Europe features a diverse range of countries, climates, and adventure styles, making it a fun challenge to determine where you want to go first. If paddling crystal-clear coves and biking vineyard-clad hills pique your interest, then put the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia on your radar. If you’re a fan of flowers and quaint towns, then pedaling through the tulip fields and cobblestoned villages of Holland should be on your list. Curious about how alive the hills of the Alps are? Then Austria is a must-visit destination. The list goes on and on, but we’re here to help you every step of the way!
Check out our incredible adventures exploring the highlights and hidden gems of Europe!
Activity Level 1
What's The Rush?
I'm active and in decent shape and not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I'm happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.
Walking: 2-3 hours per day on gentle-gradient trails.
Other activities: On these trips, you'll be taking part in a range of other activities that focus less on building up a sweat and more on enjoying the finer things in life.
Activity Level 2
On the Move
Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.
Walking: 2-4 hours per day on gentle to moderate gradient trails. No multi-day hikes.
Biking: 1-3 hours, cruisy rides achievable by anyone, even first-timers. Kayaking: 1-3 hours, entry-level sea kayaking with specialist guides and stable boats.
Other activities (i.e. snorkeling): Always optional and very little exertion required. A highlight for many!
Activity Level 3
Earn Your Lunch
I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.
Hiking: Typically, 3-6 hours per day on well-formed backcountry trails. Expect some significant gradient inclines and declines.
Altitude: Your trip may include some moderate altitude areas, though these don't form the focus of the trip and are generally manageable.
Biking: 1-3 hours on well-formed paths or roads where you can expect some hills with moderate climbs and descents.
Kayaking: 1-3 hours, entry-level sea kayaking with specialist guides and stable boats.
Other activities (i.e. caving): Always optional and very little exertion required. A highlight for many!
Activity Level 4
I'll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it'll be tough, but the views will be worth it.
Hiking / Trekking: Typically, 4–6-hour hikes with options for more, sometimes with limited or no vehicle support and nearly always with ascents and descents.
Altitude: Some trips at this level will reach a significant altitude. We are here to help you manage that and make your experience one to cherish for a lifetime.
Biking & Kayaking: If one, or both, of these activities are 'your thing,' there are trip options in this range, allowing you to be on two wheels or with a paddle in your hand for most of the day.
Activity Level 5
The Upper Limit
I'm ready to put in the hard work to reap the rewards. I'm a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.
Trekking & Altitude: This is classic trekking, at altitude. Some might even call it 'expedition-style.' We've had folks from all walks of life achieve their dreams on our grade 5 trips, so if you're in for a challenge get in touch to find out if this is for you.
- January 2022
"Sölvi was a great guide! read more
"Sölvi was a great guide! read less
Diana, United States
- December 2021
"This is a very special trip. I've been to many world destinations and the… read more
"This is a very special trip. I've been to many world destinations and the Dolomites totally took me by surprise. The grandeur of the scenery is second to none. Every time I looked up from our hike, I saw a different and more spectacular sight. Also, the people we met were great and our guide, Richard, was the best!
