Best sustainable destinations for outdoor sports
Do you prefer sport in the open air rather than in a stuffy gym? Do you crave clean air of environmentally friendly destinations? Then, plan your sports holidays in one of the best sustainable destinations for outdoor sport and live in harmony with nature.
EDEN, the acronym for "European Destinations of Excellence" is the largest European network of destinations rewarded by the European Commission for the quality of their tourist offers and their respect for the environment. EDEN is the promise of real experiences, real discoveries, real encounters.
Active Holidays in Lahti
Lahti region provides premium conditions for sports enthusiasts and active outdoor minded travellers. Lahti Sports Centre offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy sports and activities – it is an impressive venue for major international sports events but also a starting point for over 100 km of nature trails for cross-country skiing, hiking, trail running, gravel biking and MTB. In summer, you can enjoy the wonderful view from the observation deck at the top of the Lahti Ski Jump tower and dip into the outdoor swimming pool.
How to get there: book your flights to Helsinki (1h20 by car, 50 min by public transport).
Where to stay: "Solo Lokos Hotel" located in the real heart of Lahti.
Unforgettable experiences in Durbuy
Live sensational and unforgettable experiences in the largest adventure park in Belgium. Only a few kilometres from Durbuy, the smallest city in the world, the "Durbuy Adventure" park offers a world of thrills for young and old in the great outdoors. The 3D labyrinth, tree climbing, caving with guide, nature walking challenges and net courses as well as a mega zipline and climbing walls await you.
Book your flights to Brussels-Charleroi and your accommodation at the best price in Durbuy and experience healthy and strong emotions in one of the most beautiful city in the world.
How to get there: book your flights to Brussels-Charleroi (1h) or Brussels-Zaventem (1h20).
Where to stay: "Dennenheuvel - Mont-Des-Pins" one of our top picks in Durbuy.
Moutain biking in Fiskars
Fiskars Village is located in a beautiful river valley surrounded by lakes, forests and cultural landscapes.
Nature trails can be enjoyed by walking or on a mountain bike that can be rented from the Fiskars Village Trail center. Mountain bike trails covers almost 70 kilometers and some interesting walks include the tree spotting path introducing 23 different species found in the area. B
uy some local goodies for your picnic bag and head out to the old Rissla dam and enjoy the green and pure Finnish nature.
How to get there: book your flights to Helsinki (1h20).
Where to stay: the “Hotel Tegel” offers a quiet stay with views of the river.
A hiking trail in Faial
Azores - Portugal
"Included in the Natural Reserve of Caldeira of Faial and in a section of protected landscape of the Central Area, this circular route located in the centre of the island, shows an important Geosite – Caldeira.
With around 2 km in diameter, it was formed by several eruptions, intertwined with periods of calm over the last 400 thousand years. The trail reaches heights between 840 and 1040 meters and it is advisable to do it on days of good weather and visibility. Along the trail the marks change between white, red and yellow from the intersection of Grand and Small Route and the yellow and red from Small Route. The crossings are properly marked on site, with signalling arrows.
Begin the trail at the viewpoint of Caldeira, cross the small tunnel accessing the crater and enjoy the view of its interior filled with abundant flora, typical of the laurel forest. Back to the road, go up the stairs and follow right by a dirt road towards the Chapel of São João."
How to get there: book your direct flights to Faial (or via Sao Miguel Island).
Where to stay: the “Quinta das Buganvilias” for the smile of the hosts, the beauty of the gardens, the view of the volcano and the local produce at breakfast.
Medimurje by bike
Upper Medimurje - Croatia
Medjimurje is the perfect place for bicycle tourism. Since it is a relatively small region, cyclists can choose various thematic tours passing through different terrains. They can complete a tour in one day or a couple of hours according to their preferences and their level of fitness.
The cycling routes are marked mostly on paved side roads with little traffic or well-maintained gravel roads. They pass through amazing landscapes and connect various cultural-historical monuments, restaurants, wine houses, inns, rest stops and viewpoints. The elevation profile of the routes is mostly mild and suitable for all generations.
How to get there: book your flights to Zagreb (1h20 by car).
Where to stay: the 'Holiday Home Gran Vista' offers free bikes and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool.
Spend and active day in Idrija
The geologically interesting Idrija UNESCO Global Geoparkoffers numerous active experiences in nature. The area attracts nature-lovers and those who like to spend their free-time actively. There are many opportunities for recreation: from hiking and mountaineering; biking on specially marked biking paths; swimming in a natural setting; climbing; sport fishing; running along the Rake water channel; sledding, skiing, and cross-country skiing during winter months. All recreation areas and paths are tightly connected in this rich natural, cultural and technical heritage.
