As people are becoming more health conscious at home and abroad, travellers are starting to look for holiday destinations that combine some of their favourite things: being active, enjoying great food and taking in amazing scenery.
Recent research shows a 40 percent increase in the amount of global travellers who have taken an active trip in 2017, as compared to the previous three years. In 2018, this trend is expected to continue, with a whopping third of global travellers (34%) considering it likely or even very likely that they will take an active trip within the next 12 months.
With this research in mind, Booking.com delved into its 1.6 accommodations in over 126,000 destinations across the globe to source six great destinations for cycling and trail walking, based on endorsements by travellers.
The destinations are perfect for health-conscious travellers looking to start their holiday on the right foot…or pedal. Whether it’s hiking across the natural beauty of Katoomba, cycling around the bustling capital of Amsterdam or trekking through the luscious rainforest of Monte Verde, there is something to keep even the most active of travellers moving.
Monte Verde, Costa Rica
The picturesque Monte Verde, is an ideal spot for avid trail walkers as it is home to the Cloud Forest Reserve. This tropical rainforest is full of beautiful rapids, gorges, natural springs and waterfalls, so is a perfect location for taking in the surrounding beauty during a trek. Opt for a guided tour or take a map and explore the reserve on your own.
Where to stay: Amid the tropical rainforest of the Monte Verde Reserve, you will find the tranquil Trapp Family Lodge. This beautiful and rustic stay features a restaurant, spacious and airy bedrooms, plus easy access to the Suspended Bridges, Canopy tours and Santa Elena.
The Blue Mountains, Australia
Katoomba is home to many fantastic places to explore including the Three Sisters Rocks, the Blue Mountains National Park, Wentworth Falls and the Grand Canyon track – perfect for adventurous trail walkers. The iconic Three Sisters Rocks are an unusual rock formation in the Blue Mountains, where you can trek to the top and marvel at the rocks impressive beauty from the Echo Point Lookout or follow the ‘Giant Staircase’ down to Katoomba Falls for a closer look. If you like a challenge, the historic Grand Canyon track is a 6km loop through the Blue Mountains, where you will see spectacular views of waterfalls and creeks.
Where to stay: For a home away from home, stay at the beautiful Winston Cottage. Surrounded by beautifully kept gardens and just a stone’s throw from the famous Three Sisters lookout, this cottage break is a great choice for those interesting in trail walking this beautiful area. Other routes such as Wentworth Falls, Blue Mountains National Park and the Grand Canyon Track are all a short drive away, too. After a day of hiking, go for a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool, then cook up a feast in the fully equipped kitchen.
Venture to Moab, Utah for a selection of walking trails through contrasting landscapes. From narrow canyons, to the cliff edge of Kane Creek overlooking the Colorado River, to the stunning scenery of Dead Horse Point State Park to the Martian terrain of Arches National Park, trail walkers will be rewarded by the surrounding natural beauty.
Where to Stay: Just 15 miles from the stunning Arches National Park, the Red Cliff Lodge offers a haven for travellers seeking walking trails and National Parks. After a strenuous hike, relax on a private patio and be in awe of the magnificent creek and river views. The lodge also has its very own winery, perfect for unwinding after a long day of hiking.
Amsterdam is renowned for its cycling culture, so if you’re a cycling fanatic this is the place to go. There are a variety of routes you can take outside the hustle and bustle of city life, including the Amsterdamse Bos. This extensive park features a huge network of cycling paths that will take you via a petting zoo and a gorgeous boating lake. Other options include cycling routes that venture into the countryside and along 17th century windmills. From Amsterdam, you can even cycle to the beaches along the North Sea. One of the most popular beach routes will take you along the North Sea Canal, all the way from Westport Harbour to Zuid-Kennemerland National Park.
Where to stay: Stay at the Jordan Suite Bed & Bubbles and you will have access to all of the popular cycle routes. This charming stay features modern décor and spacious rooms and even offers an on-site bicycle rental service, perfect for guests travelling from afar. As an added bonus, upon arrival you will find a bottle of prosecco waiting for you.
Whether you are looking for a gentle cycle around the city centre taking in the cathedral, beach and the marina or want more of a challenge, Barcelona is a great place to go for cycling enthusiasts. Head out of the bustling city and up to the Collserola Mountain Range national park, which is a great scenic spot not too far from the city. Alternatively, take on the route famous to the Tour de France athletes and head north via the Costa Brava, taking in the beautiful Wild Coast.
Where to stay: If cycling is your passion, you just have to stay at The Bicycle Apartments in Barcelona. Not only can you hire bikes directly from the owners but there is a cycling theme throughout the décor of every apartment! Each one is comprised of two bedrooms, a living room with a fully equipped kitchenette, bathroom and either a private terrace or balcony. The apartments are located close enough to explore Barcelona city and beach (under two miles to La Rambla) and it also has easy access to head out of the city and to the famous cycle routes too.
Located in the northern foothills of Mount Fuji is the picturesque town of Fujikawaguchiko. Often visited to climb the iconic volcano along the Yoshida trail, this resort town is also a great destination for cycling enthusiasts. During your travels, take in the surrounding beauty and cycle past Lake Kawaguchi, with the impressive Mount Fuji as your backdrop.
Where to stay: Offering beautiful Mount Fiji views from relaxing hot spring baths, the Mizuno Hotel is a perfect stay for travellers visiting Fujikawaguchiko. After a day of cycling, tuck into tasty Japanese cuisine whilst taking in the beautiful scenery of Lake Kawaguchi.