rss

More Inspiration

Active Travel Wish Lists

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.
 
 
 
Explore Puglia: Be In It

Explore Puglia: Be In It

Take an Active Travel Holiday in one of Italy's Lesser Known Regions

 
This is our second in depth review in our Travel: Be In It series, following our Prague to Dresden Cycle: Be In It feature, and this time we’re featuring a region instead of a single trip.

Puglia is a region in southern Italy that forms the heel of Italy’s famous boot shape. Like many other regions in Italy, Puglia has a distinct look and feel. There are the iconic whitewashed hill towns and the long stretches of tranquil blue Mediterranean coastline (features which may remind you of the Greek islands).
 
Cyclist on waterfront in Otranto |  <i>Kate Baker</i> Rock formations on the Puglian coastline |  <i>Kate Baker</i> The old town citadel , Ostuni, Puglia, Italy. |  <i>Lesley Treloar</i>

There are five ways to explore Puglia your way with UTracks. You can walk or cycle, befriend like-minded travellers in a small group trip, or self guide your way around Puglia. 
 
At UTracks, recommending Puglia as an off the beaten track holiday is often at the top of our list because of the incredible traveller feedback. Many travellers describe a trip to Puglia as a variety of experiences and landscapes within a few days and often visit with no expectations of how enriching their holiday will be.
 

Four Reasons Why You Should Explore Puglia On An Active Holiday

 
Cyclist viewing the historic cave dwellings in the Sassi di Matera |  <i>Kate Baker</i>
 

1. Discover a part of Italy you’ve (probably) never heard of


On a trip to Italy it’s typical to go to Rome for the Colosseum and Roman ruins, Florence for Tuscany and everything Renaissance, Venice for incredible floating architecture, the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre for spectacular coastal views, and Pisa for a semi-sinking tower. 

But these are just a few of Italy’s 20 regions, and each of these has its own unique culture and highlights.

Take Puglia. It has some four million inhabitants and sits at the heel of Italy, bordering other Italian regions of Molise, Campania and Basilicata. The capital is Bari, while the most popular place for tourism is Lecce, nicknamed the ‘Florence of the South’, because of its remarkable beauty.

Top sights are the Grotte di Castellana, the most important cave system in Italy. Enjoy a guided visit of the site before reaching the "White cave", known as the "Wonder One". Then check into Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993 renowned for its historical centre.

Also, it’s pronounced Pool-lee-ah, not pug-lee-ah. Just saved you from some friendly laughs from the locals.
 
 

2. Puglia’s generally flat terrain makes it widely accessible for walkers and cyclists


Puglia’s coastline is longer than any other mainland Italian region. Given this, you’re never far from a refreshing dip in the cool turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.

Of the 5 trips UTracks operates in Puglia, we use our honest trip grading system to grade them between gentle to moderate levels of difficulty. Fortunately, the terrain is generally quite flat, although there are some slight hills. 

On the most physical cycle days, you can expect to pedal distances of 50-55km (31-34 miles) and this is almost always on asphalt roads. Traffic is almost non-existent in Puglia, except during the high holiday season. To comfortably explore Puglia on bike it requires a reasonable level of fitness to fully participate. You need only carry your camera and water bottle because your luggage is transported for you between hotels.
 
Matera 65 |  <i>Ross Baker</i>

For the walkers, exploring Puglia is classed as introductory to moderate with daily walks between 2-5 hours. You will walk 70km/43.5mi over 6 days (an average of 11.5km/7mi per day). The walks mostly follow rocky coastal footpaths, sometimes through low vegetation/bushes, mule tracks and footpaths and a few sections of secondary surfaced roads as you enter the villages/towns. Though the distances and elevation are generally short, some of the terrain can be rocky and the trail not always obviously visible. The emphasis is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos. You will need a reasonable level of fitness to participate fully in this holiday.
 
 

3. In Puglia, do as the Puglians do 


A trullo is a traditional house to the Itria Valley of Puglia. It’s a dry stone hut with a conical roof and looks a cross between a mud house and a haystack. These were historically used by labourers in need of some temporary housing. 
 
Cyclist passing a trulli house in Puglia |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

On the trips Cycle Puglia, Walking in Puglia and Puglia Guided Walk, the itinerary actually takes you to these iconic houses and hands you the key – it’s your accommodation for a couple of nights. This is often a traveller highlight because it’s an experience you can get nowhere else. And if you’re worried about your creature comforts, fear not; the trulli have been renovated to be comfortable for a modern traveller.
 
Trulli in the UNESCO town of Alberobello |  <i>Lesley Treloar</i>
 

4.  Discover the local food and wine


Food and wine is first class in Italy, and Puglia is no exception. 

In Puglia you can feast on locally produced ingredients such as mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus, artichokes and tomatoes. 

It’s known for its simple dishes and you’ll find plenty of tasty focaccia to drizzle with olive oil; round orechiette pasta to devour; and for dessert, a torta pasticciotto pie filled with almonds and figs.
 
Typical pastry from Puglia |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

Plus there’s a multitude of local cheeses that are marked by the EU as a protected designation of origin in Puglia.

