10 Best Adventure Traveling Destinations at Europe's


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We’ve all spent enough vacations lying on the beach…day after day…only to return to the office feeling like we’ve somehow wasted our precious time away. How many people do you know who stand at the water cooler recounting the time they led a team of dogs across the Norwegian snow plains…

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10 Best Adventure Traveling Destinations at Europe's

  1. 1. 10 Best Adventure Traveling Destinations at Europe's We’ve all spent enough vacations lying on the beach…day after day…only to return to the office feeling like we’ve somehow wasted our precious time away. How many people do you know who stand at the water cooler recounting the time they led a team of dogs across the Norwegian snow plains…or were guided up beginner-level cliffs in New Zealand?… A vacation filled with adventure travel will send you home with once-in-a-lifetime experiences under your belt, fascinating tales for your friends, and-believe it or not-more relaxed than your annual visit to the Florida Keyes. If the word “adventure” is enough to exhaust you, bear in mind that you don’t have to put yourself in harm’s way to have fun. Nor do you have to be an Olympic athlete. You can spend a week on a pleasant bike trip through Van Gogh’s countryside, check out exotic species in the Galapagos Islands from the deck of a boat, or snap photos of the Great Wall of China from the window of a chugging train. We all know Europe as one of the world's best destinations for history, culture, and cuisine, but it's also where you can live some of the world's most unforgettable adventures, provided of course that you're willing to strap on your boots and leave those museums and city streets! To help get you inspired, we've gone to the open community of travelers at minube.net to find the most highly-recommended destinations in Europe to satisfy your more daring side. From the glaciers and volcanos of Iceland to the warm waters of the Canary Islands, here are Europe's 10 best adventure destinations.
  2. 2. The Berchtesgaden Alps, Germany The Berchtesgaden Alps, Germany - As one traveler put it, Berchtesgaden is "a hiker's paradise in the Bavarian Alps." This mountainous region on the German-Austrian border is full of trails for all levels, the best of which circle Königssee, a stunning glacial lake set between towering mountains. If you're not feeling so adventurous or if your knees are simply worn out from a day's hike, there are also cable cars which ferry travelers to some of the area's best viewpoints which just so happen to be the favorite haunts of local hang gliders. (Photo by Naxos) Click here to see more photos of Berchtesgaden
  3. 3. Iceland Iceland - Iceland is so full of incredible adventure spots that we decided the whole country merits a place on the list! Once you leave the capital of Reykjavik you enter a world of bubbling hot springs, epic waterfalls, colossal glaciers, and volcanoes. Plus, Iceland is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the Northern Lights' eerie spectacle in person. One of the country's most fascinating trips, though, is to Jökulsárlón (pictured above), an icy glacial lake on the edge of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier which travelers can explore with a snowmobile or off-road vehicle. (Photo by Carlos Solinis) Click here to see more photos of Iceland
  4. 4. Interlaken, Switzerland Interlaken, Switzerland - This UNESCO-recognized area of snowy peaks and alpine lakes is home to two of Europe's most recognizable adventure destinations: Jungfrau and the Altesch glacier, the biggest in the Alps. While the hiking and climbing is breathtaking (literally), less-strenuous travelers can hop on the Jungfaubahn train to easily access the mountains and glaciers. One of Interlaken's best qualities, however, is that it's an amazing destination year round, from the white days of winter to the mild summers when the valleys fill with wildflowers and waterfalls from the melting snow. (Photo by Alberto de Diego) Click here to see more photos of Switzerland
  5. 5. Tarifa, Spain Tarifa, Spain - Tarifa is a sunny beach town on the Strait of Gibraltar that's known throughout Spain for one thing: wind. That means that in addition to offering golden beaches and dolphin-filled turquoise waters, Tarifa is also a premier international destination for wind and kite surfers. If you're not one for the waves, the rocky hills further inland are popular among climbers and hikers whose hard work is rewarded by amazing sunsets over the Strait with the silhouette of Morocco in the background. (Photo by Sylvia Colomo) Click here to see more photos of Tarifa
  6. 6. Grossglockner Alpine Road, Austria Grossglockner Alpine Road, Austria - The Grossglockner Alpine Road is probably the most stunning drive in all of Europe. Named after the highest peak in Austria, the alpine road is open to adventurous road-trippers from spring to fall and offers priceless panoramic views of Austria's longest glacier, the Pasterze. While most prefer to tackle the Grossglockner Road's hairpin curves with a car, those looking for a challenge can explore sections of the road by bicycle or stop at the Visitors' Center and make the descent to the glacier on foot. (Photo by Arantxa Jimenez) Click here to see more photos of Austria
