Top Ten Active Travel Destinations of 2019

Day 1 of the Tour Du Mont Blanc descending into Switzerland | Ryan Graham
Day 1 of the Tour Du Mont Blanc descending into Switzerland | Ryan Graham

Top 10 Active Travel Destinations of 2019

Have you explored these beloved regions in Europe? 


Can you believe another year has passed, and with it another decade? The 2010s (we still don't have a catchy name for this period, do we?) have come to a close and we hope it's been full of happy memories of active travel. 

Here we count down the top ten destinations of 2019. Did you manage to visit one of these places (or more?)? Or did you find a favourite destination elsewhere? Let us know in the comment section at the bottom.
 

10. Venice

Travel by boat or bike through the Veneto region

The beautiful city of Venice has to be seen to be believed. Everywhere you turn in Italy’s magical floating city shows off the riches from the Renaissance period, from the Grand Canal to the exquisite Piazza San Marco. From an active traveller perspective, it’s important to look beyond famous Venice and find the secret corners of the Veneto region. You’ll discover these on a Backroads to Venice cycle tour.

Our favourite trip is to become fully immersed in the Renaissance experience and cycle from Venice to Florence on a self guided cycle.
 
Click here to see all of our active trips in Venice and the Veneto region.
 

9. Dordogne

 
Cyclists outside Chateau de Losse |  <i>Rob Mills</i>

Do you like first class wine, sun drenched vineyards, elegant French architecture and well-preserved medieval towns? If so, the Dordogne region in France will tick all your boxes. It's set between the Loire Valley and Pyrenees mountains, and the magnificent city of Bordeaux is just 100km away.

Find your self guided cycling trip in Dordogne or explore on foot.

Click here to see all of our active tours in Bordeaux and Dordogne.
 

8. Lake Constance

 
Cyclists at Sigmaringen Castle

Lake Constance is Europe’s third largest lake and cycling around it will take you through three different countries: Germany, Switzerland and Austria. It’s not a long cycle path and you can do Lake Constance by Bike in just 5 days (or the longer 8 day version) making it a nice side trip to a European holiday. Being a self guided cycle tour, you can take advantage of the opportunities to swim and kayak at your own leisure.
 
Click here to see all our self guided cycle tours around Lake Constance and its surrounds.
 

7. Croatia

 

Croatia is the well deserving jewel of the Mediterranean, and travellers can’t get enough of this Balkan nation. One of our key benefits of UTracks’ Travel: Be In It approach is to spread wealth across wider regions and it has been great to see travellers seeking to explore beyond the main tourist attractions of Dubrovnik. We’ve established popular active trips to Kvarner Bay, to the stunning National Parks of North Dalmatia and the Istrian Peninsula, one of Europe’s best kept secrets.

The quintessential Croatian experience is still the Croatia Bike & Sail trip, which perfectly blends a guided cycling holiday with local culture, delicious cuisine and regular swim stops.
 
Click here to see our unforgettable walking and cycling tours in Croatia.
 

6. Danube Cycle Path

 
Admiring the Esztergom Basilica |  <i>Lilly Donkers</i>
 
Follow the Danube River on the classic Danube Cycle Path. This is a well maintained trail that runs for 420km and takes you on an immersive experience in Central Europe. You can explore the fertile plains of the Wachau Wine Valley, pedal through the Danube Floodplain National Park that is teeming with wildlife, and dine on regional cuisine like traditional German sausages, the iconic pralines of Passau and, of course, the wiener schnitzel in Austria.

For cyclists, the most popular section of the Danube Cycle Path is the Hungarian Rhapsody which departs from Vienna in Austria and finishes in Budapest in Hungary. This route also takes in Bratislava in Slovakia, meaning you can experience three countries on an 8 day self guided cycle.

There are also bike and boat tours which have the fantastic advantage of only having to unpack once. Join the Danube by Bike & Boat tour or pedal all the way to Belgrade in Serbia on the Danube to the Iron Gates Bike & Boat tour.
 
Click here to see all the cycling journeys you could experience along the Danube Cycle Path.
 

