EXTREME SPORTS HOLIDAYS in Europe – 5 of the BEST

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Humans are supposedly pre-programmed with an instinct for self-preservation, aren’t they? Well, apparently some of us are seriously lacking in that department. Whether it’s tombstoning or white water rafting that floats your death-wish boat, get on board with the best extreme sports holidays in Europe and let the fear factor commence.

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BASE Jumping in Norway

The acronymic BASE jumping is more extreme than you might expect, but the rules are simple. Participants must jump from the platforms of buildings, antenna, span, or earth with nothing but a parachute to break their fall.

Norway’s Lysefjord is some thing of a mecca for this daredevil sport, where avid jumpers come to take advantage of some of the most dramatic drops and spectacular scenery in the world.

BASE Jumping © Hakon Thingstad/flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/hakonthingstad/2781438329
BASE Jumping © Hakon Thingstad/flickr

Ice Swimming in Finland

You might be tempted to believe that the inventors of this lunatic sport are having you on, but the institute of the International Ice Swimming Association would suggest not.

Officially designated to be a one mile paddle in water temperatures below -5 °. Finland has an abundance of ice-cold water, and even specialised ‘polar bear’ clubs to accommodate novices.

Ice Swimming © Timo Newton-Syms/flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/timo_w2s/12780282344)
Ice Swimming © Timo Newton-Syms/flickr

Caving in Budapest, Hungary

If there’s even the slightest chance you might be claustrophobic, do not enter here. The underground sport known as caving or potholing is enough to shake the strongest of constitutions.

Traumatic at the best of times, caving in Budapest is a particularly hair-raising experience as you negotiate the deep labyrinth of limestone caves that have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But don’t get ahead of yourself – these caves are pretty exclusive, and all but two of them can only be visited with previous caving experience.

Caving © Aanjhan Ranganathan/flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tuxmaniac/8504341701)
Caving © Aanjhan Ranganathan/flickr

Zorbing in England

Like a hamster in a ball or a sweater in a tumble dryer – whichever way you look at it, zorbing is impossible, hectic fun. This bizarre Kiwi invention is at its best when tried at Dorset’s Zorb South UK Ltd, which offers some of the best zorbing experiences in Europe.

Bundle yourself up inside one of their vast transparent bubbles and you’re off, snowballing down the hill.

Zorbing © ChurchmouseNZ/iStock/Thinkstock (http://www.thinkstockphotos.co.uk/image/stock-photo-zorb/144208121)
Zorbing © ChurchmouseNZ/iStock/Thinkstock

Ice Climbing in Scotland

Does hacking through walls of ice and scaling sheer, frozen cliffs appeal? If so, then ice climbing may be the sport for you.

Popular in the wilderness of Colorado and Canada, this daredevil sport can also be attempted on the slopes of Glencoe, where various aficionados climb with the help of ice axes and other specialist equipment. Extreme doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Ice Climbing © Fuse/iStock/Thinkstock (http://www.thinkstockphotos.co.uk/image/stock-photo-climber-on-icy-rockface/87346805)
Ice Climbing © Fuse/iStock/Thinkstock

Header image  © joggiebotma/iStock/Thinkstock

Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to… whose guides cover all the best hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, sights, shops and spas.

EXTREME SPORTS HOLIDAYS in Europe – 5 of the BEST was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Elizabeth Gourd
Author: Elizabeth Gourd (78 posts)

Elizabeth suffers from an acute case of wanderlust, which no amount of traveling or adventure can cure. She has lived in London, New York and Berlin, and is currently a writer for Hg2 | A Hedonist's Guide To...