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Activity Grades

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.

Easy Walking


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

Easy - Moderate

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.

Moderate Walking


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

Moderate - Strenuous

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.

Strenuous Walking


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.

Extreme Walking


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.

Easy Cycling

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

Easy - Moderate Grade 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.

Moderate Cycling

Moderate Grade Cycling

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

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.

Strenuous Cycling

Strenuous Cycling

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.

Extreme Cycling

Extreme Cycling

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.

  • Anonymous 25/09/2022
    Excellent organisation of the tour, Minor complaint was that I had to chase for the train tickets, however Macs Adventure sorted the problem out and I was able to relax and enjoy the holiday. A well thought out holiday experience, with plenty of options. Would suggest as an improvement that more information on travel could be provided. For instance it was unclear in Leukerbad that we had to get a bus to Leuk, but still included in the STP. Also there was no information that we couldn't use the STP to get to Eigergletscher and were detrained at Wengen which led to an hours delay. Overall though a wonderful trip across Switzerland.
  • Anonymous 25/09/2022
    We loved everything about the trip.
  • Mr Casey Shobe 25/09/2022
    We had a great experience with Macs. The booking and preparation process was smooth and easy, and the actual trip went brilliantly. We had excellent accommodations and the luggage transfer went very well. I can't think of a thing that went poorly.
  • Mrs Anne Sylvie Truffer 25/09/2022
    L'équipe a été à l'écoute de nos besoins et nos désirs et y a répondu. Le délai de réponse était parfois un peu long par email, mais au final l'organisation était parfaite.
  • Anonymous 24/09/2022
    We spoke with Lauren before our adventure on the KAT trail and then called one time while we were on our adventure to find out about the guest passes we were to receive. MacAdventures returned our call immediately and we had our guest passes the very next morning. We stayed in four different hotels and they were all wonderful. Only the last one didn't have a balcony. They were all in great locations and the breakfasts out of this world. We also had three dinners included which were more than we could eat and very good. The trip was rated moderate but when we downloaded it on our app it was moderate to strenuous and was more difficult than I had anticipated. Thank goodness for gondolas and ski lifts. It would have been helpful if we had been given the option in our directions for using the gondolas to go up rather than just down. And we had trouble finding the beginning of several trails. The first day it would have been good to have it spelled out that we needed to take the gondola to the middle station. We thought we had to walk to middle station. Having the map on our app was really a life saver a couple times.
  • Mr Michael McDonell 24/09/2022
    The hotels and meals were great. The bag transfer service was as well.
  • Mr John Sheldon 23/09/2022
    To start with, their App is buggy for Android. Even after downloading the map(s) it wants to talk to the mother ship, thus blocking the map(s) from loading. Then some of the maps are just BAD. For example, instead of loading the maps for a given trip with proper starting and ending points, you get the maps for the trip with the most number of days / stages / lowest distance. So you may find yourself walking back up hill when you didn't need to. Other times the stage end is more than a half mile away from the supposed trail. My BIGGEST complaint is the sadistic / clueless booking agents who never walked these routes. I found myself on the hardest day adding two miles to account for the lodgings they placed me. Another time the lodgings were a full net two miles away, up and down hill. After a long day of difficulty, who wants to be kicked in the head like that?
  • Mr Stephen Isted 23/09/2022
    Everything went exactly as planned. My luggage was always delivered before I arrived. The accomadation was good. All in all a worry free trip.
  • Anonymous 23/09/2022
    The website is excellent. It is clear and attractive, and well organized. The places we stayed--very different--both worked out well for us. Obviously, the English Lake District is a gem, and we loved walking in it, especially after first visiting the Kentmere home of our great grandparents and having tea with its current owners. I would say that the digital maps could be better. Once or twice we had real trouble sorting out what route was intended. In one place, the trail had largely been destroyed by erosion, and there was substantial work underway to repair it. This was on a particularly steep downhill climb near the end of our program, on the last day. You should probably reroute people away from that area. We found it dangerous and difficult.
  • Anonymous 23/09/2022
    Had a wonderful time, made better with beautiful weather. Challenging but beautiful walk/hike and all well explained and organised. Just two concerns to mention… The app won’t work if you are out of network range, even if you have turned on the download offline feature. Thankfully I manually saved the maps and used a GPX tracker app, because it was needed. Also, the final days accommodation wasn’t too good… the place was like a poor outdated hostel… I’d recommend another place to stay.
  • Anonymous 23/09/2022
    The entire adventure from pre booking to finish was excellent. The booking agents were knowledgeable, had good communication skills, were easy to work with and understood our needs.
  • Mr Richard Myers 23/09/2022
    Every was as it was supposed to be. Had no difficulties with the accommodation and directions were great.
  • Anonymous 23/09/2022
    If you only look for some service to arrange your accommodation for trekking TMB and luggage transfer, MacsAdventure is the one you can go with
  • Anonymous 23/09/2022
    We enjoyed our Highlights of Scotland trip. Thank you Macs Adventure Tours for setting up a wonderful itinerary and spots to stay. Directions were a bit complicated at times, as we couldn’t always find the road names indicated. Warning to others, due to post Covid staff shortages, many tours were filled up weeks before we arrived. Try to plan ahead!
  • Mr Ian Thompson 23/09/2022
    My wife and I walked from Fort William to Inverness over 8 days (7 days' walking + 8 nights' accommodation) and what a trip. The weather was wonderful, i.e. quite a lot of sun, but not too hot and our hosts and those we met on the way were very friendly and helpful. There were no accommodation / pickup mishaps so thank you Macs Adventures for organising everything so efficiently. We did have one problem when we took a wrong turn and ended up walking about 5 miles along the A82 towards Urquhart Castle but this was entirely our fault. The footpath signs were slightly misleading, due to logging activities, just before Grotaig, but these things happen. Overall, a great walk that I would highly recommend to anyone who is reasonably fit, especially those who opt for the high routes where the views are stunning.
  • Anonymous 23/09/2022
    Extremely helpful and a good background knowledge.
  • Dr. Chris Dow 22/09/2022
    All the accommodation was good, including some very memorable stays (e.g. Kingshouse Hotel). The route was easily to follow and the Macs App almost completely removed any need for other maps or navigation. Luggage transfer was seamless.
  • Mr Erin Burns-Flett 21/09/2022
    My husband and I booked our Highlands and Skye rail/hiking tour a year before COVID arrived. Our trip was postponed twice, and MacsAdventure retained our deposit and was in continuous contact with me during the delays. When we were finally committed to our trip, MacAdventure was very diligent answering all our questions promptly. Equally, they were prompt at sharing updates with respect to changes in some transportation services. Our accommodations were wonderful as were the hosts. Our itinerary was well thought out and detailed - this particular adventure included walking, trains, ferries and buses. This was our second booking with MacsAdventure and I will book with them again and have recommended Macs to friends and family.
  • Miss Eileen Biermann 20/09/2022
    Gute Betreuung, nette Mitarbeiter, schnelle Antwort
  • Anonymous 19/09/2022
    The trip was arranged quite quickly for us, nearly a year ago. Macs was very responsive (even if there were short delays sometimes) to questions. Accommodations were very good, and baggage transport was seamless. Communication was also very thorough.


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