Active Travel Wish Lists

Dogsledding is one of the highlights of an Arctic adventure | Kate Baker
Dogsledding is one of the highlights of an Arctic adventure | Kate Baker

Active Travel Wish Lists

Holiday season gift inspiration

 
Need some holiday season gift inspiration? We've compiled some Christmas present ideas in the form of active travel wish lists. Perfect for leaving open on a computer screen for someone to find...accidentally, of course.
 
With the launch of our new UTracks Active Travel Vouchers, you can easily contribute towards a special someone's future travels. Now that's a gift we'd love to receive.
 
Take a browse of our full list of holiday gift ideas or jump to a particular topic.
 
 

Holidays for those who like to drink Europe’s finest beers and wines


Douro Rambler

Vineyards above the Douro Valley
 
If you’re yet to experience the beauty of Portugal and also enjoy sipping the odd world class vino, the Douro Rambler could be the holiday you’ve been waiting for. The Alto Douro Wine Region is famous not only for its port but also for its more recent high quality table wines. This self-guided, hotel based walking and sightseeing trip starts from the village of Vilarinho de Sao Romeo in the middle of the region, then continues down to the small port-town of Pinhão on the Douro River and finally travelling via train to the great city of Porto for a couple of nights. There are a number of walks that you can do based from our charming and quiet guest house at Vilarinho, before you descend to the Douro for more leisurely activities such as boat rides or wine tasting.

Highlights: Walking in the hills of the Serra de Alem and soaking up the sensory pleasures of the Portuguese woods, pine, heather, eucalyptus, broom and thyme.

View Trip: Click here to view the Douro Rambler holiday.
 

Bavarian Beer Trail Cycle

Cycling through historic Bamberg |  <i>Tim Charody</i>
 
For the beer lover, this is a perfect holiday that pays pilgrimage to the special grounds of the amber nectar. Following the Beer Cycle Route in the Aisch Valley - which has an average of one brewery per kilometre, making it the area with the highest concentration of breweries in the world - there is ample time to take in the laid-back atmosphere in lively beer gardens. However, there is much more to the region than beer. UNESCO heritage listed Bamberg with its half timbered houses lining the river, Rothenburg which was spared bombings during WWII by the US Secretary of War and is the most medieval city in Germany, and Nuremberg with its colourful history are all explored along the way.

Highlights: Visiting the town of Aufsess, a small town that has made it to the Guinness Book of Records for the most breweries per resident!
 
 

Belgium Beer Cycle

Brussels main square during a beer festival |  <i>Milo Profi</i>
 
This is a new trip for 2020 and is a fitting companion to the Bavarian Beer Cycle. Belgium is renowned for its fine chocolate, delicious waffles, and arguably above all, wonderful beer. Belgian brewing traditions date back to the Middle Ages and are still in use today, with abbey-dwelling monks still producing some of the world's most refreshing and flavoursome brews. Combine this passion with a welcoming cycling culture and you'll appreciate this everywhere you go, from pedalling the streets of cosmopolitan Antwerp to riding through the Campine woods that are teeming with nature. 

Highlights: Take a break from cycling at St Benedict's Abbey and sample a well-earned Trappist beer fresh from the keg. 
 
 

Champagne Trails

 
Cycling near Esbly, Champagne
Known throughout the world for its celebratory drink, the Champagne region is just under two hours by train from Paris. Exploring the region by bike reveals so much more to Champagne than endless vineyards. There are forests, interspersed with quiet trails along the Marne River, leading to charming villages. The grand cities of Epernay and Reims are rich in historical legacies such as the magnificent Gothic cathedral in Reims.

Highlights: Being completely immersed in champagne culture and history. Walking through the underground cellars of Moët and Chandon; visiting Hautvillers, the village of the famous monk, Dom Perignon; finishing a day’s cycle in Vertus, home to one of the major Champagne houses, Duval-Leroy.
 
 

Holidays for those who like sampling spectacular cuisine...


Food Lover’s Walking Holidays


The fabulous collection of food lover's walking holidays highly rated trips immerses your senses from head to toe. Sample the walking and culinary highlights of some of our most popular destinations in France, Spain and Italy.
 

Food Lover’s Via Francigena

 
Truffles are a delicacy on the Via Francigena |  <i>Tim Charody</i>
Discover Italy’s farm to table connection and explore the highlights of the Italian Camino, the Via Francigena trail. 

Highlights: Learning how to make fresh pasta from a local chef in a hands-on cooking class in Lucca, Tuscany. A notion as romantic as the area itself.
 
 

Food Lover’s Spanish Camino

Andreas Holland, Food Lover's Spanish Camino escort, walking with group in Galicia Spain |  <i>Andreas Holland</i>
Experience the most scenic sections of various Camino trails as you head towards the iconic Santiago de Compostela. Along the way, treat yourself to the exquisite regional cuisine and learn local insights from your passionate guide.

Highlights: After a day of exploring the Camino trails, reward yourself with a first class dining experience at the renowned Michelin 2 starred restaurant, Casa Marcial, then sleep easy at your unique accommodation in an idyllic former monastery.
 
 

Food Lover’s French Way of St James

 
Leaving Chely de Aubrac
Does a walk through France’s most charming Camino trails, while discovering the delectable cheeses, wines and truffles of the region, really need a description of how enjoyable this holiday is? We’re sure you’re having no trouble imagining how beautiful this trip in France is.