For those active travellers who are partial to a vino at the end of a day’s exploring, you’ll be pleased to hear that in 2017 Puglia overtook Veneto as the largest wine producing region in Italy. The most well known wine they produce is the Primitivo di Manduria, so put that on your must try list when in Puglia.
 
Cyclist on the Puglian Coast |  <i>Kate Baker</i>
 

 
Have you been to Puglia and can attest to it deserving to be one of the premier destinations in Italy? Let us know in the comments.
 
Passes & Highs on Switzerland’s Via Alpina

On the Via Alpina in Switzerland… I see blue skies, green pastures, high rugged mountains, turquoise lakes and window boxes full of flowers.


Did you know that UTracks now offers a one-week section of the Via Alpina Green Trail (1), the long-distance trail across Switzerland? The route is also known as the Swiss Alpine Pass Route, which is part of the full Via Alpina across eight countries. Our itinerary covers the stage from Meiringen to Lenk, crossing some of Switzerland’s most stunning Alpine scenery. Nicola, from our London office, hiked this classic trail during the first week of September with her partner and sat down to review the trip. 

Why did you choose to walk the Via Alpina with UTracks?

After having experienced the Mont Blanc Guided Walk a few years ago with UTracks, we wanted to do another hike high into the mountains during the European summer. This time we wanted something that was challenging but with some comfortable hotels for our overnight stays. Having researched the Via Alpina green trail, the one-week trip seemed to fit exactly what we were looking for. It is self guided, meaning we had the freedom to walk at our own pace. We had high expectations of seeing the classic Swiss scenery, green pastures dotted with cows, pretty wooden houses with window boxes of flowers, and high, rugged snow-capped mountains.

Hiking down off the Hohturli Pass |  <i>Nicola Croom</i> Via Alpina Signpost |  <i>Nicola Croom</i> Grindelwald, the view from our hotel after a day out hiking on the Via Alpina |  <i>Nicola Croom</i> Ladders on the way up to the Hohturli Pass (2778m) |  <i>Nicola Croom</i> Lake Oeschinensee near Kandersteg on the Via Alpina |  <i>Nicola Croom</i> Rotstock Hut |  <i>Nicola Croom</i>
 

What were your highlights of walking in Switzerland?

As soon as we were on the train from Zurich Airport to Meiringen, I knew we had made the right trip choice. Out of the window were those classic postcard views. It was meeting all our expectations and we hadn’t even started hiking yet! The views were wonderful every day, but especially down the Lauterbrunnen Valley with the waterfalls tumbling off the cliffs. It must be one of the most beautiful parts of Europe. I loved the pretty villages and green pastures, but one of the biggest highlights for me was the sense of achievement of getting across the highest passes on the trek, very rewarding days.

What were your accommodations like?

They were all charming properties, and well located in the village centres. It was great to finish each day with a comfortable bed and a warm welcome from the friendly, Swiss hosts. We opted to upgrade our accommodations, so enjoyed some great spa facilities in a few locations along the trail.

Being the highest pass on the route, how did you find the Hohtürli Pass?

Wow! This was the best day of the trip, and at the same time one of the hardest. I totally understand why this part of the Swiss Alps has received UNESCO World Heritage status.
We were lucky to wake up to clear blue skies, ideal hiking weather. Leaving our traditional wooden chalet-style hotel in Griesalp, the trail begins quite gently. Soon we were hiking up steep gradients though, with some sections quite eroded. So, you need to be sure-footed. As we got higher, the scenery got more and more spectacular. Then you reach the stairs – the Swiss have efficiently arranged a set of staircases to cross the steepest scree slopes. They made crossing the unstable slopes relatively easy – except of course you are hiking up a very steep gradient. Then, before we knew it, we were at the top!
Just above the pass is the Blüemlisalp Hut, it means just a short 10 mins or so of extra climbing and you can have a cold beer or hot chocolate, depending on the weather of the day! From the hut it is a long descent down to Kandersteg, down scree slopes and some exposed paths passing the turquoise lake of Oeschinensee. The lake is really something to behold. I had seen pictures before I went and just assumed filters had been used to make the lake appear so blue. But it really is that blue in real life! We eventually walked into Kandersteg happy, but exhausted, after an 8-hour hike on the strenuous terrain. Again, it was great to arrive to a warm welcome at our central and comfortable hotel in the village, where we could toast our achievement with a beer and make plans for dinner.

How did you train for this hiking trip?

We were both experienced hikers, but a bit out of practice. So, we used our weekends leading up to the Switzerland trip to get some good hiking miles under our belts in preparation. We also planned a long weekend in the Lake District in the UK to get prepared for the ascents/descends on rough terrain.

What time of year do you recommend to hike the Via Alpina trail?

The hiking season in Switzerland is relatively short. You are crossing high passes on this trip, which can be buried by deep snow over the winter. This means that, depending on the spring weather, some of the passes might still be closed early in the season. UTracks can offer the trip in late June, but you should be aware that deviations might be needed on the trails if the passes are closed. For the best chance of crossing all the passes, I would recommend to do this walk between mid-July and early September. Keep in mind that this is a real alpine walk and the weather is very changeable. Two days after we crossed the Hohtürli Pass for example, there was significant snow on the pass, luckily it was still open to trekkers.

