From the soaring heights of the Austrian Alps to the icy colds of the North Sea and Arctic Circle, Europe is a continent riddled with extreme and enticing climatic conditions, natural wonders and seemingly untameable wilderness. Consequently, it’s also a place where the appetites of adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers find satisfaction in the extreme, where bungee jumps and bull runs pepper the yearly calendar and where those who want to push life to the limit will really feel at home. Here, we will take a look at some of the most popular exhilaration activities on the continent; see if you can see why so many choose to take the dare!
Plaza de Toros de Pamplona, Pamplona – photo by thaiphong
Home to the festival of San Fermin (that’s "The Running of the Bulls" to you and me), the city of Pamplona in the far reaches of northeastern Spain comes alive with one of Europe’s most infamous, adrenaline pumping and exhilarating activities every year in mid-July. With a reputation that’s nothing short of legendary, thousands of tourists pour into the town’s humble patchwork of cobbled Navarre streets to try their luck against the stampeding beasts. But, away from the raging bulls of San Fermin, the running also ushers in a fiesta like no other, when the music blares and sangria flows in excess.
Watergate Beach, Cornwall – photo by Justin Whithorn & Chris Baldwin
Around the serene coastal waters of the picturesque Sussex country, Zapcat Powerboating is something of an unexpected roller coaster ride that’s perfect for the thrill-seeking tourist. While still not the best known extreme sea sport in Europe, riding these inflatable catamarans is fast becoming more popular in the UK, where unsuspecting riders are exposed to gravity-defying wave jumps and high-speed chases across the south England swells. Guests can opt to be driven across the shoreline by the guiding hand of one of Team GB’s professionals, that is, if they dare!
Nurburgring Taxi Rides, Rhineland-Palatinate – photo by thepetrolstop
Drivers, bikers and campervan travelers are all welcome to come and pay homage to the world famous Nurburgring Race Track during one of the regular weekend touristenfahrten (tourist journeys), while adrenaline junkies are invited to take the plunge even deeper, with a spot of wild taxi riding around the tarmac. Under the steady hand of qualified racers, passengers in one of the taxi seats are pulled around the Nurburgring at formidable speeds, riding shotgun while their driver cranks up the G to the max.
Incredible Adventures - MiG-29 jet fighter, Sakhalin Oblast – photo by englishrussia
The MiG-29 fighter jet remains one of the fastest and most iconic highspeed war planes on the planet. Today, Moscow-based Incredible Adventures offer some of the only supersonic tourist plane rides on earth, giving visitors the opportunity to step in shotgun with trained Russian pilots who can twist, turn and blast through the air over the Steppes. It’s without question one of the most exhilarating ways of criss-crossing the Russian continent, and no doubt one of the fastest too!
Bungy Jumping 007 Goldeneye, Switzerland – photo by karTER
Jumping off the Contra Dam on the Verzasca River of southern Switzerland has long been one of the bucket list excursions for fans of James Bond Goldeneye. It’s here that the suave British spy casts himself from a height of more than 200 meters in order to infiltrate the base below. Now you can do the same, with one of the tailor-made bungee tours by Trekking that specialize in programs at this record-breaking location. What’s more, nearby, the Centovalli jump spot offers other great bungee opportunities, along with magnificent views of the Italian-Swiss border forests to boot.