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World of Sport

31st Jan 2018

Top 9 extreme sports getaways in Europe


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100% pure adrenaline.

As we trudge through the dark depths of the winter months, you can’t help but dream of sunnier times and holidays in far-flung destinations.

Some people pine for sandy beaches, getting a tan while they read a book they bought at the airport, with zero cares in the world. Others have a more adventurous streak when it comes to their holiday break.

For those of you who fit into the latter category, we’ve taken the time to compile some of the best destinations in Europe if you’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping.

Now is the time to start thinking about where you’re heading, if you’re planning on getting away at some point this summer.

These destinations are pretty far from a Lee Child novel in Lanzarote. If you like white-knuckle thrills then these spots are for you.

Unleash your inner Bodhi.

1. Kite Surfing in Tarifa, Spain

Known as the wind capital of Europe, this is a hotspot for kite surfers.

Located in the Cadiz region of Spain, Tarifa might be a good compromise if you’re holidaying with people slightly more laid back than yourself.

The destination has everything you’d expect from a holiday in Spain. Great Mediterranean food and lovely weather, pretty much all year around.

The 10km bay where most of the kitesurfing is done has zones divided up into schools for learners and areas for the more experienced.

While you’re there you can also try out regular surfing, mountain biking and horse riding.

2. Skiing on Mont Blanc, France

If you’re looking to tackle one of the world’s biggest peaks, this one is reasonably close to home. At 15,774 ft above sea level, Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Europe.

It’s one of the most popular destinations in the world for hikers, skiers and snowboarders and if you manage to climb to the summit you can paraglide down.

3. Skydiving, Rome

This is an activity that’s not really specific to one place. With over 550 drop zones all over the continent, you’re not short of places to jump out of an aeroplane from.

We’ve gone with Rome because why the hell not. You can enjoy all that Italy’s capital has to offer before making the short journey just outside the city to Nettuno for the drop.

4. Downhill mountain biking, Portugal

The Algarve in the south of Portugal offers more than just a scenic coastline and a favourable climate. They’ve also got some of the best downhill bike tracks around. There are companies that will shuttle bus you to the top of the mountain as many times as you want during the day.

The Algarve’s trump card is that you can end an evening on the beach.

5. BASE jumping in Norway

Clip via Base Jump XTreme

Fall in style in one of the most stunning settings in the world. The birthplace of modern BASE jumping. BASE is an acronym for building, antenna, span and Earth. The sport involves jumping from an enormous building or cliff untethered and free falling until letting out a parachute at a safe distance.

With the exception of a few exceptionally dangerous cliffs, the sport is generally legal in Norway. The most famous destination for divers is Preacher’s Pulpit which is a cliff with a 1,982 ft drop… whatever you’re into I suppose.

6. Zorbing in Ireland

So this is a thing. An activity that involves inserting yourself into a giant ball and rolling down a hill. How appealing does that sound?

Although it originated in New Zealand, this absolutely mental idea has become available to us here in Ireland. It’s about time we caught up with the rest of the world.

A quick Google search will lead you to a number of locations around the country that should accommodate your desire to do this. So good luck.

7. Surfing in Kerry

Ireland is world renowned for its excellent surfing locations. While Bundoran in Donegal is maybe the most famous location, Inch beach in Kerry is also worth a look. Such is the beauty of the three-mile stretch of beach, it’s featured in a number of films, including Ryan’s Daughter and Far and Away.

During the summer months, it’s well suited for families and more inexperienced surfers. When winter comes and the surf gets rougher, it turns into an excellent spot for the more experienced watersports enthusiasts.

8. Whitewater rafting in Switzerland

While it might be more well known for its great skiing, Switzerland is also a world-class destination for white water rafting. Your best bet is the Rhine River in the Alps. The river flows through the Canyon walls of the Ruinaulta, also known as the Swiss Grand Canyon.

The light blue water and white canyon walls offer a fairly stunning backdrop for your rafting.

9. Skiing in Innsbruck, Austria

This town in western Austria is home to a host of extreme sports activities. In fact, it played host to the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics.

Innsbruck is sat right between huge mountains which make it ideal for winter sports for one half of the year and mountaineering during the warmer months. While you’re there you can enjoy great skiing along with bobsleighing and bungee jumping.

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