On the Via Alpina hiking above Meiringen |  <i>Nicola Croom</i>

What weather should I expect in the Swiss Mountains?

Everything! Hopefully you get glorious sunshine every day, but let’s be realistic, this is the Alps and the weather can change at any time. We had brilliant sunshine for some days, but then also days of rain and low cloud. You just need to be prepared for all weathers with your clothing (layer up!).
Even in the rain, the area is still very beautiful. Yes, if it is raining you might not see the high mountain tops, but hiking through the verdant green valleys with moody dramatic clouds has a certain charm too.

Isn’t Switzerland a very expensive holiday destination?

It is definitely one of the more expensive places to visit in Europe, but by planning ahead you can help keep your costs down.  We actually spent far less than we expected to. We purchased our lunches from the supermarkets each day, which you can do so for a very reasonable cost. Bringing a packed lunch box and some cutlery from home can be useful for this! I found public transport from the airport was one of our biggest extra expenses. But we saved a considerable amount by buying “super-saver” train tickets online from the Swiss Rail website. Or if you are planning on doing a more extensive trip in Switzerland, consider buying one of their half-price passes, which gives you 50% off travel. 

Who would you recommend the Via Alpina in Switzerland for?

Anyone who is a fit hiker and who is looking to explore the Alps, but likes home comforts. You have some classic views on this trip of the Jungfrau (4158m), Schreckhorn (4078m) and Mönch (4107m) together with the famous Eiger (3970m) and the Wetterhorn (3692m). Spectacular!

Where next?

Mmmmm… I am not sure. But I have our new self guided Monte Rosa Alpine Walk, Dolomites Guided Walk, and Transylvania Mountains & Castles on my radar for the future! Or maybe a cycling trip like our new Cycle Croatia to Albania trip, it looks like a fascinating region I would like to explore more.

 

Want to talk to Nicola about walking in the European Alps? Contact her in our London office.

 
Australian Travel Trends for 2020

Australian Travel Trends for 2020

Skyscanner's Released a Report on How Aussies Will Travel Next Year...Does an Active Holiday Make the Cut? 


Skyscanner, an online aggregator of flight prices, has just published their annual Australian Travel Trends 2020 Report. Skyscanner have analysed their ridiculous amounts of data to try to explain how Australian's will be travelling next year. They’ve come up with six key travel trend types. We thought we’d see how a UTracks active holiday holds up against Skyscanner’s 2020 crystal ball...

 

1. Sustainable Tourism


Skyscanner says: Travelling sustainably is gaining more awareness, as indicated by a 103% year on year increase in interest for more eco-friendly trips in 2020. The Sustainable Traveller is someone who makes conscious decisions based on how their choices affect the environment...At every destination, they make sure to support local establishments, uphold their own green practises like reducing linen changes and taking public transport, walking and cycling to experience their destination better. They are spearheading a new wave of modern travel.

UTracks says: We agree on all levels. Walking and cycling does allow you to experience a destination better. A great by-product of an active holiday is that you get to discover less visited regions and spread the tourist dollar to local businesses that wouldn’t normally get it. Like on the Prague to Dresden Cycle where we visit Czech towns outside of Prague, such as Melnik (in the heart of Czech wine region), Litomerice (a royal city considered one of the most beautiful in the country) and Decin (a lovely city split by the Elbe River that features the recently restored Decin Castle).


Finish your week-long cycling trip in the majestic city of Dresden
 

2. Transformative Journeys


Skyscanner says: Travel truly has the power to change us in so many ways and no one understands this more than the Transformative Traveller. Recording a 44% year on year increase in interest on personal growth and charity-related trips, Australia has the largest share of travellers interested in embarking on a transformative trip in 2020...Transformative Journeys take many forms but they must all have meaning. 

UTracks says: Is there a trail out there that’s been attributed to more meaningful and life changing experiences than the Camino? People have walked or cycled the Camino for many reasons – religion, grief, camaraderie, perspective, a sense of achievement...the list goes on. Whether you do it in Spain, Portugal, France or Italy, a Camino experience is unforgettable.


Pilgrims walking the Camino in Spain |  <i>Sue Finn</i>
 

3. Adventure Travel


Skyscanner says: Who’s ready for a real adventure? Defined as trips that involve some element of risk, special skill with physical exertion or extreme sport, Adventure Travel is growing increasingly popular with adrenaline junkies chasing new experiences in remote or exotic locations. Whether it is climbing up, jumping off or hiking through different terrains, Adventure Travel allow them to push their limits outside of their comfort zones. 16% of trips by Australian travellers in 2020 are slated to be adventure-based, an increase of 17% from such trips taken this year.

UTracks says: Hmm, while we don’t quite agree with their definition of what adventure travel is, we do like the idea of pushing the limits of a comfort zone. For many travellers who are used to the ‘click and tick’ style of travel, simply participating in an active holiday is an adventure in itself. We’ve also got our honest Trip Grading System in place where we grade our trips from a relaxed Introductory pace, all the way up to a sweaty-but-smiling Challenging grade.


