Our grading guidelines should give you a better idea of what to expect on your trip; how challenging the activity (or activities) will be. The grade applies to the overall intensity of the holiday, so some days may be a little tougher than stated and some a little bit easier.
You know your own capabilities best, so whilst we are all for challenging yourself, it is very important to consider your fitness and experience carefully while selecting a trip.
The activity grade will help you choose the right adventure, and enjoy it comfort and safety (whilst having a lot of fun). If you have any questions or concerns, we're always here to offer advice.
Daily Distance: 0-8km (0-5 miles)
Short distances on low level, relatively flat paths that are well maintained and easy to follow. Perfect for those with little or no previous experience of walking holidays, or those looking for a relaxing experience. Browse Easy Walking Holidays.
Easy - Moderate Walking
Daily Distance: 8-16 km (5-10 miles)
Some longer distances on varied terrain but mostly well-maintained trails, and/or quiet country roads and paths. Some ascent and descent but nothing too strenuous. Perfect for those with a relatively good level of fitness, browse Easy - Moderate holidays.
Daily Distance: 16-20 km (10-12 miles)
Longer distances on rugged and varied terrain with regular steep ascents and descents. Ideal for regular walkers with a good level of fitness or beginners looking for a challenge. Browse our Moderate walking holidays.
Moderate - Strenuous Walking
Daily Distance: 20-24 km (12-15 miles)
Long days with significant and consistent steep ascent and descents on varied terrain which is often rugged underfoot, requiring a good level of fitness. There may be some exposed sections that require a head for heights. Navigation could be more difficult in poor weather conditions. Browse Moderate - Strenuous walking holidays here.
Daily Distance: 24-28 km (15-17 miles)
Full days on challenging terrain, distances, ascents and descents suited for experienced walkers with a high level of fitness. Terrain is rough and could be Alpine or mountainous in nature and remote. Possibility of exposed sections and/or sections with cables/chains/ladders to aid ascent and descent, a head for heights is required. Navigation could be challenging in poor weather conditions and some trips may include higher altitudes. Browse Strenuous grade holidays.
Daily Distance: +28km (+17miles)
Designed for very fit hikers looking for their next challenge; a head for heights, a sure foot and experience required. Rough, mountainous terrain including narrow scree and rocky paths, light scrambling, exposure and use of cables/chains/ladders to aid ascent and descent. Navigation could be challenging in poor weather conditions. Location may be remote, with extreme temperatures, weather and high altitudes adding to the challenge on these Extreme grade holidays.
Daily Distance: Less than 30km (18 miles)
Ideal for beginners on their first cycling holiday, or those who simply wish to take it easy. There’s plenty of time to explore en route with daily distances under 30 km. Sometimes there will be an occasional longer day, on almost completely flat or slightly rolling terrain. You will either be cycling on dedicated cycle path/routes or on quiet country roads, coming onto busier town roads only to reach your accommodation. Browse Easy cycling holidays.
Easy - Moderate Cycling
Daily Distance: 30-40km (18-25 miles)
Perfect for occasional riders seeking to discover a region from the saddle, and comfortable riding up to 40 km / 25 miles each day over a few consecutive days. Shorter daily mileages allow time to stop and take in the scenery, visit wineries, museums or stop for a long lunch before arriving at your destination. You may be cycling on dedicated cycle paths or quiet country roads with very occasional stretches on busier roads. Terrain will be largely easy-going but may be rolling or include 1 or 2 short steeper ascents/descents. View more Easy - Moderate cycling trips.
Daily Distance: 40–65 km (25 – 40 miles)
Designed for relatively fit regular cyclists seeking an active holiday. Spend much of the day in the saddle experiencing a region and discovering its variety over longer daily distances. The terrain will be varied, and usually rolling with some longer or steeper ascents/descents on quiet country roads with the occasional short stretch on busier roads through towns. View Moderate graded cycling.
Moderate - Strenuous Cycling
Daily Distance: 65–80 km (40–50 miles)
For regular cyclists, looking for a sense of achievement at the end of the day. Comfortable with longer distances, taking in rolling and hillier terrain with occasional steep ascents/descents and some longer ascents/descents on largely low gradients. Cycle largely on quiet country roads while being comfortable on busier stretches where necessary. Browse some Moderate to Strenuous holidays.
