Europe On The Cheap: Eight Active Trips For Less Than £500

Cycling near Lake Constance, one of our budget friendly trips in Europe
Cycling near Lake Constance, one of our budget friendly trips in Europe

The best budget holidays in Europe that won’t break the bank

An active holiday in Europe doesn’t have to break the bank. From the Cotswolds to the Camino and Normandy to Mount Olympus, there are many cheap trips in the UK and Europe.
Walking the quiet trails enroute to Santiago on the Camino Sanabres

The Camino - from £495 per person

Did you know that you can walk the Camino for less than £500? The route from Sanabrés to Santiago is one of the oldest Camino routes. The quiet, rural paths predate Christian pilgrims, going back to when Celt, Phoenician and Roman traders travelled the lands. Their use of the trail resulted in many hospices, temples and monasteries being built, which complement perfectly the beautiful Galician landscape today.
Pass Vauban Tower near Port-en-Bessin in France |  <i>G. Wait</i>

Normandy - from £495 per person

Normandy is the land of William the Conqueror and this coastal walk heads through the ‘calvados’ (apple brandy) heartland, where visits to the cellars and pressing sheds are an essential part of the local experience! For history aficionados, this cheap trip in Europe also offers the opportunity to trace the historic sites of World War II’s Battle of Normandy on a reflective walk from Arromanches, where the British forces established an artificial Mulberry harbour, to Bayeux, close to the British War Cemetery.
Hidcote Manor Garden in the Cotswolds |  <i>Els van Veelen</i>

The Cotswolds - from £430 per person

Britain’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds landscape features a patchwork of gentle hills dotted with picture postcard villages and rustic old pubs (perfect for leisurely lunches!). It is one of the most quintessentially English parts of the country and this trip, our cheapest trip in the UK, is specially crafted for anyone who wants a soft introduction to walking in the English countryside, dotted with will ancient castles, manor houses, old abbeys and Roman villas.
Local life in the Balkan Mountains of Bulgaria

Balkan Mountains - from £495 per person

A walk in the Balkan Mountains offers the perfect alternative mountain experience in Europe, full of lush green valleys, sheer cliffs, peaceful forests and quaint villages. Teeming with history and beautiful natural landscapes, Bulgaria is a land where time stands still: old water mills are still in operation, sheep graze peacefully in their pastures, farmers still make hay with a pitchfork and wooden carts pulled by horse are the norm.  
A walker overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on the Rota Vicentina in Portugal |  <i>John Millen</i>

Alentejo - from £490 per person

The Alentejo is a contrasting landscape of wild beauty, where tourists rarely visit despite endless beaches and authentic fishing villages: the region covers a third of Portugal’s landmass but only 4% of its population! The long-distance Rota Vicentina footpath is an eco-tourism initiative developed to promote low impact tourism in this unspoilt corner of Portugal. It is split into two sections, the Fishermen’s Trail and a coastal walk in the Algarve to Cape St Vincent, Portugal’s southwesternmost point.
Pausing to admire the view on the Mt Olympus walk

Mount Olympus - from £450 per person

The mythical Mount Olympus, the alleged home of the 12 Ancient Greek Gods, is a landscape of mighty plateaus, ridges and gorges. It was the first ever National Park in Greece, with its lower flanks protected as a World Biosphere Reserve. On this guided walk, you can expect spectacular vistas as you trek to various peaks – there are 52 in total! Depending on weather conditions you may even make it to Mytikas (‘nose’), the mountain’s highest peak at 2,918 metres.   
Cyclists on the shores of Lake Constance

Lake Constance - from £450 per person

If you are looking for a cheap trip in Europe, want to clock up the miles and have a good ride out with the opportunity to visit three countries in three days, this cycling trip is hard to look past! Bordered by Germany, Switzerland and Austria, the circular path around Lake Constance, Europe’s third largest lake, is ideal for leisurely cycling, with the amazing landscape of the blue water set against the stunning backdrop of the Alps.
Stopping to visit the church at Thorley

Isle of Wight - from £470 per person

Pick up your hire bike at the traditional seaside resort of Ryde and let your cycling holiday begin! The Isle of Wight exists in many ways in its own time warp: half of the island is an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ and everything is on a manageable scale. There are no huge towns or big industrial blights but long chalky downs, sandy beaches and enchanting woodlands. You will find plenty of ice cream and fish ’n’ chip shops, but also traditional pubs, quiet paths, historical churches and gems of villages.
If you are looking for more budget friendly ideas, here is where you can go in the UK and Europe for less than £500.
Quiet village backwaters on the  Rota Vicentina |  <i>John Millen</i>
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