The view over Laugavegur, Iceland (Shutterstock)
List Words : Team Wanderlust | 26 August 2019

Over 30s travel: Short-but-sweet trips for the time-conscious traveller

In your 30s? You don’t have to put your career on hold to go globetrotting. These annual leave-friendly tours include African safaris, Icelandic treks, Middle East desert wanders, and more...

1. Trek Iceland’s iconic Laugavegur Trail

Hiking through Laugavegur (Shutterstock)

Hiking through Laugavegur (Shutterstock)

Hike Iceland’s famous, dramatic trek and be back in time for Monday’s conference call on this iconic walking holiday with Exodus. 

You’ll walk the famous Laugavegur Trail, a trek through an epic landscape of glaciers and volcanoes, created over millennia. Starting in the colourful Landmannalaugar Mountains, you’ll head through the dramatic Thorsmork region, skirting craters formed during the 2010 eruption.

Few trekking routes can match the striking vistas you’ll find here. And if you choose one of the late August departures, you may *just* be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Trip: Iceland's Laugavegur Trek

Who: Exodus

Type: Small group

When: Jun to Aug

How long: Eight days

How much: From £2,349 (exc. flights)

2. Sail and hike through the Cyclades

Sailing through the Cyclades (Shutterstock)

Sailing through the Cyclades (Shutterstock)

The perfect mix of active adventure and chilled relaxation time, this one-week walking and sailing holiday through the Cyclades with KE Adventure is the ideal way to recharge your batteries after a busy year.

Sailing out of the port of Lavrio, and under the guidance of a qualified skipper and local walking guide, you’ll sail between four of the region’s most idyllic islands: Kea, Kythnos, Syros and Serifos. Your days will be filled with walking, sailing, swimming and stand up paddleboarding.

Your evenings will see you exploring the picturesque ports and dining in traditional Greek tavernas, bursting with character and serving hearty Grecian fare, fresh sea food and plenty of Ouzo!

At sea, your friendly skipper will be happy to impart their vast knowledge of sailing, but like everything on this tour, its purely optional. Your holiday can be as active or relaxed as you want.

Trip: Greek Island Odyssey

Who: KE Adventure Travel

Type: Small group

When: May, Sep & Oct

How long: Eight days

How much: £1,045 (exc. flights)

3. Take a cheeky one week safari in Tanzania

A game drive in the Serengeti (Shutterstock)

A game drive in the Serengeti (Shutterstock)

Bursting with wildlife, the national parks of Tanzania offer a once-in-a-lifetime animal adventure. This one-week Serengeti safari with Intrepid is designed to give you it in spades, and have you back in the office before anyone notices you’ve been away. 

Travelling across the undulating plains of the Serengeti, you’ll go in search of the iconic Big Five: lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffaloes.

Then you’ll lose yourself in vast herds of zebra and wildebeest in the Ngorongoro Crater, before experiencing the thrill of sleeping 'Under Canvas’, drifting off to sleep to the sounds of the African night. You'll head home invigorated by this perfect combination of adventure and relaxation.

Trip: Tanzania Safari Under Canvas

Who: Intrepid

Type: Small group

When: Jan, Jul to Nov

How long: 8 days

How much: From £2,442 (exc. flights)

4. Spend a long weekend in rural Georgia

The village Mestia in rural Georgia (Shutterstock)

The village Mestia in rural Georgia (Shutterstock)

The small Caucasian country of Georgia is one of the hot destinations of 2019. This small but perfectly formed itinerary with TravelLocal will show you the highlights of its rural north – and still get you home before the week is out.

Flying in and out of Kutaisi, you’ll experience everything this intriguing region has to offer. You’ll trek through remote mountain villages like historic Becho and scenic Mestia, and take cooking classes with locals to learn how to make delicious Georgian cuisine.

You'll spend your evenings in cosy homestays, enjoying the typical Georgian hospitality. Exploring this remote and charming region has never been easier. 

Trip: Long Weekend In Svaneti

Who: TravelLocal

Type: Private

When: May, Jun & Sep

How long: Five days

How much: From £710 (exc. flights)

5. Become Lawrence of Arabia for a week

Bedouin and camels in Wadi Rum (Shutterstock)

Bedouin and camels in Wadi Rum (Shutterstock)

Be more Lawrence of Arabia than Lawrence of Accounts, on this short and sweet adventure through the desert kingdom of Jordan with Exodus.

Bursting with things to see and do, Jordan is ideal destination for a one-week adventure. You will have two full days to explore the ’rose-red city’ of Petra and to take a guided visit around Jerash, one of the best preserved Roman cities in the Middle East.

