From whitewater rafting in Slovenia and climbing volcanoes in Turkey to hiking Yorkshire's wild north coast, there are plenty of ways to get active this summer in the UK and Europe...
Rafting in Slovenia (Dreamstime)
Get active this summer in Kobarid, Slovenia’s adventure playground. Set on the banks of the Soca River, this small town is big on adrenalin. Powered by crystal-clear waters from the Julian Alps, you’ll experience some of the most exciting whitewater rafting, kayaking and canyoning adventures in Europe.
A local team of experts will be on hand to instruct, supervise and ensure that you get to experience the different moods of the river. They’ll offer suggestions on other activities close at hand too.
There are challenging mountain bike tracks nearby for those who want to stay dry, as well as one of Europe’s longest and fastest zip-lines for those looking for an exhilarating airborne thrill.
When: 10 Jun, 1, 8, 29 Jul, 5, 12, 19 Aug & 9 Sep 2017
How long: 8 days
How much: From £829 (inc. flights)
Rainbow arching over Kosterhavet Marine National Park (Dreamstime)
Home to Sweden’s first marine national park, the Koster Islands (the most westerly populated islands in the country) are amongst the most beautiful in the Western Archipelago. Car-free and largely comprised of nature reserves, they also offer a unique opportunity to experience island life in its purest form.
On this trip, you’ll explore the islands by foot and by bicycle, tramping through heather-clad moors, brushwood forests and flower-covered fields. You’ll cycle to empty golden beaches where cooking a freshly caught lobster over an open fire will be a memory that will stay with you forever. This is the long, balmy, active summer you’ve always dreamed of.
Who: Discover The World
When: Flexible dates May-Sep 2017
How long: 7 days
How much: From £591 (inc. flights)
Natural Arch in the cliffs at Flamborough Head (Dreamstime)
The rugged high cliffs and dramatic coast of North Yorkshire have long captured the imagination. It was here that Bram Stoker was inspired to write Dracula and where ancient fossils are uncovered on a daily basis.
While close encounters with vampires cannot be guaranteed, this walking holiday is designed to take you to the very heart of this most dramatic part of northern England. The walk stays close to the coast, traversing heather moors and green valleys and passing pretty coastal villages like Staithes, Robin Hoods Bay, Sandsend and the gothic town of Whitby. Colourful beach huts, antique shops, tearooms, bars and top-notch fish and chips await.
A walk from Grosmont to Robin Hoods Bay lets you sample the famous Wainwrights Coast to Coast route. Combining history and diverse scenery, this walk is sure to challenge and intrigue the most enthusiastic walkers.
When: 21 May, 9 Jul & 10 Sep 2017
How long: 6 days
How much: From £550 (exc. flights)
Mount Ararat (Dreamstime)
Rising dramatically on Turkey’s eastern border with Armenia, the volcanic cones of Mount Ararat dominate the surrounding region. Believed by many to be the final resting place of Noah’s ark, the mountain is steeped in legend, and is a challenging and rewarding climb.
This 10-day adventure will take you to the very top of Mt. Ararat, as well as other challenging climbs on Nemrut Lake Crater and Mt. Suphan. Along the way, you’ll visit churches on forgotten islands, discover isolated waterfalls and experience the incredible warmth and hospitality of the people of this little-visited region of Turkey.
Are you up for the challenge?
Who: Travel The Unknown
When: Flexible dates during summer, 2017
How long: 10 days
How much: From £1,595 (exc. flights)
Biking in the Pyrenees (Dreamstime)
Wedged between France and Spain, Andorra offers some of the best mountain bike trails in Europe. The historic Iron Route, with its spectacular backdrop of snow-capped peaks and forested slopes, is the most famous, but there are plenty of others as well, each offering an adrenalin-fuelled take on this tiny, but perfectly formed country.
Based in the quaint town of Soldeu, set dizzily 1,710 metres above sea level, there are plenty of other activities on hand once you’ve conquered Andorra’s mountains and valleys by bike.
Hike up mountains, whitewater raft down rivers and zip-line across the whole lot. Yourinner thrill-seeker will not be disappointed.
When: 4, 11, 18 Jun, 2, 9, 16 Jul & 10. 17, 24 Sep 2017
How long: 8 days
How much: From £558 (exc. flights)
Cavern diving in Malta (Dreamstime)
Clear waters and constant warm weather makes Malta one of Europe’s best diving destinations. This tour is designed to ensure you experience it all.
You’ll spend five days diving Malta’s wrecks (most of the dive sites can be reached from shore and include a mix of wrecks, reefs and caves) and two days diving around the island of Gozo. You’ll have a choice of 25 dive sites here, consisting of cracks, holes, caves and caverns, including the famous Blue Hole.
A quirk in the local laws means diving is not allowed on Sundays, giving you the ideal excuse to experience local food and culture as well. The pace of life is slow, the variety of dive sites unmatched. What are you waiting for?
Who: Dive Worldwide
When: Summer 2017
How long: 11 days
How much: From £895 (exc. flights)
Conwy estuary. Possibly from a rib boat. (Dreamstime)
Roar through the waters of North Wales on a rib boat and experience this spectacular corner of the UK as very few do: with the wind in your hair and your hands tightly clutching the sides of a high powered vessel. The tang of salt on your lips is all but guaranteed.
Pulling slowly out of Deganwy harbour on the Conwy estuary, you’ll soon hit top speed and open water, startling the odd puffin and dolphin, as Snowdonia quickly comes into view. Ask nicely and you can have a quick go at the controls yourself.
Your inner James Bond satisfied, it’s back to the Mehalah, a beautifully fitted out yacht that will be your home for the rest of your stay. By the time you’ve explored the Irish Sea, sailed past the Great Orme and conquered the Menai Strait, the salt water will well and truly be in your veins.
When: 19 May & 14 Jul 2017
How long: 4 days
How much: From £549 (exc. flights)Main image: Rafting in Slovenia (Dreamstime)
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