Are you planning a holiday in the city, but still want to be active outside during or after corona times far away from the masses? OutDoor Society shows you four unusual cities, where you can also explore the local specialties in sports.
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 trail runner, kayaker, surfer or climber. All cities promise safety in corona times - or are a good destination to resume travelling afterwards.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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. The festival also hosts a Nightrun: With headlamps it leads over 5.5 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.
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), Ignazio Mannarano (Palermo), Marko Balažic / Unsplash (Ljubljana), Karim Sakhibgareev / Unsplash