Cycling through the villages of Provence |  <i>Erin Williams</i>
 

4. Slow Travel


Skyscanner says: Have you ever returned from a holiday feeling tired and in need of another? You’re not alone. Our data shows a 20% year on year increase in Aussie travellers wanting to slow down and prioritise quality over quantity during their 2020 holidays. Originating from the Slow Food Movement, Slow Travel emphasises on connecting with the location, your travel mates and a leisurely way of living. From one week, to once-budget-runs-out, Slow Travel welcomes long walks and unscheduled activities for those who are not in a hurry and want to prioritise rest over sightseeing.

UTracks says: Slow travel is the perfect way to properly get under the skin of a destination. While all of our trips focus on making a connection with your surroundings, Slow Travel is best exemplified by our Centre Based Walking or Cycling style of travel. This is an active holiday where you base yourself in one destination and explore the nearby trails and sights. The Loire Valley Castles Centre Based trip is a prime example: on this holiday you settle in the small French town of Chitenay and, armed with a bike, maps and route notes, can discover the region’s famous chateaux, medieval towns, forests and vineyards. The best part is you only have to unpack once!


Chateau d'Artigny
 

5. JOMO Trips


Skyscanner says: If you think it sounds familiar, that might be because you’ve heard of its cousin, FOMO. JOMO, or the ‘Joy Of Missing Out’, is choosing to enjoy your trip instead of worrying about how it looks on social media. The JOMO Traveller is particular about escaping the hustle, opting to travel off-season to alternative destinations to avoid crowds and other Aussie holiday revellers. The ability to explore a place before it gets too popular is probably why JOMO trips are recording a 31% year on year increase among Aussie travellers for 2020.

UTracks says: LOL to the travellers who aren’t travelling for their own enjoyment. At UTracks, we constantly add to our extensive range of walking, cycling and boat based trips because there’s a strong desire from our travellers to keep experiencing more off the beaten track destinations. This is why we have some 30 new trips for 2020 that go to alternative active destinations. Like the Via Degli Dei from Bologna to Florence in Italy, or the High Trails of the Balkans that features our first trips in Kosovo and Albania. And, to be honest, even if you do one of our more popular trips such as the Tour du Mont Blanc, you won’t come across crowds that detract from your experience.


Crossing the border from Kosovo to Montenegro on the High Trails of the Balkans
 

6. Local Gastronomy


Skyscanner says: Who’s hungry? Aussies, it seems. Food-motivated trips are likely to make up 11% of trips in 2020, up 23% from 2019. After all, the quickest way to get to know a place and bond with locals is through food and the Local Gastronomist knows this well. Before travelling to a destination, they would have researched online, watched every foodie show, and asked everyone for recommendations. While they are there, they’d probably chat with local cabbies and service staff with gusto to get their uniquely local picks. From 3-Michelin-star restaurants to street food stalls, the Local Gastronomist isn’t picky with where the best eats are… as long as every bite is worth it. 

UTracks says: The best part of an active holiday is, without a doubt, the guilt-free indulging of Europe’s finest foods and drinks at the end of a day! We have our three popular Food Lover’s Walking Holidays that pairs the scenic Camino trails of Spain, France and Italy with delicious gastronomy. These specially guided trips take the exploration of local cuisine to the next level: travellers get to visit ancient vineyards, learn local secrets at hands-on cooking classes, feast on regional gourmet dishes, and dine in 2-Michelin-star restaurants.


A tasty meal is part of the experience on the Via Francigena |  <i>Tim Charody</i>

What are your thoughts on the Travel Trends for 2020? Will you take inspiration from them or have you been travelling this way for years? Let us know in the comments.

 
Explore Bosnia on a Walking Holiday

Explore Bosnia

Discover enthralling folklore, timeless villages and unspoilt lands on a walking holiday in Bosnia 


Travel to Bosnia (and Herzegovina) and you’ll discover your new favourite country.

Whether it’s walking along the banks of the pristine Prokosko Lake or hiking through Rakitnica Canyon, whose beech wood forests are fabled to be home to dragons, you’ll witness a country that has stepped beyond the shadows of its past conflicts to claim the limelight it deserves.

Located in the heart of the Balkans, Bosnia captures the essence of this proud region: from its hearty cuisine and contemporary folk culture, to its timeless villages and untapped raw landscape.

A couple under the Mostar Bridge |  <i>Els van Veelen</i>

Nestled in a lush green valley is Bosnia’s charming capital, Sarajevo, famous for being at the crossroads of Western and Eastern Europe. Surrounding the city are the low lying peaks of the Dinaric Mountain Range, along whose walking trails you’ll encounter abandoned and overgrown remnants from the 1984 Winter Olympics.
 
A short day trip from Sarajevo is the delightful town of Mostar, with its cute cobblestone streets and iconic stone bridge.

Outside in the remarkable natural surroundings is the Via Dinarica, a 2,000km long trail snaking its way through seven countries along the Balkan Peninsula.
 
