Global adventure tour operator, G Adventures, is challenging stereotypes around some of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, with the launch of seven new tours, and is encouraging agents to rethink what’s on offer beyond the ‘mass market’ holiday offerings. The new collection shines a light on lesser-visited areas that are often overlooked by mainstream tourism, and features new destinations for G Adventures including Ibiza, Corfu, the Azores, Crete and mainland Greenland.
Created with UK and European travellers in mind, and first departures in March 2021, the collection was informed by recent research undertaken by G Adventures. Surveying travellers across the globe*, it was identified that travellers from the UK and European regions were the most likely to travel internationally in the next six months, while ‘small-group’, ‘active’ and ‘outdoor, nature-focused’ trips were the three most popular types of international travel. When it came to picking destinations, European favourites including Greece and Italy were high on the list for UK and European travellers, who were opting for closer-to-home options for travel in early 2021.
Centred around three key themes; ‘active travel’, ‘remote destinations’ and ‘reconnecting with nature’, the collection offers a new perspective into what each destination has to offer and will see travellers swapping nightclubs for coastal hikes in Ibiza, package beach holidays for remote villages in Crete, large complexes for cave hotels in Southern Spain and big-ship cruising for mountain camping in Greenland.
Focused on taking travellers away from tourist hotspots, helping them reconnect with nature and explore areas of a destination best seen on foot, the tours will cater to a variety of fitness levels with hikes ranging from average to challenging. Understanding that many destinations are loved for their delicious cuisine and friendly locals, each trip will incorporate time with local communities and food experiences, ranging from visits to remote fishing villages in Greenland to time with a local cheese maker in Corfu and Tsikoudia tasting in Crete.
Brian Young, managing director EMEA, G Adventures says the new collection presents an opportunity for agents to educate travellers about what else is on offer and drive repeat and new business for 2021.
“We’re bringing together some of Europe’s most loved destinations, which have traditionally been popular for package breaks, cruising or nightlife, and are offering travellers the opportunity to see a completely different side to their favourite holiday spot. These are mass-market destinations that agents know inside out, and there’s a huge potential to educate travellers, both repeat and new, about the lesser-seen side of some of these incredible locations.
Our surveys and recent bookings show that there’s real demand among UK and European travellers to get away in early 2021, to escape the cities, reconnect with the great outdoors and be active. These trips have been specifically designed for shoulder seasons to cater to that demand, while offering lower tourist numbers and the best temperatures for hiking. The familiarity that comes with these well-known, closer to home destinations, along with the advice and support provided by a travel professional will help to provide travellers with the reassurance they need to lock in their next holiday,” says Young.
“We’ve seen people’s travel habits start to shift away from the traditional bucket and spade holiday, as travellers look for more immersive, local experiences, which has driven the growth of the adventure travel sector in recent years. These new tours offer the best of both worlds - the opportunity to visit a familiar destination, while seeing what’s on offer beyond the tourist hotspots and celebrating local people, food and landscapes,” Young concludes.
The new tours are available to book now and also included in the company’s Cyber Sale, which has been extended until 11.59pm EST on Sunday 06 December, 2020.
The new collection of European tours includes:
Hiking Ibiza - Think Ibiza is just party beaches and nightclubs? Think again. This six day hiking tour shows travellers the natural side of ‘the white isle’, hiking the rugged coastline and dense pine forests of the island’s north and western regions. Based in the eastern town of Santa Eularia des Rua, travellers will visit local villages, explore the sleepy backstreets and have the option to spend the day cycling on nearby Formentera. Ideal for those wanting to tap into the island’s quieter, more bohemian side, this trip is perfect on its own or added on after a few days enjoying the island’s famous music scene. First departures start in March 2021.
Hiking Crete: Gorges and Coastal Walks - Far away from the large hotels and often reserved for avid hikers, this trip allows travellers to explore Crete’s spectacular Samaria Gorge and White Mountains, without worrying about carrying all their luggage. Over the seven days, the group trek along the southern coast, visiting remote villages and coastal towns, some accessible only by foot or boat, diving into secluded swimming spots, walking through stunning pine forests and passing through the ‘Iron Gates’ - the narrowest point on the gorge, where the rocks on either side are 600m high. First departures start in May 2021.
Corfu Trail Hiking Highlights - Popular as a beach package holiday destination, the island of Corfu is also home to the ‘Corfu Trail’ - a unique hiking route which journeys through ancient villages, past historic chapels and along coastal paths. Taking up to two weeks and with hikers traditionally having to move from place to place each night, this seven-day tour offers travellers the opportunity to see the best of the trail in under a week, while sleeping in the same bed each night. Based out of Corfu Town, the trip will include daily excursions along the trail, offering a unique opportunity to hike the coastal paths of the south and mountain regions of the north. First departures start in April 2021.
Hiking East Greenland - For those wanting to reconnect with the great outdoors, it doesn’t get much more remote than this. Avoiding the western side of the island, which is popular with cruising, this active adventure takes travellers to the lesser-inhabited eastern region of Ammassalik, where they will journey by boat and foot to remote islands, past glaciers, through fjords and across mountains. Nights will be spent camping under the stars, while days will include challenging hikes and visits to small hunting villages. First departures start in July 2021.
Hiking the Azores - Visiting the islands of São Miguel and Terceira Island, this six day adventure showcases some of the best nature and hiking in the archipelago. From optional culinary tours in Sete Cidades, hikes past breathtaking waterfalls and dips in hot springs near Sanguinho, the group will discover the flora and fauna of the southern island with their dedicated island guide. Travellers will also get to know the northern ‘lilac island’ of Terceira, named after the lava fields, which glow purple in the setting sun. First departures start in April 2021.
Northern Sicily: Islands and Volcanoes - Hiking, swimming and kayaking to get the blood pumping, boat trips around erupting volcanoes, visits to tiny fishing villages and the opportunity to see The Aeolian Islands, where locals head for their little piece of paradise - this northern Sicily tour is a window into the local way of life and the natural beauty of this Italian island. Taking in popular spots such as Taormina and Mt Etna, the trip also includes visits to charming Celafù and historic Lipari, which are rarely visited by travellers. First departures start in March 2021.
Hiking Southern Spain: Authentic Andalusia - From walks to 15th century castles, overnight stays in cave hotels to wine tasting in local wineries and the opportunity to trek through Andalucia’s most impressive gorge - the Caminito del Rey - this trip is packed with stunning hikes, history and food. Taking in the lesser-visited regions of Benalua de Guadix and Canillas, travellers will also hike in the rugged hills of Sierra de Huetor and trek through the Puerto Blanquillo Mountain Pass. First departures start in March 2021.