Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Guest blog: Four European must-visit gems

Written by Fiona October 30 2013

I fancy a trip to Europe, to see a city or something amazing. But there is so much to choose from.  I put a request out on Facebook for suggestions and there are so, so many. Now my guest blogger Paul  tempts me with even more great secret gems in Europe. These are great ideas for an autumn or winter break.

The Netherlands

Trajectum Lumen at Night, Pic source Bart Weerdenburg

Trajectum Lumen at Night, Pic source Bart Weerdenburg

For many people, holidaying in Netherlands means seeing the red light district and touring the waterways in Amsterdam. Well, if you didn’t know, there’s more to Netherlands than just Amsterdam.

Things you could do in the Netherlands include exploring and or sailing the Frisian lakes – a huge network of ditches, lakes, ponds and canals – visiting the Loevestein Castle (well known for its romantic nature), and seeing the Trajectum Lumen at night. How about also paying a visit to one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites known as the Mills of Kinderdijk and practising abseiling in Rotterdam.



Swiss Alps. Pic source Swiss Alps

Swiss Alps. Pic source:

Switzerland has many spectacular locations for a wide range of outdoors holidays, including backpacking, mountain biking, rugged cycling, skiing and Alp hiking. This is possible because of the majestic Swiss Alps, the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Jungfraujoch and other spectacular mountain ranges. If your tastes differ and you prefer other activities, you can join the Gurten Festival, explore the city of Zurich, admire the stunning Lake Geneva while on a boat ride and enjoy the thermal baths in Vals.


Pic source: Geirangerfjord in Norway

Geirangerfjord in Norway. Pic source:

This amazing and beautiful country has one of the world’s highest standards of living and has won the title of the cleanest country in the world a few times. Popular activities include exploring the fjords, climbing the 600m high Pulpit Rock, kayaking and rafting in the spectacular UNESCO World heritage Site called Geirangerfjord, joining the medieval and Viking festival, taking the Flam train for a breathtaking view of some of Norway’s wildest routes and scenery, experiencing the midnight sun, relaxing at the white beaches on the Loften Islands and walking the Karl Johan.


Futuruscope in Poitiers. Pic credit Keith

Futuruscope in Poitiers. Pic source: Flickr Keith Pics

The city of romance has so many tourist attractions that it’s difficult to see them all in one visit. Apart from visiting the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame and the French Alps, there are so many things you can do here during your holidays. Some of these include taking part in the Rock en Seine Festival in Saint Cloud just outside of Paris, watching movies in iMax at the Futuroscope in Poitiers, surfing and swimming in the Basque Country, watch the Avignon theatre Festival and watching – or cycling the route of – the Tour de France.

Any other ideas?

More Like This


Funding your travel dreams in retirement


Reasons to explore the outdoors in autumn as a student 


10 unique experiences in Europe you will love


Best Fall Camping: Top 5 Places to Camp


Adventure holidays: Embrace the thrill of exploration


Exploring the great outdoors: Top day trips in the UK