Europe is a backpacker’s paradise. With so many different cultures and landscapes to explore, it’s the perfect destination for anyone looking for an adrenaline-filled adventure. But planning a trip like this can be daunting. There are so many things to consider! Which countries should you visit? What should you do when you get there? How can you make sure your trip is as exciting as possible? This blog post will provide four tips to help you plan the perfect adrenaline filled backpackers experience in Europe!
1. Choose your countries carefully
Not all countries are created equal when it comes to an adrenaline-filled backpacker experience. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure you choose countries that offer activities that interest you. For example, if you’re looking for an adventure-packed trip, you might want to consider visiting countries like Austria, Germany, or Switzerland. These countries offer various outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and climbing.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a more urban adventure, then cities like London, Paris, or Barcelona might be more up your alley. These cities offer a wide range of activities such as street art tours, Segway tours, and even food tours!
Countries, cities, and areas to choose
So, open the map of Europe! Although it is not a physical continent (the real physical continent is Eurasia and the so-called “Europe” and “Asia” are only cultural-politic divisions of Eurasia), humans have determined its boundaries with Asia in the east to Ural Mountains, Caspian Sea, and Caucasus. Europe also includes some islands that are not a part of Eurasia like Iceland and the Azores.
Within the Europe’s territory, you can see a good variety of geographical features– both natural and human-made. In fact, Europe is much larger than most people think. There are high mountains, large plains, deep and wild forests, beautiful coastlines, from subtropical to polar landscapes. And there is a lot of ancient history, unique ethnic cultures and modern life. Although Asia is much more diverse and much more adventurous, Europe also has a lot to offer.
The highest and most popular mountain rainge in Europe is the Alps. It is shared between France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany Liechtenstein, Austria, and Slovenia. The Alps offer some of the best mountain adventures in the continent, but don’t underestimate some other mountain areas that are also great, although lower than the Alps:
- The mountains in the Iberian Peninsula are also very interesting and provide some unique sights that can’t be seen anywhere else in Europe.
- Scotland is harsh and wild, and it offers a great combination of mountains and ocean.
- Scandinavia is even harsher because is in the north, and the mountains are a part of the sub-polar region of Europe.
- The Balkans is an amazing labyrinth of wild mountains, deep forests and unique local cultures.
I would also mention the Carpathian Mountains in Central Europe, the exotic mountains in Italy (the Apenines), in the islands of Sardinia, Corsica, the otherworldly Iceland. And finally- the mountainous boundaries of Europe- Ural and Caucasus.
Although Europe is not a “tropical paradise” with atolls and coconut palms, it offers some great seaside adventures. You can find stunning beaches, turquoise waters, unique cliffs and other formations, fishing villages, ancient remains, castles, and a lot of modern resorts.
The main seaside areas include the Mediterranean Sea- Spain, France (and Monaco), Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, and Cyprus. In addition, don’t underestimate the Black Sea- the European coastline of Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, and Georgia.
Another area is the Middle Atlantic (and the South Baltic)- Portugal, the western coasts of Spain and France, the British Isles, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Poland. Here the waters are colder, but still offer unique seaside atmosphere, especially in Portugal and Britain.
And finally- the north: Iceland and Scandinavia. Here you can experience the harshest nature of the polar ocean, diving into the age of the Vikings.
Unique local cultures
Most of the nations in Europe and their culture are well-known- not only in the West, but also in East Europe. But there are some interesting local ethnic groups where you can meet something different- people with unique culture, history, language, and traditions.
Good examples are the Basques in the north of Spain, some societies in Sardinia and Corsica, as well as people in Ireland and Scotland who still speak their old original Celtic languages.
Not less exotic is the Balkan Peninsula- if you go to the isolated village in the mountains of the Balkans- in places like Bosnia, the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria, or in the Albanian Alps (Prokletije Mountains), you can find yourself in a place where the time remained still for centuries.
And finally, you can find something really unique and almost unknown for the tourists like the Mongoloid Kalmyks and the Nenetians in the far eastern corners of Europe.
If you prefer something more “normal and civilized”, and not so adventurous, you can explore cities. Europe is full of colorful cities with their unique face and culture, with famous landmarks and modern life. I mentioned London and Paris above. But if you like big cities, there are a lot more- Berlin, Brussels, Amsterdam, Rome, Barcellona, Prague, and many more. And all of them are not just large metropolis, but also offer something unique- long history or amazing cityscape (like Amsterdam with its canals).