I'd highly recommend this trip, BUT, get some hiking practice in before going. For experienced hikers, this is an invigorating trip. For those that don't adventure out much, this could be difficult. Put some time in before the trip and you'll have a wonderful experience. read less
Scott, United States
- November 2021
"Wonderful guide Richard took the 6 of us around the Dolomites safely and we had… read more
"Wonderful guide Richard took the 6 of us around the Dolomites safely and we had a lot of fun. Richard was solo guiding a group of different levels and made great efforts to accommodate us all. He was so knowledgeable and caring and full of interesting information. Loved the hotels and the food was amazing. We really got immersed in local culture. Loved hiking to the refugios and the nature was spectacular. We were very lucky with the weather and I would highly recommend Richard and touring the Dolomites. read less
Aine, United States
- October 2021
"My wife and I went on the Dolce Vita trip with Active Adventures and we… read more
"My wife and I went on the Dolce Vita trip with Active Adventures and we both feel that it was one of our top 3 holidays ever. We LOVED our guides (Andrea & Enrico - one for the mountains and one for the Lakes Region kayaking). The natural beauty was amazing but the care our guides took of the group was truly beyond our expectations. Bravo to Active Adventures for partnering with such amazing local guides who are not only knowledgeable but funny and a true pleasure to be around. We LOVED this trip and plan to do more! read less
Dave, United States
- October 2021
"Amazing trip!! First, was the time of the year - late September/early October means cool… read more
"Amazing trip!! First, was the time of the year - late September/early October means cool days and evenings plus fewer tourists. It seemed at times we had the mountains all to ourselves. The tour was perfectly designed to combine tough hiking with climbs along with some downtime to relax and absorb the magnificent scenery. Optional hikes provided that extra workout which was rewarded with even better vistas. The refugios were the right balance between mountain rustic and luxury spa-like comfort. The food was outstanding at all the stops along the way. And of course, what really made the trip altogether wonderful was our guide - Richard - a local mountaineering specialist who was absolutely outstanding. Our trip was made up of folks with different backgrounds, ages, hiking experience, and physical ability and Richard made it work for everyone. He provided the historical context from the perspective of one who lives there and whose family has lived there for generations. This was overall, beginning to end, a great trip. read less
Edward, United States
- October 2021
"The trip was extremely good, very much enjoyed it. The guides Claire and Celine… read more
"The trip was extremely good, very much enjoyed it. The guides Claire and Celine were excellent, very knowledgeable and always willing to assist read less
- October 2021
"Thora is a spectacular human! We were thrilled to learn from her, see her… read more
"Thora is a spectacular human! We were thrilled to learn from her, see her beautiful country thru her eyes and explore together! read less
Jennie, United States
- October 2021
"This was all seen through the lens of physical challenge of outdoor activity.
The itinerary and… read more
"This was all seen through the lens of physical challenge of outdoor activity.
The itinerary and length of the trip were just about ideal. The accommodations were lovely. The first hotel was in a great location! The last hotel so personally lovely. Food was just about perfect.....but the best part was our guide, Richard. He was kind, humble, intuitive knowledgeable, responsible, a genuine good person. read less
Karen, United States
- October 2021
"This trip was amazing in so many ways. The beauty of the Dolomites is… read more
"This trip was amazing in so many ways. The beauty of the Dolomites is unbelievable and cannot be captured in photographs. The hikes are quite challenging, but the views are incredibly rewarding. Our local Italian guides (Miriam and Ivan) added so much to the experience. The refugios were very nice and the hotels were absolutely great – especially the one in San Cassiano. The food was also exceptional every day of the trip. I loved the challenge of the via ferrata on the last day. What an end to a wonderful trip! read less
Noma, United States
- October 2021
"Fabulous guides: enthusiastic about the Dolomites, personable and fun to be around. Spectacular scenery and… read more
"Fabulous guides: enthusiastic about the Dolomites, personable and fun to be around. Spectacular scenery and options for easier or tougher experience i.e. extra afternoon hike or ebike option. read less
Elizabeth, United States
- October 2021
"This Dolomiti experience with Active Adventures was all I had dreamed of and more. … read more
