What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2019? If one of them is to travel more, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve taken an office poll and our team of travel experts has voted for the best active holidays in Europe in 2019 from over 450 active itineraries, which was no small feat! From cruising the Mediterranean coastlines to challenging alpine walks and family friendly cycling holidays, this year’s ‘best of’ list includes trips for people of all ages, interests and fitness levels.
Best in Boat: Turkey Walk & Sail
This active boat based itinerary offers the perfect combination of activity and relaxation and affords travellers the opportunity to see the best of the Turkish Lycian coast from the sea and on foot. Walking on shepherds’ tracks in areas so remote that they can only be accessed from the sea, you’ll find yourself at archaeological sites that are only accessible on foot. Staying on board a traditional Turkish Gulet, you’ll enjoy exceptional local cuisine and the best of Turkish hospitality. Over the course of the 8 day guided tour, there will be plenty of time to relax and enjoy all that cruising along this stunning coastline has to offer, and to swim in hidden bays you discover. Our staff love this itinerary because it is so flexible – if you feel like relaxing one day instead of walking, you simply stay on board and enjoy the view as the boat cruises to the next bay.
>> Find out more and reserve your place on the Turkey Walk & Sail today.
Best for Foodies: Food Lover’s Francigena Way
This fantastic addition to our popular Food Lovers’ walks combines the incredible landscapes of Tuscany and the fascinating history of the ancient Via Francigena pilgrim route with daily opportunities to sample the best food and wine in each region you visit. Starting in the foodie capital of Parma, you’ll walk some of the most picturesque sections of the Via Francigena, visiting the magnificent cities of Lucca, Florence and Rome and the impeccably well-preserved medieval citadels of Siena, San Gimignano and Monteriggioni. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to sample local produce, gastronomic masterpieces and even enjoy a hands-on cooking class so that you can learn some of the secrets of Italian cuisine. As food is one of the biggest drawcards of Italy, combining a food focussed tour with guided walks equates to a guilt-free holiday, which we think is genius!
>> Join us on the Food Lover’s Francigena Way in May or September 2019.
Best for Families: Tuscany Cycle for Families
If your idea of a good family holiday in Europe involves cycling through relatively flat countryside and eating lots of gelato and pizza, you’ll love this 8 day self guided cycling trip from Pisa to Florence. There is no shortage of attractions along the way to keep the kids engaged, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the famous Natural History Museum of Calci, two hands-on museums dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci and the Duomo of Florence. And each night you’ll be staying in comfortable family run hotels, generally with swimming pools and gardens, perfect for relaxing after a full day exploring the Tuscan countryside on two wheels.
>> Find out more about the Tuscany Cycle for Families.
Best for Alpine: Tour de Monte Rosa
At 4634m, the magnificent Monte Rosa massif is the highest peak in the Pennine Alps, and the second highest in the European Alps after Mont Blanc, but it draws only a fraction of the visitor attention. Surrounded by an amphitheatre of awe-inspiring 4000m peaks, a hike along the Tour de Monte Rosa is one of the most popular long distance walks in Europe for serious hikers. With daily ascents of up to 1750m, our staff think this memorable 7 day guided walk is a must for those wanting a serious challenge in a gorgeous alpine setting.
Read Travel Writer Andrew Bain’s article about his experience trekking Monte Rosa on this trip here > Monte Rosa, Switzerland: The most spectacular place in Europe.
>> Book your place on one of 10 Tour de Monte Rosa Walk departures in 2019.
Best for Vines: Highlights of the Rioja by Bike
Wine lovers can’t go past this 8 day self guided cycle, which takes you through modern wine estates famous for their classic bold reds. Bordered by mountains and dissected by the Ebro River, the Rioja region lends well to cycling. You’ll spend your days cycling along quiet country roads and the Camino de Santiago trail, stopping at your leisure to visit charming villages, castles, monasteries and churches. In addition to sampling regional wine at cellar doors, you’ll have your pick of award-winning restaurants in countryside estates and medieval villages and enjoy the atmosphere in specially handpicked hotels oozing with character.
>> Find out more about cycling the Rioja region.
Best for Off the Beaten Path: Rota Vicentina – The Fishermen’s Trail
Opened in 2013, the Rota Vicentina is a 450km network of trails through what’s been described as ‘Europe’s empty corner’. Despite its endless beaches and authentic fishing villages, this area is yet to be discovered by travellers or walkers. The Fishermen’s Trail is part of this new long-distance walking trail in the sparsely populated Alentejo region, which follows trails used by locals to get to beaches and fishing spots along one of the most raw, rugged and beautiful coastal areas in Europe. Staff love this 7 day itinerary because of the flexibility you have to stop and swim in endless beaches and sample fresh fish in authentic fishing villages.
>> Find out more about walking on the Rota Vicentina in Portugal.
Want some more inspiration? See more top picks for the best active holidays in Europe in 2019.