Following a strong response to the launch of its new collection of Europe tours in December 2020, G Adventures is expanding its offering of closer to home adventures for UK and European travellers, with the addition of eight new active and sailing trips for 2021. Designed to show a different side of popular destinations, beyond the ‘mass market’ offerings, the trips will focus on hiking and reconnecting with the great outdoors in new regions and destinations for G Adventures, including Cyprus, Madeira, northern Greece, eastern Iceland and Slovenia.
Bringing the European collection to a total of 16 tours, with first departures in March 2021, the new tours will challenge stereotypes around much-loved destinations, while shining a light on more remote, local experiences and culinary offerings. Highlights include wooded valley trails in Slovenia’s Julian Alps, farm to table meals at a homestay in east Iceland, hikes to castles and historic ruins in Cyprus and traversing two of Mount Olympus’ highest peaks in northern Greece. With a focus on local options, the tours will include just one or two accommodations, minimising the times travellers need to unpack throughout the trip.
“Launching tours in mainstream destinations where we haven’t operated in the past, such as the Canary Islands and Crete, was a new adventure for G Adventures, and one which has seen a really positive response from our UK travellers. There’s clearly an appetite for closer to home holidays in the short term, and a shift towards exploring outdoors, being more active and seeing a different side to a destination. We’re adding in even more great destinations with these eight new trips that range from challenges such as climbing Mount Olympus’ highest peaks, to relaxing onboard a yacht in the Canary Islands,” comments Brian Young, managing director of G Adventures.
“The current UK lockdown is only enhancing pent up demand, but means travellers are now looking past February for their next trip. With hiking weather being favourable in these pre-season months across the destinations, we’re expecting to see a pick up in our early departures from those who are keen to travel as soon as they can,” Young says.
The new Europe tours include:
Hiking in Madeira – Celebrated for its rich wine and traditional cake, hiking may not be the first thing travellers think of when it comes to the island of Madeira. But with mesmerising volcanic landscapes, lush forests, incredible mountain routes and stunning coastline on offer, this six day trip will capture the imagination of any hiking enthusiast. From walks along the famous ‘levada’ trails to tumbling waterfalls in the remote northern region to hiking the jagged mountain staircase high above the cloudline to Pico do Arieiro, one of the island’s tallest peaks, each day offers a different terrain for hikers to explore. On the south of the island, travellers can enjoy a walk on the glass skywalk which extends across the coastal cliffs and offers spectacular views, while in Monte they can try their hand at traditional toboggan rides down the streets to Funchal.
Sailing the Canary Islands – Stepping aboard a 56ft yacht, travellers will spend a week exploring the beautiful shores of the Canary Islands. Designed for sailors of all levels, the Skipper will tailor the itinerary according to the group and the weather, depending if travellers want more time to explore the islands or sailing time at sea. Setting sail from Tenerife, the group will sail to San Sebastian de La Gomera where they will explore this historic harbour town, where Christopher Columbus stopped in 1492. Other highlights include a day exploring Santa Cruz on the island of La Palma, snorkeling, hiking and plenty of time to kick back and relax.
Walking Piedmont and the Barolo Wine Region – Home to some of Italy’s best wines and much-loved car, the Fiat, the Italian region of Piedmont also offers rolling hills, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and delicious cuisine. On this five-day culinary and active trip, which is perfect for a quick European getaway, travellers will work up an appetite with hikes through vineyards, where they will refresh themselves with wine tastings in family-run cellars and even visit the home of Nutella and the white truffle.
Hiking Northern Cyprus – Fairytale castles, said to have inspired Walt Disney, seaside harbour towns, forest hikes, 12th century monasteries, local bakeries and Roman ruins – this seven day adventure is filled with history, culture and local experiences. Exploring the northern coast of Cyprus, including St Hilarion Castle where travellers will be able to see all the way to Turkey, the group will enjoy stunning valley hikes that are accessible to most fitness levels and will visit some of the region’s best kept secret spots, loved by the locals.
Trekking Eastern Iceland – Exploring the lesser-visited eastern side of Iceland, this six-day hiking adventure offers active travellers a slice of local living and the opportunity to explore some of the country’s hidden gems on foot. Staying in a local guesthouse in a small Icelandic fishing village, the group will enjoy farm to table meals and daily hikes taking travellers along the Vatnsskarð pass, across the rocky terrain of Stórurð, past the smoking lava fields of Leirhnjúkur and to mighty Detifoss waterfall. On the coast, days will be spent walking the black sand beaches and, in season, visiting nesting puffins and taking a cultural tour of the famous fishing village of Seyðisfjörður.
Explore Southern Sicily – The perfect combination of culture, cuisine and light hiking, travellers will spend eight days exploring the sites and tastes of southern Sicily. From arancini cooking classes in Syracuse, home to baroque piazzas and medieval side streets and the salt marshes and islands near to Trapani to the glistening 11th century Monreale Cathedral, intricately decorated with thousands of gold mosaic tiles and hikes in nature-filled reserves, travellers will explore popular hotspots and lesser-visited regions. Joining the recently launched Northern Sicily: Islands and Volcanoes tour, this trip can also be paired to create the ultimate two week Sicilian adventure.
Explore Slovenia: Hiking the Julian Alps – Woodland hikes through the Krma valley, trail walks along the picturesque Soča river, visits to Savica waterfall, overnight stays on Lake Bled and, for those seeking a dose of adrenaline, plenty of time to enjoy activities such as canyoning, kayaking and rafting – this seven-day hiking adventure offers the perfect opportunity for travellers to slow down, and to reconnect with nature. With multi-day hiking, travellers will explore Lake Bled from different angles and viewpoints, while learning more about local life with a honey demonstration with a local beekeeper, a cheese tasting in Bovec and eating in a traditional mountain hut, all while sleeping in the same bed each night.
Hiking Northern Greece – Avoiding the coastal complexes and sunlounger-packed beaches, travellers can discover a lesser-seen side of Northern Greece on their own two feet. Journeying from coast to coast, this week-long trip includes a two-day hike, tackling Skala and Skolio – two of Mt Olympus’ highest summits where the group will spend the night in a mountain refuge. History lovers will enjoy visits to the famous cliff top monasteries of Meteora, walks past the ancient ruins of Pantokrator and the “hidden” monastery of Ypapanti while, in the hikers paradise of Zagori, the group will trek through the stunning Vikos Gorge, known as the “Greek Grand Canyon”, before enjoying dinner at a local taverna that specialises in locally-foraged ingredients.
The new European tours are on sale now. For more information, or to book visit https://www.gadventures.com/active-europe.