The following post was written in collaboration with Railbookers but as always all thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
While you’re on vacation, fitness may be the last thing on your mind. But for many of us, we prefer to combine a fun trip with staying in shape. We’ve worked hard at home eating right and hitting the gym and it’d be a shame to see all of that effort wasted during a long trip. Luckily, it’s easy to combine an exciting vacation with a healthy lifestyle, including in these favorite destinations.
Spain’s Costa Brava has long been known as an inexpensive and sunny beach destination, but its old tired image is long gone and many new travelers are discovering this beautiful region of Spain for the first time. One of the stars of the region is the coastal city of Sitges. Long known as an artists’ retreat, not much has changed and today it’s one of the key centers of LGBT life in the area. After you’ve finished exploring town, talk a long walk along the beach before jumping into the sea for a relaxing, but productive, swim. There’s no better way to exercise while traveling than a long swim, battling against waves and currents under the warm Spanish sun.
Scotland may not top the list for many fitness minded travelers, but the Scottish capital has plenty to offer anyone who wants to stay in shape. Walk through both the New and Old Towns to see what make Edinburgh so special, and burn off those haggis-induced calories by navigating this hilly city. For a real challenge though, head to the always-popular Arthur’s Seat. Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of the group of hills in Scotland, which form most of Holyrood Park, and is located just a mile from Edinburgh Castle. Trek up to the top for amazing views and an even more amazing workout.
Famous for its canals, great museums and infamous Red Light District, Amsterdam is also a bicycle enthusiasts dream. Come prepared though, bikers in this city know what they’re doing and they mean business. Not only are there dedicated bike lanes, they even have their own traffic lights so be sure to read up on the rules of the road before you head out. If you want to cut your bicycling teeth in a little less stressful atmosphere, head out of town on a day trip to The Hague. This popular city in the Netherlands is easy to reach – you can travel by train to this destination. Once there you’ll find another great bike culture, but without the intimidating stress of Amsterdam. Even better, head out into the countryside for some great scenery and of course amazing exercise.
The unofficial “stomach” of Italy may at first seem like the last place for a fitness minded traveler, but there are plenty of active pursuits in the Emilia-Romagna region in addition to all of that great food. Throughout the region you can find many great hiking and biking trails, but for the ultimate active excursion be sure to try whitewater rafting on the Trebbia River. While tame by many people’s standards, just Class 2 and 3, they more than make up for their lack of power in the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. Add to that a manmade tunnel that you can actually raft through and you have an adrenaline pumping experience that will burn off those lasagna calories in no time.
Where are some of your favorite destinations for the fitness-minded traveler?