Travel insights from Taylor Coulson, contributing editor of The Compass

Hike, Bike, Walk: Staying Active on Vacation

We realize a majority of your clients are searching for that well-deserved R&R, but what about when all that is on their mind is an exhilarating adventure? You know, the group of pals that want to view every corner of the world while atop the wheels of their bicycle or even just walk around picturesque vineyards and royal cobblestone. Here are a variety of active tours that will score some major points from those adventurous and competitive clients of yours.

Bike Tours

Assuming not all of your clients have been preparing for the Tour de France, here are two bike tours that are easily accessible to even novice riders.

Netherlands & Belgium Bike Tour

Amsterdam has more bikes than people. Bicycling is truly a way of life in Holland, so with this tour from Backroads, the six days of cycling are a breeze for the skilled local guides, but your clients can choose from five different activity levels based on what works for them. This tour will take them to the world’s largest flower market, Keukenhof; to The Happy Pig to enjoy pannenkoekens; past picturesque villages in Stantpoort and Alkmaar; and to the countryside near Gouda, where they’ll venture past dunes, polders and dikes. Then it’s on to the gothic and romantic city of Bruges in Belgium.

In Belgium there will be cobblestone paths, medieval canals and locally brewed Brugse Zot beer waiting to be biked to. After a divine day’s ride from chocolate shops in the Flemish town of Diksmuide to the rural countryside, there will be a concluding ride through weeping forests and canals in Bruges.

Bali Bike Tour with Yoga

Whether your clients are a couple, a group of friends or trekking through each continent on their own, this eight-day Balinese experience from Backroads will be unforgettable. Bali is an economically evolving society along with striking natural serenity wherever you glance.

This tour starts with an optional uplifting morning HATHA yoga session, then takes travelers cycling past exotic temples, exploring back roads of Bali, cruising through the rolling hills near Ubud and rafting the Ayung River. While taking a break from biking and getting in that R&R, travelers will find vibrant kingfishers flying around from each massive teak tree along the river. The third day starts by “greeting the day on your mat,” prior to discovering the Hindu spirituality and culture near the sacred Pura Pucak Sari temple, where a resident priest welcomes visitors. An alfresco dining experience is available for dinner plans, while listening to live rindik music (played on a bamboo xylophone).

Walking and Hiking Tours

Paris Montparnasse Walking Tour

Rich in literature, cinema and French Cuisine, this nearly 2-mile walking tour from ShoreTrips will take your clients back in time to the years that followed after World War I. The Montparnasse neighborhood in Paris is filled with art schools, cafes, dance halls and beautiful Luxembourg Gardens that your clients can tour. The expert Parisian tour guide will provide a rare glimpse into everyday life for famous artists, politicians and writers at each destination. They’ll visit the Place de l’Odéon and Statue of Honoré de Balzac as well as numerous cafés to enjoy a baguette and unlimited wine.

Sydney to the Blue Mountains Walking and Hiking Tour

There are charming outpost villages of Blackheath, Katoomba and Leura along the way to Blue Mountains National Park, which makes for an enchanting six-day hike from Country Walkers. Starting off in Sydney, a walk through Campbell Rhododendron Gardens is impossible to pass up. The next few days are moderate hikes through the Blackheath loop walk, Jamison Valley and Ruined Castle, Katoomba to Leura via the Three Sisters and finally through the Valley of the Waters.

The Blackheath loop walk descends through Bridal Veil Falls, with threads of ash trees leading to Evans Lookout and another peaceful garden. Jamison Valley and Ruined Castle is a little more for the thrill-seekers looking for a challenging hike. The eucalypt forest can be reached via cable car or incline railway. The Leura Forest and the Valley of the Waters both consist of moderate to challenging walking and hiking routes. Your clients will be beneath overhanging cliffs, walking and hiking mid-cliff, and exploring vibrant views of Wentworth Falls. Enchanting, to say the least.

Barcelona to Costa Brava Walking Tour

Who would’ve thought wearing hiking boots while walking across royal cobblestone would ever be a possibility? Catalonia truly knows how to create an authentic, medieval Spanish hiking adventure for your clients. This seven-day hiking tour from Country Walkers will begin by being transported via a funicular to the highest point in Barcelona: Montserrat. There will be breathtaking views of Catalonia only to be followed by appreciating the view of Garraotxa Volcanic Natural Park where dormant volcanoes and Santa Pau’s main square can be seen.

Girona also features colorful “hanging houses” inspired from the significant architecture behind Venetian houses, hanging along the Onyar River, Gothic and Romanesque cathedrals and Jewish neighborhoods. Costa Brava is next on the list and is an easy to moderate hike. Your clients will discover a 10th-century Sant Pere de Rodes monastery prior to walking to a panoramic view of the Gulf of Roses and Cap de Creus. Endless award-winning vino will be available for farewells, before heading to walk beside the sea in Cadaqués, on the Iberian Peninsula.

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