Hiker (Shutterstock: see credit below)
List 05 January

10 of the best new active trips

Aiming for healthier, more active travels in 2015? Then you need one of these energetic trips!

1. Pedal with the kids, Vietnam

Families Worldwide
31 Mar, 7 Jul, 11 Aug, 20 Oct, 22 Dec 2015 (all school holidays dates)
How long? 12 days
How much? From £1,399/1,579 child/adult (incl flights)

Vietnamese cyclist (Shutterstock)

Gather the whole clan and set off on an active two-wheeled Velo Vietnam adventure with Families Worldwide. Do as the locals do – explore the spectacular countryside by bicycle – as well as taking an overnight train ride, staying in a village longhouse and cruising around the karst outcrops of Halong Bay.

2. Trek new trails, Turkey

Peter Sommer Travels
3 Oct 2015
How long? 7 nights
How much? £2,175 (excl flights)

Ruins of Knidos (Shutterstock)

The Lycian Way is so last decade! This year Turkish trekking is all about the Carian Trail, an 800km coastal walk inaugurated two years ago but somehow still virtually untrodden by visitors’ feet. On Peter Sommer Travels’ Walking and Cruising the Carian Coast trip you’ll spend days walking sections of the herb-lined trail, via Byzantine churches, archaeological sites, ghost villages and ancient tombs; each evening you’ll retire to a traditional gulet, which gently floats along the shore and enables passengers to get access to the secluded coves and inlets that most other tours won’t be able to reach.

3. Bike between peaks and lakes, Italy

Saturdays, 2 May-10 Oct 2015
How long? 8 nights
How much? From £1,099 (excl flights)

Cycle lane of the Adige valley near Bolzano (Shutterstock)

This almost feels like two for the price of one: Headwater’s self-guided Italian Alps to Lake Garda Cycling trip starts in rural alpine mountains, where Italian, Swiss and Austrian cultures collide, then winds down to the sunny shores of Lake Garda. The gentle route is doable by cyclists of all abilities, and will see you pedalling past flowery meadows, picturesque vineyards, the medieval market town of Glorenza, Trauttmannsdorff Castle and ancient Mezzocorona towards the pine-fringed beaches of Riva.

4. Walk on the wild side, Uganda & Rwanda

Ramblers Worldwide Holidays
When? 11 Sept, 4 Dec 2015
How long? 16 days
How much? From £3,700 (incl flights)

Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda (Shutterstock)

Ramblers Worldwide Holidays’ Land of a Thousand Hills trip combines the wild highlights of Rwanda and Uganda in one exciting journey. Trek through lush Ugandan jungles, with the chance to track mountain gorillas; meet the orphaned chimpanzees living on Ngamba Island; cast your eyes upwards to spot rare tree-climbing lions in Bwindi; explore scenic Queen Elizabeth National Park; take a canopy walk in Nyungwe NP; and look for golden monkeys in Ruhengeri NP.

5. Go aurora hunting, Lapland

Off the Map Travel
When? 20 Mar 2015
How long? 10 days
How much? £5,999 (excl flights)

Aurora Borealis (Shutterstock)

Off the Map Travel’s Grand Aurora: Northern Lights trip is one for the serious aurora hunter. You’ll head out into the frozen wilderness of Lapland, covering not one but three of the best countries in which to see the northern lights: Norway, Sweden and Finland. Scour the skies for a glimpse of the greatest light show on earth, with the help of a local guide; explore Abisko National Park by husky sled; learn how to snap the aurora with an expert photographer; visit Tromsø’s Polar Museum; have a go at ice-fishing; and meet the reindeer herders of Kilpisjarvi.

6. Eat, dance and drink! Chile, Argentina & Brazil

Tucan Travel
When? 21 May, 13 Aug, 5 Nov 2015
How long? 11 days
How much? From £1,469 (excl flights)

Samba School parade in Sambodromo, Brazil (Shutterstock)

Feel the pulse of Latin America via its world-class dance, food and wine on Tucan Travel’s South America Flyer trip. Have a go at samba (or watch the professionals) in Rio, slurp mouthwatering reds in Mendoza’s vineyards and work off a succulent steak with a tango night in Buenos Aires. Fast-paced, full-bellied, lots of fun.

7. Boot-up in the Balkans, Montenegro & Albania

Mountain Kingdoms
When? 27 Jun, 8 Aug, 12 Sept 2015
How long? 9 days
How much? From £895 (excl flights)

Hiking in the Albanian Alps (Shutterstock)

Mountain Kingdoms’ The Accursed Mountains Trek sounds a terrifying prospect – but actually this new hike from Montenegro into Albania is graded moderate, and offers little but pleasures. Tramping ancient paths between the two Balkan nations, pack-horses carrying your kit, you’ll pass marvellous mountain landscapes, traverse the ‘Shangri La’ valley of Thethi, climb Komovi peak, take a boat to access remote communities, visit Skadar Castle, stay at traditional guesthouses and relax on the beautiful Bay of Kotor.

8. Borneo by bike, Malaysia

When? 22 Feb, 5 Jul, 9 Aug, 13 Sept, 18 Oct, 13 Dec 2015
How long? 7 nights
How much? US$1,645 [£1,045] (excl flights)

Wild orang-utan in Sarawak, Borneo (Shutterstock)

Orang utans, turtle hatchlings, rhinoceros hornbills – wildlife abounds in Borneo. And you can better immerse yourself in the island’s natural habitats by exploring on two wheels. On SpiceRoads’ Wilds of Sarawak by Bicycle trip you’ll cover 250km, pedalling amid jungles, through nature reserves and to intricate mangrove systems. Other highlights include a visit to Semenggoh Nature Reserve, to meet the orphaned orang utans, and swapping bikes for kayaks to navigate the Sarawak River.

9. Explore by bike and boat, Namibia

ATI Holidays
When? 20 Sept 2015
How long? 14 days
How much? From £2,450 (excl flights)

Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (Shutterstock)

Namibia is one of the last great wildernesses, and on ATI Holidays’ Desert Knights Mountain Bike tour you’ll get the chance to explore it. Cycle over ancient sand dunes by moonlight, explore the mountainous desert scenery of the Ai-Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park on two wheels and navigate the mighty Orange River in a canoe.

10. Hike to hidden coasts and castles, Portugal

Macs Adventure
When? Flexible
How long? 7 nights
How much? From £725 (excl flights)

Cascais, Portugal (Shutterstock)

So much more than the Algarve, Portugal is also home to lesser-known seashores and excellent walking. Macs Adventure’s self-guided Sintra Coastal & Heritage Trails trip proves that point, exploring the extraordinary inland and coastal routes through Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Walk past castles, palaces and monasteries; soak up the breathtaking views of Cape Roca – Europe’s most westerly point; take a dip on tranquil beaches; and enjoy the freshest seafood and the most charming hotels.

Main image: Hiker (Shutterstock)

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