paragliding over a mountain in France

Adventurous Things to Do in Europe

Visiting Europe is always a grand adventure – who will you meet? What will you see? Where will you go? But if you want to take your trip to Europe to the next level and seek out some of the most adventurous things you can do in the Old Continent, we have your back. Sure, Europe is a great place to relax on a beach, stroll through a museum, and eat some of the world’s favourite foods, but there’s plenty of adventure to be had here as well! From mountain trekking to extreme sports and everything in between, here are some of the most adventurous things to do in Europe.

Travel to: Europe

Join the world’s largest food fight in Spain

In the small town of Bunol, located in Spain’s Valencia region, things take a turn for the messy in late August. Once a year, the town’s 2000 locals are joined by thousands of tourists to participate in La Tomatina, the world’s largest food fight: hundreds of thousands of kilograms of tomatoes are thrown at buildings, participants, and anyone else within range! The festival is limited to participants who buy tickets, and space fills up quickly, so if you’re dreaming of letting loose and joining in the fun, make sure you plan well in advance. There are six simple rules every participant must follow:

  1. Do not throw hard objects
  2. Do not tear or throw t-shirts
  3. Squash tomatoes before throwing them (this avoids participants being hurt by firmer tomatoes)
  4. Keep a safe distance from trucks
  5. When you hear the second pistol shot, stop throwing
  6. Follow the security staff’s instructions

Conquer new heights in France

Mont Blanc, one of the highest mountains in Europe (and the highest mountain in the Alps), is more than an adventure – climbing this 4,808.7 metre (15,777 foot) mountain located on the border between France and Italy is a challenging experience travellers won’t soon forget! While the climb itself isn’t technically difficult, changeable conditions along the way and a high risk of altitude sickness make scaling Mont Blanc an experience travellers should carefully prepare for. There are no official permits required to climb the mountain, but a guide is strongly recommended – Mont Blanc is the most dangerous mountain in the region, and inexperienced alpine hikers especially should enlist the services of a guide to assist them with the climb.

climbing mont blank, france
Climbing Mount Blanc is sure to be an adventure! | © Charlie Hammond/Unsplash

Go island-hopping in Greece and Croatia

Have an adventure at sea! There are plenty of opportunities for island-hopping in Europe, but two of the most popular options are the islands of Greece and Croatia. Both destinations boast stunning views, ancient history, and friendly locals, but are possibly best known amongst island-hopping travellers for their legendary nightlife. It may not be an extreme trekking vacation, but if your idea of an adventure is sailing, diving, and exploring by day and dancing all through the night, island-hopping in Greece or Croatia may be calling your name!

  • Some favourite Greek party islands include Mykonos, Zakynthos, and Ios
  • Some favourite Croatian party islands Pag, Hvar, and Brac
Mykonos, Greece
Dance the night away in Mykonos | © Alex Korolkoff/Unsplash

Have a drink at high-altitude in Germany

If you’re heading to Germany during your European adventure, no one would be surprised to learn that you plan on drinking a fair amount of beer. But what if we told you you could get your adrenaline fix at the same time? Zugspitze, the highest mountain in Germany, stands at an impressive 2,962 metres (9,717.8 feet), and can be accessed via cable car or cog wheel train for stunning panoramic views of nearby mountain ranges. At the top of the mountain lives Germany’s highest beer garden – a place certainly worth a little adventure to reach! Travellers looking to really earn their drink are welcome to disembark the train early and climb the rest of the way to the summit, but no matter how you reach it, the beer garden at Zugspitze is sure to be an unforgettable experience!

A couple on the summit of Zugspitze, Germany
Take a break in Germany’s highest beer garden | © Dan Burton/Unsplash

Go surfing

Despite Europe being home to world-class beaches, the continent isn’t always considered a surf destination. We’re here to change that! There are several amazing surf spots in Europe, and whether you’re a beginner looking to learn or an expert seeking a new challenge, you can find the perfect wave somewhere in Europe. From cold-weather waves in Ireland (Ireland is a fantastic surfing destination thanks to its consistent waves, but travellers shouldn’t expect the same sunny conditions as they may in other places!) to Portugal, one of Europe’s most sought-after surfing destinations, there are surf camps and surf tours for every ability level all over Europe!

Surfing in France
Europe is home to some incredible waves! | © Emma Paillex/Unsplash

Attend Las Fallas

Spain knows a little something about adventurous festivals! For five days and nights a year, the city of Valencia is set ablaze. Locals construct elaborate falles, or monuments, depicting everyone from biblical figures to modern pop stars. Each year, a theme is agreed upon beforehand, and participants put months of work into massive, incredible monuments that they then light on fire. The entire city gets into the spirit – on day one, the city is woken up at 8am sharp by brass bands marching down every street, and over the course of the next few days, the astounding falles are constructed. You’ll find locals in traditional dress, fireworks, and, to top it all off, the Cavalcada del Foc, or Fire Parade: you’ll find giant parade floats, costumes, rockets, street performances, and, of course, the burning falles.

Valencia, Spain
The city of Valencia is set ablaze during Las Fallas | © Guiseppe Buccola/Unsplash

Haggle at the Grand Bazaar In Istanbul

Turkey’s Grand Bazaar is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world – here, you’ll find 61 covered streets over a total area of 30,700 square metres (330,452 square feet!). With over 4,000 shops located within the bazaar, travellers of all kinds are sure to find a perfect souvenir, a delicious treat, or something else entirely unexpected. Constructed in 1461, the bazaar quickly grew to its present size, reaching its current number of shops by the 17th century. The modern bazaar is basically a city within a city, containing a police station, major banks, and even a post office. If you’re planning on haggling while you shop in the bazaar, make sure you take your time chatting with shop owners, drinking tea, and politely haggling.

the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey
An arial view of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar | © Svetlana Gumerova/Unsplash

There are lots of different ways for travellers to find adventure on their travels to Europe – you just need to figure out what adventure means to you! Once you know exactly the kind of adventure you want to have on your next trip, all you need to do is find the European destination that allows it – trust us, you’ll find one!

What European adventures will you have on your next trip?

Maggie is a life-long traveller with a special affinity for the United Kingdom. When she's not reading, writing, or dreaming about her next trip, you can find her talking at length about her dog to anyone who'll listen.

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