How to get there: book your flights to Ljubljana (1h by car).
Where to stay: the "B&B Na Kluk” is peacefully surrounded by woods.
Diving with the sharks
You can scuba dive in all 9 islands of the Azores Archipelago. This green destination, renowned worldwide for sustainable tourism, is a destination of choice for nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts.
Pico Island bears the name of "Whale Island", which is a real pride for the inhabitants of this island; it is also called "The Mountain Island" because of its magnificent volcano, the highest point of the island.
For divers, Pico Island offers a golden opportunity to swim with sharks. The boat will take you 10 miles off Pico for an unforgettable shark dive.
Come and live unforgettable sustainable tourism experiences in the heart of Europe's green paradise.
How to get there: Book your flights to Sao Jorge Airport (Sao Jorge Island) or Horta (Faial Island) and reach Pico by ferry (30 min).
Where to stay: "Portal dos Vimes AL" offering ocean views.
Hiking and trekking in Monte Isola
If you are interested in trekking or cycling, you are in the best place. Monte Isola is a special site to rediscover life’s simple pleasures on holiday.
Eeperience a direct connection with nature: the vegetation here is represented by the bushy copse wood with oak woods mixed with bay, hornbeam, ash and chestnut, You can walk around the island following the old paths which connect the eleven villages or you can rent a bike to enjoy the wonderful landscape.
How to get there: book your flights to Milan (1 hour 20 minutes) and cross Lake Iseo by boat and reach Peschiera from Sulzano (several crossings per day).
Where to stay: "La Foresta Monteisola” is located on the peaceful shores of Monte Isola.
The Great Western Greenway
Mulranny - Ireland
Do you like cycling and the great outdoors? Pack your bags and come and live a sustainable tourism experience in Mulranny in Ireland.
The World Class Great Western Greenway is a 42km traffic free cycling and walking facility; it primarily follows the line of the famous Westport to Achill Railway which closed in 1937. Its development has been made possible by agreement with local landowners who have allowed access through their lands.
How to get there: book your flights to Knock Airport (2.5 hours by car).
Where to stay: the 'Great National Mulranny Park Hotel' set in a scenic woodland estate.
Sao Miguel Island
There is no more gentle, eco-friendly, and healthy way to discover one of the beauties and riches of the Azores, its magnificent coasts.
Live the experience of a calm sport, suitable for all, and which will reconnect you with nature, calm and silence. Stand up paddle has virtues close to meditation. You are calm, focused on your body, on your balance and on the outside world.
You can rent stand up paddle in most of the islands of the Azores or be accompanied by a guide by booking your activities in the Azores at the best price.
Goodbye city trip and hello nature traveller. Treat yourself to memories of a lifetime by discovering the Azores.
How to get there: Book your flights to Ponta Delgada (Sao Miguel).
Where to stay: "Santa Barbara Eco-Beach Resort" located on the North coast of the Island of Sao Miguel.
Active break in Radolca
An ideal spot for an active break, with adventures to be had in the water, in the sky, or on terra firma. Immerse yourself in the Sava River and take a swim after rafting, take a flight and admire the panoramic views of the Alps and the Triglav National Park, spend a relaxing afternoon at Lake Šobec, explore the colourful countryside on horseback, choose from a range of undemanding walks through the fields and forests, or conquer the highest peaks of the Karavanke Range, enjoy the family cycling trips…
How to get there: book your flights to Ljubljana (20 min by car – 1h by public transport).
Where to stay: the "Sport Hotel Manca” is a family-run hotel.
Explore the exciting nature of Nin‘s Eco Park Lagoon on foot or by bicycle. In Nin you can have a really active vacation all year round. Visit small fishing villages nearby, breathe in deeply the ozone fresh air and enjoy the blue sea and golden sunsets.
Wind bora blows mostly in winter, early spring and in the late autumn and brings with its fresh air from the Velebit mountain. In summer, the mistral blows and cools the summer heat. Modern Zaton Holiday Resort offers diving and other water sports, mini golf, tennis, riding and other exciting activities.
How to get there: book your flights to Zadar (30 min).
Where to stay: the 'Zaton Holiday Resort' is perfect for a 5-night stay in Nin.
Sailing in Rochefort-Océan
Play outdoor sports in one of the most beautiful sustainable tourism destinations in Europe. Sail or paddle your way into the Land of Fort Boyard ...At sea from Fouras-les-Bains, Port-des-Barques, Aix Island or from the Charente river in Rochefort, entrust your children to instructors of sailing schools and nautical clubs.
