7 particularly unusual holiday ideas

The next vacation is coming up. But what to do? Our suggestion: something completely different. You don’t want a monotony, but a holiday where you really step out of line? Then give yourself our seven suggestions for extraordinary holiday ideas!

Riding safari: The luck of the earth

Okay, you probably won’t encounter a herd of elephants on this trip. But you don’t book a riding safari in Europe to observe exotic animals, but to experience your holiday from a completely new perspective. Because a holiday on the back of a horse, which is often also offered as a trail ride, is pure slow travelling. And that’s something. No matter if somewhere in Spain, Italy, Franceor in the Rhön: You are always moving far away from major traffic arteries, your paths always lead you through beautiful stretches of land. Not sitting in the car is great because you experience the area with all your senses. The smell of dry grass or a rain shower creeps up your nose while riding, you can feel the sun on your skin, the wind, and somehow you can taste the landscape too. By the way: Such a safari is not intended for loners. You ride in a group and your tour usually lasts several days. Depending on what type of safari or trail ride you book, you will either sleep in rustic tents or in stylish lodges – wonderful.

A group of people ride horses in a row along a dirt road in the sunshine
As the saying goes, “Happiness on earth is on horseback”. Image: FluxFactory/iStock

Wwoofing – Working on the organic farm

Whether wwoofing (short for World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) really is a holiday is not so easy to answer. And that’s because you really have to get involved with wwoofing: instead of lying in the sun and sweating, you sweat because you’re working on an organic farm in a wide variety of areas. Unlike other programs or concepts, wwoofing is about bagging the contacts with the host families yourself, no matter where you are going, by the way. A particularly large number of Wwoof communities can be found overseas, particularly in Canada and the USA, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. But there are also countless opportunities in Europe to try out or deepen a lifestyle close to nature. At www.wwoof.netyou will find everything you need to know about the topic. In exchange for the work you do, you get a bed and all meals. As you can see, this of course means that you will be involved in the family life of your hosts.

A woman takes care of her ripe pepper plant in the greenhouse
Wwoofing is about tackling things yourself and being part of the farm family. Image: vgajic/iStock

Long-distance hiking: As far as your feet can take you

Hiking is no longer just for older people in knickerbockers and with a camera in front of their stomachs. Today, hiking is kind of cool: as soon as you start, the speed that is often too fast takes away from your life. When walking you come to yourself, you breathe, feel and relax. Incidentally, this all the more the longer you are on the road and the further you get. That’s why we recommend long-distance hiking. This actually works wherever there are many hiking trails, for example on La Gomera , in Portugal or on Mallorca. To get into the groove, you should first test one of the countless long-distance hiking trails here in Germany. It is important that you find out early enough where you will stay during your hike. Oh yes: If you don’t feel like running but still want to cover long distances, we recommend simply doing the whole thing on a bike. You can do this on the hiking trails as well as on long-distance cycle paths everywhere in Europe. They are all well developed and signposted. And they lead through the most beautiful corners of the respective country anyway. Or you can go on an extremely relaxed donkey hike, which meanwhile offer a whole series of organizers almost everywhere in Europe. How about, for example, a donkey hike through the Pyrenees with an overnight stay in a tent or a horseback hike through Abruzzo?

A family walks along a quiet path between the trees
Hiking is the perfect way to enjoy nature and forget about everyday life. Image: ARTindividual/iStock

The truth is in the wine

Attention beer drinkers: How about a wine tour? You can actually do it anywhere where wine is grown – and there is enough choice all over Europe. But maybe we’ll start in Germany first, in Franconia. Roughly speaking, the Franconian wine region stretches from Aschaffenburg almost to Schweinfurt. Right in the middle are all the well-known wine towns, including Würzburg, Sommerhausen or Volkach. And right now in summer, these and all other beautiful places are celebrating one wine festival after the other. Another idea: Off to Italy! Here, too, you can either set off on your own or let experienced wine connoisseurs guide you. The best time for an Italian wine tour, which can extend over several days, is summer, just before or during the grape harvest great wine festivals take place there again and again. We find the Chianti road in Tuscany particularly beautiful, which leads on winding, winding paths from Florence to Siena (or vice versa) – oh! Practical: The Mediterranean Sea is not far away, so you should definitely allow yourself a few more days of beach vacation! Of course you could also go on a wine tour in South Tyrol .

