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Hungary For Adventure Seekers

Adventure travel in Hungary

For those who want to escape the well-trodden tourist paths, have some excitement, and create unforgettable memories, here are some ways to get your adrenaline pumping in Hungary.

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Biking in Hungary

Bike and Barge the Danube

Bike and barge tours are an increasingly popular way to experience the landscapes, countrysides, and waters of Hungary. On these tours, a barge travels along the river at a moderate pace. If your mood is to relax on deck and watch the scenery go by, you can lounge aboard all day. But most passengers choose to disembark in the morning and ride bikes along the river, with ample time for exploring nature, trekking down side paths, and pausing in little villages along the way. In the evening, meet up with the barge again at the designated port, and sleep in your cabin. These tours are a great way to combine the self-paced adventure of biking through Europe, without the hassle of securing lodging every night. These tours range from single-day excursions to multi-country journeys, and are an incredible way to explore Hungary.

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Lake Balaton

Explore Lake Balaton

Lake Balaton is Hungary’s answer to the Mediterranean. Lake Balaton is the largest lake in central Europe, and is surrounded by small fishing villages, scenic drives, and gorgeous hills. In the summer, locals flock to its shores for a beachy, resort-like atmosphere. Lake Balaton offers a host of water sports, including water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, and windsurfing. The crystal-clear, fresh water of Lake Balaton is also perfect for snorkeling, scuba diving, and just swimming and diving.
Even outside of summer, Lake Balaton has a host of activities for those who love nature and the outdoors. Balaton-felvideki Nemezeti Park (Balaton Uplands National Park) has a vast nature preserve for hiking and biking, geological sites to explore the local ecology, villages and cultural centers to learn more about traditional Hungarian living and agriculture, multiple sites for caving, and even an observatory. The park has events, tours, and exhibitions year-round, with activities for solo travelers or the whole family.

Thrill-seeking in Budapest

No visit to Hungary is complete without a visit to Budapest, one of the most beautiful, well-preserved, and fascinating cities in Europe. Budapest offers a wealth of activities and sights all year long, but here are some great ways to explore the city and have an adventure.

Escape rooms

Budapest has become famous for its escape rooms and has many to choose from. Escape Rooms combine the thrills of a video game with the excitement of a competition. Work with your friends or a partner to solve puzzles, complete tasks, and explore mysteries in these attractions, relying on teamwork, creativity, and resourcefulness to escape the room. Escape rooms in Budapest have dozens of themes and atmospheres, from spooky to scientific, high-tech to medieval, and they have become an extremely popular attraction in Budapest. These rooms are a great way to challenge yourself, and to learn more about your friends as you work together under pressure.

Caving

You wouldn’t know it to look at the stately mansions and castles of the Buda side of the city, but Budapest is built atop a significant network of caves. It’s the only European capital with such an extensive cave network, with over 200 caves beneath the city. Many of these caves have been explored and expanded upon over the centuries, and the incredible cave church at Gellert Hill is a great example of how early Hungarians exploited and expanded the natural cave system. The cave labyrinth beneath Buda Castle, with its underground hospital, is well worth a visit.
Many of these caves have the thermal vents that give rise to the city’s famous thermal baths, but you don’t just have to enjoy the caves from a spa above-ground. The city also offers tours of these incredible sights below-ground. Tours range from gentle underground hikes that explore local geology and rock formations, to adventure caving with climbing, crawling, and deep exploration. For adventure caving, all the necessary equipment is provided, and you are always with an expert guide. They even give you a room to change in, so you can switch from street clothes to caving clothes and back. There are a variety of different caves and tours, so you can see incredible stalagmites and stalactites, mineral formations, and natural tunnels and caverns.

Ruin Bars

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Kert Ruin Bar

For a whole different kind of adventure, spend an evening exploring Budapest’s famous Ruin Bars. Ruin Bars arose in Budapest’s 7th District, in the cores of residential buildings that have been largely abandoned. A few years ago, enterprising young people started clearing out space in these buildings, bringing in furniture, and selling drinks, and a whole new phenomenon was born. Most ruin bars have little or no outside signage, and look like any other apartment building, so you never quite know what’s going on inside. They have a wide array of themes, decor styles, music, and atmospheres, often even within the same building. The most famous of these is Szimpla Kert, the longest-lasting and most stable of the ruin bars. Others open and close at odd times, change locations, and can be hard to find. But the combination of old, abandoned architecture, ad-hoc, street artist-inspired decor, cheap drinks, and good music lives on in dozens of ruin bars on the Pest side of the river.
Hungary may be an ancient country with rich history, deep traditions, and enduring culture, but it also offers a wide variety of ways to get off the beaten path, explore new sights, and have unforgettable adventures. These are just a few of the many ways to have unique and exciting experiences in this fascinating country. You need to visit incredible Hungary and create some adventures of your own.

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A Thrillseeker’s Guide to Experiencing Austria

Adventure Travel Austria

It also contains a whole spectrum of opportunities beyond Vienna, the usual starting point for many travelers who target Austria. If you’re a thrillseeker, you might not want to go to Austria without considering these options.

A toboggan run through the Alps.

