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Cities Where You Can Combine a City Trip and Outdoor Life Perfectly

In und um Palermo gibt es zahlreiche Kletterfelsen direkt am Meer
  • June 28, 2019

Are you planning a holiday in the city, but still want to be active outside? OutDoor Society shows you five unusual cities, where you can also explore the local specialties in sports - and at the highest level.

This list is for those who not only want to explore the local bar culture on a city trip, but are also looking for new adventures in sports: In these cities you can combine the best of both worlds as a mountain biker, trail runner, kayaker, surfer or climber.

Granada ist ein Paradies für Mountainbiker

Mountainbiking - Granada

Granada - the city with the exciting mixture of Occident and Orient, tapas bars and tea houses - is a real insider tip for mountain bikers. While the tourists in the city visit places of interest like the Alhambra, in the stony Sierra Nevada an endless number of climbs and descents wait for adventurous bikers.

Local tips:

The high one: In Granada stands the Mulhacén, at 3482 metres the highest mountain on the Iberian peninsula - and one of the highest peaks in Europe that can be reached by bike: 2748 metres of altitude difference you step towards the sky here - and then descend on almost endless trails. Hardcore riders do it in one day, all others do it in two daily stages. For those who only want to go downhill: There is a shuttle to the summit.

The long one: From Granada you ride in six stages to Almeria. Between the two towns, mountain bikers can expect around 300 kilometres and almost 10,000 metres of altitude difference.

Fels und Strand – Klettern nur fünf Kilometer entfernt vom Zentrum Palermos

Climbing - Palermo

For climbers, Sicily's coastline has a lot to offer: On the largest island in the Mediterranean, there are many routes that run close to the sea on the rock. The charmingly dilapidated Palermo is an excellent starting point for a climbing holiday: in and around Palermo there are bouldering rocks, hundreds of sports climbing routes and routes with multi-rope lengths. Due to the mild climate, climbers in Sicily can also climb during the transition months and even in winter. The hot summer months are only suitable for sun-resistant athletes. There, one should rather make an excursion to the mountains around Corleone - where, by the way, there are also some interesting climbs to discover.

Local tips:

The city hill: Four kilometres north of the city centre of Palermo lies Monte Pellegrino. The Valdesi climbing area is located on the west side of the mountain. More than a hundred sports climbing routes lie in the best limestone walls on a kilometre-wide rock bar.

The water walls: From Palermo you can reach San Vito lo Capo in about two hours. Monte Monaco stands there with multi-rope routes through walls up to 400 metres high. Sport climbers can work on the five-kilometre wide cliff Scogliera di Salinella in almost 1000 well-secured routes of almost all degrees of difficulty.

Fließen oder schweben? Spektakulär türkisfarbenes Wasser in Slowenien

Kayaking - Ljubljana

Ljubljana is the perfect starting point to get to know Slovenia by water. Whether it is a white-water slalom at Olympic level, a relaxed kayak tour through the city in almost stagnant water or an adventurous trip through a flooded mine - Ljubljana is the ideal starting point for paddling adventures. The 85 km long Ljubljana flows through the city and invites you to discover by boat, with wilder rivers in the surrounding areas.

Local tips:

The black hole: Forty minutes north of Ljubljana lies the small village of Bled, starting point for canyoning adventures and canoeing tours. This is also where the kayak trip to the "black hole" starts: equipped only with headlamps, you paddle through the pitch-black, underground tunnels of a former mine.

The wild one: If you continue from Bled, you will soon come across the Soča. The river with the bright turquoise water flows through several gorges and canyons. In a large gorge between Trnovo and the Napoleon Bridge lies the kayak course on which the Slovenian Olympic team trains. Caution: only for experts!

Der Strand Matosinhos liegt direkt hinter dem Hafen Portos

Surfing - Porto

Sagres, Peniche, Nazaré: Portugal has many famous surf spots - so many surfers are drawn to the land of explorers and sailors. The result: On the popular beaches you cavort in the water with like-minded people; in Lisbon with many locals. But there is another way: around Porto it is quieter. The water quality near the city may not be the best, but there are line-ups to be proud of - and with a bit of luck you'll be the only one. Even surfing legend Garrett McNamara was already surfing in town.

Local tips:

Close to the city: North of the port is Leça, the most spectacular surf spot in the city. There are good sandbanks here that produce a constant wave. Caution: The currents towards the pier can be violent - only for experts!

The famous one: One of the most famous surf spots in the north of Portugal is located about 16 kilometres south of the city centre of Porto: At the beach of Espinho, the waves are surfable up to three metres - but if the swell is moderate, anyone can dare into the water here.


Salzburg ist eine Hochburg fürs Trailrunning. Jährlich findet hier das Trailrunning Festival statt

Trailrunning - Salzburg

Salzburg is a city of traditions - including the trail running tradition. Several hundred trails, the famous Hochkönig and an annual trail running festival attract runners from all over the world. This year for the first time the festival hosts a Nightrun: With headlamps it leads over 5.4 kilometres through the historical Salzburg old town. After the training: Mozartkugeln with a clear conscience. Or once again up the 120 metre high rock on which the Hohensalzburg is enthroned.

Local tips:

The beginner: The almost eight-kilometre-long panorama trail leads through the city to the Mönchsberg. With an altitude difference of just under 200 metres, it is ideal for trail running beginners.

The demanding one: The Gaisbergtrail leads from Salzburg's old town via the Kapuzinerberg to the Gaisbergspitze. At the end of the race, 1700 steps and around 1000 metres of altitude difference are waiting on 22 kilometres.

Photos - Philipp Reiter (lead story, Salzburg), Peter Seidl (Granada), Ignazio Mannarano (Palermo), Marko Balažic / Unsplash (Ljubljana), Karim Sakhibgareev / Unsplash