5 alternative activities for your summer holiday

It’s not all beach breaks and city tours. With schools only just breaking up and the weather getting better and better across Europe, here’s how to up the fun on an active holiday this summer. After all, it’s never too late for a last-minute getaway.

From boating to brewery-hopping, climbing up the mountain to flying and thundering down it, with a spot of golf to chill out on the green – we’ve got it covered.


Little Amsterdam Short Break with Le Boat
As the weather is really hotting up in the UK, it’s time to cool down by the water and enjoy a pleasant self-drive river cruise through one of Europe’s quirkiest cities. With Le Boat, no boating license is necessary so you can just pootle on down the river from Vinkeveen in the south of Amsterdam, where you can enjoy swimming, diving and yachting to escape the summer heat. Continue on to Amstelveen and stop off for a cultural day at the Museum Jan ven der Togt (a modern visual art museum) or the Cobra Museum of Modern Art before taking time to explore the vibrant city of Amsterdam.


Via Ferrata, Vaujany
In case you didn’t already know, Via Ferrata is a type of rock climbing where climbers are secured into a harness and work their way up the rock face using a series of steel handles to grip onto. It’s great fun for those who love climbing…but not so much for those who hate heights, rocks or the great outdoors.
In Vaujany, ‘via ferraters’ start at the edge of La Fare waterfall and edge along the walkways that wind along the wooden slopes of the rock face accompanied by a professional guide. Daring folks with more experience can clamber up vertical passages alongside the cascading water and admire the spectacular view – what could be more satisfying? Apart from the fact that it’s FREE of course. All the climbing equipment can be hired locally and climbers must be at least 14 years old.


Three times the adventure at Grindelwald-First, Jungfrau Region
Thrill-seekers look no further. Get yourself an adventure card for the Jungfrau Region and take a gondola up to the dizzy heights of First where you can admire the view from the First Cliff Walk. You can then whizz down to Schreckfeld on the First Flyer (a huge zip wire), thunder down on mountain carts to Bort and then hurtle along the path on Trotti bikes from there to Grindelwald, leaving your fears and inhibitions behind you. It’s a packed itinerary of fun to be had.

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Cycling Brewery Tour with Freedom Treks
Inspired by the Tour de France but not ready to give up that beastly beer belly? Or just simply looking for a leisurely cycle ride that incorporates some of the finer things in life? Combine both joys and head to Austria and South Germany following Freedom Treks tour. You’ll take in Upper Austria’s gentle hills and bottle-green river valleys as you cycle along, and sample some chilled beers to refresh yourself at each brewery on the way to Bavaria.


Practise your golf swing in south-east France with Madame Vacances
Nestled in the heart of the Luberon mountain range, between the spectacular riverside town of Isle sur la Morgue and the historic, rural Saumane, the Residence Provence Country Club (sleeping four to eight people) is ideal for keen golfers wanting to practise their swing in the summer sunshine. The self-catered apartments are light and airy, and all guests have access to a shared outdoor swimming pool, surrounded by loungers and deck chairs. Leave the apartments and walk to the Saumane golf club: created in 1989 by Jean Garaialde, the 18-hole golf course is surrounded by wooded hills and the blue mountains of Luberon, and is thought to be one of the finest in Europe.