"This Dolomiti experience with Active Adventures was all I had dreamed of and more. Before and during the trip the staff was promptly and thoroughly responsive to any concerns, which I greatly appreciated, and the trip itself was a magical blend of different delights within the Dolomiti -- hiking, biking, rifugios, the challenging Via Ferrata, rich World War I history, gorgeous scenery and weather, great food, and then beautiful and comfy accommodations to cap it off at the end of each incredible day. Our guides, Richard and Marika, were the absolute best, highly knowledgeable and helpful, as well as fun and entertaining, always providing a safe environment within which to enjoy the Dolomiti. In our case it was necessary for Richard to modify the itinerary in order to meet the needs of everyone in our group, and he did this seamlessly and beautifully, allowing each of us to fully enjoy our experience. The transfer drivers and all other details were thoroughly covered, which allowed for things to flow well from start to finish. This trip was definitely a lifetime highlight for me, and I'm grateful to Active Adventures for providing such an incredible opportunity. read less
Luann, United States
- October 2021
"My 4th trip with Active Adventures & might be the best yet. Stunning 360 views,… read more
"My 4th trip with Active Adventures & might be the best yet. Stunning 360 views, superb accommodations & daily doable hikes. Via Ferrata was challenging & quite frankly scary but superb guides kept us safe & confident. read less
Geri, United States
- October 2021
"This is our 4th trip with Active Adventures and once again it was awesome. … read more
"This is our 4th trip with Active Adventures and once again it was awesome. The Dolomites are probably the best 360 wow factor area that we have been. In addition, the guides were first class, accommodations and food were great. The level of activity was wonderful. Enough to challenge you without overdoing it. Enough flexibility and options for all who were on the trip. We cannot wait for our next trip! read less
Bob, United States
- October 2021
"The Active Adventures trip to Iceland/Stelkur had amazing scenery and a fantastic extremely knowledgeable and… read more
"The Active Adventures trip to Iceland/Stelkur had amazing scenery and a fantastic extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. The group size of 10 was very good, and we had good comradery and was "cozy" (as well-stated by Hafi, another adventurer). The four-day hut to hut trek was absolutely the highlight, with excellent food by chef guide everything Solvi, gorgeous unique scenery, a few extra adventures, and added interest of sheep gathering. read less
Shirley, United States
- October 2021
"The tour was challenging but very achievable if you followed the fitness guidelines provided by… read more
"The tour was challenging but very achievable if you followed the fitness guidelines provided by Active. Our two guides...Claire and Celine were absolutely exceptional! They were experienced wilderness guides--capable, knowledgeable and passionate about the mountainous region we were exploring and in our fulfillment of all aspects of the trip. They did not disappoint! When the weather was less than favorable, their support and encouragement was genuine-they truly cared about us! And the scenery was impressive as any iconic mountain range can be! Having done New Zealand and Patagonia, this tour rates in that classification-not to be missed! read less
Gretchen, United States
- October 2021
"This area of northern Italy is like no other: deep blue skies, white towering mountains,… read more
"This area of northern Italy is like no other: deep blue skies, white towering mountains, and green pastures. The hiking is rather long and the downhills are difficult. Via Defeats was a rush but those with fear of heights or weak upper body strength should be discouraged by the company to omit this part of the adventure. The two Italian guides were very supportive. San Cassiano was a beautiful town. read less
Paul, United States
- October 2021
"Our Italian guides Miriam and Ivan were excellent. They made the Italian Dolomites experience. I… read more
"Our Italian guides Miriam and Ivan were excellent. They made the Italian Dolomites experience. I will only use local guides going forward. Next time in New Zealand, I will again use Active Adventures to show their country in great detail with the same pride as the Italian guides. read less
- October 2021
"Wow-an amazing experience! Solvi was an excellent host and guide. Always giving us… read more
"Wow-an amazing experience! Solvi was an excellent host and guide. Always giving us native insights about the people and culture added immensely to my appreciation for the journey. The natural beauty of Iceland ranks up at the top of places I've been fortunate to visit including Patagonia (Condor trip), Alaska, Hawaii and more.
One thing that could have been better--it would be nice to have had a better description of the accommodations at the huts and what to expect. For example, I think several of us were a bit surprised to be sharing a single room with all 17 guests and limited showers and restrooms. Also, letting folks know that their full baggage was available each night at the huts was great but not knowing that ahead of time, I thought we'd be lugging more on our backs during the treks through the fjords. No real complaints here!!
Thora joined us as a second guide during the last few days as well and was quite delightful--really enjoyed her view on things as well. read less
Mark, United States
As members of the Active Adventures family, Austin Adventures offers booking assurance that allows you to secure your spot with a deposit now and pay the rest later. Plus, if your plans change or you can’t travel, you can transfer your booking or request a refund on any additional funds paid (less deposit) up to 90 days from your original trip start date.