Untouched beauty of Trnovacko Lake on the Via Dinarica
 
The Via Dinarica: Bosnia to Montenegro trip is a 7 day guided walk that takes in some of the best parts of the Via Dinarica. This trip follows the Dinaric Alps and collects mesmerising natural sights along the way: the emerald, heart-shaped Trnovacko Glacial Lake; the turquoise waters of Rakitnica Canyon; and the rocky panoramas of Bosnia's highest peak, Maglic
 
These are highlights in an already glorious landscape woven with primeval forests and cosy mountain villages, such as in Lukomir, whose inhabitants continue to live a traditional way of life. There's also a short foray into the beautiful Durmitor National Park in Montenegro (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). This trip starts and finishes in stunning Sarajevo and will satisfy those who want an idyllic walking experience that's still largely untamed and undiscovered.
 
>> View trip details here.

Enjoying the splendid view over Trnovacko Lake on the Via Dinarica walk

Bosnian hospitality doesn’t allow guests to go hungry: dine on burek, a flaky pastry filled with meat, spinach or cottage cheese; fill pita with cevapi, small minced meat sausages, famous for being the best in the Balkans; and be amazed by how versatile the plentiful stone fruits of Bosnia are, whether they’re baked, pickled or drank.

Yes, predicting Bosnia will be one of your most treasured trips is a bold statement, but once you experience it for yourself you’ll understand why.

Have you been to Bosnia and agree with this sentiment? Or have you been convinced an active holiday to Bosnia is now a must do? Let us know in the comments.
Prague To Dresden Cycle: Be In It

Prague to Dresden Cycle: Be In It

Enjoy an Active Travel Holiday through the Czech Republic and Germany 


At UTracks, we are firm believers in the benefits of active travel. After all, it’s what we’re all about.

Active travel isn’t just about the joys of cruising down paths on a bike or letting endorphins wash over you after a rewarding day of walking in Europe

There are health benefits for yourself (holidays don’t have to be an out of shape experience!); economic benefits for the country you’re visiting (spread your tourism dollars to ‘off the beaten track’ places that don’t typically receive it); a lower environmental impact (utilising foot/pedal power) and ultimately you have a better travel experience as you explore a more authentic side of your destination. 
 

This is why we encourage travellers to take active holidays. Learn more about our Travel: Be In It campaign here.
 

Prague To Dresden Cycle: Be In It


For this Travel: Be In It holiday, we’re featuring the Prague to Dresden Guided Cycle. There's also a self guided version of this trip if you prefer that style.

This is a 7 day guided cycle that explores two countries: Germany and the Czech Republic.
 

Four Reasons How the Prague to Dresden Guided Cycle Trip Adds to Your Travel Experience.

 

1. See More of the Czech Republic Beyond Prague


Ask yourself – can you name a place in the Czech Republic other than Prague? The Czech Republic is a hot tourist destination in Europe and every year seems to see record breaking numbers of foreign visitors, with 10.6 million in 2018, almost equal to the country's population. Of this, 6.7 million people (63%) visit Prague. This statistic includes all foreigners (i.e. including other Europeans) and we're guessing if it was overseas travellers like Australians and Americans, this percentage would be even higher, This boom in tourism for Prague has unfortunately led to the adverse effects of overtourism, like needing to regulate Airbnb rentals.

This is not to say Prague isn’t worth seeing; it’s a delightful medieval city with the world’s largest ancient castle and its historic Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On the Prague to Dresden Guided Cycle, we discover lesser known towns such as Melnik (in the heart of Czech wine region), Litomerice (a royal city considered one of the most beautiful in the country) and Decin (a lovely city split by the Elbe River that features the recently restored Decin Castle).

Cycle to picturesque Melnik, the heart of the Czech wine region
 

2. Explore the Countryside by Bike


Cycling in the Czech Republic is fairly relaxed and gentle, with the cycle paths generally paved and the terrain quite flat because it follows the splendid Elbe River in sections. Of the five days of cycling, you can expect to pedal between 25 to 70km a day (16 to 44 miles). There are some hilly stretches on day 2 from Prague to Melnik. We consider this trip as suitable for beginners and children with a good level of fitness.

According to our honest Trip Grading System, we rate this holiday as Grade 2: Introductory to Moderate

If you are a competent cyclist but want an extra zoom zoom on your journey, there are also electric bikes available. 

A happy cyclist following timeless river landscapes to Dresden
 

3. Bohemian Nature is Good for the Soul


The Prague to Dresden cycle journeys through the western Czech region of Bohemia, the largest and most historical part of the Czech Republic.

The Elbe River is claimed to be one of Europe’s most spectacular but underrated rivers, as “the river rises from a bubbling spring of crystal water high in the beautiful Bohemian mountains, winding through silent forests before splashing down the rock face near a pine-scented hiking trail.” 

On the day you cross the Czech border into Germany, there’s time to explore the Czech-Saxon Switzerland National Park and to discover the many rocky passes, deep gorges and rugged hills of this area. The highlight is the impressive Pravcicka Gate, the biggest natural rock bridge in Europe.

The traditional spas of Germany’s Bad Schandau are a must-do activity and the perfect way to unwind after a day outdoors. There are many spas in Bad Schandau, with some featuring panoramic views of the river and forests while you relax in their wellness centres.

Visit the Pravcická Gate, the biggest natural rock bridge in Europe
 

4. After a day of cycling, the food and wine tastes so much better!


Dine on some of Central Europe’s most indulgent foods and drinks – guilt free! After a day of pedalling you’ll have worked up an appetite and on the Prague to Dresden trip will satisfy your cravings.

