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The best adventure sports to do while camping

The best adventure sports to do while camping

Nothing makes you feel more alive than an active holiday in the great outdoors. We've gathered some cool locations that let you combine a camping trip with adventure sports like climbing, trail running or surfing.

To get the most out of your camping holiday, there are many outdoor activities that can make your time in nature even more fun and special. For example, you can try all sorts of adventure sports while you are on holiday. Don't worry, you don't have to be at the top of your fitness game or have any experience, because these sports can be practised at any level. The best memories are made when you try new things, get to know new places and be physically active. Exercise gives you more energy, so that you’ll be recharged and full of enthusiasm about your new experiences when you travel back home. Here’s an overview of places where you can combine camping with adventure sports and other outdoor activities.

Photographer: Glenn Onzia

Adventure sports holidays in the Netherlands

While some people hate cycling to work, the characteristic Dutch windy climate is a source of sports fun for others. Think of kite surfing, windsurfing, sailing and beach sailing, not to mention the annually organised Dutch championship ‘biking against the wind’. There are many camping facilities around the coast that are the ideal base for Dutch surfers.

On the Brouwersdam, for example, you'll find Quirine's campspace. Whether you want the comfort of a glamping tent, bring your own tent or have a camper van: you're in the perfect spot for wind and water sports. You will find this campsite not too far from Rotterdam. One of the things you can do in the area is beach sailing (also known as blokarting). This is a very cool sport that you can do individually, but you can also enjoy as a group. Check out this website for information about beach sailing near Brouwersdam.

Another option is to drive a little further into Zeeland and pitch your tent at Saskia's care farm. Here you are also close to the coast, which makes this place ideal for surfers too. In the north you will find Minke's beautiful campsite in Friesland, where you are close to the coast and also close to several inland waters. Whether you want to kayak, walk across the mud flats, sail or surf: it is all possible in this area.

The Netherlands is not only a land of wind, but is also internationally known as a country of horse riding. High time to try it! At Hannie's campspace you can first pitch your tent and then take your first riding lesson. More experienced riders can even participate in a beach ride. At Ylvie's campspace, too, you will find yourself in a horse's paradise. What makes this place extra special is that you can bring your own horse. So you are guaranteed a holiday full of adventure sports with your beloved horse.

adventure sports
Photographer: Saskia Krijger

Holidays in Germany

Good news for mountain bike lovers, because mountain biking is becoming increasingly popular at home and abroad. Because of this, more and more new designated mountain biking paths are being laid out where you will not be bothered by other cyclists or hikers. Moreover, you can find the challenge on these paths that makes mountain biking so much fun. It is one of the adventurous sports that you can easily start without experience. You can rent a mountain bike for a while, before you buy one yourself. This way, you can really try out the sport to see if it suits you.

The campsite of Lorenz in Bavaria, Germany, offers, among other things, the opportunity to camp near beautiful mountain bike routes. He recommends a trip to the castle ruins and watchtower Zabelstein. Maximilian's campsite is near the Harz Mountains. Here too, you will find great mountain bike routes in the area. The nice thing about Maximilian is that he always opens up only one spot for camping guests. So you have a lot of privacy and a very unique experience! Are you more into climbing? Stay at Axel’s campspace, which is only a 20 minutes drive from a climbing area named Nideggen.

adventure sports
Photographer: Tom Suykerbuyk

Adventure sports holidays Belgium

New bouldering halls are opening all around Belgium and the Netherlands. The climbing sport is becoming very popular. It's no surprise that it has become an Olympic sport. In many cities, people discover their love for climbing in the accessible and often cosy (new) bouldering venues, after which they become curious about other branches of climbing. Think for example of sport climbing (rope climbing with the drilling hooks already attached in the rock) or for the bravest among us, traditional climbing (climbing on a rock face that has been left in its natural state, where you have to place the fuses for your ropes yourself between and in the rock).

Have you ever heard of a via ferrata? In Italian this literally means iron road and in German they speak of a klettersteig. It is a path or route that you follow while being secured to a steel cable that is anchored in the rock. You go along steep edges, where you need that extra security to complete the route safely. The cables give you not only safety but also extra stability. The nice thing is that you do not have to be an experienced climber to do a klettersteig. Actually, the activity falls somewhere between mountain hiking and climbing sports. It can be quite exciting when the route passes very steep cliffs, but there are klettersteig options in all levels of difficulty. We highly recommend that you try it!

In any case, the Flemish Ardennes is the right place for you, because here there are all kinds of possibilities for beginners and seasoned veterans to get a taste of climbing in the open air. Whether you prefer bouldering or one of the forms of rope climbing, there is something for everyone. Stay at host Luc's Chalet Rosee or at his neighbours Esmeralda and Marcel’s space. Two beautiful camping locations, close to many climbing and klettersteiig routes in the Ardennes and near the wonderful city of Dinant. If you are more of a water rat, you can also choose one of the other outdoor activities in the area. You can go kayaking or rafting on nearby waters, such as the Ourthe, a river about an hour's drive from the campsite.

Another option in Belgium is Oplaadpnt. The name of this place says it all: it means ‘charging point’ in Dutch. Located in Retie, Vlaams Gewest, Belgium, this campspace provides workshops for sup boarding, mountain biking and yoga. The ideal combination between adventure sports and relaxation.

Adventure sports holidays in France

Have you ever been to the impressive Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy? There are various organised walks to the town, where you’ll go mudflat hiking with a guide to get there. The Mont Saint-Michel is known for being surrounded by seawater, and at high tide the town therefore becomes an island.

Are you looking for a more adventurous sport? As you can imagine, the sea is very close by and there you’ll find all kinds of cool possibilities for adventure sports. You can go sailing, beach sailing, kayaking, kitesurfing and windfoiling, among other things. Never heard of the latter? This is a new form of windsurfing in which the surfboard is made to float by a wing construction (the windfoil). You can reach high speeds with windfoiling. A nice adrenaline kick and a great work out. Check out the website of Kite's Cool, a school that offers various options for kayaking, kitesurfing and windfoiling. You will find the ideal camping spot at host Zoe's. Her garden is a food paradise and you can already see Mont Saint-Michel from her campsite.

adventure sports
Photographer: Janna Hollema

Tips for exercising on a camping holiday

Are you excited to try any of the above adventure sports? If you are worried that you are not fit enough, remember that you can try each sport at a beginner's level. There are also many other opportunities to do active outdoor activities during your holiday. Here are a few tips:

  • Try a nice bike ride in the area. You don't have to get on a racing bike to enjoy a cycling route. A calmer pace is just as much fun!
  • Go for a short run every morning around your campsite. It is often still fresh in the morning and, moreover, you will be at the bakery early and have the first choice of all kinds of delicious breakfast breads.
  • Already a more experienced runner? When you are on holiday in a nature reserve, you could try trail running. This is a great variation on running, where you use your surroundings to make your run more challenging and varied. You have to reposition your feet at every step, which adds a sort of game element to running.
  • When you explore new places, you often cover many miles on foot, which makes you fitter without even realising it.
  • Pool, lake or sea nearby? Then go for a swim every day. No, not just bathing, but really go swimming for a longer distance. This is an ideal way to start your day actively and fresh.

You will soon notice that you get much more energy from moving than from sitting still. (Adventurous) sports also help to clear your head, so you'll come out of your holiday both physically and mentally fit.

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