Salazie and Hell-Bourg seen from above (Shutterstock)
List 12 January 2019

2019’s top trips for active adventures

Fancy hiking Peru's Rainbow Mountain? Cycling vineyards in Veneto, Italy? Or kayaking the Turkish coast? These unforgettable trips will get your adrenaline flowing, thighs sighing and hearts soaring...

1: Namibia

The NamibRand desert is home to dramatic landscapes (ATI Holidays)

The NamibRand desert is home to dramatic landscapes (ATI Holidays)

Tickle your taste buds off the beaten track

Soak up southern Africa’s wines, wildlife and wilderness on ATI Holidays’ Namibia: Walking and Wine Tasting trip. The journey begins in Windhoek and meanders south-west to the Naukluft Mountains, where the clop of mountain zebras and klipspringer antelopes echo on hikes or horseback through spectacular gorges. In between the red dunes and salt pans of Sossusvlei, the former German colony of Swakopmund and the rugged terrain of northern Damaraland – an area with strictly limited tourism and desert-adapted elephant and black rhino – you’ll discover age-old vineyards sustained by natural springs. Here you can enjoy a tipple among the vines and hear experts share the secrets of how they operate in some of the world’s harshest wine-making conditions.

Who: ATI Holidays (0808 234 9378)

When: Year round

How long: 13 nights

How much: From £3,540 (excl int’l flights)

2: Peru

The multi-coloured Rainbow Mountain (Dreamstime)

The multi-coloured Rainbow Mountain (Dreamstime)

Go chasing rainbows

Wanderlust subscribers can use their £50 voucher for this trip!

Even when you see Peru’s Rainbow Mountain up close, you might not believe your eyes. But its ochre, sea green and scarlet stripes are real. It’s the result of naturally forming minerals, and on World Expeditions’ Ausangate and Rainbow Mountain Trek, you’ll get a front-row seat. You’ll have to work for it, though. Trekking at high altitude across the Andes, and wild camping along the way, makes this a challenging trip, yet worth it for those out-of-this-world views. You’ll start and end in Cuzco, but soon leave the crowds far behind.

Who: World Expeditions (0800 074 4135)

When: Every Friday, 1 Mar–13 Dec 2019

How long: 5 days

How much: From £795 (excl int’l flights)

3: Northern Peru

The UNESCO-listed remains of Kuélap (Dreamstime)

The UNESCO-listed remains of Kuélap (Dreamstime)

Go off the Andean trail

Wanderlust subscribers can use their £50 voucher for this trip!

Peru’s less touristed north has long appealed to travellers in the know, thanks to its super-sized Andean topography and thrilling cultural heritage. Tucan Travel’s new tailor-made Northern Peru itinerary is a journey through some of the region’s most notable attractions, including the remote hiking-base town of Chachapoyas, the UNESCO-listed remains of Kuélap, carved clifftop tombs and the 771m Gocta Waterfall, after which there’s a day to sample the local walking trails. There are also nights to enjoy energetic Lima at the start and end of the trip.

Who: Tucan Travel (020 8896 1600) 

When: Year round

How long: 9 nights

How much: From £1,689 (excl int’l flights) 

4: Italy

The vineyards of the Berici Hills (Shutterstock)

The vineyards of the Berici Hills (Shutterstock)

Escape the crowds in hidden Veneto

While Venice battles over-tourism, the surrounding Veneto region couldn’t be more different. This is a world of whisper-quiet country lanes threading through lush valley plains, and Headwater’s Heart of Veneto Cycling tour takes you deep into its rural centre, pedalling past pretty villages, cherry orchards, ancient villas and vineyards (with GPS provided). Base yourself in an agriturismo (farm stay) and follow daily cycling routes to the likes of Bastia’s market, the lakeside trattorie of Fimon and the vineyards of Tai Rosso grapes in the Berici Hills. Trips even branch out as far as Vicenza, a city whose elegant porticoes and balustrades echo the crumbling majesty of Venice, while a free day lets you catch the train to Padua, Verona, or even the busy regional capital itself.

Who: Headwater (01606 369824)

When: Apr–Oct

How long: 7 nights

How much: From £1,239 (incl int’l flights)

5: Ethiopia

Awash National Park (Shutterstock)

Awash National Park (Shutterstock)

Trek the wild heart of Ethiopia

Now regarded as one of the very best of Africa’s lesser-heralded destinations, Ethiopia is an incredible country crammed with soul, history and dramatic landscapes. TravelLocal’s new Hiking Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains tour coincides with the December 2018 launch of new flights from Manchester to Addis Ababa and focuses on the great Ethiopian outdoors. As well as game drives in Awash National Park – where you might spy leopards or lions – it also includes a four-day hike through the peaks and hot springs of the Bale Mountains. Also included are visits to Addis Ababa, Lake Awasa and Abijatta-Shalla National Park.