However, why don’t you try the smaller cities? There are some incredibly beautiful small cities, many of them declared UNESCO Heritage Sites, such as Edinburgh, Strassbourg, Toledo, Venice, Sintra, and many more. They can be found in almost every country in Europe.
Deep into the history
Finally, Europe has long history. And if you want to dive into the deep past, from the Antiquity and even further back in time, you have a lot of opportunities. Europe keeps the history of the Roman Empire, the Classical Greece, and even older human societies like Celts, Iberians, Thracians, and Etruscans. They have left remains mainly in the southern part of Europe, and you can explore their archaeological sites.
So, there are a lot of things you can do around Europe, and you can easily combine all of these activities. Mountains, beaches, modern cities, and historical remains are often located in a same area, so you can include them all in one itinerary.
2. Plan your activities
One of the worst things you can do when planning an adrenaline-filled backpacker’s experience is to wing it. First, you’ll want to make sure you have a solid plan for what you want to do in each country or city you visit. This doesn’t mean you need to have every single minute of your trip planned out, but it’s helpful to have at least an idea of the different activities you want to do. This way, you can ensure you don’t miss out on anything!
If you’re unsure where to start, plenty of resources available online can help you plan your trip. Sites like Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor offer a wealth of information on different attractions and activities in each destination.
Planning of a trip is a combination of several important things. First- you have to know at least some basic geography. You have to identify the things to do and places to see. Then, you have to think about the necessary documents, money, SIM cards, accommodation, transportation, and your packing list (the last two are entirely separated tips in this article!).
When you plan all of these, you can build your itinerary. But the smartest way is to be flexible and ready for changes in your trip, especially if you go to a new place that you have never been before. Don’t forget that we don’t live in a perfect world and things may change during your trip, sometimes in the last moment. So, always think about a “Plan B”.
3. Don’t forget about transportation
One of the most important things to consider when planning an adrenaline-filled backpackers experience is how you will get around. This is especially important if you’re visiting multiple countries or cities. You’ll want to make sure you choose a mode of transportation that is both efficient and economical.
For example, it might be worth considering taking the train if you’re planning to visit several different countries. Not only is this mode of transportation more environmentally friendly, but it can also save you a lot of money! On the other hand, renting a car or using public transport are also great options if you’re visiting one country or city.
Transportation of your route
Fortunatelly, Europe has a well-developed transportation system. You can rent a car and drive freely in almost every country. Roads are good in most of the countries, and there are also a good railway system across the most of Europe.
However, you have to consider not only your budget, but also your route. For example, if you want just to cross Europe from London to Istanbul, the best way is to do it by train or by bus, obviously because you start from point A and end to point B, in different countries.
And rental cars are more proper if you are several people together- a family or just a group of friends, and you plan traveling on a circle route- from point A again to point A, so you can take and return the car in the same location.
4. Don’t forget to pack appropriately
Lastly, make sure you pack everything you need for your trip! This includes clothes, shoes, toiletries, and any other items you might need. If you’re planning on doing any outdoor activities, it’s imperative to pack appropriately, and maybe consider this Large Molle Tactical Backpack to secure your belongings while hiking. Make sure you have the right clothing and gear for the activities you want to do.
Your special packing list
This includes all the accessories you need when you travel in environment that is different than your home. For example, if you just travel in big cities, you can just bring the same things that you usually use when you are in your hometown. But if you go to a natural outdoor place, you need some special accessories.
For example, if you plan to go on a mountain trekking, you would need proper shoes and clothes, a raincoat, a tent with a sleeping bag and sleeping pad, and if you want to try more (like climbing), you would need a mountaineering equipment.
And if you go to the seaside, if you want to enjoy the sea in full, you would like to bring your snorkeling equipment, as well as everything that would be necessary for the beach.
So, if you follow these four tips, you are sure to have an amazing and adrenaline-filled backpacker’s experience in Europe! Make sure to choose your countries carefully, plan your activities, don’t forget about transportation, and pack appropriately. With a little planning, your trip will surely be a success!
Hi, we are Krasen and Ying Ying. Krasen is from Bulgaria, and Ying Ying is from China. We are passionate about geography and history, and we believe that the best way to experience it is by exploring the Earth in reality, not in a school, and not virtually.
So, we created this blog Journey Beyond the Horizon, where we share geographical knowledge, travel guides and tips how to experience it when you explore our planet, and a lot of inspiration.
And we wish you a happy journey, not just virtually, but most of all- in reality.