Daily Distance: 80–100 km (50–62 miles)
Ideal for fit cyclists who relish hill climbs and look forward to snaking descents on switchback roads. Most trips in this grade are road cycling tours for experienced riders who enjoy consecutive days of long and hilly riding with up to approximately 1000 m per day. You should have a degree of bike handling skills and be comfortable on long/steep ascents/descents. Riding is on quiet country roads wherever possible but there maybe stretches of busier roads particularly as you pass through or cycle into towns or cities. Browse Strenuous grade trips.
Daily Distance: Over 100 km (over 62 miles)
For the experienced, very fit road cyclist keen to test themselves, comfortable on a variety of road types and has good bike handling skills – particularly on steep ascents/descents. Excellent stamina will allow you to enjoy consecutive challenging days in the saddle. Expect alpine cols and daily ascents which could be up to 2500 m; trips in this category include ascents of the iconic Mont Ventoux and road cycling in the Pyrenees on Tour de France routes.
Important Notes on Walking Grades
All walking grades are based not only on daily distances, but also on terrain, elevation gain and loss and altitude. Not all distances are exact within the grading system but are designed to be a guideline and best represent the trip’s level. For example, a trip with approximately 20km per day could be graded moderate rather than moderate to strenuous because the terrain is almost completely flat, or a trip with daily distances around 23km km per day could be graded as strenuous is there are some steep hill to negotiate along the way. Ask your specialist if you have any concerns at all about selecting the right trip.
Important Note on Cycling Grades
All cycling grades are based not only on daily distances, but also on terrain, elevation gain and loss and altitude. Not all distances are exact within the grading system but are designed to be a guideline and best represent the trip’s level. For example, a trip with approximately 55km per day could be graded easy to moderate rather than moderate because the terrain is almost completely flat, or trip with daily distances around 40 km per day could be graded moderate as it is particularly hilly. Ask your specialist if you have any concerns at all about selecting the right trip.
From the original plan of doing a self guided tour in the UK, Macs Adventures were quick to respond to emails, quotes, tailoring a walk to my groups needs. All documentation arrived well ahead of the walk so planning could be undertaken. The walk was brilliant as the quality of 90% of the accommodation was really good, the luggage transfer company was convenient, cost effective and reliable, whilst the walk is breath taking being in the UK country side, combined with the characters you meet along the way, doing the walk for a variety of reasons. Highly recommend this walk, on average 20km a day with an extra rest stop in Grasmere & Richmond. First couple of days through Lakes district are tough.
Lynda and Paul 13/02/2020
Great B&B’s as always. Challenging walk but wonderful scenery. Two accommodations stood out as exceptional. Silver Cottage in Braunton was so special because of our hostess Sophie. The Clouds in Stoke was a fabulous B&B with a huge shower and slipper tub! Tiny bit off path but well worth it. Paul and Claire made this an exceptional stay and so gracious.
Path itself a bit challenging but Mac’s provided tips on transportation for those long days which we used. Also used the website with daily maps they provided.
Sally Bersot 11/01/2020
Terrific maps and offline gps map. Wow accommodations.
All went smoothly with good hotels and great bikes. Would have liked a more detailed map to cross reference with the GPS most days.
We would definitely use Macs Adventures again.
Truda Money 20/12/2019
An excellent itinerary -varied, interesting and strenuous.
Places to stay - we appreciated apartment facilities and found the various stop overs all very different, each with their own positives.
Macs did an amazing job of organizing a memorable trip for us. Their itinerary allowed us to see much of New Zealand's amazing beauty and they worked with me to add in a couple of days so I could take in things that were important to me (such as visiting Hobbiton!)
Jess responded quickly if I had any questions or needed things adjusted. The accommodations selected for us were outstanding and we were continually impressed.