Who: TravelLocal (0117 325 7898) 

When: Year round (best months: Oct–May)

How long: 8 nights

How much: From £1,760 (excl int’l flights) 

6: Turkey

Kayaking along the Turkish coast (Shutterstock)

Kayaking along the Turkish coast (Shutterstock)

The Turkish coast with the most

The Mediterranean coastline of Turkey is a rival to any sun-soaked European fringe. It also allows plenty of opportunities to push your adrenaline button, as Explore’s Active Turkey! escape demonstrates. Whether cycling the pine, oak and cedar forests of the Taurus foothills or canoeing down from the UNESCO-listed fortified city of Xanthos – an ancient city twice decimated, first by the Persians and then the Romans – you’ll find history and nature blending with ease. Take to the seas to kayak to the pretty hillside village of Simena, and make the steep hike up to the striking castle at the top. Steal a breath and then soak it all in.

Who: Explore (01252 883911)

When: 17 Jun, 29 July, 2 Sept & 23 Sept 2019

How long: 8 days

How much: From £725 (incl int’l flights)

7: Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana

Walking among the treetops in Guyana (KE Adventure Travel)

Walking among the treetops in Guyana (KE Adventure Travel)

Venture into the wilderness

Wanderlust subscribers can use their £50 voucher for this trip!

They don’t call the Guianas ‘hidden’ for nothing: over 80% of Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana is covered in dense, uncharted jungle. The result? Some of the richest biodiversity on Earth, with mangroves, coastline and primary rainforest absolutely bursting with wildlife. You’ll need a great guide, and KE Adventures has local knowledge in spades. On its Discovering The Hidden Guianas trip, you’ll use light aircraft, 4WD vehicles and dugout canoes to reach plenty of isolated communities and eco-lodges, visit far-flung islands, and explore a land of jaguars, monkeys and capybaras. Meanwhile a flight over Guyana’s Kaieteur Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall in the world, will be an experience you’ll never forget.

Who: KE Adventure Travel (01768 773966)

When: 28 Mar, 26 Sept, 7 Nov 2019

How long: 15 days

How much: From £5,275 (incl int’l flights)

8: Réunion

Salazie and Hell-Bourg seen from above (Shutterstock)

Salazie and Hell-Bourg seen from above (Shutterstock)

Head for a hidden island

Nestled between Madagascar and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, Réunion is often overlooked, but it is an island of singular secrets. Exploring everything from villages set in collapsed craters to the lava tunnels of a dormant volcano, Off the Map Travel’s Like Nowhere on Earth trip nails its description pretty darn well. Little compares to heli-hiking into one of the deepest gorges on the island or spending the night in a see-through bubble in the forests of Réunion National Park. But it’s amid the old creole mansions of Hell-Bourg and Salazie, hamlets carved among winding roads that just about cling to the slopes, where you feel you’ve discovered a place that’s utterly unique.

Who: Off The Map Travel (020 3504 6446)

When: Year round

How long: 7 nights

How much: From £1,899 (excl int’l flights)

9: Switzerland

The tranquil gardens of Mainau Island on Lake Constance (Dreamstime)

The tranquil gardens of Mainau Island on Lake Constance (Dreamstime)

Stretch your legs in the Alps

The Swiss outdoors exists on a grand scale, and the lush Alpine mountains of the Churfirsten range are as princely a setting as you’ll find in Central Europe. They serve as the suitably memorable location for Ramblers Walking Holidays’ new Alpine Activity Adventure, a wellness-focused week that includes everything from barefoot walking, sound-trail installations and medicinal herb paths to e-biking, pilates and yoga. If you’re in search of a short-haul experience as stimulating as it is scenic – not to mention an itinerary that also takes in Lake Constance and Mainau Island – it’s an attractive prospect.

Who: Ramblers Walking Holidays (01707 331133)

When: 6 Jun, 11 July, 5 Aug & 12 Sept 2019

How long: 7 nights

How much: From £1,865 (incl int’l flights)

Your Wanderlust £50 voucher

Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators.

And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!

The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible. 

Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount.

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