7. Relish a peaceful paddle in France
Headwater’s Canoeing on the Dordogne trip proves a multi-day meander can be a delightful paddle rather than a demanding slog.
Your glide along the calm and flat waters of the Dordogne passes blush-coloured cliffs, charming riverside chateaux and the Périgord region’s truffle woods.
Pit stop along the way in historic boltholes to recharge your batteries, taking the time to explore the area’s villages, like Carennac’s fairy tale cluster of cottages, gravity-defying Rocamadour’s medieval steeples and evocative atmosphere and the Benedictine abbey at Souillac.
Who? Headwater (01606 369121)
When? Flexible dates
How long? Eight nights
How much? From £1,625 (including int’l flights)
8. Self-drive the Pacific Coast in Panama
Panama City is a buzzing metropolis, but beyond the capital the country’s lesser-known routes offer diverse landscapes from beautiful beaches to highland cloud forest and dense rainforest.
If you want to see a different side to the Pacific Coast, why not get behind the wheel on Journey Latin America’s Discover the Pacific Coast self-drive. As well as historic Panama City and the Panama Canal, you’ll discover soft white sands and Spanish-colonial towns along the Azuero Peninsula.
See turtles come ashore on the crescent-shaped Playa Venao, cowboys on horseback in Boca Chica and take in coffee plantations and cloud forest in Boquete. Then board a boat to spot monkeys, sloths and toucans on Lake Gatún near Soberanía NP.
Who? Journey Latin America (020 8747 8315)
How long? 12 nights
How much? £2,776 (excluding int’l flights)
9. Go walking in a Japanese winter wonderland
During winter, Hokkaido transforms into a frozen playground, making it a must-visit if you’re travelling to Japan in 2020.
KE Adventure Travel’s Winter Hokkaido: Japan’s Frozen North trip gives you an insight into the country’s wildest island. Learn all about the Ainu way of life with folk performances, then hunt for frost flowers on frozen Lake Akan.
Explore the drift ice around the Shiretoko Peninsula, then go on a wildlife cruise on the Nemuro Strait in search of Steller’s sea eagles and foxes hiding in the snow.
Your icy adventures conclude with snowshoeing in Daisetsuzan National Park and a wintery spectacular at the Ice waterfall festival. Delve into Japanese culture by tucking into Kaiseki dinners, soaking in a traditional onsen and hitting the neon-lit Sapporo.
Who? KE Adventure Travel (01768 773996)
When? 16 Feb and 20 Feb 2020, 14 Feb 2021
How long? Nine nights
How much? From £2,495 (excluding int’l flights)
10. Find a trekker’s paradise in Nepal
Up for a challenge? You’ll certainly find one on a Makalu Base Camp Trek with Mountain Kingdoms, which takes you through remote mountain passes and river valleys to reach the base of Mount Makalu, the world’s fifth highest peak.
Avoid Everest’s crowds and trek into the real heart of Sherpa country, passing cardamom plantations, small farms and rhododendron forests on your way – before crossing Shipton La to find epic views over the Himalayas, including the snow-dusted summits of Everest and Lhotse.
Experience some local hospitality by staying in teahouses along the way, gaining an authentic insight into the villagers’ way of life.
Who? Mountain Kingdoms (01453 844 400)
When? 18 April and 31 October
How long? 21 nights
How much? From £2,795 (including int’l flights)