Macs suggested hikes in each area which were often the most popular (and crowded) and sometimes extremely challenging hikes. We often deferred to the recommendations of our innkeepers or the visitor center rangers to opt for several smaller and equally beautiful hikes in the area that allowed us less crowded environments and more reasonably challenging hikes without leaving us exhausted.
The service received from Macs Adventures and the Tee Travel was excellent. Hotels were wonderful and the transfer of luggage was excellent. Always on time.
One thing I would change is to choose hotels closer to the downtown area rather than so far. Also, being that I went during offseason some hotels did not have their restaurants open. This would have been good to know before agreeing to that particular hotel. And at least 2 hotels did not have an elevator, making it difficult to take luggage up and down the stairs after a long walk.
Our trip pn the TMB was great! it was the perfect combination of organized and self-guided! Everything went smoothly and when we had questions it was easy to contact the Mac support. Thanks for helping us have an amazing time!
Andrew Sturman 05/12/2019
Each aspect was organised well once the final bookings were made, that is, accommodation, baggage transfer and contacts in Italy for assistance
Very good service. Just to improve even more, it would be good to have a choice about accommodation. Granted that sometimes there are no options, but if there are, then it would be good to say 'basic' or luxury' to guide the bookers.
Anita Mary Simon 18/11/2019
The directions were outstanding (except for one minor error). The accommodations were superb. Each night was a different experience and really added to the feel of being in old-world Italy with modern conveniences. The baggage was taken care of in an efficient manner. It was always waiting for us at the next stop.
This was our 4th MacS Adventures trip. Other trips were 5 star experiences. This was disappointing for several reasons. First, Gran Canaria experienced devastating fires a few months ago. As a result, 2 of the original scheduled hikes were not passable. The substitute hikes were very disappointing. We realize that the fires were out of the control of Macs Adventures, we believe they could have provided better alternatives. Additionally the 1st and last accommodation were disappointing. While the facilities were adequate, it was often hard to find any staff to answer questions. Additionally, the dinner at the first accommodation was nearly inedible.
On the positive side, the route notes were excellent and the drivers friendly and accommodating. We still are big fans of Macs Adventures, but would not recommend this trip.
Sarah Salt 17/11/2019
Great holiday, well coordinated and structured and good instructions for self guided walks.
Lawrence Smith 16/11/2019
This was our fourth trip with Macs Adventures and we were very happy with their service and overall attention to detail. We spent 7 days walking in Portugal in the Sintra coastal area. It was challenging in part due to some wet weather. Macs used a Portuguese guiding agency to provide orientation and GPS device to help us navigate the area. Overall the accommodations were very good.
We wouldn't hesitate to use Macs again on a walking trip.
We stayed in lovely small "hotels" in four villages. The route notes were helpful for all our walks. We also had GPS for backup.
On the unscheduled day in Montejaque, we visited the Cueva de la Pileta that was very interesting and well worth the visit. The driver, who was arranged by Macs Adventure, was excellent. He helped with transfers at the start and then the finish of our holiday.
Excellent walking holiday. Exceptional walking routes & great accomodation.
I'm a long time, multi-year user of Mac's. They are superb, and their service was impeccable. They sort out problems and are incredibly helpful. It was the Camino itself which was not quite as advertised, and here Mac's has to take some responsibility for the way it's presented. Unlike the Camino Frances, the Portuguese Coastal Way is almost entirely urban, with very little sense of being a spiritual journey. Miles of cobblestones, walking through the backs of villages - even the supposed countryside part is never out of sight of houses and civilization. The walk from Baiona to Vigo, 19 1/2 miles, was particularly awful, ending with 4 miles of trundling through a graffiti-laden, ugly modern city. If you want the real thing, walk the Frances, or perhaps try the more historic Portuguese route that doesn't go along the coast.
But we love Mac's.
Annie Barrell 13/11/2019
Wonderful B&Bs, very good guide book and map, efficient luggage service....what more could we ask?
Macs was fantastic. Well organized and the trip went as advertised. Our route had few options in accommodations, and some were not great, but Macs didn't have alternatives and we were lucky to have the rooms we received (other travelers could not find rooms). This was our 6th Macs Adventure, and we're planning more.
Well organized and reliable - could have had a more personal touch.