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If you're a citizen of USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand - you will be issued a 90-day tourist visa upon entry into the European Union. Citizens from the UK and other EU countries obviously need not worry about this. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of your trip.
You don't need any vaccinations for Western Europe. Easy!
As an Active Adventures traveller, It’s essential you take out travel insurance to cover the likes of personal injury, medical expenses, trip cancellation for your travel with us. Please head to our Travel Insurance page for more in-depth information and insurance provider options. It’s also important to check your insurance covers all the activities you’ll be partaking in, in case you’re travelling to altitude or looking at extreme sports.
We recommend booking your flights through our preferred travel partner – Fuzion Travel. They’re our experienced hand-picked experts in travel, passionate about what they do, and will tailor-make your flight itinerary to match your Active Adventures tour. Get in touch with them directly by email – [email protected] fuziontravel.co.nz or on +1-833-244-5886. Let them know your preferred travel plans, including any stopovers or extra nights’ accommodation, and they’ll put everything in place for you. They offer a total travel solution and five star service that you’ll want to tell your friends about!
On your Europe trip you'll stay in a variety of places depending on the destination and activities. For the most part you'll stay in nice, locally owned, beautiful family run hotels in great locations, with private bathrooms, free wifi, great breakfasts and warm local hospitality. Whilst in more remote areas we use rifugios or backcountry cabins - in the Alps these rifugios are more like hotels with private bathrooms and all the mod cons! Whereas in Iceland they're more rustic with outhouse bathrooms (flush toilets) and gas heating.
Your transport will be a mixture of private van, private bus, bike, kayak and your very own two feet on our trips in Europe. You'll spend most time hiking, biking or paddling everywhere though! All your transport is included from the start of your trip and we'll drop you at the airport at the end. The details are all listed in the trip specific itineraries.
All your meals are included as described in the itinerary except on your free days. We have found that people enjoy checking out what is on offer by themselves sometimes, so you can go and see what's out there! On every other day and especially after any long hikes, we've chosen places to eat that can cater for our hearty appetites, work well with our small groups (they know we are coming) and provide us with an authentic destination specific culinary experience. There are always options for you, so you can either be brave or choose something more familiar. You can be assured that on all our trips we will make sure you are very well fed, and Europe's vast array of cuisine won't disappoint you!
Our trips are all led by an experienced Trip Leader. Our Trip Leaders are very proud to work with Active Adventures and often lead our trips for many years, for which we are very lucky and very grateful, as it means we're able to consistently offer a fantastic level of service. They work closely with our local specialist guides to provide you with a seamless, fun, exciting and memorable trip. They will happily share with you as much or as little as you want to know about the history, culture, social aspects and lifestyle of the country you are visiting.
Our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate (two people per room), though in some places we use two-bedroom units, in which case you may be sharing a separate bathroom between two to four people. In certain places, ie; the refuge/refugio’s and mountain cabin’s, there will be shared rooms with up to 10 people and a large bathroom with private cubicles which is shared by everyone at that accommodation.
Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, we can look into availability and there will be an additional single supplement fee.
We generally take up to 14 people per trip, although this can vary, and all our trips have at least two of our guides to look after you (apart from the occasions we have a small group). We have found that our trips tend to attract a particular kind of person and many people have commented that the social scene was one of the highlights of their trip!
Once you've booked your trip, you'll have access to a gear list in your portal on exactly what to bring along. The gear list is carefully thought out to provide you with everything you need to be warm and happy, or cool and relaxed, whatever the weather! So it is best to bring everything we recommend along, if you don't bring everything you need, we can't guarantee your comfort.
You will need proper hiking boots - trail shoes are not good enough. We'll be taking you to some awesome places where you'll be hiking over a variety of terrain, therefore your boots should have full ankle support and a stiff sole with a high profile tread. It's also important that whichever footwear you decide to bring that it's well broken-in and waterproofed before you come down. If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with varied terrain, then good hiking shoes should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support.
