Best Short-Haul Adventure Destinations from London
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
My true love when going travelling is the adventure holiday. Somewhere in between the fast-paced city break and the sit-on-the-beach-and-do-nothing holiday is the exploring, hiking, and culture-seeking vacation. For me, it doesn't get any better than that.
1. Zadar, Croatia
Croatia is a country I could genuinely never tire of exploring, and Zadar is the lesser known gem in the Dalmation coast. Often overshadowed by Dubrovnik, Zadar is the best located city in Croatia for all of your outdoor adventures, due to its proximity to Krka, Paklenica, and Plitvice National Parks. Flights from London are around 2 hours, which makes this the perfect and convenient long weekend destination, though you could certainly stay for longer and never get bored!
2. Grindelwald, Switzerland
If you asked me my favorite place to go, I would be tempted to say Grindelwald, Switzerland. Nestled in the Swiss Alps, this picture perfect village is chock full of charming chalets, amazing hiking trails, and genuinely some of the most stunning views I've ever seen. Though renowned for its skiing in the winter, this area is at its most lush and beautiful late spring into early summer. Fly into Basel (just slightly over an hour from London) and rent a car to drive the beautifully scenic two hours to Grindelwald. Swiss beer in a massive stein not required to go along with the views once you get there, but certainly recommended.
3. Chefchaoen, Morocco
High among the Rif mountains, Chefchaoen is called the Blue Pearl of Morocco, and for good reason. The houses are famously painted blue, making the city an absolutely beautiful and unique experience to visit. And if that doesn't excite you, the multitude of cats roaming the city, the incredible cuisine, or the ultra-friendly locals should. While you're there, make sure you hike up the mountains to get a birds-eye view of the city, and get a traditional hammam bath for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Flights to Tangier are just over 2.5 hours, and once you're there, it's easy to rent a grand taxi to take you to Chefchaoen.
4. Mallorca, Spain
Though it's commonly known for its party culture, once you get past Palma, Mallorca is rife with places to explore. The winding roads through the mountainous coastline boasts incredible views, and the little villages like Valldemossa have an old world charm to them. And of course, the fresh seafood even on its own makes it worth the trip! With a flight time of just over two hours, this destination is a no-brainer!
5. Bergen, Norway
Norway, and particularly Bergen, stole my heart as soon as the incredibly friendly border control officer at the airport started chatting to me and offering advice about the beautiful hiking trails I could go on in the country. But that's just like the citizens of Bergen - they're so genuinely nice, and so interested in the outdoors - although with a landscape like they've got, it's not hard to see why. From the picturesque town, to the amazing seafood, to the truly breathtaking nearby fjords, Bergen is a city that should top everybody's list to visit. And less than two hours' flight from London, there's really no excuse not to go!
Which of these places would you want to travel to the most? Let me know! And make sure to follow along with my adventures on Instagram at @elisedumont!