A quintessential and timeless alpine experience, a toboggan run in the mountains is an easy way to cut right to the chase when it comes to what Austria has to offer. Although there are quite a few terrific toboggan runs throughout the country, one of the classics happens to be in Biberwier, a gorgeous little mountain town in Western Austria. The Biberwier run is the longest in the state of Tyrol, letting adventurers wind through 1,300 meters of track that snakes through the snow-capped mountains and green countryside.
Although the area also has excellent winter options as well, the summer toboggan run is a fantastic option from the spring all the way through the early part of the fall. The run is also perfectly tailored for a wide range of different adventure-based appetites, as the toboggan (sled) can whip down the mountain at a breakneck speed, or slow down for a nice leisurely slide through the countryside. That’s why Biberwier happens to be perfect for both thrillseekers and families, and everyone in between.
Like many areas in Austria that have toboggan runs, the hiking surrounding Biberwier is also outstanding, and it’s a great little place to experience a bit of authentic, small-town Austria when you’re not cruising downhill on a sled. And for winter travelers, the brilliant, snow-coated countryside makes winter tobogganing a great way to see the alps and let your lungs mingle with air that is about as crisp and clean as it comes.

Austrian biking—possibilities for everyone.

From the novice to the pro, Austria caters to many adventure levels when it comes to biking, one of the very best ways to see Austria. For anyone hoping to work up a sweat but not get carried away biking up mountains, renting an e-bike (electric bike) can be the perfect companion that lets you focus mostly on the scenery. E-bikes are specially made to give you a little boost, but they still will require effort and are not to be confused with the motorized bikes that take all the fun out of it.
One possible way to have a great e-biking—or just mountain-biking—experience is to hop on the trail surrounding Lake Piburg, a lake so clear that it’s known as the “mirror of Tyrol.” The trail shows off stunning views from high above the lake before descending to the shore, where it’s easy to launch boating, swimming, or fishing excursions. Located in the stunning Otztal Valley, Piburg is also known for being on the warm side for an alpine lake, making it ideal for taking a memorable swim at the base of the alps.
While trails like Lake Piburg offer a more tranquil experience, it’s also very easy to ratchet it up a notch by doing a downhill-biking adventure in different locations throughout the Otztal Valley. At Bike Republic Solden, there are more than 20 different trails that cater to various skill levels, but all require a stomach for at least a few thrills. For the very adventurous (or the casually insane), some of the top trails are internationally known among biking enthusiasts, which is why you need to make sure you’re up for the challenge and understand the skill-level required before choosing the right trail.

Don’t overthink it: hiking is unreal in Austria.

Not everyone is up for the more niche adventures that you’re able to experience in Austria, which is why you can’t go wrong with simply dusting off your best hiking shoes/boots and getting ready for some alpine eye candy. The country is littered with outstanding hikes that showcase the natural Austrian beauty. On the trail above Zell am See-Kaprun (known as Pinzgauer Spaziergang), you’ll spend up to six hours picking your way along a mountain plateau so spectacular you’ll think the scenery below you is airbrushed. If you’re ready for a day strolling through pristine Austrian wilderness, it’s hard to top a trail that lets you keep an eye on the snow-dusted Kitzbühel Alps, a tremendous glacier (Kitzsteinhorn), and the sunshine glimmering off the enormous Lake Zell, where picturesque villages huddle around the deep blue water.
You can also go well-beyond an afternoon hike. For those with serious stamina and hiking ambition, the 280km Eagle Walk has 24 stages between St. Johann and St. Anton am Arlberg and will challenge even the most seasoned hikers. It also has scenery every bit as sensational as you might expect. For everyone else, there are plenty of low to midgrade hikes as well, including family-friendly options like the Wildpark Aurach just outside Kitzbühel. More than 1,000 meters above sea-level, the Wildpark Aurach not only has the visual element but allows guests to see a spectacular array of different animals in their natural environment, from yaks and lynxes to ibexes and wild boar.
While many of the best trails are in central or Western Austria, those who are only making it to Vienna on their travels also have some great hiking possibilities as well. The areas around Vienna have plenty of different trails, and many of the best run right alongside the world-famous Danube River, like the majestic Hermannskogel trail.

Canyoning and rafting.

It’s also extremely easy to fold hiking into other activities in Austria, particularly for those who enjoy some of the other athletic possibilities awaiting in the mountains. Less than an hour’s drive from Innsbruck, the Lake Achensee region is renowned for being the perfect getaway for thrillseekers thanks to the lovely spread of options at any point of the year. While the skiing there is breathtaking in the winter, it’s also a summer haven complete with river rafting, tubing, canyoning, and much more.
The rafting and tubing experiences can be fantastic, although scaling down scenic gorges (canyoning) is the type of activity that is great for adventurers ready to push themselves just a little bit. Once you have on your wetsuit, a helmet and a harness, local tour guides will help teach newcomers the art of rappelling down a rocky gorge, often right alongside gushing waterfalls. For the more advanced, most local tour companies offer more difficult canyoning experiences that are intense enough to satisfy the veteran adventure-traveler.
Great rafting options are also prevalent throughout the rest of the country as well, particularly near Zell am See-Kaprun and Salzburg. With Austria offering rafting for Class II beginners all the way to the experts who take on Class V courses, the rafting experiences available in Austria compare favorably to any other country in Europe.

More than just Vienna.

Given the apparent charm of Vienna and host of things to do there, it can be easy for many travelers to target the Austrian capital and overlook the other treasures awaiting elsewhere. While you can still absolutely find plenty of adventurous activities both inside and outside the city limits of Vienna, thrillseekers looking to capitalize on Austria’s offerings are only a train ride away from a host of once-in-a-lifetime adventures. With options for everyone and countless chances to mingle with stunning landscapes along the way, it’s not hard to figure out why Austria remains a world-class travel destination for those seeking a wide variety of different experiences.
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