European cuisine is varied and delicious, usually incorporating lots of fresh produce, cheese, local meats, bread and pastries. Icelandic cuisine is famous for their local seafood, specifically their cod as well as lamb, bread and skyr- a soft yogurt-like cheese. The sheer abundance and variety of produce, wine and meats will satisfy any palate.
Vegetarian options are varied whereas vegan choices are slightly more limited though if you let us know beforehand we’ll make sure you have options! We provide drinking water and you’ll be able to buy espresso and/or alcohol (and other drinks) in most places.
Vegan choices may be limited but we’ll do our best to help find things you may like. While glutenfree meals are possible, there may not be a huge variety available for gluten-free options either - as most local breads and pastries contain gluten. Dinner meals are often very late in the evening too as per the local customs.
We are accustomed to catering to the following special diets:
• vegan (no meat or animal products)
• vegetarian (no meat products)
• fishatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
• no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
• gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
• lactose intolerant (no dairy products)
You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in our pre-trip questionnaire. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online questionnaire.
The currency in Austria, France, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands is the Euro €, in Croatia it's the Croatian Kuna, in Iceland it’s the Icleandic Króna kr and in Switzerland it’s the Swiss Franc CHF.
In Switzerland if you’re near the border (ie Geneva or while on your Tour du Mont Blanc trip) most places will accept Euro’s for payment, though they’ll charge you extra for this convenience.
Our trips include all transportation, guiding, meals and activities (except where indicated on the itinerary). The only things you will definitely need cash for are drinks other than water (drinking water is fine to drink from the tap on all our trips), souvenirs and tips.
Usually the easiest thing to do is use your credit or debit card to withdraw money directly from your home account, in local currency. There are plenty of ATM's and banks in larger towns in Europe, and ATM's will accept all major credit cards and many debit cards. Cash advances are the most convenient way to get cash.
No. even though we're in the Alps, we don't go into any areas where altitude is a major factor. The only place where you'll find altitude is a factor is on the trip up to Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix but you'll be taking a cable car up there and won't be there for too long!
A little would be helpful, especially on arrival and for ordering food in restaurants, but it's certainly not required. English is spoken in most hotels, airports and tourist areas though not everywhere. Our local guides are all fluent native speakers so if you don't have time to learn a little before arrival you don't have to worry... they will take care of everything.
For the majority of the summer season Austria, Croatia, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and The Netherlands are in the Central European (CET), which is 1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) whilst Iceland is on GMT time.
European countries operate on a 220V AC system with Plug Type C which consists of two round parallel pins while the wall plug has two holes where it is connected.
WiFi is available almost everywhere in cities and easy enough to find in most towns/villages so you can rely on having regularly access during your trip. If you have data roaming switched on, then you'll be able to use the internet on your smartphone, but beware of the fees! WiFi is available at most of the accommodations that you'll be staying at, sometimes for a small cost so check this out at each location when you arrive.
Please contact our New Zealand office using the details below. If the office is unattended (outside of New Zealand business hours), please leave a message so we can pick it up and respond as soon as we can.
Free phone 1 800 661 9073 (USA, Canada & Australia)
Free phone 0808 234 7780 (UK)
Free phone 0800 234 726 (New Zealand)
Worldwide +64 3 450 0414, ext 1
Tipping is not expected in Europe however you might want to tip a little extra if you feel someone gave really fantastic service, but it's not really necessary. Many of our people also choose to tip their Active Adventures Europe trip leaders and local guides at the end of an awesome trip and EURO€100 ~ US$120 per person per Trip Leader seems to be the norm, however less, more or not at all is also fine too.
Active Adventures & Austin Adventures family vacations are naturally about spending time with family and as such, most families opt to share rooms on our trips. At time of booking, families consisting of four guests with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:
Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at the guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.
With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.
It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!
When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!
Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.
Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.
For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”