WITH another lockdown keeping the nation cooped up, the last thing many of us want from our next holiday is to fly and flop in one place.
Families full of pent-up energy are looking to try something new or indulge in a favourite hobby on their next big trip.
So to help you find the perfect break for 2021, here are 21 fantastic adventure and activity holidays that you can book now for next year.
From surfing in Snowdonia to dog sledding in the Yukon, Jacob Lewis lists the top suggestions for action-packed activity breaks that are sure to blast away those lockdown blues.
1. DIVE INTO MALTA
WHETHER it’s your first time “testing the waters” or you’re an experienced diver seeking advanced certifications, Gozo is great for an underwater holiday.
The warm climate, crystal clear seas with virtually no tides or current and huge biodiversity keep divers coming back.
Staying at Atlantis Gozo Dive Lodges on the rugged Maltese coastline, you can explore caverns and walls along with the world- famous Blue Hole, or spot fish weaving in and out of the sunken MV Xlendi wreck.
Seven nights’ room-only at Atlantis Gozo Dive Lodges is from £441pp based on two sharing. Flights to Malta are from £26.99pp one-way at easyjet.com.
2. HIKE HADRIAN’S WALL
STEP back in time on a six-day walk covering all 86 miles of the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail.
Tramping coast to coast from west to east, walkers will absorb dramatic scenery and marvel at the engineering prowess of the Romans, who built signal towers, forts and turrets along one of the most famous frontiers of the Empire.
Seven nights’ full board in en-suite accommodation is from £875pp including an HF Holidays guide, transport to and from the walks and transfers to and from Haltwhistle station from the hotel. See hfholidays.co.uk.
3. NAVIGATE WELSH CANALS
BEACON Park Boats offer a collection of narrowboats and luxury houseboats, with everything guests could need for a canal adventure.
Their five-star luxury narrowboats sleep two to eight people, plus a dog, and no previous experience is needed.
There are pretty villages to discover along the waterway, most with canalside pubs. Walks are plentiful from all mooring locations and further afield are mountains to climb, castles to explore, craft centres, museums and outdoor activities.
Seven nights’ self-catering in a canal boat with Beacon Park Boats is from £135.50pp based on six sharing. See beaconparkboats.com.
4. RIDE THE RAILS TO CATALONIA
EXPERIENCE the sparkling coast of Catalonia and the peaks of the Pyrenees while travelling by train.
Passengers will visit Girona, a city of storybook history full of eccentric museums, terracotta buildings and an impressive cathedral.
From here, it’s across France, enjoying journeys on the Little Red and Yellow Trains of the Pyrenees as you chug over ravines and across viaducts amid breathtaking landscapes.
Also included is a journey from Ribes to the Nuria Valley on the tranquil Nuria Valley Rack Railway.
Seven nights’ four-star half-board with Rail Discoveries is from £949pp, departing on March 26 from St Pancras International. See raildiscoveries.com or call 01904 527 180.
5. SNORKEL THE HEBRIDES
HEBRIDEAN Adventures, which specialises in whale, dolphin and wildlife-watching cruises around the Outer Hebridean and other Scottish isles, has added new activity cruises for 2021.
Led by expert guides, activities include sea kayaking, snorkelling, landscape photography, remote hiking and an art cruise. You could also spot whales, dolphins, porpoise, white-tailed sea eagles, seals and other species.
A two-night full-board snorkelling adventure on the MV Monadhliat in June or July is from £400pp, travelling from Ullapool to Stornoway with stops at the Summer Isles and Shiant Isles. See hebrideanadventures.co.uk or call 07871 463755.
6. ZIPLINE FROM SPAIN TO PORTUGAL
SEE the Eastern Algarve from above while riding Limite Zero, the world’s only cross-border zipline.
Flying over the River Guadiana from Spain to Portugal, thrill-seekers gain an hour, crossing a time zone and travelling at up to 50mph.
