different abilities; if you’re an experienced rider, then you can also arrange to tackle the trails on your own.
Greece has a range of activity holidays. Learn to sail in the Aegean, and then set off around the Greek islands. You can also arrange walking holidays in various parts of Greece. All activity holidays in Greece can be combined with seeing some of the famous sites – and, depending on the activity you choose, you may get to see some lesser-known or difficult to access sites. Depending on how you define ‘adventure’, you might also want to book a holiday based around a tour of vineyards or Greek cooking.
Nearly all European countries offer at least one sort of activity based holiday. Diving and all the other usual seaside sports are popular around the Med, and most countries have some sort of trekking option. Often the countries that have less in the way of sun, sea and sand have more interesting adventure holidays available.
Extreme sports are increasingly popular, and activities can be booked before you go. Try rubber tubing, sky diving, hang-gliding, bobsledding, bungee jumping, running around in a giant hamster ball and all manner of other activities. It’s boring, but make sure that your holiday insurance covers any sort of adventure activity before you go. If you’d rather to something more conventional, kayaking is popular across Europe.