We visit the heart of the Czech wine region in Melnik, which is renowned for its pinot noir. For beer lovers, the Czech Republic is home to the world’s biggest beer drinkers at 142.4 litres per capita, and they love to knock back pilsners like Pilsner Urquell, Kozel and the original Budweiser (yes, predating the American version!). For non-alcoholic beverages, you can sample the local compot, a sweet drink made with fruit, water and sugar. 

Food-wise, you can sample hearty meals typical for Central Europe. Try roast pork or beef with potato dumplings; thick, creamy stews filled with vegetables and meats; or fried mushroom side dishes. And for dessert you can’t miss the apple strudel – on an active holiday, you’ve earned it.

Stop for refreshments after hiking to the Falcon's Nest
 
Have you been to the Czech Republic or Germany before? Would you consider another trip to experience Central Europe on an active holiday? Let us know in the comments, we love to hear from our readers.
 
Watch: England's Famous Coast to Coast Trail

Watch: England's Famous Coast to Coast Trail

See Real Traveller Experiences of the Surprisingly Beautiful British Walking Trail 


The Coast to Coast is one of England’s premier trails that takes walkers from the west coast to the east coast of England. It was established in 1973 by Alfred Wainwright and is often referred to as ‘Wainwright’s Way'.
 
Starting from the seaside resort town of St Bees on the Irish Sea coast, the trail covers some 315km (195 miles) across three national parks before arriving in Robin Hood's Bay on the North Sea coast. 

Because of the popularity of this trail, people often fall into the trap of thinking that the Coast to Coast is easy. However, our trips on the Coast to Coast trail are amongst our most challenging but rewarding tours in Europe. 

We have 11 exciting ways for you to experience the Coast to Coast. There are guided small group trips, relaxed pace ramblers, cycling trips and self guided trips departing daily in season. There really is a Coast to Coast experience for everyone.

Watch our new video on the Coast to Coast trail and be inspired by the remarkable scenery, rugged terrain, charming English hospitality and camaraderie of the UTracks travellers. Then discover which trip is most suitable for you to experience the Coast to Coast.
 


Discover how you can experience the Coast to Coast trail with UTracks - click here.

 
What was your reaction to the Coast to Coast video?

Were you amazed by how breathtaking the English scenery is, or surprised by how challenging it looks in parts? Let us know in the comments, we love to hear from you.

 
Self Guide Your Way Through The Balkans 2020
We've added many new trips this year to our brochure - here are three new self guided hiking and cycling trips in the Balkans. If you enjoy travelling on your own but prefer someone else to look after the organisation and details, a self guided trip with UTracks may be for you! 
Let us look after your accommodation bookings, finding the best routes, organising maps & route notes and transferring your luggage - and all there's left for you to do is enjoy the tracks.

 

Croatia to Albania Coastal Cycle

Cycle the glittering coastline of the Adriatic Sea on this wonderful gem-filled and self guided journey in the Balkans. Start in Croatia's famous walled city of Dubrovnik, where you feel the Middle Ages at every turn of the stone fortress. Pass through the golden Konavle Valley before crossing the border into Montenegro, a nation defined by its rugged mountains and dazzling beaches. Follow a disused railway line towards the Bay of Kotor and explore many highlights along the way including picturesque Perast, the pearl of the bay and the ancient settlement of Risan. Take the back roads through Montenegro's ancient olive groves before entering Albania and discovering another Balkan lifestyle. Enjoy Albanian hospitality as you dine on local foods and work it off by pedalling along the mighty Drin River. Return to Montenegro and soak up the splendid panoramas over Skadar Lake, complete with the Accursed Mountain Range in the background. Become immersed in Balkan culture in the small villages of Ostros with their humble monasteries and vineyards. Enjoy the spectacular descent from Lovcen National Park to the Bay of Kotor and embrace the lively Mediterranean atmosphere in the Old Town. >> view trip
 
Exploring the old roads on the Croatia to Albania Coastal Cycle

 

Balkan Mountains Walk

The Balkan Mountains are famous for lush green valleys, sheer cliffs and gentle rolling hills with sheep grazing peacefully in their pastures. Passing through the Central Balkan National Park on this self guided walk in Bulgaria, the paths meander through valleys, forests and villages that haven’t changed for centuries. Along the walking route you will see several of the country's most significant Orthodox monasteries and churches with colourful murals which are scattered throughout the region. Spend time in the beautiful mountain resort of Ribaritsa village, where you can soak up the warm hospitality for two consecutive nights.  >> view trip
 
Balkan Mountains Self-Guided Trek Bulgaria

 

Lake Bled and the Julian Alps on Foot

Slovenia has been endowed with incredible natural beauty that stuns and inspires, and this active trip explores the highlights. This two-centered walking holiday in Slovenia begins with time in Bled, a lovely lakeside town nestled in the foothills of the Julian Alps. Here you can try the creamy local cake, visit the cliff perched Bled Castle and walk around the famous glacial lake that features a picturesque island with a church on it. Discover the magic within nearby Vintgar Gorge and follow trails to Osojnica View Point for magnificent panoramas over Bled. Encounter tranquil Lake Bohinj in the Triglav National Park and perhaps spot wild chamois or ibex native to the area. In the adrenalin town of Bovec, choose between a challenging walk to rugged Mt Rombon or an optional white water rafting experience on the Soca River. Travel the fantastic Soca trail and cross pretty footbridges over clear alpine springs. Finish this unforgettable self guided holiday in Slovenia's charming capital Ljubljana, a small city full of homely restaurants, cobblestone streets and an enchantment with dragons. >> view trip
 
