Top five family adventures in Europe

You don't need exotic locations for a sense of adventure. Try these five European favourites for some thrills and spills with the family

By Rhonda Carrier
Published 11 May 2018, 09:00 BST, Updated 26 Jul 2021, 11:35 BST
Surfer girls sitting on the beach contemplating the ocean in a summer day in Portugal

Surfer girls sitting on the beach contemplating the ocean in a summer day in Portugal

Photograph by Getty Images

Where: France
What: The latest cycle route in France is La Flow Vélo, from Thiviers in the Dordogne to the Île d'Aix off the west coast. La Flow also links with other véloroutes, including La Vélodyssée (southern UK to the Basque coast) and the Scandibérique (Trondheim in Norway to Santiago de Compostela). All ages. 

Where: Croatia
What: The sparkling waterways of the Dalmatia region provide the perfect setting for aquatic adventures. There's sea kayaking in Novigrad Bay or a canoe safari down the canyon of the Zrmanja and Krupa rivers. You can also hike in the hills, explore the historic cities of Zadar and Split, or simply chill out on the beach. Ages eight and over.

Where: Portugal
What: Want to learn to surf? A top spot for learning as a family is Peniche on the Atlantic coast, about an hour north of Lisbon. Here, the eco-friendly Peniche Surf Camp offers family rooms and surf lessons, including one-on-one tuition for under-11s. Optional extras include yoga classes, bike hire, scuba diving and vineyard tours. Ages five and over.

Where: Spain
What: Hike the rugged Catalan Pyrenees, with its awesome scenery and varied wildlife, and ease the burden by having your luggage transported between hotels. Walking along ancient paths, you'll pass through sleepy stone villages and refuel on local fare such as tasty river trout. Ages six and over.

Where: Italy
What: Discover Tuscany's Garfagnana Valley by staying on an agriturismo. Feast on home-cooked cuisine while experiencing life on a farm. Day trips include kayaking on a mountain lake, canyoning, mountain biking, walking the Cinque Terre coastal path and seeing the historic sights of Pisa or Florence. Ages 11+.

Published in the June 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)


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