6 Active International Tours for 2015

6 Active International Tours for 2015

Trek in Turkey, explore the Channel Islands or cycle through Provence with these active itineraries around the world By: Chelsee Lowe
Bhutan’s Paro Taktsang monastery // © 2015 Thinkstock
Bhutan’s Paro Taktsang monastery // © 2015 Thinkstock

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Arctic Adventure
Experience the expansive beauty of polar fjords and islands on Adventure Canada’s Heart of the Arctic itinerary, which departs July 17. Cruisers onboard the 198-passenger Ocean Endeavor will travel from Canada’s Inuit regions of Nunavik and Nunavut to Greenland, stopping to hike serene islands and glaciers, learn about regional customs and observe endemic wildlife, from polar bears and musk oxen to walrus and humpback whales.

In Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, the group will see the famous Qilakitsoq mummies, which date back to 1460. Before the journey ends, guests will cruise on Zodiacs to see a glacier on western Greenland’s longest fjord.

The trip begins at $3,955 per person.


Bhutan With an Ambassador
Get an insider’s look at Bhutan by touring the country with Lhatu Wangchuk, former ambassador to the United Nations. During Geringer Global Travel’s 13-day Bhutan Group Tour, Wangchuk will host travelers in his own home for welcome and farewell dinners and introduce them to local artist Azha Karma, who will lead a discussion about traditional and contemporary art in the country.

Guests will also learn about Bhutan’s recent history and national identity from Royal Privy council member Dasho Sangay Wangchug, trek to sacred Buddhist monastery Paro Taktsang and participate in Thangbi Mani Tsechu, an annual festival meant to bring happiness and prosperity to the community.

The trip departs Oct. 21 and starts at $3,690 per person.


Park Hopping in Patagonia
On the 11-day Patagonia Discovery Safari tour from Journeys International, guests get acquainted with Chile’s capital city and nearby Colorado River Canyon before venturing farther south. In Alerce Andino National Park, 3,000-year-old trees shade guests as they hike, and Chilean deer, puma and condors are common sightings, as are pudu, the smallest deer in the world.

The next day brings travelers to Perez Rosales National Park, one of the country’s oldest parks and home to secluded trails, white-water rapids and the towering Osorno Volcano. The trip wraps up with three days in Torres del Paine National Park, where excursion options range in difficulty and include hiking to Laguna los Torres, cycling to Laguna Azul and visiting Grey Glacier.

The trip departs daily from September through April and starts at $5,235.


Provence by Bike
To get a real sense of the French countryside, hop on a bicycle and let Duvine Cycling + Adventure Company be your guide. Travelers on the Provence Bike Tour will pedal through lavender fields, cherry orchards and vineyards en route to medieval sights and villages. The group will cover between 16 and 37 miles daily, but not without sampling regional fare and wines along the way, including picholine olives, goat cheese and slow-cooked lamb.

Riders also have the option to put their strength to the test on day three of the journey, when a guide will take willing participants up Mont Ventoux, known as one of the more challenging segments of the Tour de France.

The six-day itinerary starts at $5,495 and departs several times in April, May and June.


See the Channel islands
Many people travel between England and France in a matter of hours, but Back-Roads Touring Co. encourages clients to slow things down — way down. On the company’s 11-day London to Paris Via the Channel Islands trip, guests will sightsee in London and Dorset before island hopping from Guernsey to Sark to Jersey.

The itinerary offers a unique look at British and French culture, as well as World War II history. One highlight is a meeting with Guernsey local Milly Bihet, who will share stories about the island during German occupation. The group will also have time in the walled city of Saint-Malo in Brittany and in the village of Sainte Suzanne.

The tour departs regularly from May to October and begins at $4,465 per person.


Turkey by Land and Sea
Don’t forget your trusty hiking and sailing gear for Peter Sommer Travels’ Walking and Cruising Western Lycia itinerary. Over the course of eight days, guests will drift along Turkey’s Mediterranean coastline onboard a traditional Turkish gulet, beginning from the harbor in Gocek. The group will walk 5 to 6 miles per day on average when docked, exploring off-the-beaten-path spots such as the village of Ucagiz and an Ottoman castle in Kale.

Travelers will also spend time on the Lycian Way, a national footpath known for its pretty vistas and the archaeological sites located along its length.

Prices start at approximately $3,075 per person, and the tour departs April 28.


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