Views over Lake Bled
 

Rhodes and the Lycian Coast Cycle

Immerse yourself in the history and idyllic landscapes of Rhodes, the largest island in the Dodecanese, where ancient ruins intermingle with atmospheric towns and the clear blue waters will entice you as you cycle the coastline. In this carefully planned section of the self guided cycle, all the important cultural and historical highlights of the island are included to ensure you get the most out of your visit. After a night spent in the old town of Rhodes, a 2-hour ferry takes you to Turkey's Lycian coast and the charming town of Fethiye. Here you can appreciate the legacies of the Lycians, who 2000 years ago, settled between Fethiye and Antalya. Time out in the coastal towns of Kas and Adrasan to relax at the beach and absorb this unique pocket of the coast ensures a perfect balance between activity, sightseeing, and resting. >> view trip
 
Cycling along the Lycian Coast
 
 
UTracks self guided trips are flexible, giving you the opportunity and freedom to explore your interests at your own pace. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us
Watch the Giro d'Italia in 2020

Watch the Giro d'Italia in 2020

The great Italian bike race starts in Hungary and includes Sicily 


The Giro d’Italia bike race is the (slightly younger) sister to the Tour de France. Like the Tour, Giro d’Italia was first established by a newspaper to increase sales in 1909 (the Tour de France started in 1903). Since then it’s been held every year, aside from the two world wars.
 
Budapest Parliament |  <i>Rachel Imber</i>


Surprisingly, in 2020 the Giro d’Italia will start in Hungary for the 103rd edition. It kicks off in Budapest on the 9th of May and continues through Gyor, Szekesfehervar and Nagykanizsa. This is the 14th time the Giro d’Italia has started outside of Italy and the first time in Eastern Europe.
After Hungary, the route moves to Italy and the island of Sicily. There will be a gruelling stage there that features a climb up Mount Etna.

The Giro d’Italia finishes with a slightly downhill time trial into Milan on May 30, which should make for an exciting finale.

Watch this highlights video by the race organisers. 


For more race information, visit their official site here.

If you’d like to visit Italy or Hungary while the Giro d’Italia is on and see the professional cyclists whiz by, browse the below active travel trips.
 

Hungary Active Holidays


Hungarian Rhapsody


Esztergom Basilica |  <i>Lilly Donkers</i>   
Wind your way from the elegant city of Vienna along the Danube Cycle Path. Crossing the Austria - Slovak border the cycle route passes vineyards on the slopes of the Little Carpathian Mountains into the capital, Bratislava. Using quiet country roads this itinerary continues into Hungary where you will pedal through numerous delightful towns. Explore the Baroque city of Györ and visit the unusual artist village of Szentendre and its outlying island before heading to Budapest.

> 8 day self guided cycle. 
> View more trip details here.

 

Danube Explorer to Budapest


The picturesque city of Passau, on the border of Germany & Austria |  <i>Pat Rochon</i>
From the cobblestone streets of charming Passau to the Austrian capital of Vienna and the majestic city of Budapest, this journey by comfortable river boat and bike offers the opportunity to experience life on the Danube and the surrounding countryside at your own pace. Using the MV Fortuna boat (MVF) or MV Carissima boat (MVC) as a base, enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the legendary Wachau, Bratislava, the Slovakian capital at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains and the icon studded cities of Vienna and Budapest. 

> 8 day self guided cycle and barge holiday. 
> View more trip details here.
 

Sicily Active Trips

Sicily: Magna Via Francigena




Travel by foot along the 'regie trazzere' or ancient road from Palermo and the Tyrrhenian in the north to Agrigento on the southern Mediterranean coast to discover the rugged beauty of inland Sicily with its archaeological treasures and friendly locals who have been welcoming pilgrims for centuries. The Magna Via Francigena was officially re-opened in 2017 in celebration of its rich historical legacy as a trade route connecting Africa and the Middle East to Europe. It runs through ancient landscapes to extraordinary villages clinging to the cliffs and some suprisingly green hills among lakes and rolling mountains. However what is striking about the Magna Via Francigena is the influence of those who occupied the land over the years, from the Greeks and the Romans, to the people of Byzantium and the Moors, and the legacies they left behind in the form of mozaics and other ancient relics, traditions and culinary influences. On arrival in Agrigento, dip your toes into the sea, receive your Testamonium at the cathedral and revel in the satisfaction of having walked across Sicily.

> 8 day self guided walk. 
> View more trip details here.