5. The Baltics

 
The Hill of Crosses in Lithuania |  <i>Gesine Cheung</i>

The Baltic States of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are perfect for being explored by bike. Discover the magnificent Hill of Crosses, visit the three capitals (Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn), enter medieval castles, gaze upon white sandy beaches, and wander through historic churches. There’s a reason we call these tours Treasures of the Baltic.

Explore the Baltics on our popular guided cycling trip Treasures of the Baltic by Bike or pedal at your own pace on the self guided version.
 
Click here to see all our exciting active trips in the Baltics.
 

4. Camino de Santiago
 

 
If trekking to Everest Base Camp is the big walk of Asia, the Camino de Santiago is the big walk of Europe. Of course, let us know in the comments if you think otherwise!

If you’ve walked or cycled the Camino and collected your Compostela Certificate, you already know how rewarding a Camino pilgrimage is. If not, perhaps it’s time to see what all the fuss is about! Our shortest Camino experiences are just 5 days long, but if you’re looking for the complete experience you could do the full Via Francigena for 50 days.
 
Click here to view all Camino de Santiago self guided and small group guided tours.
 

3. Low Countries

 
Cycling along the canal in Zierikzee in the province of Zeeland

The Low Countries of Europe consist of Belgium, the Netherlands (Holland) and Luxembourg, and they are world famous for cheese, beer, charming landscape and a flat terrain that is well suited for cyclists. It’s here that you’ll find fairytale cities filled with magnificent architecture, elegant public squares, placid canals and cobblestoned shopping streets; and brilliant green countryside studded with historic villages and medieval castles.
 
Amsterdam to Bruges. Experience the regions famous canal system first hand by taking a comfortable barge and bike holiday. You can do this trip in reverse or add an extra touch of luxury by upgrading to a deluxe version of this unforgettable 8 day holiday. 

Tulip Tour. Join a small group guided cycling tour of the Netherland’s iconic tulip gardens.
 
Cycle the Western Front. Visit an area rich in history as you cycle from Northern France to the battlefields of World War One.
 
Click here to browse the 25 different trips in the Low Countries - each is spellbinding in its own way.
 

2. Loire Valley

 
The chateau of Chenonceau is a Renaissance masterpiece |  <i>P-Forget_135</i>

The fantastic Loire Valley, with its majestic chateaux, magnificent gardens, endless vineyards and the graceful sweep of France’s longest river, is the ultimate embodiment of French culture, cuisine and landscape. There's always so much to see on a trip to this pretty region.

Explore the Loire Valley how you want with a range of cycling and walking holidays. Here are some of our favourites.

Loire Valley Bike & Barge. This highly rated 8 day barge holiday is an immensely popular way to experience the Loire Valley. Enjoy exploring the countryside by bike during the day then settle back in your cabin as you cruise canals in the evening.

Loire Valley Castles. Unpack only once on this centre based cycle tour of the Loire Valley.

Loire Valley Cycle. Explore the chateaux and exquisite landscapes of the Loire Valley on this 8 day self guided cycle.

Click here to see all the magnifique tours in the Loire Valley.
 

1. Mont Blanc

 
Group photo on the Tour du Mont Blanc |  <i>Ryan Graham</i>

The spectacular Mont Blanc is Western Europe’s highest mountain and deservedly sits at the peak of our top ten active travel destinations of 2019. Walking around Mont Blanc has become so popular that the region is now the third most visited natural site in the world. 
 

You don’t have to be a mountaineer either. There are 11 ways to experience Mont Blanc and you can do so with various fitness levels and time frames. 
 

Click here to view all of our breathtaking Mont Blanc walking holidays.

And there you have it! What a year 2019 has been. Onto 2020 and more amazing walking and cycling tours. 
 
Let us know in the comments where you went in 2019 and where you plan on travelling to in the future.

For more lists, check out these blog posts:
Mont Blanc, Venice, Dordogne, Camino, Camino de Santiago, Veneto, Bordeaux, Loire Valley, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Danube Cycle Path, Lake Constance, Danube, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Holland, Netherlands, Belgium, Walking, Bike and Barge, Croatia, Baltics, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

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