You’ll have plenty of time to ’float’ in the salty waters of the Dead Sea and snorkel over the beautiful coral reefs of the Red Sea, before heading out to Wadi Rum in a 4WD, camping out under the stars like the Bedouin.

Trip: A Week In Jordan

Who: Exodus

Type: Small group

When: Regular departures throughout the year

How long: Nine days

How much: From £949 (exc. flights)

6. Cycle the Kasbah in Morocco

Kasbah in Dades Valley (Shutterstock)

Kasbah in Dades Valley (Shutterstock)

Looking for a ride that will challenge and excite you - but still have you back with your cycling buddies at home the next Sunday? Then saddle up for this classic adventure cycling holiday in Morocco's arid Jebel Sahro region with KE Adventure. 

The climate of the Jebel Sahro in southern Morocco is the perfect place for cycling outside the summer months. You’ll begin biking in the magnificent Todra Gorge. Its towering walls attract rock climbers from all over the world.

You'll ascend on tarmac and then on hard-pack jeep roads, cycling to a remote mountain area that is home to nomadic Berber shepherds and has excellent views of the Atlas peaks.

Crossing the Tamtattouchte Pass, you’ll drop down into the beautiful Dades Valley, the so-called 'Valley of the 1,000 Kasbahs’, before following a newly-introduced dirt road ride that takes you directly across country to the oasis town of Zagora on the very edge of the Sahara.

Trip: Morocco - Ride The Kasbah

Who: KE Adventure Travel

Type: Small group

When: Feb to Mar & Oct to Dec

How long: Eight days

How much: From £749 (exc. flights)

7. Walk through history in the Pyrenees

Hiker in the Pyrenees (Shutterstock)

Hiker in the Pyrenees (Shutterstock)

Enjoy a short and challenging trekking holiday in the Pyrenees over four days, followed by a day of relaxation in the French spa town of Luchon, on this walk along the historic Chemin de la Liberté with KE Adventures.

Running from Saint-Girons in the Ariege district of France to near the village of Isil in Spain, the Chemin de la Liberté follows the 'walk to freedom' escape route desperate refugees took from France during World War II.

It's a challenging walk, and along the way you will encounter safe houses and barns used as hiding places by the escapees - as well as rocky cirques, mountain lakes, boulder fields, possibly snow-filled gullies, and some of the finest mountain views the Pyrenees can offer.

Trip: Walk To Freedom Across The Pyrenees

Who: KE Adventure Travels

Type: Small group

When: Jul to Sep

How long: Seven days

How much: From £975 (exc. flights)

8. Find sun and fun in Mediterranean Turkey

Sea kayaking in Kekova Bay (Explore)

Sea kayaking in Kekova Bay (Explore)

Give your dreary, wet commute a miss for a week on this active holiday on Turkey’s sunny coast with Explore.

Offering the perfect balance of sun, adrenaline and relaxation, this trip is a great way to experience Turkey’s stunning Mediterranean coastline, charming villages and impressive mountains.

You’ll sea kayak to the sunken city of Kekova and the village of Kaleköy, overlooked by a medieval castle in Kekova Bay, before visiting the ancient capital of Lycia and canoe down the river to Patara Beach. 

Staying in family-run hotels, you’ll also get the chance to cycle through the Taurus Mountains.

Trip: Active Turkey

Who: Explore

Type: Small group

When: Apr to Jun & Aug to Oct

How long: Eight days

How much: From £395 (exc. flights)

9. Journey through untouched Ethiopia

Hamar ceremony in Ethiopia (Shutterstock)

Hamar ceremony in Ethiopia (Shutterstock)

Here’s one for people who want to really pack an adventure into their annual holidays – a week-long sojourn through one of the most remote corners of Ethiopia with Intrepid.

You’re off to visit the remote tribes in the Omo Valley, visiting the Dorze people, famous for their unique bee-hive houses, and the Hamar people, largely cut off from the world and renowned for their bull jumping initiation ceremonies.

You’ll take a boat trip on Lake Chamo, home to hippos, Nile crocodiles and rich birdlife. Finally, you'll spend a night in the town of Konso, visiting a mora: a central communal building used by men and boys. Enough adventure for you?

Trip: Ethiopia Untouched

Who: Intrepid

Type: Small group

When: Jan to Apr & Oct to Dec

How long: Seven days

How much: From £1.098 (exc. flights)

Enjoyed this article? Get the best of Wanderlust delivered straight to your inbox

Follow Team Wanderlust