Group of young people happily drinking wine together outdoors
End the day with a really good wine – wine festivals are a highlight, especially in summer. Image: franckreporter/iStock

Chill out on the water

Holidays on the houseboat? Cool thing. It’s just a pity that you can’t drive the floating holiday homes everywhere, in Amsterdam, for example, all houseboats are firmly anchored. Elsewhere – in the Saarland, in Alsace or in southern France – you can steer some boats yourself, mostly smaller ones, often without a boat license. Imagine: the sun is shining in the sky, the scent of lavender is in the air, water is rippling and you are steering your boat through the Canal du Midi through the Camargue, wild horses and flamingos, oh, life is beautiful! If you are more interested in the sea, then go on a sailing trip. Would you like an example? You can see what it’s like when three families cruise off Croatia on a catamaran in a WDR production on youtubelook at. Sounds like expensive fun, but it’s not necessarily, especially since you have your own skipper with you: A week costs around 600 euros per head, depending on when you’re on the road, of course. Another idea: get your sailing license, for example on Lake Chiemsee with the mountains right in front of you! Or you go on a canoe tour through the beautiful Altmühltal – ahoy!

An idyllic summer afternoon at the jetty with a boat in the background, some swans and ducks swimming on the lake
On a houseboat you can relax and enjoy nature. Image: diephosi/iStock

light in the dark

It is said that anyone who has ever seen the Northern Lights shine will never forget it. Well, then just take a look at it next time! You can experience the most beautiful light spectacles from September to April, preferably in Norway, Iceland or Scotland. If you wanted to go there soon anyway, then maybe in the fall? From time to time you can also admire the northern lights in our night sky, usually this is announced early enough in the press. Speaking of the sky: You can see stars and shooting stars particularly well wherever it is very dark and hardly any artificial light obstructs your view. This is in Germany, for example, on the Mecklenburg Lake District  or on the North Sea andBaltic Islands . This is also possible in the Rhön, in the biosphere reserve it is particularly impressive, especially if you are traveling with your children. No matter which destination you choose – if you are there in August, the chances are more than good that you will see many shooting stars hissing across the sky and then you can wish something particularly nice!

The Northern Lights shine over a row of red shacks by the water at night
The Northern Lights are a spectacle in the night sky. Image: Glenn Pettersen/iStock

On a journey through time

Would you like to travel through time? Then we have something for you! Our first suggestion: A historic castle tour through the picturesque Loire Valley. There are a total of 22 castles and their gardens to be discovered between Orleans and Nantes. Take your time: Let yourself drift, enjoy life like God in France – it doesn’t matter whether you travel on the water, by bike or in the car. Because not only the time-honored castles, some of which look like they came out of the Disney studios, but above all the surrounding landscape is beautiful. Oh yes: In some of the castles you can even stay overnight. If you are more drawn to the Middle Ages, we can only recommend a trip through Bavaria. In the summer of 2023, the next edition of the “Landshut Wedding 1475 ” in Lower Bavarian Landshut over the stage! The people of Landshut have been celebrating this festival every four years since 1902 – for three weeks, together with visitors from all over the world! Not enough? Then just extend your medieval trip a bit to Upper Bavaria, for example to Aschau im Chiemgau. Guided tours through Hohenaschau Castle last about an hour, and the ghost tour for kids is especially nice. And if you have a little more time, you should definitely visit the Hohenaschau falconry below the castle. Then it’s easy to continue into the mountains or to Lake Chiemsee.

A castle towers over the village below by the river
Castles and palaces not only look impressive, they are also full of history. Image: titoslack/iStock

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