December can be a hectic time, what with all the shopping, the drinks dos, the cards, the cooking! A walking or cycling holiday presents the perfect opportunity to get away from it all (at least for a while) and take some winter sun. Below are some of our favourite places for a relaxing, wintertime walking or cycling holiday.
1. Seville & The Sierra de Aracena
The Seville & The Sierra de Aracena walking holiday is a city break curated with walkers and nature lovers in mind. Initially, a couple of days are spent exploring the historic city of Seville, before the focus of the trip shifts to wild and natural spaces. Your base for the remainder of the trip is a cosy private cottage in the beautiful Molino Rio Alajar from where you can embark on walks around the surrounding area which is particularly good for bird watching, but also home to a great deal of flora and fauna.
2. Wine Routes of Ancient Greece
A unique cycling holiday that takes in the best of the culturally rich Peloponnese peninsula, the Wine Routes of Ancient Greece combines wine tasting in Greece's largest wine producing region with exploring areas of great historical importance. In seven days you have the chance to visit four wineries and a good number of the region's must-sees including the Theatres of Epidauros and Argos, the Sanctuary of Hera and the Minoan Palace of Mycenae.
3. Madeira: The Flower Island
Madeira has long been a favoured destination for walkers who enjoy the well-kept trails that beautifully showcase the local flora and fauna that is so abundant. Indeed, Madeira: The Flower Island has been described by our Portugal product manager as 'an explosion of colours'. The island has many interesting features, for example the rugged and varied topography led Madeirans to come up with ingenious ways of transporting water from the northwest to the drier southeast of the island. The network of Levadas, comprising of over 2,150km of channels of which 40km are tunnels, are a sight to see particularly the sections where wild flowers bloom on their banks. For natural beauty and tranquillity, and average December temperatures of 20°C/68°F look no further than Madeira.
4. Cycling in Catalonia
Traffic free roads that intersect open countryside, olive groves, and orchards en-route to the coast await you on our Cycling in Catalonia tour. Passing through idyllic villages one gets the impression that daily life has not changed much here over the past century, certainly in the countryside the Catalonian culture and identity is a strong as ever. For many the highlight of the trip is cycling through the Aiguamolls Nature Reserve which is teeming with bird life year round, others rave about the distinctly Catalan cuisine and wines. This cycling tour is a invigorating insight into a people who fiercely protect their Catalonian identity and cultural traditions.
5. Trails of La Palma: La Isla Bonita
La Palma, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, is the fifth largest of the Canary Islands and is thought to be the most beautiful by many, explaining the island's alternative name - 'La Isla Bonita'. La Palma combines rugged volcanic regions with dense rainforest and the Trails of La Palma: La Isla Bonita walking holiday takes in the best of it. The superb network of trails means one can readily explore the deep gorges, laurel forests and dramatic cliffs. The network of well-marked trails covers a large portion of the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, an enormous crater covered in Canarian Pines and surrounded by high peaks such as El Roque de los Muchachos which can only be described as dramatic. Combining pleasantly warm weather with excellent trails, La Isla Bonita is an appealing destination for any avid walker.
If you have queries about any of the trips featured in this piece do not hesitate to get in contact with a member of our team on email@example.com