Who would have said last year that we wouldn’t be able to travel due to a global pandemic, would have been the laughing stock of the town. However in 2020 this horror scenario turned into reality and with intercontinental travel nearly impossible, we had to change our way of travel. Luckily for us Belgians and Europeans, there’s one truly magnificent country nearby that’s easily reachable and has so much to offer: Italy! Italy offers endless and amazing opportunities for those seeking a vacation dedicated to sports and physical activity – for those who want to be in close contact with nature both summer and winter, surrounded by breathtaking sceneries and unique landscapes. From winter sports in the Dolomites, to having fun on the waters of Lake Como, there’s plenty of options in Italy for everybody.
But first: a personal note
Over the course of the past year or so I was kind of busy questioning life and my work as a photographer. Although I really love traveling, I figured that with the lifestyle I was leading, I would not be able to achieve the other goals in my life (from rekindling old hobbies over picking up new skills, to buying the house of our dreams…). Earlier this year, I won an award and it felt like I had achieved everything I wanted. Around the same time this pandemic happened, I got an amazing job opportunity with a huge amount of responsibility and decided to go for it. It was the right time to take a step back from social media and spend more time with my family. However the urge to travel was too strong so I was very happy to be able to return to Italy for holidays this year.
Water sports on Lake Como
In Italy, qualified and well-equipped facilities are available to assist guests and meet their every need. Italy’s countless marinas and ports, and various tourist organizations offer opportunities to indulge in water sports, such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, swimming, sailing and motor-boating, and waterskiing. But not only along the coastline you can practice water sports. Italy’s great lakes are also a good place for adventure.
Last summer I spend the holidays around Lake Como, a great spot for water sports. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be filthy rich to rent your own boat for a couple of hours of fun on Lake Como. You can even take off for a sightseeing tour on a sea plane! Pro tip when Como is on your bucket list: look for a hotel with direct access to the lake. In Filario Hotel, for example, has a private beach and offers free use of surf boards, snorkel equipment and paddle boats.
Another great region for water activities is Sardinia. Wherever it’s kayaking, fishing, snorkeling… in Sardinia anything is possible; Head over to this link to see what this gorgeous island has to offer!
Winter adventures in Italy
Do you prefer hiking in the mountains over water sports? Then you might take a look at the beautiful region of South Tyrol and the Dolomites. For mountain lovers, there are infinite options. During the winter, the mountains become a paradise for those who wish to practice winter sports. For those who are not a very good skier like me, you have the option to go on a snowshoe hike. Not enough adventure for you? Then head over to Speikboden, where you can sleep in an igloo at the top of the ski slopes! How’s that for an adventure? The region of Valtellina and Valgerola in Lombardia are good for winter adventure as well. And after you’ve spent a long day outside in winter wonderland, it’s time to fill up on some delicious local pizzoccheri! Read my other blog post on how you can spend a week in beautiful Lombardy!
Writing this blog post brings back so many amazing memories from my many trips to Italy. One of my favorite trips ever was my first time in South Tyrol where I spent the week hiking high up in the Dolomites. I checked off so many viewpoints off my bucket list that holiday… these memories will last a lifetime! Having been there a couple of times, I must say I especially enjoyed South Tyrol during summertime. Then it’s the perfect time to visit all the instagrammable locations in the region. Each and every one of them is easily accessible if you’re willing to hike for a bit. Don’t worry if you don’t want to sleep in tents. In South Tyrol a combination of adventure and luxury is very much possible. Check out my top 7 of the finest hotels in the area.
When I was in South Tyrol, I saw other people paragliding and hang gliding and I was so amazed by it. It looked like an unforgettable experience gliding between these massive mountains in pure silence. It makes me want to start packing my back pack and head over to Italy right now!
Whatever the season, whatever the passion, Italy is the place for a sports-related vacation beyond compare! Italy is the perfect background for golf, cycling rafting, mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding along amazing bridle paths…and many other outdoor sports. Have I convinced you yet?
ENIT – Italian National Tourist Board is a sponsor of this article, however all opinions remain my own.adventure in Italy, adventure in south tyrol, water sports lake como