Stay active abroad with 12 of the best activity holidays
Life's too short to spend your holiday lazing on the beach. Whilst we're all for a cocktail and a bestseller, keeping active as part of a fit, healthy lifestyle doesn't have to stop just because you're on holiday. Activity holidays are great if you're the type who gets bored after half an hour lazing by the pool – there will always be plenty to keep you busy, whether you're trekking in the Himalayas or skiing in Switzerland. Not to mention you can fill up on healthy local cuisine at the end of a busy day.
Because we all love to travel, we've come up with 12 of the best activity holidays that will keep you active this autumn – the only problem is which one to choose!
#1. Hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain
The Camino de Santiago, also known as St James's Way, is a pilgrimage route to the Shrine of St James the Great in Galicia, northwestern Spain, where it's believed the saint's ruins are buried. This spiritual trek attracts millions of Christian pilgrims every year and it's not unusual to find people travelling the traditional way, on horseback or by donkey, as well as those just enjoying a walking holiday.
There are many routes to follow, although popular starting places are Paris or Somport in France or Jaca in Spain. Instead of just hiking, why not learn Spanish as you go? Research shows it can be easier to learn a language whilst you're on the move, so sign up for Spanish lessons on a six-day trek; you can book with Responsible Travel for great value.
#2. Align your chakras in Croatia
Croatia is a beautiful destination at any time of the year; the Dubrovnik Riviera is the perfect place to unwind and let the stresses of modern life drift away. Book a holiday with Well Being Escapes and you can enjoy keeping fit with personal training sessions, as well as spa and holistic massage facilities. There's even yoga, if you like. Healthy breakfasts are on hand to fuel you for a day of walking around the historic city of Dubrovnik.
#3. Take to the slopes in Andorra
The ski resort of Soldeu in north west Andorra is the perfect place to soak up Catalan culture whilst enjoying the facilities of southern Europe's largest ski area. 205Km of piste and 65 ski lifts, plus slopes to suit all levels of ability make this a great destination for winter sports lovers. Tax-free shopping in Andorra la Vella is a must, whilst the nightlife here is decidedly lively. You can also enjoy walking and snow-shoeing.
#4. Trekking in the Himalayas
You could trek some of the more strenuous routes in the Everest region, but if you're looking for a more relaxed trekking option, bring the family along on a holiday with The Adventure Company. You'll start your six-day trek in Kathmandu where you can explore the Hindu and Buddhist temples and sample local specialities – Nepalese food is quite different from Indian cuisine! Fly to Lukla and visit the Sherpa city of Namche Bazaar before heading to Thynangboche Monastery, where you'll experience awe-inspiring views of Everest.
#5. Saddle up in India
Ever fancied exploring India on horseback? Saddle up and enjoy an eight-day ride that takes you from Chittargarh to Udapiur. Provided you already know how to ride, this is a great opportunity to see India at its best, staying in traditional camps, lodges and old forts along the way. You'll visit unspoilt villages and get the chance to explore one of India's most stunning towns, Udaipur.
#6. Active adventures in Antarctica
Stunning landscapes, entertaining wildlife and a feeling of isolation ensure an Antarctic cruise will be one to remember, but you don't have to just sit back and watch seals, whales and penguins in their natural habitat. Kayaking, scuba-diving, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing – there are plenty of activities here to keep you fit and healthy. When you want to wind down, whale watching is the perfect way to relax. Here you'll see the blue whale, sperm whale, minke whale and humpback whale. Book your cruise with Journey Latin America – you can tailor your perfect bespoke holiday.
#7. Snow adventures in Slovakia
Did you know that Solvakia has some of the best mountains in Europe? Tatra is the most renowned mountain range in the country and is the ideal spot for a winter sports breal. You can head straight for the slopes for skiing or snowboarding, enjoy a dogsled ride or take off on a snow-shoe trek. The thermal pools are a great place to relax and unwind. Book an eight-day trip with The Adventure Company and you'll even get to see the sights of Vienna before checking into your ski resort.
#8. Trek Mount Kilimanjaro
The world's tallest freestanding mountain, Kilimanjaro is 5,985 metres high – trip to the summit are popular with trekkers of all abilities, offering views over Kenya and Tanzania. There are four routes to choose from when you book a holiday to Kilimanjaro, depending on your level of walking ability. From steep ascents aimed at the more experienced to a quiete, more gradual ascent, you'll enjoy trekking for five to ten hours every day before setting up camp for the night. Book your trek now with The Adventure Company.
#9. Kayaking in Turkey
A 13-day trip to Turkey is the perfect way to see more of this fascinating country. Book a Turkey Active break with The Adventure Company and you'll enjoy cycling, snorkelling, sightseeing, relaxing in a Turkish hammam, kayaking and more. Begin your journey in Istanbul where you can explore Topkapi Palace, visit the Archaeology Museum or take a ferry cruise. You'll never be short of things to see and do, and at the end of a long day, relax with a Turkish coffee or refreshing tea. Local cuisine is full of flavour and salads feature heavily; perfect for eating healthily on your break.
#10. By land and by sea in the Pyrenees
You might think of trekking when you think of the Pyrenees, but an activity holiday to Andorra doesn't have to be just about walking. Get on your bike and explore the Siscaro Reserve and the Iron Route – mountain biking across the dirt tracks here is quite an experience! Enjoy white water rafting at the Port de Cabus near the Spanish border, where you'll find various grades of rapids (up to class III). Finally, a day of zip wiring in the Porte de Puymorens Valley will get your endorphins flowing and your adrenaline pumping, leaving you feeling great.
#11. Climbing in Argentina
A 21-day holiday to Argentina with KE Adeventure Travel is the perfect way to escape your 9 to 5. You'll climb Aconcagua, the highest peak in Latin America at 6,962 metres. Despite its height, it's not technically demanding, and Argentinian/Bolivian mountain guides will be with you at all times. You'll set up basecamp at Plaza de Mulas and trek to the summit, where you'll find the 'Berlin' camp at 6,000 metres.
#12. See the Grand Canyon on two wheels
A biking holiday to the USA with KE Adventure Travel lets you visit the red-rock trails of Utah and Arizona, head for Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon and enjoy a cosmpolitan experience whilst camping at some of the most scenic campgrounds you will ever have seen. Hard-pack dirt tracks and trails plus slickrock and technical singletrack ensure this is an amazing adventure for experienced mountain bikers. There are even opportunities for climbing, and you'll get to enjoy the glitz of the Las Vegas Strip.