With the 2016 Olympic Games getting underway this weekend, it’s hard not to get swept up in supporting Team GB and wishing you’d realised those dreams of being an Olympic athlete at a younger age. If you take a sudden interest in these sports every four years, then why not get involved with them yourself? While taking on a new sport is always something fun and exciting, why not make it even more of an experience with a great reason to travel?
With Olympic heroes like Bradley Wiggins, Laura Trott and Mark Cavendish, it’s clear to see why cycling is becoming a more popular sport for the general public to support. In Belfast, the Giro D’Italia graced our shores in 2014 and helped push road cycling into the public eye too so it is a growing sport. However, while the busy roads of your local town might not appeal to you, and a velodrome isn’t quite popping up on every street corner yet, some beautiful European landscapes have more countryside routes that can offer spectacular scenery while you get to enjoy the cycle. Tuscany is a great option for those seeking this kind of break and with maps & GPS trails, you can take the holiday at your own pace to explore the region around your base hotel.
Alternatively, for those who are more into the mountain biking side of the sport, our short holiday in Austria includes guided MTB tours of the mountains, as well as the opportunity to try dirt surfing and then relax in the hotel’s own wellness area after an energy-filled day! While you might not quite reach the extreme heights that the Olympians will on the weekend of the 20th & 21st August, you’ll still get a little taste of the thrill in the sport.
Canoe slalom & sprint
The canoe slaloms are currently underway at the Olympics and even a non-swimmer like myself can see the excitement in the sport! The slalom involves working your way down a course passing through the gates as quick as possible. Team GB have always been quite strong in this sport so hopefully that run continues this year in Rio. The canoe sprint is a bit more straightforward, and could be compared to the track sprints athletes like Usain Bolt excel in! For those who like the normal race format where you don’t have to wait to find out other results, this is probably more to your tastes.
While we don’t have any canoeing breaks in Europe that compare to these thrill sports, kayaking can allow you to experience the same sort of movements at a gentler pace to explore your surroundings. Whether you want to explore near or far, we have the holiday breaks for you and your kayaking interest. In Slovenia, you can kayak the waters of the green Sava Bohinjka river, while those looking more of a staycation can mix it up a little with pedal kayaking (let your legs do the hard work for you!) in beautiful Co. Fermanagh in Northern Ireland!
Windsurfing is certainly an Olympic sport that you could see being more enjoyable in Rio de Janeiro than it would have been at London 2012. For windsurfing while you need wind, the sun is also something that you come to associate with those awesome photos of people controlling the waves around them! At ActivityBreaks.com we understand the struggle and so our Fuerteventura windsurfing week provides you with 6 days instruction in the island of eternal spring so you don’t have to worry about the weather during your stay. If you want some inspiration, tonight sees the preliminaries of both the men and women’s events at Rio 2016 so you can catch it while eating your dinner and see if you fancy yourself as being that cool!
Rio 2016 marks the return of rugby to the Olympics. While back in 1924, the standard 15-player version was played, the new addition to the Olympics is the shortened rugby sevens where seven players compete for each team during seven-minute halves. For fans of rugby, it allows a quick snippet of the sport to get through the long summer months while being able to cheer on Team GB rather than the individual nations. While you might not see Danny Cipriani at the tournament, plenty of the most talented men and women’s rugby players will be at the tournament, including Sonny Bill Williams, 60-times capped England star Danielle Waterman, and Mark Bennett!
If this sparks your interest in the sport, then why not cheer on your country in the standard version at the 2017 Six Nations tournament? We have ticket packages available for all the games in Edinburgh, Paris, Dublin & Rome from €191per person – grab them now so you don’t miss out!