Highlights: Although every moment on this splendid holiday really is a highlight, one stand out event is walking through the farmer’s markets in Cahors amongst the locals and helping choose the fresh produce for a picnic. Truly being immersed in the local experience.
 
 
 

Holidays for those who like European Cycling

Watch the Giro d'Italia in 2020

Danube River, Budapest |  <i>Rachel Imber</i>
 
The great Italian bicycle race starts in Hungary and includes Sicily in 2020. Hop on a tour and watch this gruelling cycling competition live in Italy.
 
Highlights: It's the first time the Giro d'Italia has featured in Hungary. Seeing this magnificent competition race around Budapest is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity.
 
 

View the Tour de France in 2020

Cyclist exploring the cobbled town of Civezza on the Nice to Genoa Cycle |  <i>Andrew Bain</i>
 
The Tour de France route for 2020 has been released and it's been labelled ‘one of the toughest’ as cyclists compete over the southern mountains of France. See how you can spectate the world's greatest bike race.
 
Highlights: If, like me, you're not as fit as the Tour de France competitors, you can still access cycle paths over hills with the help of an e-bike. These add an extra oompf to your pedalling and are available on 90% of UTracks trips - take a look at which trips are electric bike friendly here.
 
 
 

Travelling with the kids? Give them a special holiday they’ll remember forever


Mont Blanc Family Adventure

 
Families walking with donkeys beneath the lofty heights of Mont Blanc |  <i>Kate Baker</i>
 
This specialised walk ensures that all members of the family experience the spectacular trails and wonderful alpine spirit of the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. Guided along mountain trails this relaxed itinerary provides awesome views of Mont Blanc with overnight stays in charming alpine villages and mountain huts. We have plenty of time to enjoy the small villages we happen upon along the way, including the delightful La Fouly and enchanting Trient. Staying in local refuges we feast on French, Swiss and Italian cuisine. This itinerary, suitable for active children from age 7 and up, provides an exhilarating alpine walk with unforgettable vistas around every bend.

Highlights: Getting to know the donkeys that travel with our small group. The donkeys transport our bags and supplies and become part of the walking experience, with the children taking turns leading their favourite donkey. 
 
 

Croatia Family Adventure

 
Croatia cycling with the family on the island of Korcula |  <i>Ross Baker</i>
 
Explore the stunning islands and coastline of southern Dalmatia on board a charming boat, with overnights in scenic ports and quiet bays. Each day brings a new island to discover either by bike or on foot or even by raft. There is also the option to remain on board, relax and take a swim or wander the streets of historic harbour towns. The activities are specifically geared towards the whole family ensuring that the experience is both informative and interactive with the right amount of walking or cycling. Through stories and legends, the guide will help to bring to life the country’s cultural and natural treasures whilst also touching on Croatia’s eventful history.

Highlights: The daily swims in the pristine Adriatic Sea will keep the entire family very, very happy.
 
 

Sweden Summer Family Adventure

Family at Abba Museum in Stockholm |  <i>Kate Baker</i>
Southern Sweden remains one of Europe's best kept secrets, with its countryside dotted with charming villages, open meadows, pristine forests, glittering lakes and extensive archipelagos, all just waiting to be explored on foot, by bike and aboard a canoe or boat. On this specially designed family itinerary, the activities begin in Stockholm with a ride through this super cycle friendly city, to the Ecopark, the world’s first national park to be located within a city. Swapping your bikes for canoes, you travel through dramatic and varied scenery of the Marviken lake. Lacing up your hiking boots, the journey continues on foot through the forests and wilderness enroute to Gnesta where you stay in a beautifully located farmhouse with wonderful views across the lake. A final stretch by bike takes you past the royal Tullgarn Palace to the seaside town of Trosa on the Baltic Sea with its pretty wooden houses.

Highlights: Camping overnight on Lake Klämmingen, where you arrive by canoe to find your camp set up for a peaceful night among the wildlife.
 
 

The Winter Wonderland holiday you’ve always wanted


Sweden Northern Lights & Ice Hotel

get affectionate with the dogs on a dogsled adventure in Lapland |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

A true trip of a lifetime that ticks all the boxes for the ultimate Arctic Circle experience. Swedish Lapland in winter is astonishingly beautiful with a subtle mountain landscape interspersed with frozen rivers, lakes and snow blanketed forests. Arriving in this landscape by overnight train from Stockholm is an extraordinary experience. At Abisko National park, the low precipitation micro climate maximises your opportunity to view the Northern Lights, whilst the snow capped peaks and lake offer the perfect backdrop for winter activities. Hike along a small stretch of the Kungsleden trail, visit a Sami camp and ascend to the Aurora Sky Station at night. Travel by dog sled through the winter wonderland and learn about these friendly and affectionate huskies. On the final evening, hunt for the northern lights on snowmobiles with dinner in a rustic cabin, capping off a thrilling Lapland adventure.

Highlights: With so many bucket list activities being completed it’s hard to pick out a single thing, but spending two nights at the original Ice Hotel is a remarkable experience. Each year the seasonal rooms are designed by artists.
 
 
 
What are your plans for the Christmas holidays? Will you be doing anything exciting? Let us know in the comments.
 
 
 
Christmas, France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Nice, Budapest, Mont Blanc

Comments (2)

Ange

Ohh, some great ideas. I do like the idea of cycling along the country trails and sampling Champagne - that would be so cute with my girlfriends!

7 months ago
William from UTracks

France would be the ultimate girls trip! I'm sure it wouldn't take much convincing :)

7 months ago
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