It’s one of those made up words that jar with some people, and makes others jump up and down with excited anticipation. However, the concept of choosing a destination that you’d normally choose for a holiday as a temporary workplace, is here to stay. More and more people who are able to work remotely are seeking out fresh new workplaces that have holiday vibes on the doorstep. And it’s the doorstep bit where we can help, guiding you over the threshold from some of Europe’s best places for a workation, to mountain trails and coastal paths. That way, you can easily combine your workation with even more locations in your time off.
Gran Canaria, Spain
Rapidly becoming a digital nomad favourite, with co-working hotels and high-speed internet in idyllic locations, Gran Canaria ticks a lot of boxes for workers with wanderlust. Although it’s the most populated of the Canary Islands, it also has some of the highest numbers of mountains, so there are plenty of exquisite escape routes to explore at the beginning or end of your workation. Gran Canaria is also big on biodiversity, as white sandy beaches are contrasted with pine-covered hills, laurel forests and volcanic craters. When you log out you can easily get out, with trails to the banana and avocado plantations of the Agaete Valley, or the Pinos de Galdar pine forest, as well as a trek up to Roque Nublo, an iconic 67m tall volcanic rock at 1,813m. Our walking holidays in Gran Canaria are open for bookings every month of the year, so instead of upping your home office thermostat, you can up sticks instead.
Our walking holidays in Crete are open for bookings between March and November, and so you have a great workation window to combine coding with hiking or sales meetings with sunshine. It also has a big expat community and so co-working is now seen as a norm in towns like Chania or Heraklion, Rethymnon or Agios Nikolaos. All of which are within easy reach for heading off on a natural adventure, with our holidays covering all compass points of this mountainous island. Heading north to south through the White Mountains and stupendous Samaria Gorge is an epic Cretan adventure, ending up at Agia Roumeli beach in the west, because the coast always beckons when walking or on a workation on Crete. Our eastern walking holiday leads you through the Sitìa Geopark to some of Crete’s best beaches, finishing in the coastal village of Zakros. Perfect for Zooming and snoozing.
Lisbon is leading on the digital nomad oases front right now, with its contemporary arts scene, excellent food and drink hubs and architectural cool all making it one of the best places for a workation. In short, Lisbon is lit. And when you combine it with the colourful and colossal Pena Palace at Sintra and surrounding mountains, just 23km from the capital, it’s the icing on your pastel de nata. Sintra is also accessible by train from Lisbon and within minutes you have not only the great palace and the other grand buildings in its complex, but also the Serra de Sintra mountains and walking trails in Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. With five full days of hiking alongside vineyards, through pine forests and dramatic seascapes, your trip comes to a finale in the coastal town of Cascais, just an hour’s train ride back to your workation location in Lisbon.
Athens and Kea, Greece
Swap cycle to work schemes for a Cyclades to work scene, on our holiday that combines the lively, co-working vibe of Athens with an eco-escape to the small island of Kea, which welcomes walkers between January and November. On this self-guided walking holiday you get some of the best of Hellenic heritage, cultural and natural. In Athens, where you spend two days, or more if you choose to extend it to incorporate your workation dates, explore the city on our ‘hike and bite’ tour through not only some of the city’s ancient cultural highlights, but also its green and great gourmand spaces. You then take a short ferry journey to Kea, the Cycladic island that’s closest to the capital. Boasting an array of walking trails along ancient kalderimi to the likes of Otzia Bay, the ancient site of Karthaia and elegant town of Ioulida, you will never regret extending your trip here to segue slowly back into a work routine, remotely and blissfully.
The Bulgarian cities of Sofia and Plovdiv have been thriving in the world of workations for a while now, with a low cost of living, plenty of international access and an array of landscapes on their doorsteps to chill at, after a day at ‘the office’. However, Bansko is a new one to watch, the ski resort and summer hiking hub that now hosts a digital nomad conference annually. It’s also only 30mins from Pirin National Park which you can combine with your workation and explore in more depth on our Pirin Mountains walking break or Rila and Pirin Mountains and Lakes holiday. You can even create a cacophony of adventures in August, when the hills of Plovdiv are alive with music at the International Jazz Festival in Bansko. Read more here on the best time to go to Bulgaria for a workation, vacation or a harmonisation of the two.
Great value, excellent cultural heritage, and top outdoor activities on the doorstep in the Carpathian Mountains, are just a few reasons why Kraków has cracked the digital nomad market. As well as the fact that it has excellent international travel connections whether you want to fly or travel by train. In fact, all of our Poland natural adventure tours start in Kraków due its proximity to the Carpathian Mountains. In Kraków itself, the Old Town, Wawel Royal Castle and Jewish Quarter Kazimierz are all high on visitors’ lists, as well as the very cool cultural scene. This ranges from top notch opera, theatre and galleries, such as the Bunkier and MOCAK Museums of Contemporary Art.
Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, is getting a lot of love from remote-curious adventurers, with its handsome Old Town, a sussed attitude towards sustainability, and its proximity to the mountains. Triglav National Park is just 78km from the capital, and home to the Julian Alps where you can hike summits guided or self-guided, or take on more chilled trails through mountainous sylvan woods, the Soca and Sava river valleys and the magnificent Seven Lakes Valley on our array of walking holidays. You won’t want to get back to work, but as we transfer your luggage for you, you could always take your laptop with you on your adventure, so that you can start off with a walking day and end with a working day. We hope that this blog has got you thinking outside the box if you would like to combine remote working with remote rambling.
If you like to do things a little differently in life, you may also enjoy our blogs on Our top Tour du Mont Blanc alternatives and Alternatives to the Camino de Santiago. For any other enquiries about how we can add some adventures to your workation, please don’t hesitate to contact our team (many of whom work and live in heavenly locations!). Adventure. It’s in our nature.