  7. 7. Madeira, Portugal Madeira, Portugal - Madeira, along with the Azores, is one of Portugal's Atlantic archipelagoes which has traditionally been famous for its hearty wines and laid-back lifestyle. Recently, Madeira has been increasingly popping up on the adventure tourism radar thanks to its world-class surfing, lush interior and stunning trails along its misty volcanic ridges. The most rewarding climb is definitely Arieiro, a rocky peak whose trails take travelers through verdant eucalyptus forests to a lunar landscape high above the clouds. (Photo by Naxos) Click here to see more photos of Madeira
  8. 8. The Dolomites, Italy The Dolomites, Italy - The Dolomites range in Northern Italy really has it all: amazing hiking, magical mountain villages, glaciers, lakes, and a unique cultural bounty that's rarely found even in Italy. The area is popular among hikers and hang gliders during the summer when the wildflowers are in bloom and the skies open up, but it's also an internationally-recognized ski and snowboard destination during the winter months. Your best bet is to take your time in the Dolomites, mixing days of rugged adventure with more leisurely ones enjoying the authentic mountain cuisine in the cozy villages that dot the area. (Photo by Miguel C. Valencia) Click here to see more photos of the Dolomites
  9. 9. Canary Islands, Spain Canary Islands, Spain - Spain's Canary Islands are another destination that's been shedding its beach-bum reputation and attracting more adventurous travelers. These islands have a series of unique microclimates and travelers can find everything from sandy deserts and Martian volcanic landscapes to ferny sub-tropical forests and palm-studded white-sand beaches. One of the island's main draws is obviously water-sports, and the Canaries offer a panorama for whale-watching, sailing, surfing, and snorkeling that's unparalleled anywhere in Europe. (Photo by Lonifasiko) Click here to see more photos of the Canary Islands
  10. 10. Mont Blanc, France Mont Blanc, France - Besides being Europe's highest peak, France's iconic Mont Blanc is a veritable Mecca for thrill-seekers throughout the continent. Whether you're looking for a challenging climb to the summit (no easy feat as Mont Blanc is one of the highest in the world), the chance to explore the actual interior of a glacier, or paragliding through one of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes anywhere on Earth, you'll find it in Mont Blanc. (Photo by Irakli Tavberidze) Click here to see more photos of Mont Blanc
  11. 11. Top 10 Survival Tools - When Traveling in Adventures Trips  Machete Survival experts will tell you that a machete is the most versatile tool you can have in the wilderness. It can be used to cut a trail to civilization where there is none. You can use it to hack down bamboo, vine and palm fronds for the frame, support and roof of a shelter. If you're on an island or in the jungle, green coconuts provide drinkable milk and edible fruit as long as you have a machete to cut into them. You can also use it to cut down fire wood or as a weapon against dangerous predators. You'll need food too, and a machete can be used to sharpen a spear for hunting or fishing. Use the area of the blade close to the handle for whittling and carving. Use the fat section of the blade for hacking and cutting. The front tip is the way to go when you need to bore a hole or stab something. Any way you cut it, a machete is a valuable survival tool and should be strapped to your backpack or on your hip if you plan on venturing into the wilderness.  Water Treatment Water filters are your best option and they come in all shapes, sizes and prices. Some are no bigger than a large drinking straw. Other pump models screw onto your water bottle and can filter up to 100 gallons (378 liters) without needing a new purification cartridge. These models work fast too, filtering about a quart of drinkable H2O in just a few minutes. Just to cover your bases, you should also pack some water filter tablets in your pack. They're typically iodine or chlorine pills that dissolve in water to make it OK to drink. The water may not taste great, but it'll keep you alive. Think ahead and pack the pills in different areas in case you become separated from your backpack. Keep the filter in your backpack and your tablets and emergency filter in a waist pack or even carry them on your person.
  12. 12.  Snakebite Kit Snakebites are no fun and depending on the species, a bite can bring on anything from nausea and cramps to death. Because of this potential danger, if you're heading into the woods for a hike or camping trip you should have a snakebite kit on hand. You can go one of two routes here in buying one that's pre-packed or getting a waterproof container and packing your own. Unfortunately, many pre-packed kits are filled with items that aren't suited for properly treating a snakebite. Kits that contain scalpels, and constrictors are not good because these items don't support the correct first aid procedures for snakebites.  Multi-tool multi-tool is probably the most widely recognized. They gained popularity in the 1980s, but since then the Leatherman and other multi-tools have come a long way with the myriad options to choose from. Your standard multi-tool is comprised of two halves joined by a pair of pliers in the center. Depending on which one you opt for, you'll have a number of options. They typically weigh between 5 and 10 ounces (141 to 283 grams). Most will come with flat and Phillips head screwdrivers, pokers, saw blades, and bottle and can openers. Some models come with scissors, serrated knives, metal files and Allen wrenches. When it comes to aiding your survival chances, you should probably go with one that has the most knife blade options. Allen wrenches are nice in a workshop, but they won't help you filet a fish.
