Not everyone is drawn to Europe for its museums, architecture or gastronomy. Many people are passionate about adventure and Europe offers some great spots for those who love adrenaline. Here, you will find out about the top places for Extreme Sports in Europe and which sports different regions are most famous for. From paragliding to skiing, to rafting, various corners in the European continent offer you the possibility to delve into nature and begin a unique experience.
Before we share the hottest destinations in Europe to practice extreme sports, it is important that you know the kind of documentation you need to travel to Europe from the United States. At the moment, US citizens are able to travel to the European Union, more specifically the Schengen Area, without having to obtain a visa at an embassy or consulate. However, the EU has been discussing the implementation of a visa waiver program, ETIAS, for the Schengen Zone since 2016. ETIAS, the Electronic Travel and Information Authorization System, is expected to be put in place in the year 2021. The ETIAS visa waiver will be a travel requirement for citizens of countries that currently visit the Schengen Area visa-free.
The EU has made a commitment to improving the security of the region, an issue that has become a priority. ETIAS will contribute to the security of the Schengen Area by determining the eligibility of travelers before they even embark on their trip to the EU. The electronic system will identify individuals that may pose a threat to the region and its citizens. Travelers will be able to obtain ETIAS by completing the ETIAS online application form with their personal information and passport details, each application will take a few minuted to complete. All travelers who apply for an ETIAS will be required to answer a series of security questions and all responses will be contrasted against a series of international security databases such as the Europol and Interpol.
Once ETIAS is approved, you will be able to use it to travel to the Schengen Zone on multiple occasions and for a period of three years. Now that you know about ETIAS and its implications for American nationals, learn about the best locations in the Schengen Zone to venture into extreme sports.
Best Spots to Practice Extreme Sports in Europe
To all thrill-seekers hoping to find the next best thing, we have a list of the most famous places in Europe to practice extreme sports and live an adventure.
Paragliding in Interlaken, Switzerland
Switzerland is famously known for its chocolate, but it has stunning places where you can hike or ski. The Interlaken region stands out as you will be able to go rafting, bungee jumping, and canyoning in the area. The biggest highlight? Paragliding and being able to admire the beautiful scenery.
Switzerland is a member of the Schengen Zone. To visit the country as of 2021 you will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver.
Climbing in Mont Blanc, France
France is the most visited country in the world and it is famous for its history, art, and gastronomy. Yet, the country has plenty of natural wonders where extreme sports abound. Mont Blanc is, in fact, Europe’s highest peak. If climbing is your thing, a climb to the summit of the mountain is no easy feat. If you’re not ready to go to such lengths, you can practice paragliding here too.
France was a founding member of the Schengen Agreement and the EU. Bear in mind that to visit France in the year 2021 you will need a valid ETIAS.
Kite Surfing in Tarifa, Spain
Set in the south of Spain, Tarifa is a town in the Cadiz province. Its consistently high winds make it the perfect location for kite surfing. If it’s your first time, no need to worry, there are many schools in the area to guide you through the basics. To get there, you might want to rent a car or take a bus from the city of Cadiz.
Spain is an essential member of the EU and the Schengen Area. You will need to get an ETIAS visa waiver if you’re hoping to explore its skies in the future.
Skiing in Innsbruck, Austria
This idyllic town in Austria is likely to win your heart with its deep blue skies and soaring peaks. Besides admiring the scenery, here you will be able to, if you dare, go bungee jumping or skiing. If you’re not so fond of trying out skiing, you can also hop on a bobsleigh and go down the mountain at up to 20 kilometers per hour. Austria is well connected, there’s a train that can take you to Innsbruck.
If you wish to visit Austria in the year 2021, you will be required to present a valid ETIAS at a port of entry.
Skydiving in Marche, Italy
Located in the central area of Italy, Marche is a beautiful mountainous region that also has a coast. You can get here by train or by car and get yourself ready to jump off a plane. Skydiving here will leave you speechless, and fortunately, there are options for novice and experienced skydivers. While visiting Le Marche, you can indulge in the delicious Italian cuisine and culture.
As an American citizen, in the near future, you will need to apply online for an ETIAS visa waiver to travel to Italy, a member of the EU and the Schengen zone.