questionsany suggestions on active things to do in europe?

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Ermmmm. I love traveling in Europe. Is it passive? Perhaps to some. OTOH If you prefer white water rafting, ziplining, snorkeling & so on, maybe you'd be happier vacationing in the U.S. Or Costa Rica, etc.

Never occurred to me to want more than the magnificent sights I've viewed in Italy, Egypt, Turkey, Rhodes, Cyprus & Spain. Guess it's all a matter of choice, eh? I would suggest googling your preferred activities; you might find them in Europe. Hiking is always active & I know you can do that in every country. A cruise? That seems very passive. (I would love it; especially in the Greek Isles.)

Best of luck to you. I am somewhat envious of your planned trip. (Probably will take a month or so to revisit Europe next year. Passive...and yet, delighted to be there... me.)

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We vacation all over the world, about half the time in the Caribbean where there are lots of active ways to spend our time. Cruising is passive when we aren't in port, but when we are in port we are out the door the second the ship docks and have our time booked through local tour companies right up to the minute the ship leaves. One of these days we are going to miss one. I agree that there's plenty of spectacular museums and architecture throughout Europe. But spending weeks doing nothing but looking is tiresome to us. After five or six days of walking around looking at this or that awesome thing we really want to actively do something. If there's nothing more to do than hiking or bicycling, then we'll live with it. But if there was white water rafting in Germany or hot air ballooning in the south of France then we'd look at scheduling our trip around those places.

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When last in EU I walked as many hours a day as I could walk just to look at old stuff and pretty stuff and historical stuff and my interest never flagged. There's just so much of it. Helps to take e-book guidebooks on a phone or kindle, and to read as much history as can before you go. Also helps to avoid the tour bus in the big cities and run around on your own. Watch Kenneth Clark's Civilization before you leave. Read up on medieval history, ESP histories of London, Paris, Rome if you are stopping there. Get comfy shoes. Read Dan Brown for points of interest even tho he made up all the history. And you can always climb mountains or day trek on foot in the lake district.

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There are loads of active outdoor activities to do in Europe including all the things you've listed. The only problems are they're not well advertised, websites are either non-existent or unusable, and you really need to be in a certain country to find out about them at the local tourist information spot. Whenever you hit up a new city, that should be your first stop so you can find out what's in the local area. It's a pretty crappy way to do things if you're used to being able to find out what's to do well before you go like in America but if you're really flexible you can do some really fun things. For example, Germany seems to be especially bad about this, whenever we'd go somewhere in Germany we'd hit up travel websites and try to find things to do in a certain city and you'd only find out about 10-20% of available activities before you got there and went to the local "i" and checked out what they had available. I definitely recommend a phrase book if you know what...

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countries you're going to as there are still lots of places where people do not or will not speak English. Parts of Belgium and almost everyone in The Netherlands speak English so if you're going there it's good times. This is, of course, assuming you don't already speak the local language.

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@zuiquan: Thanks. My friends speak passable Spanish (I can speak Tarzan Spanish when needed), which gets us by in some places. We are used to traveling in places where English isn't commonly spoken, we are pretty good at getting by on sign language (although they had a great practice in China, when we walked out of the hotels they gave us a card which we could give to any taxi driver to get us back). It will be much easier than our previous trip to Europe some years back. We were traveling on a shoestring, staying in youth hostels, getting by on just the breakfast they provided because we couldn't afford food, losing cash we didn't have to spare changing our money every time we crossed a border. We kept ourselves entertained by being constantly lost, as we couldn't afford Eurorail and rented a car. We had lots of fun, and being lost all the time saw a lot of out-of-the-way places. This will be an entirely different sort of trip. The tip about the tourist centers is helpful.

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@moondrake: I really wanted to go to Spain but crime was off the charts. Many young people are unemployed, rates were 50% for some age groups and driving to Spain was a surefire way to come back home on the train. I've had numerous friends go to Spain and have all of their belongings stolen. Passports, Euros, phones, clothes, you name it. These are things you don't hear about in tourist guides because it makes countries look bad. Still, there are many countries in Europe I would not hesitate to travel to. Italy is amazing, Austria is beautiful, Bavaria is one of the states in Germany that's definitely worth traveling to. The Netherlands and Belgium are both really nice with lots to see and do. France is beautiful but people can be very unpleasant to tourists there. I would avoid Greece at all costs right now. Turkey has more ruins anyway. This place is cool, but the website is a total joke. Typical.

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Well, "active" activities in Europe is a pretty broad subject. Based on your itinerary I imagine you're looking for things to do around the UK and maybe French/Spanish Riviera? Believe it or not, Cornwall in the UK has some kick ass surfing around August. You can take the train from London to Newquay (the UK surfing capital). Once there, you can hike/bike the SW Coast Path and see some cool ruins and amazing bays. There's a cool bar on the beach in Holywell but I can't remember the name. Keep in mind that August is high tourist season in Cornwall so plan ahead if you want to book a BnB or hostel.

If you could be more specific, I'm sure I could give you some better suggestions. You could drive the Nurburgring in Germany, Mountaineer some Alps, blow @#$% up with a tank near Chernobyl in Ukraine, etc.

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@k3nd0: The Nurburgring is cool in that you can actually drive it but sucks in that people are always crashing in the blind curves like idiots because they don't know how to drive or their cars are not meant to be driven the way they try to drive them on that course. You could also get a ride along with a professional driving some pretty sweet cars and that most definitely doesn't suck. But it costs a bit more than doing it yourself. Quite a bit safer though than trying to weave through the knuckleheads that are out there.

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Welcome to your Nürburgring rental car company - Rent4Ring
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