You have the soul of a sailor? Would you like to learn or improve your navigation skills, perhaps become captain of your own sailing yacht? Share a pleasant moment on the water, with Vincent Faure, from Par la Mer, while reconciling learning and discovery of the landscape from Saint-Nazaire sur Charente. More information here.
How to get there: book your flights to Rochefort or Bordeaux (1h40 by car).
Where to stay: "L’Esprit du 8" for their confortable beds and an outdoor pool.
Outdoor activities under the Midnight sun
Wild Taiga - Finland
The Finnish summer is warm and light. The choices of activities of Wild Taiga in the warm season are limitless. Hiking routes and cycling paths, as well as the numerous nature activities make this area an excellent summer holiday destination. The surrounding wilderness offers possibilities for canoeing, cycling, husky trekking, fishing, etc.
How to get there: Wild Taiga is just a one- hour flight from Helsinki. Book your flights to Helsinki as well as a domestic flight to Kajaani with Finnair.
Where to stay: the "Hotel Kalevala” offers 4 saunas, 2 hot tubs and various massage facilities.
Paddling on the Amazon of the North
Abenteuer flusslandschaft - Germany
"This 5-day paddle tour will take you in separate paddle stages through the fascinating Peene valley. You can travel at your own pace, equipped with the best gear and detailed tour tips. Your overnight stays in cosy hotels and B&Bs have been pre-booked.
The tour is suited for experienced paddlers as well as for beginners and families with children, as there are no locks and there is almost no current on the Peene. After a thorough briefing, you set sail for adventure on daily stages of between 8 and 18 km. You will spend your nights in idyllic hotels and B&Bs on the banks of the river. In the tranquility of the unspoiled nature you come across storks, herons, white-tailed eagles and, with a bit of luck, otters and beavers. The ruins of Slavic castles, village churches and monasteries tell you about the varied history of this part of the country. Picturesque sunsets, a campfire atmosphere and the tranquility of the Peene valley will stay in your memory for many a year to come." More info here
How to get there: book your flights to Rostock (1h20) or Berlin-Tegel (2h20).
Where to stay: the tour includes accommodation arranged by the organizers.
Kitesurfing in Western Greece
Patras - Greece
In winter, picturesque Kalavrita bids you a friendly welcome to its ski centre on the slopes of Helmos for endless hours of fun. In the summer you will live carefree moments on Pounta beach while kitesurfers can ride sidesaddle to the wind, mastering the waves at Drepano.
How to get there: book your flights to Araxos (40 min by car).
Where to stay: the "Moxy Patra Marina” has a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool and a bar.
Canoeing in the River Kolpa
The River Kolpa is a tourist destination in the far south-eastern part of Slovenia. This green beauty is comprised of a 113km-long strip of land which borders the Republic of Croatia. The river is one of the warmest and intact rivers in Slovenia. Passing along more than 50 ancient dams from Osilnica, Kostel, Kočevje, Črnomelj, Semič and Metlika, it is a magnificent location for a grand variety of activities and an unforgettable holiday. The river is particularly popular in the summer months as the water's temperature rises up to 30°C.
Canoeing on the river will reveal a nature and rich wildlife, especially protected in the Regional Park Kolpa. Walking, cycling and meditative pathways are marked and guide you from one story to another.
How to get there: book your flights to Zagreb (1h by car) or Ljubljana (1h45min).
Where to stay: "Holiday resort & camping Bela Krajina – River Kolpa"
Bike along the canal path
La Louvière - Belgium
If you like outings on foot, bicycle or by boat, La Louvière will more than satisfy you! With a large choice of circuits to be discovered, its canal and marked paths, all that remains is for you to allow yourself to be guided to discover the city’s oddities or to simply enjoy the pastoral routes.
How to get there: book your flights to Brussels-Charleroi (20 min by car).
Where to stay: the “Hotel Le Val Fayt" is set in a traditional 17th-century farmhouse.
Fill up on Adrenaline in Soca Valley
Its unspoiled nature makes the Soča Valley a European outdoor epicentre that offers a complete infrastructure for adrenaline and active programmes, from agencies to guide services and accompanying services, including all of the necessary equipment for the most unusual requests.
The destination has been attracting guests interested in active holidays and adrenaline challenges for many years now, but at the same time caters for those seeking more peaceful pursuits and contact with nature through other sports on the Soča, such as fishing and hiking, as well as exploring the area’s rich history. The picturesque nature of the valley makes it a paradise for water sports on the river Soča (rafting, kayaking, canoeing, hydro-speed, canyoning, etc.), para-gliding, fly-fishing, rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking.
How to get there: book your flights to Ljubljana (1h30 by car).
Where to stay: the "Hotel Sanje ob Soci” is located 3km from the Soča river.
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