The zipline touches down in Alcoutim, just north of the beautiful town of Vila Real de Santo António where hotel Pestana Pousada has a rooftop bar and three pools.
Seven nights’ room only is £315pp based on two sharing at pousadas.pt. Limite Zero zip line is from £18pp at limitezero.com. Flights to Faro in the Algarve are from £24.99pp at easyjet.com. More info at visitalgarve.pt.
7. CLIMB AN IRON ROAD IN VERBIER
VIA ferrata literally translated is “iron road”, a mountain route made accessible by bolting metal rungs or footplates into the cliff face.
The Via Ferrata de la Madzeiria, between the hamlet of Bonatchiesse and Mauvoisin Dam, covers 150m, 880m above the stunning Dranse gorge
Experience monkey bridges, ropes and stairs to help you over the Dranse river below. Then catch your breath at the 3H Hotel Bristol, a freshly renovated, cosy hotel in the heart of Verbier town.
8. GO GOLFING IN MAJORCA
THE VIVA Golf Adults Only Hotel in Alcudia, Majorca, is home to a range of sports facilities and spacious grounds.
After a day of activities, unwind at the spa and relaxation centre.
Seven nights’ B&B at the 4H star VIVA Golf Adults Only Hotel in Puerto Alcudia is from £689pp based on two sharing, including 22kg baggage and return transfers. See jet2holidays.com.
9. SAIL IN THAILAND
SPEND seven days island-hopping on a sail boat around Thailand’s south-west islands, snorkelling with marine life, kayaking into caves and visiting deserted beaches. For sailors of all levels.
Highlights include trips to James Bond Island and Monkey Bay.
Seven nights’ half-board is from £769pp departing April 3. See gadventures.com. Return flights to Phuket are from £531pp at qatarairways.com.
10. SURF SNOWDONIA
AFTER wiping out at Adventure Parc Snowdonia, home to the UK’s first inland surf lagoon, surfers can now enjoy a pampering session at the attraction’s new spa.
The Wave Garden Spa, opening in March, will feature warm indoor and outdoor vitality pools, a hammam, saunas and massage/treatment rooms.
The spa is launching in tandem with the Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia which will offer unobstructed views of the mountains of North Wales.
A 55-minute surf sessions at Adventure Parc Snowdonia is from £35pp.
Opening March 2021, one night’s room only at the Hilton Garden Inn Snowdonia is from £44.50pp based on two sharing at hilton.com.
11. WILD SWIM IN WINDERMERE
THE Lakeside Suites at Storrs Hall in the Lake District are a few strides from Lake Windermere, and it is the perfect base for an invigorating wild swimming break.
Each suite comes with its own terrace, complete with Japanese-style cedar-wood hot tub, ideal to warm up in after a dip in the lake. Guests can hire paddleboards close by.
A wild-swimming break in a Lakeside Suite is from £237.50pp per night, including breakfast, in-room soft drinks, beers and sweet treats. See storrshall.com.
12. WILD YOGA IN SCOTLAND
NEW for 2021, Wilderness Scotland has introduced a new Wilderness Retreat to its programme of women-only trips.
It is based in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park and guests will make guided forays into the park, including a climb to the summit of Cairn Gorm (1,245m). Morning yoga sessions are led by an instructor and one day is spent wild-swimming from the UK’s highest beach.
Six nights’ full-board on a Women Only Wilderness Retreat is from £1,735pp sharing, based on an April 24 departure. See wildernessscotland.com.
13. BMX IN MEXICO
DAREDEVIL guests can take part in a variety of sports including BMXing at The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.
There’s also classes in skateboarding, cheer, dance, tumbling, parkour and free running, as well as indoor dryland snowboarding and skiing.
For a less extreme adventure, there is golf, tennis and bicycle rentals, while water babies can splash out in the resort’s 23-slide Rockaway Bay waterpark.
Seven nights’ all-inclusive at the 5H Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya is from £1,318pp based on two sharing a Deluxe Gold Hacienda Room, including Heathrow flights, on dates in April, May and June. Book at ba.com. More info at hrhrivieramaya.com.
