2018 is coming to an end, which means one thing… time to start planning your affordable adventure locations for 2019.
If you’re looking for some inspiration on affordable adventure locations then look no further.
Ready to start dreaming? Lets look at some of the countries that made the list.
– Affordable Adventure #1 –
– Norway –
This location might come as a surprise as an “affordable adventure” location, but with the right approaches, Norway is an affordable multi-sport adventure location. If you’d like to know how, then check out this Budget Guide to Norway.
Norway offers over 63,000 miles of coast line that stretches between fjords and inlets, which means that this is perfect for a bit of sea kayaking. If you are lucky, at certain times of the year there are whales visible.
Norway is also home to mountains that border the fjords, giving stunning views of the ocean and main land. During winter (and assuming you are an experienced mountaineer), you can ski tour, ice climb. ski and do snow shoeing. Not to mention the chasing the northern lights for free!
There are other alternatives such as dog sledding, but they could blow your budget.
During the summer, there are endless opportunities for hiking, biking, camping and climbing.
Here is a list of 11 free activities that you can do in Norway.
– Affordable Adventure #2 –
– Albania –
Albania is one of those true “off the beaten path” affordable adventure locations.
When heading to the mountain locations, you’ll be on single track mountain passes before you know it.
Aside from cheap accommodation and food, the people are super friendly and the food is the freshest that I tasted this year! I would recommend learning a few phrases in Albanian, as a lot of people do not speak English. Regardless of the language differences, we were greeted with welcoming smiles and homemade lemonade.
But you wouldn’t just visit for homemade lemonade and friendly smiles, would you? The opportunity for adventure is endless.
In summer, there are so many opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and climbing in the alpine regions. We did a few days hiking in the Theth region and would definitely recommend it.
Theth is accessible by driving from the capital, Tirana or landing in Podgorica (Montenegro) or Dubrovnik (Croatia) and hiring a car to cross the boarder (which was ok). We landed in Dubrovnik and drove from there.
Important: check that your car hire company allows access into Albania! Due to distances and road conditions, some car companies in Montenegro and Croatia will not permit access to Albania.
Unfortunately during the winter months, a lot of the mountain towns are cut off to vehicles and the guest houses are shut. Consequently, your only option here is to either ski tour or snow shoe plus camp. This is only recommended for experienced mountaineers, or those with a professional guide. Here is an idea for a 3 day itinerary in Northern Albania.
– Affordable Adventure #3 –
– Lapland –
Surprise… Here is another affordable adventure location that is stereo typically not affordable! Finnish Lapland is surprisingly affordable when you follow the right tips.
Check out “Lapland for Less”.
The land of a thousand lakes is what Finland is famously known for. And for a good reason. Driving through Finland, you’ll see endless numbers of lakes. This means that you have plenty of opportunities for kayaking!
Additionally, there are lots of opportunities for marked hiking and snow shoeing trails, which is perfect for summer and winter activities for free (taking the necessary precautions for weather and orientation).If your budget and experience allows, there are also opportunities for skiing and ski touring.You can also chase the northern lights for free.
– Affordable Adventure #4 –
– Bavaria –
Bavaria is a perfect location for an adventure holiday all year round. Generally speaking, central Europe is not cheap. However, this depends how you decide to live.
Travel & Accomodation
My parents recently flew to visit me for 94€ return Manchester – Munich and another time 80€ return Manchester – Nüremburg.
Munich is closer to the Alps, so if you can, fly into Munich. But if there is a significant cost difference, Nüremburg is an option. If you are a group of 2-4 people, then car hire could be as little as 7€ per person per day and then self catering and shopping at Lidl will help to keep costs down.
Almost the entire southern border between Germany and Austria and Switzerland is the gateway to the alps and forested regions. This can only mean one thing: adventure.
My favourites: Berchtesgarden and Karwendl. Both of these regions have a plethora of hikes, climbing, ski touring, and mountain biking opportunities. There is a range of grades from easy to extreme, all with unbelievable views.
Bavaria is home to the tallest mountain in Germany; the Zugspitze. The views from here are incredible and if you’re feeling fit, then you can climb both the Zugspitze and it’s little sister, the Alpspitze.
More tips on conquering the Zugspitze and Alpspitze are here.
In Winter, there are several ski regions such as the Steinplatte, Garmisch Classic (including Zugspitze) and Spitzingsee. With Steinplatte and the Zugspitze, you’ll have the opportunity to ski down into Austria… pretty cool. huh?
– Affordable Adventure #5 –
– Dolomites –
The dolomites are famous for the iconic “Drei Zinnen” and their fusion of Italian and South Tirolean cuisine. All in all, it is a haven for mountaineers and foodies.
To avoid high costs, it is recommended to visit during the off peaks season. I have only ever visited during at the end of September. The weather was very variable: a mixture of 25 degrees and snow.
Don’t let the variable weather put you off. The benefits out weigh the variable conditions: there are less people, it will costs less money than high season and you can still be in the sun on south facing climbs.
Activities are in abundance and they range from beginner to super hardcore. There are several areas, such as Sella Ronda where you can take a lift up with your bike and then enjoy the descent. Alternatively you can bike up the ascents.
There are so many varying grades of Via Ferratas and hikes… you will not get bored. Every time I go back, there is always something new to discover.
If your budget allows, skiing here in winter is an awesome experience. Many of the towns are situated above 1000m, so you’re already at an advantage with the snow!
Have you already been to any of these places or are there any more affordable adventure locations that you would add to the list?
I’d love to hear from you!