Europe is a playground for adventure enthusiasts and here are some of the top adventures to partake in while visiting Europe, along with tips on how to get deals in the off-season – which runs roughly from October through March.
Europe offers many opportunities for adventure. — Photo courtesy of Artur Staszewski
Canyon jumping in Switzerland. — Photo courtesy of Angela Douglas
Where to do it: Switzerland in the Alps
What is it: Canyon jumping is a bit of a cross between bungee jumping and zip lining. You start at the top of a mountain, overlooking a canyon, and when you jump, you free fall before leveling off and gliding over the canyon.
Choosing a Provider: Safety is most important so be diligent in choosing a company that provides canyon jumping. Asking the visitor center of the city or town you're visiting who they recommend is a good place to start. In the off-season, you shouldn't need to book beforehand so you can decide on a company once you arrive in Switzerland and get recommendations. The most popular place in Switzerland for canyon jumping is out of Interlaken.
Rates: 119-129 CHF ($128-$139)
The rugged and scenic Dolomites in Italy. — Photo courtesy of Simonsimages
Where to do it: The Dolomites in Italy
What is it: Multi-day treks through the countryside of the mountains of Italy are an activity that can be done in the off-season of Europe thanks to Italy's mild winter climate. The Dolomites are part of the Italian Alps and are located in the far north of the country. A variety of tour companies are available which offer guided walks or help you put together a self-guided itinerary. Many companies will even transport your large bags for you to each night’s accommodations so you don't have to port them yourself.
Choosing a Provider: Towns in and near the Dolomites, such as Castelrotto, will have suggestions for reputable companies at their visitor centers. However, while you can show up and easily do a one or two-day trek without prior planning, a longer trek should be pre-planned to account for everything you want to see and make sure you have a plan for your luggage and sleeping arrangements.
Rates: Varies greatly depending on needs and length – 6 to 7-night treks are common and typically range from €1,000 ($1,293) for a self-guided tour to over €4,000 ($5,172) for a guided tour, with extra savings in the off-season compared to high-season pricing.
Scuba diving in Croatia. — Photo courtesy of Anders Finn
Where to do it: Croatia in the Adriatic Sea
What is it: Scuba diving requires certification and knowledge of how to use a tank of oxygen to breathe underwater. Just about any vacation spot near the ocean offers certification programs for scuba diving, making it easy to get certified before – or during – your vacation to Europe. Croatia is a superb, though less well-known, diving spot. The islands of Hvar, Korcula and Brac plus the city of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Sea have many reefs nearby that offer views of colorful fish and other sea mammals to observe during dives.
Choosing a Provider: Make sure your dive guide is certified and follows the safety protocol you learned in your certification class. Also, find out which reef or area they dive and if it involves a depth of dive you're comfortable with and the possibility of encountering sea mammals and fish you want to see.
Rates: Two dives with full gear typically range from 80-90 Euros ($103-$116), with some dive centers offering up to 15% off with early booking in the off-season.
Experiencing one or all of these adventurous activities during an off-season trip to Europe will leave you with more money in your pocket from the off-season deals you get and will also leave you with fun, adrenaline-fueled memories.