 

Volcanoes of Sicily

Volcanoes of Sicily |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

To the north of the island of Sicily in the Tyrrhenian Sea is the beautiful Aeolian Archipelago, made up of 7 diverse islands including Lipari, Vulcano and Stromboli, whose active volcanic cone dominates the horizon. Dramatic cliffs and winding coastline, black beaches and thermal hot springs, a deep blue sea and charming port towns are all characteristic of this enchanting group of islands. Four days have been set aside to explore these islands on foot including a guided ascent of Stromboli (subject to conditions), where fiery lava eruptions occur a few times each hour, one of the most sensational natural sights to see in Europe. The daily walks are interspersed with opportunities to relax on the beach, snorkel, explore the ports and villages or bathe in therapeutic hot mud. Back on the mainland of Sicily the focus shifts to the delightful seaside town of Taormina and the famous volcano, Mt Etna, where the 2002/03 eruption opened a line of gaping craters, before returning to Catania.

> 8 day self guided walk. 
> View more trip details here.

 

Italy Active Holidays

Cycle the Dolomites to the Adriatic Sea


Cyclists on the path from the Cimabanche Pass in the Dolomites |  <i>Rob Mills</i>
The combination of both mountains and the sea ensure the success of any great cycling route and this trip offers you exactly that. Starting from the lofty heights of the Dolomites, the route winds its way around the foot of these imposing peaks with jaw-dropping views stopping you in your tracks around every turn. From Dobbiaco, close to the Austrian border, to the elegant mountain town of Cortina, ringed by the pinnacles and spires characteristic of this special alpine region, the cycle heads south along an old rail trail to reach the ancient city of Belluno with the Schiara range offering a heady backdrop. As you finally descend onto the Venetian plain, the mountains give way to rolling vineyards where opportunities to sample the famous sparkling Prosecco in the town of Valdobbiadene await you. The final stage of this cycling journey will take you ro the Adriatic Sea, where the enchanting city of Venice will welcome you with its unique beauty.

> 8 day self guided cycle. 
> View more trip details here.


 

Are you a cycling enthusiast? Will you be making the trip to Italy or Hungary to spectate the Giro d'Italia in 2020?

Halloween Inspired Walking Trips

Halloween Inspired Walking Trips

Dracula and other myths and legends of Europe 


European heritage is full of myths and legends. On the below trips you can search for leprechauns in Ireland, try to spot Nessie in Scotland, stalk the original Werewolf in France or follow Count Dracula’s footsteps and explore the mysterious yet spectacular land that surrounds its decaying castle in the Carpathian Mountains...
 

IRELAND | Leprechauns


Old mine above Glendalough |  <i>John Millen</i>

One of Ireland’s most enduring myths, the legend of the leprechaun can be traced back to 8th century tales about water spirits called ‘luchorpán’ (meaning ‘small body’). Tiny but mischievous, the leprechaun is often depicted as an aged man in a red or green coat. According to traditional folklore, they are known to hide pots of gold at the end of a rainbow – so if you are lucky enough to find and capture one, you can barter his freedom for his treasure!
 

>> A Taste of the Wicklow Way. 5 day self guided walk. View trip details.

>> The Wicklow Way. 7 day self guided walk. View trip details

>> The Wicklow Way. 9 day itinerary also available (view here).

>> View all active holidays in Ireland - click here.



SCOTLAND | Nessie


Walking up Mam Carraigh

One of Scotland’s most enduring myths, the famous ‘Nessie’ (or Loch Ness Monster) resides in Loch Ness, the second largest loch in the Scottish Highlands, which is dotted with centuries-old forts and castles, a silent witness to the country’s turbulent past. Although evidence of its existence is anecdotal, with disputed photographic material and sonar readings, popular interest and belief in Nessie’s existence has soared since it was first brought to the world’s attention in 1933.
 

>> Great Glen Way. 8 day self guided walk. View trip details.

>> View all active holidays in Scotland - click here.

 

ROMANIA | Count Dracula


Bran Castle, the fabled home of Count Dracula |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

Immortalised by Bram Stoker in his 1897 gothic horror novel Dracula, the archetypal vampire was inspired by the 15th century Romanian general and Wallachian Prince Vlad III the Impaler, who was also known as Dracula. A Transylvanian nobleman, Count Dracula lives in a decaying castle in the Carpathian Mountains, a mysterious yet spectacular land, and exudes a veneer of aristocratic charm.
 

>> Transylvania Castles & Mountains. 6 day self guided walk. View trip details.

>> View all active holidays in Romania - click here.

FRANCE | Beast of Gévaudan (the original Werewolf)


Night in Le Puy

In 18th century France, in the south central region of Gevaudan (now Lozere and Haute-Loire), an alleged wolf-dog hybrid terrorised the local community. This man-eating animal attacked an estimated 210 people, resulting in 113 deaths and 49 injuries. Victims were often killed by having their throats torn out. Fortunately the French kingdom spent a lot of resources to find the beast, with a hunter eventually slaying it with bullets forged from silver. This is said to inspire the legend of werewolves and how only silver bullets can be used against them.
 

>> The Way of St James – Le Puy to Aumont. 5 day self guided walk. Click for trip details.

>> View all active holidays in France - click here.


Have you been to any of these destinations already? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/SHX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Sherpa Expeditions</div>
Sherpa Expeditions is a specialist in self guided and guided walking and cycling holidays in the United Kingdom and Europe. Detailed route notes provide a definite guide to places in Europe for active walkers and cyclists.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon'> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.