Relaxing was overrated for holidaymakers in 2022, as a rise in “endorphin tourism” scaled new heights according to new data.
Travellers are trading in their beach towels and pool inflatables in favour of running shoes and hiking poles as they go in search of an exercise endorphin high as active travel becomes the holiday of the moment.
Brandnation analysed Google search data for our client Merrell that found a demand for sports travel increased by 130% this year with searches for running holidays up 60% and hiking holidays rising by 80%.
A new breed of tourist is placing a higher value on a physical challenge and a connection with the planet in the pursuit of meaning and a wellness buzz.
To provide some active holiday inspiration for endorphin junkies, we curated a collection of some of Europe’s finest trails in partnership with Merrell athletes, designed to set pulses racing amidst some most scenic spots on the continent.
Perhaps there’s no better way to recharge your batteries than to drain them on an epic adventure holiday?
Isle of Trail – UK
Did you know the British Isles were made up of over 6,000 islands?
Leave the mainland and to go in search of trails less travelled in some of the UK’s most remote and beautiful places. A celebration of lands that are all at sea – journey across Holy Island, Raasay and Sark – three islands rich in history and beauty.
Castles in the Sky – Germany
Running and hiking routes that are fit for a king in Bavaria. A royal seal of approval is to three of Germany’s most regal trail routes that uncovers the history behind some the country’s celebrated castles.
With over 20,000 castles across the nation, active travellers are spoilt for choice with castles spanning grand palaces to battle-ready fortresses such as Neuschwanstein, Konighaus Am Schachen and Schloss Sigmaringen.
Lava Runner – Spain
Go where worlds collide, in search of fiery peaks across Spain. A tribute to epic volcanic landscapes – lace up and explore three incredible volcanoes traversing fault lines, navigate calderas and cross terrain that seems out of this world.
Travel to the Carnary Islands and visit Mount Teide, Santa Margarida and Cumbre Vieja to discover some of the finest routes the nation has to offer.
Nordic Safari – Scandinavia
The Nordic region of Europe is oft-regarded as one of the most beautiful parts of the planet.
And none more so for those looking for the most challenging and stunning hikes in the world.
Head across Scandinavia on a trek in search of some of the continent’s wildest wildlife and untouched scenery.
Tour de Trail – France
The iconic mountain stages of Le Tour de France, the world’s largest annual sporting event, have long been known as a graveyard for even some of the sport’s finest athletes – swallowing them up spitting them out again as their legs scream for no more suffering.
But, like cyclists, trail runners are also partial to what’s known as Type 2 fun – fun that is miserable while it’s happening, but fun in retrospect. In celebration of the nation’s greatest sporting spectacle, retrace the wheels of the peloton across three of Le Tour’s most revered climbs, Aravis, Pic du Midi and Ventoux.
For more information visit Merrell UK Edition: Trails of Europe
Check out our latest campaign: Merrell – Seven Natural Wonders of the UK