Destination Europe: Your Ultimate Wild Women Expeditions Guide
If you missed backpacking around Europe in your gap year, you can still do it. Bonus: the grown-up version means fewer tins of tuna, zero hostel bunk beds but all the bohemia and thrill of exploring a new destination with even newer friends!
Wild Women offers adventures in Europe that let you strut your stuff, kick back and cruise, paddle-power your way and see places like Croatia by kayak, sailboat, ferry and on foot. If you’re looking for a super active itinerary (Switzerland) or a laidback one (a small ship expedition from Scotland to Iceland), here’s the highlight reel!
Featured destinations: Croatia, Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland
Switzerland Hiking Adventure
Find your true “sole sisters”on this 8-day immersion in the Alps. Join a charged-up group of Wild Women eager to tear up some terrain in the face of granite mammoths. You’ll be rewarded with some serious panoramas from the Schynige Platte and Gemmi Plateau. See the famed “Sprutz” waterfall, Monte Rossa massif, vineyards of Valais and take in the car-free charms of Zermatt. Expect impromptu picnic lunches, fondue, lessons in goat-milking and cheesemaking from a local goat shepherd and deep insights into the impact of climate change on the glaciers.
You’ll be hiking in the spirited shadows of Lucy Walker, the first woman to climb the Matterhorn back in 1871. The steely British climber was 35 when she started her ascent–wearing a long flannel skirt with trousers underneath to keep with the morals of the era.
Please note: This brand new signature trip is for experienced hikers who are ready to knock-out an average of 11km (6.6 miles) to 16km (10 miles) days. The elevation is real– this ain’t no walk in the park. You must be sure-footed, confident and comfortable with high altitude and steep, exposed trails.
Italian Riviera and Cinque Terre Kayak
Perhaps your preferred seat is in the cockpit of a kayak? Earn your gelato by paddling between scoops as your group of Wild Women takes in the Riviera wearing skirts (not that kind!). The Riviera and Cinque Terre by paddle is an unforgettable way to feel, taste and move through the spirit of Italy via the Mediterranean.
We’ll slide into Cinque Terre National Park–Italy’s first (and smallest)! Designated in 1999, the park includes five (cinque!) picturesque seaside villages (Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore) that cling to the rocky coastline in a captivating pastel palette. The villages are a marvel of Benedictine monasteries, Roman villas and ancient churches, all dwarfed by sharp cliffs and coastal hills. The sheltered bays and coves below are a playground for kayakers!
Be prepared to paddle 4-5 hours in ocean conditions. If Mother Nature is not in the mood, we will have to hike between the villages (expect steep stairs and some solid uphill climbs).
Charms of Croatia
This trip offers the best tasting menu. From slick Zagreb to ancient Dubronik, Croatia is an open history book. The time-worn pages reflect turbulent war-torn years, earthquakes and a royal battle for independence. Imposing fortresses and cathedrals, immaculate walled cities and the regal palaces of aristocrats remain. The unearthly national parks, twee marinas and palm-lined promenades and abandoned villages will fill your senses to the brim.
Hike, kayak and island hop from Hvar to St. Clement to Vis by water taxi, sailboat and catamaran. In between–visit a local wine and cheesemaker, taste just-caught sea bass, cuttlefish, truffles and lamb baked in an ash-covered cauldron. Indulge in the full bodied Plavac Mali wines the region is famed for and sample the unique sage, cherry, plum and carob brandies of this country.
The Camino: Spain and Portugal
Wild Women offers three ways to experience the famed Way. Our 110 to 118 km (68 to 73 miles) routes begin in Spain (in Sarria on The Camino Way and from Santiago on the Camino to the Coast) and in Vigo, Portugal (on The Camino Portuguese).
Our Camino trips are designed to allow you great freedom: your accommodations are reserved. Your luggage can be forwarded. If you’re feeling whipped, there’s a support vehicle to jump in to take a break or call it a day. Breakfast and dinners are pre-arranged but you can choose to have lunch wherever and whenever you want!
If you’ve forgotten something critical or unexpected, you’re travelling with your own built-in support system of Wild Women who will have extra Compeeds, a squirt of sunscreen, protein bars or any sort of pick-me-up that you might need on the trail. You’ll have your own group of cheerleaders which makes covering 20km (12 miles) under the broiling sun a lot more doable and, dare we say, fun as hell!
Check out our Ultimate Guide to the Camino which will help you decide which route is best for you!
Highlands Hiking Adventure (Scotland)
The tundra-like landscape gives way to remote beaches, still lakes and the hulking shadows of Ben Nevis Mountain.
There will be dramatic castle ruins, sleepy coastal and rural villages, seafood hooked fresh from the denim waters and hillsides blurred purple with Scottish heather.
Elusive wildlife like the tabby-like Scottish wildcat, pine marten, red deer and capercaillies (the largest member of the grouse family) surprise the quiet hiker. We’ll also give our hiking boots a break and glide kayaks through the glass-like serenity of Loch Carron.
Hikes range in time, distance, terrain and ascents. Depending on the group’s pace, skill level and ambition, options start at 7km (4.5 miles) to 18 (11.25 miles). The trail can be muddy and boggy to downright soupy with river crossings (on stepping stones), slippery rocks, steep and rocky sections and sometimes–they are snow-covered too! Ready for some rock n’ roll?
Scotland, Faroe Islands and Iceland: North Atlantic Saga
Aboard the Ocean Endeavour you’ll navigate from historic Aberdeen, Scotland to jazzy Reykjavik, Iceland (with the 18 volcanic Faroe Islands scattered in the sea in between). This small ship expedition delivers a solid dose of Highland cattle, Viking ghosts, archaeology, art, stone henges, puffins, and Icelandic hot dogs! On board, expect educational lectures, workshops and documentary screenings in addition to gabby gatherings with your fellow Wild Women!
You’ll visit the Orkneys, an archaeology-studded archipelago off the northeastern coast of Scotland. Here you’ll feel the deep ancestral vibes of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a mystical UNESCO World Heritage Site of monuments, ceremonial stone circles, surrounding henges and settlement remains from 5,000 years ago. Photographers will enjoy playing with the moody skies and ominous remains of the Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness.
Fun fact: The Faroe Islands, peppered between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, are a self-governing territory of the Kingdom of Denmark.
Birders will love the Fair Isles (Scotland) and the Westman Islands (Iceland). The Zodiac cruise in search of seabirds that nest on the sheer rock faces and storm-beaten ocean cliffs of the Westmans include frequent fliers like storm petrels, razorbills and skuas. Between April and August, puffins ruffle a few feathers!
In Reykjavik you’ll have the opportunity for self-guided exploration pos- trip too. Hug your dear Wild Women friends goodbye, or drag them along to see what the slick city has up its sleeve!
Ready to bounce over to Europe? We are!
For more information, contact an Adventure Expert at email@example.com or call us at 1-888-993-1222.