Where the UTracks Team Wants To Travel in 2020

Letting the stunning scenery take over your senses in Poland
Letting the stunning scenery take over your senses in Poland

Where the UTracks Team Wants to Travel in 2020

It's a race to fill in the leave form...

 
We asked around at the UTracks offices for which destinations were at the top of their 2020 wish lists. Understandably, this isn't exactly a one word answer for people who spend their hours sifting through stunning travel photos and planning holidays for fellow active travellers. Read on to discover where the holiday-makers will be making their holidays this year.
 

Michele: Croatia

 
Michele from Reservations in Australia wants to visit Croatia for the first time. However, contrary to most travellers to Croatia, Michelle wants to explore the rugged interior of the country on the Croatia Coast and Canyons Walk
 
Explore the stunning beauty of the Plitvice Lakes on foot
 
“I’d love to wander through the national parks of Croatia…I’ve seen so many photos and videos of the lakes of Plitvice and I just know it’ll be ten times better in real life”. 
 
Like any good worker in the travel industry, Michele couldn’t stop at just one destination. “My second choice has to be Lake Bled in Slovenia. Seeing the fairytale castle on the lake would be unreal, and then heading into the Julian Alps for day hikes would be the icing on the cake for me”. It will be hard to pass on the Lake Bled and the Julian Alps tour.
 
Bled
 

Jaclyn: St Francis Way in Italy

 
Jaclyn, Sydney's in-house Camino expert and self-professed foodie, can’t resist the lure of yet another pilgrimage. She has already walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, the Camino Portuguese in Portugal AND the French Way of St James (two sections: Le Puy to Aumont then Aumont to Conques) and has decided that she wants to try the St Francis Way in Italy
 
“I’m passionate about walking long distance ancient trails, and this pilgrimage is different because it follows St Francis’ teachings rather than a path to a tomb”. 
 
Jac also loves exploring Italy and is yet to visit the region of Umbria, where the St Francis Way trail snakes through. To get herself excited she’s reading up on the food and wine in the area, plus watching the new Netflix show, The Two Popes, which touches on the history of St Francis.

All Jac has to do now is convince her partner to come along – which shouldn’t be too hard given his love of cheese. View the St Francis Way tours by clicking here.
 
Iconic views outside the Igreja de São Francisco church |  <i>Scott Pinnegar</i>
 

Els: Provence Bike and Boat

 
There’s always a cyclist in every office: at UTracks, you can bet there’s a few. Els in the London team claims to be the biggest fan of cycling; given her Dutch background, we’re not going to argue. In 2020, she’s looking for a relaxed but active holiday (she got a bit out of shape last year having given birth and doesn’t feel like living from a suitcase or un/packing every day). Travelling to southern France and doing the Provence Bike and Boat trip is the ideal getaway for her – she’s keen to indulge in the local cuisine and learn a bit more about Vincent van Gogh (who also hails from the Netherlands and was most likely an avid cyclist as well).
 
Market place in Provence
 

Melissa: Camino de Santiago

 
Melissa from New Zealand is mum to two very lucky girls - Melissa's taken them on not one but two European active trips! First on the Amsterdam to Bruges Bike and Barge tour and then on the Hungarian Rhapsody. Great to see they're getting into the cycling early. 
 
For Melissa's next trip she wants to get off the bike and explore the Camino de Santiago - after all, she spends every day hearing from happy travellers about how rewarding it is, she absolutely needs to experience it herself. It will be her second pilgrimage after walking some of the Via Francigena in Tuscany.
 
Pilgrim street art in Portomarin |  <i>Sue Finn</i>
 

Nicola: Tour de Monte Rosa

 
Nicola is one of UTracks’ most experienced alpine walkers. She has completed the classic Mont Blanc Guided Walk and hiked Switzerland’s Via Alpina in 2019. She loves alpine walking and the Tour de Monte Rosa, also recommended by our guides on the ground, is very high on her list for this year. Monte Rosa translates to ‘Pink Mountain’ – making those views even more breathtaking.

You can read our in depth analysis of the active travel benefits of walking the Tour de Monte Rosa by clicking here.
 
Cows grazing in the postcard perfect setting of the Gressoney Valley
 

Allie: Poland

 
If you’ve come into our Sydney office or called UTracks on the phone, you may have spoken to Allie. She’s an avid hiker who wrote two UTracks  Traveller tales last year; one about her experiences walking the Via Francigena from Lucca to Siena and one about walking the French Way of St James from Le Puy to Aumont with her girlfriends. 

For 2020 she’s got her heart set on trying something different and wants to go on the new Carpathian Mountains Guided Walk in Poland
 
“Being a Canadian expat in Australia I miss the mountains sometimes…I can’t wait to see the big, beautiful Carpathian mountain range and discover the folk culture of Poland. I’ve never been to Eastern Europe and I’m expecting it be unlike anywhere else I’ve walked so far”.
 

Looking onto the patchwork of Polish villages nestled into the countryside

 
View the Carpathian Mountains Guided Walk tour by clicking here.
 

Alana: Croatia

 
Alana from our Reservations team also wants to go on a pilgrimage, but not of the Camino variety. She is a major Game of Thrones fan and wants to pay her respects to the Croatian fortified city of Dubrovnik, where many scenes of the popular TV show were filmed. 
 
Her trip will be extended beyond just being a ‘nerdcation’ (editors word, not Alana’s) and she’s currently undecided whether to include a cycling component (Croatia Cycle Adventure) or go walking instead (Dubrovnik and Islands Walk). 
 
 
Alana will ask her husband for his opinion too. She has previously explored Eastern Europe on jaunts to Budapest and Prague and has loved those cities so she’s very excited to visit her first country in the Balkans.
 

Ryan: the Balkans

 
Ryan from the London UTracks team loves his walking. In 2019 he explored one of our most popular hikes, the Mont Blanc Guided Walk. This year he wants to try something completely different and explore the lesser known regions of the Balkans in Eastern Europe. There are two tours that have caught his eye: the High Trails of the Balkans (a guided small group tour through Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo) and the Via Dinarica (a guided small group tour highlighting Bosnia and Montenegro).

From what he’s hearing from people who have already travelled there, he’s going to be a very happy chappy. 
 
Crossing the border from Kosovo to Montenegro on the High Trails of the Balkans
 

Natalie: Scandinavia

 
Lastly, Natalie in New Zealand is very excited to get back to Scandinavia. She was there last year, in Stockholm, so only got a taste of the incredible nature and eclectic mix of people. She's previously cycled the Blue Danube Path in Central Europe so she's thinking about doing something similar (but different) in the new Finland Coastal Cycle trip.
 
Wooden houses in Turku |  <i>Lasse Ansaharju</i>
 
Where will you be travelling in 2020? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below (especially if you're already feeling the need for a holiday!).
 
 
Croatia, Poland, Italy, St Francis Way, Dubrovnik, Carpathian Mountains, Camino, 2020

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