The Ultimate European Water-Based Adventures

Written by Shayle Follows

If you’re interested in taking your holiday to the next level, here are the ultimate water-based adventures to try in Europe

Many Brits travel to Europe to enjoy its beaches. After all, several hundred are scattered across the continent, each with a unique charm. Sky News reveals that some of the UK’s favourite European coastal destinations include Valencia, Porto, and Syracuse. Don’t limit yourself to just a visit to the beach on your next European adventure. There are countless activities you can do on the water! Here is the ultimate European water-based adventures.

France, sail across the Emerald Coast

Along the north side of Brittany, you’ll find the Emerald Coast between Cape Fréhel and Cancale. Its beautiful blue waters and rocky headlands are unbelievably stunning. So it’s best to explore it by sailing and appreciate the coastline from the water. 

France,  sail across the Emerald Coast.

Since you’ll often have a guide for this activity, it’s perfect for beginner adventurers. Explora Journeys is a travel provider that will let you sail the Emerald Coast as part of a more extensive cruise around Western Europe. Just mark it as a desired Destination Experience—or curated personal experience—when booking your trip. 

This will allow experts to teach you to guide the sails and steer through blue waters. Then even sit back and enjoy a drink on deck. Afterwards, you can retreat to your cruise ship and enjoy various ocean wellness activities and onboard dining experiences. If you’re starting as an adventurer, sailing in this scenic French destination is a great place to start.

North Wales, paddle board on Bala Lake

Wales’ Bala Lake is the only lake where you might get a glimpse of the ‘gwyniad’ fish. They were trapped here after the last Ice Age. If you’re in the area, consider heading to Bala Adventure and Watersports Centre to hire a paddle board. Then, explore the lake’s wonders at your own pace.

North Wales, paddle board on Bala Lake.

If it’s your first time paddle boarding, don’t worry. You’ll receive basic instructions on how to paddle board and be given safety gear. This includes a life jacket and instruction about the lake’s boundaries you’re allowed to explore.

This activity requires standing, balancing, and using your arms to propel the board with your paddle. So get ready for a bit of a workout! Still, it’s an activity worth trying if you want to admire the views surrounding Bala Lake leisurely.

Portugal, take a gondola tour in Aveiro

The town of Aveiro is trendy for being ‘The Venice of Portugal.’ It boasts a canal network where you can ride moliceiros—flat-bottomed boats similar to gondolas. Viva A Ria organises exciting boat tours in Aveiro’s canals you can try. These are specially curated to show you the natural beauty of this magnificent town.

Portugal, take a gondola tour in Aveiro.

Learn more about Aveiro’s rich history and culture, such as how the canals were used to transport salt and seaweed to different places. And how it was a trade centre in the Middle Ages. You’ll also see the beauty of its historic Art Noveau buildings. Including the colourful Antiga Cooperativa Agricola, a former agriculture cooperative.

This is a more leisurely activity for travellers who like sitting back and enjoying the views. Just listen to your moliceiro’s sailor while you transport through Aveiro.

Iceland, raft in Hvítá River

If you’re adventurous, you’ll enjoy rafting. After all, navigating on rough water down the river can make for a genuinely thrilling experience. The Hvita River is a must-visit. Beginning at Hvítárvatn glacier lake and flowing 40 kilometres before dropping down into a gorge at Gullfoss waterfall.

Iceland, raft in Hvítá River.

It offers exciting twists and turns perfect for a rafting adventure. However, it also may be more enjoyable if you’re a more experienced and sporty adventurer! You must handle sharp turns in the water and follow advanced instructions to row safely.

Arctic Rafting is one company you can book rafting trips with along the Hvítá. Its itineraries will see you go through a scenic route from Gullfoss waterfall and stop at Brúarhlöð Canyon. Experiencing powerful currents and spectacular riverside views.

Some of the best water adventures are found on Europe’s coasts, rivers, and canals. Plan your next adventure holiday with these activities in mind!

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