14. E-BIKE IN NORTHERN ITALY
CYCLING For Softies offers a northern Italian trip that is a firm favourite with families.
Accommodation is in a beautifully renovated former olive-oil mill and tobacco-drying tower, and guests can choose B&B or half-board.
Seven nights’ B&B starts at £995pp, including e-bike hire and local destination manager support. Book by November 30, 2020 and receive £150 John Lewis vouchers.
See cyclingforsofties.co.uk or call 020 3944 3218. Flights to Florence are from £48pp one- way at ba.com.
15. DOG SLED IN THE YUKON
JOIN the pack on a dog-sled ride through Canada’s far north as part of a winter adventure package at Northern Lights Resort and Spa.
Experience the best of the wilderness and view the Northern Lights at a cosy log-cabin resort outside the city of Whitehorse.
Three nights’ full-board in a private cabin at Northern Lights Resort and Spa is from £780pp based on two sharing, including a half-day dog sled, guided aurora viewing and photography assistance, use of self-guided trails with snowshoes, outdoor hot tub, spa area and sauna. See discover-the-world.com.
Flights to Whitehorse from the UK are from £556pp at aircanada.com.
16. GET CRAFTY IN KENT
GUESTS at Romney Marsh Shepherds Huts can take classes in needle-felting using wool from sheep on the farm.
Guided by a local textile artist and designer. Other fun includes a marsh Jeep safari, bike hire and photography sessions.
Three nights’ self-catering at Romney Marsh Shepherds Huts is from £163pp based on two sharing. A three-hour felting class is from £60pp. See romneymarshshepherdshuts.co.uk.
17. RUN FOR YOUR WINE IN LANZAROTE
THE Lanzarote Wine Run, each June, sees contestants run or walk through the wine region, stopping to enjoy tapas and wine from local producers — and all ending in a fabulous party.
The 4H Seaside Los Jameos Playa is a great base.
Seven nights’ B&B starts at £999 per adult and £579 per child based on two adults and two kids sharing, including Stansted flights with checked bags and private transfers. Book by November 30, 2020 at prestigeholidays.co.uk.
18. STEP TO IT IN ST LUCIA
DANCE your way to fitness in the Caribbean with Strictly star Robin Windsor.
In Jive June at 4H BodyHoliday St Lucia, guests can make a splash with aqua dance, get into the Latin spirit with salsa and take advantage of the crystal-clear waters at the beach parties.
BodyHoliday St Lucia also includes an 18-hole golf course, three pools, PADI diving, tennis courts, fitness classes and an award-winning spa.
Seven nights’ full-board is from £1,815pp including return transfers at healthandfitnesstravel.com. Return flights with BA are from £416 at ba.com.
19. HORSE RIDE IN SPAIN
STAY at a small, rural, family-run eco-hotel near Girona complete with pool, sauna and massage service.
Responsible Travel offers a horse-riding trip that’s ideal for starters and kids, to more experienced riders.
Eight days’ B&B on a Catalan Horse Riding Holiday is from £663pp, with an extra £44.79 off if you travel by train.
20. CYCLE THE SLOVENIAN ALPS
THE alpine village of Kranjska Gora is a haven for hikers, cyclists and mountaineers.
Close to the Italian and Austrian borders, in the Sava Dolinka Valley, the resort is surrounded by the mountains and glacial lakes of Triglav National Park.
The Best Western Hotel Kranjska Gora is a great base to explore the nearby Zelenci Nature Reserve and the white-sand beaches of Lake Jasna.
Seven nights’ half-board at the Best Western Hotel Kranjska Gora is from £779pp based on two sharing, including Manchester flights and transfers. See inghams.co.uk.
21. GET ARTY IN ST IVES
A SHORT drive from St Ives, Una eco-retreat’s Art Break is perfect for those looking to absorb culture and history. Included are tickets to Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and a hearty Cornish breakfast at Una Kitchen.
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