  13. 13.  Survival Knife Most survival knives are the same. They have long blades with serrated edges on one side and a hollow handle. Tucked inside the handle is a small survival kit with matches, fishhooks and line, a compass, and sometimes even Rambo's famous needle and thread. When it comes time to buy your survival knife or any knife, you get what you pay for. A cheap knife will have a dull and breakable blade. Once you have your knife you'll want to custom pack the handle depending on your needs. Waterproof matches and a small flint are good ideas, along with some water purification tablets. The fishhooks and line are good to keep on hand for emergency angling, but the needle and thread are really just the stuff of movies. You'd do better to replace them with some pain medication.  Flares If you land in a worst case survival scenario you need to do two things -- stay alive and find rescue. If you're cast away like Tom Hanks and you can't signal for rescue, then you may as well get used to talking to that volleyball. While smoke signals are a legitimate form of emergency signaling (three quick puffs) people aren't exactly on the lookout for them. A signal mirror is an option, but if you want an unmistakable signal that no plane, helicopter or ship will miss, you need to go with a flare. There are many different types of flares to choose from. Some require a gun and shoot into the sky. Others are handheld and emit a red flame that you hold and wave over your head. Many car emergency kits come with flares, so check your trunk if you've crashed your car or run out of gas in a desolate area.
  14. 14.  Mirror A mirror may be a vanity item for some, but it can also help you survive a worst case survival scenario. If you're able to find food, water and shelter then you're giving yourself a leg up survival-wise, but you still need to find rescue if you want to make it home. The trick to this is packing a signal mirror, something no survivalist would be caught dead without. Any old small mirror will work for signaling, but companies actually make them specially suited for this purpose. These are typically made of something besides breakable glass, like Lexan. Some of them float or have nylon ties you can use to strap them to your backpack. Size isn't important here -- even a small 2 by 3 inch (5 by 7.6 centimeter) mirror flash can be seen from 100 miles (160 kilometers) away. Signal mirrors work best on clear days with direct sunlight, but you can also use them on overcast days. Not only that, but you can reflect headlights, flashlight beams and even bright moonlight for rescue.  First Aid Kit You were careless on your hike and slipped from the trail, leaving you bloodied and bruised. The cut on your arm is pretty deep and you know your ankle is sprained. It's times like these that make you glad you were prepared and packed a well-stocked first aid kit. Hikers, bikers, cross country skiers, hunters, climbers and weekend car campers should all keep a first aid kit. It's also a good idea to keep one in your car for emergencies. It's just as important to know what to pack. Begin with a supply of medications and wound-cleaning solution -- anti-bacterial ointments, alcohol, peroxide, pain reliever, antacid, aspirin and anti-histamine. You should also have some tweezers, gauze, bandages and eyewash on hand. If you're diabetic or know you're allergic to something like beestings, be sure to keep emergency supplies of these remedies in your kit. Pack some hydrocortisone cream for rashes and burn ointment in case there's a fire mishap. It's also a good idea to pack a travel-size first-aid manual to provide instruction for any accidents that may happen.
  15. 15.  Fire Starter In a survival scenario, a fire provides many things -- warmth in the cold, heat to cook food and purify water and a potential rescue signal. It also gives you security and light in the dark, both of which help your mental outlook. This goes a long way toward your bid to survive. In addition to a first aid kit, any backwoods hiker or car camper should pack a small fire starting kit. After you get a waterproof box, pack it with at least two lighters, some weatherproof matches, a flint and a small magnifying glass lens. Here's another good tip -- buy a package of sparklers and cut the stems off. They make excellent emergency fire starters for moist leaves and kindling. Use the magnifying glass lens to concentrate the sun's rays into a fire starting beam of light and heat. Couple the flint with a stone to make a spark. On camping trips, practice starting fires using your kit. It's fun and could even help save your life.  Compass and Map You thought something out of the ordinary was in order for this year's vacation so you opted for an adventure tour in the Australian outback. It was all dingoes and kangaroos until your tour group pulled off without you after a lunch break. Now you're stuck with a ration of water, a map and the compass your best friend got you for good luck. It seems like good luck may be headed your way after all -with these scant supplies and some modest orienteering skills you should be able to find your way back to the safety of your camp. Compasses work by using a magnetized pointer along with the Earth's natural magnetic field to calculate direction. If you have a compass and a map of the area you can pinpoint specific locations and get wherever you need. If you're stuck without a map, but you still have your compass, you can at least get going in the right direction. Now that GPS is on the scene, compasses have taken a back seat. While a GPS may be better at pinpointing your exact location from any spot on Earth, it requires something you won't be able to provide in a worst case scenario -- a charged battery. In this case, the compass that relies only on the Earth's magnetic field is a better alternative.